What I’d like to see from Android 4.2 - the user perspective

There’s a big storm over New York which has thrown off a few big launch events, including the Android / Nexus launch.

Considering the scale of the storm and the fact that the NYSE has shut down, this is definitely the right decision.

It also gives me time to put a few things down on my Android 4.2 wishlist.

Since Jelly Bean I find Android is leagues above iOS, which like a rapidly aging starlet, tries to look the same as it did decades ago. Not pretty.

Still there is always room for improvement so here we go:

  • Refine the UI experience that bit more. A pet peeve of mine is the calendar app. Why is there no new event button on the widget? Why doesn’t the location field not auto suggest from Maps? Google provide an API for this very function so the technical challenge of adding this is minimal. It’s this level of integration that would tie in all of Google’s apps tightly into Android which for users would be a killer feature
  • Global rollout of services. Magazines, Music, TV, Wallet & Voice. All services I would happily pay for. Especially Voice. Decoupling my phone number from my phone and having web access to it? Wow, just wow. However, no sign in the UK. Boo. And Wallet. The use cases are limited so far, London transport works on RFID - hence my Oyster card app for phones yet, but as a business which relies on flexibility and mobility, taking mobile payments would be a perfect scenario.
  • Android @ Home. Whatever happened to this? There were visions of the connected home all controlled via your smartphone. I’m still waiting to scare my wife senseless by switching all the lights off in the flat on Hallowe’en.

Android still feels like it has a crazy amount of momentum behind it and is well on the way to global domination. So what would you like to see from our robotic overlord? Add them to the comments below

Fitness expert, app developer, servant to a Jack Russell. A bit obsessed with stock Android. Weird combination or what. Well, those are the things I'm interested in. Full time geek. I love mobile technology - its truly "magic" how it has revolutionised the world. I remember how PC's changed things, mobiles are doing the same - just even faster and in deeper ways.

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  • Francisco

    I don’t care much for the Android @Home project, but the first two points you talked about I’m totally in! In fact, I really don’t know why Google takes so long to add killer features to Android. Project Butter was the biggest milestone in Android for years. Android really need to catch up with iOS performance and from what I see, WP8 too. It is subtle, but I think it is a must have issue. Also as we see more and more content everywhere from Apple, Amazon and now from Windows, I think Google is taking too long to roll out its services. I think I’ll have to give my money to Apple which has the most complete services menu here in Brazil. Amazon seems to be coming next month. Why Google hasn’t landed here yet?

    • Ken Liu

      I was really keen on Android @ Home - cheap home automation is going to be a huge market. Would hate to see it Apple-ised. Good news about the Play rollout and the devices all look fantastic

      I think Brazil is on the Play map in November?

  • http://www.facebook.com/boonesimpson Boone Simpson

    I really want the android@home to become a diverse and robust product line.
    I want my googletv to notify me when my oven is done preheating, when my laundry is done, I want to be able to lock/unlock my doors and garage door from anywhere. The NEST thermostat is cool, lets get an android powered one (that doesn’t cost me $200 bucks and an old phone to build).

    None of these ideas are new, most have solutions but they are all vendor specific and none of them talk to each other.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Sluisd Darrell Sluis

    There are a couple of things that just baffle me that Google doesn’t do.
    - The playstore differs per country, In the Netherlands I can’t buy anything but apps.
    - still no official Picasa client from google
    - Google Plus and Picassa both have access to my account, but I can’t create new albums in google plus. I have to do it through picassa on the web and Picassa’s interface is hell.
    - The same issue as discussed in points 1 and 2.
    - Gtalk and google plus messenger are sorta connected but not really, the entire thing is confusing. I say seperate hangouts from G+ for those who have no G+ and merge it with gtalk and the video function in gtalk.
    - More fluidity and beautiful animation
    - easier theming.
    - more consistent widgets

    • Ken Liu

      I missed that one off my list as I was running to work :)

      Unified messaging! It really, really can’t come quickly enough

  • http://twitter.com/Mafiatounes Rami Berraies

    Completly agree with your points, Jellybean is a very good OS and still needs some more polishing.

    For me consistancy in apps icons size and shape would give a more mature feel to the whole OS.

    Another point is i would like to have a Gamecenter/Openfeint like overview of my scores and this could be synced to Google Drive for savegames, scores, opponents this would improve the gaming experience by alot.

    And ofcourse the Google Playstore needs to role out it’s services to more countries, and payment of all content would be better if there was an option for carrier billing (on more carriers worldwide) and through Paypal.