At Least 9 Things I Want To Change For My Next Android Phone

O.k., so if I could decide what to change about current Android phones so I could fully embrace the platform once my current Nokia N8 needs to be replaced it's actually not hard to come up with a long list. Not that I don't like Android at all, quite the contrary, it's just that there are still a couple of fundamental things that still don't work well for me. So here we go:

  1. Fix Multitasking: This point would actually get at least 5 places on my list because this is my top grievance with Android. Much better than other platforms in this regard it is still nowhere near Symbian's multitasking capabilities. Even Android 4 – Ice Cream Sandwitch on a flagship device with lots of RAM keeps closing apps such as the browser after a while. So Google, repeat 5 times and say it out loudly: IMPROVE MULTITASKING!
  2. Camera & Xenon Flash: The N8 has been out there for ages now and no other device has come close to the camera and Xenon flash performance of the device. Is it really that hard?
  3. Offline Maps application: I am traveling a lot and I need a street and navigation app that works with preloaded apps. Sure, there are third party apps that do that but they are not part of the overall package and surely not with worldwide maps. But at least there's a solution today, even if it comes at a price.
  4. Better privacy protection: I understand that Google wants to get a return for their investment by hording my private data on their servers. And I would even give them some but definitely not all Android sends home by default. So I'd wish that instead of the per default data export once a user is logged in I'd really like Google to ask me twice before exporting data.
  5. USB storage connectivity: Some vendors have removed the USB mass storage option that emulates a drive on the PC. Can I please have that back? SMB over a file manager is an alternative but sometimes the cable is just more convenient.
  6. Lock by SMS: Android manufacturers have some interesting schemes how to lock and wipe the device remotely when it is lost or stolen. But it can be done much simpler with an SMS from any phone at any time with a secret user definable password inside. The phone sends an SMS back that it is locked and you are done. Straight forward, simple, easy. Can I have that on Android, too, please? I know there are third party apps but I am a bit weary to loading an app that is allowed to send and receive SMS messages without knowing the author and without having seen the source code. Trust is the important thing here.
  7. Smaller display: Bigger is better they say but from my point of view, display sizes have reached ridiculous levels. So please, a high end phone with a reasonable display size, say iPhone dimensions?
  8. Cellular Radio Stuff: Yes, I want a high end device so please toss in HSPA dual carrier for improved cell edge reception. And as I travel a lot I value penta-band HSPA for worldwide use a lot. I don't necessarily need LTE in my smartphone if it increases power consumption, call setup times and if reduces the number of supported bands for HSPA. LTE is nice for my tablet and USB dongle for the netbook but on my smartphone I have different preferences.
  9. And last but not least: Why on earth can only Nokia do a decent lock/unlock slider button on the side of a device?. Lock in a fraction of a second, unlock in a fraction of a second. No button presses, swiping over the display, waiting for the nice animation to fade away, just lock, unlock, lock, unlock, really fast. Timing is crucial, just like with my multitasking wish above. Which kind of nicely closes the circle.

Non of these things are really difficult to do and I hope by the time Android becomes the OS of my main phone I get at least my first wish plus perhaps a couple of the others. What do you think?

6 thoughts on “At Least 9 Things I Want To Change For My Next Android Phone”

  1. On the offline maps, you should look at osmand this is the Open Street Map application for android. Can do both online and offline maps, and in many places better maps than Google. Apple are copying this data.

  2. Agree with you on those attention points. I think Google does not focus on an Android much, it’s just a tool for them to promote their services.

    I would give Nokia Lumia 800 a try, see what WP has to offer!

  3. A tip regarding offline maps on Android – one of the best mapping apps that I’ve found (one of the best apps altogether IMO) is Locus maps especially with the Map Tweak add-on. Worldwide offline OSM vector maps are available.
    (no disclosure needed – I’m not related in any way to the developer)

    I’m with you on the other points.

  4. I don’t know about the other points, but 9. definately looks like a patent issue. I guess it’s hard to design a modern smartphone in todays patent minefields.

  5. ad 3.) Only last week Google announced that they will soon enable offline-navigation for Google Maps on Android smartphones for 100 countries.

    ad 7.) Have a look at the new Sony Xperia P – an aluminium unibody in a handy form factor, super bright high definition display, very good cameras and powerful specs at an affordable price of € ~350. It just lacks an ICS update.

    ad 8.) The Xperia P at least supports quadband UMTS (850/900/1900/2100), unfortunately only with HSDPA category 10 (14 MBit/s). Are there actually any MIMO- and/or dual carrier-capable smartphones available?

  6. You nailed it with this list, particularly the camera part. Manufactures need to focus on creating clear, crisp and focused images in a wide variety of scenes. Prefer decent image sensors over megapixels. If only Nokia went with Android, life would be a lot better.

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