AN­DROID M: What we want to see

We've got a list of fixes and new fea­tures for you, pretty please, Google

Android Advisor - - Adroid Advisor -

An­droid 5.0 Lol­lipop is now in use on many smartphones and tablets, but we're fu­ture­think­ing and here's what we want to see in An­droid M, which we ex­pect Google to give us the first glimpse of this month.

Bet­ter per­for­mance

An­droid Lol­lipop sup­ports 64-bit and uses the An­droid run­time in­stead of Dalvik, there­fore of­fer­ing im­proved per­for­mance over pre­vi­ous ver­sions, but we don't want Google to stop there – and we're pretty sure it won't.

Mod­ern smart de­vices such as phones and tablet are bril­liant but the hard­ware in­side them means that bat­tery life is al­ways a strug­gle. Project Volta in An­droid Lol­lipop im­proves things, but we want more. Whether it's a soft­ware or hard­ware thing, or a com­bi­na­tion of both, we don't re­ally care.

Synched no­ti­fi­ca­tions

If you own mul­ti­ple de­vices (not nec­es­sar­ily all run­ning the same OS), such as a smart­phone and a tablet, you'll prob­a­bly get an­noyed at dis­miss­ing no­ti­fi­ca­tions you've al­ready seen and to which you have re­sponded. We get frus­trated when we re­spond to an email on a phone only to be told about it again when we then pick up a tablet. Add other de­vices into the mix, such as a smart­watch, and it's no­ti­fi­ca­tion over­load.

What we want are no­ti­fi­ca­tions that dis­miss them­selves once they've been seen on one of your logged-in de­vices. Cross-plat­form, too.

Bet­ter parental con­trols

An­droid, un­like iOS, al­lows you to have mul­ti­ple ac­counts on the same de­vice. This is a great fea­ture

and means par­ents can set up ac­counts for their chil­dren. Us­ing a re­stricted ac­count gives the abil­ity to re­strict ac­cess to cer­tain apps and con­tent, but we'd like some more ad­vanced tools such as time lim­its and the abil­ity to shut off ac­cess to any app or fea­ture, not just those for which de­vel­op­ers have cho­sen to al­low it. It would also be good to be able to switch off in-app pur­chases or Google Play pur­chases to avoid the sting of an un­ex­pected bill.

Clever ges­tures

An­droid has all sorts of clever fea­tures and tricks, but Google's man­u­fac­tur­ing part­ners have proved that there's more you can do with a touch­screen than sim­ply swipe to un­lock. LG, with the G2, im­ple­mented smart ges­tures such as KnockON al­low­ing users to switchon and off the screen with a dou­ble-tap. Oth­ers have copied this and added more, al­low­ing you to quick-launch fea­tures even when the screen is off.

It's this kind of thing we'd like to see in stock An­droid, and prefer­ably cus­tomis­able so you can set ges­tures for the fea­tures that mat­ter most to you.

More cus­tomi­sa­tion

Open-source An­droid is highly cus­tomis­able, but there's one par­tic­u­lar area of Lol­lipop that's bolted

Cus­tomis­able ges­tures would al­low you to set ges­tures for the fea­tures that mat­ter most to you

down and doesn't need to be. The Quick Set­tings menu (when you pull down the no­ti­fi­ca­tion bar a sec­ond time) shows handy func­tions such as Wi-Fi, Blue­tooth, lo­ca­tion and mo­bile data. Why can't it show what we want it to show?

Ul­tra power sav­ing

We've seen many An­droid de­vice mak­ers cre­ate their own ul­tra power-sav­ing modes that can, typ­i­cally speak­ing, get around 24 hours of life from 10 per­cent of bat­tery. This is achieved by switch­ing to a sim­ple greyscale in­ter­face, switch­ing off pow­er­hun­gry Wi-Fi and giv­ing ac­cess only to ba­sic fea­tures such as the di­aler and mes­sages.

While you'll find it in var­i­ous guises, it's not a part of stock An­droid, and we think it should be.

En­ter­prise

Google needs to make it pos­si­ble and easy to man­age and se­cure a fleet of An­droid hand­sets in or­der to main­tain its po­si­tion in the mo­bile mar­ket.

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