CTECHAndroidFour (4) things Google can do to make Android better

Four (4) things Google can do to make Android better

Let me start by saying Android is great, no questions asked. These reasons are mostly common sense but it seems that Google may have overlooked it. Some of these areas can be done via existing code right within the Android OS. Without further discussion, let’s dive in.

4. Those Skins

Ever wonder why different brands of phones look different? That’s because they all use a custom skin running on top Android. Now don’t get me wrong, there are lots of people who love the various skins that OEMs run on top Android to give them their unique look and experience. There is nothing wrong with that, as a lot of these skins offered features that were not in Stock Android before. Features like Split Screen, WiFi sensing capabilities or even those nifty quick toggles to turn on or off  WiFi, Bluetooth among others first found their way to Android through OEM skins.  However, when these skins are not optimized and are integrated into the system, they delay updates. That then becomes a problem. One solution would be to make it a rule to have a performance benchmark minimum requirements for each OEM’s skin and penalize them if they fail to optimize their skin.

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3. Battery Usage

Android phones come with huge batteries by comparison, while iPhones come with relatively small batteries. Yet, in terms of battery performance, both the iPhone and a small number of Android devices are almost on par. Why is this so? Many have said that Android is not optimized but the good folks at Android Authority have found that the Android OS is optimized at the system, code and hardware level. There are many questions, but some have opined that it is the fact that iOS runs apps in a Sandbox, others think it may be superior hardware efficiency but whatever it is, its mere speculation since iOS is closed source. Perhaps Google and its partners should review battery performance.

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2. Theme Engine

To be fair, Android already has the code for a Theme Engine built into it, but hardly do we see a theme engine in a device. On a Custom ROM, for example we see a system-wide theming whereby a colour scheme can be implemented throughout the entire system. There is a wide variety of colour schemes, fonts, icons that are more inclusive of dark and black themes. These are especially useful for phones that come with OLED screens, which control pixels individually and can keep part of the screen lit while the black parts are actually turned off, thus saving a little battery. Something like this should make Google more appealing to consumers.

1. Security and Updates.

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We should all know about Project Treble, Google’s solution to speed up updates for devices running Android O. But with the specifications that devices carry now, it’s hard to keep upgrading devices each year if the device is working fine. Personally, I have my Galaxy S5 and sometimes it just amazes me by how fast my device runs even after one year of using it. But the sad thing is, these devices would not be getting the latest security updates that Google provides.

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The policy of two year support in my view should be reviewed and revised to three years since these devices have the specs to push more current software. However, with the current state of things, until Google tries to further mitigate its fragmentation issue, nothing really will change. I have high expectation on project treble. I remain hopeful.

Security wise, there always seems to be apps in the Google play store that use permissions it really shouldn’t be using. Google needs to ramp up the inspection of the apps that use permission it really doesn’t need in order to protect users from malicious apps.

Bottom Line

Despite these issues, Google’s Android still remains a great OS and, in my opinion, might be a bit superior to iOS due to its app integration – both system and third party. I said my opinion since my needs and preferences are relative to me while your use-case and needs might differ. Neither of these OS is perfect and therefore, have their own short comings that may make one more appealing than the other.

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