5 things we’d like to change about Android – Android Police

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5 things we’d like to change about Android – Android Police

Welcome to our wishful thinking for Android, where we dream big and complain fairly, where we imagine what Android could be if just a few things were improved. A world where updates come to all Android phones at the same time and you can get friendly, helpful support for your software issues. A world where children think Android is cool. A fantastic world, certainly, but while we dream, here are the five things we would like to change in Android.


1. Streamlined Updates

Imagine if every Android phone immediately received the most recent version, like a certain fruit-named competitor


Android’s fragmented update process is (in)famous and has been since the first HTC phone appeared in the world. It goes more like this:


  1. Google launches a new version of Android.
  2. Pixel phones get it from day one.
  3. Everyone else has to wait for their OEM to tweak it, add bloatware, test it, and deploy it.
  4. Some OEMs just say “no” and you never receive the update.
  5. Repeat.


Google has made significant strides to get around this bottleneck by offering individual app updates through the Play Store. This has the added benefit of making annual OS updates more agile, as there’s no need to update every app during a massive annual overhaul like a certain other company (looking at you , Apple).


But the base Android system and all of its security fixes, newest features, and any overhauls have to go through a myriad of different OEMs, and many won’t even bother offering the update to their customers.


Android_14_QPR2_Beta_2_app_pair_hero


But what if Google could somehow send new updates directly to every compatible Android device, over the air? This would require OEMs to join some sort of agreement or consortium with Google, but it could be possible. There might even be a way for OEMs to accept updates that would automatically work with their individual skins and bloatware.


This would give consumers a unified Android experience, regardless of their device. This would also allow manufacturers to compete on hardware, not how they overload the operating system with superfluous applications that no one will use. We can only dream.

2. Revision assistance

A friendly and responsive support system is just a dream

Apple Store on Google Pixel 8 - Edited with Magic Editor


Imagine this: you buy an expensive new phone. It works great for a month, but suddenly the software starts having problems. It won’t let you log in or your account is hacked. You call a number and ask a friendly person who speaks your language to help you, or you go to the local mall and walk into the store, and a knowledgeable “genius” takes care of the problem for you.


You clearly don’t have Android in this case. If you did, you would be bothered when calling a random number for an outsourced call center. You might even get yelled at. And good luck going to the mall. The kiosk where you bought your phone only wants to sell you an overpriced Otter case.


A man in a white shirt sitting at a desk wearing headphones and talking to someone while he types on a computer keyboard.
image source: Yan Krukau/Pexels.com


Imagine if Google provided the same kind of support for all things Android that Apple provides for its products. If something is wrong with the software, you can chat with a Google representative, who will be friendly and knowledgeable. After all, friendly and consistent customer service isn’t complicated. Businesses have been doing this for a hundred years.

3. Just give us everything

There are no professional features, there is only a paywall

Why should a slightly better camera experience be considered a “pro” feature? All Android OEMs followed the Apple movement by offering an expensive “normal” version of their device, then a more expensive “pro” version.


Why not bundle the best camera, best speakers and best screen into one device? We’d love to see a company produce a phone with all the best features across the board. This includes some awesome widgets. They might even sell the phone at a higher price.


Let’s be honest here; The Galaxy S24 is not a discount device. The Plus doesn’t offer much more, but comes with a significant premium. The Ultra might as well be a completely different phone. Something with the best of Samsung in a unique device. They could call it something to differentiate it from the S24. I don’t know. Maybe something like “Note?” »

4. Unify app design

Android should apply a consistent design language

t-mobile-revvl-6x-pro-display-apps


Android is a Wild West theme park when it comes to app design. The icons are all different shapes and sizes, while the app experience varies from developer to developer. Some apps are sleek and modern, while others are stuck in 2015. Even OEM apps aren’t uniform. Samsung Notes is modern, mature, and slick, but Samsung Mail looks like it was used by a sophomore in a computer lab.


You can download an icon pack and change your app icons that way. Sure, it makes your app drawer prettier, but it doesn’t change the way the app looks and behaves once you use it.

We would like to see a consistent design language encouraged across the board. We’re not saying Google should enforce a particular design language, but app developers should be incentivized to follow certain guidelines. Perhaps their apps could appear higher in Play Store search results if they follow established design guidelines, for example.

5. Tidy up the app drawer

It’s chaos in there

poco-f5-pro-app-drawer


Whether you sort your app drawer alphabetically or manually, it’s still a maze of misplaced tools and forgotten apps. Apps are downloaded and forgotten. When you need to find it, you spend precious time going through your drawer looking for the right icon. Bless you if you spend time reading the name of each app.


We would like to see a smarter organization. We hate to say it, but Apple is on the right track with its automatically sorted app folders. Of course, Apple doesn’t get this right most of the time, but Android could do better and sort apps into categories or folders in the app drawer. This might be an option to enable for those who prefer a cleaner, less cluttered experience.


A side-by-side comparison of Apple's folder system and the app drawer on a Google Pixel.

source: Nathan Drescher


A clean and organized app drawer saves time. This means less time searching for apps. We believe Google could do this as part of the overall Android experience and knock this one out of the park.

The finalists

Some changes we’d like to see with Android


  1. Stop blocking bootloader unlocking.
  2. Bring back the 3.5mm headphone jack.
  3. Bring back the removable storage.
  4. Unify app backups the same way apps can use iCloud on iPhone.
  5. We need small Android phones.

Turn the blame into big ones

We know we will never see most of these wishes come true. It would take more than Google to make them happen. All Android OEMs should work together to achieve this. Then there’s the Android community itself (including us). If you put us all in a room, we couldn’t agree on the color of the walls. It is impossible that these changes will not arouse serious resistance from a large number of people.


Instead, we’ll dream of the perfect Android phone. Great hardware, day one live updates straight from Google, unified app design, fantastic after-sales support, and an auto-sorted app drawer would definitely be nice to see. Add a headphone jack and we’d buy this phone in a heartbeat. Maybe the new OnePlus 12 comes close?

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