How would you change Android?

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from  Arizona
| Published: December 16, 2012

Android isn’t all about customization, but that’s certainly one of its strongest characteristics. Certainly the platform has other pronounced features; it can’t all be about the hundreds or thousands of different ways you can change your home screens. To me, it’s about the hardware options. Android is all about the available options, and no matter which carrier you look at, big or small, there are plenty of Android choices to be had. But, I can also see where this would be a bad thing.

It all comes down to the manufacturers, though. How they handle the ability to have choice for the consumer. A manufacturer has the ability to drown the smartphone market in a pretty quick manner, just as we’ve seen from the likes of HTC and Motorola. Both companies, perhaps now more so the latter, don’t mind dropping all sorts of different phone models out into the wild. For the consumer, this can cause some issues, but for the company it makes perfect sense. They make money from those phone sales, so the more phones that appeal to more people, the better. Still, enough can be “enough” after seeing this over and over again.

When we look at the smartphone market, it’s not just about hardware. It isn’t even just about software. It’s the way that the hardware and software come together. For Apple’s iOS, it’s not just about the software. If it were, I’m sure that the Cupertino-based company wouldn’t see so many sales. (A lot, still, yes. But, perhaps not as many.) The company’s ability to create a piece of hardware that’s truly nice to hold in your hand, and iOS, is why the iPhone is still so popular.

The same could be said for Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 platform. With top-tier hardware from HTC and Nokia making the rounds right after launch, it was hard for anyone to ignore Windows Phone 8’s entrance. For Google’s Android platform, though, there really are just as many “bad” hardware designs as there are good. Choices are good, we just need to keep reminding ourselves of this simple fact.

Which is why, Dear Reader, when I ask a question like, “How would you change Android?” I’m not looking to hear just how you’d change the software, but also the hardware. When it comes to the little green ‘droid’s presence on the market, I think it has more to do with the combination of hardware and software, especially when compared to the iPhone, or any other platform out there. Why? Because, Apple isn’t competing with other manufacturers to create the best, or most desirable iPhone.

For Android, it isn’t just about making a device that steals attention from the iPhone, or the Windows Phone 8X, or any other device. It’s also about stealing some of the lime light from another high-end Android-powered smartphone manufactured by another company. HTC has to compete with other platforms, but also companies like Samsung, LG, and others within the Android space, too. That’s why we need to look at both hardware and software when we approach this question.

So I want to know how you would change Android. I want to hear about the features you think Android should add, drop, or just make better. I want to hear what type of hardware improvements you think the platform could really use, or what type of hardware features manufacturers need to stop focusing so much on. More AMOLED? Less of it? More RAM? Put a bigger focus on the display? Whatever the case, I want to hear how you’d change it. So let me know!

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