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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93 Reactions to this post

"How would you change Android?"

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Jay Petryk Battery issues are device specific and not a amdroid issue. If tou get a lowend device than expect lowend performance. Those who are complaining about battery for sure have not tried the note 2. That beast can hold up for days on a single charge.
Liam Emrich I would make it less buggy. And I would make it automatically block advertisements. I would also make the battery life better because battery life sucks on android.
Michael A. Lococo Start from scratch and replace it with Windows Phone 8!
Steven Pereira I love android, though I am frustrated at the frequency of app updates. Almost as bad as my Windows laptop.
Andrés Serrato Capote I would like it to be as robust as IOS and as simple as Windows Phone jajaja
Tarequl Islam Chowdhury Bring back Flash Player
Jannis Anderson I wouldn't
Conrad Bishop ban Carrier bloatware so everyone can see how truly great android really does run.
Tukana Delaney allow it to be able to access the app store (apple) apps
Ian Baylon Have the abilities that only root users have by default
Sebastian Arrieta faster updates, better battery, and more tablet optimized apps.
Goran Samardžija with 4.2 JB ITS PERFECT, has mutch more to offer than any OS out there
Bryon Barnes If you have a phone that never got updated to ics you have no reason to complain as your hardware is OUTDATED
Bryon Barnes I get the feeling most of these complaints are coming from users on pre ics devices, I say this because while 2.3 was still a bit lackluster on my 3vo the ics update erased all of my complaints, and since oct 25th when I got the note 2 (which runs jellybean) I cant find anything to complain about (believe me I like to complain and have been trying) ... that being said the only viable change ive seen listed is the ability to deactivate manufacturer skins which I believe is an announces function of key lime pie, but again youll have to have a phone that can get that update.
Dylan Greene make it a windows phone
Gary Bowling Offer a script at the beginning setup, to ask if the user wants to use Vanilla or Manufacturer Launcher. Better optimizations, increased app quality... more consistent of an experience.
Naj Khan Ask apple
Joernie Berrios Stop the proprietary stuff...and let the comsumer have the freedom to unlock the bootloader and have root access!!....stop locking down the bootloader
Eduardo Ordaz Nothing. Cause its fine the way it is. Plus its really fun than the other 3 boring OS's.
Lanh Nguyen Nothing it's open source I can do what I want.
Julian Scott Nothing
Nicholas Chea Stick to one manufacturer, and have better quality apps and improve reliability and battery life.
Miguel Placencia set a strict rule for manufactures that would need to follow. so all updates come out in a timely manner and at the same time. and have elements sprinkled in by all manufactures. like some stuff from HTC some from Samsung and so forth
Leo Alexandrov I wouldn't. Because if you want to change something,, android gives you the ability to do that . I don't wanna use Sense anymore so I'm using cyanogenmod. And its openly available because android let's you do that
Paul Battle Applications need to be optimized for apps and generally more developers for the Android platform. We need more apps for the consumers to play with.
Matthew Karres Let customers choose between stock android or manufactures changes (ie Touch Wiz, or Sense). So you should be able to get an update to android when released by Google, instead of waiting for Samsung or HTC to finish making changes that you don't even want.
Marti Ruiz cool transition
Iam Talat My nexus 7 has great battery life
Lawrence Lepes I wouldn't know how to change it. Android is the best cell phone operating system out there!
Louis Agresti No Bloatware!!!
Jacob Grumbles Make manufacturer skins optional
Luis Robles Figueroa I would make more Fluity is the word that comes in mind. I know it has improve since Android 4.1 aka Jelly Bean.
Nathan Parks Optimize it more for battery. My s3 has amazing battery life but my nexus 4 doesn't :(
Corey Weidman Stop having it being buggy and having apps open when you never opened them, get music and apps that ios has that we don't. Also, less force close on apps
Yasir Sohail Only thing that is keeping me away from it is not enough apps for Tabs.
Samuel Esparza I would build a damn volume limit into the OS, my brother figured out how to raise volume and he blasts the bad piggies game, I constantly need to lower the volume
Dean Inglis I love android. i would make it so you can switch between the feont facing camera and back camera while recording.
Sunny Dhillon Make it even faster
Amie Lee Greenway Make it smooth like iOS.
Gary Brown I would have a main standard when it comes to updates . Annouce an update and release it two week later . And dont release so many phone at one time but I still love android and its freedom .
Jeremy Koenig No bloatware, and for me, no Touchwiz, Sense, Blur, or any annoying crap on top of Android. Give me Google as they intended
Charley Hammond Buy an iPhone
Patric Pederson This is a small thing but I would love to see native support for individual notification tones for each contact...that is something I enjoyed in iOS and I can make it happen with my Note 2 but it requires a third party text application.
Adrian Marius Let me be a troll... I'd put WP8 over...
Sean Watson Marcus Caldwell, saying that means you don't understand at ALL about what Android actually means. Android is the Anthesis of Iphone BECAUSE of all the freedom and choices you have. Because they believe in open source. Because the manufacturers don't care if you root your phone, and actually support that kind of creativity. Taking all of that away in favor of 1 super high end android phone COMPLETELY defeats the purpose of why most educated android users choose it in the first place!
Allen Drewe Figure out why battery life is far worse than an iPhone.
Kevin Antoine Let apple design and produce the hardware :)
Kajari Spoon Osborne Faster Updates On No nexus Devices
Prashanth Mortha here is my shot video about how android should change. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=av0_ZdahlHw
Corey Stock The only thing I would change is getting morre timely updates.
Bryan Bagayas Better quality apps, better memory management, less fragmentation.
Kevin Vega imessaging now that would make me go back to android
Brandon Johnson Drop all of the cheap phones... that is all.
Zach Cline Abram is an iTroll .
Maurice Hall I would stop with overlays like touchwiz and sense and just focus everything on aosp... giving it features that make it better from phone to phone as well as get those updates pushed out faster
Abram Wenevermet Dennis The Google play store is trash.
Marcus Cadwell I would change android completely. I would make only one super high end android phone and market that for a year every year. I'd take the iPhone approach to it. That would've been seriously interesting to see how well the galaxy 3 or something would've done by itself against iPhone
William Wadsworth Google needs to stand up and say no to the cellular operators when they want to interfere with the software. Also, they need to get a way to sanction carriers for delaying updates.
Alberto Garcia Flores @ Steven Aers, what you need to do its get a high-end phone.. If you say android needs to be faster and more stable iits obviously because you owned a crappy phone... @Randy B well that's just a stupid things to say, we don't want to be like the iPhone 5 where after 5 generations it still looks and feels like the first generation and even worst, the latest version was full of flaws it basically suck.. Why do we like android better? Simple; because we like improvement, we like change.. I would bring back flash player!
Antonio Vazquez Anyways I would just change it to allow mid and high end devices only, these low end phones give Android a bad name
Antonio Vazquez I like both, I have an iPhone 4S right now but I can't wait to go back to Android, iOS can't do much compared to Android and that's real!
Angel Hernandez Storage.? I have tons to spare with my HTC one x+. Only thing I'd like to change is being able to turn off the is being able to turn off the soft keys backlight; I could do it with my Sgs3.
Chester Candelaria don't change it to be like iOS coz iOS BORING
Zach Cline iPhone sucks
Zach Cline Custom roms are not the real deal
Abram Wenevermet Dennis Make it more like the iPhone.
Kenneth Cox if they made android like ios i'd go back to basic phones. They just need timely updates. Theres too many devices for all of the developers to keep up with. Get everyone on the same page with specs so development is easy for every device and updates are faster.
Anthony Scott Pancurak Make the apps run better and more efficient. Along with more REAL APPs in there playstore.. 40% of there apps is adware
Bill Gillespie Complaining about updates? Root your device and run a custom rom like me.. (galaxy s2) running jellybean
Steven Felmeten I would be able to remove any app I want
Steve C Trevino Make Google FORCE every device into the same current version of the OS on every carrier especially Verizon but that will never happen.
Paul Gonzalez Everyone saying android should look like be more like ios has never used MIUI........
Corey Brown I'll second the memory issues.
Bill Gillespie Complaining about storage? Buy an sd card!
Rene Saenz Jr. Less fragmentation. .better updates. .
Nick Guerrero G Don't change.. I brought me an android phone because I wanted a android phone. I don't want a android phone that works like ios, windows, blackberry, and so on. keep android ANDROID.
Brittany Ob-gyn Mitchell No unnecessary CROPPING!
Jesse Ling Handle memory problems more effeciently and give it stronger security options
Anthony Davis iOS sucks but hey I'm just an Android fanboy haha. To better Android I think everyone should get the latest OS upgrades at the same time. I'm tired of waiting for the upgrade to be available on my device. Also HD screens on all mid/high end devices.
Andry Thérèse Do something about the storage space of the device. There's a lot of apps I can't download because my storage space is always full !
Matt Pankey Less fragmentation.
Dalton Davis Why would you make it as iOS ? IOS sucks!
Steven Aers make it even faster and more stable
Jeff Jay For what ????
Ken Gorab A little more unified: have all apps made by Google follow a strict (either Holo Light/Dark) theme, all system apps (like Settings, etc.) follow that theme.
Jonas Nielsen Make it as Ios
Tabib Rehman Better tablet apps
Kevin Loughrey get rid of the fucking wiFi bugs
Vivek Kartha wish you started giving away phones in India, kerala :P
Diego Rios Untraceable by the u.s government
Randy B Hoopes Make it more like iOS lol

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