As is par for the course, we’ve been watching as companies like Samsung, HTC, and LG have been busy launching brand new Android-based smartphones that, ultimately, will become out-of-date software wise right around the corner. But, that’s not what we’re going to talk about today, because I honestly don’t think that’s as big of an issue anymore.
Instead, I want to focus more on Android itself, and what the future holds for Google’s mobile operating system.
There’s no doubt that Android has improved exponentially over the years, ever since it was initially unveiled. While it took plenty of years for it to “mature,” it has done so in a big way. Android is no longer just for developers or hardcore technology enthusiasts. Android is for everyone, which is pretty obvious in the fact that you can’t go long out there in the real world without seeing some form of an Android device.
Which is why it’s so exciting that Android N, the company’s next version of the platform, is right around the corner. At the end of May we’re going to watch Google unveil the next big thing in software for Android, and showcase the new features that (some) users will be able to use by the end of the year. This year might not be jam-packed with a ton of new features, or it could be — the possibilities always seem pretty endless with Google.
But Android is at the point where it might not need a flood of new features anymore. It doesn’t need to keep up with iOS in a lot of different categories, and in some ways it surpasses its rival platform. Android has matured so much that now, perhaps more than anything, it just needs refinements to truly improve.
(Of course, a loud portion of those on the internet will demand a flood of new features, and cry out if it doesn’t get it. But, that’s expected.)
So, what would you like to see Google refine in Android to improve the next version of its popular platform?
For me, it’s simple: battery management and performance. As someone who’s been using smartphones for many years now, I’ve suffered through some phones with pretty awful battery life. I’ve used phones that have started out with great battery life, and then, in a short period of time, watched it drop at precipitous levels. And while I’ve had issues with every platform thanks to one device or another, I continue to hear the most complaints from folks that use Android devices.
A friend of mine that’s using the LG G5, for instance, has had to turn off certain features, like Google Now and "Ok, Google," to get the most out of his battery life on a daily basis. And while battery life is subject to change from user to user, based entirely on usage, one thing that’s seemingly been consistent over the years —with the exception of a few devices, like the Galaxy Note devices from Samsung— is that battery life for Android devices could be better.
When it comes to software, there might be a few tweaks I’d make, like being able to quickly select an audio source when switching between Bluetooth devices and headphones, but if that doesn’t show up in Android N it won’t be a deal breaker by any means.
But I want to know how you’d improve Android N. Battery life? Redesigned user interface? Something even bigger? Or is Android perfect in your eyes, and Google doesn’t need to do anything to improve its mobile OS? Let me know!