Saturday, October 13, 2012

Android 4.2 What New Features Will It Bring

Android is now the most popular mobile OS out there and it has over 60% of the global market share with iOS trailing behind. Back in June Google introduced Android 4.1 Jellybean which changed the way we think about android forever. Jellybean brought the smooth and snappy feeling to Android and the smoothness can be compared with iOS or WP. Other than that Jellybean also introduced Google Now which is a pretty amazing software tweak which can do most things Siri can do but is a bit faster. Now all of the leaks are spotlighting the LG Nexus 4 which is this year's nexus device, to now we know that this device will have some killer hardware and the Android 4.2 software. The LG Nexus 4 is expected to be unveiled by Google on October 29. But now the biggest question is what will Android 4.2 be called, Key Lime Pie or Jellybean ? In past nexus phone launches google will always introduce a new and fresh android. So does that mean that the LG Nexus 4 will be running Key Lime Pie ? My answer is no, because Jellybean was just released not more than 6 months ago and google normally releases a new android version every 8-10 months. In this whole article i will be covering the top 5 features i want in Android 4.2. 

5. Game Center 

Ranking in at number 5 of the features i want to see in Android 4.2 is Google introducing a game center or whatever they want to call it. I was actually hoping this feature was going come with the 4.1 Jellybean software because earlier this year Google combined the android market and some other google stores in to the Play Store and soon after that there was some rumors of Google making a game center similar to the one found in iOS. The reason why i want a game center on Android is so that i can share my scores with friends and see what games my friends play. 

4. Updated Google Now

Yes i want to see an updated google now because despite it being a little faster than siri in performing tasks, it still can't do as much as siri can. I think google will most probably add some extra functionalities like opening apps, toggling setting, and many more. Currently google now already has an edge over siri by having the intelligent push feature which shows cards based on things you search frequently like the weather, traffic status and many more. Google should also expand this feature to other versions of android. The competition is beginning to heat up with virtual assistants and i won't be surprised it Google calls Google Now a virtual assistant because Siri in iOS 6 can do a lot and we are yet to know what TellMe the Windows Phone 8 virtual assistant can do. 

3. More Customization Settings

You might think that why do we need more customization settings when android already has a lot. One of the main reasons why some users opt to install a custom ROM like CyanogenMod is because ROMs like these provide a little bit more customization settings like some light modifications to the home screen, change the UI a little and many more. With that said Google should also implement something called customization center which is basically a place where you can customize most of the things and they can also implement templates which are like frameworks skins and filters which are similar to skin overlays android manufacturers put on top of android. This approach will help in the biggest problem android is facing, slow updates from manufacturers. 

2. Better UI

One thing which is not so polished up in android is the user interface. The UI in android is sometimes cluttered and even Google themselves admitted that the Android UI is not even 1/3 away from being posh and perfect. One thing which Google can add is gestures like the ones found on Samsung devices notably swiping the screen to capture a screenshot. Google should also create a whole new UI like what microsoft did with the Windows Phone OS. With this new UI google can differentiate the android operating system and android phone can be somehow unified in terms of how the UI looks. 

1. Project RoadRunner 

The number 1 most wanted feature is better battery life. Although there are phones with massive batteries like the Galaxy Note II and the Motorola Droid Razr Maxx, it still cannot hide the fact that android devices are not good at handling the processes running on the phone thus causing inefficient battery usage. A study also showed that quite a number of apps found in the Play Store actually contribute to the battery drainage. Google should also recode the whole android software so it can handle the processes more efficiently and they should also optimize the hardware to take advantage of the software because quad core phones are all around now. 

These are five of the features i want in Android 4.2 but sadly not all of them will be present. But project road runner will most probably be in Android 4.2 because one of the biggest problems android users face is inefficient battery usage. I am looking forward to the game center and the Google Now update. These are just what i want and these features may or may not be in Android 4.2. 

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