May 06 AT 4:44 PM Alberto Vildosola 84 Comments

Here are 7 things Google should announce at Google I/O

With Google I/O 2011 right around the corner,  it’s time to take a quick look at the things Google should announce at the developer conference. Our favorite OS is about to face some really fierce opposition from companies like  Apple, Microsoft and Nokia.

All these three companies are doing everything in their power to erase Android from the face of the Earth — make no mistake, they despise Android at the molecular level. Especially Microsoft and Nokia, whose future depends on beating Android. If Windows Phone 7 fails to gain traction, Microsoft won’t be able to compete in the mobile arena ever again and Nokia will eventually have to adopt Android. With competitors going on the offense (mostly suing Android supporters), what should Google do to fend them off?

Ice Cream Sandwich

Android’s next dessert-based version will most likely make a debut at Google I/O next week. We know this version is codenamed Ice Cream Sandwich, but aside from that, there’s not much we know at this point — we don’t even know which version number it’ll be.

Based on a rumor we heard last month, in this version, Google plans to merge the code base of Gingerbread, Honeycomb and Google TV. If true, we could see some Honeycomb and Google TV features make their way to Android phones and vice versa. Due to the lack of detail we have about Ice Cream Sandwich, there’s a lot of room for Google to surprise us — so make sure you have a defibrillator at arm distance next Tuesday, just in case.

Google Music and more

Ah Google Music, will you ever be released? Google Music was supposed to be released last year, then it was pushed to March of this year. March came and left and we didn’t see the mythical service released. The last we heard was that Google was still signing deals with record companies.  We know Google Music will definitely be announced some time in this decade, but why stop there. Google should throw movies, TV shows, ringtones, and podcasts in there as well, and call it Android World — somebody at Google can probably come up with a better name.

This “Android World” service would sync all your pictures, videos, music, apps and books via the cloud, making my phone’s USB cable forever useless. Additionally, moving all your stuff to a new device would be as simple as logging in with your Google account. If Google wants to truly compete with iTunes, the company needs to go the whole way and think about all the different types of media we consume every day.

New and more secure Android Market

Google keeps improving the Android Market’s experience, but somehow I’m never satisfied. If Google wants to make the Market easier to use they don’t have to look far, they should just check Chomp. Since I found the Chomp app, I rarely use the Market app anymore. Why? It’s easier to find what you’re looking for, the app is fast and snappy, and it’s beautifully designed. The Market app falls short on all three categories. The Android Market has come a long way since its Android 1.5 humble beginnings, but now it’s time to work some of that Matias Duarte magic and overhaul the whole app.

We all know how the Android team feels about fragmentation, in that they keep saying there’s none. But don’t be surprised if they start to make changes that allow them to control Android’s “diversity”. One of those changes could be in the Market.

We’re at a point where Android is so popular, we’re seeing it everywhere, running on devices as different as the T-Mobile Comet and the Motorola Atrix 4G. As a result, very soon we could see Google start to customize the Android Market for different categories of Android phones. Low-end phones would only be able to download apps that are not very hardware-demanding. While high-end phones will be able to download graphic-intensive apps like Dungeon Defenders.

The Android Market you get, already depends on which phone you get. We’re seeing this type of app filtering with the recent ban of tethering apps from those phones available from T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon. This is only taking it one step further.

Next up in the Android Market checklist is: security. I find it quite funny that we need antivirus software for our phones these days. While it’s interesting that phones are basically computers nowadays, we shouldn’t need extra protection like we need on PCs. The most effective way to spread a malicious piece of software on Android is through the Market. That’s where Google needs to build a giant wall, put some more wall on top of that wall and then put laser guns on top of that wall.

The whole “open vs. closed” argument goes outside the window the second you get infected with a rogue app. That person that just got its identity stolen using an Android phone doesn’t care one bit about Android’s openness, and probably wishes it had bought an iPhone. I’m not saying Google should manually approve every app that gets in the Market, but at least put them through some kind of process that checks for suspicious code and then manually check those apps that get flagged.


I’ve been talking about Android themes for a while now, but either Google doesn’t care about it or they’re taking their sweet time to release it. Basically, I wish Google allowed users to theme their phones just like carriers and manufacturers are able to. Don’t like Samsung’s TouchWiz UI? Download the “classic” Android theme from the Market and that’s it. Now your Galaxy S phone looks just like a Nexus S — simple as that.

This won’t be an easy task for the Android team though, since they’ll have to build some new and special APIs that allows developers to change how everything in Android looks — from the Notification bar to the check-boxes.

Official web-based Android IDE

Have you tried building an Android app lately? It’s not that easy. For the average Java developer or Eclipse guru it might be a rather painless experience, but for the rest of the world is a nightmare. It’s in Google best interest to make Android development as easy as possible.

That next great idea for mobile might not come from a developer but a doctor, and Google should do everything they can to make sure that the next big mobile app comes to Android first, and not iOS. How easy should Android development get? If you have to explain what an SDK is, it’s still too hard.

To make Android development as easy as using Photoshop, Google needs to start from scratch. First, they should build their own Android IDE as a web app. With nothing to install, nothing to update and no SDK to download. Just a web-based IDE for Android development, plain and simple.

Secondly, make app design a first-class citizen and not an afterthought. People should be thinking about how their app will look and behave, and not the intricacies of the Java language. Third, integrate with other tools like Flash and Photoshop. Make it possible for people to design their apps with other tools and just wire it up using the Android IDE.

Lastly, make app publishing and updating even easier than it is now. Publishing an app to the Android Market should be as easy as clicking a big “Publish” button right from the Android IDE. Want to see the Android Market explode with useful and beautiful apps, Google? Do this.

Gaming service

iOS has Game Center and Windows Phone 7 has Xbox Live. What does Android have? Nada. Google needs to get serious about gaming on Android as soon as possible. You know Microsoft is going to beat the Xbox drum for WP7 until the end of the world — and Android needs a good counterpart. The service needs to be social, easy and fun to use, and should make Android games even more addictive. Throw in achievement unlocking for good measure and you have a winner.

Naturally, the gaming service should also have an app built for Google TV. It doesn’t need to have any Blockbuster video games at launch like the Xbox has, but if Google builds a good gaming platform that beautifully ties together your Android phone, tablet and TV, developers will eventually come. Who knows, maybe in a few years we’ll be playing Call of Duty on our Google TVs.

New Google Voice app

This is more of a personal request, and not something Google really needs to announce at Google I/O. I want to see Google finally release a Google Voice app with native VoIP support. Right now, the Google Voice app still uses your carrier’s voice network to connect calls — that shouldn’t happen.

We know Google has the capabilities for doing this because VoIP calling has been available for many months on Gmail. I can make calls with Google Voice on my computer but not on my Android phone. What gives, Google? It’s quite possible that the company doesn’t want to anger its newfound friends, the wireless carriers. Seeing as the future of Android still depends hugely on the amount of support that the carriers give the OS.

Free VoIP calling from Google would certainly make some people at AT&T, and Verizon a little uncomfortable. Still, VoIP calling on our phones is an oncoming train and no carrier will be able to stop it. Google should be the company that convinces carriers that they don’t own “calling” any more, by releasing Google Voice with VoIP.

Google I/O is only four days away and I expect Google to announce at least one of these products during the event. What do you guys/gals think? Anything else Google should announce at Google I/O? Let us know in the comments.

Alberto is a college student living somewhere between Miami, Sarasota and the World Wide Web. Although a former iPhone owner, Alberto is now a proud Android enthusiast. You can follow Alberto on Twitter and Google+ for his thoughts unworthy of an article.

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  • http://Website Pho King Phee Gaht

    They should announce the nexus 3 quad core

    • Aspeds2989

      Forget a new Nexus. I just want some crazy new feature on our phones that we are not even thinking of right now. Surprise and awe us Goog!

      But yea, a new Nexus would be nice (ONLY if it brings something new to the game!)

    • http://Website Kleverson

      Yes, at least dual-core. If my they do it right with ICS, I wish it comes buttonless. But forget the number, Samsung screwed that up with their “I don’t wanna be number two” mememes…

    • http://Website Curlyq

      I totally agree, but they NEED to get it on all of the carriers. Verizon would be huge.

  • http://txhoudini Eric Weiss

    Please Google Music!

    I’m also hoping for the Amazon tablet to be officially announced as well as improvements to Google TV (like an app Market).

  • http://Website Jan Knotek

    They should announce Market for Merchants for developers in the Czech Republic!!!!! :-)

  • http://Website dave_shame

    There are enough fart apps already, we don’t need more 1 click application development tools to exacerbate the problem. Eclipse isn’t perfect but with the continual improvements the Android Tools team has made it is getting better and better at allowing developers of substantial apps to code and debug faster. If you’re really hindered by the “intricacies of the Java language” when developing for Android then you probably shouldn’t be developing at all.

    • http://Website Ian

      Exactly if you cant put in the time to learn you shouldn’t be developing apps. Thats the joy of programming, you cant just take any idiot and teach him to code, you need a determined idiot :)

      • http://Website JaylanPHNX

        I disagree in that being a good programmer does not mean one is a good designer and vice versa. I think that Google should work to get creative app designers working without them also having to be accomplished coders. I’d take creative over studious any day.

        • AME

          Also, an easy way to make apps will get more app ideas out there. That first app may suck because it was made by some random guy with no experience, but then designers and real programmers will find his idea and make a bad-ass version of it.

          Also, I don’t have any fart apps on my phone because I don’t install them and I don’t search for apps in the “fart” genre. If an app sucks, it won’t kill you if it exists in the Market. You probably won’t notice it. The important part is to get good ideas out there so people who know what they’re doing to take it and run with it and make something awesome.

  • http://Website Jimmy

    Update for Google TV! I want root.

  • nEx.Softwate

    I agree. Except for the part about development. If you can’t figure out the tools you probably can’t develop anything worthwhile. Quality will always win over quantity.

    • kazahani

      That’s not quite right. He used the example of a doctor. What if a doctor somewhere is thinking to himself: “I really wish I could do all my crazy doctor stuff with my android phone…” That doctor has to take care of his patients, he doesn’t have time to learn Java. Maybe he had an idea that would have revolutionized the medical industry. If they had some simple tools made available to them, maybe the non-coding public-at-large could surprise you.

      • http://Website Jim Kim

        Like google app inventor?

        • http://Website dude

          App inventor sucks. Most of the time, it is never responsive, no much content, and its still very complicated. I would rather learn coding than that crap.


    i hope google voice is announced for the xoom and they unlock sd support.

  • http://Website Groan

    Google has fallen out of love with their popular OS. Either that or the same lazy developers they attract to their famous OS, work for them also.

    They are clearly out of touch and unconcerned with Android. No serious developer would leave their product to fester and rot as they have. You might not agree but look at the Sony debacle. They have a great console. But they like Google refuse to quickly address all the many issues.

    As a consumer, how long is long enough to put up with niggling issues. Try having niggling issues while driving.

    • caffeinedependent

      I doubt it’s laziness or lack of concern.

      From where they started, pretty much everything needed to be fixed, and the reason the little niggly things remain from version to version is probably because it has been more pressing to fix the big things.

      My prediction is we’re reaching that turning point where enough of the major issues have been fixed that Google can turn their attention to refining the experience.

  • http://Website benor

    Needs paypal payments, will help so much.
    better security for app developers so they will not get copy so easily, like amazon DRM.

    shouldn’t make it very easy to create an app or the market will be full of junk style “I just made a kool app” (I believe that miss spell like this will happen).

    themes could be nice but i can’t expect they will come any time soon.

  • http://Website Phil

    I was with you up until you got to the IDE. Sorry but you’re dead wrong there and its actually a slap in the face to devs. It comes easy to Java and Eclipse gurus because we have taken the time and gone through the training to understand software development. Would you like it if I said WordPress needs to make a point and click interface that makes journalism dead simple for anyone? No. So why trample over another profession like that? Developing applications is difficult for….non-developers duh. For anybody thats done the slightest bit of development work especially with desktop software its not at all that hard to pick up. The tools are pretty much in line with what a skilled dev would want to have minus some things here and there.

    • http://Website Jay

      The easy development tools would be a great thing for android. Sure, some developers would be made redundant but they wouldn’t go extinct. There are plenty of quality developers out there that could do things an inexperienced person couldn’t do. I bet there are tons of people out there with great ideas for really cool games and apps but don’t know how to make that happen. For those who feel insulted that development has been made easy, they could either give up or adapt. No offense, but if your app can be bested by someone using simple web based development tools then it probably wasn’t that great of an app. Design a quality app and people will download it, simple.

      • Alberto Vildosola

        Thanks Jay, couldn’t have said it better.

        Phil, I don’t think an easy to use IDE for Android will take jobs away from any developer that’s worth his/her salt.

        • http://Website Dave

          There’s a very good reason why an “easy IDE” has never been invented. There’s no such thing. You can’t program a computer to think for you.

          • http://Website Ben

            You still haven’t got it. He means a UI much like Flash or Photoshop which allows you to edit a whole program/photo without touching a single line of code, for sure you will need to know what the buttons are, but that is a hell of a lot easier than coding, and best of all, nothing can go wrong when you write your application!

          • http://Website Dave

            @Ben I get it, but it’s just not realistic. You can’t edit an app in Photoshop so it’s kind of a pointless comparison. Even with Flash if you don’t know how to code then you can’t really make an application beyond maybe a fart app or an “interactive” storybook. You still need to know ActionScript if you want to make anything worthwhile. It’s easier than Java, but there are still a lot of similarities and you need to understand how to program. And if you are fond of Flash then you can always make an AIR app for Android and even use the same code for BlackBerry PlayBook and iOS.

        • http://Website Fred Egan

          Didn’t google already make an easy ide, google app inventor?

    • Clark Wimberly

      Would you like it if I said WordPress needs to make a point and click interface that makes journalism dead simple for anyone?

      Is that serious? That exactly what WordPress does and has always aimed to do. Anyone can launch a blog with zero technical knowledge. It’s sort of the whole point of the project.

      Sure, to excel, you’ve gotta put it in more time and learn the complexities but the barrier to entry is about as low as it can get. If you are a solid developer a low entry point shouldn’t worry you one bit- if anything it should highlight your skills in a sea of beginners.

      • http://Website GregA

        I think the point he was making was that it doesn’t mean you can write a blog by clicking a button. WordPress makes it easier, but there is no button to say “Generate 4 paragraph blog entry about my dogs cuteness” and it will write the post for you. If you can’t read or write English (for example) then no one is going to read your blog of random letters of gibberish.

        This is exactly the same as programming…if you cant tell the computer what you want to do in a programming language (lets substitute English for Java here) then there is no way a “Doctor” is going to be able to make a phone interpret how the photo of someone’s iris he just took with his phone’s camera indicated the presence of disease.

        WordPress has been able to somewhat simplify the blogging process, but WordPress has one primary purpose…make a blog site. If you want to do anything other than this with WordPress, get ready for a very, very steep learning curve.

  • http://Website Pete

    Really? Seriously? Gaming and themes?

    Google already has a web-based Android IDE – it’s called App Inventor ( My IO/Android wishlist:

    GoogleTV – make it good. Give me an HTPC box with a DVR, media hub (a la Boxee), and the GoogleTV web browsing. And work it out so you don’t have a doorstop because everyone who has any good content blocks your device. I want to be able to have an integrated DVR / media center / internet browser. Say I have the TV show ‘Scrubs’ on the brain. I want to search for that and see my recorded episodes, my downloaded episode files, the live TV guide (integrated with cable, not just DISH!) showing it’s on in a few minutes and what channels, and the Youtube clips. I feel like GTV was sold as to aggregate the online media content but it doesn’t seem to do any of that.

    Agreed on the Google Voice app – why do half of Google’s Android apps feel half-baked? The GV app still has a bug where you hit play on a voicemail, it plays for two seconds and stops. It also stops playing once your screen timeout goes so you have to turn the screen back on and continue playing. It’s almost there but never gets updates.

    Reign in the OS upgrade fragmentation. There’s got to be a better way to handle Android OS updates than the current system. Either open up your dev/flagship phone (Nexus S?) to other carriers (Verizon and ATT) or bring back some sort of control where you can manage updates without the manufacturers. It *sucks* to announce the next version and have it available yet have a year or more go by until *any* phone legitimately has it. You shouldn’t have to root your phone and depend on hacks to update your OS once it’s out.

    • Alberto Vildosola

      App Inventor is hardly the kind of IDE I had in mind, it needs a lot of work still.

      • http://Website GregA

        Ah yes – actually, whilst they are at it, why don’t we just use Googles built in voice recognition to create apps?

        “Hey phone, I, umm, want an application that tracks everywhere I go in my car. It should detect when I put my phone in my car dock, and record all the roads I drive along and allow me to play back a journey in real time at a later date to show people the variance in travel times. Kthanksbye”

        Actually, if they do this, I might just ask for the following app!

        “Hey phone, I want an app that uses the front facing camera to read my thoughts and recognize them into text! Kthanksbye.”

        You should really look into software development. Do a beginners course in programming to understand why this is so difficult.

      • http://Website Eric F

        I really think you shouldn’t get so upset and just realize from the responses that you really don’t know enough about computer science to understand that App Inventor is about as good as you are going to get for an easy to use, low barrier to entry, web based IDE.

        Because to anybody who seriously knows what they are talking about you sound like you want a fantastic unicorn to make all your dreams come true. Now if you said that the Android SDK team really needs to improve the Eclipse plugin so that more of the layout / themes / styling can be done through the plugin and without having to do a tedious amount of XML editing by hand then I think developers would generally agree with that. And that’s exactly the direction the SDK is headed. Also importantly is the slow speed of the emulator. Which by all signs looks like the SDK team is working on a x86 native un-emulated Android simulator to accomplish just that.

        Also I take issue with your “needs an antivirus”. Really? Android NEEDS and antivirus application? Wow I’ve been doing it wrong. Using my brain to not put on something from a non-reputable source seems to be a fine alternative. Just because antivirus companies rushed to release anti-virus software for Android does not mean they are “necessary”.

  • smartphone_info

    The carriers will LOVE it if Google can do a GV app with Gizmo VoIP built in… No more worries about dropped calls, customer complaints and billing issues for those lost/poor calls… No more voicemail billing or back haul… Just data…

    They can invest their millions in the data side of things and Google can handle all the voice infrastructure…

    We still think Google will make that move on Skype, secure the hardware to handle said VoIP services and ultimately purchase Sprint after the AT&T/T-Mobile merger happens… Making Google Network Users have exclusive access to enhanced Google services, cheaper network pricing, and home to the first true – Google Powered Phone…

    Crazy as it sounds, it just might be what ends up happening.

  • kwills88

    I don’t see why Google don’t strike a deal with sony and take advantage of the PlayStation to answer Microsoft xboxlive on their winmo phones with PSN (i know it’s down now, but still) it would make sense considering Xperia play is an android phone…allow us to sign into psn from our android phone and access the psn store and purchase stuff, message other gamers etc.

  • Dave K

    “If Windows Phone 7 fails to gain traction, Microsoft won’t be able to compete in the mobile arena ever again and Nokia will eventually have to adopt Android.”

    Where do you come up with these crazy notions?

    How do you have any idea what Microsoft will or won’t be able to do in the future? They have deep pockets, they can do pretty much whatever they want. And Nokia could become a manufacturer of BlackBerry or webOS devices instead of adopting Android; again you have no idea.

    • Alberto Vildosola

      I’m having a hard time seeing how Microsoft would build a competitive mobile platform if Windows Phone fails.

      Do you have an idea?

      I’m not sure how Nokia would use WebOS or Blackberry OS, since they are proprietary, meaning HP and RIM don’t license the OS like Google or Microsoft.

      • Dave K

        No, I don’t have an idea, nor to I claim to have an idea. And I certainly don’t make absolute statements like “Microsoft won’t be able to compete in the mobile arena ever again” based solely on opinion. “Ever again” is a very long time. Unless you expect Microsoft to just disappear from the face of the earth if/when it doesn’t succeed with Windows Phone, it’s probably a safe bet that they’d change course somehow and try something different in the mobile space. I don’t claim to know what that something different might be, but it’s naive to think that Microsoft would just drop out of the race and surrender.

        As for HP/webOS and RIM/BlackBerry, what’s to say that they don’t open their platforms in the future? If neither one gains traction conducting business as usual with their closed platforms, maybe they’ll also change course and license their platforms to third parties. Who knows? I don’t, and unless you can see into the future, I doubt you do either.

        You seem to have an extremely short-sighted view of things. Just because something is the way it is today, doesn’t mean it’ll be that way in 2 or 5 or 10 years from now. I’m sure after Microsoft’s tablet PC flameout a decade ago, people said tablets would never succeed and Microsoft would never try to compete in that space again.

        • http://Website GregA

          I couldn’t agree more. I love how you pull someone up on their outrageous journalistic claims and get -8 for your comment rep. I know that I will too, however.

          • Dave K

            Not everyone is intelligent, GregA. ;) It’s the Internet, what can you do?

      • Dave K
  • http://Website Eric

    I subtitute Ice Cream Sandwich, and replace it with Honeycomb Source Code. Honeycomb just came out. It’s not even fixed yet. They won’t release a new one now.

    • mattcoz

      I doubt Honeycomb source will ever be released. Why? Because it’ll be released as Ice Cream Sandwich.

  • http://Website Daniel

    I like the part where you talk about a super-easy development tool and then comes to the exact opposite conclusion of what would happen.

    • Alberto Vildosola

      I was being a little optimistic.

      Of course if you make app development easier you’ll get some pretty bad apps built by inexperienced people, but out of 100 crappy apps you’ll get at least one good one.

      • http://Website GregA

        I don’t want to sort through 99 apps that are terrible and force close all the time to find that 1 app that is awesome.

        As it is, I feel inundated with useless, unreliable applications, and I can’t even find good ones now. You want more of these??

  • http://Website Simon

    Completely agree with Pete, Seriously dude, this post seems to be written by someone who doesn’t understand how android works to start with.
    Its about choice, you are encouraged if developing using apps with features that you think are missing in android. so if you like Chomp, then use it. Google isn’t going to reinvent the wheel and implement chomp again.

    Web-based IDE? WAT?? Seriously??? if you can’t read and understand a JAVA API and not comfortable with eclipse, means ur not a developer. and stay away from development, the least we need is more crappy apps on android market. The Doctor with the great idea can easily get intouch with an android developer. This is just a recipe for disasters!

    and whats with the themes? haven’t u used LauncherPro, or ADW Launcher?

    • Mario

      Agree. Android have no app filtering system, so we need devs with appropriate background to make the apps, no some youngster with autism.

    • Alberto Vildosola

      Hmmm I’m not sure you understood what I meant by themes.

      I’m pretty sure that the LauncherPro app I have installed on my phone didn’t change anything else aside from the Launcher app. When I say theme I mean the whole look and feel of the OS, not one app.

      I never said Google should just copy Chomp, but I mentioned the app as a good example of how to do it right.

  • http://Website RAPTOR

    Alberto, it was that article on this site which makes it great and worth reading. Support all your points. Was fun to read also in these Comments how you angered numerous devs who do not like to see the slightest competition from the little guy LOL

    • Alberto Vildosola

      Thanks, yep you can’t please everybody.

      However, I understand where those developers are coming from. But if they’re good at what they do, they shouldn’t be afraid of tools like the one I describe on the article.

    • http://Website Daniel

      It’s not about angering developers. It’s about coming up with a sci-fi tool and sounding like it makes any sense. IDEs are slow enough today, moving that to a JavaScript and server latency environment will just make things unbearable. The rest of his arguments just go downhill from there. Next you’re asking for DYI surgery kits, because really, who needs to study years before becoming a minimally competent surgeon, right? You just have to cut into the body then move things around, no big deal.

      • Alberto Vildosola

        I didn’t mention this on the article but the IDE I have in mind would run in Native Client, which is something we’ll get to see a lot of next week.

        Also, I’m not talking about some cookie cutter service that pumps out low-quality apps. The IDE I have in mind is a full on IDE with all the bells and whistles. But designed in such a away that it’s easy to grasp for the average person, and at the same time has all the advanced features veteran developers want.

        I mentioned Photoshop ’cause it’s a perfect example of an app that has all the advanced features a pro artist needs, but the average person is able to use it for basic things.

        • http://Website GregA

          Oh my, this is getting worse the further I read down.

          No. Programming is not painting. Not on a canvass, and not in Photoshop. This is insane.

          The “image” you see in your UI is merely the interface you have to the program you are using. So much so, that in large software developments, the UI team can be completely separate from the people who actually make the program work behind the scenes.

          And you mention Photoshop. My sister would look at me blankly if I sat her in front of it. Even more scary, is what image I imagine would result from her having her “playtime”. I love your optimism, but this is currently out of the realm of possibility.

        • http://Website Daniel

          That’s because the product of Photoshop is still conceptually very, very simple. The process through which you create a picture may be complex, but the final result is very primitive: a static pixel grid that doesn’t support scaling (save for some metadata like text and filter layers, which are somewhat recent and still a small step in the grand scheme of digital image composition) or resizing (something that Photoshop has zero support for AFAIK, which is why artists have to resort to external tools like 9patch).

          • http://Website Daniel

            Mobile software (more so than most other common forms), OTOH, is dynamic: it has do adapt to the hardware characteristics, it has to deal with events as they happen, often being powerless as to ignoring or avoiding these events. For Photoshop to be nearly as complex as software development, it’d have to include support for animation, vectors, procedural layers, nine-patch resizing, interactivity and dynamic changes to layers. Even Flash (which is much less powerful in image creation but much better in dynamic content) only has a fraction of those.

  • http://Website alex

    i think Google’s gaming is Sony, remember playstation suite? Sony & Android FTW just hope PSN is back soon :/

    • http://Website alex

      and google chrome as internet!!!!

  • http://Website Karl

    I absolutely 100% agree with everything you said. The only thing I would add would be some sort of “incentive” or “branding” that guaranteed if you bought a phone with “Google” or “Google Prime” or something, it would ALWAYS be updated with the latest OS within one month or release, or the carrier/manufacturer was in someway punished or fined by Google.

  • http://Website DK

    I read this on my dInc w/the regular browser, just had to ask if anyone else reads this site from their phone dealing with pop up ads overlaying the articles..? Cause its VERY annoying, the ads follows as i scroll, and the close/x is TINY. Just poor mobile design, FIX..

    • Clark Wimberly

      I hear your concerns but you’re being served a desktop ad on the desktop version of the site. If you’d like to avoid tricky interactions like that, the mobile site might be the best bet, as it doesn’t use popup ads. Thanks for the report though, we’ll look into some options.

  • http://Website Chproject

    The “Google Voice app with native VoIP suppor” would be nice, but using Sipdroid/free pbx/Gtalk or a Nexus S with Gtalk w/Voice and video…it is already possible. Google really bugged me when they gave us a native SIP client, but then found out it only worked on Wifi. I was really disappointed. So for now Sipdroid is my answer(since I didn’t get a Nexus S). It is so handy when traveling internationally.

  • http://Website jared

    First of all, opinion pieces like this are what have always set androidandme apart and are the main reason I keep coming back.

    I have to disagree with the point about making app development easier to access. A web based ide is an idea that I think is worthy of some consideration but creating a drag and drop interface will have one overriding effect: flooding the market with useless apps. Sure there may be some beautiful and useful ones but they will be even more difficult to find, no matter how good their trending algorithm is.

  • http://Website LongTimeSprintUser

    I agree about a new Google Voice with true VOIP……also we need the BlindType Android application!!!

  • http://Website Jeff

    Two things that need to change with the stock browser:

    -Google needs to fix it where if you type a few letters into the URL and then accidentally double click one of the suggestions, get a blank white screen, forcing you to go to settings – applications -manage, and then force close the browser app.

    -Google needs to add the browser to the Android market, the same way the Google Maps app is on the market, because when I first got my phone, I didn’t feel like rooting it for about a week. So, because my phone came with Sense UI, my only legitimate options were to either use the horrible Sense Browser or to use the slow Dolphin browser.

  • Charles West

    Great article, your ideas are well thought out, I don’t disagree with anything you’ve said. I will say this, Google Voice opperating much like how it does on a computer (using VoIP of course), would scare the ish out of carriers — and Google is playing it safe, by not unleashing those capabilities just yet.

  • http://Website Joe

    You’re totally wrong about ice cream sandwich because google hasn’t put anything on their lawn yet.

    Sure, we will get details about it, but it won’t be actually officially announced.

  • http://Website Paul Atreides

    Google music ftw

    Honeycomb features for phones whatever codename you choose ftw

    Nexus 3 in the fall on all carriers ftw

  • Angie Strickland

    Put laser guns on top of that wall, haha!

  • Clark Wimberly

    A web-based IDE would be great as long as they have a solid community monitoring things. Picture something like Kickstarter where a project needs a certain amount of actual human momentum to come to fruition. Where your app can’t escape the “web IDE beta mode” until a certain percentage of respected users promote it.

    Clearly I’m just spit-balling here but a community of app learners would be pretty neat.

    • Alberto Vildosola

      That’s interesting, I hadn’t thought of it that like that before. This way you only get the good apps and not the “fart apps”.

  • http://Website ufwa

    MMS support for google voice.

    Worse case, send it to the email account we have tied to the google voice account.

  • http://Website Cod3rror

    Whatever the next Android version is I want full hardware UI acceleration everywhere in the UI.

    • http://Website Dylan Andersen

      This is extremely detrimental to battery life, and Google will probably never do this.

      • http://Website Cod3rror

        How so? If the load is spread around it’s less detrimental.

  • http://Website GregA

    This article is the last straw for me. I have seen AnM degrade recently, and this article sealed it for me.

    Just some feedback to consider. I will now try and find an android website that tries to stick to the facts, and not opinion.

    • Clark

      If you’ve followed us long you know that opinion pieces have always been a huge part of what we do here. Don’t get upset if you disagree, join us for thoughtful discussion.

    • http://Website your stupid

      Shut up! Nobody gives a shit about your issues with opinion.

  • http://Website Dee

    Here is my wishlist.

    -overhaul of the SMS/MMS-
    Vanilla text app is horrendous. The slow refreshing, no batch mode, how MMS pix are handled, its all a mess and needs to be addressed.

    -better market place-
    Do I really need to say why?

    -better handling of flash-
    Our phones have flash but its soooo laggy

  • http://Website Frankie theman

    Honestly, google voice NEEDS mms support. I didnt mind it when I was on an intercept, mytouch, or vibrant really, but using the g2x with an 8 MP and 1.3 front facing camera, I find myself with a lot more to share. Google voice is my main number, but the fact I can share a picture 8 ways to Sunday but no mms support is ridiculous.
    As for fragmentation, it took me a while to understand how there isn’t any. Its quite simple though. Google’s main goal for Android: get it on every device connecting to the internet(except PC’s?) But who really needs a toaster with an accelerometer? Or light sensor? Because it doesn’t have two necessary sensors to be an official android device (market access) then it’s “fragmented”. Not really though because its not a device to play angry birds. You’re also not going to be playing need for speed in your Volt or be watching any movies on your navigation. Different devices need different specs for different operations. That’s what ice cream sandwich is supposed to help. It’ll allow developers to allow one app to run different ways on different devices (phones and tablets.) There’s also some sort of market filter for devices, I can’t load some apps on my tablet but can on my phone(they don’t appear on the market and wont download to the device from the browser version either) its gingerbread, no honeycomb source. :(

  • MrNameless

    Look at this infographic

  • http://Website JayMonster

    Some things that amaze me. Like, people can’t seem to understand that an opinion piece is just that. Opinion. You do not have to agree and can have an opinion of your own. But make your case, don’t just decide somebody else is wrong because you disagree and leave it that. State your case as to why you have an opposing opinion without trying to belittle somebody else… Is that really so hard?

    Now on to the issues at hand:

    Ice Cream Sandwich – I am not saying you are wrong about them announcing it… that is entirely possible. At the same time, I think it is a bad idea. From the time of announcement, people expect it to drop on their phones immediately. Most don’t even have (official) Gingerbread yet. Honeycomb is clearly not finished. If they start the “blending” now, they are forced to either allow Honeycomb to be their “Vista” and acknowledge that it just sucks and isn’t done, or they have to work with 2 codebases. Finish Honeycomb, THEN announce Ice Cream Sandwich.

    Google Music – Since this is basically a stand alone service from Google, not sure why this would come out as part of IO rather than just a separate announcement. Again, not saying you are wrong, and perhaps this is a way to get an audience pumped up about it, but it would seem to me to be poor placement for such a thing. This would be like annoucing new iPods at WWDC… right idea, wrong venue. But I could be wrong, my wife usually thinks I am.

    Android Market – Yes, the market needs to be improved. Secured… well, as a developer I’m more concerned about securing my app. There are far more examples of people that steal apps and “resell” them (piracy) than there are of examples of “rogue apps” coming from the market. A “secured” market as you describe can have some seriously unintended consequences. What some people may find as a way around a problem, others can see as a “hack” or “rogue” items. Who arbitrarily draws the line in the sand. This is one of those issues, even Jobs Christ hasn’t solved, and why perfectly good apps have never made it, or been pulled from the Apple app store. It takes a lot of time an effort, delays releases and/or updates and creates more headaches, for a nominal benefit. Also, while I am at it, there is nothing wrong I guess with anti-virus software… in theory, while Lookout and others have already come out with apps, I have yet to feel the *need* to use it. Again, the cost (in this case in terms of speed and use) is not justified in terms of the threat. At least not yet.

    Themes – The problem with you idea of themes as you state it, is that it would essentially have to be implemented at the API level, and the customizations would not (most likely) follow this through, since this is not what the manufacturers want. Samsung (just using them for example) WANTS you to use TouchWiz, and assumes that since the Galaxy S series is one of the best (if not the best) selling Android devices, that people LIKE their (crappy) interface. They also do NOT want to enable users (you know, the 5 that actually like TouchWiz), to be able to get that experience on say… a HTC device. It is a nice, user-centric idea that you might be able to see in the Nexus series of devices, but not one the manufacturers are going to embrace (not to replace their “bread and butter” (as they see it) customizations.

    IDE – Web Based? Nah. Could the Eclipe IDE plugin use work? YES… a LOT. I understand and agree what you are saying about the Eclipse IDE. Coming from a VB/.NET background, I was taken aback by just how unpolished and clunky this is from a UI development point of view. I know the sort of panacea you are looking for in a drag and drop a few pieces together to build an app. Many have tried before, and they have ALL failed. The developers are right about this. That being said, one of the strongest things Microsoft did back in the Windows 3.X days was make it brain dead simple to DRAW the FORMS for the app, so you could spend the time worrying more about making the app work and spend less time with how it LOOKS. If Google could make the Eclipse Plugin as easy for developers to use as the old Visual Basic interface, you would greatly reduce the barrier to entry without dumbing it down so much that you get nothing but boiler plate apps (like App Inventor creates).

    Google Voice App – The app has plenty of bugs that need to be fixed. No doubt about that. But Google is NOT going to try and take away services from carriers. The Nexus One proved that even Google is not ready to “go it alone” and thus needs to work WITH carriers, not try to find ways around it. VoIP service is not going to happen. You already have at&t trying to have Google reigned in and classified as a carrier, which would subject them to many of the terms and licensing fees and restrictions as the carrier themselves are. This would be a bad thing as many of the free services would wind up no longer being free because Google would be required by law to pay for certain things and charge on others (plus taxes of course). This is the same reason I suspect that Google would rather strike a deal with Skype than buy them outright. They could have picked up Skype for next to nothing when eBay unloaded it. Instead, they spend the same amount of money in a “partnership” and avoid all the regulatory headaches that would come with an outright purchase. And I don’t know where one commenter above me got the “brilliant” idea of Google buying Sprint, but that makes no sense either. If they did this, they would essentially be killing Android, because what would then keep VZW and at&t (where they sell more phones than the Sprint customer base) from dropping Android. Not to mention the regulatory headaches again.. Nope. This is nice wishful thinking… but just a pro-consumer idea that I don’t think has the legs to ever see the light of day.

    • Alberto Vildosola

      Great comment, Jay. Thanks. I guess we’ll have to wait 24 more hours and see.

  • http://Website Jon

    Google/spotify partnership!

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