Thursday, May 9, 2013

Should Google bother with software features in the next version of android?

Should Google bother with software features in JB 4.3/KLP? It's my opinion that they shouldn't. Sounds crazy, but hear me out.

ICS 4.0 was mostly about the redesign of android, but as far as specific software features, the big one was supposed to be the almighty "face unlock". If you haven't herd of it, I don't blame you. The hype sizzled out pretty quick. It is still there though under - system settings > security and in the top unlock options. The idea was that you woke your phone up, it would turn on the front camera and when it regognized your face it would unlock your android.

Jelly Bean 4.1 didn't really being any specific features (Google Now was really just an update to the search app, not a new system feature)... But Jelly Bean 4.2's biggest software feature was PhotoSphere.  Again, like Face Unlock, it is actually a phenomenal idea - stitch together a bunch of pictures to get a single 360° panorama picture. However, also like Face Unlock, most users don't use this feature after the "ohh, shiny!" feeling wears off.

So, in my opinion, Google should leave features out of stock Android and leave that for manufacturers to add in (because let's face it - the OEMs do it much better). I know I'm not alone in feeling that stock Android should be (as much as possible) a simple, nearly blank canvas on which experienced users create their ideal phone experience on. Let's face it - most stock Android users are savvy enough to install their favorite launcher, so why not keep all the features/bloat out, and give users the maximum storage space available?

I'd be interested to hear what you think, there is a comments section below or you can find the link to this article on Reddit and discuss there.