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7/5/2014
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Rodney Brown
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10 Ways Google Must Improve Android

Google's upcoming Android "L" version introduces improvements including Android for Work and stronger app security. But Google still has plenty of gaps to fill.
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Well, maybe Will Smith isn't so keen on android upgrades. But with Apple's iOS already being supported by 90% of all businesses surveyed in a recent study by JAMF Software, it is clear that Google's mobile operating system needs some serious adjustments if it is going to be a dominant player in enterprise mobility.

Make no mistake; Google badly wants the enterprise customers. It hinted at it with acquisitions like cloud-based mobile device management company Divide back in May, and made it plain as day at the Google I/O conference in early June, when it announced Android for Work.

Also announced at I/O this year was the next flavor of Android, not yet given a sweet-tooth name, just called "L" -- I am voting for "Lollipop" and hoping that Google Now's voice gets replaced with that of Tara Strong, who did the voice of Juliet Starling in the game Lollipop Chainsaw. But I digress.

One of the keys to the new Android for Work is that Google will include new APIs that will allow for secure inclusion -- and separation -- of both work and personal apps on a single mobile device. This is similar to the Extensions program Apple announced even earlier in June, and both are solid steps toward making apps function more securely.

Integrated into Android for Work when the L version is released will be the Knox containerization system from Samsung, which protects corporate data by segmenting it from personal data at the operating system level. Take note: That means every mobile device using L, not just Samsung phones, will have access to Knox.

Well, access to a part of Knox, at least: The Wall Street Journal reports that a Samsung spokesperson said that the core containerization function of Knox would be included in Android L, but that other features will be exclusively available for Knox users on Samsung phones.

But security is not the only area that Android needs to work on, and the enterprise isn't the only customer base it needs to satisfy. Android has some serious catching up to do in the area of cameras, photo software, and overall user experience. However, it has started to eat into Apple's domain with Google Now, and even jumped ahead of Apple in the field of wearables. Now is not the time to ease off on the improvements.

Click through this slideshow to find a list of 10 Android features and functions that Google needs to throw some serious brainpower and money at to get where it needs to be.

Rodney Brown is a veteran of both the newspaper world and the retail management world. Having held nearly every job a newspaper has, from selling advertising to running the presses, he truly has been an ink-stained wretch. Now, with the web, he is pixel-stained. He cut his ... View Full Bio

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mak63
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mak63,
User Rank: Ninja
7/6/2014 | 10:47:18 PM
Re: Cell Reception Issues
I'm not sure if the issue is hardware, software or the towers, but out of 2 Samsung phones, one smart and the other dumb, the old phone always gets better reception in difficult areas, even on the same carrier. In this case Verizon; and the area I'm referring is Camas Washington.
Angelfuego
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Angelfuego,
User Rank: Moderator
7/6/2014 | 1:16:24 PM
Re: Siri
I have to say I don't see any difference between my android and my iTouch, with the exception of not making or receiving calls/texts from my iTouch. I am very pleased with my android and am impressed with my apps, amount of storage, amou t of screens I have up, speed of Internet, camera quality, voice recognition, and my overall user capabilities.
Li Tan
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Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
7/5/2014 | 10:18:59 PM
Re: None of these is what I want most
I do like this post. It points out the gaps of Android sysrem compare to other systems such as iOS. Somehow Android is a little bit chaotic nowadays, especially on the aspect of security, simplicity and interactivity with human beings. Just touch screen is not something cool but common nowdays.
relmasian
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relmasian,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/5/2014 | 12:58:16 PM
Item 10 and then some
I have to second item 10, multiple windows.  Along with that should be process control, not only being able to kill a process but also to put a process/app in hibernation.  Even better, add a sandbox mode where a process can think it has complete access but actually is running on a virtual machine. Finally, why not have a snoop mode for all data being sent, with a log identifying when and what process/process-tree is sending.  Ideally, the log/data could be sent to cloud storage where it would not eat space and could be analyzed, if desired, by more powerful hardware and software.
PaulS681
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PaulS681,
User Rank: Ninja
7/5/2014 | 12:51:53 PM
Camera
I agree on the camera software. The iPhone 5s takes great camera and videos along with the software on the phone to view and edit them. Not many have cameras anymore. The phone is becoming you camera and I can see someone choosing a phone over another because of the camera and software on it.
elroysully
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elroysully,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/5/2014 | 12:46:57 PM
deny individual permissions
You missed the most important one, disallowing individual permissions. Specifically, I'd like to disallow the push abilities of certain apps. iOS does this and it is VERY handy. You guys should do a better poll before you start spouting off like know-it-alls.
PaulS681
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PaulS681,
User Rank: Ninja
7/5/2014 | 12:46:20 PM
Siri
I look at Siri as a "cool" feature but not a must have. I actually don't use her, or it I should say. There are better things to improve upon before adding a voice assistant I think.
PaulS681
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PaulS681,
User Rank: Ninja
7/5/2014 | 12:41:01 PM
Biometrics
I agree biometrics is something that needs to be incorporated into phones. I'm not sure how fast that will happen though. Are there any reports on how many people take advantage of the fingerprint scan on the 5s?

I have one and do not use it.
Inverse137
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Inverse137,
User Rank: Strategist
7/5/2014 | 12:27:10 PM
Re: WebOS
Palm OS could only do about 5% of what a modern OS can do.

 

What you're saying is equivalent to: I really miss DOS.  It was so simple and powerful.  Well, yes, it was...but try to browse a website with a commandline interface.

 

Palm OS had it's point in time but the OS does a lot more now.

 

And don't worry about HP.  WIth Meg at the helm they might not be making much of anything anymore.  I even heard a rumor that there was a "Buy it now" option on the whole R&D department.  And the Printers division has an un-official "make best offer."

 

Sad...was a great company at one time.
PaulS681
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PaulS681,
User Rank: Ninja
7/5/2014 | 12:24:46 PM
Knox
Knox is a great name for securing data. I'm wondering how this works. Is one of it's featues to allow the buisness side to be wiped if needed without touching the personal data? This was one of the major issues with BYOD.
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