Cloud // Software as a Service
News
7/5/2014
08:06 AM
Rodney Brown
Rodney Brown
Slideshows
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

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.
Previous
1 of 10
Next

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

Previous
1 of 10
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
Page 1 / 3   >   >>
GrayG879
50%
50%
GrayG879,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/5/2014 | 8:50:05 AM
Cell Reception Issues
You didn't mention weather or not the two phones you tested in Vermont were on the same carrier or not.

I have noticed that Korean Androids (Samsung and HTC) seem to get consistently good reception in direct comparison (same location same carier) to Chinese phones (Huawei and ZTE). Google could put more quality control restrictions on the manufacturers reception (but probably will not)

Then there is the added complication that the cells themselves (towers not phone) are in a constant state of change.

I recently had an experience that demonstrates this. I live in a community that has a T-Mobile Tower 3 miles away. The terrain is absolutely flat, no hills no tall buildings, I can actually see the T-Mobile Tower from my house with a pair of binoculars. For the past 10 years T-Mobile has had great reception here. 1G, 2G, 3G...I recently discovered that this tower had been upgraded to 4G just about the time that the T-Mobile service here went from excellent to non existent. We ended up having T-Mobile buy out our contracts becasue we simply could not get service.

I'm wondering if the companies that own the towers and rent them out to the carriers are just doing a poor job of maintaining equipment capable of running all the different tecnologies, 2G, 3G, 4G, LTE etc..
anon8423447454
50%
50%
anon8423447454,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/5/2014 | 10:17:35 AM
switch to cloud computing model, ala chrome o/s
Frankly, and i think its the elephant in the room, "apps" suck...they suck time to install, maintain, they suck battery bigtime, they suck security, and they suck the life out of a smooth, uninterupted predictable latest version phone experience.
amamar5
50%
50%
amamar5,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/5/2014 | 10:46:53 AM
None of these is what I want most
As a business user, in a fast-paced communications environment, the one feature I desperately miss is the ability to control the volume of the separate notifications. I get "paged" at night, but I don't want to hear every email come in, just in case I get a page. Even my Blackberry, from the better part of a decade ago, had this ability. There are apps that you can get that can allow this sort of thing, but I feel that it should be a basic part of the operating system. I would love to have the option of either using the default setting, or configuring a custom volume for each text and email account.
JayA591
50%
50%
JayA591,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/5/2014 | 11:12:35 AM
Re: None of these is what I want most
The calendar could use many improvements.
imdoody
50%
50%
imdoody,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/5/2014 | 12:02:06 PM
WebOS
I do really miss Palm's webos. So intuitive and clean. Too bad HP had to go and screw it all up and ruin one of the few things it had going for them. But maybe it's for the best. HP shouldn't be making software anyways it's just awful.
PaulS681
50%
50%
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.
Inverse137
50%
50%
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
50%
50%
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.
PaulS681
50%
50%
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.
elroysully
100%
0%
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.
Page 1 / 3   >   >>
8 Steps to Modern Service Management
8 Steps to Modern Service Management
ITSM as we know it is dead. SaaS helped kill it, and CIOs should be thankful. Hereís what comes next.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Must Reads Oct. 21, 2014
InformationWeek's new Must Reads is a compendium of our best recent coverage of digital strategy. Learn why you should learn to embrace DevOps, how to avoid roadblocks for digital projects, what the five steps to API management are, and more.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
A roundup of the top stories and community news at InformationWeek.com.
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.