Cloud // Software as a Service
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7/5/2014
08:06 AM
Rodney Brown
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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imdoody
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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.
JayA591
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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.
amamar5
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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.
anon8423447454
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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.
GrayG879
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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..
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