Friday, November 14, 2008

Android G2 Wish List

Now that it is more or less clear what G1 is, it is becoming clear what it's missing.

First of all, the big items:
  • UMA - but unlikely this will happen;
  • Improved battery life - it is possible to drain the battery in an hour when actually doing something;
  • Improved voice recognition - current generation is pretty much unusable;
  • Hands-free operation, voice commands over headset - it is dangerous to use G1 to initiate a call when driving, visual feedback is required. Any feedback other than audible, or pressing a button on a headset, is unacceptable;
  • Internationalization (input language support);
  • Google Talk Voice - I know this will not happen, but still want it;
  • Google Apps Integration - I don't see why GMail should get preferential treatment over an offering with identical, if not superior (for paid editions) functionality.
Low hanging fruit:
  • I wish Google developers realize that GMail contacts with no first/last name, but with company name, should not be displayed as just a telephone number in Android contact list. It is ugly to copy/paste the company name into the name field - it is not the name. Interestingly enough, they got this right in GMail, but not Android...
  • Along the same lines: contact should be searchable by company name as well as name. Well, while we're at that, why don't make it searchable by any field? (Update: fixed in GMail)
From this point on, in no particular order (RC33 fixed these issues):
  • Auto-answer when on handset options
  • User-programmable buttons
  • Volume control buttons in a place where they don't get pressed all the time
  • "Escalating" volume setting for ringtones and alarms
  • Better tactile feedback
  • Raised keys on the face (flat keys are pretty difficult to find)
  • Cached Market entries
  • Centralized application update notification (today, there's no way to find out about the update other than look it up in the Market manually)
  • Market Watch List (an application may be not good enough today, but I want to keep an eye on ie)
  • Customizable clock on the home screen (I'd rather have a digital, with 24 hour display)
  • Full control of the phone via remote connection - TCP or at least USB (GMail sync is a good start, but some operations are just too cumbersome and slow on the phone itself)
  • External screen/docking interface - it would be nice to plug the phone into the car and have input and output on a bigger screen (maps, GPS, directions, you name it) - another view at the same problem
  • Multi-touch screen - those zoom buttons are annoying
  • Web access to Market - even today, access is already slow and cumbersome, and there's too many applications to view comfortably. And please not as clumsy as Apple App Store;
  • No IM interruptions on joining/departing WiFi.
(more to come)

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