My Expectations from Android 5.0 – Key Lime Pie / Android 4.3

Updated: Since it looks like there is not going to be a 5.0 version at I/O but rather a 4.3. In any case, these upgrades would apply to the next upcoming version of Android.

It is getting really close to Google I/O and I have personally been wondering what new magical features the new version of Android will unleash upon us. I really hope that I get to see some of my pet peeves removed and/or remedied in Key Lime Pie.

1. My Biggest Peeve: More Uniformity in all Apps

Here are some examples.

The settings icon in the built in apps keeps moving from the top bar to the bottom bar. Messaging and email apps feature it on the bottom bar and all other apps have it in the top bar. Its like driving two different cars every other day and the controls are switched. I am not even going to go into the third party apps. Stricter guidelines for app developers may be a good idea I feel.

2. The Random Hangs

I believe that Jelly Bean is the best version of Android ever. Unfortunately, even though I use a Nexus, in its original condition, the phone still hangs every now and then. If I compare the number of times my Nexus 4 hangs with my iPad, the ration would be about 1:5 in favour of the iPad.

To be fair, the Nexus 4 doesn’t hang when you are using it. That hasn’t happened even once. It actually hangs when it’s not being used. In the night, for example, when it is on standby. It hangs sometime in the night and in the morning, the all important alarms refuse to go off. I can tell that the phone is on since the notification LED is generally blinking with the last received notification. This makes the Nexus 4 a pretty unreliable alarm clock.

 3. Better Use of the Virtual Buttons Bar

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I call it the virtual buttons bar since I don’t know what Google calls it. These are the three onscreen buttons for Home, Back and Recent Apps. I think that this is a really powerful tool  that should become more and more contextualized to the apps that are open. The back button already changes to “Down/Hide” when the keyboard is open. More functionality here wold help completely remove the additional bar the apps put in for their controls.

4. Night Mode / Colour Inversion

This is one feature that I use a lot on the iPad.When I read in the night, most apps in iOS are too bright even at the lowest brightness level. With the colour inversion option under accessibility, I am able to invert the OS colours and make it a lot less jarring to read in the dark.

On Android, while some apps like Feedly come with a dark theme, most don’t. Zite being the main culprit for me since I use that to read the most. A system wide colour inversion option would be greatly appreciated. “Help me Google. You are my only hope!”

5. Battery Life

The Nexus 4 has better battery life than any of the previous smart phones I have used. However, it’s not enough. I get through the day with normal usage. If I try hyper-miling, I have actually eked out 40 hours of battery life from the Nexus 4’s 2100 mAh battery. On an average I get about 14 to 16 hours. If I am out and about, then due to 3G usage this goes down to about 10 to 12 hours. That is too little.I need to be able to get through the day with 3G enabled and not dependent on WiFi.

So there you have it. What do you want Key Lime Pie to deliver to you?

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