Wishlist for Android 6.0

Lets face it, Android is already one of the most powerful, versatile operating systems on earth right now. In the humble beginning of Android, it’s use was limited to smartphones however we are currently seeing it in everything from phones, tablets, watches, TVs, Home Automation Systems and even Smart Eyewear. I am a huge Android Fanboy and often find myself being one of the first in line to buy the latest Android devices, heck, I have owned Google Glass for over a year and a half. Android is great but far from perfect, here is my wishlist for a future build of Android 6.0:

Android

Aside from performance, battery and other under the hood tweaks, I would love to see:

 Windowed Applications

While this feature is not useful on phones or smaller tablets, it has game changing benefits for high resolution tablets such as the Nexus 9, Nexus 10 and other large tablets. Windowed applications would allow users to multi-task and potentially turn an Android Tablet into a productivity workhorse rather than a consumption tool. Some manufacturers have already developed their own windowed application implementation however as the APIs are device specific, not all applications can take advantage of this without a large amount of work on the developers end. The manufacturer implementations are often nasty hacks and are not universal between devices.  Having this natively built into Android would do wonders for the platform and allow Android to to possibly overtake Windows in the PC arena.

USB OTG Support for Flash Drives

Come on Google… you have been dragging your feet on this one for a very long time but I feel that it is time that you officially start allowing Flash Drives to be used on ALL tablets. This is already a feature in most ROMs however Google does explicitly block these on Nexus devices primarily for security reasons. I feel that putting an option in the “Security” menu of Android to allow mounting of flash media would be a perfect compromise, like what is done with allowing sideloading of APKs.

On a related sidenote, this is the reason I personally root my devices.

Tighter Integration Between Devices

This is already a strongpoint for Android however it has room to grow. I currently own an Android Wear Smartwatch, Google Glass, Android Phone and several Android Tablets. I wish there was a way to trigger events on one device and have them happen on others. There are several third party applications such as Push Bullet that work well for this however I feel that it should be baked into Android.

SmartLock Voice

I hate screen locks, granted there is a huge security benefit to having one, I hate having to type my pin code in every time I wish to use my phone. One feature that Android 5.0 Lollipop amazed users with was the new enhanced “SmartLock” system. SmartLock makes unlocking your Android device less of a chore and therefore removes my hatred of using screen locks. SmartLock greatly improved Android’s Face Unlock system and three new ways to unlock your device; location based, NFC Tags and bluetooth device profiles. When my smartphone is in range of my watch, it simply unlocks, without me needing to think about it.

I would love to see this feature coupled with the “Ok Google” functionality that Google Now brings us. The Human Voice contains a large number of subtle nuances and patterns that could theoretically allow the system to unlock hands free by simply muttering “Ok Google, unlock my phone”.

SmartLock Applications

Speaking of SmartLock, I would love the option to extend this into applications. I would love the option to lock Google Wallet and other applications with sensitive information behind SmartLock. Another use case would be for In App Purchases and Play Store Purchases to prevent kids from purchasing things on their parents cards.

Desktop Mode

I would love to be able to use my phone as my primary computing device rather than lugging my oversized laptop around with me in my backpack. I wish I could dock my phone into a special dock and be presented with a desktop view of my phone. This would be similar to the tablet view and allow windowed applications to run.  Motorola’s WebTop and Ubuntu for Android both aspired to this but unfortunately fell short. Speaking of Motorola, I would also like a Laptop Dock as well that connects via MicroUSB.

Notification History

We have all accidentally dismissed a notification on accident and spent several minutes wondering what nugget of information you are missing. I would love to be able to have a notification application that can be launched in order to view and recover the past 30 notifications. This application

 

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