The year ends. A 2018 in which we saw great improvements in Android thanks to the arrival of the Foot 9.0, an update of our operating system that provides an extra maturity and introduces a turn to Material Design. Our operating system improves, and we can say without fear of making mistakes that Pie is the best version that was created for Android. In addition, there are still some but and some shortcomings derived from how technology evolved in 2018.
So we collected the key points that Android needs to improve as an operating system. Measures based on our user experience with the different terminals we could test, as well as those that have been requested by users for some time.
What Android needs, in our opinion
Native facial recognition system integrated with applications
Android currently has Smart Lock. A hidden system in the settings – in some smartphones can not even be activated -, which activates facial recognition through the application of the camera. We do not have an API so developers can use a native facial unlock system, as in Apple's case with his face identification. The latest patents seem to show that Google is already working on this, and that is to access the bank's applications, make payments or log Google applications with our face is something basic that today we can only do with the footprint reader
Manufacturers like Oppo or Huawei have created their own facial recognition systems. Very useful in the level of unlocking the screen, but restricted to this simple use. On Android, facial recognition is not integrated with the operating systemand this may begin to change within a short time.
Better work for Google Play Protect
According to Google, PHA data – potentially dangerous applications – indicate major security improvements, with minimum percentages – less than 1 percent – in all versions of our operating system. However, it remains understood that Google Play Protect does not prevent applications from banks or nationally known groups, such as Chetaah Mobile, from sending applications that compromise user safety. The percentage is low, but per normal overall, When a bug is discovered in the Play Store, it's too late.and thousands or millions of users have already downloaded the malicious application.
Android is secure, but we need it to be even more so. The Play Protect filter is great, but in cases where malicious apps ignore it, you can not understand how applications, for example copy the logo of the application they are emulatingcan pass. Something that would be solved with fairly simple algorithms.
The time has come to put deadlines with updates
Project Treble worksand we've been seeing this for a few months. Subscriptions such as Xiaomi, Huawei or OnePlus have accelerated the upgrade process for new versions of Android, and the most popular high-end is already upgraded to Android Pie 9.0. In addition, other companies continue to take months and months to update, even in terminals with retail prices above 1,000 euros. Maybe it's time for Google to start timing with Android One and the latest handsets. There are low and mid range terminals that can never update, something that we normalized completely in Android.
The high-end should continue to keep pace, and Treble should help mid-term upgrade in prudent times. An intermediate terminal should not take a year to update, although the company must first allocate its resources to the higher range. Fragmentation on Android is still notable, with less than 0.1% of users using Android 9.0 according to the latest Google data. The number of devices with Android prevents heterogeneity in terms of versions, but 0.1% seems scarce.
More control over customization layers
Android is free but you need to cater to a bare minimum. There are currently several layers of notification system customization, one of the key benefits of our operating system. Customization is one of the key features of Android and we appreciate different OEMs trying to add value to it. In addition, there are basic aspects of the system that should not be touched, such as the above-mentioned notification system -lockscreen and status bar-.
On the other hand, manufacturers still include a lot of bloatware in the layers. As we showed in the review of the Samsung Galaxy A9, the terminal has up to 26 applications of its own. Some useful and complementary to the proposals offered by the AOSP code, but others totally unnecessary.
- Facebook Application Installer
- Facebook Application Manager
- Galaxy Apps
- Galaxy Essentials
- Game Tools
- VR gear service
- Health Service
- My Emojis Creator
- Double Messages
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft OneDrive
- Microsoft PowerPoint
- Microsoft Word
- Samsung Health
- Samsung Cloud
- Members of Samsung
- Samsung Themes
- Samsung Keyboard
- Bixby Home
- Bixby Vision
- Bixby Voice
- Smart things
- Wearable Manager installer
A unified and useful gesture control system
Does not make much sense of all systems by gestures that are on Android, Google is the slowest. The makers have adapted the gestures popularized by the iPhone X, creating their own systems that, although they do not reach the levels of excellence seen in Apple, have a performance that stands out. Android Pie's native gesture system gets a little slowand leave the doubts of What it means to have a navigation bar next to a control with gestures, when the latter is designed to eliminate the keyboards and leave more free space on the screen.
Android needs to improve its native control of gestures and unify it. Having to adapt to the gestures of each manufacturer does not make much senseIf they all used the same keyboard a few years ago, it would make sense for everyone to use the same gestures. Google's alternative is not convincing, and until that happens, manufacturers will continue to tweak their own systems.
The fuchsia views
Little more we can ask Android, knowing that the work in our operating system passes through the Fuchsia, the new platform that will give life to smartphones in a few years. This will be the biggest change ever seen in the operating system, giving place to a platform that will unite gadgets mobile and desktop.
The future of Android is called fuchsia and is closer to reaching than ever before. Both platforms already share the SDK, and companies like Huawei are working on their base.
AOSP already includes the Fuchsia SDK, and the move to this new operating system is closer than ever. However, with the information we know today, it is almost certain that in 2019 we will see the tenth version of Android, which will be released in its first preview on Google Pixel.
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