What I Think Should Be Added in Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwhich

As Android devices diversify and we expect more from them and software stack that runs on said devices. Here is a list of things that probably will and things I think should be done. This based upon devices that have become popular and changes overtime that Google has made to Android.

What Probably Will Be Done

Unified User Experience

Making it so that that the user interfaces found on tablet and phone devices  will be mostly consistent rather than having the two different be drastically different but still including modifications for each platform. As you can see with Gingerbread and Honeycomb moving from a Gingerbread based phone to a Honeycomb tablet could be very confusing as shown with the screen-shots. What Google will probably do is make both user interfaces based on Honeycomb.

Improved Performance

Something Google has done very often with Android is make it lighter on system resources and improved under the hood performance with the Dalvik Virtual Machine plus improved execution of native c/c++ code. Also improved power management fits into this category to allow for better battery life.

Virtual Navigation Buttons

Based on where Google is heading with Android they most likely will move away from requiring navigation buttons but make them still an option. There are many Android device with no navigation buttons and have screen scaling issues Google will probably fix the issue with screen scaling and implement a way to auto hide virtual navigation buttons in certain applications such as video and 3d games. Also allowing virtual navigation buttons on devices other than tablets enables a smaller design with more screen real estate.

Unified Release

After 4.0 most releases for both phone and tablet will be the same release, so probably we won’t have something like 2.3 Gingerbread being released after 3.0 Honeycomb.

Things I Would Like To See Added in Android

Native Stylus Support

Both Lenovo and HTC are making devices with N-Trig stylus support. The problem with this is that both companies are adding it on Android which doesn’t have support built in for this so they end up having to make their own API’s and cause application developers to have make their pen specific app more than once. So to avoid this add driver support for N-Trig digitizers and create an API for interacting with pens and for pressure sensitivity.

Native 3D Support

Same idea as the native stylus support remove the need for special manufacturer specific API’s for 3D.

Video Output and Multi-Screen Support

Pretty much any Android device includes some form of video output, so why not leverage it? I would be great to have an API for video output. Say you have a device plugged into a TV on the phone end it shows game controller and on the TV end it shows the actual game that is being played or the same with a video player on the phone it shows video controls on the play, pause, and stop but it only shows the actual video on the TV. Just some ideas for applications. Something related I would like to see added in is support for multiple screen devices like the Kyocera Echo and Sony S2, again the idea is the same avoid need for a manufacturer specific API and allows devs to more easily take advantage of such devices. A interesting application for device like this is having an app display a keyboard on the bottom screen and the text your typing on the top screen.

OK that just some thoughts on what should be added to future Android versions please leave your thoughts and comments below.