Things Android has that iOS Needs

After spending a good amount of time with the Samsung Galaxy Tab there are a few things that Android has that I wish iOS devices had. Right now I think the best mobile platform you can get is iOS, whether it be a Touch, iPad, iPhone you really can’t go wrong. I do however see some obvious things from Android that would elevate iOS to the next level.

Mobile Hotspot

It irks me to no end that you can’t use an iOS device as a Wi-Fi hotspot to share the web connection. Yes you can tether the iPhone via USB, but who carries an iPod cable with them? I was able to turn the tab into a sweet little hotspot that acted much like the MiFi, without having to carry the MiFi.

I don’t even care if AT&T charges me $20 a month to use this, I really don’t – just let me do it already.

A mobile hotspot is not something that many non-technical people are probably clamoring for, but I would be willing to bet that just about everyone would use it at some point. As a society we have simply become to dependent on Internet access to function at a high level, if we have Internet on our phone would it not make sense to share that with our other devices?

Home Screen Customizations

I am not talking about organizing icons, or changing the background. I want some sort of widgets that I can put on the home screen, it’s not for everyone, but it would be a great option to have my home screen be able to show:

  • Search bar
  • Weather icon with real time weather info
  • Apps

Others might like it to show more, but I just want to be able to search right away, that extra swipe is annoying. The grid layout of App icons is nice, but real time info without having to open an app is so essential that I am constantly irritated by the lack of it on the iOS home screens.

Keyboard Apps

I don’t want Swype on iOS, I think it is silly – I do want developers to be able to hack the keyboard so that you can set custom layouts across the OS. That would be sweet. If I could get the keyboard that is used in Writer in Mail I would be one happy camper.

There are so many people out there that have mocked up variants of iOS keyboards, especially for the iPad and I would love to be able to try some of them out. Having to go to the ‘third’ layer of keyboards just to get to the “>” keys is very annoying.

I highly doubt Apple will ever allow this though, so I am going to stop before I get too excited about the possibilities.

Notifications

Oh man are notifications bad in iOS. What is really bad though are the meaningless icon badges that apps use. Gee thanks Twitter, but does that mean I have 2 new mentions, tweets, or DMs to read – oh and on which account? For the record Androids implementation sucks too. I have not tried WebOS’s but I hear it is nice, though it may be dead. 1

I say do away with all icon badges, and work on a system wide notification system that is informational to use, otherwise whats the point of notifying me? The push notification system sucks to, no way of dismissing the message when the screen is locked without getting sent straight to the App. Also have you ever had more than one of these pop-up because that is just the most helpful thing ever, isn’t it?

Multi-Tasking

Ok iOS does a better job managing RAM than Android, but Android does a better job letting apps do stuff in the background. I want the best of both worlds, and I need it today.

I love OmniFocus because it has OTA sync, what I don’t love is that if I don’t open OmniFocus on my iPad or iPhone after I ‘finish’ tasks a reminder will still pop up. I would love for it to be able to sync in the background at regular intervals (perhaps in the future push syncing). In fact I would love that for Instapaper and plenty of other apps too.

I think many people would like that.

Android and iOS

Android is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, iOS is better but still not perfect. We can only hope that Apple is working on bringing over the strengths in Android/WebOS/Windows Phone 7 to make iOS that much better.

  1. Prove me wrong HP.
Originally posted for members on: December 6, 2010
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