December 31, 2010 | by Chris Smith
Android had a heck of a 2010, but that doesn’t mean 2011 can’t – or won’t – be even better. As the Androinica.com staff took stock of the year, we couldn’t help but also wonder what we hope to be looking back this time in 2011.
Below are the dreams of what we anticipate for Android in 2011. These are not predictions, but a wishlist that we hope companies resolve to make a reality. Feel free to leave a comment about what you hope to see next year.
I’m looking for Android to come out with a real iPad competitor in 2011. As an iPad owner (long story) I love the strengths of a tablet, but the iPad should not have dominated the market this easily. Put simply, it has a lot of flaws, and it is unbelievable to me that no one has come out with something better. Maybe that Honeycomb tablet we’ve seen glimpses of will do what everything the iPad does and more, plus be cheaper.
The world wants tablets, but I’ve cooled on that. I already have several mobile devices and want to see improvements to the stuff that I already have. My biggest concern is the advancement of Google TV, which has suffered big setbacks since its debut. I hope that we see some advancements for the Android Market and support for Cord Cutting. I’ve watched Netflix so often that if I could get HD streaming from Hulu Plus on Google TV, I’d tell my cable provider to come get its stuff and never return.
And while we’re on the subject of improvements, I want to make a plea to Google: please bring all that great stuff you promised us at Google I/O 2010. Browsing and installing apps on the web has become crucial for me, and I’m disappointed the Market no longer makes that possible since AppBrain is blocked. I’m still waiting on that music streaming, purchasing, and managing service too. Please don’t make me wait until I/O 2011.
I don’t just want a true iPad competitor, I want an all-in-one solution. I want a full-fledged Android tablet, designed from the ground up with Honeycomb, that can take over the duties of my phone. I don’t care if this is done through VoIP or a shared voice/data plan. I want convergence and synergy. In short: I want the official, unlocked, Google Nexus Tab.
First, I would like to see what most Android geeks would, an awesome tablet that rivals the iPad and then takes it a step further. In my opinion, there is still room for a device that actually is more than a “consumption” based device; a device that allows you to create as well as consume. I have an iPad that almost hits the mark, but I/O is still a pain in the neck. Android, with it’s sync qualities and decent speech to text, may be able to make this a reality.
I also hope to see a fresh revamp in Android’s UI as I still don’t think that Gingerbread is enough. I’m talking a complete 180° from where Android is now. Something new, fresh, and intuitive to use. We are still living in the UI that is “desktopish” that hasn’t seen a huge revamp in almost 20 years. Hopefully the smart engineers at Google can take UI to the next level.
The past year and a half, Android has enjoyed a faster hardware evolution than any other mobile OS, and I hope that Google’s platform will continue to push the boundaries of wireless technology in 2011. I’d personally like to see a Tegra 2 powered Honeycomb device with a 5”-7″ screen and a great hardware QWERTY, ideally at CES or MWC.
I hope that even more developers will realize the potential of our platform of choice, so there will be iOS ports of popular Android titles and not the other way around. I hope that the trend with ambitious 3D games will persist, and that we’ll see lots of first-person-shooters based on the Unreal Engine 3. I would also very much like an Android version of id Software’s RAGE to materialize. Gameloft games in the Android Market would be nice, too.
As for the folks at Google, I don’t think they’ll ever add the kind of circumstantial functionality to Android that you get with LauncherPro or certain custom ROMs. Neither should they, perhaps, since it’s natural that they focus on the major, underlying additions. I really enjoy Gingerbread and I hope and believe that Honeycomb will be an even bigger step forward. Finally, I wish that all phone manufacturers will get better at keeping its Androids’ firmware up to date.