Androids Missing Features

Now that Kit Kat has dropped and we have all had a few days to get to know what's new in the world of Android I thought I would share my thoughts on the areas where i think that Android still lags behind iOS and Windows RT in terms of user facing features. I think that Android 4.4 has a lot of features that makes it better than both of them, but i will only be talking about where I think that there is still some catching up to do.

App Data Back Up.

I think that App Data Back Up must be the biggest feature that is missing from android, and I think that it is the most glaring hole in the whole Google/Android ecosystem. We must be getting to the stage that a lot of people are on there 2'nd Android smartphones or thinking about what to get, android is 5 years old and the average contract is 2 years, Google should be trying to make the transition from one phone to the next as seamless as possible. This could promote people to update to the a new phone and lower fragmentation.

I really want to be able to get a new new phone login and have not only my apps download but also all the data and settings from those apps. The phone settings I understand are more complex due to all the skinning, but the app data should be just that, data, and should be able to read no matter the phone. We know that this can be done through apps like Helium or Titanium Backup, Both of witch can be set to auto back up apps and data and uploaded to Drive, then when needed downloaded and its like nothing happened. If google did something like this you would not need to root you phone and everyone would have it. Everyone with an android phone already has at least 15GB Drive space and more probably use very little of it..

I'v heard that the app back up is a lot better on Kitkat than it use to be, (anecdotal info from Android Central podcast) but if its only downloading the apps then thats really only the shell. It's the last major piece of data on our phone that is not automatically backed up to google's servers, the others being, contacts and pictures.

We store so much information on our phones now that I think that this type of backup is necessary, we are always told to back up everything but on an Android phone its very difficult. Google just need to make it as seamless as they have made backing up contacts and photos.


Chromecast has made this almost tangible and you can see to potential to be at least on par with Apple TV. The chromecast is great and I think that it has been an amazing play for the living room by Google. They have made it really simple to see how this little dongle could change things with our phone. Take it to meetings plug it into a tv or projector load up a google doc and send it to the chrome cast and now you can use your phone/tablet as a remote pointer. Or (what i really want) a chromecast button in the Photos app/G+ photos so that I can share my photos with everyone on the TV.

I really want google to release that API and SDK so that the cast button becomes ubiquitous but i understand that there might be complications and they are working things out. But G+ photos casting cant be that hard.

Split Screen for Tablets

I want this to be built into the OS for tablets especially for 10in. This would not be the first feature that Google has built into the tablet version of Android, multiple users. I think of how i use my tablet and how I can almost replace my laptop with it. I would really like to be able to look at a website and type a document side by side, it would also help with phone apps that get blown up to tablet size as they could be put into spit screen mode and would look closer to there intended size. The tablet is sitting landscape but the apps would render as if they where in portrait on a phone. I understand that there are potential UI issues with this that would need to be sorted out but i'm sure that they are not insurmountable. I would really love to see this on a 4:3 or 3:2 screen but thats more personal preference and a OEM's to "fix" rather than google.

What features do you think that Android is missing?