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5 Android annoyances that Google really needs to fix

Not everything is perfect in the Android ecosystem: new releases of the operating system often comes with various bugs across different devices, fragmentation is an ongoing issue between versions, and more.  So amongst all the greatness of Android, here are the things that both annoy us and that we believe could be improved. Google, if you’re listening, pay attention.

5 android nexus daumen runter teaser
© AndroidPIT

A real backup service

Android Backup can be a little shady at times: the built-in Android Backup provided does offer you the option to safeguard app data, Wi-Fi passwords, and other settings to the Google Servers, but depending on the amount of data you’re trying to save, this can take hours. As well, relying on Google’s servers to never fail and lose your saved data.

Unfortunately, there doesn’t exist any perfect method for backing up your data yet natively on Android. There are other options, such as using third party applications, to do the dirty work for you but what we really want is to be able to easily backup and restore all our data and settings natively from within Android.

teaser google services
© Android Police; AndroidPIT

War on microSD cards

Google seems to want to phase out microSD cards from its fleet of devices: the Nexus line of devices have completely forgone this popular option for expanding memory in favor of just a fixed hard drive. As well, the upgrade to Android 4.4 KitKat “broke” the access that many apps had to microSD cards making it harder to make them handy.

Sure, there are some security issues that go hand in hand with using microSD cards as expandable storage on your Android device, but is that reason enough to completely remove the option from the Nexus line? In the day and age of mobile computing,  it’s getting more and more frequent where 32 gigabytes worth of space just isn’t enough.

microsd galaxy s4 closeup
© AndroidPIT

Android and its “Googlization”

Try to use your Android device without using a Google account: it is certainly doable, but all the main features that make Android unique are lost. No Google Play Store. No Google Now. No updating of applications. And so, without an account and you’re just sitting on a shell of what Android could be or are resorting to hokey work-around methods to use these services without an account. The Googlization of Android is well underway.

The arrival of Android KitKat didn’t make anything easier: Google is everywhere, in your text messages, your pictures, your e-mails, even your backups. Google is becoming more and more intricate into the workings of Android and they’re becoming synonymous with each other. Sure, you can go about creating a fake Google account if you’re really not willing to partake into the great Google takeover, but that seems like a big step to take to avoid this issue.

Google app icons
 Google is everywhere! / © Google

Updates, why are you so inconsistent?

Between having “older” model devices no longer eligible for updates based on manufacturers whims or to having to wait weeks or months before an update are rolled out to your device. What more, there’s also a high probability that this update could kill your battery life, make your Wi-Fi connection stutter, or even open up new security holes as it closes others. We just need to take a look at the fiasco of the Android 4.3 update for the Samsung Galaxy S3 to get a better picture.

The simple fact that many users are holding off updating their devices until they hear how well the update functions from others is a good testament to a lack of confidence in the update system. You should expect that if an update rolls out to your device, that it has had enough quality control to ensure that there aren’t any issues that will affect you.

Stock Android is outpaced by custom ROMs

Android L, the next major update to Android, is scheduled to start rolling out in the fall. While it doesn’t really redefine anything, it has borrowed heavily from features that have been present in custom ROMs for some time now. Floating notifications, multitasking, and UI redesigns are all based in existing ROMs, including the most popular, CyanogenMod.

While it’s nice to see that Android L is now catching up to features that some have enjoyed for some time, shouldn’t Google be doing more to innovate and pave a new path for itself rather than follow the trail that other developers have already left?

AndroidPIT Nexus5 CyanogenMod Boot
© AndroidPIT

Fortunately for Google, nobody is perfect and Android is no exception. While it may have taking a little bit of a criticism hit by us in this article, it still has our hearts captured: from our favorite useful features on the Android system to those features that we think might be a little useless, yet are still uniquely Android in nature.

Is there anything we missed? What are some of your frustrations with Android?


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  • 7
    Yanwyn Aug 29, 2014 Link to comment

    It would be nice if you could enjoy being a proud Android 'phone owner, without having to be chained to Google to do so. It should be enough that you have chosen to go the Android way, rather than spend your money or time on Apple, without having to be forced, bullied or conscripted into Google+, just so you can put a review on your apps. For that matter, why do you have to open a Gmail account just so you can keep your 'phones apps up to date?! I would like to see more Android, less Google mostly because of the way they treat people. I like to see changes for the better with these sorts of things. As part of that, I would also like to see an end to this bizarre, offensive and intrusive obsession with invading people's privacy, getting into our private contacts, photos or files. Not all apps need to to function. Nor do the manufacturers to fulfil their after service care, I was told this was to do with Google. These issues need to change for the better if Android is to blossom.

  • -Let us customise the cluttered share menu on a per app basis;
    -Allow OEMs to update low level system apps through the Google Play Store and have Android updates for all devices pushed out by Google;
    -Let us customise the quick settings;
    -Add a modified version of the new CM theme engine to stock Android, even if it can only be used by OEMs and developers;
    -Keep a smooth experience with reasonable battery life on older/lower end devices;
    -When a setting needs to be enabled/changed for a certain app to work, let the app change that setting for us rather than kicking us out of the app to change it ourselves;
    -Allow developers to sort out a better implementation of custom lockscreens;
    -Give developers an API to add a Google Now page to their apps, similar to the Google Now Launcher;
    -Add an "immersive mode" option to the power menu, allowing users to hide the navigation buttons in a full screen app that doesn't hide them automatically;
    -Redesign the built in media player used for generic media files, because it still looks like it came out of Android 2.3;
    -Let us choose between Dalvik and ART on a per app basis;
    -Add swipe gestures to unlock the phone, launch the phone app or open the camera without using the power button;
    -Give users a quicker way to jump between two apps;
    -Sort out a better implementation of home screen shortcuts to web apps;
    -Fix poorly designed and coded Google apps;

    I don't know how many improvements I've listed, but I'm sure I could think of a lot more if I could be bothered.

  • steve Jul 31, 2014 Link to comment

    faster updates to US carriers

  • steve Jul 31, 2014 Link to comment

    faster updates to US carriers

  • Although I am very happy with CM11 4.4.4 Custom ROM on my Galaxy S3, I am rather miffed that now the SD card access has been done away with.. 'cos now the phone has 11GB free, and I can't use the 32GB card that I purchased for it.. I am a willing listener if anyone has any ideas..!!

    • eRPeeX Jul 30, 2014 Link to comment

      Download NextApp SDfix in the play store. It helps to fix your SD problem.

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