FixIt!: Android Devices

we_need_to_talkYes, we are all very excited with the newly announced Android devices, but let’s step back for just a minute and take a look at what is obviously missing from most of the current and upcoming devices.

Here is a short list of items for manufacturers to think about:

  • Memory: We don’t want those small 2GB MicroSD cards. Forget about those – Stick in 8GB, 16GB, 32GB cards or “go crazy” with a full 32GB of onboard storage.  Keep the MicroSD port just in case.   There is never too much memory and it’s becoming a key selling point.  Devices with more memory for the win.
  • Unlocked devices: As manufacturer, you need to make deals with carriers to sell as many devices as possible.  That’s understandable, but think about all the early adopters willing to pay full price for your latest devices who might already be in contract with another carrier.  Cater to these early adopters and they’ll help your sales and do a little preaching for you.
  • Be innovative: You have to agree that, so far, there are only small differences between Android devices. There are no devices with rare or unique features that aren’t seen on other phones. For example, why not venture out and put a solar panel on the back of the device or why not release a rugged, waterproofed Android.

We already have, or will soon have, devices to please everyone.  However, things can always be better and we need to talk about it for the manufacturers to notice and hear us. So if you think of something else you would want to see on upcoming devices, please leave a comment.

  • Agreed with your point about more built in memory, especially with Android's absolutely moronic restriction of app installations to the on board memory only (really Google, you expected to take on the iPhone with 256 mb of ROM in the G1?)

    Along with that, major increases in CPU and RAM that seems to finally be happening. I can't believe we have companies like HTC and Motorola releasing the MyTouch and CLIQ with the horribly outdated ARM 11 528 MHz processors when we already had phones like the iPhone and Palm Pre with far superior ARM 8 600 MHz processors. What is wrong with these companies?

    And the funny thing is that Android is a more intensive OS than mobile Mac OS X, with its support for multitasking, its Android phones that would need better hardware, yet its been the one with the worst.

    Lastly I would say bigger screens. With web browsing being so important now, I say the bigger the screen the better.

    That's why i'm so excited about the Droid. It takes care of two of my three points with the better CPU/RAM along with an awesome 3.7" 480×800 resolution screen.

  • Jerry

    Someone need to say FUCK IT .. and do a High End Android phone .. and not care about popularity … charge a premium.. .and make it a high margin item instead of a high volume item…

  • Nedjo

    what's wrong with you Android Guys? being critical is one (good) thing, but being ignorant completely another!

    Why don't you do some research prior to slamming every possible thing that comes to your mind?

    Even mighty APPLE started with ARM11 based iPhone! Even 3G was ARM 11 based! Only 3GS is Cortex-A8

    You can't go on the market with a unproven platform that cost ARM (pun intended) & LEG and expect it to succeed and survive!

    Cortex-A8 is enormously more complex, big and expensive! So going with the Cortex-A8 at the begging of the platform would be suicide!

    So, reality is that after ONLY a YEAR of the introduction, Android market will have devices with Cortex-A8, and Snapdrgon!

    So is there REAL reason for yours ranting??

    Also about the memory! What's wrong in having basically free of charge small micro Flash, and in case you need more storage go out and buy the size that you need, and speed that you need!

    I don't want phone manufacturer to decide how much do I need memory storage! Luckily I'm quite happy with SanDisk 2 GB microflash that came with my Magic!

    When it comes to phone working memory the more you have it's better! I'd say that 256MB is bare minimum! Again good thing is that unbranded HTC Magic has 288 MB, instead of 192 for Vodafone, T-Mobile and others…


    Many European carriers sell unlocked devices – my included! So when you speak about Android try to do so from much wider POV! hell even yours (US) company – DELL first starred with Android on Chinese market! So, tell me: do you think it would be possible to sell expensive Cortex-A8 based Androids on that (mass)market??

    • where are you seeing "cheap" Android phones? You say ARM8 is expensive, yet Apple and Palm are selling their phones for the same price as the underpowered ARM11 powered Android phones. The 3GS is $200… the MyTouch3G is $200. The Palm Pre I think is $150, the Hero is $180. It might be more expensive, but lets not use that as the reason for not using ARM8, since these companies are not really to be outprice the competition.

      • Nedjo

        First of all it's not ARM8, it's ARM Cortex-A8. Second, it's ceap to manufacture so that the most important incentive for HTC, Samsung, Motorola, LG, Sony Ericsson… to make Android devices in the fist place… also it's cheap for network operators to include them as contract incentive for customers so they're willing to work with Google and Android phone manufacturers…

        Here in my country you can get "full" HTC Magic (not the one "with Google") for 50 CENTS on two year contract that include 1800 free minutes, 1800 free SMS, and 1800 MB free Net traffic (3G, EDGE, GPRS) for as low as $50 per month!

  • AndrewJB

    I was thinking maybe just add spell check. It is the year 2009 and most devices have it.

  • peter

    in my experience w/ java, more memory does not make the garbage collector any faster. in fact i've run into cases on server side programming where giving the web server more memory just delays the full garbage collection and makes it even longer when it finally happens.

    of course there are many different garbage collection algs and i don't know what android is using, i'm sure they have something optimized.

    i'm just pointing out that i don't think more ram=better gc necessarily. but of course more ram would be a good thing 🙂

  • rajab

    anthor thing nobody mention is how to fix a dead device if it is not/out of warranty ,is there any software or something similar ,

  • Lars

    I would like to see an Android device that's not a phone. Really, I don't need a cell phone, or I use a cheap pre-paid one. But I'd like to have a wi-fi enabled internet device with an accelerometer for interesting game development. And I'd like it to be programmer-friendly, unlike iPod/iPhone that lock you in and treat you like developing for their machine is a rare privilege. In that sense Android is very attractive. But a 2-year contract @ $50/mo is $1200! Vs. $300 for an iPod Touch with 32GB and the above features.
    In other words, I'd like an iPod Touch that's got an open OS.