Sunday, 1 January 2012

Google's new year's resolutions for 2012

Google Android
If only...

We at Google know that we're far from perfect. But we've seen the error of our ways, so in 2012 we will:

Split the read phone state and identity permissions, and do the same for other permissions that shouldn't be grouped together.

Make sure that contacts synced to Gmail and back reappear on your phone exactly as they were. "Al's Pizza (open 'till midnight)" will no longer return as "till midnight), Al's Pizza (open." We will save and restore all contact pictures, custom ringtone settings, URLs, notes, and each and every custom entry without exception. Not for some contacts, but for all contacts. Because "most" is not enough.

We will update the Google calendar app to allow custom reminder time entry. The current set of predefined times doesn't cut it, because sometimes you really need to sound that alarm exactly 1 hour and 45 minutes before the meeting. Or 55 minutes or 7 hours or whatever fits your schedule. We'll also integrate the calendar and tasks apps into one app that shows your tasks and reminders and calendar entries together in one unified widget. Ever seen the old calendar of Symbian?

We'll change the Android Market rules. App publishers must disclose the source of their advertisements in the market description, or else their accounts will be killed. Anyone who puts malware like Airpush in their apps will be shot at dawn and fed to the crocodiles.

Of course we'll allow apps that root your phone in the Market. And porn too. Really, the Android Market has plenty of offensive gun apps so it makes no sense that nudity and rooting are verboten. We'll let Apple and Microsoft be anal retentive, but we at Google will let you decide what's good for you.

We'll code two way call recording into Android. No more need to record the other end from the loudspeaker or mess with custom ROMs just to record a call. If your local laws require beeps or other warnings before and during recordings we'll let you activate them in the options menu.

Google Maps for Android will have true and full offline navigation, and we'll let you preload vector maps for entire states and countries instead of the current pathetic 15x15 mile 80 MB snippets. If Navigon can fit the entire planet on an SD card then so can we. We'll have a good look at Nokia Maps and learn from it. We're ashamed that we haven't done so yet.

There will be an LBE Privacy Guard-like permissions manager in Android, including an avast-like firewall. We might even buy PDroid and make it a native part of Android so there'll be no more need for alternative ROMs and deodexing to close the many many many security holes and privacy leaks in your phone.

The Android Market will get a new "rollback" button to get rid of app updates that break things instead of fixing them. And we'll let you open links in tabs in the Market app, just like any web browser can do. This will make it way easier to compare competing apps side by side.

Did we say we wanted to make phone manufacturers deliver Android updates for 18 months after launching their phones? Oops! That was a stupid mistake! A year and a half post launch is nowhere near enough. High-end phones are usually sold with two-year contracts and two-year warranties, so we'll enforce a two-year update policy. The timer starts running when the phone is taken off the market so everyone gets the benefit of two years, not just those that bought their device on launch day. Of course this is just a temporary measure until we cut out the middle man. We will force cell phone builders and carriers to provide their customisations and bloatware as an optional package on top of Android instead of shoving it inside the system. Carriers and manufacturers may add to Android, but they may no longer replace anything. This way you can always update your copy of Android straight from Google.

If we break our new year's resolutions you may smash our windows and throw apples at us.

Happy 2012!

Google, wake up! And now that you've pwn3d Motorola you have no excuse for not building a phone that will last until 2013 on a single battery charge.

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  1. A bunch of great suggestions! May they all come true.

  2. WANT.

    Seriously. Why don't they do this? They're so busy trying to make it pretty and stuff, but they don't do this stuff. It's mind boggling. Some of this just flat obviously the right thing to do, the rest should be.