Clicky

Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie: 5 Little Things Google Needs to Fix

By  |  21 Comments

Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie should arrive at Google I/O next month with a collection of new features for Android smartphones. In addition to big changes and features that make users say, “wow!”, Google need to take the time to fix small things in Android.

The Android experience is vastly better than when the Motorola Droid ushered the iOS competitor from T-Mobile obscurity, but there are still small holes in the user experience. Many users live with these small frustrations, but users switching from iPhone can be quickly turned off by small problems that combine to frustrate Android users.

As Samsung and HTC battle to deliver better experiences with Samsung TouchWiz and HTC Sense 5, even switching from one Android phone to the other can result in vastly different experiences.

Google needs to fix many small things with the upcoming Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie update.

Google needs to fix many small things with the upcoming Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie update.

All of these skins will eventually apply to Android 5.0 as companies look to incorporate new features into the Android operating system, which means if Google is able to fix these small problems in a Key Lime Pie update, current smartphones will likely benefit. Several other changes may require a tighter control over manufactures, but the move would benefit users.

Standard Headphone Controls for Android

WIth the iPhone, users can plug-in almost any pair of headphones with a built-in volume control and gain full control over an iPhone in a pocket.

Plugging in the same pair of headphones to Android devices delivers mixed results. At least once the headphones controlled the volume of the device, but on a second try it did not. On each additional Android device we tried the volume control does not work.

Android phones need to work with headphone buttons.

Android phones need to work with headphone buttons.

The push button center also offers varying controls. On the Galaxy S3 and the Nexus 4 a double tap skips to the next track. On the HTC One it dials the last call made. A single tap will pause the track on any Android device we tried and a long press launches Google Now.

For a fully functioning headset, users are left to find a specific pair or to modify existing headphones with resistors. There are apps like JAYS Headset control which offer additional customization, but Google needs to deliver OS level support for headphone controls and provide direction to manufactures with Android 5.0.

Fix the Soft Menu Button

Google cut the need for a menu button with HoneyComb and brought that to phones with Android 4.0. This leaves manufacturers open to cutting a menu button from the phone. With the Nexus 4 this works out fine. The on-screen buttons simply add in a menu button to the right of the other buttons when an app requires it.

Google needs a better option than this in Android 5.0.

Google needs a better option than this in Android 5.0.

On other devices like the HTC One, which uses capacitive keys, the menu button arrives on-screen, and takes over the entire bottom of a screen. In the Kindle app this means it’s easy to hit the menu button and it takes away from reading.

If Google can’t force manufacturers to deliver on-screen buttons, they should at the very least come up with a better option for displaying an on-screen menu button in apps when Android 5.0 arrives. There’s no reason a tap on the screen couldn’t reveal menu options in the Kindle app. Other action based apps may prove more troublesome, but there must be a better solution.

Support for App Enabled Accessories

The best Android smartphones no longer suffer from a lack of accessories, but compared to the iPhone we see fewer app enabled accessories for Android. When we do see an accessory like the Fitbit or the Automatic Link, the announcement is undoubtedly restricted to a handful of phones.

Nike Fuelband Android app not coming.

The Nike Fuelband Android app is not coming.

Manufacturers are often quiet about the specific reasons the app enabled accessories don’t work with every Android device, so it’s tough to say exactly what Google needs to fix here. If Google needs to add to the base of Android to make this happen, get that into Android 5.0. If Manufacturers need to standardize a feature, the new head of Android should step up at Google I/O and tell them what needs to happen.

Until this takes place, the Nike Fuelband Android connectivity is off the table and other app enabled accessories will only work with a few Android smartphones.

Turn On When Plugged In

When an Android smartphone is out of power, plugging it in will not turn the device on. This is an annoying decision that is compounded by the sluggish start-up on some devices. After plugging a device in, sometimes a single press of the power button will show charging status, and other times it takes a full push or enough of a press to turn the device on.

Android 5.0 should make phones power on when connected to power.

Android 5.0 should make phones power on when connected to power.

A simpler solution would be to turn the device on when it is plugged in. Most users want to use their Android smartphone quickly when reconnected to power, especially if it died in the middle of the day, so why make them fiddle with more buttons.

In the spirit of open-ness, Google could add a toggle in the battery settings to make this something users could choose from in case there are users who would rather charge with the device off.

Standardize Sharing Options

In the latest version of Android users are treated to a plethora of sharing options, even when inside Google products. Unlike iPhone there is no standardized share screen with options. In some cases Android users need to scroll to see more apps,in others a tap is required and the most recent app is at the top. Sometimes users get lists and sometimes they end up with icons.

Three sharing options in Android.

Three sharing options in Android.

Above is an example of three sharing menus in Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. All of these are within Google’s environment; Gallery, Chrome and Youtube.

Google is expected to announce Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie at Google I/O in May. Gotta Be Mobile will be at the event to share the new features and follow up with coverage on which Android phones will get Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie.

Josh Smith is Editor of GottaBeMobile and Notebooks.com. He's always looking for ways to help you get the most of your gear and loves to talk about tech on radio and TV. Josh uses an iOS and Android devices as well as Mac and Windows Computers. Josh Smith on Google+ Email: [email protected]

21 Comments

  1. Meleagru

    04/19/2013 at 2:10 pm

    If this is all you expect out of Android, I’m willing to bet you’re an iPhone user.

    • Steven

      04/19/2013 at 4:04 pm

      Seconded. There are so many Android specific features (home screen customization, notifications, inter-app play, etc) to, write about. I think most users couldn’t care less if the share screen were uniform lists or icons.

      • Caleb Fultz (@cfultz)

        04/21/2013 at 11:05 am

        I usually don’t get upset when reading someone else’s writing, but as stated above, if this is the only thing you can find to complain about, you are not a true Android user. Sure I can see your points, but they are the LAST things anyone needs to worry about for Key Lime. Re-release this article with some more in depth issues, not the fact we only have 2 buttons and the share intent is different across apps.

    • Matt

      04/20/2013 at 1:43 pm

      “In addition to big changes and features that make users say, “wow!”, Google need to take the time to fix small things in Android.” – These are just little things that he thinks should be fixed in addition to the major changes. Did you even bother to read the damn article?

      • Peter Trimboli

        04/20/2013 at 2:33 pm

        The headphone problem can’t be helped apple patented the design if he took the time to look into that then it wouldn’t be in this article I took the time to read it and wish i didn’t nothing was good at all the things he pointed out didn’t matter eg the charging who cares if it takes longer to charge you can unlock your bootloader and flash a custom rom that doesn’t have that its very simple opossums are for simple users if you don’t know how to do anything get that this article was pointless look at the comments hell read the article no solid anything -.-

        • Matt

          04/20/2013 at 2:39 pm

          I honestly don’t care about what is in the article. I was pointing out the fact that Meleagru said these 5 things are the only aspects that the author thinks should be changed in Key Lime which is blatantly FALSE.

  2. dinodxynez

    04/19/2013 at 5:47 pm

    There are so many details wrong with this article! It’ll be tiring for me to highlight them all. I knoyourself are not familiar with.w for a fact this dude is far from well-versed in all things Android.

    His little bio about owning a Galaxy Nexus is probably bogus to the extent that it had been purchased solely to say ‘I own an Android’. This story is a waste and an embarrassment to wannabe tech bloggers and journalists.

    Properly aquiant yourself first before writing distorted and innacurate details.

    • dinodxynez

      04/19/2013 at 5:49 pm

      Apologies for the misspelled words I was aggravated while typing the post.

      • wolf

        04/20/2013 at 7:09 pm

        Can you enlighten us with one or two incorrect details you’ve mentioned? Specifics or they don’t exist.

  3. macc

    04/19/2013 at 7:25 pm

    liked all, but turn on when plug in. They have a button to turn them on, if you calibrating the battery, that feature will be a total fail, cuz you dont need the device to turn on when you plug it in to calibrate the battery.

  4. Eric Ma

    04/19/2013 at 9:15 pm

    This article is so wrong. A menu button is absolutely better than a sudden popupwhen you touch the scren. So does back button where you know exactly where to push vs search the screen for different app.

  5. Eric Ma

    04/19/2013 at 9:27 pm

    Auto turn on a device is the worst design. Old Motorola droid and Dell windows vista bothered me a lot. I usually charge at night and its troublesome to wait for it to start up then turn it off. We are human. We control computer. Software industry pay too much attention to minority requirement that turn out to annoy majority users.

  6. Eric Ma

    04/19/2013 at 9:34 pm

    Worst, after you finally turn it off, what if you need to switch to another socket? What if there’s a power failure at night, you definitely don’t want your phone to wake you up. Again, human control device, ok.

  7. mateor

    04/19/2013 at 9:36 pm

    I thought this was a well thought out list of issues. I nodded my head with most of them, and I bet they are all somewhere on the Android to-do list.

    Well, except for standardized charging state, I don’t really care about that. I have had several times where that feature of my Paranoid Android Nook Color (which is always on when cable is attached) actually was a hindrance. And I am in agreement with the general movement to take away from the settings creep, rather than add to it. The standard user does NOT need to be bothered with a setting for charge state,

    But a well thought out list, from someone who has obviously spent the time on the platform.

  8. Jonathan

    04/19/2013 at 11:55 pm

    All of these issues have nothing to do with Google and Android itself. These are all ‘issues’ with the manufacturers. Except for the sharing thing. Though, having a bajillion different sharing options is the fault of the users, and again isn’t a Google/Android problem. This whole article appears flawed.

  9. Peter Trimboli

    04/20/2013 at 10:00 am

    First of all apple patented there headphones so android cannot use the same wiring its not Google’s fault you can buy headphones like some beats headphones but it was patented and some converting adapters are avaliable for apple headphones – android and as for capacitive keys there are pie controls avaliable Google it if you don’t know what it is every other problem didn’t make sense iPhone is too simple you can’t customize or do anything good unless you jail break it the end

  10. Rafael Boy (@rafabr4)

    04/20/2013 at 10:33 am

    I agree with the toggle setting for turning on the device when connected to power. A lot of users like me, actually enjoy charging our phones while powered off, like when we are sleeping for example.

  11. Josh

    04/20/2013 at 9:37 pm

    I wouldn’t mind turning my phone off during the night to charge. My problem is that I have to be up at 3am and I think they should make it to where the phone turns on around the alarm time like the blackberry did.

  12. matt

    05/07/2013 at 5:22 am

    Personnaly liking, loving my capacitive menu button. It is kind of confusing that manufacturers will not adapt to a standard. Frustrating, even.
    back, home, menu. With longpresses. Thank you!

  13. Justin Kelvianto

    06/25/2013 at 6:17 am

    yeah.. if like that, it will look like Windows Phone..

  14. Apple

    06/28/2013 at 7:09 pm

    Android Is Way Behind, Apple Has Year’s Ahead Od Android. Even Their Software
    Names Is Stupid lol Ice-cream, Key Lime Pie, Etc, lmfao

Leave a Reply