Continuing the theme of our wishlists for 2013 here is my list of things I’d like to see in then next few months.
1. This is easy. Its at the top of the list: battery life. I’m really tired of being given decent handsets that don’t last the length of the daytime, never mind an entire day. It seems that as soon as I start to push a phone, especially the bigger screened ones, then the power gets drained faster than a cold beer after a hot day.
2. A unified UI styleguide. It’s not that I want to have all apps look the same and act the same, because to have an app that works across different platforms it would need to have its own internal consistency, but it would be nice if “back” was the same action, button, swipe or gesture across the OS and the settings button were generally in the same place.
3. Genuine 3rd and 4th place challengers. Apple and Android deserve their place at the top of the pile, but unless there are other entrants to keep them honest, to keep them developing, then a duopoly benefits the companies, not the customers. I’d like to see Sailfish or Tizen, Firefox, Ubuntu, Windows Phone – anybody become credible entrants. Keep the innovation, creativity and new ideas flowing, and stop just stealing your ideas from the other companies.
4. Companies understanding the difference between beta and ready for release. I don’t mind (ok, most of the time, I downright love) beta’s, but I know they’re buggy, they will possibly crash and generally behave unexpectedly a certain amount of the time. That’s ok. Releasing a piece of software that isn’t feature complete is fine as well and I’m used to that too. However there’s just too much software out there that just sort of works things out as it goes along and it hasn’t even got the basics right.
5. HTC, LG and Sony. What happened? OK, at least in LG’s case, they created woefully inadequate handsets and didn’t have any decent outlets when they were beginning to get their game together. We know HTC has the chops to create fantastic handsets, so hopefully they’ll be back stronger than ever this year. As for Sony? Well, they bought out Ericsson, and I’m still waiting for them to effectively add their other big brands to boost their mobile offerings, and I’m not talking the Bravia Reality Engine here.
6. Twitter. The company seems hellbent on alienating their developers and creating some type hegemonic experience that will eventually kill the spirit of the platform. Allow it to be free and open and for devs and users to create their own experiences, their own groups – I understand you need to create revenue, but I’m really worried that it’s going to kill the goose to grab the few eggs out there… Why not create a subscription to deliver ad-free content? You can keep the price incredibly low and still make more money than you’re doing now. There’s no reason you can’t change your model later on as it suits.
7. A Stupidity clause built into patent suits. I don’t care whether you used an official colour of green or ripped off the swipe down/left/right and round the mulberry bush option. A framework to settle these lawsuits without going thermonuclear would be a nice option. I’m not asking for everyone to make friends and hold hands, but please don’t ask me to believe that you need 3 years and the banning of every other phone in creation to work out product A is exactly the same or operating system B is allowed to use a thumb to navigate across a screen.
8. BlackBerry. I just wish BlackBerry really does realise it’s now 2013 and the game has changed. I’m good with the company working to its core strengths, but I just hope it doesn’t have to reach a level of Nokia lows before it turns around.
I guess a better wish would be that the platform is more relevant and up-to-date than ever at the end of 2013 than it is at the beginning. Maybe Santa could help.
9. 4G and unlimited internet. Please don’t make me have to mortgage my house and sell my oldest child into a life of servitude by recycling 2nd hand phones just to have those two options together.
10. Google exerts a little more influence with Android. If they can’t enforce updating the OS a certain number of times in a given period or regulate certain aspects of the skinning, then at least require that useful aspects are added back into the AOSP. I’d love to see an intelligent implementation of smart-dialling. Or any implantation of smart-dialling, really. Their ace in the hole is Motorola. There’s nothing stopping Motorola from offering stock or near stock versions of their handsets to manufacturers outside of the US, and now that their outstanding product cycle is at or near an end there’s a chance we’ll see if there are some synergies to be gained between an advertising and software giant and the once-great mobile powerhouse.
Actually whilst these are on my top 10, I might as well go for world peace and see how that goes too.