Welcome to the next edition of the Coolsmartphone writers’ wish list for 2014, in which we hope to entertain, spark discussion, and secretly hope that the design gurus for all major manufacturers are hanging on our every word.
I have a bone to pick with James’ comment that all the rest of us will want to talk about is Android; I’m comfortable of my lifestyle choice, and happy to be a proud bi-OSual (sorry!). As such, I’ll split this post into two.
How many times have you heard someone say that the reason they can’t use Windows Phone is because of the lack of decent, and official, apps? It’s a perennial topic on many a podcast, and not just ours, so I won’t go into it any more except to plead to said gurus: MORE APPS!
James went into this in quite some detail, so I’ll only add my pennyworth.
Nokia do a great job of pushing the trademark bright colours of Windows Phone, but for those with a more conservative taste the black or white polycarbonate look a little, well, cheap (to me).
Samsung’s Ativ S has been the only Windows Phone that’s designed for the business user, with it’s brushed steel and chrome styling. It wasn’t very popular, despite being a fantastic phone. I would love to see Samsung, or another manufacturer, have another stab at this market.
Hopefully Huawei will continue with their excellent Windows Phones but I’d love to see one of the carriers stick their neck out and get the likes of ZTE or Alcatel to make a network branded Windows phone, because the cheapo Androids they normally sell are generally awful.
The more manufacturers the better, as far as I’m concerned.
After years of awkward lunges from one design to another, and no clear goal, Android is finally becoming a well rounded operating system. The official Google app suite is excellent, and I’m more than happy for the whole experience to continue to mature at the current rate.
My main wishes for 2014, therefore, are concerned with hardware manufacturers, but there is one software project that I hope will succeed – CyanogenMod going mainstream.
It won’t happen in 2014, but I would love to be able to buy a handset and when I boot it up for the first time be given the option of choosing what version of Android I would like. So for example I might get an HTC One and the first screen I get to is a menu from which I can select Vanilla, Sense or CyanogenMod. Too much to ask? Maybe, but the Cyanogen Installer and it’s associated stable ROMs could be the first step in that direction.
Now for the manufacturers
2013 saw Sony have two attempts at creating a game changing flagship phone. The Xperia Z was spoilt by a sub-standard screen and the replacement, the Z1, was better, but not good enough. One of my biggest wishes for 2014 is for Sony to bring out a truly fantastic phone.
It would be nice to see them attempt a Nexus phone, that seems to have taken LG to a higher level, so who knows…
Regular readers will know that I’m quite a fan of Oppo. Until recently I was a proud owner of a Find 5, which brought the best HD screen on the market together with superb build quality to a price-point that rivalled the Nexus 4 for value. Oppo need to replace the Find 5 soon, and I’m hoping they can pull off the same trick again.
Another hope for Oppo is that at least one of their phones gets taken on by a UK carrier. It’s what the company needs to break into the mainstream on our fair isle.
There’s no two ways about it, the Moto G is an amazing phone for the money; the features and performance are unparalleled at the £100 – £120 mark. It is their indelible mark on 2013. What I want to see in 2014 is a UK version of the Moto X. Come on Motorola, show us some high end love!
Oh, and whilst you’re at it, how’s about a Moto Tablet X?
The first quarter of 2014 is going to include the unstoppable build-up to the Galaxy S5. I have two wishes for this – a) cut down on the bloatware, and b) don’t launch it in a Broadway style. Please!
Wish a) also goes for anything Samsung releases in the future, by the way.
Don’t go bust!
It wouldn’t be right for me to go without mentioning Apple – my wish for Apple in 2014 is for a complete overhaul of iOS, because I still can’t get on with it. It isn’t going to happen though, because I’m the odd one out, and they’re not going to change a winning formula. Maybe in 2015… no, maybe not!
Oh, and as for Blackberry – I wish you all the good luck in the world. You’re going to need it.
I’d like to see FirefoxOS, Jolla and Ubuntu make headway, and the continued development of Tizen will be interesting, although I don’t expect any of them to make waves until 2015 at the earliest.
I don’t think very much of my wishlist is unobtainable, although some of it is very unlikely (Samsung cutting back bloat for example), but more than any of the above I am wishing for surprises. In an industry that pours billions into development, I’d hope we’d see more than just faster processors, smartwatches and clip-on cameras.
Come on 2014, knock us sideways!