10 Android OS Features We Want for iOS

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drummerguy_souris

Something that bugs me about iOS is the lack of Flash support. Mind you I don't go to Flash websites all that often, but I would still like the option.

Something that I know you can do in Gingerbread (don't know about older versions) is to have the Flash content load on-demand. That way you won't have the "bash-the-monkey" ads but you can use the desirable content.

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egidio

Just 24 hours ago I switched from an iPhone 3G to the Samsung Infuse 4G. What a beauty it is! All these features you list here are mostly pluses for me, too. I'm still an Apple Fan Boy (Mac, iPod Touch, iPad2), but I just could not continue with the iPhone, especially when there are these odd iterations in their devices: 3G, 3GS, iPad, iPad2 -- with very little substance to users. I'll stick with the Infuse for a couple of years. Then maybe the iPhone 6 will truly have significant changes to lure me back to one.

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razorpetti37

I recently switched to an iPhone 4 from my Samsung Captivate android phone, and here is a list of things I already miss about Android OS.

-Making your own ringtone is a hassle, I was shocked at how there wasn't a simple way to do this. You have to find a song, trim it down to 30 sec either using an app or your computer, then use a converter to put it in the correct ringtone format, then load it into itunes, transfer it to your iphone, then assign it as a ringtone. On my android phone, you just select a song and choose "assign as ringtone", alternatively, there are android apps that let you choose any sound file on your phone and trim it, save it, and assign it as a ringtone all at once.

-You can't just save files into folders. I want to know where my files are (excel sheets, pdf's, mp3's, pictures, etc.) instead you have to manage all of your files through several different apps. On my android phone, there was a file browser, where i could see the folder structure of everything on the phone, i could rename files, and move them around. Yes, I know there are file viewer apps for iOS, but the file structure in iOS isn't very intuitive whereas Androids is fairly simple.

-You can't attach anything to emails besides photos natively. You can attach pretty much anything to emails in android.

-I miss having active widgets on the homescreen like I had in android. It was quick to just unlock my phone, and there was the current weather report and I could control music through a homescreen widget. Also, I had a calendar widget that displayed my next three appointments on my homescreen, which was amazing for regularly checking my schedule.

-Regardless of the app you're using at the time, android has a physical "menu" button below the screen that shows you all of the available options you can do on that particular screen. Example, you have an email open, so you hit the "menu" button, and it gives you the option to "delete, mark unread, respond, forward, flag, etc.". On the iPhone, you have to look all over the screen to find the little buttons that each app has that gives you options or settings. Same example, you have an email open, if you don't hit the "details" link at the top of the email, you can't get to the "mark as unread" link.

-Android allows you to add microSD cards for more storage

-Android phones usually use mini USB cables to charge, which is way more common and less expensive than the ipod connector cords.

-Android phones can play a wider variety of music and movie file types natively.

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TrainAss

So why not come back over to the Android camp?

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daff

yess you can remove them..and is not tricky at all
just install iphonebrowser on your mac or PC..browse then the root folder for the spcific app and delete the whole folder (of that app of course)..hit refresh and..voila!!

cheers

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clasqm

"Typing in a four-digit security code is so last century. Android's screen lock lets users draw a custom pattern to unlock their phone. Sweet!"

So how does this actually enhance security? Is a pattern harder to crack than a password? Any actual evidence for this? Didn't think so.

"Multitasking is a great feature, but wouldn't it be nice to have the apps you use all the time always open and ready for use? Android's got that going on, as many applications can be used as on-screen widgets."

Widgets on the lock screen might work OK, but on the main screen they are just a nuisance. (disclaimer: I do have an android phone)

"With Android Market, users can browse for apps on their computer and then install them wirelessly to their Android device. C'mon Apple, let's make this happen!"

Yes. It keeps on amazing me that I have to tether my iGadgets to a computer with a physical cable every day. There is a little invention called wifi, Apple. Perhaps you've heard of it.

"Sure, the keyboards offered by iOS are easy to work with, but variety is the spice of life. Android allows you to install a multitude of different keyboards with a robust number of options."

Don't care much one way or the other, but those using diacritics a lot in their languages might.

"Does Android do Flash? Yep. How about the iPhone or iPad? Nope. Will we ever see Flash on an iOS device? Don't hold your breath"

And thank you Saint Steve of Cupertino, for saving us from Bash the Monkey ads.

"Sure, iOS looks nice and is easy to use, but wouldn't it be nice to change things up without the need to jailbreak your handset first? Android users can trick their phone out with a custom launcher and do exactly that."

IME most Android users stick with whatever launcher their handset maker and/or telco saw fit to stick on top of Android. Just because it is possible doesn't mean it is a good idea, or that regular people are going to do it.

"If a custom launcher's not enough for you, how about the ability to install custom ROMS? By installing a new ROM, Android users are able to dramatically change the functionality of their handset with very little effort. Yeah, we want that."

Why? Be specific. What functionality do you want to change? Elsewhere you specify that you want to do all these things without jailbreaking. But what is a custom ROM if not the Android equivalent of a massive jailbreak? So what functionality would you like to see in a custom ROM that is not presently on Cydia?

"Oh, iPhone, where does all your power go? If you were an Android handset, you could tell me. Yeah, that's right, Android offers users the ability to see what their battery power is allocated to -- natively. Le Sigh."

That particular facility does not appear on my particular Android phone, but I used to have a 3rd party app that did that (it got wiped out in an OS upgrade. Different story). Interesting, but what it told me that was that the biggest power slurper was not bluetooth, not wifi, but the *screen*. Right, the one thing you can't do very much about. Meh.

"Android users receive notification of new mail, text messages and just about everything else through the notification bar at the top of the screen. We'd love to see this unobtrusive wonder brought over to iOS"

Agreed. the iOS notification system is an abomination.

"Most of us would rather use third-party apps and have never traded stocks in our lives. Sadly, the iOS Weather and Stock apps can't be removed from our phones. Same goes for the rest of iOS' default applications. That's not an issue for Android users. Phooey"

Yes, though it's a minor irritation. Just put them in a group called Not Used and then move Not Used to the last of your workspaces. The Stocks app on my iPod Touch is so tucked away that I need to do a spotlight search to find it.

It sounds like what you really want is an iPhone for geeks. Keep dreaming. Apple is not going to make you one.

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TrainAss

"So how does this actually enhance security? Is a pattern harder to crack than a password? Any actual evidence for this? Didn't think so."
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a 4 digit password is very easy to crack. But when you have a 3x3, 6x6 or 9x9 grid (rooted handsets allow larger grids) with a completely random pattern to unlock the device, the chances of it being unlocked by an unauthorized party decrease greatly. Unless they can see the smudge pattern on your phone's screen or watch you enter it. But the same can be said for a standard numerical password.

"Widgets on the lock screen might work OK, but on the main screen they are just a nuisance. (disclaimer: I do have an android phone)"
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I agree, that some widgets can be annoying. But there are others that are a big help. Such as power control widgets, weather and email (if you do a LOT with email). On my handset I have 3 widgets going. One is power control for WiFi, BT, Tether, sound mode (sound on or silent) and Airplane. I have a widget for batter, and a weather widget which updates based on my GPS location if I want. A cluttered phone screen is just as bad as a cluttered desktop.

"Yes. It keeps on amazing me that I have to tether my iGadgets to a computer with a physical cable every day. There is a little invention called wifi, Apple. Perhaps you've heard of it."
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OTA for any device is awesome!

"Don't care much one way or the other, but those using diacritics a lot in their languages might."
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I found a few issues with the stock keyboard. I had to switch to an alternate mode for numbers or special characters, lack of proper dictionary/auto correct, and key size. Installed a new keyboard and I was set. Heck, I could even skin it to suit me (Tron Legacy theme). Stock is fine, but once you find a good 3rd party keyboard that you're happy with, you can't go back to stock!

"And thank you Saint Steve of Cupertino, for saving us from Bash the Monkey ads."
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And preventing you from viewing a large number of websites as they were meant to be viewed. But hey, as long as you're happy with the device that's what matters.

"IME most Android users stick with whatever launcher their handset maker and/or telco saw fit to stick on top of Android. Just because it is possible doesn't mean it is a good idea, or that regular people are going to do it."
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And most iPhone/iPad/iPod users don't jailbreak, but those that do are of the more advanced users. Same goes for Android. The stock launcher is fine for most, but for those that want a better experience but don't want to root (voiding the warranty) changing the launch is as easy as an app install.

"Why? Be specific. What functionality do you want to change? Elsewhere you specify that you want to do all these things without jailbreaking. But what is a custom ROM if not the Android equivalent of a massive jailbreak? So what functionality would you like to see in a custom ROM that is not presently on Cydia?"
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You jailbreak your iDevice to unlock functionality and allow yourself to take more control over the device. Rooting is the same way. In addition to rooting and installing a custom ROM, communities like Cyanogen will provide fixes, tweaks, enhancements and optimizations. Removing a lot of the bloat that comes from a carrier provided handset as well. Plus it gives you a helluva lot more control over the device than with a stock OS. I rooted my phone over the weekend. It now boots faster, I can set different power modes to conserve battery life or increase power, plus I can use a much larger library of apps for added functionality. I hope I kinda answered this one.

"That particular facility does not appear on my particular Android phone, but I used to have a 3rd party app that did that (it got wiped out in an OS upgrade. Different story). Interesting, but what it told me that was that the biggest power slurper was not bluetooth, not wifi, but the *screen*. Right, the one thing you can't do very much about. Meh."
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It should. Its baked in to every OS. Go to settings, about phone, battery use. If you're using an older Android OS (1.6 for example) it might be in a different location. Google is your friend!

"Yes, though it's a minor irritation. Just put them in a group called Not Used and then move Not Used to the last of your workspaces. The Stocks app on my iPod Touch is so tucked away that I need to do a spotlight search to find it."
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But those apps still take up room on your phone. If only you could remove them altogether though... If only...

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clasqm

Thanks for your very well-considered reply

"a 4 digit password is very easy to crack. But when you have a 3x3, 6x6 or 9x9 grid (rooted handsets allow larger grids) with a completely random pattern to unlock the device, the chances of it being unlocked by an unauthorized party decrease greatly."

Now that would depend on how many swipes the system takes. You could have a 3x3 grid, but if you only select 4 swipes you're back to the exact same situation. Slightly worse actually, since you've lost the tenth possibility (the zero on the number pad). But let's work with 3x3:

1 2 3
4 5 6
7 8 9

If your password is, say, 1 9 3 2 then your finger movements are identical to
top left corner
swipe diagonal down to bottom right
swipe up to top right
Swipe left one position

I fail to see the difference. It is true that adding a larger number of swipes or grid positions would randomize things a lot more. But so would a more complex password. There is nothing intrinsic to the swiping action that makes it more secure. OK, you might think it looks more modern. But bling and security are two different issues.

And iOS does NOT restrict you to a 4-digit password. Go into Settings, General, Passcode Lock and turn off Simple Passcode (Sorry, I've forgotten if this was the default or not). Now you can enter as long and complicated a password as you like. Letters in both cases, numbers, punctuation marks, all those things that the security experts tell us to do and that leads to all those "forgot my password" support calls. :-) Which are no doubt already turning into "forgot my swipe pattern" calls!

"And most iPhone/iPad/iPod users don't jailbreak, but those that do are of the more advanced users. Same goes for Android. The stock launcher is fine for most, but for those that want a better experience but don't want to root (voiding the warranty) changing the launch is as easy as an app install. ... You jailbreak your iDevice to unlock functionality and allow yourself to take more control over the device. Rooting is the same way. In addition to rooting and installing a custom ROM, communities like Cyanogen will provide fixes, tweaks, enhancements and optimizations. Removing a lot of the bloat that comes from a carrier provided handset as well. Plus it gives you a helluva lot more control over the device than with a stock OS. I rooted my phone over the weekend. It now boots faster, I can set different power modes to conserve battery life or increase power, plus I can use a much larger library of apps for added functionality. I hope I kinda answered this one."

Well, thank you for reinforcing my point! The OP is asking for changes to iOS that will please a small section of the market while being thoroughly confusing for everyone else, raising questions of backwards (and forwards) compatibility. Which, fortunately or unfortunately, is not the way Apple has been going the last decade or so.

I have a Sony Ericsson X10 Mini, by the way. Yes, I found software for it that required rooting. And on the app's website there was a long list of handsets with notes on which ones definitely worked, maybe worked and definitely did not work. No complaints here, if you go Android, that's the way it goes.

Now consider the Apple way. You download from the appstore. If you download a program that will not work on your hardware or OS version (like trying to install an iPad-only app on an iPhone) that app won't even install. You'll get an error dialog instead. (If it does install, that's a bug and you should complain to the developer)

Is this "better"? For most people, yes, it probably is. If it annoys the geek, sorry I meant power user, market, Apple seems prepared to take that risk. What they don't want is this conversation:

Customer: "Superduperapp stopped working!"
Apple Support: "Have you changed anything else recently?"
Customer: "I only installed this kewl custom ROM that I found on a website."
Apple Support: "OMG. Did you at least take a note which one it was?"
Customer: "No. Why?"

Google, of course does not have this problem, since they pass customer support off to the handset makers and/or telcos.

And the fact remains, rooting or changing ROMs is the exact equivalent of jailbreaking. Apple and Google both allow it. Neither one is particularly happy about it, I imagine, but they haven't cracked down on it. Perhaps a more seasoned jailbreaker than I will go through your list of improvements and say whether "there's an app for that - on Cydia". :-). But asking Apple to enable custom ROMs is like asking them to actively support jailbreaking. It's not going to happen. Jailbreaking voids your warranty.

"It should. Its baked in to every OS. Go to settings, about phone, battery use."

And so it is! Thanks.

"But those apps still take up room on your phone. If only you could remove them altogether though... If only..."

I think another poster covered this.

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iMacOsiris

Sorry but every time i keep with the features of my iPhone 3G.
I saw a few "smart" phones with android and i still wait for the smart part of the phone

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TrainAss

And I've seen a lot of "smart" phones running iOS. I'm still waiting for the "smart" part as well! (It can go both ways buddy)

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