The year 2021 should see Android 12 start to land on smartphones. The new version is still draped in mysteries, and while waiting to discover it, here are the new features that we would like to see Google adopt.
The next version of Android, which should logically be called Android 12, begins slowly, but surely to reveal itself thanks to first indiscretions. While waiting for the first Developer Preview, expected for the next few weeks, we have concocted a little wishlist for you. Here are all the new features that the Frandroid editorial staff would like to see coming in Android 12. Please note, this is not about predicting what will happen, but really about thinking about what we would like to see become a standard for Android.
Some of our wishes may be inspired by interfaces from manufacturers, ColorOS, MIUI or One UI for example, while others may come from Apple and iOS. In any case, if they were adopted by Google, it means that all application developers could count on them and it would therefore increase their interest, beyond one brand or another.
A true one-handed navigation mode
We start this selection with a feature that we really appreciate on iPhone: the one-handed mode of use. With a simple finger gesture, it is possible to force the iPhone to use only one half of the screen. We also find this kind of function on some Android smartphones, at Huawei for example, but Google does not natively integrate it with Android.
With the increase in size of Android smartphones, often larger than the iPhone, and what is more with the sometimes very long screens of modern smartphones, it would be really interesting to see this accessibility feature land in Android 12.
Further synchronization with Windows 10
Google very legitimately wants to highlight its own ecosystem and therefore multiplies the connections between Android and Chrome OS. For its part, Samsung has shown that it is possible to do very powerful things by shaking hands with Microsoft. Today, Galaxy smartphones can fully synchronize with Windows 10, including directly viewing their applications on a Windows PC.
Corridors from Microsoft’s side point to the possibility of directly installing Android applications on future versions of Windows 10. Perhaps Google could go the other half of the way, and work with Microsoft to better integrate Android into the Windows 10 ecosystem.
PC or TV mode for Android smartphones
In the absence of better integration with our Windows 10 PCs, we could imagine seeing our smartphones find new uses on other screens. We are thinking here of a “PC mode” like what Samsung can offer in particular. Just plug your smartphone into a keyboard, mouse, and screen to see a PC-like interface, with windows for each application. The generalization of USB-C, which allows data, power and video to pass through, is the ideal way to make it very accessible.
In the same vein, one could imagine a TV mode by connecting your smartphone via an HDMI port on a television, and find yourself facing an interface similar to that of Google TV. With applications like Netflix or Google Stadia, this kind of novelty would take on its full meaning.
If you have a smartphone from a big brand, you probably already have this feature on your smartphone. So, it may be surprising to see it listed here as a potential novelty, but it is nevertheless a missing feature of the basic version of Android. We are talking here about the possibility of creating screenshots with scrolling, for example to fully capture the image of an article rather than a simple extract.
This is quite handy when you take a lot of screenshots, and therefore often found on smartphones. On the Pixels on the other hand, or for interfaces without this native function, you still have to go through a third-party application to be entitled to it.
Mode gaming et Stadia
Mobile gaming continues to gain popularity and ambition with games like Genshin Impact, not to mention the unmistakable Call of Duty Mobile and Fortnite. Manufacturers are releasing smartphones dedicated to this use, and Qualcomm even offers updates for graphics drivers on the Play Store.
We would like to see Google directly attack this market by offering a native game mode on Android. Manufacturers sometimes already offer them: this allows you to cut notifications and maximize performance when playing a greedy game.
In the same vein, we wonder if Google could put more emphasis on its Stadia cloud gaming service. On this point, the firm is perhaps afraid of attracting further the wrath of the anti-trust investigations of which it is the target.
Privacy and alternatives to Google
This is perhaps the least likely of the wishes expressed in this article, and yet it still has a chance to come true. Google could take advantage of Android 12 to integrate functions allowing better protection of its privacy and better control of confidentiality.
This is what Apple chose to do with iOS, which has an economic model opposite to that of Google, to the chagrin of Facebook. It’s hard to imagine Google going that far, since the giant’s economic model is based in particular on data acquisition, but the firm might want to go there on its own rather than wait to be forced to do so by anti-government decisions. -trust or pro-consumer.
Along the same lines, and still against the backdrop of legal battles over Google’s position and its services in the tech market, the firm will open Android 12 to alternatives to the Google Play Store. It’s already official, but the firm could go further and put more forward alternatives to its services.
And many others
Obviously we could cite many other new features that we expect, and some of which have already been leaked for Android 12: an improvement in multitasking, a much more extensive customization and themes system like what MIUI can offer, or the possibility of automatically uninstalling applications that you never use to free up space.
Now let’s leave it to Google to surprise us with its next version. Hoping that the brand will be as ambitious as possible.