10 things I would like to see in Gingerbread (next Version of Android)

No, I haven’t stopped blogging and I don’t plan to close my blog.
Yes, I will try to blog regularly, but may be less frequently.
No, I didn’t blog for sometime ‘cos I was lazy or ‘cos of lack of subjects.
Yes, I couldn’t blog for long ‘cos of my hectic schedule (not work overload) even when there are lots of things in pipeline, I wanted to write about.
With that said, here is my next blog...

10 things I would like to see in Gingerbread

Since the iPhone 4 buzz is slowly settling down, I see a lot of talk about the next version of Android, code named Gingerbread in tech circles. After reading most of the articles and the rumors, the only thing I am sure about the next release of Android OS is that its code name is Gingerbread. You heard it right, that’s about it and everything else is just speculations and rumors. Out of these, the most prominent speculations are,
1. Minimum hardware requirements of the Gingerbread are a 1 GHz CPU & 512 MB of RAM. (2GHz is more like a rumored rumor, if you know what I mean)
2. A completely revamped mind blowing GUI.
3. Support for bigger displays with higher resolutions around 1280 x 760.
4. Release date is mid of Q4 2010, mostly Oct 15th or 16th.

And some of the “really-not-sure” rumors are,
1. Gingerbread is targeted for high end hardware and therefore the devices might be costly.
2. GUI will be similar to current Gallery App.

I couldn’t find any rumors about any OS level changes or support for any new hardware. You might have noticed that I haven’t specified a version number. Some argue that Gingerbread will be 3.0. Some others say its going to be 2.3 since it’ll be a continuation of Froyo (Android 2.2).

What I want to see in Gingerbread is listed below (both new and fixes to current features)
(Note: This is also a “review after 3 months' use of Google Nexus One” too)
1. A revamped Gallery App or at least a faster, smother, bug fixed version. Yeah, you haven’t read wrong. I know the current galley app is one of the best & most hyped (in terms of look & feel) in Android, but it has lots of problems namely,
  • It simply won’t show images downloaded through some third party apps.
  • Sluggish at times, especially when deleting images. It takes some time for the next image to load and when I navigate to next one, it get stuck in between.
  • When selecting and deleting multiple images, it behaves strangely - it shows random images and has to be closed and reopened.
  • Sometimes, it just won’t show any images and simply displays the message “Loading new albums”
2. A new UI as given in the speculations sections. A mobile device is mostly about its look and feel and a new UI will be a great boost to Android. I would like to see more glossy icons with lots of reflections without affecting its speed. But if they want to make it like gallery with all the above stated problems, I say no to that.
3. Wireless syncing and ability to join adhoc Wi-Fi networks. It would be nice if a PC can recognize the phone when its near and if we can use an explorer/browser to sync/transfer files.
4. A better Wi-Fi stack – the current stack is not perfect.
  • Occasionally it won’t connect automatically to pre-configured hot spots, saying its disabled.
  • Sometimes, it won’t scan even if the user issues an explicit scan command.
  • Now my work around to the above problems is to turn off & on the Wi-Fi, but I want this issue to be fixed.
  • More configurations can be exposed to user.
5. A new music player. Its not that the current one doesn’t serve its purpose, but there is a lot of space for improvement, like a good equalizer or wireless syncing option etc.
6. Support for more video formats and resolutions.
7. All Google Apps directly from Google and not from third parties. E.g. GTasks, Google Docs etc
8. Ability for more ‘screens/desktops’. Now Android supports a total of 5 screens. It would be nice if it gives the option to configure the number of screens.
9. Offline Google maps. I don’t want the whole Google maps stored locally in my phone. But an offline mode will be great which can buffer recently navigated areas.
10. And finally, a phone application/software straight from Google - like iTunes, may be a browser based one, which can do the following things,
  • Browse the android phone & SD card
  • Convert videos to any android phone specific formats
  • Wireless syncing for music, videos, files etc
I came up with this list after being the owner of Google Nexus One for around 3months. Hope to see these features and a lot more in Gingerbread.