It's new year's day! (Well, at least in most of the world, I know some of you have already flipped the calendar to the 2nd). And, as you might guess, news is just the littlest bit slow, especially with the first landing on a Friday. Everyone's out and about doing stuff, or whatever. As such, I felt it was a perfect time for a little chat.
2015 brought many new things to Android. Marshmallow is easily the most polished version of the OS yet. Android Auto has started to become available on vehicles. The Nexus 5X and 6P marked the first dual-release Nexus phones. We've got a new not-a-Nexus tablet, the Pixel C. Android Pay launched. And outside of the Googleverse specifically, there were of course many new handsets released. The Galaxy S6 marked a turning point for Samsung's industrial design. Sony built a phone with a 4K display. LG built a phone with two displays... for some reason. HTC built a $500 phone that really shouldn't probably cost that much but is otherwise pretty nice.
But let's look forward to 2016. What do you want to see happen with Android this year? What about with Android phones or other hardware?
For me, and this is just one of many potential topics, I'd love to see Android Auto get a rethink. Yes, it's a lot better than most in-car systems for things like voice input. But it's only marginally better for navigation, often worse for music, and not always very easy to interact with. It's also a total safety nanny in a not-nice way, if I'm being honest.
On the hardware side of things, I want to continue seeing the mid-range ($200-400) spectrum of smartphones proliferate and improve, as 2015 marked a huge jump in the quality of devices in this price bracket, and I think we can keep pushing the commoditization envelope to make these less-expensive devices better and better. I think Marshmallow will make these phones even more appealing, as the newest version of Android generally feels much smoother and quicker than Lollipop, but also handles power management a lot better.
So, let's discuss!