Thursday, 18 April 2013



Good evening, Synapse Circuit Readers! The great event is almost upon us... It’s a little under a month away! The exciting thing about Google’s I / O event is that you never quite know what to expect! Even though we are expecting to hear about Android 5, Key Lime Pie, we don’t really know what the next incarnation of Android will bring... What will be the state of Project Glass? What will be the new features in the next generation Nexus 7 tablet? Oooh, I am getting dizzy...

What can we expect from Android 5, Key Lime Pie? I think one of the things is more SPEED!!!! Android 4.1 / 4.2, Jelly Bean benefited a great deal from Project Butter to speed the thing up! Furthermore, I think the guys at Cyanogenmod have really made great use of making Jelly Bean faster still! Again, I don’t know why Google and maverick developers, Cyanogenmod work together. Why? Anyway, that’s beside the point... I am expecting Google to go all out with Android 5.

Speed is a must and I am expecting the overall performance to be improved by 30% - 40%! And that will be something to behold! Trust me on that! However, I can tell you that speed is not so much an issue where the dual and quad core handsets are concerned. The biggest problem with Android is these budget handsets! Budget handsets don’t seem to have enough power to make the Android experience pleasant. If Google could make Android 5 fly on the average budget handset they’ll be onto a winner! Either that or budget handsets have to gain some muscle! The budget Android handset should at least have a 1.2 GHz CPU and no less than 1GB RAM; today’s Facebook app requires more CPU power and RAM!!!!!

A greater User Interface Experience. Good thing about Android is also the bad thing: it’s free for any manufacturer to use. This leaves Android looking quite minimalistic and a little Frankenstein monster... Let me explain...

As you know, many manufacturers put their own skin over Android: Samsung, TouchWiz; HTC, Sense and LG, UI as good examples. Therefore Android has to be minimal. But when Google produces its own vanilla handset in the Nexus it does look a little Frankenstein monster in that Google Now looks so different from the rest of it... The YouTube widget could do with an overhaul that resembles Google Now... The vanilla Android experience is a good one, but it needs something... A skin without a skin... That is going to a tough challenge. This is why the next incarnation of Android is exciting because it’s a great operating system that can be greater still! The rods for Google’s back are the varied handsets available... With the iPhone there’s just two models to cater to.

Now, would it be possible for different versions of Android 5 based upon handset specs? Some would say that my idea would be like renaming other versions of Android as Android 5 A, B and C, but if there are going to be different handsets with different spec maybe it’s time for Google to unify Android based upon the expectation of the spec? I think so! There again would that mean extra work for app developers to keep their apps small! My LG L3 is useless as I can’t fit any more apps on it! Lol! Well, that’s progress for you!

Another question comes to mind... Can Android be more like Ubuntu? In the future would it be possible for yet another Linux based operating system that can be used on a Windows PC? There again, Ubuntu is available for Android devices!

Is it feasible for Google to buyout the makers of Ubuntu?

This is going to be an interesting development... It is expected that the 7” tablet will have a full 1080p HD screen! Now will Google do the next generation Nexus 7 with Asus or will LG get a look in? LG? Hmmm... I don’t know... LG doesn’t have a track record with tablets... I think they’ll team-up with Asus again! The Nexus is a pretty decent tablet.

Ok, what was wrong with the Nexus 7? Yes, please get me started... Lol!

The bezel is too big! Jeez! The bezel spoils the whole look of the tablet! I guess the large bezel makes the tablet easier to handle, but I think the thinner the bezel the better. I can see Google possibly running into yet another patent war with Apple as I believe Apple have come up with a solution for a screen handling without  accidentally launching an app, etc.

Please, Google! Give the Nexus 7 next generation a thinner bezel!

No external storage! It still irks me that Google thinks that its users won’t be able to figure out how to access external storage i.e. SD or microSD. I think external storage is a must! They need an edge over other competitors!

RAM, I don’t think that 1GB of RAM is enough! Today’s premium handsets boast 2GB RAM and it does come in handy for these multimedia apps! Add another 1GB of RAM to make it 2GB or why not add 4GB?

A distinct lack of vision beyond placing yet another tablet onto the market... What is a little annoying about Google’s Nexus is that it is centred around consumption there’s little by the way from them in terms of their own core apps for all manner of things... I would love to see Google get a team together to create apps for things that people love to do:

Video editing.
Music composition.
Photo editing.

Yes, I am aware that you can download apps for the above but I think Google needs to have a core set of apps that are a cut above! You know? I would have liked to have seen some USB peripherals that compliment the Nexus 7 and because they’re USB they can work on the PC as well! Yes, I would have wanted a MIDI mini music keyboard so that I could make music on the Nexus and then transfer the MIDI file to my main PC music making program! Yeah, that’s me, the would be composer. Again, I think Google are missing opportunities! Ideally, Nexus would come complete with key core apps that users can tap into straightaway! It’s like the set of apps that comes with Windows or like iWorks on the Apple Mac computers! Yeah, apps that will be compatible with the PC!

I expect to hear that Project Glass is on its way to retail. I think we’ll see a demo of the finished article. I would imagine that the cost will be prohibitive to most. I want one already, but will I get run over by a vehicle crossing the road? Lol! I think I would be so taken with this exotic technology!
I wonder if we’ll see another cool demo like last year’s sky diving intro! Awesome!

Some people have expressed their concern regarding privacy, but like Eric Schmidt says, “If you’re doing something you shouldn’t be doing then you shouldn’t be doing it...”

Will the Nexus Sphere make a comeback? The media playback device looked interesting and showed some promise. I don’t even remember what was wrong with it why it got taken off the Play Store!

I think there’s a market for a device that can stream media to TV, Wi-Fi HiFi, etc that can be controlled via an Android handset or tablet! But the cost has to be reasonable – below £100!

What I absolutely love about Google is that they are quite experimental and radical with it! What I don’t like is when they abandon stuff that they started like App Inventor! I don’t know why Google didn’t develop it further to a professional polish! Bah! When App Inventor was announced Google made a weird song and dance out of it as though folk had to be privileged to be on the program. By the time I got on it I was like, “Is this what all the fuss is about?” Yes, it was short-sighted of me but it annoyed me how Google publicized it.

In fact I think Google are very bad at publicizing what they do! I think Apple have done great adverts to introduce their products: iPod, iPhone, iTunes, App Store and so on. Samsung make even greater ads that give solid information and cheeky humour. The only decent ad that Google has on UK TV at the moment is the Chrome campaign.

The Nexus 7 ads were ok, but on the whole Google ads are lacklustre! And it’s a shame! But then on the other hand Google has done very well using its own YouTube platform for showcasing their products. However, they need their products to be ubiquitous like Siri is! Google Now ought to be in the minds of the public – it’s better than Siri!

I would like to see Google do a lot more to show people the delights of Android; show off some of the great apps available for all manner of things and so on. Ooops! I digress a little...

There’s talk about the Nexus 5 and the mysterious Motorola X. I wish I could tell you something about these handsets, but it will be all speculation. I wouldn’t want you to get all excited and be disappointed with the reality!

I know that on both handsets Google want to wow folk with the camera. What the camera entails I just don’t know! It could be the software or hardware or both!

It is also rumour that these possible handsets will not be ready in time for the conference. Again, you just can’t tell for sure with Google. I appreciate that they play their cards close to their chest! And that’s what makes the Google I / O conference exciting!

I will do my best to bring you the highlights in due course!

Thank you for reading!

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