Four Android-related things we’d like to see from Google I/O - but probably won’t

by Marty Gabel

Google I/O. Two days of geekery in San Francisco on May 10-11 where developers can get together and focus on building the next generation of web, mobile and enterprise applications and services. We’re already aware that this year is mainly going to focus on Chrome OS, and we’ll probably learn a thing or two about the next Android update (called Ice Cream), but let’s get hypothetical here and talk about what Android users would really like to see.

Some truly innovative tablet apps

As Appolicious writer Phil Hornshaw pointed out in a recent article, the reason Apple is blowing its Android tablet competitors out of the water, is not just the hardware, but the killer apps. Sure, many Android tablets may feature great specs, fast processors, and all manner of bells and whistles, but until there’s some truly magnificent tablet-based Android apps which really show-off all Android can do, it’s going to be a tough road ahead. Yep, Google Earth is kinda heading in the right direction, but Google: we want more. Nice email clients and video players just ain’t gonna cut it. Honeycomb is sweet, but if Google really wants to compete in the tablet market, it needs to get a whole lot tastier.

Is that really new?

Ever go to the Android Market, check the front page and wonder just how Google came up with the apps they’re featuring? Sometimes they’re new, but often, they just seem to be showcased for arbitrary reasons. Sure, you can sort to see all the ‘Just In’ apps, but that doesn’t cut out the crap, and it’s up to sites like ours to try and get a handle on what’s really new and fresh. We’d love to see more editorial focus from Google on the hottest apps in the Market, a bit like Apple does with its New and Noteworthy section. In turn, this helps us continue to bring you great coverage on the best Android apps around.

The Nexus S... for everyone

I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who’d love an Android phone free of all the bloatware and unnecessary apps that come pre-installed on many devices on U.S. carriers. We can root our devices and use a custom ROM to overcome a lot of this, but for many, that’s not ideal. T-Mobile and now Sprint users can get their greasy mitts on the relatively unspoiled Google Nexus S, and it would be great to see that device head over to Verizon and AT&T too. But heck, you can be sure that both networks probably don’t like the idea of selling a device uncluttered with their own branded apps. I’m not sure why customers want to pay for additional navigation apps when Google’s Maps does a perfectly serviceable job. It’s really time to cut the bloatware.

Price Drops in the Market

We’d love to see Google do a better job of showcasing apps that have either dropped in price or just turned free. Right now, it’s pretty difficult to tell when apps go on sale, and it’s something that Apple does way better. That’s why there’s a bunch of apps and web sites out there showcasing recent price drops for iOS apps, but very little for Android. When Google tracks price drops and discounts better, the more fun it’ll be to explore the Android Market. Sure, we have some of the data Google provides in our Price Drops section, but it needs to be readily available and showcased better by Google itself to be a truly effective marketing device.