Our Top 10 wishes for Google in 2018

Our Top 10 wishes for Google in 2018
Google has had a busy 2017 and artificial intelligence (AI) has been the keyword for the company this year.

With the Google Assistant at the core of two new Pixel phones and a huge push for the smart home with the Google Home, AI is now at the very core of Google products for the year. The big benefits of AI came to fruition in the Pixel 2's excellent camera that takes computationally-enhanced photos that rival the best out there, but apps like Google Photos and many others including search are better because of AI.

So what will Google be up to in 2018? We want the company to do better in a few key areas and these are our top 10 wishes for Google and Android in 2018. 

Go back to leading rather than following



Ever since Google introduced the futuristic and spectacularly failed Google Glass wearable, it seems that the company has taken a bit of a back seat when it comes to leading in the mobile device space. Google is still at its top game in software, but not so much in hardware. What's worse, it seems afraid to even try now (just look at the half-baked Pixel launch, the follow-up efforts in AR, the late to the party Android Wear, and so on if you need a proof).

We remember those times when Google founder Sergei Brin epically arrived at the announcement of Google Glass after jumping from an airplane. We remember a couple of enthusiastic, even badass, guys at the helm of one of the world's largest companies. We remember two guys the world looked up to.

In the past couple of years or so, however, Google's founders are hiding in the shadows, leaving the talking to Sundar Pichai who has taken over the Google unit of Alphabet. Pichai has done an excellent job uniting various teams to work together at Google. In a way he is very similar to Apple's Tim Cook, a highly efficient executive, but if you are looking for visionaries you think of names like Steve Jobs and over at Google, you think of Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

Finally get serious about hardware and Pixel phones


Our Top 10 wishes for Google in 2018

The Google Pixel 2 series are one of the most talked about devices at the end of 2017, and while the pair has had some serious issues (especially the Pixel 2 XL and its unfortunate OLED display), probably more worrisome is that the Pixel still seems like a product that Google does not really insist you buy.

In the United States, the new Pixel phones are only available on one out of four major carriers - Verizon Wireless. On a global scale, only very few countries sell Pixel phones officially. It just seems like Google is not even trying to sell this phone to people.

In 2018, we would like more clarity about Google's plans for Pixel phones. We want the company to commit and start actually selling these devices on a wider scale.

Be more open about what data is collected


Our Top 10 wishes for Google in 2018

If it's free, you are the product, the saying goes and this is at the core of Google as an ad-run company. In 2018, we have seen more and more an effort by governments across the globe to violate personal privacy.

We know that Google is collecting a lot of data, but in 2018 we want more choice, more options and - above all - more transparency about what data is collected. Being open and transparent is what relationships are built on, and if Google wants to build a relationship with customers, this would be the key element to build upon.

Work on fixing the Android update mess with third-party phone makers


Our Top 10 wishes for Google in 2018

It's the beginning of 2018 and it's now been nearly three months since Google launched the Android 8.0 Oreo update to its Pixel phones. Unfortunately, all other phones - you know, the ones that people are actually buying - have not received the update yet. The Android 8.0 update is likely to start going live for the newest flagships at the end of January 2018, but it really is a shame that it takes four months and more for an update to come to those phones.

What is worse, 2016 phones that you paid top dollar for will likely get the Android 8.0 update even later, usually no earlier than the summer of the year. Worse yet, many affordable devices will never get this update.

Google is the one responsible for this mess with Android updates. It has already done the right thing by introducing Project Treble that will allow faster updates, but the company needs to keep on with the effort in 2018.

Clean up the mess it created with duplicate apps


Our Top 10 wishes for Google in 2018

Let's start this with a question: do you know which is the one Google messaging app? Is it Hangouts? Is it Google Allo? Is it the default messenger?

We don't know either as Google has created a bunch of apps that all do the same thing! Neither of them is popular, neither of them is great.

In 2018, we hope that Google faces the mess it has created with such 'duplicate' apps and clear it once and for all.

Fix Pixel phones’ display issues


Our Top 10 wishes for Google in 2018

We have already said that we want Google to get serious about its Pixel phones, but it has to do one step first: fix the appalling quality issues with its current Pixel 2 XL.

Google has not issued an official apology or anything explaining the situation to owners, saying that a bluish screen that is very prone to burn-in is almost normal (it would quietly replace some units with bad display issues, though). What we want to see the company do is address the problem directly and work on getting some good quality display panels for its expensive flagship phone.

Improve the cumbersome Pixel 2 phone design


Our Top 10 wishes for Google in 2018

While design is a clearly subjective matter, the Pixel 2 phone design is... not great.

The Pixel 2 XL - a phone that was supposed to represent the future - boasts huge bezels on the side for modern standards and it is way too thick and bulky for comfortable one-hand use. The poor ergonomics and the questionable covering of the Pixel 2 phones are definitely not something we consider futuristic or even on par with the competition.

Work with developers to curb piracy, ensure games arrive faster to Android


Our Top 10 wishes for Google in 2018

While Android has been growing at a fast pace in the past few years, it is still way behind the Apple App Store when it comes to high quality games and apps.

The reason for this is that iOS is the most profitable platform, due to its popularity among affluent customers, but also due to the fact that piracy is not a widespread problem on iOS as it is on Android.

We wish Google took this issue seriously in 2018, adding further protections and ensuring that game and app developers make more and better apps for Android.

Focus on fewer, greater products


Our Top 10 wishes for Google in 2018

Last, but not least, we would like to see Google be a more focused company.

As much as we appreciate the company introducing an AI clip-on camera like Google Clips that you could use on your pets, it looks like a product of much lesser importance than the minds at Google should be occupied with.

We would not have had a problem with Google introducing all sorts of products like Google Clips, the new Pixel Buds and so on IF all of its other products were polished to a T. Unfortunately, from the display issues of the Pixel 2 XL, to Pixelbook bugs and to issues with Google Home, it seems that Google would benefit from more focus on its main products rather than to spread itself thin over other, less important products.

Conclusion


These are our top wishes for Google in 2018. We love the Android platform and all that it brings, and we hope to see the whole ecosystem evolve even faster this year.

What do you want to see Google do, improve or change in 2018?

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16 Comments

1. Tech-shake

Posts: 202; Member since: Nov 14, 2016

I would add "wider pixel availability" the pixel is only available in few countries leaving everyone else with no pixel love!

3. Settings

Posts: 2942; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

No Pixel 2 available in the Philippines.

12. sgodsell

Posts: 6644; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

If OEMs choose to ignore project Treble like OnePlus with their forked version of Android (Oxygen OS). Or Samsung has also choosen to opt out of Treble as well. So tell everyone here Victor H. how would you go about making OEMs use Treble, which would fix the update problem. If you have the time to write an article that Google needs to fix the update problem. So tell us all how you would fix it Victor H. As far as the "Go back to leading rather than following". They have been leading the way with new technologies. Every year. It's one of the reasons why Apple only sells around 200 million iPhones every year, with Android selling over 1.2 billion smartphones in the same time frame. As far as apps are concerned even App Annie shows now for every 1 app going on the app store, 3 arrive on the play store. There is now over 700,000 more apps on Android than iOS. You talk about quality of apps. Yet Android has so many devices, that some apps are written for certain Android platforms. For instance some support Daydream VR or Gear VR. So naturally Apple doesn't support VR, because of the low resolution displays Apple went with all these years would give their users a bad VR experience. The only iPhone that would have given anything close to a good VR experience is the iPhone X, but that was ruined by the notch. Besides it's not even a QHD resolution display. There is even VR apps for browsing the web, to drawing, to AutoCAD VR like apps now. Nevermind the Daydream and Oculus game VR apps. You can even use Steam VR as well now with both Daydream and Gear VR. Victor if you would actually start showing VR/AR apps on this site. You would find that there is new AR/VR apps arriving weekly. But that would mean you would actually have to look objectively.

14. sgodsell

Posts: 6644; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Victor you guys here at phonearena go out of your way to show stupid icon packs for Android all the time. Phonearena even writes articles in regards to Android launchers and features some of them at times. So why not show AR and VR apps as well. Wow what a concept. Look at Daydream district or one of the many Oculus related sites.

16. Victor.H

Posts: 1020; Member since: May 27, 2011

Timely Android updates are as much a technical problem, as they are a problem of lack of communication between Google and OEMs, and the carriers. So it's not a purely technical problem. When I say go back to leading, I specify very clearly that I speak about hardware, not software, but of course you need to read the article before commenting first. As to the quality of apps and games in particular, in 2017 most high-end games were released first on iOS and often only on iOS. Ignoring this is ignoring the facts. VR/AR is an interesting niche and we do cover it and will cover it more as it gains popularity, but at the moment it's not quite mainstream yet.

17. sgodsell

Posts: 6644; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Project Treble is where the core of Android is more module and uniform. If Treble was implemented by the OEMs, then carriers could put on what ever bloatware or other apps they wanted, and Android can still be updated. This allows the core of Android to be updated. However if OEMs put their own twist on Android itself, then Android cannot be updated by the means that Google laid out with project Treble. So it is in very much the OEMs hands, and they are the ones responsible for implementation of Treble. Not the carriers. Umm, you talk about hardware and software. Most of the hardware needs software. Look at the first Pixel which used the first SD 821 SoC, and implemented the first Daydream VR. Plus the cameras and software stabilization were second to none. The next Pixel 2's have not only improved what the original Pixels offered, but now include a separate 3 trillion operations per second AI processor. I remember Apple showing the world their 600 billion operations per second with their new A11 SoC for AI. Now Apple is hush, hush on that front. I guess it's because Apple only likes to show technical stuff if it can beat all others. Btw AR on the Pixels blows away any AR on any iPhone, including the latest iPhone X. But you probably already know that since you have used both the iPhone's and Pixels, right Victor. When it comes to VR well that's where Android blows past anything that Apple has to offer, and any of those apps and games just cannot be compared to anything on iOS, because the VR implementations are phenomenal. There is a call of duty like VR game called Tank Commander VR, which is awesome. There is nothing like it for iOS. Need for Speed VR there is nothing like it for any iPhone. There is many space and flight VR games. But the VR game play literally blows away anything that iOS has to offer. With more and more apps literally arriving every week. You don't find any iOS apps or game play even close to what Daydream and Gear VR have to offer. Talk about facts Victor. You even go as far to bring up high end gaming, but then those iOS games that you talk about on iOS, are low end gaming, which is 100% a fact when you compare those VR games. If you tried those VR apps, then the 2D/3D touch screen apps you try to show the public here, are nothing. The VR games put to shame anything that iOS has to offer. That is 100% a fact Victor. Have you even tried Daydream or Gear VR Victor? If you are honest Victor, then you know what I have said is 100% true.

2. afrohoxha

Posts: 201; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

Can't believe it's the same writer who wrote 'Our top 10 wishes for Apple in 2018'. Although both posts show criticism, the language used in both is like night and day.

4. mootu

Posts: 1326; Member since: Mar 16, 2017

I didn't look at who the article author was when i started reading it but by the end i knew exactly who it was, he just can't help himself with all the little digs and anti Google bias.

15. TBornotTB

Posts: 1; Member since: Jan 03, 2018

I can. Less than 10 minutes looking at his articles and I can see an obvious Apple bias from this guy

5. lyndon420

Posts: 6369; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

I wish Google would put out a phone without a gay sounding name.

6. Pitrich

Posts: 239; Member since: Apr 13, 2016

How about all 4 carriers in the Us. I'd love to have a pixel leased on T-Mobile

7. Khyron

Posts: 397; Member since: Sep 28, 2015

improve android ux maje a dedicated thead to render ui this will put android to a remium level os only stock android is responsive enough but still drop frames on other phones not oem phones this will hide some ux bad behavior of dome third party apps aka facebook snapchat etc

9. Kelley71

Posts: 105; Member since: Nov 26, 2012

Bring back the Nexus 7 and Pixel tablet lines. Solid hardware and stock Android at reasonable prices (alright, almost-reasonable for the Pixel C). Port that keyboard accessory down to the compact-tablet and phones.

11. jrhAR

Posts: 25; Member since: Dec 11, 2017

Give the Home Mine, etc. the ability to transmit music directly to a Bluetooth speaker without requiring a Chromecast or a mobile device as an intermediary. Amazon's Echo Dot can!

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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