Smartphones are the next generation of mobile phones that have brought a tiny personal computer into our phones. They support applications for performing various tasks like web browsing, dialling, etc. which run on a platform known as the Operating System (OS). One of the most popular OS of the present times is the Android. Although the Android Smartphones are on the rise these days, there are some issues which must be addressed in order to make it the best mobile OS. Some of them are:
1. Complex Update Process
The Android users are facing the serious problem of updating their Android OS to the latest version. It is a known fact that different versions of software and hardware complicate the market. Android is going through the same phase. Google has been incapable of providing updates to all users and creating uniformity in the market. To complicate matters further, it is not even necessary that the performance of the Smartphone will increase with the update to the newer version due to incompatibility of certain apps. Google has received complaints from many subscribers regarding loss of contacts and calendar information and a drop in the battery backup after an update. So, Updating can cause more problem than it solves. Even if the user is ready to update his phone, the process is not that simple. You must know how to “root” the phone in order to update the device using the software CyanogenMod. These are the factors that make the update process quite difficult for the common man.
2. Continuous Internet Connection
The Android offers many apps that require internet connection continuously. In fact the best of the apps like navigation, facebook, dictionaries, music and even games require active internet connection at all times. Thus to make full use of Android, internet connection is a must. Hence Android can be irritating for those Smartphone users who are not subscribed to the internet.
3. Operating System Fragmentation
Android is coming with a newer version quite frequently, sometimes even before the Smartphone with the earlier version reaches the market. This has resulted in fragmentation of the Android OS. The complex update process has further stretched the problem; currently there are users with almost every version of the Android released so far. Thus the market is fragmented. Every new app must me adaptable to all the versions of Android OS. This creates a lot of problem for the developers. Also all the apps available in the market are not compatible with all the versions, thus the customer may not be able to run an app on his Smartphone which will read to customer dissatisfaction. Hence this fragmentation is a major issue that must be resolved soon.
4. Device Fragmentation
The second type of Fragmentation is because of the multiple mobile manufacturers that are running on Android platform. A lot of features of the Android depend on the hardware of the Smartphone. For example, a device that does not support multi-touch will not be able to zoom by pinching the screen. Thus with variation in hardware comes variation in software performance that is not acceptable by the customer. Unhappy customers post negative reviews against the app, even though the developer cannot be blamed for it. Thus even though Device fragmentation provides options for the customer, its consequences are not very great for the developer as well as the customer.
5. Android: Good for Consumers, Bad for Developers
Although Google is earning millions even through free apps by advertisements but unfortunately, the same cannot be said about the app developers of android. Because of open competition and free availability of apps, sometimes the developers do not get what they deserve. Also because of the wide variety of Android Smartphones available, it is difficult to create an app that is accepted universally. The sad part is that even with all that extra work, the return is not so good for the developer. The greatest problem for a developer is the large volume of clone applications that can sometimes even undermine the original.
6. Security Issues
Since the Android market is open to all developers to come up with their own apps, there is an increased risk of installing malicious softwares by mistake. Hence the open nature of Android increases its vulnerability by putting a lot of trust into developer’s hands. Most of the apps are given access to the SD Card and internet connection at the time of installation by the user who is not aware of the true nature of the app at that time. Some apps can even access system information and information about the device like SIM Ids. This can be quite dangerous for the security of the Smartphone if the information gets into wrong hands.
There is no doubt that a lot of applications are available for free in the android market, but the free apps become a headache for the customer because of the bulk of advertisements that come along with it. These ads are not only annoying but also pose a security threat. Thus the consequence of a free app can be quite problematic for the user. When we give certain permissions to the apps, the ads that come along also get the same. This loophole is exploited by hackers to gain unauthorised information. The ads cannot be prevented because they are the only source of revenue for the free apps, but security measures must be taken to isolate ads from apps and ensure that they do not get the same permission that the app gets.