4 mobile technologies Apple and Google need to get right

Amid talk of new features for the iPhone 5S and Galaxy S IV, let's not forget the iOS and Android capabilities that must be improved now

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4. Modernize the phone in our smartphones
I know the phone in a smartphone is not that important to most users. Email and instant messaging are more convenient for the majority of communication, given that a conversation can build over time as people are available. But there are occasions when a live conversation is essential. Also, it's crazy to manage so many phone lines: home line, work line, and smartphone.

As I've previously outlined, we need a way for phone lines to be transportable, so they're not tied to a device or location. That way, all your numbers could forward to whatever device you have with you, and you can separately manage work and home numbers even when used on the same device. In today's mobile world, our fixed-line telecom mentality makes no sense.

While you're at it, don't forget these improvements
Of course, many more refinements would be welcome as well. As smartphones become everyone's cameras, more controls over photos before and after you take them would be appreciated. Both iOS and Android (especially 4.2 "Jelly Bean") keep improving their capabilities in this regard, but it'd be nice if they took a bigger leap to be as good as a digital SLR.

I'd love to see the proprietary messaging platforms on all the mobile OSes become interoperable -- the price that carriers charge for SMS is obscene, and Apple, Google, RIM, and Microsoft would help everyone by obsolescing that technology through interoperable messaging among iMessage, GoogleTalk, BlackBerry Messenger, and Windows Messenger. I know, I know: It won't happen.

Finally, mobile devices would benefit from smarter separation when used by multiple people. iOS 6's Guided Access is an insufficient first step on the iPad, compared to the multi-account approach in Android 4.2 "Jelly Bean" and in Windows 8 and RT. They all fall short in providing multi-user functionality on just tablets; smartphones should have it too.

We'll see a revved iOS later this year -- probably a revved Android as well. The new BlackBerry 10 could surprise us in any of these areas, and perhaps Microsoft will get more serious about Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. There's plenty of opportunity for them all to deliver on their mobile promises in a better way. Here's hoping!

This article, "4 mobile technologies Apple and Google need to get right," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more of Galen Gruman's Mobile Edge blog and follow the latest developments in mobile technology at InfoWorld.com. Follow Galen's mobile musings on Twitter at MobileGalen. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

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