Which iOS features should Android offer?

In today's open source roundup: Which features should Android borrow from iOS? Plus: Should all Linux distros default to the same desktop environment? And LibreOffice for web browsers and Android still in the works

Which iOS features should Android offer?

iOS and Android have been battling for mobile supremacy for years. But iOS still offers some features that Android doesn't have. If Google...er...borrowed those features, they might add real value for many Android users.

A thread on the Android subreddit explored this topic, and redditors had some interesting suggestions for Google to consider for future Android updates:

Commentonit: "Full device backups and granular app permissions."

PT2JSQGHVaHWd24aCdCF: "I want permissions for private stuff like calls, SMS, contacts, or calendar. For the other stuff like start on boot, run in the background, or use the Internet reasonably, I don't care. But as a dev and user, I would be delighted to have the same system as iOS and see more "polite applications" that ask before doing something and show a pretty error message on failure. "

Donrhummy: "Instant rollout of a new version at the same time to all capable phones regardless of manufacturer or carrier."

Rub1K: "A legit stock camera app that actually takes advantage of the existing camera hardware/sensor and doesn't take potato pictures?"

Nikhilbhide:

"1. Easy to do Full device data backup and restore.

2. iMessage (basically something native and seamless in Android, a better solution than Hangouts)

3. FaceTime (Again, Hangouts is good, but not as reliable as FaceTime.

4. Native permissions setting (I don't want xyz app to use location).

5. A better solution to PlayServices which is a location hog!

Osea23: "Tap the status bar and you scroll all the way back up to the top."

Z3ntropy: "Something like iMessage. I don't want just a messaging app where I need to add or "circle" my contacts in order to talk to them. If I have somebody's number, I should be able to (hangouts) message them."

Thattypicalnerd:

"1) iMessage. I miss it so much, Hangouts has absolutely nothing on it.

2) The iOS Google App team. Just use Google Play Music on iOS and you'll realize how much nicer it is than its Android counterpart. Smooth as hell, never cuts out, more animations, which makes absolutely no sense. Same with Hangouts and any Google iOS app. Also: they're consistent compared to the Android versions.

3) Better battery optimization. Nexus 5 with 2300mAh somehow gets WAY less than the iPhone 5S, a phone out of the same generation. Along the same line, standby time on Android is awful. Plain awful. My iPad Air can sit around for literally DAYS without losing a single percentage point of battery. My Nexus 5 can't go an hour without losing a percentage point of battery.

4) UX consistency. Googles own apps don't follow guidelines, and neither does the actual OS. It's infuriating. Completely half assed material design. Where the hell are those beautiful, flowy animations? Hangouts literally feels like a KitKat app with a bare material reskin. I don't want a freaking sticker pack, give me material!

5) Quality Control. The one time Apple screwed up in the past year (iOS 8.0.2), they issued a fix and apology within 3 hours. Compare to Google: multiple screwups (memory leak, Google Now bugs, random Google Play Services wakelocks, etc), which they have been dead silent about. Also, they released the half baked piece of crap that is Lollipop, and left the manufacturers to fix the mess they released. Pitiful. It's as if they think that people don't actually rely on their software.

6) Actionable Notifications. This one is really quite sad, as they introduced these in Jellybean. There's still no quick reply to a text message straight from a notification. I don't think a single Google app (except for Gmail) has these.

7) Fine grained permission control. Hell, just give us Location, camera, sms, and contacts- those are the ones I really care about anyway.

Unless Google REALLY blows me away this year at IO, I'll be jumping ship to iOS. Really tired of Google having these awesome ideas and half assing them."

More at Reddit

Should all Linux distros default to the same desktop environment?

One of the best things about Linux is that each user can choose the desktop environment that he or she prefers. GNOME, KDE, Xfce, MATE, Cinnamon and numerous other desktops offer a range of choices that can't be found anywhere else. But would Linux be more successful if it offered just one desktop?

Jack Wallen at TechRepublic considers the idea of all Linux distros defaulting to one desktop environment:

Imagine this...one desktop to rule them all. I know this sounds like the ravings of a madman, but consider if the whole of Linux could agree on presenting one unified desktop to the masses. What if every major distribution defaulted to, say, GNOME while retaining the ability to install other desktops if a user so desired.

Although it seems preposterous (and probably impossible to apply), imagine the possibilities! By presenting a unified front on the Linux desktop (regardless of distribution), the masses would be far more willing to accept the idea that there's a computing platform that would be more reliable, efficient, and cost effective. They would no longer be overwhelmed by a dizzying array of choices.

...the battle of the desktops seems like an impossible win for all. With a massive amount of users who refuse to adapt to change, a vast amount of choices to be had, and in-fighting raging within camps, the Linux desktop battle seems nothing but an uphill climb. Even so, if I had to place a bet on which desktop would be the best to use as a unified front for Linux, I'd have to say either Unity or GNOME.

More at TechRepublic

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