The Best and Worst of Android in 2016

We carry a few weeks breaking down what has seemed the best of 2016 to Xataka Android editors, from productivity to the best Chinese mobile applications, through the category of games that always brings controversy. But this year we wanted to do a more complete summary still.

After much discussion intermanente we have chosen has been, in general, the best and worst of Android in 2016. And it is that every year there are clear shadows on any subject that touches (we have seen that political abstracts will have more “worse” than “the best”) and Android is no exception. Let us see what us has brought the 2016.

The best of Android in 2016

Google Pixel

This year we have seen a very significant change in how Google faces its terminal flag. The change that most obvious is, how no, the name. We are no longer at the Nexus, terminals intended for developers, but a mobile focused to the masses. And in addition, a pointer terminal in all aspects, from the processor to the camera. Far left those years of average adjusted price ranges.

Although I’ve had criticisms, especially for the price and the change of name, Google in 2016 has launched a pointer, care terminal with a good campaign. In fact, sales are still very good compared with what sold the Nexus, and that it has not yet reached many countries.

In short, with the Google Pixel Mountain View company the hardware has been taken seriously and it is very good news. This means that Android depends not only of how well do the manufacturers, but also is there Google to create terminal care and they marry perfectly with the software. It is, of course, good news for our favorite operating system.

Android Nougat

The other good news for the year have been the innovations presented by Android Nougat. It is true that it has not been a revolution, but a development in the right way. And we’ve also had shortly after a review with version 7.1 improving most aspects.

There are many new features, but we have collected the most interesting for us:

  • System optimizations and lighter applications: Now upgrade costs both system is more fluid for example to update the system is much more comfortable and fast, and there is no endless waits on reboot
  • Improved productivity: Split screen (which anticipates a very powerful convertible tablet mode when it integrates with Chrome OS), shortcuts on the desktop, quick change between applications, improved notifications… This is a breakthrough in Android.
  • Google Assistant: Although we have functionality that is only in the Google Pixel and English at the moment, it points in the right direction. In not so long we’ll see more terminals and if they continue to improve it may be before the first functional Assistant that can change the way we relate to machines in a definitive way,.
  • Intelligent storage: All we have complained once the terminal storage problems. And Google has had a great idea in version 7.1: If you have a backup in the cloud, photos will be deleting single (with a delay of 30, 60 or 90 days). Certainly a breakthrough.
  • Vulkan API : The new graphics API of Android is a step forward in the operating system as a platform for videogames. Each time you apply more as an alternative to the big consoles platform and this was a necessary step in the evolution of the system.

The worst thing about Android in 2016

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

I think that any wonder that about what has been the worst thing about Android in 2016 It would make it clear. There is more to getting on a plane to see that the subject of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 explosives have transferred technology circles to reach the general public in a massive way. And this is bad for Android. Forget, always forget these things, but the coup has been hard for the largest Android manufacturer and therefore affects the operating system.

Failure of the explosive Note did not have to do with Android, and it seems that neither with the batteries. More like a design problem very aggressive to put more and more battery in less space. It is a complicated issue that is going to take its toll at Samsung this year and insurance accounts will also suffer in future quarters. The good thing (there is always to get positive readings of everything) is that many engineers can learn with a case study and what are the limits of the design of a mobile device.

Android fragmentation

Android, by its philosophy, born fragmented. On the one hand is that develops the operating system, Google, and other manufacturers. Therefore it is very complicated and we have terminals on the market with multiple versions of the same. This is, of course, a problem, at least in two aspects: on the one hand Security, Since many manufacturers do not take patches to their terminals; and other application development, is still being complicated that everything works well in all terminals.

Google has been trying to put patches. On the one hand he has released many applications operating system and has passed them to Google Play. On the other hand launched a program called Android One to make Google who will take care of these updates. But not by those it has managed to close this fragmentation. In fact, the deployment of Android Nougat seems to be the slowest of the history.

There are rumors that Google might be trying to curb this fragmentation through updates by Google Play but the thing is complicated. We will see if they can come up with any solution so at least the part of the security update in this way.

Anyway to achieve a completely homogeneous system also has its drawbacks, as seen with clocks Android Wear: only differ in design and manufacturers have left out new (is not the only reason that not succeed but one of them). So easy solutions there is no.