Despite the dozens of different Android phones floating around out there, the core features are usually the same.
All Android phones give you access to Google's suite of services like Google Docs, Gmail, Calendar, and Google Maps. Plus you'll always get access to all the apps in the Google Play store.
Google is likely hard at work on its next version of Android, codenamed "Jelly Bean." We're expecting to learn more about the new OS this summer at Google's I/O developer conference.
Since we spend a lot of time using both Android and the iPhone's iOS software, we came up with a quick list of iPhone features we'd like Google to use in the next version of Android.
Stricter app review process
Google now boasts hundreds of thousands of Android apps in the Google Play store. But Google's lax app approval process has allowed a lot of crappy apps to find their way into the store. And yes, that includes malicious apps that can do nasty things to your phone like steal your contacts' information.
It's getting better, but Google should adopt Apple's stricter limitations on what can make it into the Google Play store.
Android phones should meet minimum hardware requirements
We hear it over and over again when talking about Android phones: the ecosystem is heavily fragmented. That's because Android is an open source operating system, meaning anyone can use it and modify it as they choose. But sometimes that means apps and software updates won't work on all Android phones.
If Google demanded specific hardware requirements before it let manufacturers use Android, this would help solve the problem. (Apple doesn't need to worry about this since it makes its own hardware and software.)
More options for movie and music purchases
It took a few years, but the Google Play store finally gives you access to movie, TV show, music, and book downloads. Unfortunately, the selection is nowhere near as robust as what Apple offers through the iTunes store. Google needs to work extra hard to make sure Android phones have access to the best content just like the iPhone does.