Tuesday, August 9, 2022

The future of Android: 11 predictions for 2022

Jack Wallen puts on his mysterious prophecy hat and predicts what the coming year will be like for androids.

Image: ShantBits/Shutterstock

It’s almost the end of another year. I went to bed on December 31st, 2020 and it looks like I woke up and it was already the end of the year.

How did this happen?

Let’s not discuss the relativistic nature of time. Instead, let’s time our will and predict what’s going to come to Android in 2022.

If my relationship with the spiritual realm is telling the truth, it’s going to be an exciting year. Let’s dig

Android 13

While Android 12 was important to the platform, I think Android 13 is going to go the safe route. The team of developers and designers will spend most of their effort to refine the content not only to fix the bug but also to refine it for greater stability and performance. The UI will come out with an upgrade that looks and performs better than before.

But the ingredients won’t be the only sauce you’ll see in the next release. I think Google has a few other tricks up its sleeve, some of which would be welcome and some that might not (more on this in a bit more). I think Google is about to come up with some pretty game-changing security technology for the next iteration of Android. This new security piece will be aimed at preventing malware and ransomware and will come in the form of a new type of app and permission sandboxing.

See: BYOD Approval Form (TechRepublic Premium)

Pixel 7 will add face unlock biometrics

I think the big change for the Pixel 7 won’t come in the way of an entirely new facelift for the device, but rather the addition of face unlock biometric authentication. I believe it will be in addition to the fingerprint scanner (rather than a replacement). Once Face Unlock is added, users will have four options to choose from for authentication:

  • Pin
  • model
  • fingerprint
  • Face ID

This addition should please all Android stans who lamented the loss of Face Unlock with the Pixel 6.

more curved display

When the Pixel 6 Pro was released with a curved display, my initial thought was that it felt a little laggy. But that sleek feel and classy look in the hand can’t be beat. I think we are going to see a resurgence in the trend this year and curved displays will move from a flagship feature only to the realm of midrange devices. With perhaps a few exceptions, these curved displays wouldn’t work as they did with Samsung Galaxy models that displayed content on the side of the phone. Manufacturers who decide to go that gimmicky route will find material displayed on curved edges to fail very quickly. Either way, the curved display is about to make a big comeback.

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folding phone fixed

By far, the biggest issue with the folding phone was that, inevitably, the display would end up with a permanent crease at the folding point. Once the crease appeared, users found their very expensive phones to be less than desirable.

This problem has deterred many users (like me) from buying a folding phone.

I do believe, however, that in this coming year we will see a manufacturer solve that problem. When they do, folding phones will slowly become a mainstay in the Android world.

That company seems to be Oppo. They proved it’s possible with the Find N and I believe 2022 will see them perfect that design.

pixel watch

We have been waiting for the Pixel Watch for some time now. I’m pretty confident that there will be a release of this unicorn wearable in 2022. why is it important? Because Android smartphones still lag behind in popularity over Apple’s take on it. The Pixel Watch can change that, but only if Google plays it smart. What they need to do is release two different versions of the Pixel Watch, one midrange and one flagship.

Cheap Android phones are one of the reasons why Google’s mobile platform is so influential around the world. If they want to see the same thing happen in the smartwatch space, they have to cater to people with low expendable income as well as people with money to burn. If they do, the Pixel Watch will be a huge hit.

See: Android 12 Cheat Sheet: Everything You Need to Know (Free PDF) (Tech Republic)

WearOS’s battery life will exceed all others

As a result of Google’s effort on the Pixel Watch, WearOS will get a lot of love. I believe a big selling point will be the battery life, which will demolish the competition. Right now, Android smartwatch battery life isn’t great (by a long shot). If Google wants to make big progress in the field of Android smartwatches, it has to address this problem.

I believe the battery life of Android smartwatches will double in 2022… at least for devices that support the latest version of WearOS.

Samsung Galaxy 22 will be the best phone of the year

As much as I want to see the Pixel 7 become a phone in 2022, I believe the title will completely fall into Samsung’s lap. The Galaxy 22 release won’t see much departure design-wise, but the phone will be a powerhouse (probably sporting a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset) and could very well see wireless charging coming in at 45W (making it a making it the fastest charging phone available).

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Voice unlock will become a thing

This might sound a bit too futuristic, but I’ve been waiting for it for a while. I think 2022 will eventually see voice-based biometrics on Android smartphones, so voice unlock will become a thing. I also believe that this authentication method will prove to be the most secure option available. And to reassure those who are overly paranoid about hearing about Google 24/7, I believe it will be controlled locally with the help of Tensor Chip. With Voice Unlock onboard, there’s no need to worry about Big Brother seeing (hearing) you.

At least not for device unlocking.

Sideloading apps will no longer be allowed

It’s been a long time coming and it’s going to annoy a good number of Android users. I think in 2022 Google will just stop sideloading applications. And once it’s done, there’s no turning back or going around.

Google will do this in the name of preventing malware and ransomware. When this happens, he has to understand that the responsibility for protecting users from malicious applications will be entirely on his shoulders.

Midrange phones will close the gap for flagship devices

2022 will be the year of midrange phones. Not only that, but some midrange devices will dramatically close the gap between them and the flagships. We should start seeing more and more midrange devices look and behave like flagship phones, while still selling at midrange prices. This will have the added benefit of forcing manufacturers to reduce the prices of their flagships.

First graphene battery for smartphone

In the end, I think 2022 will bring the first hints of graphene batteries to smartphones. I believe Samsung will unveil a prototype at some point, but it won’t go into production until next year. These types of batteries will revolutionize smartphones because they are smaller and far more powerful than the options we currently have. These batteries will not only be able to charge faster, but they will also be much safer than Li-ion batteries.

This would have the added bonus of allowing device makers to design thinner, lighter smartphones.

And there you have it, my Android predictions for 2022. I think this is going to be a banner year for Google’s smartphone platform.

See also

Nation World News Desk
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