Click to viewAlthough rumors of a possible Google Phone have been making the rounds really hard lately, any such phone will have to be amazing to grab enough end-user and media attention. Expectations are high, but since we're dreaming, here's our wishlist:
Tight integration with Google Apps:
• Picasa: A 2MP camera with decent color and low light performance should take a shot, and upload it directly to your Picasa web storage as a mirror. Likewise for YouTube uploads.
• Google Talk: Both IM and VoIP makes this a fancy web communicator. The carriers may not like this, but we've got a feeling Google will sell this sans carrier. Oh, and other IM client support.
• Google Video and YouTube: To at least match the iPhone, they have to have their video sites ready for mobile usage. Uploading
• Google Earth: Google Earth for 3D maps, with GPS and app integration.
• Google Docs support with full read like the ones for iPhones, Windows Mobiles and BlackBerries, but real with full editing right on the phone, and support for multiuser editing.
• Google reader for RSS.
• Product Search, including camera phone barcode reading for quick price comparisons.
• Google Transit, Google Ride finder (taxis, limos and shuttles) integrated into maps.
• Third-party Support: Allow an open platform for other people to develop for. Even a company as big as Goog can't do everything by itself, and with niche apps developed by end-users, you can service minor target segments that wouldn't otherwise be cost-effective for you to cover.
• Those apps should be native, or at least widgetized for performance reasons. Native apps just run faster. We don't mean Java apps either, because those are even worse in terms of battery usage.
• This thing is going to be a data transfer hog while it swaps info with all Google's online services. A 3G connection that toggles on for heavy downloads and uploads, but reverts to Wi-Fi or 2G for background email checking, etc. (To save battery.)
• Push GMail and exchange server support.
• A music player that doesn't suck: It's not going to be an iPod, but it's gotta have something in terms of media features that can top Windows Mobile phones. Try Rhapsody support. Stay away from WMPlayer as a load program, please.
• Search from the home screen: Bring Google's search-centric features to your phone, letting you search contacts, the web, your emails, and every other bit of data right from your home screen, much like the Helio Ocean does.
• Hardware Keyboard: The iPhone's virtual keyboard is passable, but we still love the solid feel of a key clicking. Our favorite is HTC's slide-out QWERTY keyboard, which is great because HTC is the rumored contractor for the Google Phone's hardware.
• Touchscreen: Since it's probably going to be an HTC-made phone, a 3-inch touchscreen on par with Windows Mobile phones is the least they can do. While it would be nice to have multi-touch gestures, it's not completely necessary.
• Long Battery life: We don't mind sacrificing some portability for a battery that can last an entire day, even with heavy screen and 3G usage. Nokia's are known for optimizing battery life without sacrificing too many features, but the Google apps may be too processor intensive—especially when combined with 3G.
• Form-factor: We love the slide-out form factor that HTC usually uses, which gives us a spacious keyboard as well as a big screen on top. A Treo-like shape with keys on the front wouldn't be too bad either, but would sacrifice screen space.
Funny thing is, Helio's Ocean and Nokia's N series phones do a lot of this. The UI needs to be slicker than what either of those companies have done so far, though. (Maybe they should hire some ex-Apple software people.) Anyhow, we don't even know if this phone is real, for certain, so I'm not sweating it.
Photo Credit: T3