A bit of a long rant, but people often ask when I’m going to move from iPhone to Android; maybe never if iPhone can fix these things.
I voted up Derek’s answer, and am still new to Quora so hopefully adding my own riff as a separate answer isn’t bad form…
I’ll go with the things that keep me jailbreaking, many of which mimic or improve on items Android also has:
1) A queueing, non-modal notification system like android/WP7. Necessary, no questions asked. (BiteSMS handles this from JB/Cydia point of view)
2) Fast access to camera via dedicate button or key sequence. They have an
amazing, best in class camera implementation and the world’s worst user experience trying to activate the damn thing. (Snappy/Activator on Cydia)
3) Wifi hotspot. Not likely on AT&T but quite possible on Verizon, who has a habit of actually not pretending this feature doesn’t exist. (MyWi on Cydia)
4) Nice to have: allow apps to hook into the messaging system (SMS in particular) for responding/filtering/trig
gering based on messages. Example: auto responses during certain schedules/calendar events, etc. (Various, none perfect. The big news item was the one on Android that handles this when you are driving)
5) This could pre-empt (har har) #1 and #4, but the “Intent” system on Android, including Intents for push items seems like it has significant, but potentially abused, potential. App delivery pushed OTA, being able to trigger app specific messages (ex: if I send a panorama pic to a buddy, he gets a notification and it opens up into the panorama app.). They allow for the now ancient URL scheme like twitter:// to be fired off locally and perhaps to some degree via push but as I understand the Android implementation is far more powerful. (None per se)
6) Battery usage details. Yes, devs can use wonderful analysis tools pre-distribution, but I think letting those users WHO DESIRE drill down into the battery details and see the main offenders would squash a good number of the “what is killing my battery” questions, or worse the 1-star reviews “installed this and battery drained instantly”, but giving them a true picture of the situation. (None per se, but Battery details in Android system settings)
7) Voice entry into all text fields, and expanded voice control library. This should go first but I think we expect it to be there via the Siri acquisition and/or Apple’s expertise, so I downranked it a bit.
Multitasking for kiddies a la iOS4 has actually bridged the gap far more than I expected, and it’s quite nice that they haven’t clamped down on people using “pending tasks” and other mechanisms to keep alive connections for apps like VNC, etc. This would have been huge otherwise.