I’ve been using ICS on my Nexus S off and on for a few weeks, and while I said I would write about it, it’s really not worth it. The performance is terrible compared to the Galaxy Nexus. This is unsurprising: the hardware is ancient, comparatively. I really can’t give ICS a fair shake on this dumb phone.
I will say that a there are definitely some niceties thrown in there, and the OS is a bit more unified. Chrome is nice, but not a huge step up from Browser. Again, could be more of a hardware limitation than software.
Will I ever get an up-to-date Android phone and give ICS a fair shake? I sure as fuck hope not.
Curious: is your overall sentiment on the platforms still the same? 6 months ago I was ready to ditch Android at first opportunity (late this year). I'm surprised that my opinion is shifting a bit. I've slowly tweaked lots of things and realize I'm using a fair bit of Android-specific stuff. When I use my iPod touch running the latest iOS, it feels old, or at least not custom like how I like. I hope iPhone 5 is just awesome and makes the choice a no-brainer. To choose today would be tough.
Yes, still the same. Especially after getting ICS on my Nexus S last night and playing with it for an hour or so. The performance is terrible — not unlike, say, an iPhone 3GS running iOS 5. I get where you’re coming from, but I have zero interest in fiddling and tweaking something until it works almost how I want it to. For me, iOS is 90 percent there right out of the box. The other ten percent is stuff I can live without or am confident Apple will address in the future. And this is just comparing the core OSes. If you factor in things like hardware quality and ecosystem, the iPhone remains leaps and bounds in front of Android for me.
I take that as a don't do it? I didn't think it was a ad idea just because I own an iPod touch and an iPad as well.
Look, my feelings on android are pretty well known. I’m not going to tell you one way or another. If you want to give android a shot, go for it. But I wouldn’t do it with some dumb Samsung phone with touch wiz. If anything, get a galaxy nexus.
Seriously though, even though the 3G is old as shit, I bet your GF would prefer you take some cooking classes so you can make her a nice dinner occasionally. I mean, she’s putting up with your gadget fetish. It’s the least we all could do.
I have a 4s 32gb, I have a guy that wants to trade me a galaxy s || skyrocket and an iPhone 4. I was going to give the 4 to my girlfriend since she has a 3G and I have an iPod touch 4th gen as well and an iPad 2. What should I do?
Tell your girlfriend you love her, take her out for a nice night, and stop worrying about the gadgets in your life. There will always be better tech, no matter what you choose or who you ask. But your special lady is infinitely more important than dualcore snapdragons or galaxy dinguses. So take her out for a nice night, or a weekend getaway. Also, call your mom.
Google has seemingly eliminated the Verizon version of the Galaxy Nexus from the company’s internally-supported “Nexus” program — a series of devices designed to showcase new versions of stock Android and give developers access to pure, stable, unmodified platforms.
So the flagship Android phone that Google controls is no longer the flagship Android phone that Google controls? How does Google even let this happen?
If I bought one of these, I’d be raising hell to Verizon right about now.
Analyst Ed Zabitsky sees AAPL shares falling to $270:
The reason for his bearish view of the company is that Zabitsky believes the competing Android mobile operating system from Google “will change the playing field entirely” with its latest 4.0 update, also known as Ice Cream Sandwich. He says the experience on the updated platform is on par with Apple’s iOS.
You know what else is changing the playing field entirely, Ed? Google’s inability to upgrade the Nexus S to 4.0 after they “froze” the initial rollout. And carriers and OEMs stonewalling upgrades. And a comparatively god-awful ecosystem that’s just now getting a style guide to try to curb the horrendous applications flooding their market.
When you're using iOS, what do you miss from Android? Having just switched back to an iPhone I really miss background sync'ing. Having to open apps manually to make sure everything is up to date (podcasts, rss feeds, music on Spotify) is tedious to say the least. Oh and the share menu too.
I still miss the Share menu. I’ve said time and time again on this dumb blog that it is, hands down, the best thing about Android.
Fast access to radios is nice in spotty coverage areas. No matter what phone I’m carrying, often times my coverage will drop completely and I have to quickly jump into airplane mode and out again to get them back.
I don’t miss background processes. iOS backgrounding is more than sufficient for the things I need it for, mainly Instacast.
Other than those two things, (really only the Share menu) everything is better being back on iOS. Speed, user experience, app selection, the goddamned amazing camera … I could go on.
I find it difficult to buy into the any argument that Android is better than iOS. You can have a personal preference for whatever reason, but looking at it objectively, I think iOS wins every time.
Do you find that Bluetooths drain a lot of additional battery? I use it with my iPhone for my car's bluetooth, and I don't find it to drain much battery unless it's actively being used, kind of similarly to Location Services being "on" but not active unless an app is using it. In other words, I don't miss the radio switches from Android (I'm a convert) because I don't need to worry about battery drain from leaving stuff on because iOS handles it.
I do, whether or not it’s in my brain, I kind of do notice it. I should run a test to see if I’m crazy or not.
To be honest, and to assuage the accusations of fanboyism, I continue to have odd battery performance under iOS 5.0.1. It’s not constant, but sometimes after sitting idle for hours, I’ll grab my phone, it will be warm to the touch, and the battery will have taken a noticeable hit.
Whether or not my fear of leaving Bluetooth on is a symptom of this, I don’t know.
If there are any Android fans left reading this site, I have a question:
Considering all of the phones being announced this week at CES, and considering that none of the carrier specific devices are running stock Android, and considering that none of these devices are running 4.0 and all you can get out of companies is that they’re “evaluating upgrade paths” or “looking at a date down the road”, and considering that hardware has become such weak differentiator for Android (and that the hardware is generally uninspiring to begin with), and considering that all of the announcements from last year’s CES have just dissolved into the ether,
do you at all care about what is being announced at CES?
It’s been no secret that one of the most popular requests I get is for me to eat an Ice Cream Sandwich. With the amount of buzz flying around Ice Cream Sandwich lately, and many of my partners and competitors both talking about and eating Ice Cream Sandwiches, it’s no secret that bringing an Ice…
I’ve been patiently waiting for Android 4.0 to be released for my Nexus S before I wrote anything else here, but a few things have happened recently that have forced me to comment on a serious problem I see with Android.
Who is it good for that one flagship device is announced the same day as a second flagship device that makes the first one inconsequential? And that they’re on the same carrier in the US? So that carrier refuses to announce a release for the second device in an attempt to sell more of the obsolete first?
Who is good for that the current flagship device, billed as a “pure Google experience”, has a major feature gimped by the carrier it’s on because they’re working on a future competing technology?
Who is it good for that the upgrade path to the newest version of Android is completely uncertain for consumers, even those who just bought devices or will be getting them this holiday? (And don’t even get me started on the upgrade path for the dozen or so Android tablets sold.)
I think it’s safe to say none of this is good for anyone.
This isn’t about Google’s way vs. Apple’s way. This is about Google having no real control over its platform, to the point where “Android” just becomes another marketing bullet point for dozens of bullshit phones in the market.
If this is your definition of an “open platform”, then I’m glad I have no real investment in it, because it seems like a bag of hurt.
It didn’t take long after starting this dumb blog to come to a realization: comparing Android to iOS in any meaningful way is nearly impossible. You can contrast the two, but comparisons are difficult to make. What you see is what you get with iOS. With Android, the device-to-device experience is so varied it’s staggering.
"But-but-but OPENNESS!" the fanboys screamed. Hold on a moment, neckbeard.
As the latest and greatest versions of Android are released, Google should offer them up to OEMs only as pristine, unskinned, pure Google experiences. Let carriers and OEMs preload some junky apps on there that the user can uninstall, but that’s it. The OEMs should focus on building beautiful, flagship hardware. This isn’t wholly unlike what Microsoft does with Windows Phone 7, minus the beautiful hardware. (With the Lumia 800 being a lone exception.)
Then, three or four months down the road, completely open source the newest version. Let the OEMs skin the shit out of it for their bargain bin phones they flood the market with. Android finally has a cohesive identity, and the low-end of the market becomes Android-powered feature phones, which they basically already are.
How can any hardcore Android fan think that a selection of the best hardware possible, with the newest and cleanest version of Android, isn’t a great idea?
Sat around the diddled with a Bell employee’s Galaxy Nexus for almost an hour at a party, because I’m the cool guy at parties who sits alone in corners with a stranger’s phone and a bottle of Makers. I gotta say, the core OS is a huge improvement. There’s actually some cohesive thought there.
There are still two big problems, though. First, the ecosystem is the same: shitty compared to iOS. Second, this really feels like a complete reinvention of Android. Even the guy whose phone it was, who is a stalwart Android user, agreed that he was having to relearn a lot of the OS. It’s a bit of an omission that, yes, Android did kind of suck from an experience standpoint.
Again, I reiterate, this seemed really nice. Very different, but it made a lot more sense than 2.3.
The Galaxy Nexus hardware is nothing impressive. I don’t get the allure of that size of device. It didn’t feel too big, but it definitely kind of seemed excessive. I think a 4” screen is the sweet spot.
That being said, it’s definitely the Android phone to get. Don’t bother looking at anything else.
SHAMELESS PROMOTION FOR A PAL — My Research Project: Why We Like
This has nothing to do with Android, and is totally shameless. Sorry if it upsets you, but please read on.
My pal Scott is working on a research project for university about why we use “Like” buttons on social networks. You can read his spiel quoted below.
Scott is rad, and we worked on another “like” related project with our friend Lucas called TweetBoner. *groan*
Since there are multiple-hundreds of you following this blog using your Tumblr dashboard, it would be really awesome if even a handful of you could help Scott out. So read below to find out what you can do. It takes almost no effort and you’d be helping out an Australian, which is like helping out a cripple. So you can feel good about it. (I KID!)
I’m really interested in Like buttons. I think they’re a fascinating phenomenon. It’s something that’s not even five years old and yet it’s already become something that millions of people do every day. It’s something that we do without thinking, but can’t always explain. Long story short, I’m interested. So interested, in fact, that I decided that my undergrad research project at UQ should be about why we click Like buttons and how knowing that might be able to improve social recommendation systems. I need to gather some information from real live people, and I could really use your help — all you’d have to do is keep using Tumblr. Interested? Read on.
As part of my research, I’m investigating why people are Liking things online. To keep things simple, I’m focusing on users of one particular social network — in this case, Tumblr. I’m running a kind of diary study over the course of a week to find out why people are Liking things on Tumblr.
Here’s how it works. You download and install a browser extension (for Safari or Chrome). Then, for the next week, every time you Like a Tumblr post, a form pops up and asks you why you just Liked that post. You answer the question and submit the form, and then the form goes away. Too easy, right? Everything’s kept anonymous, and you can opt out at any time by just uninstalling the browser extension.
First, thanks to everyone who followed the blog, asked meaningful questions and shared their own experiences. In hindsight, this was pretty fun, and that’s probably because there were so many of you along for the ride.
A few things to read
Peter Rojas over at gdgt notes why he chooses Android over iOS. This is about the most cogent, meaningful thing I’ve ever seen written in favour of Android. I agree with everything he says. Where we differ is that those positives don’t add up enough to make me jump platforms.
A nice guy named Josh wrote a response to my “big question” of who Android is for. He makes a case for Android handsets saturating the low-end of the market, and that things might start to change over the next year with Apple keeping the 3GS and 4 around. I agree with his piece. It’s going to be an interesting year.
Lots of folks have asked if I’d do something like this for Windows Phone 7.5. As I’ve said in the past, I have a fairly positive opinion of WP7, and it sounds like Mango only improves on things. My biggest ding is developer support and hardware quality. I’d love to do this, but maybe not until things push forward even more. (I have confidence that they will.) I’d totally be open to to getting one of those Nokia WP7 handsets they’re apparently announcing next week.
A few people have asked if I’m missing anything after only a few weeks back on iOS. Not really. I’ve only had two or three instances where the share menu would have made accomplishing something easier and quicker. I’m very happy to be back on iOS. The 4S is really nice.
There was quite a bit of controversy surrounding the video I posted comparing browsers on iOS and Android. Lots have claimed I am dumb, or I cheated somehow, or my phone is broken. Sure.
That was my experience, and that’s what I shared. I’m sure other Android hardware performs differently, but I stand by Browser being a huge turd. There’s been enough confirmation popping up to make me feel confident that what I showed was “normal” behaviour, at least on the Nexus S. If you disagree, I implore you to try it out. Here’s the page I used.
Lastly, a number of people have insinuated that I am a homosexual and/or an Apple fanboy, often in the same sentence. I’d like to clear the air. First, I am a heterosexual (sorry, fellas!), though I think homosexuality is a perfectly fine thing. Second, you can absolutely disagree with this blog. As I’ve said time and time again, I’m not trying to convince people to ditch Android. But to call me an “Apple Fanboy” after I took the time to really use Android and understand it is a worthless comment. Don’t even point out where you disagree; of course you disagree. But if you want to complain about this, show me where in my assessment I’m wrong so I can reevaluate things.
Ice Cream Sandwich (Ugh. That’s still so dumb.)
There was some confusion as to whether older phones would be getting 4.0, but it seems like they will. I have no idea how it’s going to work on hardware with physical buttons, but I guess I’ll find out next month. It’s far too early to pass judgement, but it looks like a step in the right direction for the platform. The next time I post here will probably be to give my thoughts on 4.0
Four months with Android: reflections, grievances and some tenuous metaphors bundled up into a weighty tome
OR, The longest, most awkward dinner of my life
tl;dr version: I’m really glad to have an iPhone 4S.
(Note: this was written over multiple days, spaced weeks apart.)
I approached this experiment with a lot of questions, the primary of which was quite simple: why do people use Android? I had my own preconceived answers — they dislike Apple or couldn’t get an iPhone for one reason or another — but I dove in with an open mind regardless. After over four months of Android 2.3 on a Nexus S, I’m left mostly answerless.
That’s not to say I didn’t learn a lot. I have a solid grasp of what makes Android Android, the ins-and-outs of the OS, and, yes, there are even a few really great features I will miss as I transition back to iOS.
But at the end of the day I’m left with mostly a bad taste in my mouth. What follows is a summation of four months exclusively using Android. They’re my opinions. I’m not trying to sway anyone away from the platform, and I’m not looking to troll Android fanboys. I am but one man who likes stupid gadgets and decided to conduct a dumb experiment. Let’s go.
Is IOS5's performance on the 3GS decent? When I upgraded it from IOS3 to IOS4 the performance got terrible.
I’m finding it’s better than going from 3 to 4, though there are some serious points that bog down the system. If you’re playing a game or using another system-straining app and you get a banner notification (the ones that flip down from the top), my experience has been the whole OS briefly grinds to a halt. For the most part, though, it’s been a decent experience for a nearly three-year-old phone.
Just wanted to say kudos for sharing your experiment with us. I'm firmly entrenched in the Android camp but "too old for this shit" - "shit" being the fanboy troll wars carried out on the internet. You gave it a shot, shared your informed opinion, and now you're heading back to your preferred platform. That's more than most people would do. Maybe you should do Windows Phone next? Enjoy your 4S dude.
Thanks man. Really appreciate it. I’ve actually used WP7 extensively. I like it! There’s just no dev support and the hardware is all crap. Hopefully Nokia will solve this. As for fanboyism and gadget fetishism, I think Steve’s death yesterday really exemplified what we should focus on: we live in an amazing time with amazing opportunities.
Many of the material things we foolishly hold dear — repressing to the back of our minds that the modern comfort they provide is fleeting through fragility or obsoleteness, and that with or without them, life will continue to press forward — wouldn’t exist without Steve Jobs.
A human is not a material thing. Though they share the similar qualities of fragility and obsoleteness, a human is capable of so much more. Ideas, emotions, perception, imagination, creation and re-creation.
Steve has died, and though he has imbued a company, his company, with his vision, it is sad to know that a mind as amazing as his will give us no more. For everything that could have come from it in the future has been committed to the ether, left for someone else to discover. I have little doubt that it will go undiscovered.
Today the earth is sad, but the sky is hopeful. Life will continue to press forward.
You hate Android with the vim and vigor of, sorry to say, a zealot. I use Android, Linux, MacOSX and Windows *daily*, and I've used iOS in the past. They are all, well, fine. They all have their quirks, but I could never muster the hate that you muster about any of them. So my question is: you talk like Android is as good as waxing your balls with sandpaper: why exactly? What makes it *so* fucking terrible that it makes your life measurably horrible. Because man, it's not that fucking bad…
Going to answer this separate, because I think it’s a very fair question.
On one hand, this guy is totally correct. It is fucking amazing that we live in a world where both iOS and Android exist. That the greatest computers anyone can possibly own disappear into a pants pocket. This is reality, and anyone who uses and relies on technology on a daily basis should be conscious of this.
However, we also live in a world that is becoming increasingly more conscious of good design and usability. These are things that average people are starting to pick up on. It’s more difficult to create products in the technology space that aren’t seamless and easy to grok. And yet, many “hardcore” computer users shun things like Apple’s aesthetic, and perhaps for good reason. Still, the crux of this came down to attempting to answer why this was.
I’m also conscious that this dumb experiment was completely superfluous. The fact that I have the ability to compare and contrast these two software platforms that were barely conceivable to the average person a little over five years ago is a privilege unto itself and one I do not overlook.
With those things in mind, I don’t specifically hate Android. That’s foolish. But as an outlet, the Internet does tend to magnify such emotions, like drunk dialling an ex-girlfriend. I don’t plan to go out of my way to scream about how “teh sux” Android is after all of this — hell, I just spent four months giving it a shot — but when put side-by-side with iOS, I have no qualms explaining where my preferences lie, and I think my self-guided study validates my own opinions and mine alone.
Last night I swapped my SIM back into my 3GS, updated the shit out of it, and installed the iOS 5 GM. I’m getting ready for the iCloud transition and need to get everything on my iPhone back in shape after months of neglect.
So with that, the end is nigh for this blog, at least for the time being.
I’m starting to piece together a final post to reflect on the last 4+ months using Android. I’ve completely wiped my ask box, so if you have any burning questions you’d like cleared up, or my take on anything specific, or to troll me one last time and tell me I’m a “dumb Apple fanboy faggot”, now’s your shot.
I wouldn't say 3.0 is trash. I have quibbles with it, but it's better thought out for tablets than iOS is in a lot of ways (at least until 5 comes out). Yes 3.0 was a stop gap, and was not open sourced for that very reason, but the biggest knocks on android tablets right now is apps and price. ICS will solve the apps problem since every app will work on phones or tablets. Price is a different issue, but as with phones I think it's more than just android phones are cheaper as the explanation
It is trash. If it weren’t, people would be buying Android tablets. They are overpriced, janky, non compelling products. And there’s way too many of them.
Listen to this weeks TIMN podcast; should be out tomorrow. Josh Topolsky spells out the problem Android tablets: they have no story.
Not sure why you think 3.0 tablets will be abandonware. ICS is the unification the OSes. It will run on tablets and phones, and solve a lot of the App problems for tablets. As for the hardware, the galaxy tab 10.1 is a wonderful piece of hardware (better than the ipad2 and I own both), and really it's the OS that needs a little more catchup.
I think you missed the key point: they’re abandonware to consumers. To pull out the 80s comic trope: what is the DEAL with Android tablets? I mean seriously, WHO is buying these things?
The answer is no one, comparatively. I don’t think ICS and bringing the OSes together will do anything meaningful to tablets. The problem is that there’s a commonly held view that the smartphone and tablet markets are analogous. They’re not. So because Android on smartphones owns a large amount of market share, there’s a perception that tablets will eventually catch up to the iPad. I don’t think this could be further from the truth.
Even for all my bitching, I’ll admit that Android on phones is in many ways the iPhone’s peer. Google has done a lot right and they deserve credit for that. But on the tablet front, they’ve completely shat the bed. 3.x is trash right now. It was rushed to try to slow down the iPad. When that failed, Google was left with a mess to try to clean up, and they’re still in that phase. There’s a reason they haven’t open sourced it yet, and that’s because bolting on a ton of cruft is only going to make it worse. So from the software perspective, they’re far behind Apple, and potentially far behind Amazon and Microsoft. 3.x needs more than “a little more catchup”.
Hardware is another thing all together, as it falls to the OEMs. I’ll concede that the Galaxy 10.1 is easily the nicest Android hardware right now. I have a hard time saying it’s better than the iPad, but I’ll go with it being on-par. The vast majority of other Android hardware? Complete garbage. And there’s so much of it.
With phones, people’s contracts are constantly expiring. There’s at least some market for these companies to continually release new devices. But tablets are different. It’s a more conscious decision. You have to want one, not need one or get one free when you renew a contract. But Android tablet makers have done nothing to truly position their products as legitimate alternatives to the iPad. They’re just “me-toos”. Then they try to sell them on contract, or put them on a shelf with a dozen other tablets, all for the same price as the iPad, or try to differentiate with hardware gimmicks. It’s no surprise they aren’t selling.
So with the iPad, and now Kindle Fire, you have a very cohesive hardware and software stack, backed up by a recognizable and trusted distribution chain. The purchasing decisions are easy.
None of this exists with Android. Full-stop.
Oh, and did I mention the Fire costs $199?
Yeah, Android tablets kind of look like mountain of abandonware.
The general response to my last post is that the Kindle Fire either doesn’t impact Android or it’s positive for the platform. More devices using the web means more eyeballs for Google, and that people figure (probably correctly) that they’ll be able to put some flavour of stock Android on this thing. The latter is a fringe case, and I still can’t understand why you’d want to do that, but whatever.
Ultimately, I think I phrased the question poorly.
I think the Fire is undoubtedly negative for Google. All of the services that allow Google to aggregate your data and deliver you ads have been stripped out. If whatever this OS is (I don’t know if it has a name) ends up being better (it definitely looks like it is) and more successful than Android 3.x (it definitely has the distribution model to be), it’s going to seriously undermine a lot of the work that Google has done.
However, the more important question is what this means for Android tablet OEMs. I think it’s safe to say that no one making Android tablets today is profiting from them. The Kindle Fire seems like a much better alternative to the iPad than any other tablet so far. It’s actually trying to be something different rather than replicate the iPad experience in a clunky manner. If these OEMs aren’t making money off of their family of six different sized shit-bricks, what happens now that there’s a truly differentiated alternative to the iPad that isn’t standing next to a dozen identical devices?
Is the market of pure Android “rooters-and-hackers” and “open enthusiasts” big enough to support an Android tablet market? I doubt it.
If anything, the success of the Kindle Fire might cause the current Android tablet market to thin out considerably and OEMs will only start trying to push out one or two high-quality devices. But at the end of the day, the current mountain of shitty Android tablets can’t be sustainable, especially with the announcement of the Kindle Fire.
To me, from the consumer perspective, Android 3.x and Android tablets feel a lot like abandonware.
Will you also take a look at the next Nexus device with Ice Cream Sandwich that Samsung and Google are announcing on October 11th?
The new hardware? Probably not. I dropped $450 on my Nexus S and I plan on buying a new iPhone. If my invisible girlfriend found out I was spending all my money on cellphones, she’d surely breakup with me! Also, this was never really about Android hardware.
As for ICS, yes, I will probably take a look at it when it drops for the Nexus S and write about anything that differs greatly from my experience with 2.3.
[Re: quality of Android apps] It's the "skinniest kid at fat camp" analogy. The Android owner is looking at competing Android apps and picking the best one. It might suck compared to its iOS counterpart, but that's irrelevant as he gets ready to complete his Android Market purchase.
Yup. You’re totally right.
It’s hard for me to grok having spent so much time with iOS, though. I think it’s a fair comparison, even though it’s irrelevant to stalwart Android users.
Have you ever tried to preview a PDF email attachment in Android? What do you use? It's built-in to iOS but I never have any luck with Android. The fact that it's been weeks with me looking on and off is annoying. I've tried Docs To Go (they want money for this feature), ThinkFreeOffice (which also wants money to fully view PDF attachments), and then I just poop out getting worried about ads or resource use. Ugh. I just want to view a PDF attachment!
actually it was going to be familiarity bias. I too am curious about why certain websites screw up the android browser. I wonder how firefox for mobile reacts. But I imagine site admins are more sensitive to iOS performance. Also, I think complaining about apps not being the same is a complaint aimed at the developers not the platform. Instapaper's Marco doesn't want to do Android based on business reasons, so how is that android's fault? I never got to use Instapaper, but ReadItLater is great.
The browser continues to be the most confusing part of Android to me. It’s such a different experience than iOS, though the underlying tech is still Webkit.
I disagree about placing the blame on developers. The disparity in quality of apps between the platforms is astonishing. Yes, there are good Android apps, but there are many more polished ‘AAA’ apps for iOS. I think this is fairly indisputable. If Android is as popular as its marketshare numbers say it is, I can’t think of a reason of why this would be, other than Google not fostering a development community as Apple has. Even though Apple’s policies are questionable at times and they have alienated (even screwed over) some developers, people are still flocking to the platform to build for it. Developers are clearly choosing iOS, and Google should probably figure out why.
I had the pleasure of discussing Android and Instapaper with Marco Arment at WWDC this year, and, yes, it really came down to it not being economically viable for him to support two different mobile OSes. But the real quandary was individual device support for Android: how does one guy keep up with dozens of different hardware configurations, running different versions of the OS, with different customizations bolted on, and no guarantee that any of them will ever get updates? I can’t fault him for that, but if I was in his position, I’d look in Google’s direction and say, “What the fuck?”
EDIT: And just to follow-up on that, Marco has said that the next update to Instapaper is going to require at least iOS 4, which allows him to add and polish features based solely on the iOS 4 SDK, and should help simplify supporting the app. You couldn’t pull something like that on Android if you’re app is already out in the market and being widely used.
I am curious about your statement "But lately I’ve passed my breaking point for trying to accomplish certain things on a daily basis with the phone." What exactly can’t you do on a daily basis that is that you could on iOS? And how does that measure to what you can do easily on Android that is a pain on iOS? I had an iPhone for a year and half and switched to a Nexus One, and my experience is that neither is a flawless devices, and that most of the complaints from going to one to other is fami
I agree completely: neither device is perfect. It comes down to personal preference and mine squarely lies with iOS. I have no qualms admitting this, but also accept that some (lots) of people are going to prefer Android. I’m not trying to change those people’s opinions.
There are quite a few web apps I use on a daily basis at work. Since I’m on the go and away from my desk quite often, I have to rely on whatever device I have with me to use them. Though they’re well made and work perfectly in almost any browser I’ve tried, lots of them freak out when accessed through Android. Can’t figure out why. Webkit is Webkit, no?
Plus there are just a handful of apps I miss using. I feel like a lot of the Android counterparts for things like Simplenote and Instapaper are very lacking compared to iOS.
As for the other way, I’ve harped on it before, but the Share Menu is wonderful. Combine it with Dropbox and you have an amazing system for moving information around. Hands down my favourite part of Android, and it runs circles around iOS.
(This guys ask was cut off. I assumed the last word was supposed to be ‘familiarity’.)
“Read: all other tablets are complete shit.” “I hope Windows 8 changes this. I really like Metro,“ What’s the total amount of time you’ve spent using all other tablets? How much time have you spent using Metro?
I used a WP7 device for a month while testing a work project. The platform is lacking in apps, but the performance was great and I really liked live tiles. The whole OS is very original and kind of un-Microsoft in a lot of ways. Great to see that they are still able to do some very innovative, fresh projects. It’s a great direction, I think.
I have used a handful of different Android tablets off and on. I work in high-tech communications, and a lot of people around me have them, so they get passed around at meetings and the such. My general opinion is that Android 3.0 is not ready for primetime. It’s performance is junk and the lack of apps make it not worth looking at right now. It will come around, I’m sure, but it’s so far off from the iPad and iOS. iPhones and Android phones are much, much closer.
People around here have them mostly for debugging and research projects with micro-controllers. But for the most part, they sit unused on desks or in drawers.
I used a PlayBook for all of an hour and gave it back to the IT department.
Do you think, looking at the current tablet market where its about the devices functionality as a device and not as a phone, the iPad is killing everything else (android/touchpad/playbook) because customers realize that iOS works well, has apps, and is run on a great piece of hardware?
I think the buying experience is a big issue. People are used to going into a store and just getting a phone. Maybe doing a bit of research online, but you generally walk into a service provider’s store, buy a phone and a plan.
Tablets are a different beast. People view them more like computers, and being able to go into an Apple Store (or big box) and play with one is really important. I have never seen another working tablet device on demo in a store other than a TouchPad, and we know how that worked out.
I also think that when an average person gets a chance to use a non-iPad tablet, they immediately get why the iPad is so popular. (Read: all other tablets are complete shit.) I hope Windows 8 changes this. I really like Metro, but I’m worried all of the legacy Windows cruft is going to hold them back.
Last, right now there is no tablet market. It’s just an iPad market.
I used an iPhone for 3 years and switched to Android because the Android was cheaper. The iPhone was $80 a month through AT&T for just the iPhone. I used Cincinnati Bell for my ISP, landline home phone, and 3 cell phones for my wife and kids. Cinci Bell said that after buying a Samsung Galaxy S that the additional cost for the Android was $40 a month. So I dropped the iPhone. Here's one anecdotal data point that the Android *is* cheaper than the iPhone. In my case, half the price.
That’s fair, but it has more to do about moving to a small regional carrier, one that doesn’t offer the iPhone, than moving from the iPhone to Android.
Oh, and I've introduced a lot of people to Android from the iPhone and most, if not all, have enjoyed it far more. Probably due to the extra money in their pockets, but enjoyed it nonetheless. These were, admittedly not tech savvy people and clearly don't use their phones to the max like you, I, and many others do on a professional basis.
I never understood the “Android is cheaper” argument.
Data plans are data plans.
In terms of hardware, sure, there’s a ton of junky low-end phones that some people might be okay with. But my experience is that people get fed up with shitty hardware before the software. If you want a decent Android experience and you care, you’re going to be spending ~$150-250 for a phone on contract. I see no savings by going with Android unless your content with a Huawei Shitbrick V1076, or whatever the phone Supercuts is giving away with a haircut. And I don’t think many people are content with that.