I’m “Joe the Android Guy”. I do a weekly show for Pocketnow called the Android Guy Weekly. Needless to say, I like Android. I’ve been with the operating system since the T-Mobile G1 and Android 1.6. It might come as a surprise to many of you to hear me talk negatively about Android, so when I talk about my frustrations with Android, it’s not blasphemy, it’s reality.
Lack of Accessories
I look at all the Apple minions with their cute little phones in their cute little cases and their cute little keyboards — and I’m jealous. In my world, a tablet needs a case and a phone needs a dock. I’ve been using my Galaxy Nexus since it was released. I’m still waiting on the car dock. My Galaxy Tab 7.7 is still naked. I can’t find any decent cases for it, let alone any that include a Bluetooth keyboard.
The latest iterations of the iPhone and iPad are consistent across carriers. Both Apple and third parties make accessories for them — and they’re available when you buy your device. Android, with its many shapes and sizes, isn’t consistent. Those third party accessory manufacturers can’t make one SKU that fits a zillion devices, they’d have to make hundreds of SKUs to outfit the same number of devices. Efficiencies of scale go right out the window in the Android accessories arena.
Universal Search Button
Android is made by Google. Google is the king of search. Why then did Google get rid of Android’s universal search button?! That understated little button was probably the most efficient use of real-estate on the entire device! With it one could search the entire device, search within a specific app, search the Internet, or even long-press on it for voice commands. Sure, you can still get to it from the search widget on the home screen, but that’s just one more step that you’ve got to take before you can find what you’re looking for — and you’re no longer inside the app that you may have wanted to search within.
“Hey! Android 4.0.4 is out! What? Your device is only on 4.0.3? Oh, 4.0.2… well you should be getting an update soon…”
Sound familiar? Unfortunately, updates to Android are device-specific, and most of the time they have to be approved by the carrier and the phone manufacturer before they’re pushed out to you.
The more labor a phone maker puts into updating your phone, the less profit they’re making on it. They have a disincentive to update your device! And the carriers? They want to patch “critical” bugs (because they’re theoretically liable if they don’t), but to get the latest version of the OS in your hands, they’d rather you get their newest phone — and extend your contract for another two years in the process.
To all you Android app developers out there, I’m sorry for what I’m about to say: Apple has nicer apps. They’re more polished, they look better, they seem all around more professional than the “equivalents” on the Android platform. I keep telling myself that this will improve over time, and it has, just as not as soon as I’d like. I think this is because Apple people are stereo-typically more creative than Android folks are — perhaps they just have a better sense of style. Whatever the case, apps just look nicer on iOS than on Android.
Regardless of what I’ve mentioned above, I’m still solidly entrenched in the Android camp. I think the platform is more robust, the paradigm holds a brighter future, and I’m sure that our apps will get every bit as pretty as those for iOS.
Image credits: Logitech, Google