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Trying to wrap my head around Android
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Aug 11, 2013, 02:57 PM
 
Yeah, yeah, haven't been here for a while. HI!

So, this Android business. I don't get it. I'm trying to wrap my head around why people love this OS so much when it's, IMO, a turd.

Some points:

When you buy a phone, you have no idea if or when you'll get the latest update. Phones are coming out NOW that still don't have 4.3 on them, and there's no telling if or when they ever will. How is this a good thing? I moved to the iOS platform to get AWAY from crap like this. Some phone manufacturers said that updates were coming and then they were dropped. And yet, people don't care. I don't mean the average Joes that buy these things, I'm talking about the Android advocates. They seem to accept waiting months or longer for updates while other phones get updates much sooner. I don't get it.

Three Android "game changing" phones were announced in the course of three months. If you bought the first one (the SG4), and then saw the Moto X, are you pissed? Is this a good environment to be in? Your phone is obsolete within weeks, not months or years.

Development is a bitch. I'm porting one of our iOS apps to Android. Has anyone used Eclipse? It's *terrible*. It's like an IDE built pre-Visual Studio 6, and Android's API documentation doesn't help you with how API calls work or don't work on different devices. I just had to get the temp directory in my app, and it worked on some test devices except the SGNote8.

No good media ecosystem. Let's face it, iTunes Match is boss. You don't have to upload all your music for a week to get it up to Google, and you don't have to pay extra for storage. Everything. Boom.

So, I really don't get it. I've been in the tech field for decades and the appeal of Android makes me I thought consumers wouldn't want to be locked to carriers or manufacturers like they were in the past. Android fans complain about the "walled garden" iOS has, but the stuff works, and from a dev POV, it's far smoother to work with.

The only thing that Android has is the better cameras on their devices, but not much more.

Thoughts?

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Aug 11, 2013, 03:12 PM
 
:fetches popcorn:

There was an interesting statistic posted recently that iOS fares MUCH better among people buying their SECOND (or later) smartphone, while Android is more popular among first-time buyers.

This would indicate that people buy Android because it's cheaper and because they're told it's good enough, and then try iOS to see if it really does away with the things that have been annoying them. I actually see some of that going the opposite direction, as well, but the numbers would indicate that it's far less prevalent than switching TO iOS (much the same as with the Mac).

Edit: found the link (via Gruber) http://allthingsd.com/20130807/apple...tphone-buyers/
     
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Aug 11, 2013, 04:32 PM
 
I enjoyed my 2 years with an Android phone (Galaxy S) which was of course free when I signed up for t-Mobile. Recently I repaired my girlfriend's broken iPhone 4s and got that activated on my t-Mobile account.

There's some stuff I still prefer on my old Android phone. I liked the menu 'button' at the bottom of the screen, which is a universal way to access options when you are in any app or interface. I liked the Android app store, but that's probably because I f**king despise iTunes and everything it touches. I liked having my 12GB phone available as removable storage easily on my Mac. I liked adding videos and music directly to the phone (again, iTunes) and the ability to view a proper file directory.

But...

Androids always have that "cobbled-together" feeling. A buddy got my exact phone with the addition of 4G capabilities about 4 months after me and a number of OS elements were arranged entirely differently. Another friend got an LG Android around the same time and his OS was completely different from either of the previous two. I've seen my g/f go through several phones and they all function nearly identical to the last version. Having my 4s for a while I agree that Apple works very well within it's own ecosystem, which has been a hallmark of the company forever. It's a wonderful device, but I can't justify spending that amount of coin on a phone. If it came down to it tomorrow, I would sign up for a two-year agreement with some other phone company and get a good price on a decent Android. That's just me though, I don't use the thing all the time and I don't pay for a large data plan. Most of my phone use is texting, GPS, and using the web to look up stuff that cannot wait until I'm in front of my Mac. Even to this day my old Galaxy S works very well as a GPS.
     
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Aug 11, 2013, 04:40 PM
 
Eh, iTunes doesn't bother me. I like how iOS/MacOS organizes everything. I never really cursed it out.

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Aug 11, 2013, 05:35 PM
 
ITunes gets in my way, constantly. It runs like an absolute pig.

When I was backing up my g/fs 4s to transfer her info to the new 5 iTunes would beachball on me for 30 seconds at a time every couple of minutes when either iPhone was attached. This is on my SSD iMac/fresh install where I almost never get the beachball for any reason.

I also dislike how I need to re-enter my apple password every-time I go to download some silly free app. On the Android app store there were no passwords, only a direct link to my phone bill if I purchased anything.
     
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Aug 11, 2013, 05:42 PM
 
Google's response to fragmentation are Mooglephones and Nexi.

I agree with sek. iTunes is ****ing garbage.
     
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Aug 11, 2013, 06:13 PM
 
I don't get a phone wondering when the next OS update is. Do you know this when you buy the latest iPhone?

I like choice : big phone, good camera, micro SD, screen size, interface type, vanilla, hate Samsung/HTC/LG - all these are solvable in the Android world.

Phones, cars, computers, cameras : this is the 21st Century, competition is good. But that S4 wasn't obsolete because the MotoX came out. Being trumped by the competition does not equal being obsolete.

Google Music is great : ~60G, took 3 days on my shite connection, never paid a penny for anything, acessable from my phone and 2 tablets. Don't understand the issue.

I've had Samsung, Sony and now an LG (Nexus 4) phones - 3 different suppliers (you have to unlocke the phone by law in France after a few months). Never had an issue changing phone make or interacting with my tablets (Asus TF101 and Nexus 7).

I think that Android was behind iOS for a while, but its caught up (and maybe even surpassed) iOS in some respects. I'm a vanilla Android user, so my judgement may be clouded.
     
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Aug 11, 2013, 06:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by mattyb View Post
I don't get a phone wondering when the next OS update is. Do you know this when you buy the latest iPhone?
Actually, yeah. Apple said every year, so....

Originally Posted by mattyb View Post
I like choice : big phone, good camera, micro SD, screen size, interface type, vanilla, hate Samsung/HTC/LG - all these are solvable in the Android world.
Interface type you can't completely control. You can't put one manufacturer's layer on another's. You can't mix and match. If you want the Moto X's camera but like the Samsung UI, you're out of luck.

Originally Posted by mattyb View Post
Phones, cars, computers, cameras : this is the 21st Century, competition is good. But that S4 wasn't obsolete because the MotoX came out. Being trumped by the competition does not equal being obsolete.

Google Music is great : ~60G, took 3 days on my shite connection, never paid a penny for anything, acessable from my phone and 2 tablets. Don't understand the issue.

I've had Samsung, Sony and now an LG (Nexus 4) phones - 3 different suppliers (you have to unlocke the phone by law in France after a few months). Never had an issue changing phone make or interacting with my tablets (Asus TF101 and Nexus 7).

I think that Android was behind iOS for a while, but its caught up (and maybe even surpassed) iOS in some respects. I'm a vanilla Android user, so my judgement may be clouded.
If you're a vanilla user, then you don't have the issues that other users do. When a new version of Android comes out, you'll get it weeks or months before Galaxy Tab users. 4.3 hasn't made its way to my Note8 yet. I don't know when it will, but I do know that iOS 7 will be out pretty soon, and EVERYONE gets it at the same time. You don't have to worry. They do. But they may have a better camera, so it's a tradeoff, and not one I'm willing to make.

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Aug 11, 2013, 07:00 PM
 
People have made fun of Apple for releasing a new gadget every five minutes but actually every other electronics company is so much worse, its just that no-one cares enough about any single product to notice or care.

For the life of me I cannot understand why phone makers, laptop makers, tablet makers and printer makers feel like they need to release a whole new line up of products every 25 minutes. Its ridiculous.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Aug 11, 2013, 07:02 PM
 
If anything, I'd say Apple has slowed it down too much. I'm ready for new shit.
     
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Aug 11, 2013, 07:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
If anything, I'd say Apple has slowed it down too much. I'm ready for new shit.
There's a part of me that wonders if this is intentional. Let everything lull for a little while and BAM!

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Aug 11, 2013, 07:45 PM
 
Not necessarily a bad plan, the two important factors would be overexposure once they drop the hammer, and the longer they wait the harder they need to make the hammer blow.
     
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Aug 11, 2013, 08:00 PM
 
I'm watching TWiT right now (shock) and the question of the moment is what will be Apple's "compelling feature" on the next iPhone.
     
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Aug 11, 2013, 08:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I'm watching TWiT right now (shock) and the question of the moment is what will be Apple's "compelling feature" on the next iPhone.
That's an interesting point. People say that specs are irrelevant now. It's pretty true. Now it's about the software because really, what are you going to base how cool a new phone off of? Infinite Blade? NFC?

Personally, I wish Apple would put a better camera in their phone. Their software overall could be a little better. To be fair, I like Android's "Widget" system. Maybe iOS 7 will be marginally better, but iOS 8 and/or the next iPhone really need to push past the usual gradual step up.

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Aug 11, 2013, 09:04 PM
 
I moved both phones and tablets from iOS to Android. Why? Choice and flexibility.

My Android devices work exactly the way I want and need them to work. Android, once you understand the power of it, lets you create a custom setup that is specific to your needs, then gets out of the way. For example:

My home screen contains a widget that displays the weather, time, date, battery charge and my most often used apps. Swipe left and my calendar is live. Swipe left once more and my two main email windows open - on the same screen. Swipe again and my secondary apps open. Swipe right and any.do opens up. Instantly, without loading time. On an iPhone this would be multiple clicks, then return to home screen, then open next app, etc.

Buy a Nexus device and never worry about vendor crapware or late OS updates. The Nexus is an excellent phone, at an amazing price. Want something a little posher? The HTC One is as beautiful and well made as an iPhone. The second it becomes available here in Canada I'll be ordering it.

There are still a few apps I prefer on iOS, but Android is closing the gap, and rapidly. Also, Android is a really good looking OS these days, but with the power of the google network behind it.

Additionally, I prefer the way Android handles files. It is incredibly easy to share, for example, an image to pretty much any application that could possibly have use for it. This functionality is part of the OS, not something that an app may or may not support. I get constantly frustrated using my wife's iPhone because it doesn't allow me to do things that Android supports out of the box.

Unless Apple pulls a real rabbit out of the hat, and soon, I'll be staying with the 'droid for now.
     
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Aug 11, 2013, 10:44 PM
 
In terms of customization, here are a couple of things about Android that annoy me.

1) The latest update to my Note 8 forced some Samsung app on the top of the screen. I can't get rid of it. It's a little tab that sits on the left side of the screen. Pre-update, I could tap the left side of the screen and it would pop up. Post-update, it's forced there. The only way to turn it off is to turn multitasking off ON THE WHOLE OS. It's infuriating because this is EXACTLY what pisses me off about OSs that are allowed to be customizable by the manufacturer. Symbian was the same way, that's why I went to iOS. So now I have this tab I can't get rid of. I posted on three big Android sites and their solutions were the same - turn off multitasking. This isn't how an OS should work.

2) The default font for Android is uninspiring. I know some of you won't understand that, but damn, that font, whatever it is, looks like it was made by a fourth grader. I changed it to Helvetica, but who decided that would be the default font?

3) Android's UI looks like it took a step back 10 years. Like old school Linux (yes, I'm well aware of Android's roots). Even Windows Phones look better. Their icons are flat like iOS's, but they're just not designed well. I feel like I'm using my old iPaq.

I want to address your file system comment. I'm working on an app right now that uses images. Do you know how insanely difficult it is to write apps for different flavors of Android? It's not like iOS where the worst you have to worry about is what the screen size is, or maybe there's an iOS5 call you have to not call on iOS4 devices, but on Android you have to test EVERYTHING. I don't mean one little thing once in a while, I mean LITERALLY EVERYTHING. Why? Because what works on one device/OS/flavor may not work on another. This happened to me recently. Something that worked on a Nexus didn't work on the Note. Why? Ask Samsung. I don't know. People on stackoverflow didn't know. Samsung apparently didn't want that API call supported, so that call returns NULL. It worked on a Nexus, it worked on an HTC, and also didn't work on an SG3 but worked on an SG4. Yes, they're all running the proper version for that API call to work because that API call was supported from 2.3 and higher. So everything has to be wrapped in "does this call work on this device? No? Find another way to do it". So, not everything is part of the OS, as you may believe.

For example - I have to bring up images for the user to select. On one device it uses the local file system by default. My Note 8 uses Picasa. Picasa can give you a URI to an image on the net, a file on Dropbox, or a local file. The URI is content://. However, Android doesn't give you the tools to use that URI as you would file:// or http://, you have to decode the URI, THEN look at where it points to, THEN do all the heavy lifting to copy the web image to memory *to the local storage anyway*. It's a mess. This is not how a modern OS should run. If you think the OS "just does it", it does not. That's why when users upgraded to 2.3, all the URIs returning content:// were not expected by developers, nor was that change documented, and ALL the apps crashed.

Yes, it's very cool that the home screen shows weather. I like that a lot. Apple needs to adopt that.

However, I don't think that Android "gets out of the way". Maybe on a Nexus it does, but it sure as hell doesn't on a Note 8.

And VLC doesn't work on the Note8. At. All.

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Aug 12, 2013, 12:53 AM
 
I've been very happy with iOS for the 6+ years I've been using it. The problems I do have are with quirks or bugs in iOS itself and not features of android that I wish iOS had.

Did you know if you adjust the phonetic pronunciation of a contact it is no longer sorted in alphabetical order properly? This bug has been around for years. Years!

Why, if I properly identify contacts' phones by type (iPhone, mobile, home, fax, etc.), does iOS ask me which one I want to send a text message to? Um, I can't text a fax machine and I have an existing conversation that is 1,000 texts long to the iPhone/mobile number. I get that people don't categorize numbers properly, but why am I being penalized for their laziness or ignorance? Apple could make every new number be a mobile by default, or (gasp) have it be an option to only display mobile numbers when selecting to text message someone.

Anyway, these being the types of annoyances I have with iOS you can see why I don't use android which is less consistent and more quirky.
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Aug 12, 2013, 07:42 AM
 
rottmann.net | An iPhone lover’s confession: I switched to the Nexus 4. Completely.

This guy makes my points better than I made them. Really worth a read.
     
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Aug 12, 2013, 11:03 AM
 
starman, sounds to me like you're being shat on by Samsung's Android more than 'pure' Android.
     
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Aug 12, 2013, 11:37 AM
 
I am into anti-social networking - I detest all those features that rottman.com talks about, just not into what he is into at all. And big deal with the "Open In" routine, that's a rarity in my life.

But Apple better pull a rabbit out of the hat or I will be looking elsewhere soon, I love the larger screen sizes on Android and some models seem very fast/fluid (not to mention customizable!)
     
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Aug 12, 2013, 02:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by mattyb View Post
starman, sounds to me like you're being shat on by Samsung's Android more than 'pure' Android.
That's definitely part of it. I like consistency.

Fragmentation and messy development don't help the cause. I just think that if I bought an Android phone I'd have buyer's remorse within weeks due to something more shiny just around the corner.

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Aug 12, 2013, 02:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by starman View Post
When you buy a phone, you have no idea if or when you'll get the latest update. Phones are coming out NOW that still don't have 4.3 on them, and there's no telling if or when they ever will. How is this a good thing?
Well, it's more of an indirect answer to that question, than a direct one. There's another side to that coin, it's that I can't use iOS (recent) on my mac (not recent). iOS, like Mac OS, hates backwards compatibility. That was more ok when you only had to pair (1) hardware with (1) software... you go find the version of OS X or iTunes that works on your mac and that's the end of it. But now there are (2) hardwares and (1) software, so if I buy a new iPhone then I have to upgrade my Mac to one that runs the current OS (or in my case, I have to accept the current OS instead of my preferred OS, 10.5/10.6), otherwise I can't run a high enough version of iTunes just to do the very basics with my new iPhone (basically, use it as an ipod). I can't get music onto it, I can't get recordings off of it, not unless my phone and computer are of the same generation (defined by iTunes). The problem, of course, is that Apple makes you use a "driver" that's a huge pile of dog crap (iTunes). For Android, you don't need any driver, besides whatever USB is. Android doesn't make the complicated simple (like Apple does for most things), but at least it doesn't make the simple complicated (like iOS does way more often than it should; another mention of this is making you sign in to your account in order to install free apps).

The abstract philosophy of android, at least as perceived by me as a representative of the public, is that it is what it is (a miniaturized computer), rather than doing its best to be what it ain't (an inscrutable black box that "just works"). Obviously, there are benefits of both these strategies. I'm not saying Apple's isn't better overall, just that it's not true they have nothing to learn from the other side.
     
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Aug 12, 2013, 03:21 PM
 
Genuinely surprised by some of the comments here. Though I do know that MacNN has always had more of a power user base, and iOS doesn't allow enough of the high level of customization that some people here want.

My current job is in tech support "Oh you can't get online? Let's connect you to your wifi network" 5 minutes later "yes that icon at the bottom of the screen on the right hand side, the one that's clearly for your wireless network."

With iOS I never have a problem walking people through accomplishing what they want to do, so long as the device can do it. With Android it's really hit and miss. Sometimes I can get the customer to find the settings, other times the customer just eventually gives up and decides they don't really want email on their phone after all.

Android sacrifices quality for a sense of freedom. Instead of having something that works, and works consistently, you get all these different OEM making bat shit crazy decisions on how to lay things out. I remember once trying to get a woman into her settings on her Galaxy Note and it turned out you had to tap on a paragraph of text ... THE PARAGRAPH WAS A BUTTON!

Ironically with iOS 7 we're moving away from defined buttons and more towards bits of text that are buttons if you know they should be buttons, which bugs me.

I'm also working with a friend on developing a game for iOS. And we're going to focus on iOS first, then Mac and PC, then maybe console if we have a lot of success. Android is simply not where the money is, unless you're writing Malware that steals people's credit card info.
     
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Aug 12, 2013, 05:02 PM
 
Originally Posted by Salty View Post
is simply not where the money is, unless you're writing Malware that steals people's credit card info.
Two years ago that might have been true. There are very, very few apps that I miss from my iOS days.
     
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Aug 12, 2013, 05:33 PM
 
I 100% understand the appeal of Android.

What's funny to me is that 99% of Android enthusiasts have such a lack of understanding of why anyone would choose iOS. Most of them think iOS users are either too dumb to use android, too dumb to understand the difference, just following a fad, are falling victim to marketing or are just tech illiterate.

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Aug 12, 2013, 05:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by starman View Post
I just think that if I bought an Android phone I'd have buyer's remorse within weeks due to something more shiny just around the corner.
That's on you, man. I never buy anything with the mindset of having the "latest and greatest" thing on the market. I buy something with usability and longevity in mind, just because something comes out that is slightly better does not make my perfectly functioning device all of a sudden obsolete. In this same vein I simply don't care about OS upgrades either, if it works fine when I un-box it why should I be foaming at the mouth for an OS update? Again, that's just me. I'm not the "power-user" Android guy, I'm more the "get 99% of top tier phone abilities for cheap" kinda guy.

Originally Posted by ort888 View Post
I 100% understand the appeal of Android.

What's funny to me is that 99% of Android enthusiasts have such a lack of understanding of why anyone would choose iOS. Most of them think iOS users are either too dumb to use android, too dumb to understand the difference, just following a fad, are falling victim to marketing or are just tech illiterate.
There is no hater like an iPhone hater, that's for sure. I've never seen such vitriol directed towards another company before, but man, those hardcore Android guys are convinced the iPhone is a POS and everyone who buys them are status-seeking hipsters.

I try and remind them the only reason for the current crop of über-Androids is because of Apple forcing the market, but they never listen and end up ranting about their extra 200mhz of clock speed or something.
     
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Aug 12, 2013, 06:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by Phileas View Post
Two years ago that might have been true. There are very, very few apps that I miss from my iOS days.
He didn't say iOS had more apps, he said iOS is where the money is. Cue slides from the iOS intro.
     
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Aug 12, 2013, 06:08 PM
 
I've tried explaining to Fandroids that Apple was the ONE company that BROKE THE MOLD on the hold the carriers have on the current U.S. market. They don't get it. And yes, Android is successful because of iOS directly. Have you seen what Android was going to be pre-iOS? A Blackberry clone (heh...another clone).

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Aug 12, 2013, 06:59 PM
 
At the end of the day though, none of that really matters.

People get very caught up around who invented what and this that and the other thing, but if Android fits there needs better, it doesn't matter who broke the mold.

What I don't understand is why people get so mad about what products other people like.

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Aug 13, 2013, 05:09 AM
 
Originally Posted by ort888 View Post
What I don't understand is why people get so mad about what products other people like.
People have to justify their choice, in modern times this seems to be done by attacking those that made another choice. Yes, I do mean attacking. As I said previously, you see the same thing for cameras, consoles, cars etc.
     
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Aug 13, 2013, 05:12 AM
 
It's been the case in computers for decades.

And with football teams probably for centuries.
     
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Aug 13, 2013, 06:32 AM
 
Custom UI is totally overrated in a phone. Its a phone.

A big selling point for iOS is consistency. If everyone had a completely custom UI where you have to swipe up, down, left, right and hold A and B while you press Select in order to check your calendar on one phone but the next guy sets it so you have to shake it twice, speak a passcode an octave above your usual speaking voice and then do the Macarena for exactly 9 seconds to get the calendar on the exact same phone, no-one is ever going to know how to use anything.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Aug 13, 2013, 06:33 AM
 
Next killer Android feature: The phone won't unlock unless you take a photo of boobs.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Aug 13, 2013, 07:46 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Custom UI is totally overrated in a phone. Its a phone.

A big selling point for iOS is consistency. If everyone had a completely custom UI where you have to swipe up, down, left, right and hold A and B while you press Select in order to check your calendar on one phone but the next guy sets it so you have to shake it twice, speak a passcode an octave above your usual speaking voice and then do the Macarena for exactly 9 seconds to get the calendar on the exact same phone, no-one is ever going to know how to use anything.

As long as the starting point is universally understood and consistent, none of this matters. I don't care if my setup doesn't make sense for anybody but myself, because I am the only one it has to make sense for.
     
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Aug 13, 2013, 07:55 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Custom UI is totally overrated in a phone.
I agree.

Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Its a phone.
No, its a computer that phones. Hence the reason UI is important (to some).
     
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Aug 13, 2013, 04:01 PM
 
I disliked Android, until 4.1, now I dig it. They took care of a lot of the stability problems with their major HS customers. I really like the new Nexus 7, though as usual I wish it were a little larger, 8" would make it almost perfect. And fast, damn it's fast for such a high-res display, speaking of 1920x1200 is beyond Retina and no matter how closely you look you can't see pixels at all, it's just fluid and perfectly sharp. My only real gripe, aside from being a little small in the display dept, is the battery life isn't to iPad standards. It isn't terrible, just not as robust as the Mini. Oh, and the forward-facing camera sucks, big time.
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Aug 13, 2013, 09:37 PM
 
Personally speaking I think the secret to enjoying Android is to only ever purchase Nexus devices. I can't stand the nonsense the manufacturers add - with perhaps the exception of Asus. The Padfone Infinity is a work of art, despite the ridiculous name.
     
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Aug 14, 2013, 04:37 AM
 
So far, my biggest Nexus bitch is I can't tell which way is up without staring at it.

And the battery.
     
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Aug 14, 2013, 04:51 AM
 
Originally Posted by Phileas View Post
Personally speaking I think the secret to enjoying Android is to only ever purchase Nexus devices. I can't stand the nonsense the manufacturers add - with perhaps the exception of Asus.
As a Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 (last years model) user, I couldn't agree more.

Slightly peeved that I cannot upgrade the Asus TF101 to 4.something - which means that I miss out on some apps that are on my Nexii.
     
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Aug 14, 2013, 07:25 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
So far, my biggest Nexus bitch is I can't tell which way is up without staring at it.

And the battery.
Mine lasts about 24 hours, with normal use. Have you tried night-mode? Makes a difference, mine is set to ignore everything between 11:00pm and 7:00am.
     
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Aug 20, 2013, 08:38 AM
 
     
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Aug 20, 2013, 10:34 AM
 
What annoys me about that report is that I have been unable to find actual absolute numbers.

Because If Samsung pulls 11% switchers, but sells five times as many phones, that's a hell of a lot more than Apple's paltry 33%.
     
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Aug 20, 2013, 11:10 AM
 
These "reports" come out constantly. Who knows what you can believe.

It seems to me that both Apple and Samsung are going just fine.

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Aug 20, 2013, 01:29 PM
 
Also, market share won't really be an interesting metric until the smartphone market has outright killed the dumbphone market.

Right now, everyone's smartphone sales are growing, and nobody's stealing market share from one of the other players; they're all stealing from dumbphones.

This study at least attempts to give an idea of which platform will be most effective at retaining users.
     
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Aug 22, 2013, 07:27 AM
 
Didn't want to start a thread on this, so...

Due to a budget shortfall with the school system, an unforeseen disaster occurred (essentially the roof of the high school collapsed 2 months ago), ~550 kids starting high school aren't getting notebook PCs, which are pretty much a requirement. Some parents have been able to step up and buy their kids one, or they have one already, while others simply can't (or won't, since the school system previously said they'd provide them and the parents are being assholes). Altogether, that leaves over 400 out in the cold. We were approached by the system and they asked if we can help. I told them, "we'll see, get back with you". After talking with their technology director, what they've been buying is a Dell education bundle, and it runs ~$380 each. The specs aren't great, but it's fine for general school work.

However, she also said they've piloted a few 14" Chromebooks as a possible alternative and she likes them (about all of their educational materials are browser based and work in Chrome), and they're $100 less expensive. They're simple to administrate, track, and don't get fouled up as easily, due to there not being a lot they can mess up and they only allow a limited amount of customization. I've not played with a Chromebook yet, so I ordered one to find out what it's like.

This sound like a stupid idea?
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Aug 22, 2013, 11:05 AM
 
No, but you need good wi-fi. Everything is Google based, and n their cloud - up to you if this is good or not.

Personally, it's the future so ...

EDIT : just seen this : http://www.zdnet.com/take-a-chromebo...er-7000019632/
( Last edited by mattyb; Aug 22, 2013 at 11:25 AM. )
     
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Aug 22, 2013, 01:55 PM
 
I haven't played with a Chromebook, but if you asked me should I run Chrome or Windows on a $300 computer, Chrome seems an obvious answer.
     
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Aug 22, 2013, 02:46 PM
 
It's all well and good until someone needs a non-web app to run.

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Aug 22, 2013, 02:59 PM
 
The question is should you actively damage yourself to use that app?

Yes. Windows on gimped hardware is actively damaging yourself.
     
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Aug 22, 2013, 03:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by starman View Post
It's all well and good until someone needs a non-web app to run.
All the education apps are Java-based or HTML and designed to be used in a browser (Chrome or IE 10), to ensure compatibility. Each student has 10GB of storage for assignments.

Originally Posted by subego View Post
I haven't played with a Chromebook, but if you asked me should I run Chrome or Windows on a $300 computer, Chrome seems an obvious answer.
That was my thinking too, these aren't Macbooks, even the Dell Windows 7 laptop they'd been getting is sluggish. $380 will only get you so much. What I like about the HP Chromebook is that it has an SSD, albeit a tiny one (16GB), but that's fine for a simple work/study tool. The 14" screen isn't a bad size either. It's typical HP fugliness, but whatever.

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