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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > iPhone, iPad & iPod > Android vs. iPhone OS

Android vs. iPhone OS
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AccessoryGeeks
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May 31, 2011, 07:10 PM
 
The Android community is growing fast. Does anyone agree that the Android community will take over the iPhone community in the time frame of 5 years or so?
     
-Q-
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May 31, 2011, 07:29 PM
 
No.
     
jmiddel
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May 31, 2011, 09:54 PM
 
I fervently hope not, but how can it not? The shear quantity of A-phones on the market from every vendor, both carriers and hardware firms, and the general lack of appreciation of quality, evidenced by the majority that still prefers MS/PCs over Macs, what makes you say that? Give me some hope here
     
turtle777
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May 31, 2011, 09:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by AccessoryGeeks View Post
The Android community is growing fast. Does anyone agree that the Android community will take over the iPhone community in the time frame of 5 years or so?
Who knows, but does it matter ?

I somehow doubt it will result in less quality iOS apps. I'd rather bet on more (quantity) crappy Android apps.

-t
     
jmiddel
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May 31, 2011, 10:14 PM
 
I agree, it won't diminish iOS quality, and in light of my previous post, quality does not seem to sway consumers. My own frustration is watching so many embrace the mediocre. So that is how it matters to me. I know we're top of heap, and will remain there for a while, just want everyone to share the goodness!
     
besson3c
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May 31, 2011, 11:44 PM
 
Considering how fast Android has risen up, I don't think that it's a given that the quality will remain where it is as its popularity justifies devoting greater resources and care. Google is not Microsoft.
( Last edited by besson3c; Jun 1, 2011 at 12:09 AM. )
     
Wiskedjak
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Jun 1, 2011, 12:01 AM
 
I don't think there's any question that Android will out populate iOS. But, it doesnt matter. Even if iOS pulls up the second place spot, it's not like being second will have a negative impact on it. In fact, the tighter the competition, the better each platform will get.
     
imitchellg5
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Jun 1, 2011, 01:03 AM
 
The Android community is much different than the iOS community.
     
amazing
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Jun 1, 2011, 12:10 PM
 
Just this morning, saw an article on new malware, Droid Dream Light, in the Android marketplace. This follows the Droid Dream original outbreak in March.

Here's my convoluted reasoning: Microsoft produces swiss cheese operating system and achieves market dominance. Ergo, same thing is going to happen with Android--so yes, Android will achieve market dominance.

More seriously (assuming that forum members see the humor in the above) I really do hope that Android improves its security.
     
Big Mac
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Jun 1, 2011, 12:14 PM
 
Android is a much more open environment. You're naturally going to see more malware targeting it as a result.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
PsychoChris
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Jun 3, 2011, 06:46 AM
 
Android is really scattered with many screen resolution, different HW configurations and so on. It's much easier to target only the iOS platform as an app developer. And therefore I think that the number of quality apps will be much greater for iOS. And this is also a reason for choosing a platform.
     
Wiskedjak
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Jun 3, 2011, 08:32 AM
 
Originally Posted by PsychoChris View Post
Android is really scattered with many screen resolution, different HW configurations and so on. It's much easier to target only the iOS platform as an app developer. And therefore I think that the number of quality apps will be much greater for iOS. And this is also a reason for choosing a platform.
I don't think there's any question that the iOS product will always be superior to the Android product. But, a lot of people are much more concerned about $ than quality and there are some extremely cheap Androids out there.

Again, we don't need Apple to win this game. We just need them to be successful and be encouraged to continue improving the product.
     
imitchellg5
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Jun 3, 2011, 11:25 AM
 
Originally Posted by amazing View Post
Here's my convoluted reasoning: Microsoft produces swiss cheese operating system and achieves market dominance. Ergo, same thing is going to happen with Android--so yes, Android will achieve market dominance.
It's funny that Microsoft's strategy for mobile is exactly the opposite of that for desktop OS. Keep the platform locked down and specs the same across OEMs.
     
amazing
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Jun 3, 2011, 02:07 PM
 
Here's a good read: Motorola's profits may be impacted by high Android return rates:

http://www.macnews.com/2011/06/03/gr...oming-motorola

and here's a good summary:

"It turns out the loose quality control on Android apps under the Android OS 2.2 is killing Motorola's profit margin. The apps suck up so much energy the battery goes flat so fast the consumer blames the handset and returns it for another one, which also disappoints them. So they return the second phone and get something else. It is hard to convince a disappointed consumer the problem with a crappy smartphone is sloppily software. Which platform you buy is your problem at the end of the day. If you want an iPhone experience, buy an iPhone."

"All the problems in the Android camp have recently lead to a leveling off of Android's market share in Nielsen ratings. RIM and Nokia continue to decline as Apple prepares to launch the iOS 5 on Monday. This sort of behind the scenes issue is why with only about 25% of the smartphone market, Apple collect over half the profits of the entire industry. Throwing crappy products through the door at low margins is not the Apple market approach. "
     
G6Mac
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Jun 10, 2011, 02:34 PM
 
I think it will still come down to personal preference. Only a very very few of my friends have switched from iPhone to a Droid so I think most iPhone users will stay iPhone. But I guess only time will tell
     
Phileas
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Jun 11, 2011, 07:53 AM
 
I am going to go out on a limb and say that the Android experience still sucks - we create a lot of mobile content, so we need to test it on a lot of devices, meaning we've got both Android and iOS in the office.

There are things I like about Android, but overall the experience is dissatisfying. Screens freeze for no reasons, apps look like crap, batteries run down for no discernable reason - or because apps have been shoddily coded - inconsistency is everywhere. Bleh.

I've said this before, but in our office the Android devices are gathering dust, the iOS devices are in constant use. *

*Anecdotal evidence and personal opinion only. If you love/prefer your Android, all power to you. This is not intended to start a flame war.
     
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Jun 11, 2011, 08:23 AM
 
More anecdotes, but a cool daily blog, currently unfurling:
My Dinner With Android
     
imitchellg5
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Jun 11, 2011, 06:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by Phileas View Post
I am going to go out on a limb and say that the Android experience still sucks - we create a lot of mobile content, so we need to test it on a lot of devices, meaning we've got both Android and iOS in the office.

There are things I like about Android, but overall the experience is dissatisfying. Screens freeze for no reasons, apps look like crap, batteries run down for no discernable reason - or because apps have been shoddily coded - inconsistency is everywhere. Bleh.

I've said this before, but in our office the Android devices are gathering dust, the iOS devices are in constant use. *

*Anecdotal evidence and personal opinion only. If you love/prefer your Android, all power to you. This is not intended to start a flame war.
What devices are you testing on? Do they have stock Android? After finally hacking stock Android onto my Droid 2 Global, I went from having daily software crashes and freezes to none at all. I think OEMs are ruining Android. Stock Android is such a vastly different experience IMO.
     
Wiskedjak
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Jun 11, 2011, 06:44 PM
 
Stock is certainly where it's at. In our dev team we've got a bunch of Androids. The only decent ones are the Nexus S and the Atrix ... and they both still feel laggy compared to the iPhone4.

That said, most average users tend not to notice the lag in usability testing.
     
Oisín
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Jun 11, 2011, 07:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by Phileas View Post
There are things I like about Android, but overall the experience is dissatisfying. Screens freeze for no reasons, apps look like crap, batteries run down for no discernable reason - or because apps have been shoddily coded - inconsistency is everywhere. Bleh.
I’d agree with you, except I experience all these things almost on a daily basis on my 3GS, too. My apps don’t change much, so the “apps look like crap” bit is just the same few apps that have looked like crap the whole time and still do; but random screen freezings, apps that crash, a battery suddenly very quickly drained—all those things are all too present in iOS, too.

At least if you’re still on a 3GS.
     
seanc
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Jun 11, 2011, 07:12 PM
 
As a user of a 3GS and a HTC Desire HD, I can attest that the battery life of the HTC is worse and Angry Birds does crash for no apparent reason.
The accuracy of touch screen on the Desire HD (or maybe it's Android) is crap compared to the iPhone.
When I had my 3GS jailbroken, everything was unstable and battery life was horrendous. Is yours jailbroken Oisín? My 3GS does feel like it's getting slower now, but it's still workable.

The Desire HD was slow when it was running 2.2, but now it's running 2.3, UI response is much better.
     
turtle777
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Jun 11, 2011, 07:23 PM
 
It's amazing how jailbreaks make the iPhone's performance worse.

It just shows that Apple really tweaks the whole system, so it runs great the way it it delivered. All these extra add-ons give you flexibility, alright. But the user experience suffers.

-t
     
Oisín
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Jun 11, 2011, 07:30 PM
 
Nope, I’ve never jailbroken my phone. Upgrading to iOS 4 naturally made the phone slower (I hadn’t expected otherwise), but the instability seems to me to be more recent than the upgrade.

The battery life is sometimes okay, but sometimes absolutely atrocious. Last Tuesday, it was at around 40 per cent when I left the house at 5 PM to go play badminton. I didn’t use the phone at all while I was out, only kept it in my pocket (with no apps activated). By around 9 PM, when I was done playing, the battery was dead.

(The phone is from June last year, so just over a year old)
     
Wiskedjak
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Jun 11, 2011, 07:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by seanc View Post
The accuracy of touch screen on the Desire HD (or maybe it's Android) is crap compared to the iPhone.
Screen accuracy seems to vary greatly across the various devices and seems to be mostly hardware dependent.
     
Wiskedjak
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Jun 11, 2011, 07:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
It's amazing how jailbreaks make the iPhone's performance worse.

It just shows that Apple really tweaks the whole system, so it runs great the way it it delivered. All these extra add-ons give you flexibility, alright. But the user experience suffers.

-t
Inclined to agree with you there. Jailbreaking offers some nice features that Apple refuses to allow, but the system does seem to end up with annoying quirks. My jailbroken 3G would always reset the iPod app after an hour or so of no use. The Notes app on my jailbroken iPod would never save notes and Maps wouldn't remember the last location looked at.
     
seanc
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Jun 11, 2011, 07:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by Wiskedjak View Post
Screen accuracy seems to vary greatly across the various devices and seems to be mostly hardware dependent.
Yes, I know.
I sometimes wonder what would happen if I could put iOS on the Desire HD.
     
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Jun 11, 2011, 07:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by Oisín View Post
The battery life is sometimes okay, but sometimes absolutely atrocious. Last Tuesday, it was at around 40 per cent when I left the house at 5 PM to go play badminton. I didn’t use the phone at all while I was out, only kept it in my pocket (with no apps activated). By around 9 PM, when I was done playing, the battery was dead.
Did you leave it in the locker?

Poor signal will cause a cellphone to kick its amplifiers into full gear to boost reception, thus killing the battery.
     
Cold Warrior
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Jun 11, 2011, 10:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
More anecdotes, but a cool daily blog, currently unfurling:
My Dinner With Android
not bad, it's to-the-point. I laughed when he wrote about turning animation on.
     
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Jun 12, 2011, 12:02 AM
 
Originally Posted by Wiskedjak View Post
Inclined to agree with you there. Jailbreaking offers some nice features that Apple refuses to allow, but the system does seem to end up with annoying quirks. My jailbroken 3G would always reset the iPod app after an hour or so of no use. The Notes app on my jailbroken iPod would never save notes and Maps wouldn't remember the last location looked at.
I've never had any problems with jailbreaking, either with battery life or features not working properly. Of course, I usually don't have too much jailbroken software running; if you load up your iPhone with a ton of jailbroken apps you probably will experience some problems, just as with third party utilities on any other platform.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
exca1ibur
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Jun 12, 2011, 01:55 PM
 
Of the 30-40 phones I've jailbroken I've never had that issue either. My 3GS I currently has no issues, and never has. I've jailbroken it from every version from 3.0 - 4.3.3 Battery life is great. I mostly use SSH, unlocked, terminal, tether, and custom gesture and system settings running on mine.
     
turtle777
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Jun 12, 2011, 02:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by exca1ibur View Post
Of the 30-40 phones I've jailbroken I've never had that issue either. My 3GS I currently has no issues, and never has. I've jailbroken it from every version from 3.0 - 4.3.3 Battery life is great. I mostly use SSH, unlocked, terminal, tether, and custom gesture and system settings running on mine.
Uhm, yeah, jailbreaking my iPhone 3G broke the notification system and YouTube.

I had to buy(!!!!) a patch to fix it. That's bullshit, but the way it works.

-t
     
exca1ibur
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Jun 12, 2011, 05:49 PM
 
Hmm, I guess I've got good luck then, because I haven't smashed a phone yet. Usually if there is an install prob, just restore to factory and try again. I did that a few times due to some of the jailbreak installers being funny. As of the last year or so the ones I use are pretty solid.
     
Big Mac
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Jun 12, 2011, 06:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Uhm, yeah, jailbreaking my iPhone 3G broke the notification system and YouTube.

I had to buy(!!!!) a patch to fix it. That's bullshit, but the way it works.
That's unusual. The jailbreak community had some initial problems with push notifications but fixed them pretty quickly. You could have just restored the phone using stock firmware and then waited for a more reliable jailbreak.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
turtle777
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Jun 12, 2011, 06:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
That's unusual. The jailbreak community had some initial problems with push notifications but fixed them pretty quickly. You could have just restored the phone using stock firmware and then waited for a more reliable jailbreak.
Ah well, I needed it done at that time, and didn't want to wait for some fairy developer community to fix things.

-t
     
seanc
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Jun 12, 2011, 06:51 PM
 
Right, so it seems I accidentally derailed this thread when I asked Oisín whether he'd jailbroken his iPhone.
Can we steer it back towards platform 9¾ now?
     
turtle777
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Jun 12, 2011, 06:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by seanc View Post
Can we steer it back towards platform 9¾ now?
Agreed, because when discussing how "great" Android is, we can't stay in reality

-t
     
Big Mac
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Jun 12, 2011, 07:13 PM
 
I like Android. It's good that there's worthy, mostly open competition to iOS. iOS is easier to use but also less flexible and somewhat less powerful. But aside from that, that openness comes at a cost - a cost of being a less cohesive, substantially more fragmented platform overall. Apple desires not overwhelming market share but rather a smaller portion of the market that is a highly profitable, controlled ecosystem of its own. It's much the same story as the Mac v. the Windows PC.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
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Jun 12, 2011, 07:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
I like Android. It's good that there's worthy, mostly open competition to iOS. iOS is easier to use but also less flexible and somewhat less powerful. But aside from that, that openness comes at a cost - a cost of being a less cohesive, substantially more fragmented platform overall. Apple desires not overwhelming market share but rather a smaller portion of the market that is a highly profitable, controlled ecosystem of its own. It's much the same story as the Mac v. the Windows PC.
I couldnt agree more.
     
Phileas
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Jun 14, 2011, 11:30 AM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
I like Android. It's good that there's worthy, mostly open competition to iOS. iOS is easier to use but also less flexible and somewhat less powerful.
The reality is that Android is more open only if you're a serious geek - to install stock Android, you have to in effect, jailbreak your Android device the same way you have to jailbreak your iOS device to install stuff that Apple doesn't approve of.

The only people profiting from Android being open are the carriers and phone manufacturers who are piling all sorts of proprietary, and locked down tight, crap on top of the OS. The average end user sees a benefit of exactly zero from all of this. This situation has become so bad that google are beginning to lock down certain specs of Android.

I think that MS has a better chance at building a worthy iOS competitor than google has managed to do.
     
turtle777
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Jun 14, 2011, 01:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by Phileas View Post
The reality is that Android is more open only if you're a serious geek - to install stock Android, you have to in effect, jailbreak your Android device the same way you have to jailbreak your iOS device to install stuff that Apple doesn't approve of.

The only people profiting from Android being open are the carriers and phone manufacturers who are piling all sorts of proprietary, and locked down tight, crap on top of the OS.
Very good point.

All this "Android is open" is really more a marketing gimmick than anything else.

For the determined, there is little difference between iPhone and Android.

-t
     
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Jun 14, 2011, 01:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by Phileas View Post
The reality is that Android is more open only if you're a serious geek - to install stock Android, you have to in effect, jailbreak your Android device the same way you have to jailbreak your iOS device to install stuff that Apple doesn't approve of.

The only people profiting from Android being open are the carriers and phone manufacturers who are piling all sorts of proprietary, and locked down tight, change on top of the OS. The average end user sees a benefit of exactly zero from all of this. This situation has become so bad that google are beginning to lock down certain specs of Android.

I think that MS has a better chance at building a worthy iOS competitor than google has managed to do.

I've only skim read some of the articles I've seen on this, but my impression was that Google was working on this problem? From their support perspective, supporting so many different versions of Android on so many different devices with different crapware loaded must be an expensive support nightmare - one that is in their best interest to correct ASAP.
     
aristotles
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Jun 14, 2011, 02:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by imitchellg5 View Post
What devices are you testing on? Do they have stock Android? After finally hacking stock Android onto my Droid 2 Global, I went from having daily software crashes and freezes to none at all. I think OEMs are ruining Android. Stock Android is such a vastly different experience IMO.
Sorry but that simply is not a valid solution for the Android platform as a whole. If it does not work on the stock Android that either comes with the Phone or is updated by the manufacturer then Android is a failure from the average end user's point of view.

You cannot expect the average Joe to "root" their phone, assuming it is even possible on their Android phone to begin with, just to have a usable experience.

Most Android phone owners probably not even use their phone as a "smart phone" which means that they might make calls on it, text and facebook but that is about it.

Expecting people to use a non-stock Android is like expecting people to jailbreak their iPhones in large number just to get it working right which is simply not going to happen. iOS has to work well enough out of the box and I don't get why geeks are giving Android so much slack that they think it is ok for it to not work right and expect people to "root" their phones to get it to actually function properly.
( Last edited by aristotles; Jun 14, 2011 at 02:15 PM. )
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Jun 14, 2011, 06:20 PM
 
I think some of you are too hard on Android. My technology averse uncle finally replaced his Razr with a MyTouch 4G, and I have to say I'm pretty impressed with it. Impressed despite the negatives. As I already said, the greater openness and slightly more powerful UI comes at a cost of cohesiveness and user-friendliness. The poor OS upgrade path that Android devices have (being constrained not by Google's advances but by the willingness of manufacturers to support their particular models with upgrades) is a problem, and I've also found that the default Android settings to check mail frequently and also run other network intense background tasks is a poor choice from a battery life perspective that contributes to negativity toward Android phones. Android also doesn't have anything like iTunes.

Yes, the Android phone experience overall isn't as good as the iPhone experience, but that doesn't make it a terrible platform. I'd like to try WebOS and Windows Zune7Phone some time, but I don't really see them IRL.
( Last edited by Big Mac; Jun 14, 2011 at 06:29 PM. )

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Jun 14, 2011, 08:48 PM
 
Windows Phone 7 is really nice. I've got one in my bag right now. I much prefer the WP7 user experience to Android (and I don't mind the Android UX too much). WP7's problem right now is that it feels only smartISH; like it's not a completely realized smartphone yet. "Yet" being the operative word here. iOS was only smartISH in it's first iteration as well. But, I suspect WP7 will grow up fast in it's next major revision, at which point we might start to see more of an impact from that OS; rolling out with Nokia (who also needs to make an impact again) might help as well.
     
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Jun 14, 2011, 08:53 PM
 
Apple's strength, right now, isn't really the polish of iOS and it isn't the hardware. Both are nice, but the polish isn't so much better than Android to combat some of the arguments to go Android.

Apple's strength is it's ecosystem of products. It'd be difficult for me to shift from iOS because of how I use it with my Mac, my Apple TV and my iPod.

Oh, and let's not forget the apps.
     
aristotles
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Jun 14, 2011, 11:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
I think some of you are too hard on Android. My technology averse uncle finally replaced his Razr with a MyTouch 4G, and I have to say I'm pretty impressed with it. Impressed despite the negatives. As I already said, the greater openness and slightly more powerful UI comes at a cost of cohesiveness and user-friendliness. The poor OS upgrade path that Android devices have (being constrained not by Google's advances but by the willingness of manufacturers to support their particular models with upgrades) is a problem, and I've also found that the default Android settings to check mail frequently and also run other network intense background tasks is a poor choice from a battery life perspective that contributes to negativity toward Android phones. Android also doesn't have anything like iTunes.

Yes, the Android phone experience overall isn't as good as the iPhone experience, but that doesn't make it a terrible platform. I'd like to try WebOS and Windows Zune7Phone some time, but I don't really see them IRL.
Do you hate your uncle that much? Seriously, if your uncle is technology averse and was using a Razr before, why the heck would you choose to saddle him with a smartphone and smartphone plan? Did you not consider that he might have been perfectly happy with a dumb phone and a cheap talk and text plan?

You need to stop living through your relatives. If you like Android, good for you but don't try to convince your relatives to get something that they could probably do without.
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Jun 15, 2011, 01:50 AM
 
^ woah. That may be spot-on, or incredibly presumptuous.

Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I've only skim read some of the articles I've seen on this, but my impression was that Google was working on this problem? From their support perspective, supporting so many different versions of Android on so many different devices with different crapware loaded must be an expensive support nightmare - one that is in their best interest to correct ASAP.
Well, Google's solution is to narrow down hardware requirements, keep code under wraps, and make basic services available only to devices that deviate minimally from spec.

IOW, try doing what Apple is doing.

It's bait-and-switch, really, from the initial "free", "open" idea, intended merely to garner mind- and market-share.
     
Big Mac
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Jun 15, 2011, 05:41 AM
 
Originally Posted by aristotles View Post
Do you hate your uncle that much? Seriously, if your uncle is technology averse and was using a Razr before, why the heck would you choose to saddle him with a smartphone and smartphone plan? Did you not consider that he might have been perfectly happy with a dumb phone and a cheap talk and text plan?

You need to stop living through your relatives. If you like Android, good for you but don't try to convince your relatives to get something that they could probably do without.
Haha. Like SH assumed, that was a highly presumptuous and incorrect snap assessment against me. Entertaining actually.

My uncle is moderately technology averse. He loved his Razr, although it took him a few months of instruction from me to get used to even its features. He could have gotten another feature phone to replace his Razr, but he was also interested in smart phones and liked what he heard from coworkers about their iPhones. He told me he had some experience with using a coworker's iPhone, and he also had some limited PC web browser experience. He doesn't have a PC and will probably never get one, so a smart phone is the best, possibly only way to get him online. Moreover, he's been paying the $79.99 full T-Mo service rate for a while and only using it for voice and text, so it would be dumb not for him to get a smart phone.

I would have preferred to see him get an iPhone, but he was dead set against switching from T-Mo and absolutely opposed to AT&T. Call quality is most important to him, but he also wanted smart phone features. Perhaps WebOS or Windows would have been better for him, but I currently have zero experience with those platforms.

About a month in to his MyTouch 4G ownership, he's still asking me some questions but is getting comfortable with checking email and surfing the web. I've actually been surprised by how fast he's taken to his Android smart phone.
( Last edited by Big Mac; Jun 15, 2011 at 08:17 AM. )

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
AccessoryGeeks  (op)
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Jun 15, 2011, 01:09 PM
 
Well it does matter in some ways.
Apple is the leader in this market, hence, they control all aspects of where this technological field travels and all competitors follow. See when the iPad came out? Motorola, Samsung, Amazon, etc came out with the Tablets as well. They have no other choice then to follow Apple's direction because they will be left behind if they don't.
     
AccessoryGeeks  (op)
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Jun 15, 2011, 01:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Who knows, but does it matter ?

I somehow doubt it will result in less quality iOS apps. I'd rather bet on more (quantity) crappy Android apps.

-t
"Well it does matter in some ways.
Apple is the leader in this market, hence, they control all aspects of where this technological field travels and all competitors follow. See when the iPad came out? Motorola, Samsung, Amazon, etc came out with the Tablets as well. They have no other choice then to follow Apple's direction because they will be left behind if they don't."
     
 
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