Someone sent me a link at work saying how poor Android is. I had to respond.
Update: Silly me, forgot to include the original link.
This is my email:
> Android OS (whilst hidden behind the beauty that is HTC Sense) is an inherently geeky, inconsistent, temperamental and beta-like OS.
- geeky: yes (and in my opinion, that’s a good thing. not everyone is an apple fanboy)
- temperamentaland beta-like: to some degree, yes. give it time to mature a bit more. every iteration it improves drastically. Google isn’t sitting still
> It responds inconsistently to what should be basic functions of a phone
- Agreed. That is sometimes annoying. Slow to load the phone dialer. Easily fixed via software update.
> Exchange sync having random hiccups.
- Never noticed any problems with this. I use the exchange sync for work email and have always had my email there when i wanted it.
> The limitation of the OS not allowing you to install applications onto the microSD card
- 100% agree with this one. It’s SUPER annoying and aggravating. It limits how many apps i can have, how large and complex apps can be. Google has said they’re working on this and with a future software update this will no longer be an issue.
> Auto memory management is poor at best.
- Not sure i agree with this. There is an excellent article here by a Google engineer involved in this that details how and why they did things the way they did. http://android-developers.blogspot.com/2010/04/multitasking-android-way.html . That being said, there are a few poorly designed apps that don’t play nice with Google’s best practices for memory management. My response: Don’t use those apps. They will get low market ratings and bad comments so you can easily avoid them. And there are always a dozen alternatives that don’t have the problem.
> Android is not and can not be an “iPhone Killer”, nor really even a competitor.
- I’m always annoyed when someone says “Android is an iPhone killer. It’s not. But i do think it’s a valid competitor. Especially with the newer versions of the OS and the newer hardware (Droid Incredible, Nexus One, EVO 4g). It’s numbers are growing like crazy. In fact, last quarter, Android outsold iPhone. (Both of which are behind RIM, which itself is waaaay behind Nokia).
> The Android market is disjointed, confused and inconsistent, whilst Apple have created a stable, consistent platform that whilst limiting in some ways, allows users a level of comfort that Android does not.
- Apple-fan boy speak there. I 100% disagree with this statement. It’s precisely Apple’s “stable, consistent platform … limiting in some ways” that has made me have absolutely no interest in doing personal development for iPhone OS. I don’t want someone telling me what i can and can’t put on the market. “Oh, we don’t like your app, sorry”. and people with big public forums or insider clout at apple get their apps through anyway, where the little guy wouldn’t.
- And it’s exactly the disjointed, confused, and inconsistent Android market that excites me. It’s challenging. Yes – you have different screen resolutions and OS versions. All of which are documented in detail and EASY to code for and test in the emulators. It adds maybe an hour of time to do a little testing for different screen sizes. So what? And hey – i can publish anything, anytime. If it’s crap or malware, the market will rate it poorly and nobody will download it.
> Ask older Android handset owners if they enjoy being stuck on Android 1.5
- He has a point here. My response: Get a new phone. How long do people keep their phones on average nowadays? usually the 1-2 year contract from their carriers.
> you can now walk into almost any store anywhere in the world and buy an accessory for an iPhone.
- That is a also a good point. But i have no trouble finding accessories on Amazon. I rarely walk into a store to buy any tech accessories anymore… Plus it’s cheaper. You can get a standard micro-usb cable for $5. You don’t have to pay $30 for a special iphone cable
> Too many form factors. Too much variance in OS versions. Too many product releases, too quickly.
- I think that’s a good thing. Choice. You don’t like phone x? Try phone y. You want something fixed? You won’t have to wait long for it, because the releases happen quickly. Release early, release often.
Both sides of the argument have merit, and i think that both OS’s have a place. iPhone rocks, no doubt about it. But don’t discount android as over and done with. It’s not going anywhere but up. The more choices consumers have, the better.