Why I'll never own an Android-based anything

Why I'll never own an Android-based anything

Summary: I struggled for months before purchasing my iPhone and iPad--even turned down a chance at the iPad soon after launch but now am an avid Apple fan.

TOPICS: Android, Google

Sup, Android fans? Sorry that I can't be one of you but I just can't bring myself to do it. Not yet, at least. Tell me, what Android-based thingy can I buy that will surpass the coolness of my iOS-based iPhone 4 or my iPad? If there is one, please tell me about it. Or, better yet, someone should send me one for "evaluation." I'd prefer an Android-based tablet but I haven't found one yet that I like but I've only seen a small sample of them.

I love Linux and I really wanted an Android-based device early on but the ones I saw were really, really bad. The other problem was that no one knew anything about them at the stores I went to. In fact, at one store whose name I won't mention, the employees not only had no clue what the heck I was talking about, they had no idea where they were in the store.

Needless to say, I was justifiably irritated. I didn't blame the employees but I was angry at the basic ignorance perpetuated by the store's policy of not training its employees.

They did, however, know exactly where all of the Apple stuff was in the store. So, I guess I can't say they're 100 percent neglectful. Either that or the employees just liked the Apple stuff better. Nah, that could never happen.

I did finally locate two or three Android tablets but they paled in comparison to the far more expensive iPad. Yes, Apple gadgetry isn't cheap but Apple knows that it doesn't have to be.

I searched for an Android-based phone and tablet but never found one that got me excited. So, my wife, seeing and listening to my frustration, bought me an original iPad for Father's Day, soon after it launched. I turned it down because I thought I should stay true to my Linux-rooted prejudice. If you're married, you probably know how well things went for me after doing that.

But, months after searching, testing and even asking Jason Perlow about his experiences with Android stuff, I had to choose an iPad. I got one for Christmas just two or three months ahead of the launch of the iPad 2. And, no, I couldn't wait any longer. I was a fool for waiting the first time.

I wanted a Linux tablet. I still do. I just don't know if Android is the right answer for it. At some point, I'll probably buy an old Acer tablet and install Linux on it. By the time I buy one from a certain unmentionable auction site, the OS I'll use will be Ubuntu 13.04. I want it to work, after all. I also want it to work without a lot of tweaking or futzing around. Like Apple users, I just want the blasted thing to work. Frankly, I'm tired of being everyone's tech support guy--even my own.

So, that's the true test of a new gadget or new computer for me: Does it just work?

If not, you'll hear about it.

Some of the major complaints I've heard about Android are:

  • Poor multitasking.
  • Less than stellar battery life.
  • Bugs. Lots of bugs.
  • Bad reception.
  • Bluetooth problems.
  • Unresponsive or very slow performance.
  • Camera problems.
  • Phone call drop issues.

I thought that the idea of Android was cool, when I first heard of it. I thought the price was right for an Android-based tablet ($79 to $500). And, I thought that Android would be a good competitive platform.

Unfortunately, I was wrong on all counts. It is affordable but if you can't use the device because of the problems listed, then the money you saved by not buying Apple is wasted by having to rebuy another Android device. My time and frustration are worth something. I don't want to spend either being frustrated and wishing I'd bought Apple. So, I did buy Apple. And, I paid a lot more than I could actually afford to on the technology but, I'd have to say that, other than dealing with the (ongoing) sticker shock, I'm very happy with my Apple stuff.

Sorry, Android, I'll never own anything that you occupy unless someone gives me one and I'm not holding my breath waiting for that unlikely occurrence.

See Also:

Dear Google: Android's Multitasking Sucks

On Tablets, Android 4.0 is an Ice Cream Headache

If Android "Feels Wrong" then I don't want to be right

The Android sloppy interface: When guidelines are not enough

Why Ice Cream Sandwich won't be able to save Android tablets

Topics: Android, Google


Kenneth 'Ken' Hess is a full-time Windows and Linux system administrator with 20 years of experience with Mac, Linux, UNIX, and Windows systems in large multi-data center environments.

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  • buttered for you, or not?

    Ken, I believe the difference is primarily in the user, not so much the device or ecosystem. When you order bread at a restaurant, do you like it brought to you buttered to the edge or would you rather have a whole fresh loaf, a nice big knife and some room-temperature butter?
    • If it's from a reputable restaurant...

      ... the cook will bring me the bread the way I'm going to enjoy it, because he knows, and I went to his restaurant because it was his. Yes I'll pay a lot, but as a foodie I'll enjoy the food as oppose to consume it.
      • No Salt or Pepper?

        So you never put salt or pepper on your bread or food, ever? Even if it is from a reputable restaurant, I will ask them not to put mushrooms or other items I can't stand on my food, so that I can still enjoy the experience. Being able to modify things is not a bad thing. When I ask my wife what the temperature is, she has to turn on the phone and click an icon, I just turn my phone on and there it is.
      • No Salt or Pepper?

        @tomtazz Rarely in a good restaurant. In fact, I don't remember seeing salt or pepper on the table. The waiter may come and ask if we need pepper for a specific part of the meal. The food is art and we go to these restaurants to appreciate their art.

        I do have a choice though. I can go to less trendy restaurants if I wish.

        AFAIC if I have to unlock and click a button to see today's temperature, it's no big deal. To each his own. Your choice is as good as mine. I don't mind Android phones, but I love my iPhone.
      • No Salt or Pepper?

        Does Burger King count as a good restaurant? Maybe that is my problem. LOL
      • And I think this sums up one of the differences...

        between iOS and Android users.

        I like good food, but I can't help but wonder how it could be better. I cook my own food (which I think actually is more the definition of a foodie that someone who goes out and 'appreciates' someone else's cooking - that would be 'gourmet') because I have my own sense and style, so while I can appreciate someone else's design (recipes) I can't separate myself from the creation process and want to learn how it works, why it tastes like it does and to incorporate the better ideas into my own cooking (and, as part of that - to offer my ideas to others).

        I was at Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill in Las Vegas, arguably a high end restaurant and the dish I had was very good - but when I tasted it - it tasted just slightly off - like there was a missing flavour - and I realised that ground walnuts would have made it perfect.

        To me.

        See, *I* am the audience. I interpret and I judge the value of the artists creation. Art is always a collaboration - the artist creates the message and the audience interprets. If it doesn't speak to me, that's not *my* fault and if it doesn't inspire me to think, explore and ask 'how could this be better?' then either it's perfect (something I've never seen in the real world, thankfully as that would be stunningly boring) or it's uninspiring.

        You seem to be arguing that 'uninspiring' is a virtue and being a passive audience a talent.

        Dude, you're a barista.
      • unlock and click a button to see today's temperature????

        you do know that is a *forecast* of what they think today's temp is in the *general area* that you told the program??? so it may be wetter/dryer and colder/hotter, if you are not... :P

        and if you are linux-capable, USE IT... android is for those that do not care to bother/ not able to do linux...
    • Or would you like to go to the kitchen and spend an hour or two to

      make yourself a loaf? Me I like my bread warm, my butter served on the side room temp (cause too cold is hard to spread). The waitress HOT, young, and a good girl who is "curious" about being bad:). Now that is and has been what Apple has served me and why I keep going back!
      James Quinn
      • well how do you like it when....

        that butter is actually marg, because apple dont like the cost of real butter?? (they say it is actually better for you - no we dont stock butter!!)

        and the waitress, when you start touching her, slaps you and says she is not that kind of girl.. (but gives you a card with a premium rated number on it... :/ )

        Android will do any kind of butter you like, most of them for free, served by not just their sexy waitress, but she will even let you bring your own, or go out to a different shop to get it for you!!
      • that's android's way


        It is more likely that an Android vendor will skim on whatever hardware, because this is why they went with the "free" OS after all -- to save money and be competitive.

        Apple, on the other hand, designs their stuff to the highest standards at the time and sources the best ever components for their devices, of course as much lower cost than others, simply because they are able to buy the entire production of some plant...

        but you are right -- android will not only serve all the junk it has collected, but happily let you go somewhere else, or even sell you to somebody (hint: Google) at your expense.
    • you don't appreciate freedom

      If you can't customize it, change it or at least set it differently that is just a jail for the users. Android wins hands down in any benchmark against iHype.
      The Linux Geek
      • You need to install Ubunto then.

        It will give you more options than Android ever will.
    • Quality matters

      Tim Cook recently said it best:

      "What we're focusing on is the same thing weve always focused on: making the world's best products.

      Price is rarely the most important thing. A cheap product might sell some units. Somebody gets it home and they feel great when they pay the money, but then they get it home and use it and the joy is gone. The joy is gone every day that they use it until they arent using it anymore. You dont keep remembering I got a good deal! because you hate it! .

      What I see is that there is a lot of commonality in what people around the world want. Everyone in every country wants the best product as it turns out. Theyre not looking for a cheap version of the best product, they're looking for the best product."
      Harvey Lubin
      • Price rarely the most important thing?

        How do you think they keep the exact same price for the new device year over year? You think they are not squeezing the last drop out of their suppliers to achieve it? How do you think they make $13.06 billion net profits? You may have payed $499.99 for the base iPad2 last year, then the same for the base iPad3 this year, but someone in China is feeling the pinch of Apple's profit machine.
    • A whole loaf?

      When you eat out you expect the bread to come slices....unless you eat at a diner or something. Isn't that the point. Do you pay someone to let you cslice it yourself? Isn't a whole loaf going to detract from your dining experience. The bread is not the whole mea...it is an accompiniment.
      • Are you serious?

        There are plenty of high-end restaurants that serve a whole loaf of bread. You make it sound like you've never been to an Italian restaurant before. Are you eating alone or something that makes you utterly incapable of putting away a loaf of bread?
    • Android is stale bread and no butter offered...

      The difference here is Android serves stale bread and doesn't even offer butter or jam to make up for it.

      The product is great for the carriers and manufacturers because it's (was) free for them, and they can do whatever the hell they want with it. It is just as clunky, in-cohesive, and ugly as their own OS's on the flip phones they made before. Now, they just don't have to do all the hard work of creating the foundation. But the end result is still a clunky, buggy, and tacking UI/UX for their customers.
      • Perhaps free isn't so good

        Every vendor, wheather tablet or telephone now offers the same experience as the other vendors of the free software. Accountants call it a "Fungible Asset" In otherwords, it's like a silo of wheat. You can't tell where it came from.

        As such, the cheapest product wins, so the least cost vendor will be the sole survivor, eliminating the rest of the vendors.

        I expect most Android vendors to get out, just like most PC vendors selling Windows. Only a few will survive.

        Maybe good in the short term, but bad in the long term.
  • Windows Phone & Windows 8 are the true Apple alternatives

    Windows Phone is a fantastic product and Windows 8 will be an excellent alternative to the Apple walled garden!
    • Nothing wrong with a walled garden.

      They are often well kept and pleasant to view. The walls keep out those who would harm the garden or throw said garden into chaos.

      Pagan jim
      James Quinn