Android already offers more than iOS 6, but...

Android already offers more than iOS 6, but...

Summary: Yes Android does offer more features than Apple's iOS6 but let's not forget Android has problems as well.

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TOPICS: Android
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Android vs. iOS

Android vs. iOS

There's no doubt about it. Android, especially Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS), version 4.0, already offers more than what is coming in Apple's forthcoming iOS 6. But, Android has its own flaws.

True, as Tom Henderson, principal researcher for ExtremeLabs and a colleague, told me, there's a "Schwarzschild radius surrounding Apple. It's not just a reality distortion field; it's a whole new dimension. Inside, time slows and light never escapes-- as time compresses to an amorphous mass.

"Coddled, stroked, and massaged," Henderson continued, "Apple users start to sincerely believe the distortions regarding the economic life, the convenience, and the subtle beauties of their myriad products. Unknowingly, they sacrifice their time, their money, their privacy, and soon, their very souls. Comparing Apple with Android, the parallels to Syria and North Korea come to mind, despot-led personality cults."

I wouldn't go that far. While I prefer Android, I can enjoy using iOS devices as well. Besides, Android fans can be blind to its faults just as much as the most besotted Apple fan.

For example, it's true that ICS has all the features that iOS 6 will eventually have, but you can only find ICS on 7.1 percent of all currently running Android devices. Talk to any serious Android user, and you'll soon hear complaints about how they can't update their systems.

You name an Android vendor-HTC, Motorola, Samsung, etc. -and I can find you a customer who can't update their smartphone or tablet to the latest and greatest version of the operating system. The techie Android fanboy response to this problem is just "ROOT IT." It's not that easy.

First, the vast majority of Android users are as about as able to root their smartphone as I am to run a marathon. Second, alternative Android device firmwares don't always work with every device. Even the best of them, Cyanogen ICS, can have trouble with some devices.

Besides, while Cyanogen supports many smartphones and tablets, it doesn't support all of them. For example, there's still no stable CyanogenMod 7 (Android 3.x) firmware for Barnes & Noble's Nook Tablet. Sometimes even when there is support, such as there is for the popular Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, there are driver troubles that keep the camera from working for many users.

Another issue is consistency. When you buy an iPhone or an iPad you know exactly what the interface is going to work and look like. With Android devices, you never know quite what you're going to get. We talk about ICS as if it's one thing-and it is from a developer's viewpoint-but ICS on different phones such as the HTC One X doesn't look or feel much like say the Samsung Galaxy S III.

A related issue is that the iOS interface is simply cleaner and more user-friendly than any Android interface I'd yet to see. One of Apple's slogans is "It just works." Well, actually sometimes it doesn't work. ITunes, for example, has been annoying me for years now. But, when it comes to device interfaces, iOS does just work. Android implementations, far too often, doesn't.

So, yes, Android does more today than Apple's iOS promises to do tomorrow, but that's only part of the story. The full story includes that iOS is very polished and very closed, while Android is somewhat messy and very open. To me, it's that last bit-that Apple is purely proprietary while Android is largely open source-based-that insures that I'm going to continue to use Android devices.

Now, if only Google can get everyone on the same page with updates and the interface, I'll be perfectly happy!

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Topic: Android

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77 comments
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  • Re: Android already offers more than iOS 6, but...

    Since we're on the topic of being honest, I can see the very force field which surrounds us iOS users. Lining up for an iPad 3 (or the new iPad..whatever you want to call it) was the first time I was able to really see the level of deep devotion to the brand. It wasn't the fact that we lined up that was the eye-opener, it was the way the gentlemen spoke about Apple and how all the other manufacturers "sucked". He was one of those extremists. From them on, I was more aware and critical of extreme "fanboyism", whether it was towards Apple, Android, WP7....it's all the same???views that have gone too far in and are closed off to any other views.

    I thought your article was good and honest. Thanks!
    JL05XI
    • Very well said.

      I am an Apple fan but not a fanboy as I don't blindly believe they are the greatest but I also won't sit back let a hater bash Apple with FUD without a response which might lead some to think I am a fanboy. Fanboys and haters are cut of the same cloth and neither is better than the other. With the over the top quote from Tom Henderson I didn't think this was going to be a good fair article but it was.
      non-biased
  • Android offers more in some areas, and *less* in the others

    This would be more accurate way to describe it.

    For example, Android offers more customization and cheaper entry devices (from like $99 comparing to $400 for the cheapest unsubsidised iPhone), and also unique features like widgets.

    iOS offers more polished, more consistent UI, richer applications ecosystem (for tablets, incomparably more rich), higher quality software (which is mostly rendered for Retina screens comparing to lowest common denominator for Android phones, which is like 320 x 240), wider media library, better mapping visuals and its own raw of unique features that are absent from Android.

    This is what user-related.

    Another issue is what Apple thinks about Android magically turning into finger-based UI after iPhone's appearance. This issue is going to be resolved through court trials.
    DDERSSS
    • I'm surprised you didn't screem for jihad on him.

      ;)
      William Farrel
    • Yeah right

      Blah, blah, blah... more stale half truths from DeRSSS.
      slickjim
      • We get straight out lies from Petter Perry.

        DeRSSS's post was pretty balanced if you took time toread it.
        Bruizer
      • @ Bruizer

        Yes, once you scraped off the layer of iOS icing ....
        Then it was more balanced than what we have been seeing lately
        I plussed him for effort.
        rhonin
      • Try doing better

        Try to post something that is fair/balanced, not full of lies or FUD and does not present your opinion as fact. I don't recall seeing you ever do those things in a post so I don't expect you to start now I guess.
        non-biased
    • SD storage?

      I happen to resent that Apple makes you pay an extra $100 for 16G of extra storage..When I just upgraded my Droid2 with a new 32GB card for $22, bringing me to 48G.
      Not to mention hardware keyboard (wouldn't buy any phone that didn't offer this), and a kinda handy builtin FM radio. On top of that, a phone somewhat more sturdy so if you drop it, its less likely to shatter.
      NotMSUser
      • Not all android have sd cards

        My new HTC one S doesn't have an sd card slot. But that doesn't matter as I have 4g speed and on-line storage on not just Google but also the phone company is paying for me to have 45 gig storage at dropbox.
        sysop-dr
      • A rundown of what you did here

        Basically you listed items that you know Apple does not offer (and most don't care about anyway) and made them out to be deal breakers when in reality none are probably deal breakers for you but all you know how to do is use talking points. I also find it very funny how you "resent" how Apple charges more for storage when you would never buy an iPhone so it would never have any affect on you what so ever. Why resent something that has absolutely no affect on you? Oh that's right, it's just the use of talking points.
        non-biased
    • Giving them away...

      T-Mobile (Germany) called yesterday and were trying to foist an iPad 2 on me, for the princely sum of 1 Euro...
      wright_is
      • Your nose is growing...

        Better go see if Geppetto can whittle it down again...
        i8thecat4
      • @i8thecat4

        The iPad 2 normally costs (from) 4.95 on contract with T-Mobile, but for loyal customers, they had a special offer of 1 Euro.
        wright_is
        • 1 euro

          plus 24 easy payments built into the service fee...
          redking44
    • Pros & cons ...

      ... are evident in pretty much any system, and in the end, they often determine which device someone buys, because one will inevitably be better aligned with an individual consumer's needs than another.

      For some (like me), the benefits of Apple's walled garden make sense and present some great advantages and completely acceptable trade-offs. Sure, there are features that I've wanted on my iPhone, but -- like the Android folks -- if I really wanted them, I could have jailbroken it and added pretty much everything I wanted. But then I'd have given up several of the walled garden "pro's" that I wanted, so I didn't.

      Android is an impressive OS, too, but does has some rough edges -- particularly the different interfaces, malware, poor (if any) upgrade paths, etc. And, out of the box, the typical Android phone still lacks many of the same features that iPhones lack. But more techies are happy to "root" their Android device to add those features on.

      BTW, DeRSSS mentioned iPhone pricing as a differentiator. Actually, it is possible to get an iPhone 3GS for free or an iPhone 4 (not 4S) for just $99 -- maybe less now. True, they aren't the absolute cutting-edge technology, but they yield a solid experience for those who don't mind passing on the fastest processor or Siri ... which isn't unlike the trade-offs many make on the Android side to get a free or cheap phone.
      imalugnut
      • DeRSSS said "unsubsidized"

        .
        daboochmeister
      • @ imalugnut

        Go checkout http://www.theverge.com/2012/6/13/3082261/29-days-with-android for a great article by someone who tried Android for 29 days and wrote a very honest piece.
        rhonin
    • Yes, but . . .

      "Polished and consistent" is just another way of saying simple, which is good AND bad. Regarding tablets, almost ALL phone apps work seamlessly on 7" tablets (I have no experience with the 10" ones). The resolution issue is almost always a non issue, but it is nice when you're watching a movie, or on a non-optimized website.

      The real advantage of Apple is it's high powered, not all Android phones are. Some are quite crappy and old. "finger based UI" Uhhh, lots of touch based devices existed before Apple did it.
      stano360
  • I dunno

    I think most people who.are turned off by the whole Apple thing are turned off because, we are tired of hearing the BS... Watching reviews where the Android phone does so much better and then having people proclaim the iPhone is the best phone around... Of course we see keynotes where Apple adds features that other phones have been enjoying for years.

    Then of course, there are the articles where some bozos proclaim, "After using an iPhone, Android just feels wrong."
    slickjim