I complain about Android a lot. You really only have to find the nearest social network and check the first page on my profile to see some new issue I have with the mobile OS. I’ve pretty much lamented everything from fragmentation to the lack of screencapping (without root) as well as everything in between. Lest this outspokenness be construed as simple dislike or at worst Apple Fanboyism, I’d like to offer you a nice and tidy list of the things I love and hate about Android. It’s not a comprehensive list by any means, but I feel like it should give you some perspective the next time you see me flailing my arms and ranting about the next big thing that “super sucks” about Android.
WHAT I LOVE ABOUT ANDROID
The Notification Tray
I like that there’s a notification tray at the top of my phone and that everything I need to know that’s urgent goes there. I’ve seen the popup notifcations in iOS and I can’t say that’s something that appeals to me. Granted, I have an SMS popup app, but that’s because I like being able to quickly respond to texts from friends. I also like that I can quickly see the progress of my apps that are updating while I browse the web or do something else. What’s even cooler is that I can expand the notification tray and remove all the notifications from the tray if I so choose.
The Third-Party Apps That Get It Right
iOS apps are known for how elegant and glossy they look while retaining functionality. There are some Android apps out there that have taken this to heart recently and have made their Android counterparts comparable in design and functionality. It’s apps like these that make excited for what the OS can do. Foursquare and GoWalla are two shining examples on that front as well as Evernote, Angry Birds, Facebook and Twitter. And then there are the apps that don’t have iOS equivalents that manage to stand out or add functionality to Android. Stuff like Launcher Pro or Folder Organizer Lite or even Widgetsoid.
Access To The File System
I love being able see all the files on my phone and being able to do whatever I want with them. I love that I can throw a resume/script/story/song onto my phone to have with me at a whim. If it’s there I can access it like I would on my PC or Mac. It’s one of the big things I would miss if I were to pack up and move over to iOS tomorrow.
WHAT I (OPPOSITE OF) LOVE ABOUT ANDROID
The “Results May Vary By Phone” Factor
Android has come a long way and this gripe of mine has become less and less of a problem. But still, I read story after story of one phone having a set of problems while another phone has a completely different set of problems. I’ve been told on numerous occasions that if I want the most consistent Android experience I should go with the Nexus line of phones from Google itself. Why does it take an inquisition into the tech pool to find out what I’m getting when I go into a multi-year contract for an Android phone? Shouldn’t “it just work?”
The Ugly Third-Party Apps
While there are some great Android counterparts to some iOS apps, by and large a lot of the apps are underdeveloped and lacking in many modern/key features. Stuff like GetGlue or Miso are fairly easy examples of this as they have significant lag between the Android and iOS versions. It’s tough to want to use my version of the app when a much better version is being used next to me. I fully understand and respect that it takes time and resources to develop for two different OS’s, but I’d rather have no app than a crippled one.
The Rooting/Jailbreak Disease
Rooting/Jailbreaking your phone has become insanely easy these days. All you need to do is plug in the USB cord to your computer and run some software. It’s also become much easier to undo said Rooting/Jailbreaking in case you need to return your phone to the store or [insert random reason here]. Frankly, I think Rooting/Jailbreaking is bullshit and the time spent doing this could be spent making better apps or fighting to get Android/iOS to improve. I’d rather that both Android and iOS “just work” and I’d rather these platforms compete on aesthetic and not functionality.