In the never-ending iOS vs. Android debate, I’m fascinated by the amount of SUBJECTIVITY Android guys use to make their platform inherently better. Just a few hours ago, I was told by an Android guy:
You don’t necessarily need the most current version of android to enjoy all of the flashy new features. There are launchers that take 1 minute to install and let you really tweak the phone. And if you want to root the phone there are ways to almost automatically do it. If you don’t want to do anything, pick up a Nexus device or Nexus Experience Device and you will always get immediate updates. If you want to talk feature phones then you are really talking about iOS. The phone is so basic compared to high end androids, it is laughable. Even with ios 7 it still is behind Android 4.2.2 and will have its ass handed to it when Key Lime Pie 5.0 rolls out in the fall. In fact it is behind Android 2.3 in many respects.
The question is, what are these amazing Android features that make iOS the “most basic” phone. I figured we’d touch on the SUBJECTIVITY first, and then we can re-hash the OBJECTIVITY, because it’s simply fun to listen to Android guys explain away the OBJECTIVITY as if it just didn’t matter.
* Android had the “control center” first for toggling things quickly. Guess what? This one should actually be in Objectivity. Why is it here, then? Because the Fandroids LOVE to say that Apple has copied them with iOS 7. The fact is, when Android was merely trickling into the market, the iPhone jailbreak community already had this feature. So, while Android-mongers can claim they had it first commercially (and be right), it can be more than easily argued that both Android and iOS copied the iPhone jailbreak community.
* Animated Wallpaper. Wow. This is exciting stuff. So exciting, that Active Desktop on Windows is still prevalent… oh, wait. It’s not. It’s a useless feature. Cool, perhaps, but useless. This does not make Android inherently better. This is a subjective argument at best.
* Widgets. YEEEEEEHAAAAAA! Yeah. Widgets. Widgets are the shit and everybody wants them. OS X has widgets and…. yeah, they fizzled. Windows has (or had?) gadgets. They’re equally useful/useless. Again, subjective. I don’t have widgets on my iPhone, but do have them on my Mac. Yeah, I don’t care. See? SUBJECTIVE!
* “Just root your phone and you can have all the updates you want. Or, vanilla Android, or… and it’s easy to do now” Hello, IT nerd. I’d like to introduce you to the computer-using public. These are the people that haven’t changed much in 20-30 years and what is easy to you, has never been and will never be easy for them. Your comment on how simplistic and automatic it is to “root a phone” IS SUBJECTIVE.
* Android bloatware. Generally, you can’t remove it. This is SUBJECTIVE, because you can. See previous bullet item and then tell me how subjective it FEELS…
* “Android malware issues aren’t really a problem. The software tells you what’s being accessed.” Oh, you guys are the funniest. Nobody reads terms of service. Nobody reads what’s being accessed. How many pieces of software do you think access more than they need to and don’t actually need stuff? Quite a bit. It’s for marketing or whatever the excuse is…. and this is for LEGITIMATE software. So, once people become desensitized to the list of stuff, they’ll just assume excess access is just par for the course. I suspect, as I first mentioned, it won’t get that far, because most of us don’t read that stuff. So, it’s SUBJECTIVE to say malware isn’t really a (growing) problem on Android.
* Android needs more CPU cores and each one to be faster to REALLY beat the iPhone in fluidity. Remember those videos I posted? See for yourself. It was a fair fight. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tvg2iQVQ0uA vs. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7bsYXuD8EXY OBJECTIVITY. Only recently, with Android phones going to quad-core and hitting 1.5GHz in speed are you now seeing some fluid scrolling on basic screens like a web page. It’s sad, really, from a pure technical standpoint. iOS and the iPhone can do more with “slower” cores…. and so far, only a dual core.
* Typical Android phones don’t get updates. This is true. Most phones purchased today that AREN’T Nexus phones will never see an update. You want a new Android OS with patches for security, features, etc.? You either learn how to root, pay someone to root, buy a new phone. TRUTH. OBJECTIVITY.
* Malware. It’s a growing problem. The reason it’s growing is due to Android fragmentation. This goes back to the previous bullet item. The average user isn’t aware of what version of Android they’re running. Some don’t even know what “Android” means. They just know they have a touch screen phone (“like that iPhone”) and can access Facebook. These people never see updates, because there’s no mechanism for automatic updates (or even manual ones), so patches that have been developed to defend against malware never reaches these people. OBEJCTIVITY! One might then argue these are the same people that download nothing, so the point is moot. That would be a SUBJECTIVE take on an OBJECTIVE point.
* Building on “malware isn’t really a problem,” as a developer, you try to develop without bugs (impossible) so that the user cannot break the program. If something goes wrong, like the user put a Q where a dollar amount was expected, you expect the system to handle accordingly. If the system crashed every time and it was reported to the software support department of that company and they replied, “Well, don’t put a Q there. It’s only programmed for dollar amounts in that field…” you’d wonder why you bought that piece of software. Android guys LOVE to blame the user, but the sad fact is, there’s no safeguard on Android phones presently. OBJECTIVE…. Oh, wait… this may be SUBJECTIVE because…
* Anti-virus. Yay. We’re at a point where now we can and need to run the same crap from Windows on (Android) phones. OBJECTIVE. Add to the fact that Android only just got fluidity from really bumping the CPUs and then add the “excitement” of needing anti-virus software, and I suspect things will slow down again. Dammit. Back to SUBJECTIVE.
This is all becoming a giant mess in my head.
Feel free to call me out on my mistakes, but I have yet to see the Android benefit in all this that hasn’t been purely SUBJECTIVE AT BEST.