This is a blog post a long time coming as over the last month I have struggled with my Android phone. I am going to start off saying if your just going to respond with “Just click X,Y, and Z and your issue is solved” at this point then stop reading now cause my whole argument is going to be ignored by you.
I had an Android phone for about 9 months. Over the course of those 9 months I spent all 9 of them trying to make my phone something better. I was using a Samsung Fascinate which is by no means a weak phone or in any ways should be a problem. The Galaxy S was the top line from Samsung who is not a bad phone manufacturer. Actually the hardware is great the phone has survived many drops with no signs of damage the thing that truely cripples the phone is it’s OS.
When I first got my Fascinate my first thought was “yay I can tweak the hell out of this thing” at the start. I spent a few weeks trying to use the default of this “amazing OS” I even tried all the different launchers and none of them fixed the fundamental flaw that was created by the buggyness and slowness of the OS provided by Samsung. So I started my journey of playing with ROM’s constantly on this phone. Now all I can say is that this lead to a phone only slightly more usable then before with just as many bugs. Even after Samsung finally got Froyo on the phone (6 months after promised) we merely got more bugs. Now this could be both Samsung’s and Verizon’s fault who knows which caused more bugs. Verizon’s attempts to replace Google with Bing couldn’t have made it any more stable.
Now all of this trouble comes from the fact that Android is too open. It doesn’t matter if your OS is really good if 90% of the users are given phones that slowly get buggier over time. We like to think of technology as advancing but Android devices I have used seem to only get more bugs as more versions of software is release look at the Droid X for even more examples. This is the key failing of the Android platform. People said there was going to be no consitancy to Android well I can tell you there is one constant it’s that phone makes can keep making bad phones that will just confuse normal users. I don’t care if you can fix it by restarting or pressing a key combo or turning off the defaulted to on GPS. None of these matter as normal users should never have to deal with this stuff. Fine it will work for tweakers and you guys can have your phones but there is no need for tweaker phones to be forced on the population as a really usable phone. I think Android as a platform is in a race to the bottom of devices. In an attempt to make devices cheaper and cheaper the quality goes out the window. Don’t get me wrong I’m sure the Nexus phones will be good for techies and the Kindle Fire will be perfect for normal users but neither of those will be the majority of devices.
Now most readers will probably ask, “Well then what platform do you have faith in?” The saddest thing is I actually have to say there are two platforms that have it right. Windows Phone and iPhone. Yep Windows Phone . It’s not only more usable but as a user its less confusing. Instead of allowing you to bite yourself with 50 apps in the background Microsoft has seen what Apple did. Sure you can use your one app and the rest can run but in limited states to prevent the slowdown and freezing that became normal on my android. At the end I was rebooting almost daily wait no that wasn’t even me it would reboot ON ITS OWN! I think Microsoft will win the race to the bottom as they have a more intuative and simple user interface will most likely hit the right price points.
So there is my outlook. Windows Phone and iPhone on top with Android stuck with Blackberry in nitch markets. Sure the Android phones will have the latest tech but seriously does anyone really need NFC at this point? Or even LTE? Yay, I get instant downloads oh wait I need to plug in again. Apple and Microsoft are both smart about technology these days and know its worth waiting till its been proven. This will be the key to their success just watch!