While Android is obviously our preferred mobile OS of choice around these parts, that's not to say it's perfect. Android gets a lot of things right, but there are also plenty of aspects to it that can be rather annoying.
Recently, some of our AC forum members got to talking about the struggle of getting an Android device set up from scratch. If you've ever moved from one phone to another, you're all too familiar with how headache-inducing this process can be.
Here are a few of the highlights from that conversation:
Now, we want to hear from you — What about Android annoys you the most?
1. Bloatware. Not just Carrier Bloatware, but OEM and Google Bloatware, as well. There is a massive amount of services that don't "need" to be there, which is why Android phones need such high RAM capacities. This also inhibits performance. When the phone starts to age, you really start to feel how much the performance degrades (esp. across major firmware upgrades, which almost never come with performance improvements on Android - at least not in the real world). 2. Update Lag: This inevitably means that no apps on Android actually take full advantage of the platform - particularly the newer versions of the platform. App development lags Android upgrades by a couple of years, because fragmentation forces developers to target the least common denominator. This is where fragmentation is felt most, and you can really feel this when you use an iOS device and Android device side-by-side. 3. Incredibly fast value depreciation. They lose value about twice as fast as iPhones, and that isn't just regurgitating online discussion. It's reality. Basically I'd only buy Android on a carrier "Pay 50% and upgrade after a year" scheme. iPhones, I have no issues paying out of pocket for (just grab AppleCare+ with Theft & Loss Protection). 4. App Quality: The same app developed for iOS and Android is almost always noticeably worse on Android, and sometimes, the apps exist in the Play Store while the develop has literally dropped support for it (and will say so when you email them about issues). 5. There still aren't a sane set of predictable defaults in many places. I'm not sure what music player is the default for Android... so I bias to OEM phones just for their better Music Players (Samsung, for example). Same for eReaders. Google Play Books isn't that great, so I have to use Kindle and Audible. Google Keep isn't a viable "Note Taking" application. I don't find Google Tasks to be particularly usable, personally. Using Android inevitably means that I'll be using a mishmash of different ecosystems, because while Google seems to provide "everything," they really don't. Not if you want decent quality services in some areas, or media stores that actually have the kind of content you are looking for. Quite a bit of music, eBooks, etc. I bought from iTunes cannot be found on Google Play Music. Most things I bought from Amazon is in Apple Books, iTunes Store, etc. A lot of that stuff isn't in Google Play. 6. Google has pretty piss poor communication services on Android. Google Duo is okay, but for messaging it's really just not good. I'm not installing a redundant SMS/MMS app on my phone, especially when other users basically need to do the same on their phone just to use Google Messages RCS. In addition to that, Android users don't seem to "agree" on service standards. Almost none of the people I know on Android use Google Duo (only one person does). Messaging is a complete crap shoot. You basically have to default to Facebook Messenger for a majority of those people (which, frankly, is better than anything Google can/will develop). 7. USB-MS. This is often touted as a reason to use Android over iOS, but ever since Google moved to forcing that other protocol for media transfer, I've never - ever - been able to get a consistent USB Mass Storage Connection on any Android phone (using that version of Android, or later) to any PC I've owned. While transferring files, I've always had issues where the device would disconnect. This is on multiple phones and on multiple computers using multiple cables over multiple years. This has ceased to be a competitive advantage for me. I don't even bother to try to use it anymore. 8. Camera API Implementation Issues in OEM Devices: Renders a lot of apps practically unusable on Android, compared to iOS. 9. Google has great services, but sometimes the apps just aren't that great. Google Photos is a great example. The app is just chock full of "fun stuffs" that I just don't care about... but it insists on putting them in your face (compare to Apple's Photos app). Google Play Music was another, and YouTube Music isn't any better. 10. No decent Continuity/Handoff experience. As for Samsung devices, I see nothing convenient about having to create and maintain a Microsoft Account (and tie it to my PC Login) just to accomplish this. Absolutely not. ChromeOS is trash, and for web surfers, so I won't even entertain that thought.
Holy Cow. iN8ter NAILED IT. wow. Good job. and THAT is why iPhone is my default. Not to mention the Apple Watch is 100X better than ANYTHING on the google side. AND it gets updates just like the phones for at least 4-5 years.
Then add in a Mac and/Or an iPad, (because ALL android tablets are terrible at best) and you literally have Nivana with an ecosystem that works together in ways android will never ever have.
but, but, but i can customize.... whatever. I want my devices to do things android can Not do, work together, and just work.
as last, throw in a new iPhone at $399 that has a better processor than a $1000 flagship (samsung S20) that will get updates for 5-7 years ...
This doesn't mean i hate android. android is like a toy to me. i can't take it seriously because it isn't great. but it's still fun to goof off with.
Frankly that it's tied to Qualcomm. Certainly I place a lot of the blame for update speed on how Android is designed, as well as carriers and oems. But we're stuck with Qualcomm processors, graphics, and modems. It's a hardware hegemony that is unseen in the PC industry. Stifles innovation, and they don't support hardware for an extended period. On top of that even the latest Qualcomm processor is not as good as Apple's. I'd like to see Intel, AMD, Nvidia and more get back into the smartphone processor game.
For me, it has to be the inconsistent way OEMs get updates to its consumers. OS updates for 2 years and 2-3 years of security updates is not enough. These phone are more and more feature rich and also more expensive. I paid full price for my Note10+ at launch, and that was expensive. I'm not buying another phone anytime soon, so I would think most people that are aware of the Android ecosystem are getting more cost conscience and want a purchase that's as futureproof as can be. Maybe the average buyer knows nothing about updates. But those that value that, I'm sure that is a premium that is considered. And since there are so many versions of Android and different companies have their own skins overlaying Android, that can be frustrating.
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