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Android – It’s Good In Theory

February 28th, 2011 · 2 Comments · Android, Business, iPhone, mobile phones, Samsung, smartphones, Technology, Wireless

Android phones, such a good idea but the implementation is abysmal. I like the thought of having competition for the iPhone and other mobile OSes out there…we have to keep innovation up and keep from having a monopoly.

The Android OS itself isn’t bad. Not as clean and refined as iOS (the OS on the iPhone) but that’s fine. It also gives me a bit more freedom to do what I like.

I’ve had my Samsung Moment with Sprint for a while now. I’ve taunted all my iPhone wielding friends as I was spending much less on my plan and getting to do so much more. Sure, I liked the design of the iPhone itself and the OS but not enough to spend so much more money and to have to deal with AT&T’s crappy network.

But alas, as each day goes by, I want to fling my Moment at a brick wall. It’s slow at times. Oh how I’d love to be able to upgrade to one of the newer Android OSes but I can’t. (Technically I can if I root the phone and update the OS that way). Rumor has it there will be no OS updated for the Samsung Moment on Sprint. Great…just great. Glad I spent all that money on a phone that is obsolete in a year and can’t be updated.

That…my fellow readers, is where Android is going to lose the battle. As smart phones become more prevalent and the novelty wears off, people will search for the practical phones to spend their money on.

What are our options?

Android

  • All major carriers – A big plus for people who are loyal to a carrier (or perhaps have a corporate account with)
  • A variety of phones – Another plus – People like variety. Some prefer physical keyboards, others don’t, some prefer particular manufacturers, etc.
  • Android OS itself - Massive negative. With all the different phones, there is massive fragmentation on getting each OS tweaked for each phone. Worse yet, many manufactures and carriers stop development of OS work on existing phones as they plan for the next one. This also has repercussions for app developers as they have to make sure their app works on all the different OS forks.

iPhone

  • Two carriers – Neutral – It was a big negative when they were exclusive to AT&T but now there’s a choice at least.
  • One phone – Plus – Technically it’s two phones, one running on a CDMA network and one on a GSM network and each has its pros and cons of each. But it’s a phone produced by Apple and you know what you’re getting.
  • iOS – Plus – One OS to rule them all. Again, technically it’s two OSes (CDMA and GSM) but we’ve got one company making one OS for their phone. You don’t have to worry about your AT&T iPhone going obsolete while I’m able to update my AT&T iPhone.

Windows Mobile

  • I think it’s too early in the game to to judge. Many of these will be similar to the Android with multiple phones, multiple carriers, etc.

For well over a year I’ve loved my Android phone. I was annoyed at the lack of apps but I didn’t miss out on anything TOO big. I was able to overcome some syncing headaches with my MacBook Pro…but still manageable. I was amazingly annoyed at the fact I could only run Android 1.6 while there were already phones out there running Android 2.1. Luckily I got the upgrade (another major pain as your phone is wiped clean and you have to start from scratch after the update) but that’s the last update I could get. Here I sit…with a phone that will only get worse and worse as iPhones users get to update their phones with each new iOS update.

I’ve been a fan of you Android, but having this un-updateable brick may be the last straw. You’re great in theory, providing an alternative and competition, but the practicality of HAVING to buy a new phone every year just to get an OS update is ridiculous.

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2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Fake Charles Ellmaker // Mar 2, 2011 at 11:36 am

    I haven’t touched an Android phone yet, but the uptake suggests it will have legs even as it has growing/refinement pains.

    My guess is that Google is about to do a jiujitsu move and create some sort of seamless backup and update mechanism that, slowly, will be adopted by the set manufacturers. (I’m assuming from your update comment that this doesn’t yet exist.)

    The iPhone also suffers, to some extent from update lock-out, although Apple has wisely done this elegantly, allowing the parts of the updated OS that are not dependent on new hardware to upgrade while leaving out any hardware-dependent features.

    Apparently the Japanese are finally tweaking to the fact that their groovy phones are not portable and are climbing on the Android bandwagon: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/03/business/global/03android.html

  • 2 Julio V. Wells // May 27, 2013 at 2:53 am

    I recently got the update at a sprint store and overall I am very happy with it. I did notice that the update has created a new bug with sprint TV but I don’t use that much so it’s not a big deal. The gps fix is huge. Before the fix google maps would have me somewhere in europe or south america and it would take forever to finally obtain my true location. Battery life also seems to have improved vastly. Before the update my phone would die after 7 hours of standby. Now it is truly usable. I have also noticed that gps is turned off immediately upon closing a gps enabled app. I was really hoping for android 2.1 but this will do until then. The phone is a lot more usable now.

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