Discussion about
frankspin

November 20th 2013 2:53 pm

Moving from Android to iOS is not as bad as you think

As a previous Android user I often saw a lot of Android users exclaim about how coming to Android was such a liberating experience from the grasp of Apple's walled garden. For the last few years I believed this, but over time I started to open up to what Apple and iOS have to offer. After moving to the iPhone 5s this past September I can comfortably say making the move is not nearly as bad as it's made out to be, and to be honest it's been nice to not have the freedom that Android provides.

Widgets

Widgets are something any Android fan likes to talk up and can sometimes be something a lot of iOS users want. I can safely say that widgets just aren't that exciting. The main issue for why I never got into widgets was they all rely on background polling, if you disable this they wont update as quickly. Since polling can have an impact on battery life, naturally you don't want something like a Twitter widget updating every five minutes. So if you're changing the polling timeframe, it kind of defeats the purpose of the widget. If Android figured out a way to make the widgets update on focus there could be more value in them, but overall they didn't offer much for me.

Customization

This is one I hear a lot from Android circles and again it's pretty overrated. Sure, being able to completely customize how your phone looks with UCCW, icons, and wallpapers is cool but often they're not very practical for efficiency. I once followed instructions to build a home screen that resembled the Feedly interface and while it looked cool, the way the screens moved became annoying to watch. Simply, the time invested to really make your Android phone standout wasn't worth the potential dislike for the functionality it would offer.

Notifications

I wont try and sugarcoat this, Apple still hasn't figured out notifications on mobile devices. Android offers a lot more power from the shade and it's faster to dismiss them. However, I'd rather give up that power to get the ease of tuning that iOS offers. With Android you have to go into every single app, discover the menu and fix the notification settings. With iOS you can conveniently disable whatever notification you want from within the main Settings panel of iOS. This makes it incredibly easy to quickly turn off notifications and customize them a bit more.

That grid

Android users, it's time to stop going on about about how iOS is just a grid of icons. It's a tired and boring reason as to why Android is a better platform, and using it as a basis for innovating is just cheap. The reality is that when you open the Android app drawer it's a grid of icons and your home screen is a grid, it's just the nature of the beast. While Apple is "still just a grid of icons" it actually is refreshing because it keeps you from downloading endless amounts of useless apps.

Uniformity

Perhaps the single biggest thing that has been nice about coming to iOS from Android is a uniform feel throughout the phone. While iOS apps are currently in a transition from iOS 6 design styles to iOS 7, the apps still feel similar enough that you don't feel too disjointed. The single biggest frustration with Android from 2.3 - 4.x, and even still now, a lot of Androids function differently based on if the menu button comes into play or not. It can be confusing in some situations and other it's not. However I still think the biggest grip I have with Android from a uniformity aspect are their app icons. Yes, every iOS icon is a square but it honestly looks a lot better than how Android icons are all miss-matched and laid out.

Android is not a bad product

I am by no means trying to discredit everything Android has built-to and become, it's really grown a lot and it obviously was doing something right when I picked it a few years ago. However, over time, I have just come to recognize that perhaps iOS's ease-of-use was something of a benefit. At the end of the day what matters to me is having an extension of my desk, and right now iOS is delivering that better for my needs. Maybe in another six months or a year I'll despise iOS and want to go back to Android, or even Windows Phone, but right now I just don't see it.

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84 replies
Dignan17

Frank, I agree with your initial hypothesis, but disagree with some minor points. Mainly, I think that "Customization" goes FAR beyond your extremely limited definition.

But in the end, I think these kinds of comparative checklists are unnecessary. It comes down to which platform works better for you, which you touch upon very briefly at the end.

Off the top of my head, here's a few additional observations that you missed:
  • The share menu: Android doesn't limit me to a few partner services.
  • Tyranny of the default: I don't care if you prefer Apple Maps or Google Maps, but I want you to be able to choose which one comes up when you want maps. I still have no idea why the EU is still going after MS for browser default dialog boxes when Apple handles their mobile OS this way.
  • Screen sizes: sorry, the iPhone is simply too small for me. This is completely subjective, but I'm not limited to one choice with the Android platform.
I could think of others given enough time, but this is just my reaction as an Android user. I have nothing against iOS, and most of my friends have iPhones and I'm glad they're using a phone they like. That's awesome. I just know I wouldn't like it, and that should be fine with iOS users.
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frankspin

Matt, man was I hoping you'd jump in! I always find your counter arguments on point, fair, and well thought out.

I agree that the share menu thing is rough but I've adapted, and most apps I use with it don't cause a headache. There was also recent development of a group of iOS developers who had built a more robust share menu, I wish I still had the GitHub repo.

Default, yes. It's a major pain no matter how you look at it. I loathe Apple mail but am adapting, but 100% agree this kind of stinks. Though I will say I have less desire to move away from default apps and such.

I think screen sizes will always be preference. The S3 was pushing me width wise, the One was HUGE to me, but the 5s feels sport on. Maybe .3-.5 more but it's close.

I'd also be lying if I said I hadn't thought about grabbing a Nexus 7 just to have for reading, and that the Moto X would be my go-to option if I went back to Android. I think Motorola really nailed the X.
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Dignan17

Thanks! I like your posts too :)

I do hope they update the share option on iOS, because I find the Android implementation extremely powerful. My favorite use is something very simple: an app called "Email to Self." For the most part, I use this app as an icon on my home screen which, when pressed, opens up a new email with the to: field already filled out with my own email address, and the cursor in the body of the email. I use this to send notes to myself all the time. But in the share menu, it turns anything that can be shared into something I can send to myself as a reminder for later, like a web page or RSS item or whatever. This is just a small example of the kind of stuff the share menu enables. I do think, however, that that feature needs a lot of work. The main thing being that I hate not being able to remove items from the share menu! There are applications in there that I will never use, so it's frustrating that I can't disable them. Still, I'd rather have too much here than not enough.

Like I said, screen size will always be subjective. The 5s feels spot on for you, but it feels too small for me when I use my wife's phone. I like having the screen real estate. But again, this is completely subjective and I'm actually irritated that the options have become more limited on Android over the past couple years. The Note has pushed everything to the larger screen sizes, and while I think there's a huge market for large screens, the manufacturers have barely noticed that they left the smaller screen markets behind. Fortunately HTC and Samsung are making some smaller versions of their flagship phones.

The default thing is actually the entire reason that I know for a fact that I could not be an iOS user. It's literally the entire thing that started me out on Android in the first place way back in 2008 and kept me with the platform to this day. All things being equal, I'd have a hard time deciding between the platforms and momentum would probably be the only thing to keep me on Android. But because of the default issue, I can never become an iOS user. The reason is simple: GMail. I absolutely adore GMail like no other service I use. I love conversation view, I love stars, I love labels, I love pretty much everything about it (except for the new automatic inboxes feature which I've turned off). My entire life (both personal and business) is in GMail, and I'm 100% happy with it. There's not a chance in hell that I would switch to using Apple Mail, mostly because I don't see what would be so compelling to make me go through the immense trouble of switching. It's not that I think Apple Mail is bad, I just don't see why I'd switch over when I'm so happy where I am and I can do all the things I want to do.

All of this is to observe that I know I'd be extremely frustrated if I couldn't make GMail the default email application on my phone. I wouldn't want to use the built in mail client because it doesn't handle my conversations, stars, labels, etc.

I don't know, maybe I'm wrong and this is all in my head :)
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Dignan17

BTW, if there's one point I'd like to highlight from this response I just made it's this: why change when I'm happy?

It seems like all the flamewars between both Android and iOS users ignore one simple idea: the other person might be happy with what they have. I always say that if your device does what you need it to do, and you're happy with how it does it, that's all that matters. This is a key thing for all the fanboys to remember when having these debates (or flamewars :) ).
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frankspin

I think this is spot on. My reasoning for this post was mainly to show that changing platforms is not scary and not a difficult thing to do, especially with going from something like Android to iOS.

The comment about being happy is perfect. I was just unhappy with what Android was offering and delivering, so I felt ready to make a change up to see. I was not intending this to be "GO OUT AND CHANGE NOW".
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Dignan17

Haha, understood. And I'm happy for you :)
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frankspin

Just want to also add, I really want to see a company push Android further than just gimmicks and specs. I think Motorola is right there with X, it's really the right balance. If they can just get the OS to look less "Linux" (lame description I know, but bear with me on this one) I think they can knock it out of the park. They're putting all the right specs and design into a friendly option.
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Dignan17

I like what the Moto X is doing, but I can't go back to subsidized phones :)
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undulose

You're right there, pal. And I can't understand why a lot of Americans think that the Moto X is a mediocre phone. I feel badly for not having the Moto X outside America because if I were to buy an Android phone, it would be Moto X, not the Note 3 and not even the Nexus 5.
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LonelyBob

One of the editors at OS News wrote up a similar first impressions post, as an Android owner moving to iOS: www.osnews.com­/story­/27401­/First­_impressions­_iPhon...
Worth reading.
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JeffDenver

Frank, most of your responses to things that are better are Android are along the lines of "OMG I know it sucks but I can adapt". Why should we HAVE to adapt? Why can't iOS conform to us instead of the other way around?

The end user is the one who is right, not the vendor. Things like the share menu and 3rd party app integration and widgets are things even iUsers have been asking for for a very long time. Apple has failed to keep up with feature demand, and tries to make up for it with polish.

And that has worked for a long time. the problem is, now Android is also looking quite polished and getting better with each version.
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frankspin

While it may seem like I was saying it sucks and I'll put up with it sucking, I was trying to showing that adjusting to a new way of doing things is not all the difficult.

I don't want iOS to "conform" to us, I want them to keep doing what they're doing. One thing I don't like about Android, and Google, is they attempt to do too much with their products and this can lead to a bad product.

I also don't think Apple is failing to keep up with feature demand, I think they're delivering features that the more average user cares about.
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JeffDenver

Your solution to having to deal with all of its limitations seems to be to tell us to just get used to it. And that after we get used to it, it won't seem so bad. It doesn't make iOS seem appealing at all.

Apples sinking markets are is evidence they are failing to keep up with feature demand. As the general population becomes more tech savvy, they become more demanding. It's simplicity might have been appealing in the beginning, but now feels rather constricting.

Yeah, we can adjust to new ways of doing things. If I am forced to buy a crappier car I'll adjust. It doesn't mean I'd rather have the crappier car given a choice.
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jsanagustin

Let me start of with saying that I use a VZW Android device
Choice is certainly one of the biggest pros to Android devices; CHOICE. Yes, Apple (let's be honest here, someone else was already using ios to refer to an operating system before the iPhone) devices are designed well, and work well for many people.

I, for one, would rather have a choice in form factor, features, and apps, so that I can more easily use a device how I want to and not necessarily how a designer envisioned me to.

Now I may be wrong about this, but if I remember correctly from what a former Apple user told me... If one installs a 3rd party browser, one could use it. However, say one taps a link in an email. The device then opens that link in the stock browser without giving the user the CHOICE of which browser to use.

Question... if one doesn't like the keyboard that Apple provides, could one install another? Such as Swiftkey? or Minuum? I believe the answer is no. Okay, you might say, "So what? It's just a keyboard; no big deal." Well that is your opinion/choice. Mine is to use a 3rd party keyboard. To me, the ability to make that choice is a big deal, because how else does one enter data into an app?

One can certainly argue that there are aspects of each system that infringes on the freedom of the user, no one is as blatant and in-your-face about it as Apple is. I'd say 2nd place Verizon.
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frankspin

Yes, you cannot set default apps on iOS. This is one issue with the OS and it can be a frustrating one to deal with, but it doesn't become a glaring issue too much. The keyboard is quite nice on iOS and Safari is really fast.
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jsanagustin

Have you tried SwiftKey, and tried it long enough that it "got to know you" a bit?
Example: "Hey man I'm running late. Be there in 10 min" That phrase took me all of 19 taps to type out.

Can Safari sync with its desktop/laptop counterpart? IE, I have access to the same exact bookmarks across my desktop, tablet, and phone. Or, say I have a few tabs open on my phone. After a few clicks, I can have those same exact pages opened up on my desktop/tablet without even having to touch my phone.
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frankspin

"Have you tried SwiftKey, and tried it long enough that it "got to know you" a bit?"

I was using Switfkey since I had my Eris and was running 1.5, so yes I have been using it long enough. Typing on a touchscreen phone is not an issue for me so it taking 19 taps or 49 taps doesn't bother me.

"Can Safari sync with its desktop/laptop counterpart?"

Yes, this is a feature that is advertised right on Apple's website as a feature of iCloud. Yes, I can access any bookmark or URL by simply opening Safari on my laptop or iPad. Even if Safari didn't offer this I could achieve the same thing through Chrome for iOS.
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jeffkoe

I like the fact that iOS is simple, as my almost 80 year old, tech naive mother can pretty much navigate her iPhone successfully. Yes, it's is too limiting for me, but I shudder to think of trying to support my tech naive family members on Android!
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dave

Interestingly, I've heard a number of friends who've used iOS since day one say they want to switch to Android when their contract is up because "iOS feels boring." To me, that's kind of a crazy reason to switch platforms, especially with the sunk cost of the apps you've already purchased.

I fully support people wanting to explore, but I feel like doing it because your bored is silly. Look at things like the entirety of the Mac OS history and Windows 95 through Windows 7 -- the UX paradigms have been exactly the same for decades! (That's not to say they're perfect, of course.)
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kris

Honestly, I'm bored with iOS. But I haven't sunk as much into the platform, and it's not like I'm giving up on it entirely -- I still have an iPad, after all -- so moving to Android for a little excitement is a perfectly fine move. I still get excited when I pick up my Android phone. Not that I think that'll last forever, but I do think it's important to actually want to use the gadgets you bought. If that means switching platforms, then so be it.
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kris

Also, couldn't resist:

"Interestingly, I've heard a number of friends who've been married since day one say they want to switch spouses when their contract is up because "she/he feels boring." To me, that's kind of a crazy reason to switch spouses, especially with the sunk cost of the app(liance)s you've already purchased.

I fully support people wanting to explore, but I feel like doing it because your bored is silly. Look at things like the entirety of marriage and civil unions -- the social paradigms have been exactly the same for decades! (That's not to say they're perfect, of course.)"
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Mitchellmckenna

I agree with all your points here, I was on android up till iPhone 5, I was ready to try something new and by that time the platforms had a lot of the same functionality the other was boasting about. Which I think is a good thing, you can just got with the best phone when your contract expires without really worrying about the OS.

What gets harder for jumping platforms is if you have invested a lot of money in apps, gets tough to justify re-buying all your favorite apps.

Customizing homescreens/icons got old, I came to enjoy the simplicity in iOS of your homescreen is your app drawer; no more moving apps to the homescreen, they're all there, just swipe through. Notifications aren't as good on iOS but they're better than they used to be. @sirdurable makes a good point on iTunes, I do hate opening it up to sync music, hoping the new Google Music app for iOS alleviates this.
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frankspin

Luckily I was a multi-OS person before going over to iOS so a lot of the apps I'd be using I already had bought for my iPad. Games have just been sucking up most of money on iOS.
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TgD

I appreciate this post. Just because I am sitting on a hardware upgrade from my carrier and its itching me to get a new phone when I don't need one. I have been considering going for my first iPhone ever (although I have the current gen iPod touch, and have had others before it) because I do see these points that you bring up
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sirdurable

No mention of iTunes, which is a horrible experience compared with the current method I use to sync apps/music with my Android devices.

A comment from my Father tells me that the changes iOS has done between versions isn't overly enjoyed.

To each their own! Use what you enjoy and enjoy what you use. :)
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dave

Yeah, my parents actually refuse to update to iOS 7. To quote my dad, "I don't want all my shit in the cloud!"

Hah.
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LonelyBob

iTunes is no longer required, hasn't been since iOS6. You can download apps and start using an iPod Touch/iPad/iPhone out of the box without connecting it to iTunes.

However if you want a local backup iTunes is required, but backups can also be done on iCloud so it's a matter of preference.
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frankspin

I have used iTunes just for backing up my iOS devices and until Google has something even close to that I don't think we can say it's a horrible experience. It's certainly a pain in the ass but the need to go into it now is very limited. Any purchase you make can be grabbed via Music or Movies, apps can sync across devices, backups can hit the cloud, etc.
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Omegaultra

Personally I have gone iphone since the 3gs until the 4s and switched to the galaxy note 2. my Biggest gripes with ios7 is the inability to easily use it as an external drive like android and that the screen is too small. I love my huge screen but id be satisfied with 5 inches. 4 inches is just so tiny! With the way I use my phone, I need and want and love the large screen. ive already committed that when iphone gets to a 5 inch screen or larger im going back to iphone but until then I'm sticking with Android.
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jeffkoe

I feel the same about screen size and also about screen aspect ratio. In order to make the transition from 3.5" to 4" Apple kept the same horizontal width of the iPhone screen. The resulting aspect ratio doesn't match standard aspect ratios. Also, I really love the "back" button on android. With iOS, it is akward to have to reach up to the top of the screen, as some apps require, in order to reach the back button.
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groovechicken

I agree completely. I hear people saying iOS is better for usability and I just can't even fathom what they are talking about. I feel like I have to search for the way to go back a level in iOS since the in-app nav is not always consistent. It really drives me nuts when people hand me an iOS device for troubleshooting or setup. If I click a link in Gmail and get launched into Chrome, when I am done reading, all I have to do is hit the back button to close the tab and return to the email. And being able to hold the home button for a second to switch back and forth between apps when I have to do multiple copy and paste operations is so easy. These two things alone make Android way better in terms of consistency and usability in my book.

Plus, I HATE the screen size and ratio on the iPhone. Typing on that thing makes me want to go postal.
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raptorck

The ratio is fine, the resolution is a little non-standard. The 4" Apple display is 1136x640. A "proper" 16:9 display (like the rapidly-standardizing 1920x1080 on larger Android phones) would be 1136x639, so it's really an argument over a single line of pixels.

I personally don't see the point in ramping the iPhone up to even 720p, people wouldn't be able to resolve the extra pixels, so you're just pushing the CPU, GPU, and battery harder for no good reason.

Now, a larger device, like a 5" phone or the Galaxy Note series? By all means. More screen SHOULD mean more pixels. A 4.5" iPhone? 720p, no question. A 6.75" iPhone Note? 1080p, again, no question. Extrapolate this up, and yes, you get the Retina iPad mini at its current resolution, which makes things truly fun: The iPad Air should accordingly ramp up to an obscene 2560x1920, if not for the fact that you're using it from further away.

I don't see a point in spec battling beyond the user's ability to leverage it. I DO think that the notification light and a universal back button are good ideas, and while the back button use on iPhone seems okay to me, it does NOT work well on the iPad. Android's solution fits more use cases in a better way.

Rapid back-and-forth on Android also sounds handy, but I'll admit to not having a terribly strong use case for it at present. I just don't hop back and forth between only two apps very often.
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jeffkoe

I'm thinking of proportions of the iphone. I'd love to see a 5" display on an iphone, but not if Apple were to simply add more vertical screen and keep the same width. I'd also like Apple to scale the interface up on a larger display so icons would be bigger. I used an iOS style launcher on an Android phone with a 4.7" display, and really liked the iOS style icons at a larger size.
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JasonTsay

I don't mean to hijack your discussion, but your post has inspired me to post some thoughts of my own on making the opposite switch. :)

www.engadget.com­/discuss­/my­-year­-with­-android­-1lj1...
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raptorck

I'm currently experimenting with a Nexus 7, and I would just like to point out that the Android ecosystem invites certain... idiosyncrasies that I find maddening.

I've already learned that some apps may CLAIM to provide notifications, but they... don't. If this thing can make noise and turn on a light when I get a reminder, then EVERY app should be able to leverage that. It's bits like that which keep me deeply in iOS land as I think about it: Yes, it's a limited, walled garden, but as weak as the notifications may seem, they're consistently available to almost all apps.

Basically, I can't really fault Google for bad developers, but I feel as though they're responsible for not providing guidance or tools to lead their developers down the right path.
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Dignan17

"If this thing can make noise and turn on a light when I get a reminder, then EVERY app should be able to leverage that."

I can't tell if it's what you were going for or not, but for the sake of clarity: every app is capable of that, but the developers are the ones who have to take advantage.

It's difficult to discuss this issue when you don't provide any examples, but the biggest offenders of poor notifications on Android seem to be (in my experience) the developers who only offer straight ports of iOS titles. All too frequently I'll notice that they don't take advantage of rich notifications (where you can pull down on a notification in the shade to reveal more information - like with GMail notifications). This is bad because it means you might get a notification that doesn't have anything useful in it, and you have to click on the notification to see what it's telling you, thus negating most of the purpose of the notification.

"Basically, I can't really fault Google for bad developers, but I feel as though they're responsible for not providing guidance or tools to lead their developers down the right path."

Are you speaking from specific experience? Do you know that they don't provide this guidance? Google provides all the tools that developers need, including style and UI behavior guidelines. It truly is up to the developers to write their apps properly.
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raptorck

This is very specifically limited to a particular handful of Android apps, and I can't call them out due to professional issues, but there's a fine line between guidelines and the iron fist to which I'm accustomed: Every app on iOS does two things with respect to notifications: Ask the user for permission, and leave them to deal with the Notifications section of the Settings App. For the most part, that means that I can get my phone to buzz for such ridiculous things as Plants vs. Zombies 2 having a sale this week, just like I can get it to show me nothing at all on a geofencing-capable app. It's weird, but it's controllable in spite of the potential of a bad developer.

The nice part about that is that all of the device functions are exposed to every app very consistently. I've now dealt with a few apps on the Android side, Google Play included, that don't. Admittedly, I don't need a notification light to tell me that updates are available, but it makes for an odd precendent: whose example do I follow to provide fine-grained notification control?

I'd also mention that I have a very odd view for how I trust developers to do things "properly." It's odd that iOS forces devs to do their own memory management, but give them rigid notification and multitasking controls, while Android more or less throws the kitchen sink of capabilities without any structure behind it, but gives you a freaking garbage collector on a mobile device? Crazy town.
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Dignan17

Fair enough. I still feel that you implied that developers weren't given the tools they needed to get the job done. I mostly wanted to clarify that many of them could do more than they are, they just don't for some reason, usually because they don't want to devote too much time to their Android versions.
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raptorck

I think everyone's replies have made the point rather clear while polite enough to not bring any heated language against me, so I'll do it myself:

I like tyranny. Android vs. iOS isn't the problem, accordingly, it's all about iTunes App Store vs. Google Play. I can EASILY build a crappy .ipa, get a developer ID, and shove it on my own iPhone. It could do a half-assed job of conforming to anything brought in since iOS 4, and it'd still run, but no one would want to use it.

The Android ecosystem, accordingly, is akin to an condominium: Everyone (app) gets their home space, which they can modify to their heart's content. If those apps want to share data, they can do so by going directly to the desired apartment.

The iOS ecosystem is a boarding school dormitory: You get a space, and it must meet certain standards of cleanliness, orderliness, and overall behavior. Sneaking data via non-standard channels is akin to breaking curfew: Don't do it. It's uniform, it's limited, but everything is sparkling clean, shirts are starched, shoes are shined, etc.

It doesn't mean that iOS apps are better, mind you. That only happens because development priorities favor the platform which seems to be more profitable. It just means that iOS apps are more consistently awesome because Apple has forced a high bar for "average" on their side, while Google Play basically just opens the floodgates.

I know full well that I'm painting a picture of fascists vs. hippies here, and I'm comfortable with that. My phone can be a little digital dictatorship, because at the end of the day, it's a phone. I WANT my trains to run on time. When I want a digital LEGO set that I can pull apart, twist around, and generally fiddle with, sure, Android's great, but I've learned that there are certain things that I simply don't care to tinker with, and at this point in my life, the tiny chunk of silicon in my pocket is simply too mission-critical with respect to my digital data addiction for me to necessarily care about the things that I can, but won't, do.
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frankspin

I'm going to agree with Matt here, Android actually provides a TON of features in all of their SDK and API endpoints. The issue is that not every developer takes advantage of them. One in particular that I recall is that Google can actually allow your device to back up certain data from apps, but no developers were utilizing this. I also think Android has built-in API for controllers to be used with games, but again it's not be utilized.

I sometimes wonder if Android is giving too much to developers to the point they just don't know where to begin or conceptualize using it.
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jeffkoe

I'm not a developer, but am wondering why Google couldn't review apps before they are put into the Play Store? Also, are the most popular Android phones a better choice (in regards to app compatibility) since developers might be more concerned about making sure their apps will work properly on the most phones in their potential user base first?
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LonelyBob

Jeff, from a developers perspective it's much quicker/easier to upload an app to the Google Play Store since there is not review/approval process.

I think Google Play relies on crowd sourced reviewing of the app, if an update or an app is bad or has a major bug the recent reviews will reflect that. Due to this setup for a new app first starting out in the Play store those first reviews can be tough.
As a user try to read several review, since every user has a different expectation, one user's one start app is another user's 5 star app, and the most rare review to be given is 3 stars. ;)
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jeffkoe

It has to be difficult to develop and maintain Android apps. Thanks for your perspective.
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Dignan17

Jeffkoe: I'm fine with Google not reviewing every app that goes into the Play Store. Devs are able to update their apps much faster without waiting for a review process (s long as the app passes checks for some bad behaviors).

raptorck: I'm not sure exactly what you're arguing in that last post. The one thing I'll say is that I think you misread what I was calling "tyranny." I was referring to the "tyranny of the default," which has become a common phrase in the tech sector to describe the advantage a platform gives to its own default apps, mostly when those defaults can't be changed.

The rest of your argument is mostly subjective, IMO. I think the stylistic offenses on Android are not as bad as they once were back in the days of Gingerbread. Most devs seem to be pretty good at updating to the Holo UI.

Heck, devs on both platforms frequently screw up UI. I don't blame Apple or Google for this.
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raptorck

I'm totally subjective, but I'm less arguing and more making a statement. I'm just not candy-coating my own viewpoints. My use of "tyranny" is related to Apple's iron grip on the entire ecosystem. Nothing to do with your viewpoint regarding the defaults, but I think we can all agree that Android comes off as more "open" and Apple as more "restrictive."

The entire point here isn't that I'm right, because I'm not. No one is. It's just me providing a window into the psychology of an iOS full-timer, and the perceptions brought about from dabbling in Android.

By the way, what you call "tyranny of the default," we used to call "Embrace, extend, and extinguish" back in the day. Funny how back then, Apple was the underdog and Microsoft was the bad guy...
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Dignan17

Don't worry, I understand. I just wanted to clarify.
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frankspin

Check out LightFlow, it's a custom notification app that will take advantage of your built-in light. It works with a pretty extensive list of apps and is quite customizable. It's not the right solution ie apps should just do this, but it is an option.
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Dignan17

Light Flow is the best. I've been using it for about a year now and I love being able to have specific LED colors for each type of notification I get, so I can know whether to bother checking my phone (new email) or not (sports scores).
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LonelyBob

I'm pretty platform agnostic, and regularly use both Android and iOS devices in a development environment and as a user. [Check my gadget list: www.engadget.com­/profile­/lonelybob/ ]

The 2 biggest gripes I have with iOS are:
  1. Keyboard - the iOS keyboard is ok, but hands down Swiftkey on Android is my favorite.
  2. Apps bundled in the iOS firmware. - This may sound like a minor thing but the downside of bundling the apps in the firmware is every-time there's a bug fix or new feature to be added in the iOS Browser, Facetime, Apple Maps, etc. a Firmware update is required which requires a full reboot of the device. Where Google has taken the strategy of making their Android apps available in their store, so that any time there's a bug fix update or new feature added it's just an App update. I've been hoping for some time that Apple separates non essential apps from the OS firmware, and just makes them available as updates via the App Store. ie. Browser, Maps, Mail client, Facetime, etc. But it hasn't happened.
Issues I have with Android.. well I'll leave that for another post.
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frankspin

Ha, I forgot about the keyboard. Some days I can fly on the iOS keyboard, other days it's like using a phone for the first time. I miss swiftkey but it also was getting extremely bloated.
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