Linked by Adam S on Fri 5th Jun 2015 15:26 UTC
Android In June of last year, I finally decided to commit to an Android device. I had carried every flagship iPhone up through that point from the original iPhone to the 5S. To the world around me, I heaped the praise into a life transforming device, but in my tech circles, and on my blog, I frequently posted about my frustration, mostly with shackles and intentional limitations imposed. So last year, why I decided to make the jump to Android. I outlined 10 reasons why I was finally ready to make the jump to Android’s 4.4 release, KitKat. A year has passed. It's time to revisit my original assertions and complaints with some follow up and see where I stand one year later.
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Conflating Identity and Security
by shadowhand on Fri 5th Jun 2015 16:12 UTC
shadowhand
Member since:
2005-07-06

Apple has literally stored your security keys on your body

Good security implies that the keys are only in brain memory (or the combination to a safe that holds the keys). Biometrics are not security, they are identity. Security can be enhanced by biometrics, but biometrics alone is not security. It is far easier to copy a fingerprint than it is to copy a passphrase from my brain.

As an extreme case, if a VIP was captured and their phone was biometrically locked, how much easier would it be to access their phone if the only security was a fingerprint vs a strong passphrase?

Biometric identity to unlock the average user's phone is highly convenient but very insecure.

Reply Score: 9

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Passwords stored in head are not better than physical traits, in the event of a kidnapping.

http://xkcd.com/538/

Security is difficult as it involves both technology and people, and can't readily be assessed in a comment on a web page.

Reply Score: 2

Wootery Member since:
2013-11-22

Passwords stored in head are not better than physical traits, in the event of a kidnapping.


I agree it does you little good in a kidnapping, but memorised passphrases have the advantage that I have much more control over them. I leave fingerprints everywhere, but I'm not constantly reciting my passphrases for all to hear.

Reply Score: 5

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Biometrics are very democratic in that they offer the same level of security to any human user regardless of any special skill they have.

Passwords are dependent on the user to derive good ones, and to keep them safe. There is a good deal of human error here.

If you wanted a system that provided a greatest common denominator of security, you'd probably pick Biometrics.

If you wanted a system with the highest possible theoretical security, you'd devise a multi factor auth system that relied on more than just a password.

Reply Score: 2

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Bill Shooter of Bul,

If you wanted a system that provided a greatest common denominator of security, you'd probably pick Biometrics.


I disagree, I predict this kind of "identity theft" will become more and more prevalent as biometrics becomes more common and the technology for replicating our biometrics advances too. Biometrics can be replicated without your knowledge. Biometrics can even be copied from a database.

While passwords share some of these problems, at least you have the benefit of choosing a unique password for different services, and you can always change the password. With biometrics...your security is gone for life.

If you wanted a system with the highest possible theoretical security, you'd devise a multi factor auth system that relied on more than just a password.


Agreed.

Reply Score: 4

Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

If you wanted a system that provided a greatest common denominator of security, you'd probably pick Biometrics.

First of all biometrics is not secure, at all. Just like passwords suck most of the time.

I've been following the debate around biometrics for years and seen what the results of studies are. These studies are usually from governments that try to create a biometric passport of some kind.

And when you see those results then as an identity tool it clearly is not a common denominator, because for one it is basically age discrimination:

Take a good look at somebody past 65 years of age.

The iris sucks for doing biometrics because of things like cataract.

The finger prints have less fat and other 'juices' which give you the 'prints' and have basically worn down a lot so the grooves are much less deep.

Facial recognition sucks because your skin doesn't fit tightly around your bones any more, so a camera can't see the structure of your face.

I'm sure I'm forgetting other examples.

And the ease with which biometrics can copied is just ridiculous.

The Chaos Computer Club proves this again and again.

I'm sorry that the video doesn't have English subtitles though.

In the latest presentation from the end of last year they prove a whole bunch of things. I'm going to list them in chronological order:
- you think you control your own finger ? The photo is funny, but in the US passwords are under the first amendment, but by law you don't control your own fingerprints, the police does:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVivA0eoNGM#t=1m33s

- there are lots of ways to get fingerprints, for example here is finger prints from paper:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVivA0eoNGM#t=7m41s

For example modern photo camera's in for example mobile phones are ridiculously good at taking pictures.

- you can use the camera in your smartphone to see from the reflections in the subjects eyes how they are typing the unlock code of their phone:

for a 13 megapixel camera you get 6 pixels wide per virtual keyboard button:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVivA0eoNGM#t=11m31s

It also works with passwords on virtual keyboard, but obviously that keyboard has more keys so that makes it more difficult.

Researches in an other conference so far were able to reliably get passwords from up to 3 pixels per keyboard key with special software:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVivA0eoNGM#t=14m01s

Reflections in sunglasses also work really well:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVivA0eoNGM#t=14m55s

Iris-recognition it's ridiculously easy to fool, you take a picture of someones face and just print it out on paper,

Here they are testing with a system which is about 1000 euro's a piece and is used by organizations like for example banks:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVivA0eoNGM#t=15m41s

Now if you take not your smartphone camera but a photo camera like from Canon, you can take usable photos from up to 10 meters:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVivA0eoNGM#t=17m53s

They couldn't get this to work for people with dark eyes before, but if you take an infrared-camera (or dismantle your camera and remove the infrared filter) it will work just fine:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVivA0eoNGM#t=18m06s

The picture you see there is from 6.5 meters, it gives you 75 pixels which is enough to fool any recognition software.

But that were lab conditions, so let's try this for real.

This is a picture from a press conference made by a professional photographer at 5 meters which gives us 110 pixels so 10 meters should be easily doable:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVivA0eoNGM#t=20m53s

How about from pictures from a political campaign you get large signs next to the road like 8+ meters wide, you get 175 pixels wide:

https://www.google.nl/search?q=wahlplakat&tbm=isch&tbo=u

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVivA0eoNGM#t=21m22s

Face recognition is really easy:

You have face recognition at the borders, but they get easily fooled even by a photo on a smartphone.

The only some what interesting barrier for fooling those systems is the 'liveliness recognition', but turns out all that adds is they check if you blink your eyes.

But that can be easily fooled with the use of a pen:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVivA0eoNGM#t=22m53s

The next thing they tried to do is take pictures from fingers, this is a picture from 7 meters and 3 meters, the 3 meters picture works a lot better:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVivA0eoNGM#t=25m11s

Infrared at 6 meters works:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVivA0eoNGM#t=27m14s

How about from outside of the lab, yep that will work too:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVivA0eoNGM#t=27m36s

But these newer camera's where you can afterwards change the focus of the photo (I believe later in the talk someone from the audience mentioned that
on many modern camera's you can replace the non-vendor supplied firmware and you can probably use a normal camera for that too):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVivA0eoNGM#t=29m28s

So now we know why Merkel always stands like so:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVivA0eoNGM#t=30m35s

This is the older video on how to make fake fingerprints you can use to break into an iPhone with pretty cheap stuff you might already have at home
and some of things used might look some what more professional but you can do this process in your kitchen:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVivA0eoNGM#t=30m40s

Because they've done this before when the newer iPhones became available at the time they were able to break the iPhone 'security' within 2 days.

There are also scanners which check for veins, they did some have a look at it and with the infrared camera they got some interesting results, but they
didn't have time to do some proper research yet:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVivA0eoNGM#t=37m30s

A question from the audience was about how to fight facial recognition in public places:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVivA0eoNGM#t=44m00s

Basically, just do an online search lots of people have figured out ways to deal with this:
- beards work
- drawing a 3rd eye on your forehead works

I'm going to stop 'live blogging' the video now. :-)

___

basically, it's easy.

Edited 2015-06-06 10:43 UTC

Reply Score: 5

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

If you think security is a Boolean value, you need to relearn security.

Reply Score: 2

Android File Transfer problem, or not?
by franzrogar on Fri 5th Jun 2015 16:15 UTC
franzrogar
Member since:
2012-05-17

>> If there’s a technical challenge here, I’m not aware of it,

Well, there's one single *challenge*: Apple limiting and blocking and damaging anything but theirs hardware.

On other OSs, you simple plug the USB and it will be recognized as an standard USB drive, no crapware hardware-layers at OS level and things alike.

Reply Score: 5

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

I'll rephrase this in a more miled, less knee-jerk tone. OS X does not support MTP out of the box. Come to think of it, I am surprised that, with the number of 3rd party file managers there are for OS X, that none of them has implemented MTP. Actually, why not a fuse MTP implementation we could install using OSXFuse? I'm guessing that, what with the prolipheration of cloud storage and Android file transfer on top of that, no one has really seen the need for it. Feel free to write one though. OS X is not iOS, and we can install a filesystem driver easily. I'll be glad to beta test it for you.

Reply Score: 4

leech Member since:
2006-01-10

I'll rephrase this in a more miled, less knee-jerk tone. OS X does not support MTP out of the box. Come to think of it, I am surprised that, with the number of 3rd party file managers there are for OS X, that none of them has implemented MTP. Actually, why not a fuse MTP implementation we could install using OSXFuse? I'm guessing that, what with the prolipheration of cloud storage and Android file transfer on top of that, no one has really seen the need for it. Feel free to write one though. OS X is not iOS, and we can install a filesystem driver easily. I'll be glad to beta test it for you.


You mean like this one? https://github.com/phatina/simple-mtpfs

Reply Score: 3

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15


Maybe. Doesn't look like it's been maintained in a while except for updating copyright data, but I'll give it a shot. It'd need Mac integration with Finder and an installer package for people who don't want or know how to compile, but if it works it might be a little project I'd do. I don't have the knowledge to write filesystem drivers but I can integrate and package them.

Reply Score: 2

Backups are a solved problem
by phoenix on Fri 5th Jun 2015 16:35 UTC
phoenix
Member since:
2005-07-11

Titanium Backup supports automated backups, including transfer to cloud storage services. You never need to lose an app, data, or configuration again. The only limit is your upload bandwidth and the amount of storage you have in your preferred cloud storage service.

The restore process isn't quite automated yet, but it's almost there. On the new phone, let Google restore your installed apps (which includes your cloud storage app). Then download your backups from cloud storage, and use Titanium to restore only your app data.

I haven't lost an app or data in several years thanks to the above setup, even when formatting the phone's internal storage completely (switching between ext4 and F2FS, for example), or when switching phones.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Backups are a solved problem
by leech on Fri 5th Jun 2015 19:46 UTC in reply to "Backups are a solved problem"
leech Member since:
2006-01-10

I love titanium backup, but I've found one program so far that doesn't restore quite right, and that's Samsung's S-Health. It used to, but with the newer version (4.x) it just makes it crash. Granted, it could be some ROM specific bug, but I never enabled the backup to the samsung account because I always prefer to try to keep my data in my own hands, sadly in this particular instance, I could not.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Backups are a solved problem
by Morgan on Fri 5th Jun 2015 21:47 UTC in reply to "Backups are a solved problem"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Titanium Backup supports automated backups, including transfer to cloud storage services. You never need to lose an app, data, or configuration again. The only limit is your upload bandwidth and the amount of storage you have in your preferred cloud storage service.


I'm not disagreeing with you, because Titanium Backup is an excellent program. But within the context of this article (backup capability of the core OS) it has no bearing.

I look at Android with every new version and wonder why it doesn't have all the nice stuff that Windows Phone and iOS have had for a while. Then I look at those two and wonder when they will ever be as open[1] as Android.


[1]From a user control point of view, not a software freedom point of view; there will never be a 100% open source phone OS until we have a fully working open source baseband.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Backups are a solved problem
by pandronic on Sun 7th Jun 2015 05:59 UTC in reply to "Backups are a solved problem"
pandronic Member since:
2006-05-18

I remember using it and it was an ungodly mess. Powerful as it may be, I haven't seen a complex app that was designed worse. I can't install such a monstrosity on my phone.

Reply Score: 2

What's Android File Transfer?
by phoenix on Fri 5th Jun 2015 16:40 UTC
phoenix
Member since:
2005-07-11

What is it, and why do you need it? Never heard of it, and never used it in my 5 years using Android devices.

Just connect a USB cable between the phone and the computer and drag'n drop files into the Phone icon that appears. MTP support has removed a lot of the issues with data transfer between phones and PCs. No special apps or software required, it's build into just about every OS out there, including Linux.

And for those times when you don't have a USB cable, apps like WebSharing make it beyond simple to use your web browser like a file manager.

Reply Score: 4

RE: What's Android File Transfer?
by pmac on Fri 5th Jun 2015 16:49 UTC in reply to "What's Android File Transfer?"
pmac Member since:
2009-07-08

It's necessary in order to transfer files between an Android phone and a Mac over USB as the protocol (I'm too lazy to look up the name) is not built into Finder (the File Browser app on OS X).

Edited 2015-06-05 16:50 UTC

Reply Score: 1

phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

Why not switch the Android device to use PTP instead of mucking around with 3rd party software?

MacOS X supports PTP natively ... Android devices support PTP natively ... you can do everything MTP can do with PTP ... not seeing why buggy 3rd party software is needed.

Reply Score: 3

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Why not switch the Android device to use PTP instead of mucking around with 3rd party software?

Because some of us have more things to transfer than just photos and videos?

Reply Score: 6

RE: What's Android File Transfer?
by shotsman on Sun 7th Jun 2015 00:01 UTC in reply to "What's Android File Transfer?"
shotsman Member since:
2005-07-22

Not all USB cables are the same.
Back when I was an Android user I had an HTC phone. Some USB cables would charge the device but not all would allow data transfer. I am sure that there is a logical (or patented) reason for this but the phone bricked itself before I could work out why. Now I use an old 6310i for personal use. It does what I want it do.

If the S6 is such a great phone why is Sprint virtually giving them away with their latest advert of 0$ down and not contract surcharge for the phone (As seen in Denver, Colorado on Saturday)

Reply Score: 2

phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

Not all USB cables are the same.


True. Some are just charging cables where the data pins are shorted to the charging pins allowed for faster charging but preventing any data transfers. These are usually marketed as "fast charging cables".

Others are "normal", in that they don't do any shenanigans with the pins. You see these advertised as "charge and sync" cables.

And then there's the issue of quality whereby some cables can't support the voltage/amperage of newer chargers and will refuse to work when plugged into some USB ports.

Reply Score: 2

Considered this but don't think I will
by Hank on Fri 5th Jun 2015 21:27 UTC
Hank
Member since:
2006-02-19

I had considered doing the same thing. I've been only on iPhone based smart phones from the very beginning. Last year when it was time to replace my iPhone I decided to go with a Galaxy 4S. I figured I'd see how the other half live and decide if I should leave the increasingly annoying Apple ecosystem. I ported all my music into Google Music. I got my podcasts out of iTunes and into Downcast (on iPhone) and into other players on Android. If all went well I was going to convert my personal phone over to Android when its number was up too.

Unfortunately I can't say I've enjoyed the Android experience much. It works, and it works okay enough. However I find it increasingly twitchy and cumbersome to use. I have the opposite impression of the Google Music interface as you do, especially with integration into my car. I haven't found a podcast system that works as well as iTunes does, which still sucks compared to Downcast. Worst of all, I'm not a fan of these phablet sized phones. I really would prefer something no bigger than an iPhone 5. The smallest I can get is an iPhone 6. Therefore I'll probably end up keeping iPhone for my personal phone and will second guess my move to Android for my work phone on its next upgrade too.

Edited 2015-06-05 21:30 UTC

Reply Score: 2

phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact is the Android phone you're looking for.

Same innards as the larger Z3 (Snapdragon S801 SoC), but with a 4.6" screen (just barely larger than an iPhone 5). Screen is only 720p, which means the GPU should just scream, making things buttery smooth.

And Sony has the thinnest of customisation layers over standard Android. Not to mention, they participate heavily in AOSP development.

You really should not judge "Android" based on Samsung's TouchWhiz UI bastardisation of Android. It's one of the least-liked variations out there. Samsung makes good hardware, but really sucks at software.

Edited 2015-06-05 22:52 UTC

Reply Score: 5

shotsman Member since:
2005-07-22

You can still get an iPhone 5c or 5S. You don't have to go with an iPhone 6/6+

There are rumours that Apple is preparing to replace the 5c/5S with another 4in sized screen. So all hope for you is not lost.

Reply Score: 2

iOS ftw
by adrienz on Fri 5th Jun 2015 21:38 UTC
adrienz
Member since:
2015-06-01

I finally moved the other way around (to iPhone) last year. Got fed up with devices never getting updated.

Couldn't be happier.

Reply Score: 2

RE: iOS ftw
by calden on Sat 6th Jun 2015 20:15 UTC in reply to "iOS ftw"
calden Member since:
2012-02-02

I finally moved the other way around (to iPhone) last year. Got fed up with devices never getting updated.

Couldn't be happier.


Oh man I could never use an iOS device. I briefly used an iPhone 5S before I sold it for a Nexus 5. iOS is just missing to many features that I need or want.

Like being able to choose my own default apps, I don't use a single Apple app, including iCloud as it's to expensive. I have 1TB of storage from both OneDrive and Google Drive and pay the same as a single TB from iCloud. Not to mention I get much faster download/upload speeds with OneDrive as their servers are actually located in my country. Unlike iCloud which is located in Ireland.

I could never use an OS that I couldn't run apps in the background. I use a terminal app to login into my servers at home and and at work, if I start a compile job I don't want to haven to stare at it's progress. In iOS, the terminal apps connections are lost every time I navigate away from it for a small period of time.

iOS has the worst share function and inner-app communication that I've ever seen. I installed the OneDrive client however I have yet to seen an app list it under it's share function except for other MS apps. So basically iOS app developers hard code in their share to lists unlike Android which lists everything that is installed and supported by the app in question. Same thing goes for MS Outlook, I don't use Apple Mail, but when I need to send a file, MS Outlook is no where to be seen so In have to open up MS Outlook and do it manually. Which also sucks as IOS saves it's files under the app that created it, so if you don't remember the app that created the file it's an absolute pain.

Basically Android is a 100 times better when it comes to file management. I use an app called FX File Explorer in which I can also mount all of my cloud storage services and even access FX inside an app.

My list actually goes on and on, I personally just don't understand why people like the iPhone so much. Sure if you just use your phone to watch media and play games I guess it's fine but even then I think an Android device is better. I can stream every movie that I've uploaded to Google Drive directly, unlike iOS which first downloads the file.

Yes, yes, I've heard it a thousand times, well I just don't need those things you listed, fine, but I do.

Also only having 1GB of memory nowadays is inexcusable. Yes you need more, try typing a post like this in Safari, than switch over to a different app before you post it, when you come back 9 times out of 10 the page would have been refreshed, loosing all of your work in the process. This is caused by a lack of memory.

Edited 2015-06-06 20:18 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: iOS ftw
by phoenix on Mon 8th Jun 2015 17:59 UTC in reply to "RE: iOS ftw"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

I could never use an OS that I couldn't run apps in the background. I use a terminal app to login into my servers at home and and at work, if I start a compile job I don't want to haven to stare at it's progress. In iOS, the terminal apps connections are lost every time I navigate away from it for a small period of time.


Install tmux on the "server" and run all your sessions through that. Then it won't matter if your connection is terminated, as the session is still running on the server. A must-have, even for normal PC-to-PC SSH connections.

Reply Score: 2

RE: iOS ftw
by calden on Sun 7th Jun 2015 20:03 UTC in reply to "iOS ftw"
calden Member since:
2012-02-02

I finally moved the other way around (to iPhone) last year. Got fed up with devices never getting updated.

Couldn't be happier.


All you had to do was install CyanogenMod 12, you can get updates daily, yes daily. The iPhone is just no where near as powerful as an Android device as it's missing many core features. You can't select your own default apps, you can't run apps in the background, inner-app communication is horrible, Example: if you install OneDrive, you will never see it listed under any of the apps share list, so it's pretty much useless. File management is just horrible in iOS, it saves all of its files under the app that created it. You can't modify the quick settings toggles, etc. There are a lot more but you get the point. Now I'm sure you will come back with I don't need any of that, yes, actually you do, your just compromising and are convincing yourself that your fine without them. You can torture yourself if you want as it makes no difference to me but any company that doesn't allow you to at least choose your own default apps is not one that I want to do business with and if you except this as being okay, your part of the problem, as it's wrong. No other mobile OS does this but Apple's iOS, that tell's us that they think they can get away with anything, which if people like you keep ignoring things likes this than, well I guess they can.

Reply Score: 1

Simplicity + Stability = iOS
by sergio on Sat 6th Jun 2015 00:14 UTC
sergio
Member since:
2005-07-06

That's why I use iOS and I will keep using it until Apple screw it completely (If they keep copying Android... well We are not too far from catastrophe).

My only hope is Firefox OS, Mozilla must focus on it again.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Simplicity + Stability = iOS
by gan17 on Sat 6th Jun 2015 15:32 UTC in reply to "Simplicity + Stability = iOS"
gan17 Member since:
2008-06-03

To be fair, judging from the last two releases, Apple have managed to screw up OS X all by themselves, without copying anyone..... well, maybe they copied Lennart a bit by including a stupid process/daemon ending with the letter 'd'. =P

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Luminair
by Luminair on Sat 6th Jun 2015 00:23 UTC
Luminair
Member since:
2007-03-30

About the bad apps and software support: Android gives everyone enough rope to hang themselves. Hardware companies, carriers, software developers alike. If you want the best of Android, you need a Google phone (Nexus) and you need to curate every app personally.

The only way to get Apple-like software support from Android is with a Nexus.... or by buying a new Android phone every year, so you never find out how bad your hardware manufacturer is at maintaining software.

Reply Score: 3

I switched to Android because
by Dasher42 on Sat 6th Jun 2015 00:34 UTC
Dasher42
Member since:
2007-04-05

I switched to Android because I was fed up with Apple for actually developing and patenting technologies used to help the police suppress smartphone communication and cameras in political protests. They were actively used against people who protested lethal police violence in the San Francisco Bay Area and later Occupy demonstrations. That is a cut-off point for me as a customer, period.

Of course, there's no way to feel very invested in an Android phone either. I still think Snowden only showed us the tip of the iceberg. The Chinese government and the NSA feel entitled to backdoor everything, and lie to the public about it. Goodness knows what's up with our SIM cards and SD cards.

An open-source Android is more friendly to user's rights, but it doesn't deal with the baseband firmware or any other features.

I can only say, stay tech savvy, but remember to unplug and sit under a tree, by a rock, in some level of basic living beauty. There's still good stuff out there.

Reply Score: 5

Comment by judgen
by judgen on Sat 6th Jun 2015 07:42 UTC
judgen
Member since:
2006-07-12

It has been a few years since i used a smartphone. Those UI's in the pictures looks absolutely awful. It looks almost as bad as the windows and mac flat trends..... yuck.

Reply Score: 2

Widgets are a nightmare
by timdp on Sat 6th Jun 2015 09:50 UTC
timdp
Member since:
2009-06-19

I don't see how you can compliment Android on design and then go on to show screenshots that highlight why it can be such a nightmare. The current state of widgets is nothing short of a disaster, with every widget taking a vastly different approach in typography, margins, colors, shadows, animations, and every other design element that I'm missing. And that's not even touching the subject of (default) icon styles that are all over the place.

I wouldn't be surprised if when Apple finally do add widgets to iOS (because let's be honest, the day is coming), they'll have rigorous guidelines as to how they should look, a UI framework that enforces most of those guidelines, and an army of merciless reviewers that reject every app that contains a widget that's the slightest bit off. I don't know how it used to be back when Dashboard was a thing, but I imagine it won't be any less painful for developers this time around.

Disclaimer: I've owned various Android phones and tablets as well as Windows Phones. I currently use a Lumia 640 and a Nexus 7 (2013, Lollipop, Nova Launcher, no widgets), which I both enjoy most of the time. I also have the unfortunate privilege of testing my code with all mobile platforms, including iOS, at work. And yes, I tend to nitpick about design.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Widgets are a nightmare
by darknexus on Sat 6th Jun 2015 11:57 UTC in reply to "Widgets are a nightmare"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

I don't know how it used to be back when Dashboard was a thing

Repeat after me. OS X is not iOS. Repeat again.
We can install any widgets we like whether Apple approves of them or not.
Ps Dashboard's still a thing.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Widgets are a nightmare
by timdp on Sun 7th Jun 2015 10:26 UTC in reply to "RE: Widgets are a nightmare"
timdp Member since:
2009-06-19

I never claimed OS X was iOS. That being said, I imagine the Mac App Store review process to be similar to the iOS App Store's. The main difference is of course, as you said, that it's easier to operate outside the store.

By Dashboard being "a thing", I didn't mean that it merely still comes with the OS. None of the Mac users that I know actually use it. Anyway, that wasn't really the point.

What I'm saying is that, when iOS starts supporting widgets (or whatever incarnation Apple deems appropriate), I think and hope that they'll be far more confined to platform guidelines than Android's. With Apple's ecosystems being about aesthetics to such a degree (which is a Good Thing), I can't imagine them cutting developers as much slack as Google in terms of design.

And again, I agree that OS X isn't iOS. What that means for iOS widgets specifically is that I don't expect them to be anywhere near as freeform as desktop ones. Personally, I'd prefer that approach. Consistency is a good thing.

Reply Score: 1

hmmm
by rubberneck on Sat 6th Jun 2015 11:04 UTC
rubberneck
Member since:
2009-06-16

> I owned several unlocked Android devices over the past year.

It's good you're leaving out the old iphone is too expensive argument. Quite frankly, it's android phones that are too expensive, cause you have to buy so many of them to get an upgrade.

I love my iphone 6.

Reply Score: 1

RE: hmmm
by sb56637 on Sat 6th Jun 2015 19:28 UTC in reply to "hmmm"
sb56637 Member since:
2006-05-11

Quite frankly, it's android phones that are too expensive, cause you have to buy so many of them to get an upgrade.


Or in order to have a working device and a backup device for when your current Android device fails. Good grief, I've had 7 Androids, and 6 of them failed.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by sb56637
by sb56637 on Sat 6th Jun 2015 19:26 UTC
sb56637
Member since:
2006-05-11

I have no experience with iOS devices, but it is shockingly bad that their keyboard still doesn't change to show capital/lowercase letters. The insistence of iOS to use only capital letters seems like insistence on skeuomorphic design ("real keyboard don't change their letters either!") and is extremely impractical for me as an end user.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by sb56637
by rklrkl on Sat 6th Jun 2015 19:37 UTC in reply to "Comment by sb56637"
rklrkl Member since:
2005-07-06

The uppercase keyboard thing is something I constantly torture an Apple fanboy colleague with. And, yes, his only pathetic defence was the ludicrous one that you stated - "real keyboards have upper case keys all the time".

Android has a better default keyboard than iOS without a shadow of a doubt and has had the ability to change between the default and third-party keyboards (some of which are even better than the default) for years now. I personally prefer the Hacker's keyboard, which has the option for what I consider essential keys such as cursor keys amongst others.

Edited 2015-06-06 19:38 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by sb56637
by sb56637 on Sat 6th Jun 2015 20:07 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by sb56637"
sb56637 Member since:
2006-05-11

Hey, cursor keys! Where has this been all my life? Exactly what I needed. Thanks for the tip.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by smashIt
by smashIt on Sat 6th Jun 2015 21:27 UTC
smashIt
Member since:
2005-07-06

my conclusion after 6 month with an android tablet:
even though android is less limited than ios, it's still way to limited for my taste
if it dies, i will probably go for a surface with typecover and a real OS

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by smashIt
by calden on Sun 7th Jun 2015 19:44 UTC in reply to "Comment by smashIt"
calden Member since:
2012-02-02

my conclusion after 6 month with an android tablet:
even though android is less limited than ios, it's still way to limited for my taste
if it dies, i will probably go for a surface with typecover and a real OS


What exactly is it that you need to do, "on a tablet". As I think that is the issue here, you expect the tablet to operate like a normal laptop with Windows or OSX. It's not, it's meant to consume media, read ebooks and other materials, email, web surfing, light gaming, maybe edit a office document. I think your putting to much responsibilities on a device that wasn't meant for the tasks that you had in mind. Now that doesn't mean you can't use it for more powerful tasks. I use Codenvy, a cloud based IDE, it's fantastic and runs fairly well on my Nexus 9. I now use my Nexus 9 for almost all of my Office tasks as I use MS Office for Android. There are great tools on a tablet you just need to find them.

What kind of tablet do you have as this is important? If your using something like a Tab 4 from Samsung than yes, it's completely useless as Samsung's entire low to mid range is absolutely complete garbage. However if you grab a good Android tablet like the, Nexus 9, Sony Z2/Z3/Z4, Samsung's Tab S 8.4 or 10.1 (make sure to install Cynogenmod 12 though, TouchWiz is horribly laggy, never gets updated and is full of unnecessary bloatware that no one ever uses), Dell Venue 8 7000 and one of personal favorites the Nvidia Shield Tablet as it's extremely powerful, has a HDMI port, opened platform and is cheap with a starting price of 350, 420 if you want LTE.

The Surface Pro 3 is also a great option but is also a grand, without the keyboard or docking station. I have the i7, 8GB, 512GB version, bought it the first day it was released, great system but I prefer my new Lenovo Lavie Z 360 a lot more. It's as thin, weighs about the same and can turn into a tablet by just flipping it around. You get best of both worlds and since it's so thin it feels like a tablet unlike many of the other convertibles. There are lots of options out there but just know what you want to do before buy anything.

Could you list your current needs and the Android tablet your using?

Edited 2015-06-07 19:48 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by smashIt
by smashIt on Sun 7th Jun 2015 21:00 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by smashIt"
smashIt Member since:
2005-07-06

What exactly is it that you need to do, "on a tablet". As I think that is the issue here, you expect the tablet to operate like a normal laptop with Windows or OSX. It's not, it's meant to consume media, read ebooks and other materials, email, web surfing, light gaming, maybe edit a office document. I think your putting to much responsibilities on a device that wasn't meant for the tasks that you had in mind.


thats exactly what i want to use it for
but the reality is:
- browsers are crap
- mail-clients are crap
- mediaplayers are crap
- office-tools are crap
- filebrowsers are crap
- the whole thing is dog-slow (which i blame on java ;) )


and for the killig-blow riddle me this:
what went wrong when you have a device that was specifically made for touch-input, with an os that was specifically made for touch-input, that connecting a bluetooth-mouse is a vast usability-improvement?

Edited 2015-06-07 21:08 UTC

Reply Score: 3