Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 5th Dec 2013 09:51 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless

About 2 years back, I read this article on Michael Degusta's personal blog. It was a revelation. Michael ripped the Android ecosystem apart with a simple chart. The chart converted me from an Android user to an iPhone user. I hope this chart helps other folks make an informed decision when their next smartphone upgrade is due.

Charts like this do great in certain areas of the web, but it's too simplistic. First, it does not take into account that many core aspects of Android are updated through Google Play, such as Chrome, Gmail, Maps, the keyboard, and so on. Whereas iOS needs an entire update to fix a small bug in, say, Maps - Android does not. Many core parts that require an entire OS update for iOS are updated weekly on Android.

Second, it does not mention that even though older iPhone models get the latest version of iOS, some functionality of these latest versions is disabled due to marketing, and in some cases due to hardware constraints (if you were to believe Apple, that is).

Third and foremost, though: I'm betting each and every one of those devices has at least an Android 4.2 or 4.3 release (and some have 4.4 too, like my Find 5) from, for instance, CyanogenMod - and countless other ROM makers. Installing a custom ROM is one of the strengths of Android, and not nearly as hard or difficult as some make it out to be. If your iPhone becomes unsupported or really slow due to iOS7 - you're screwed. You have no other options. If Samsung's TouchWiz crap makes your Galaxy slow, run out and get a quality phone install a custom ROM.

I see this all the time: people ignoring core strengths of Android because they don't understand them or because they don't belong to their interests - "this is just for nerds and geeks, so it's irrelevant!" Take discussions about application on iOS and Android, for instance; those arguing in favour of iOS routinely ignore that Android has access to types of applications iOS users could only dream of. If you leave those out, it's easy to make Android's application offering look weaker. The same happens when looking at Android and updates.

All this doesn't negate the fact that updates are by far Android's weakest link, although not nearly as much of an issue as it used to be during the gingerbread days. Moving more and more parts of Android to Play will eventually all but solve the issue completely.

Thread beginning with comment 578048
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE[2]: Comment by stanbr
by Tony Swash on Thu 5th Dec 2013 16:36 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by stanbr"
Tony Swash
Member since:

Isn't there a bigger question than Android's well documented fragmentation which the reason why per capita Android is used so much less than iOS as a platform to do things.

That differential in platform usage, which is such a strong signal in so many different metrics and data collection systems that it is clearly not noise, causes significantly poorer per capita monitisation on Android which in turn has significant platform implications.

I would think the one lesson so far that can be very clearly from the new mass markets for mobile computing devices is crude amalgamated market share is not a good proxy for platform health.

Both Android and iOS are very healthy platforms, both clearly have a very long and successful future in front of them and the fate of neither will be the result of simple market share.

I know fans of Android love to talk about crude amalgamated market share or the inherent wonderfulness of Android being 'open' or whatever, but surely it is very interesting that iOS can be so stunningly healthy as a platform whilst only selling one in five smart phones.

Reply Parent Score: 0