Linked by Adam S on Thu 12th Jun 2014 23:36 UTC
Android

I am taking the plunge and moving from an iPhone to an Android device. I've been waiting a long time for Android to get to the point that it was fast and responsive enough, with a big enough application warehouse, wide enough support, and a smooth enough experience, to support me. Android is maturing with a consistent, system-wide look-and-feel, almost every major service now has an Android app as the counterpart to its iOS-first experience, and has a bright future with wearables, home automation, and more.

I certainly won't be the first person to change ecosystems entirely. Several have done it before, some looking for change or claim freedom, some aiming to save money, some because someone prompted them, some think they may be conforming by going with the ever-stylish Apple. I am doing it for this reason: for me, Android is now a better platform than iOS.

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I made the jump to Android recently
by darknexus on Sat 14th Jun 2014 05:46 UTC
darknexus
Member since:
2008-07-15

and a more mixed set of feelings I could not have. I love the widgets and the personalization I can do (setting a default browser alone is more than awesome after iOS). I even get Firefox, all synced up with my Mac and most of my extensions to boot. Central account management is awesome as well, though some apps really don't take advantage of it when they should (ES File Explorer, I'm looking at you). My moto G works well most of the time, but it's the times when it doesn't that really make me wonder if I did the right thing or if I'll end up going back to iOS in the end.

The problems:
* Battery life is erratic in a way that multitasking cannot explain. My battery can literally jump from 60% to 1% in a second, and I've calibrated it over and over again. This one looks like a hardware problem, and a common one, with the G so I'll not lay the blame at Android for this one. Still, it is a serious problem for me when I want to use my phone and suddenly can't because the battery has unexpectedly died. Motorola/Lenovo are no help (more on that later).
* One more G-specific issue. This one affects all G's. If your battery does drop to 0, you won't be able to turn your phone back on even when charged without going into the recovery menu. Note your battery must drop to a flat 0 before this will happen. This is due to the crappy charging circuit they put in there. Couple that with my previous problem though, and ouch. The first time it happened I thought my phone had completely died for no reason at all. Had I not researched the problem I'd have ended up RMA'ing a phone that didn't need it. Funny how company reps didn't mention the recovery menu trick when I called about that "dead" phone, eh?

* Now on to Android itself. To put it bluntly, it's flaky as hell. Even Google's own apps crash frequently (maps, anyone?). This has happened on every Android device I've dealt with, Nexus or otherwise.
* Inconsistent notifications and poor handling of volume controls. When I press the volume button, what will it do? Change the music volume? The ringer/notifications? Both? I've never figured out a pattern to what it does. Sometimes it changes the volume of the foreground app when unlocked. Other times, the general media volume (even varies in the same app). Sometimes the notifications volume along with it, sometimes not. Other times, a background app will have somehow grabbed control of the volume buttons and they won't even control the volume (more on that when I talk about apps). Really? In 2014 we can't figure out how to make a damn volume button work consistently? At least iOS does that and you can even set whether the buttons will affect notifications or not on that platform. Android? Think again. Too many things fighting for control, even with few things installed.
* Do not disturb. Such a simple concept... yet one completely missing from stock Android. Seriously. Motorola has their version of it called Assist and it works okay, most of the time. on iOS though, I must say, dnd works 100% of the time when scheduled (one of the few things that has worked properly since day one of its introduction). There are varying versions of it across Android device manufacturers and custom roms, and don't even get me started on the so-called do not disturb apps in the Play store. It's a clusterfuck.
* Custom roms. That's everyone's response is use a custom rom. Screw that. I bought a phone to work for me. I do not work for it. If we feel that custom roms are needed, something has already gone horribly wrong with the core. It's as simple as that, and I don't have the time for that crap. A phone needs to be reliable.
* Last but not least, the apps. Oh, the apps. Don't get me wrong, there are some real gems out there on Android. Apps like Smart Audiobook Player simply don't exist for iOS, nor does Firefox Mobile (best damn mobile browser I've ever used). But most of them are pure crap, and whenever there's a choice between Android or iOS versions of the same app, the iOS version typically is more stable and has more features. And the adware... I need to vomit just thinking about it. I can hardly find one app that doesn't ship with ad crapware, and a lot of them have no option to pay to remove it. Add to that, they push ads to the notification center. What the flying fuck? In the app is bad enough, but outside of it too? Any app which does that gets an instant removal from my device, no exceptions. Sadly, it's getting to be more and more common lately in the Play store. Half the time I can't even find an app I want (still looking for a good sleep tracking alarm clock that doesn't fucking silence my alarms when the ringer is turned off). High quality audio recording? No apps for that (oh there are plenty of recording apps, but they don't even come close to high quality).
* No useful integration with anything other than Bluetooth. No Airplay, which Chromecast doesn't even come close to replacing. NO charging docks that double as speakers (and no, I do not count the ones that send phone audio over Bluetooth and have a USB port).
When it all comes down to it, and when you add the new features coming in iOS 8 for Mac users (which I am), I'm seeing more cons than pros with the switch. The customization and power is nice, but it feels hollow when I take into account the other issues, and I'm not sure it's worth the hassle it has become.

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