Why I Avoid Android

I am an iPhone owner and while there are limitations in how exactly you can customize all the little bits of iOS I’m happy. I am not rushing out to get the iPhone 5. It is true I’m on a 3 year contract (standard in Canada) but the iPhone 5 only feels like a small iteration to me. That’s not a bad thing, really there isn’t all that much one can add to a mature platform. Despite the minor update to the iPhone 5, my next purchase will still be an iPhone.

But wait you say there is Android and even Windows Phone. Well here’s why I don’t think Android is a viable option and I’d choose Windows Phone before it.

Why Not Android?

Android is a totally robust operating system with a large ecosystem of apps and services that are available. I have no doubt that I could find a great (not just acceptable but awesome) replacement for every one of the iOS apps I rely on. I still wouldn’t switch to Android though.

The biggest thing that holds me back is the crappy upgrade support from carriers. Cell carriers are notoriously hostile to their customers. They nickle and dime you and change you contract length with every call you make to customer service if you’re not careful. That’s not the person I want to trust with updates to my phone.

After that cases are a draw back. Having an iPhone 4 I’ve got literally hundreds if cases to choose from. Right now I use a LifeProof case daily and when I’m travelling I have a Mophie Juice Pack Air. When you switch to Andriod with its plethora of phone sizes and shapes you loose a bunch of choice in accessories. No 3rd party can support every device so choosing the iPhone offers a significantly higher return on investment for a single case design.

But You Can Tinker

One of the big selling points for an Android phone is that you can customize it to your heart’s content. This is not a feature I’m looking for. My phone takes enough of my time already. I have no desire to tweak everything to be ‘just so’. I want my phone to work without me playing with it. Some people love that you can tinker which makes Android a great option.

What About Windows Phone

Really before I’d even consider Android I’d choose a Windows Phone device. To me (and you can disagree) Windows Phone is the first smart phone OS that is doing something different than iOS. It’s actually exciting. Yes you’re still dealing with the carriers on OS upgrades but Microsoft has been fairly pointed when it comes to saying where the software updates are stuck (with the cell carriers for months typically). This public shaming seems to push the carriers in to doing right by their customers.

Sure Windows Phone doesn’t have the mega numbers of apps that you see on iOS and Android, but you really only need the core apps. As long as I can get:

  • a Dropbox enabled markdown support writing app
  • decent Twitter client
  • App.net client
  • Google Apps email
  • RSS reader
  • Instapaper client

That’s all I really need to make a phone useful. Yes I’d give up some things like Path and Dayone, at least from my phone, but their loss would t actually make my phone less useful to me really. It would move it to a bit more of a business device but that simply means I’d be less tempted to pick it up when I should be playing with my daughter. That is not a bad thing.

So that’s about it, until carriers get their act together and start supporting customers properly Android isn’t a viable choice in my opinion.

2 Replies to “Why I Avoid Android”

  1. Curtis, you’re comparing an iPhone (device) to Android devices (plural). You can buy a pure google Android phone straight from google, for $359 CAD and get all the latest updates when google releases them.

    When you compare features you won’t get the full experience.
    Try using the latest Nexus phone for a month exclusively, it might annoy you in the beginning as anything new might, but then when you understand the platform you might change your mind.

    I’ve been using multiple phones for a little while now, I’ve had an iPhone4, iPhone 4s, and many Android devices. And I keep coming back to my latest Android phone. It’s more convenient (better notification system), more social (sharing to any app that’s installed on your phone, instead of just twitter and fb that iPhone allows), smarter (application level background syncing), it understands you better (Google Now beats Siri any day).

    just my 2c

    1. I certainly can’t disagree with anything you’re saying. I have no doubt that I could get over little annoyances but I keep coming back to the experience that my father has. His experience is mirrored in the post. He has to ‘hack’ around to get the upgrade on his phone.

      Even your point is a pain. I can go find a phone that doesn’t have a bad experience and then take it to my carrier for activation, or I can walk in get an iPhone with no extra leg work and it gets upgrades. In the middle there, I pay more for the phone (since it’s not subsidized) and then still pay the same amount for a contract. So it costs me extra in time, and extra in money. I’ve got enough things that cost me daily.

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