Response #2

For those that weren’t involved in a recent discussion I had over on a hack piece by Jonny Evans, I wanted to respond to several of the comments put up by one particular individual. It’s unfortunate as he seems relatively intelligent, though amazingly misinformed.

By the way, Linux Rants – what is so great about Android?  What does it do exceedingly better?  I know that it once did OTA updates while iOS did not – and Apple finally “copied” that, but what about graphics handling, gestures, web-browsing?  Is Android superior in those respects?  It won’t be on all devices, but what about on a device with comparable hardware versus an iOS device?

So, there’s comment number two from this individual, or I guess it would be more accurately described as a question.

So, what is so great about Android? What does it do exceedingly better?

I love that you gave me a starting point, but I’ll come right out and say that graphics handling, gestures, and web browsing are probably equal.

No, what’s really great about Android is it’s ability to evolve and adapt to the preferences of the individual.

My current phone is an HTC Thunderbolt. It’s default interface is the HTC Sense, which is OK. I preferred a different launcher, so I changed it. It’s default browser is the unnamed Google browser, but I preferred the Dolphin browser, so I changed it. I have my personal email (several different accounts) and my work email configured in different clients (gotta keep work and home life seperate…. kinda), but I have widgets placed on the same screen so I can check my personal email, my work email, and my text messages with a glance, never opening an app. I have the same thing configured on another screen for my calendars. My default “Home” screen only has a few apps on it, and a picture of my wife and kids (not the same as my wallpaper). There’s nothing that compares to any of that on an iPhone.

The form factor of the HTC Thunderbolt is similar to an iPhone, but if I wanted a hardware keyboard, I have several choices in that regard. I could get a Droid 4, or I could get a Droid Pro, or maybe even a Samsung W899. I might even get lucky and find myself a LG GD910. Variety is nice.

When it comes to software, again Android wins out. What happens when you want an app and it’s just not available in the App Store for your iPhone. Well, you could jailbreak it if you want to void the holy hell out of your warranty. I look for apps in the Android Market. If it’s not there, I check the Amazon App Store. If it’s not there, I search Google and manually download the APK and install it myself. I can do all of this without rooting my phone or really even going that far out of my way. I’m not subjected to the whims of a single company.

I think that’s probably enough for tonight. I really could go on, but my couch is calling me and there’s a cold beer in the fridge. Hopefully, that answered your question.


  1. Yes, Android automatically has advantages because of its open nature and because it has been built for many varieties of hardware.  I will also submit to you the configurability as an advantage.  

    As for the whims of a single company:  Yes, it bugs me, okay.  I admit.  I have not yet, gone down the iPhone route and I am not totally sold on doing so.  The implementation of iCloud bothers me a great deal, and I don’t like the simple fact that the App Store does not allow emulators (such as UAE, an Amiga emulator), among other programs. 

    Still, as a designer myself (hardware engineer in my day job, amateur software developer at night), I do not mind seeing what design choices Apple makes, and possibly even living with them.  Also, from what I have read, it’s still more profitable to be an iPad apps developer versus an Android tablet apps developer, so much of my favoritism for iOS comes from this corner.  

    I have a virtual synthesizer and synthesizer designer under development for iOS.  I give it three to four months more of work and it could be released as a free “Beta”.  There’s no guarantee that I will make much money even on iOS (little guarantee, actually, since these types of programs are somewhat commonplace); but the fragmentation of the Android platform and the lack of sales of Android tablets scared me away.  Actually, as well, I originally bought the HTC EVO just to start develop on the Android platform; but after buying an iPad for my wife, I switched over, seeing more opportunity.

    So, my position on the two platforms is always changing as I consider the pros and cons of both the functionality, as well as the development possibilities.  If ICS becomes a smash hit in the tablet market, then I would imagine that I would begin to shift my thinking.  Even the Kindle Fire has me reconsidering a bit, as do the Samsung tablets, but it’s too early to take the chance.  I probably would have given the HP TouchPad a chance, had it taken off.

      • Chrisanderson1973

        A few developers at work and dozens of articles citing complaints about fragmentation and profitability, but this was all in late 2010 and early 2011. Oh, things have changed since then but I have to take these things one project at a time.

        • Yea, you might want to consider your timing considering the first real Android tablet was released in February of 2011 (ironically, a year from this coming Friday). Yes, the iPad still has the majority of the market, but considering over the course of a year the iPad’s market share dropped from percentages in the high 90s to 57, there is definitely a change in the air.

          • With the decent low-end Android tablet I currently own (well, actually it’s my 7 year old’s), I could possibly start some development.  I’d like to be on ICS, though.  I may give this all some more thought but I need to wrap up what I have pulled together for iOS, which is a good bit.

            The market is changing, though, there is no doubt about that; but I think Amazon is leading the change, at least at this point.  

          • I have to say, ICS is really nice. I have it on my TouchPad, and it’s fantastic. Especially considering it’s an Alpha. It works perfectly for my needs. There are some caveats to that. Since it’s an Alpha, the camera doesn’t work, audio in, and video acceleration. Can’t expect an Alpha to be 100% though, or it wouldn’t be an Alpha.

          • Well, I’m sure you heard that the TouchPad was discontinued, and when they discontinued it, they sold the 16GB models for $99, and the 32GB for $149. I picked up 3 of the 16GB models (one for me, one for my wife, and one for my mother so she can Skype and see her Grandkids). For $99, I’d say that yes, the TouchPad was the least expensive hardware the you can run ICS on. Of course, that price is no longer available from HP, and I doubt that you’d be able to get it from EBay either. If you already have a TouchPad, I just followed the instructions at, and it walked me through it really easily.

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