I’m giving up on Android. It’s good enough for now, and I won’t immediately go out and replace it with an iPhone 4, but come the next iPhone revision, I think I’ll be back to being an Apple customer.
These are some of the reasons why:
Upgrading to Gingerbread has increased my battery life by 100%. My phone will now go a couple of days without a charge, but it still goes from 100% to 20% over many hours, then ticks down the last 20% over ten minutes. This is shit.
The music player skips and bounces around sometimes if something else wants to do anything else. This is shit. If it’s due to the expensive SD card I bought not being quite expensive enough, that is more shit, not less.
The media syncing system, even with doubletwist airsync, is comparatively shit.
The music player will pick up every sound file on the device, from other program’s podcasts down to voice recordings. This is shit.
The market is filled with shit. A search for a popular item will result in the item – somewhere – and dozens of “$popular_app Wallpaper” or more subtle customer gouging shit.
The market support is beyond shit. I expect a support request email to result in user-blaming boilerplate text, because I am trained to expect little from technical support, but to respond to a reply with *more* user blaming boilerplate that doesn’t actually answer my question is just shit.
I did a factory reset of my phone, and now all the Marketplace items I bought before I did the reset are gone from my “Downloads” section, but it will let me download them again, happily adding them to the same google account I bought them from in the first place. This is shit.
When I finally get a reply about the above problem from the aforementioned support ticket, and ask when, roughly, it might be fixed I am told:
Unfortunately, we are unable to comment on the exact timing of the fix because of different variables affecting the roll out.
…which is shit.
The upgrade path is shit. As soon as HTC decide they can’t be arsed with the Desire upgrades anymore (a process I expect to happen before Gingerbread is officially released) I’ll never get an official update again, and I’m lucky that I don’t have an operator as an extra level in that. For all people complain about Apple’s “Another model along shortly” attitude, they’ve supply major OS updates for two years for each phone.
There is no good time to buy an android phone. Anything you buy will be succeeded in weeks, if not days. This is shit.
The Hardware UX standard design is shit. You cannot predict which buttons are on the phone in which order, whether they’re hard or soft or what. Good UX means avoiding metaphor-shear and maintaining consistant rulesets, and Apple’s good at that, there is probably a button *here* which will take you back a screen, *this* button will take you back to this place. Just the Back button in android could take you back to the last application you used, the last screen you saw in this application, the home screen of your current application, back a web page, or the home screen of the whole phone. This is shit.
There are two email applications on every phone. One is for GMail, one for IMAP. Widgets use one or the other, and every app which wants to send an email has to ask every time. This is shit.
If you try to open an MP3 attachment from the GMail program, the temporary file is deleted before the Android Music App can see it. This is shit (and stops me getting phone messages).
A cheap MicroUSB cable appears to have a 50/50 chance of carrying a charge. This isn’t really anything to do with Android’s fault, but is still shit.
Every so often I’ll answer a call and the UI will change to the “You’re on a phone call” one, but the phone will still be ringing and I can’t answer it anymore.
My phone has gigabytes of storage in it, but only a few hundred megs of app storage space, because every tin-pot application believes it has a divine right to hinder sleep mode, and therefore refuses to go on the SD Card. That I have to care about this is shit.
My Android has never failed to wake me up because the year or timezone changed. It has, however, failed to wake me up because it spontaneously crashed necessitating a battery removal at roughly 3am.
The default array of apps that HTC supplied with my phone (like the Facebook app that’s not as good as the official one, and the twitter one that’s not as good as the official one, and the Flickr one tha…) cannot be prevented from wasting the limited app space I have. This is shit.
MobileSafari has a useful thing: If you double-tap on a block level element, it zooms the view-port to match the width of it. In the Android browser, double tapping zooms the page in a lot. This is shit.
Gestures on the Android are almost always “I am doing this gesture to make the phone perform this action” rather than “I am performing this action”. Zoom and Rotate in particular suffer from the classic shower-tap problem of requiring a massive amount of micro-dexterity to get the effect you want.
None of these are deal-breakers. They’re bugs, annoyances, or lack of joined up thinking. But what I need out of a phone is to be able to pull it out, do the thing I wanted, then put it away again. Joined Up Thinking is the very thing I actually *need* it to do. The lack of system-level design (both UI design and hardware-spec) makes a day with android just a little more frustrating than the same day with the iPhone.