What makes people love android?

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  1. So my wife and I just got the Verizon Iphone 4 yesterday, and I am very excited with the phone, in large part because it actually let me get rid of my blackberry (i used to carry a pre, blackberry, and ipod touch at all times) but I am also just a huge fan of idevices (I love my touch 2g, and have probably never stayed this happy with any piece of tech for so long, and the ipad 2 is one of the best toys I've ever bought).

    But when I tell people I got the phone, I get two very different reactions. Most people have said they are jealous and want one or are getting one, but a decent number of people have asked my why I got the iphone instead of an android phone. So far my answer has been that I wanted the work email integration, but truth be told, I'm not even sure that I understand the question. I had a coworker ask me if I felt bad that my phone was already "obsolete" because of better android hardware, but to me, better android hardware may make old android phones obsolete, if the older phones can't run new apps, but I don't see how it impacts the iphone at all.

    From what I have seen of android phones, although the hardware is often fantastic, the operating system seems to be focused on things like widgets (which I don't understand the purpose of) instead of getting you into apps easily, and to me, that seems like the main (perhaps only) thing that your phone os should be doing. As far as the app store goes, to the best of my knowledge, android is catching up, but do people actually think it has outpaced the iphone app store in some way? Also, I don't really understand the appeal of these larger and larger screens, since they make the phones seem pretty large for pocketability.

    I am NOT making this post to criticize android, I am just genuinely curious about why some people seem to feel it is inherently better (or even much better) than the iphone. So what is it that you love about android?

  2. mdram

    mdram Well-Known Member

    the apeal of android is the customization. the widgets you dont understand are a big part of this you place a widget on your home screen that displays certain info( weather, facebook updates, stocks ect) there is then no need to open the app to see if anything is updated.

    add to this the ability to flash roms, themes, ect to personalize your phone so it doesn't look like everyone elses, if you so desire.

    the ability to ignore the existence of itunes (i hate this software)

    the large selection of phone to choose from (keyboard, big screen, small screen, lg, htc, samsung, ect ect)

    well these are just a couple of things i can think of, looks like its just that there are more options
    jroc likes this.
  3. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon Moderator

    The thing with Android is that choice is good.

    You get a choice of handsets, in various price, performance, form factor and size ranges.

    You get a choice as to how your phone looks and feels.

    You get a choice to get apps straight from devs if you find that sort of thing and like it, no App Store required or jailbreaking required.


    Android apps are different than iPhone apps. They tend to be small, compact, nimble and then use a common pool of system services from the underlying Linux OS.

    Widgets - and look and feel - are important because they tend to come with the phone and let you optimize your phone for how you use it. Right now, you have screens of just apps. On one of our phones, it has six screens of large, super easy-to-use widgets, only one screen that looks like one of yours. Those widgets make for short work of common tasks. One is is live photo gallery, you can swipe through the stack of photos you've taken, another is a large people contact display, another is a month-at-a-glance calendar - that sort of thing.

    Or - you can phones that look much the iPhone layout or configure yours that way if that's what you like.

    Many of the functions you'll want in a phone are free with either widgets or apps, whereas those same functions are only had at additional cost through the App Store.

    Neither Android nor the iPhone is a bad choice - their users are very happy with them, but with Android, you just get more choices.
    ninja_reject and jroc like this.
  4. That all makes sense, I guess the choices just aren't ones I'd make. I'm a big gamer, and don't even have a facebook or twitter account, so the thing I care about most on the phone (behind the work email) is the great selection of more "serious" games (not stuff like angry birds) and the thing that appeals to me the least is the social network integration of the widgets. I used to use windows mobile phones with htc skins, and the only widget i ever made use of was the weather. The calender, email, etc, i always found it more convenient to use the full screen version.

    As far as the choice of hardware goes, do you really have one though? It seems to me like the phones with the good specs are all the huge screen ones now, and noone seems to make a good quality phone with a less tha 4 inch screen.
  5. mdram

    mdram Well-Known Member

    actually i found that the fascinate with a 4" screen was not that much larger then my omnia with a 3.4". the screen was closer to the edges then the omnia

    anything ive tried over 4" has seemed to big. not pocket friendly. 4" is the max i would think about

    here are some sizes, not really much difference

    iphone 4.5H x 2.3W x 0.37D
    Inc 2 4.75H x 2.52W x 0.48D
    Fasc 4.92H x 2.53W x 0.39D
  6. pantlesspenguin

    pantlesspenguin Well-Known Member

    I had to explain widgets to someone the other day. I'll do the same demonstration.

    Here is one of my home screens. I have the power widget, music player widget, & shazam widget. With the power widget, I can toggle gps, bluetooth, wifi, screen brightness, & sync w/ just a tap. I can control my music player from my home screen w/o opening the app. With the shazam widget, it starts tagging immediately after it's tapped, wheras if I go into the app it takes a few seconds to prepare to start tagging.


    On another home screen, I have the Weather Channel widget, WeatherBug Maps widget, & my to-do list widget. The WC widget shows current conditions & the weather for the next few days. If there's an alert, a red "stop sign" w/ an exclamation mark appears. With the map widget, you can have it set up to refresh @ whatever interval you'd like, or to refresh it manually. You can refresh it by tapping that blue circle. If you'd like a closer view, you can tap the widget & a larger map pops up. With the to-do list, you actually have to tap into the widget to check off your selections, but I like having my list right there in view on my home screen.


    Here is an email widget where you can look @ your inbox @ a glance w/o having to enter the app:


    Another option lets you see a snippit of the email:


    With both of these, you can scroll through your inbox. It's not just a static shot.

    Here is my calendar widget:


    I can scroll through about 6 weeks of entries w/o leaving the home screen.

    Another widget I like is the home screen music player widget:


    This is especially handy when I'm @ the gym. I just unlock my phone & I can scroll through music.

    I heart widgets :).
  7. Thanks for the helpful post. I especially appreciate that you did not have a facebook widget (it seems to me like that's all people tend to care about, and social networks just don't appeal to me).

    I can definitely see the appeal in some of those, especially the power strip widget. The only problem I see is that it doesn't make it as easy to get to apps, and you have to swipe through multiple screens, vs just clicking the weather channel app on the home screen. I'm not saying one way is better than the other, its just tradeoffs. Also, can't it leave you forever tweaking them? On my old windows mobile phones, I used to spend more time playing with the interface than using the phone! That was why i moved to the pre, which I liked a lot, although it did not have enough apps.

    Now that my nook color has an app store, maybe I'll have more of a chance to experience android and feel it out. But its nice to hear some concrete reasons for people liking it instead of just "It's open" or "you can pirate the apps" which are the two things I hear the most irl.
  8. sonofaresiii

    sonofaresiii Well-Known Member

    In my opinion, the Android can do everything the iPhone can do, but it can do other things too, if you want. So why go with the iPhone, that just gives you the one option, when you can get all you want and more from Android?

    Because you know exactly what you want and the iPhone gives it to you? Okay, valid, but what if you change your mind? What if something changes in your life or in hardware and you want to use your phone a bit differently? With the iPhone, you're stuck with what you've got. Android is open source-- it can literally change as much as I want it to.

    That's my take on it. Feel free to agree or disagree. The iPhone is certainly an excellent phone, regardless.
  9. jroc

    jroc Well-Known Member

    I think when you go from 3.7" to 4.0", its not that big of a jump that it should make a difference. I can understand going to 4.3" and being turned off by the size.

    Widgets... I never used them on my PC, never used them on my Omnia 1. I thought it was a waste. I didnt fully understand and appreciate widgets until I got the Droid 1.

    The Droid 1 doesnt read very big extended batteries good. So while the phone is saying 5% battery left, your phone would probably stay on for about 4-6 hours. And to make it read correct you had to reboot the phone each time it got down to 5%.

    Some of us on another forum in a huge thread figured out how much voltage your battery was near or at right before shutting off. Then we used a battery widget to show what your battery voltage actually was, that way no need to reboot.

    Another widget is a music player widget. Some can be set big to show album art and controls or be very minimal and just show song title and controls. The type of music player widget depends on the app.

    Widgets for turning on/off wifi, GPS, adjusting the brightness, adjusting the volume, I have a flashlight app widget that turns the flashlight app on/off.. There is a nice text messaging widget on Gingerbread for the Droid X that scrolls thru the messages. Its similar to whats on SPB Shell 3D. And of course you can enter the messaging app thru the widget.

    These are just some more examples why some folks like widgets. And why I live by them now and may start using them on my PC. With widgets theres a very good chance you dont need to open an app. You can just look at the screen or you can do what you need to do by interacting with the widget.

    Widgets, customizations and choice could be the main reasons why ppl love Android.

    EDIT: I spend time looking over, editing my post and I could probably delete it now. Thanks alot penguin!!! lol Like the email widget. Imma have to look into that.
    pantlesspenguin likes this.
  10. So this is actually the sentiment that I think I understand the least. I'm not sure that I understand what range of uses exist for a phone, other than getting apps. I could feel left out in the cold if I were to change jobs and find that my new employer would support android but not iphone (although that seems unlikely, given how popular the iphone has become for the enterprice), but other than that, I'm not sure how I could want to "use" my phone differently. Please explain what you mean.
  11. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon Moderator

    I'm not a gamer, but I've heard nothing but good things on games on the iPhone. When you design for a large audience with one screen/form factor/hardware, like they do for the iP4, they can concentrate on getting the most out of the platform, and from what I've read, Apple makes it easier for devs to do that.

    That said - the Sony Experia Play might be of interest to you:

    Introducing Xperia PLAY - the world's first PlayStation certified smartphone | Sony Ericsson

    Or - you can break out of the whole game-on-phone thing and consider HTC OnLive -

    YouTube - [MWC11] OnLive Provides Cloud Gaming on HTC Flyer

    That's kinda new to HTC, so I don't know more about it.

    True that the higher-performance phones seem more geared towards 4" and above - but as a pocket carry, neither my daughter nor I found a big woop difference between carrying my Evo vs. carrying her iP4 - so, the importance of that is all subjective, in my opinion, so I won't presume to advise.
  12. pool_shark

    pool_shark Well-Known Member

    It's not necessarily a matter of loving Android as much as appreciating customization and functionality.

    Prior to my Android devices I had a Treo 700P, then a windows mobile device, both of which were more customizable than the iPhone. The WM device (Omnia) also did BT voice dialing which at the time Android couldn't do either.

    I don't want my home screen cluttered with icons. Every time a friend with an iPhone wants to show me something, their home screen looks like my app drawer, it's just cluttered and annoying to see them flip through pages and pages of icons.

    I like live wallpapers (no functional purpose, just eye candy).

    I like being able to see my upcoming appointments in my calendar widget without having to open the app, same with reading the news headlines, and seeing the weather, and I could do the same with my text messages and emails if I chose to do so.

    I like being able to install apps not from the market, and we don't have to be rooted (jail broken) to do it.

    The iPhone is no longer the piece of junk it once was (back when it couldn't cut/paste, mms, record video), it has come a long way, but it is still too locked down with regard to customizations, and I like the freedom.
  13. The Xperia Play is the closest I came to getting an android phone since the hero on sprint, but in the end, the fact that it won't work on my email server at work, coupled with the comparitively weak hardware vs the new dual core phones, scuttled the idea.

    I was not aware that onlive had launched for a phone. That is very cool, although I suspect it is very bandwidth dependent. But if that is an example of what the future holds for android, the future looks very bright!
  14. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon Moderator

    The two platforms, iPhone/iOS and whatever/Android, are driving each other higher and higher in performance as they compete.

    In the end, it's us consumers that are the real winners. :)

    Meanwhile - I notice you have a Nook color - not sure if you know this, but you can set it up to boot Android, even the latest Honeycomb, right off the SD drive - no compromising your nook for what you bought it for.

    If you stay with your iP4, you might want to consider going that route for your nook so you can keep your hand in Android and see for yourself what's up from time to time. Just a thought. ;)

    PS - Lots of folks around here are working with Exchange mail on Android - I access my company's non-Exchange email servers with no sweat (IMAP or POP). What's the odd thing about your company email?
    jroc likes this.
  15. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum Moderator

    Not exactly. You have multiple avenues to launch apps. in its simplest form, the Android app drawer is the iPhone grid-of-icons. It's just one touch away, rather than always (and only) displayed. Most widgets that are a synopsis of an apps pertinent information will launch the app by touching it. You can also setup folders of shortcuts or place those shortcuts right on the home screen. When you get into custom launchers like LauncherPro or ADW, then the possibilities are greatly expanded.

    Sure it can, but remember that many people love to tinker. But, once you get familiar with the apps you use regularly and how you use them, there's little need to touch it. It is nice, though as the seasons change to adjust it from one season tot he next (and I am referring to the important seasons, like baseball and football).

    Please don't judge Android with what Barnes & Noble is doing. While I have a Nook Color, it was rooted with eclair (2.1) and was much more of a tablet experience that the FroYo update with their pathetic app store. Most of the apps that are normally free are there for sometimes overly high fees. There are very few free apps at all. The good folks over at the nook dev site will have 2.2 rooted in no time. Then you can have access to the market. If you are so inclined, you can even try Honeycomb on your nook with no impact whatsoever. The Nook Color will look at the SD card first for an OS so you can load a Honeycomb ROM on the SD card and it will boot without effecting the stock OS. When you're done checking it out, you just shut off the Nook, remove the SD card and reboot. You're right back to the stock Nook.
    pantlesspenguin and EarlyMon like this.
  16. pantlesspenguin

    pantlesspenguin Well-Known Member

    I actually do use FriendStream which combines facebook & twitter, but I omitted that since I knew you wouldn't find that useful :).

    As far as having widgets making it harder to get to apps, here is my main homescreen:


    Those folders hold my most used/needed apps, so I can get to them in 2 clicks. That weather widget is actually pretty helpful too. When you click into it, it gives you a full desktop mode where you can access alarms, clocks (world clock, stopwatch, etc) & a few other features.

    As far as constantly tweaking goes, when you set up a widget, most of the time you go through a "wizard" that sets your preferences (look, update frequency, font selector, etc). After I do that once & set it up how I like, I rarely change it.
  17. I'm an attorney, and we're subject to all kinds of data privacy rules, and android's exchange implementaiton cannot accept all of the exchange rules we impose. They also have to certify individual devices before they're given access, and the last I checked, only the Droid Pro was even in the certification pipeline. The Verizon Iphone was just approved last week (which why I got it this weekend :) ).
  18. I've been thinking about trying it. Right now, I use it 99% of the time to read, but I also use it as a secondary tablet for web browsing if my wife steals my ipad 2 :)

    If I root, will it still look like the nook, or would it look like a tablet? I really love the design and functionality of the device, and would not want to mess with it, although I would not mind being able to toggle an alternate home screen with apps. . .
  19. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon Moderator

    Well, that's case closed, isn't it counselor? ;) :D :D

    Srsly, tho - I'm conservative when it comes to my business, so I can relate that way.

    Best to enjoy your iP4, and see what next year brings with the iP5 (or even iP6 by end of 2012) and the other offerings breaking out.

    Everyone is going dual- and soon quad-core, everyone is upping their graphics game, everyone is upping their bandwidth - so, until such a time as you want to carry a second phone, or the right Android for you gets that certification you require, you're always welcome around here. ;)

    Meanwhile - what lunatic said on the nook - that's the deal.
  20. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon Moderator

  21. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum Moderator

    One of the nice things about AutoNooter (easiest way to root your Nook) is that it leaves your Nook pretty much set up for reading. It will add gmail and the market as well as softkeys (because the Nook has only the one button) and superuser, but that's about it. The only reason I rooted in the first place was to put the Kindle app on there for my wife. The thing is, I wouldn't let her have mine because I read quite a lot, so we had to go get her one of her own. Come Summer I fear we will be getting one for the boy, too.

    I unrooted my Nook to check out the update because I wanted to see how it handles Flash and what they were going to try with the B&N app store. While Flash is nice to have, if they soon don't update AutoNooter to 2.2, I think I'm going back to rooted 2.1.
  22. Fetch Questman

    Fetch Questman Well-Known Member

    Look, I know we all hate the iPhone around here... but IMO it is a huge upgrade over Blackberry. OP, you will be fine with your new phone. When your contract is nearing its end do a little research and you might find Android fits you better.
  23. shawn1224

    shawn1224 Ex CEO-DNPSEA foundation VIP Member

    I think I know what the OP means. I'm torn between getting rid of my ipod touch and turning to android for all my gaming interests. Unfortunately I can't. When it comes to gaming, iOS has too many great titles that aren't on the Android platform. Of course I've found some titles that can tide me over like Gun Bros, Dungeon Defenders and a few of the gameloft titles but nothing that can compare to elite iOS games like Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, Dead Space, Mirror's Edge or Battlefield Bad Co. 2.
  24. Stuntman

    Stuntman Well-Known Member

    It depends on how many apps you have and what/how many apps you use most often. On the iPhone, if your app is on the second page of your app icons, you have to swipe over to the second page before you can open it. It take take multiple swipes on your iPhone before you get to the page that contains the app you want.

    Also, sometimes you don't need to open an app that takes up the whole screen to view the information. For the weather, you may only need a fraction of the screen to display the information you want. If you just want current conditions, a widget that displays that info that takes the space of 2 icons is probably enough. I also have a widget that displays sports scores. The widget can display the scores using only a portion of the screen. If I want to view more details such as game stats, then I would open the app.

    There are also some things that are much faster with a widget than opening an app. I have three widgets that perform functions that are faster than apps. One is auto screen rotate toggle. If I want to turn auto screen rotate on or off, I just tap on the widget once and that's it. If I had to open an app first and then turn it on/off within the app and then exit the app, it is much slower and less convenient. The same goes for my screen brightness and sound volume setting widgets. Just one tap on the widget and I'm done without having to open an app first before I get to select what I want and then I have to exit.

    If you don't want any widgets at all, just populate your home screens with the shortcuts to the apps. The Android home screen will look almost exactly like an iPhone with the grid of icons and nothing else.

    If the default home screen is exactly what you want or need, then you don't have to do any tweaking. If it isn't, then you have to do some tweaking. On the iPhone, if the home screen isn't exactly what you want, you still don't do any tweaking because iOS doesn't let you tweak anything.

    Over time, I find my needs change. I tweak my home screens because some things become less important/used and other things become more important/used. The same would go for the iPhone. You may put your most often used apps on your first screen and less used apps on your other screens. If your needs change, you'll have to tweak your home screen icons as well.
    ninja_reject likes this.
  25. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon Moderator

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