Over the weekend, I had quite a few people ask me about a piece on why going to Android was a less than pleasant experience for the tech editor of the SMH, and if this was a death knell for Android. “Of course not,” I replied, because there’s more than one side to this story.
This past weekend, I was in Kiama visiting the in-laws, when around eight in the morning, my father-in-law gave me a folded over page of the Sydney Morning Herald to show me what one of my associates in the industry had to say about Android, and his subsequent switch from the world of the iPhone.
“He didn’t seem to like it,” remarked my new not-quite-parent, which seemed to be the case when you read Ben Grubb’s piece on the Herald website, and indeed in the print version of the same publication that had been thrust my way. It’s not that he didn’t totally like it, either, but rather that Google’s version of Siri — Google Now — didn’t totally suit him, nor did the way of tracking conversations, or that everything in Android apparently took two or three more clicks than it did on iPhone.
And that wasn’t the first I heard about the article.
It popped up on various social feeds in my life, with more people pointing it out, and the crux was generally the same: if the technology editor of the Sydney Morning Herald didn’t like Android, should they all just be sticking to iPhone?
In defence of Android
It needs to be noted that there isn’t one operating system that is going to match everyone.
Apple makes a good phone, and with its phones comes iOS, an operating system that was derived from Apple’s own desktop operating system, forked from a point in Mac OS X where it could give the developers a great starting point to evolve from an already stable and solid platform to something made for phones and tablets.
And Apple does make a good phone, but it’s not ideal for everyone.
Take me for instance: I’m not a huge fan of the way iOS looks.
It’s cute, sure, and I’m glad the skeuomorphism is beginning to take a back seat to flat and simple design, but really, I’m not a fan of how icons have to start in the top left and gradually make their way down the display. That actually bothers me, and messes with my idea of keeping a clean phone, because you have to have icons set up in a specific way that doesn’t match what I want, which is often cleaner and more minimalist.
That’s fine, mind you, because I don’t have to use an iPhone. I can use something different if I want, something that lets me make the phone I wish to carry around more an individual experience.
I’m pretty sure Jonathan Ive and Tim Cook aren’t struggling to get sleep every night trying to work out why I don’t like the look of their operating system, and are more than content with me using a different device, and that works pretty well for me. For the moment, anyway.