Two of our three judges had sent in their picks for the Mobilista Challenge competition, and I had read through their choices. I decided to

Apart from apps, there is nothing great about Android

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What's great about Android

Two of our three judges had sent in their picks for the Mobilista Challenge competition, and I had read through their choices. I decided to do a quick scan of Twitter. There, I ran into a tweet that read:

Sold my #N9 and got a S2. Regret it now. Apart from apps, there’s nothing great about Android.

I hit the brakes and screeched to a halt so fast that burning rubber and smoke was everywhere.

Why did that tweet get my attention? Perhaps because it put into words the very way I feel about certain things. Yes.

First, don’t come here telling me that I hate Android o. I will promptly delete such a comment 🙂 Oh; go ahead and post; you know I won’t. But where was I?

Yes; how I feel.

Its Not Always About The Most Apps. I’m sorry, but that’s just the truth. Contrary to the most vocal opinions, it is not always about apps.

The same is true about other features.

It is not always about the camera. It is not always about the processor. It is not always about refinement. It is not always about openness.

Belle has certain benefits. MeeGo has some others, and BlackBerry has its. Of course, Android has its, and one of them is apps. The other is the openness, though that isn’t unique to Android.

For Mister Mo, it is certainly not always about the apps. It is why I can be comfortable using a Belle OS phone, or a MeeGo OS phone, or a BlackBerry OS phone.

I don’t understand it when people say its all about the apps. That’s so simplistic and very hasty generalization, which we know is always wrong.

It is all about personal needs and preferences. There’s no app for that. Duh.

Personally, I kind of agree with that tweet. You see, Android is like a compromise to a lot of things. It does not have the refinement or elegance of MeeGo or iOS. It doesn’t have the apps of the latter. It doesn’t have the simplicity of Windows Phone, or the security or data compression of BlackBerry. It doesn’t have the resources efficiency of Belle.

Let me put it this way: Android is the jack-of-all-trades OS.

Of course, that makes it suited for the mass market. It is the best at compromise. But then, do note: that makes it the master of none. Perhaps the only reason that Android has gained a foothold is that iOS is locked down. Or perhaps Elop’s blundering at Nokia. Or…nevermind.

Yes; I do think that besides the apps, there really is nothing great about Android OS.

22 comments

  1. Most smartphones are bought because of the wonderful apps they support.

    I don’t think it’s right to say the Android OS isn’t great without the apps. Other OS platforms too aren’t great without apps.

    There are thousands of apps out there for different os platforms. You only need to search for the preferred app you need, download it and make your phone look good to you.

    I can’t imagine me using a smartphone without getting reasonable apps that meets my demands.
    Come off it 🙂

    You can’t do without apps.

  2. There is nothing great about android? Really? Android has the best app-app integration. Something iOS lacks. Android is the most customizable. Android has the best notification system.

    Many Mobility readers that switched to android will go on and on about how great android is. They encourage people to get on the android train promising that they will never look back. We got proof of that a few weeks ago when an ardent android critic eyebeekay got his android phone.

    I have read American blogs where the blogger believed iOS was the only capable OS in the world until he used android. In most cases, they alter their view and declare iOS boring despite its advantage in smoothness and app quality which is strange because the average American believes apple products must be the best no matter what.

    To the average American, other platforms are playing catch up. It’s the reason why they ask questions like “is the galaxy s3 an iphone killer?” despite the fact that the s3 is at least a generation ahead of the best iphone.

    All platforms are masters at certain things, android inclusive. I would argue that android does many things better than iOS and other platforms.

  3. So I can conclude from the tweet that;

    1. APART FROM great apps and ‘refined UI’, Apple devices are just expensive hardwares

    2. APART FROM awesome data compression, Blackberry is just a ‘fruit cake’

    3. APART FROM great battery management perks, Symbian is a bore

    4. APART FROM a great UI, Windows phone isn’t….let’s not even go there

    Hey, I’m extrapolating the above conclusions based on the logic behind the tweet.

    I kinda like the fact you referred to Android as ‘jack-of-all-trades OS’ but ‘master of none’. Totally (almost) Agree.

    Android takes care of my games/e-books addiction while Blackberry deals with everything else including the apps dat get transferred to the Android device.

    Looking out for OS 10 devices. If they still retain their awesome data management ability and then create an insane plethora of apps and games; I’m all theirs

  4. Not a fair agreement really, by your logic Android compromises in some aspects and therefore somehow doesn’t match up with other mobile OS. When the truth is that apart from their perceived “strengths” all mobile OS compromise. You could easily have written an article titled “Apart from data compression, there is nothing great about BlackBerry” or a title like that about any of the other OS. They all compromise, that is why there is no “The One OS” and everything, as you said, boils down to personal preference.
    On your second point that android is a jack of all trades, you alluded to the fact that android has no distinguishing aspects, i disagree, its “strength” is openness and tight integration with Google services and Social networks. It is the most open OS in the market today. And to me and for my needs that openness takes preference over data compression, apps, elegance or resource efficiency.
    Its all about personal choice, right?

  5. Efe, I agree with you, when you hit that “Share To” button in Android and you see the large amount options you have, apps on the same phone being able to talk to each other, no other OS has it as extensively baked in as android.

  6. Praizjosh,

    Most smartphones are bought because of the wonderful apps they support.

    That’s not true. I give it to you on good authority that over 60% of smartphone users have never installed a 3rd party app.

    The same thing applies to updates: the vast majority have never updated their devices.

    Don’t mixup the vocal, active minority (you and I) with the docile majority.

  7. same way people say ‘apart from pinging, blackberry is useless’ that does not make it true, its all a matter of preference and opinion.

    what is not great for you may be great for me. deal with it 😀

  8. This sentiment applies more to iOS than Android. Although i like the elegance and build quality of iOS devices, i can’t point to anything that iOS really does better. Infact iOS is all about compromise to improve performance. no flash, no true multi-tasking, no Bluetooth file sharing support, no mass storage support. It seems the only things iOS has going for it are elegant devices and high app quantity/quality. I d be happy to hear from iphone users what iphone does better. we are all learning.

  9. @zsch
    Bravo, I could have said it any better than you did.
    To me when I look at an android device say a samsung device sporting Android OS like the S series, I see a top notch screen, top notch camera, top notch processors, an OS that really cares to provide almost everything u would need, and ability to spruce it up anyway u like with tons of apps. Android is to phones what Windows is to Personal Computers.

    The role of apps can not be overstated, ebooks apps rendering carrying tons of books around, games to help u pass time whilst waiting for someone, language tools, day planners and almost any app that u might need. A great platform just died because it didn’t have enough apps or developer support.

    I rather take a platform with tons of apps any day than one with great data compression where I’d have to pay to get a zip/rar archive app

  10. Any OS is good for me, as long as it works. Even linux for pc will have numerous advantages over windows but still…

    What is a smart phone? Why do you use android? Why do you need ridiculous screen sizes and processors? What is really wrong with s40 (say nokia x3-02)?

    If you check very well, i don’t think android has any real advantage.

  11. You can’t consider a smartphone platform without its apps. It is an essential part of what makes it a smartphone. For instance, a lot of people agree that windows phone has a superior user experience to Android and iOS but it still lags behind in sales and notoriety for one simple reason – availability of apps.
    PS: That’s one reason why I feel windows phone 8 would be a smash hit eventually (can’t say the same for windows 8 on laptops though).

  12. @Mr Mo,
    No qualms, maybe i was too concerned with myself and forgetting the majority out there.

    @motorola c113

    🙂 lol your questions truly need answers.

  13. Apps are a big deal. Why do Android and iOS have more users? Why is RIM and Nokia loosing sales?

    Even when we only need a few apps to go by, everyone has that one or two apps that just makes their mobile experience so sweet.

    As much as I’m enjoying this BlackBerry 9320, I miss not being able to use Dolphin browser and Zite Magazine reader.

    The people who don’t care about apps are dwindling, they’re not in the majority and their number isn’t growing.

    Apps makes a lot of difference.

  14. This is serious! As matter of fact, your apps can make you outstand even when you come across a phone with a better UI. So what are you telling me? I Totally oppose the rising impression people are having against Andy…

    @Jesse, you’re 3 million% right sir.

  15. After reading the article, I wondered what’s draws me near this android os if apps were not in question. Believe me, the list was still long…
    1. Openness
    2. Notification bar (none like it)
    3. Customization
    4. UI (ics please)
    5. Google services integration
    6. Apps integration and communication
    7. Top widgets
    8. USB storage

    I can go on and on.

  16. That’s not true. I give it to you on good authority that over 60 % of smartphone users have never installed a 3rd party app.

    The same thing applies to updates: the vast majority have never updated their devices.

    Don’t mixup the vocal, active minority (you and I) with the docile majority.

    The question now is, if third party apps made Android great, why are the majority of the users who do not care so much about third party apps still prefer Android over great OSes like BB, Windows Phone 7 and Symbian/Belle? It is either that majority of users are averse to great OSes or that Android is actually great or again that Android is not great but better than other OSes out there which incidentally would mean that there is no great OS out there.

    Whichever of the above is true, it simply renders the topic of the post irrelevant. In truth, there are too many great features Android has that have resulted to its great adoption by the masses.

  17. The question now is, if third party apps made Android great, why are the majority of the users who do not care so much about third party apps still prefer Android over great OSes like BB, Windows Phone 7 and Symbian/Belle? It is either that majority of users are averse to great OSes or that Android is actually great or again that Android is not great but better than other OSes out there which incidentally would mean that there is no great OS out there.

    Whichever of the above is true, it simply renders the topic of the post irrelevant. In truth, there are too many great features Android has that have resulted to its great adoption by the masses.
    Logic sequence/Data Load Logic MasterRun rate=Excellent

  18. Sorry, I have no sympathy for the Tweeter – he sounds like one of those people who buy to follow a trend. If it were me I would buy an S2 in addition to an N9 – there’s no way I’d let that out of my sight.

    And he whinges about it boo hoo, big baby – and I’m supposed to take him seriously based on that comment?! He must have spent so much time fiddling with apps he got bored, poor soul!

    As for his whining about there’s nothing great about Android, who cares? It does what most people want and provides them with the apps they want; maybe that is all that really matters.

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