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Google Android: The Best and Worst of

Mobile operating systems is probably one of the most sensitive topics in the industry. Insult one platform and you start a flame war. Let’s move on, shall we? Go back to basics. In the current perspective, what does Android have to offer? What does it lack? Read on and join in the discussion.

It was the year 2008 when Android was first introduced, and it was a humble beginning just like any other. It had an Android Market, a set of widgets and a bit more. fortunately, Android nailed the notification system through the notification bar on the spot. In a span of just a few years, the platform and ecosystem flourished. Early in its years, it has been labeled as buggy and sluggish. Can the same be said today? Looking at Android Jellybean side by side with Cupcake, you’ll immediately say a lot has changed.

The Best of Android

1. It almost acts like your desktop computer – Android’s homescreen is similar to your desktop. You can add widgets, shortcuts and folders – and you can arrange it according to your taste. The green robot gives you access to your file directory and a wide array of installers. For the geeks, you can hack, mod and overclock, similar to the things you would do to your computer.

2. Personalization – Everyone would like to have that feeling that they actually own the device. Set a live wallpaper. Add the widgets that you care about on your homescreen. Google Now will push through the searches you need. If you don’t want the keyboard, you can change it. Heck, if you don’t want the way your homescreen works, you can change it.

3. Feature Set – More often than not, Android has already taken the lead in introducing new features. When everyone was taking regular photos, Android had panorama. Now that competitors are on panorama, Android is a step forward with photo-sphere. Just as mentioned in #1, the OS had the notification bar on day one, when competitors like iOS just had it in 2011.

4. Variety – You want a camera? There’s a camera running Android. You want something with a stylus? Same can be said. There are choices in every corner for Android. It might not even appeal or make sense, but an oven running Android even exists (yes, we’re looking at the kitchen). For those that cannot afford a high-end Android device, there are thousands of choices and different experiences in a much more affordable price range. While this could be a great strength for the OS, this could also be a dilemma.

The Worst of Android

1. Software Updates – Hundreds, probably thousands, of models of Android devices, which one will get updates? If you probably have an underrated phone, say goodbye to your update. Manufacturers will only update your device if it gets enough attention — and not even immediately. It’s going to take a long time, and the moment it arrives, it could be time for a handset upgrade.

2. Hardware upgrades – Buy the best spec’d phone in the market and months later, voila, there’s a better one. Android has been quite known for pushing hardware limit; it’s both a good thing and a bad thing. iOS & Windows Phone was never about the specs, and this is where Android wins and fails. Android users are frustrated because of how fast new models are releases.

3. Apps Ecosystem – The quantity of apps is not the problem. It’s the quality. For quite some time, Android tablets had great hardware but bad app support. Most apps are just phone apps blown up to larger scale, and it’s ugly. Another thing is the polishing, where ads are badly arranged, details are misplaced and so on. Only a few apps follow Android’s Holo UI compared to Windows’ and iOS’ UI.

Android has come a long way from its harsh beginnings to present, but one thing is certain, Android is spreading like wildfire. What about you, what were your best and worst experiences with Android? Where do you see it in the next 5 years?

Editor’s Note: This article is one of a 3-part series tackling the best and worst characters of smartphone platforms. You can read about the one for Microsoft Windows Phone here and for Apple iOS here. – Yuga

Bob Freking occasionally contributes articles to the website. He is a UST Graduate of Commerce & Business Administration, Major in Marketing Management, and a full-time Sith Lord with three dragons.

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49 Responses

  1. andring slayer says:

    paki upd8 poh ang samnote1 qoh, ang syugal syugal kasi e, di pa poh bah ninyo mawari qong panoh poh up8 mga binebenta nyo na cp?

  2. Zion says:

    So far, I haven’t had a problem with my Android. It hasn’t been a problem with me.

  3. Tssss says:

    Pampalubag bobo lang kaya ginawan din niya ng ganito ang Windows at iOS.
    Pero eto oh bidang bida ang Android.
    Dahil android fantard tong freking na to. Hahahahaha!

    • frenchy says:

      Binasa mo ba yung talong posts? basa basa ka muna kasi sa tingin ko mas maganda review niya sa Windows Phone kesa dito sa Android, maybe because he can’t find much worse things to say about Windows Phone. I don’t think he’s an Android fan.

  4. wtf69 says:

    Correct me if im wrong please!! Diba mas naunang mag introduce ang windows phone ng 360 degree camera shot( PHOTOSYNTH ) kesa photosphere???

    • Bob Freking says:

      They got it first through an app. Photosynth is not yet part of Windows Phone as a whole OS.

      It’s like Google Maps & YouTube for iOS. Great point. +1

    • tarush says:

      Photosynth existed before and it’s a free app.

      Why boast the “new” PhotoSphere.


  5. H says:

    all androids can’t detect nokia n9 wifi hotspot as i have discovered when i got a samsung galaxy grand duos. went back to the seller and tested other phones. symbian and iphone detected it but samsung can’t even a sony android.

    • steelicon says:

      Credits to the author

      Ad-hoc Wifi in Android

      December 8, 2010 – 10:21 am in ANDROID HACKS
      Suppose you want one Android phone to connect to another. Unfortunately, the WifiManager in stock Android ignores ad-hoc networks. There are a couple ways around this:
      One is to modify the Android framework to support ad-hoc networks (I recall seeing some custom ROM for Samsung Moment that had this).
      Another is to manually configure the wpa_supplicant to connect to an ad-hoc network.
      Yet another one is to patch the wpa_supplicant to pretend that ad-hoc networks are regular access points. This was my method.
      The original purpose of this patch was to enable an Android device tether to another Android phone using Barnacle Wifi Tether.
      ad-hoc support in wpa_supplicant
      At this time, Android does not support ad-hoc networks. That is, ad-hoc (IBSS) entries are filtered out from the scan results reported by the wpa_supplicant.
      To add ad-hoc network support one could augment the WifiStateTracker to not filter IBSS entries out and set the wpa_supplicant in AP_SCAN 2 mode to establish new IBSS instead of associating with a scanned one. That would require fiddling with the Java framework on the phone.
      A more crazy way to do this is to augment the wpa_supplicant to masquerade ad-hoc networks as regular infrastructure access points (APs). This makes changes only to the wpa_supplicant and allows a drop in replacement on rooted phones.
      Necessary Changes
      The patch below modifies the wpa_supplicant code in the external/wpa_supplicant AOSP repo to make ad-hoc networks appear as regular APs with a (*) prefix.
      The patch:
      removes the [IBSS] flag from scan results,
      masquerades and demasquerades ad-hoc ssid with (*) prefix
      sets mode 1 (ad-hoc) if the ssid is for IBSS
      permits the supplicant to select an IBSS when associating to a given ssid
      I’ve shared some thoughts on the future of ad-hoc in Prospects of Ad-hoc Wifi in Android

  6. arvi says:

    Panorama exists on mobile phones bago pa maimplement yung ng android di ba?

  7. jcnjcjcnjc says:

    I own both ios and android devices, waiting for lumia 920 but I think I will pass it cause when it finally arrives, theres already a newer model somewhere. All I can say Android is way better than ios in more ways than the other way around. Yes, more ios tablet apps but how many apps you can installed in a 16gb device, which most of us are using. I think th eonly one thing android should improve is software upgrades. which is not that impt after ICS, coz if the time comes when you really need to upgrade is time to upgrade your phone.

  8. thor says:

    andriod devices cannot connect to ad-hoc connections. yung ipod touch 1st gen nga kaya 5 year ago pa un. why cant andoid?

  9. ronjiedotcom says:

    just asking… security is not an issue on android?

    • Bob Freking says:

      Thanks for pointing that out. According to reports and news, it is. I forgot about writing about it because honestly, I have never experienced viruses, malware and the like on Android. Anyone you know who experienced it? This is great for discussion. :)

    • tarush says:

      Tsk tsk tsk how in the world you did not mention the biggest reason why the Android OS will nver the choice of enterprise?

      By buying apps alone, you expose your credit account details to great risk…

  10. samsung tab2 user says:

    Sana maglabas sa Android ng apps na pwedeng gamitin ang lahat ng Android devices as bluetooth speaker.Para hindi na ko bibili ng bluetooth speaker.

  11. Bob-o says:

    “@bobfreking: I get that you’re trying to be logical here, but dude, did your logic ever do you right?”

    “@bobfreking: When an article gets comments, it should be about the article, not the author. If you want to comment about the author, go tell him. lol.”

    “@bobfreking: I want to hear sensible things. I’m quite immune to non-sense already.”

    See :) this is Dork! HAHAHAHAHA! Walang mananalo sa opinyon ng mga Dorks. Hahahahaha
    Excuse me Freking, kami ang gustong makabasa ng may sense na article.

    • Bob-o says:

      And dude! We are reacting because of your nonsense articles. This is not just about you, dahil din to sa mga posts mong walang kakwenta kwenta. Hindi mo ba makuha yun?’

    • radioactive_balut says:

      @Yugatech where’s the ignore button?

  12. Anti_kimchi says:

    Just last week there were two malware apps, Androud Cleaner and another one with a similar name. Would you ever do Internet banking on a windows pc? No way Jose. Same for Android. It’s scary.

    I like COPY/PASTE on my IOS. Hate it in android.

    Love the short cuts to Wi-Fi, Bluetooth & Cellular Data on android!

    Hate on android when a YouTube video hangs up and you close the app. Run it again and instead of starting clean you’re back to the hung screen. Very annoying. Why can’t I move the apps around to my liking? Always in alphabetical order. Go Launcher EX is pretty cool.

    I like having a physical Home Button!

    Android has so many processors. Plants vs Zombies won’t run on the starmobile engage 7! That’s the one game my kid wants more than any other

    iOS has great customer support. Ever try calling google? Android devices are over priced. They are not Apple, so stop charging Apple prices Sammy.

    Thank you.

    • garz says:

      You can’t call Google to report a specific Android device because they don’t produce the devices, unlike Apple, because it’s all their stuff.

    • bliss says:

      Sir, you only got what you paid for… be happy that android has a lot of options for it’s hardware…why not compare the note 2 to iphone 5 or the lumia 920?

    • atheist says:

      Anti_kimchi if you hate android then don’t bother to buy one. I hate a lot of things including religion and I never bother to comment on religious blogs. nobody asked for your opinion so quit being such a nonsense pussy

    • Jon says:

      I still don’t think top of the line androids are overpriced. Yes, they are expensive, but having the top of the line specs, one can justify the price. We all know which phone is the real “overpriced” one ;)

      For me, if I cannot afford the best android phone at the moment, I’d wait a few months until the price drops significantly.

      On another note, I guess the downside of Android phones are the resale value. Six months later, your phone would be nearly half the value it was back then.

  13. Anti_kimchi says:

    One more thing: open a link in Android Twitter. What happens? The browser app opens. In IOS there’s a built in browser with an option to open in Safari or e-mail the link.

  14. trollpatroll says:

    Where’s the sense in your comment?

    Where in the article is nonsense?

    Attacking the author is a fallacy called a argumentatum ad hominem.

  15. Jan says:

    these are feature articles..there’s nothing wrong with them.
    give the guy a break.

    • bliss says:

      maybe his gf left him for Freking and he can’t get over it…or his love was rejected by Freking..(lol)…anyhow, articles that gives us something to talk and think about are always welcome, regardless of how it is written…and in any case it’s not as if your forced to read an article…i just think that he loves Freking so much that he reads all of his article but still don’t get the attention from freking …that’s why he’s so grumpy …

  16. Chinitoguy says:

    Among the 3 mobile OS Android is my least favorite. Don’t get me wrong here. Its a nice OS because I love the level of customizations you can do. Apps are ok but I do agree with Yuga here that the quality of apps is an issue with Android. I left Android for iOS last year. My last Android phone was the Samsung Galaxy S3. I used it for 4 months and I switched to iPhone 5. I admire Android because anyone can own a smartphone nowadays. Everyone can now connect to Facebook, Twitter, surf the web, play games without spending so much.

    • Jon says:

      So why did you go for iOS from android? You didn’t mention any reason why it is your “least favorite”. I am just curious, and I find it odd as well since several colleagues and friends of mine have jumped from iOS to Android after trying it first hand. Take note, they were iPhone users for several years.

  17. roiji says:

    i had panoroma on my Sony Ericsson phone back in 2005 even before it was cool.
    Of the 3 smartphone OS, Android was the first to have sweep panorama integrated in its out-of-the-box camera app.

    Software update is not the worst of Android but a the worst of manufacturers who integrate Android. Nexus devices are always up to date.

    In Android, like everything else, you get what you pay for.
    Anything sub-12k won’t likely be upgraded to the latest and greatest version of Android.

  18. jeremiah says:

    I’ve tried 3 platforms and these are nice articles, the user experience on ios is smooth and more stable with no lags, lots of games and apps but home screens gets boring and wp is also smooth with almost no lag, great for social networking though apps are limited but the essentials are there, except for games, android a bit laggy at times but bearable, love the flash support, easy file transfers, usb on the go function.

  19. PiJai says:

    I liked android the most among those three platforms. The current Android flagships are way improved now, lags are getting extinct. iOS is too simple for me, easily get bored with it. But, great apps and show-off btw. For WP, too early to say much..

  20. wis says:

    if an os suits you then it will be the best one for you…there is no perfect os…for me it’s android…it could have been windows if only it got the customization of android and the apps of ios….

  21. epol says:

    anak ng tinapa! parang ang kalalabasan nito ay talo ang iOs at Android sa windows.

  22. vehicle says:

    Hi there, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar one and i was
    just wondering if you get a lot of spam comments?
    If so how do you stop it, any plugin or anything you can suggest?

    I get so much lately it’s driving me crazy so any support is very much appreciated.

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