Sorry Google but my next phone will be an iPhone

14 Sep 2010

This posts mostly mimics the anti-Android sentiment which has been growing louder over the past couple weeks - in large part thanks to TechCrunch's accurate Android Is As Open As The Clenched Fist I'd Like To Punch The Carriers With article. But I wanted to give my own twist on things.

I got a Samsung Galaxy-S about three weeks ago. During that time, I'd describe the experience as ok, but lacking polish. Certainly, when compared to iOS, Android seemed inferior. Sluggish at times, application crashes, application hangs, and general weird behavior. No show-stoppers though. For the most part, I could forgive these flaws..its a young platform I thought...they have an aggressive release schedule...2.2 should be available for my phone some time this month...the applications that crash are just poorly written.

Then everything changed. On saturday I uninstalled an application that came pre-installed...something from Smartone (my carrier). I don't remember what it was, but it sorta broke my phone. I decided to factory reset the phone, then root it, then run a couple known fixes, and then delete loads of crap from it (pretty much anything that started with "Samsung" or "Smartone").

Guess what happened? My phone suddenly started to work perfectly. Those apps that I thought were buggy? Suddenly they worked perfectly. The performance of the interface? Consistently perfect. Google's own widgets never failing? Check.

That's when I got pissed. Sure, my phone was working great; but while I was willing to forgive Google for having technical issues with a young operating system, I was and am unwilling to forgive them for having a phone that sucks because of politics and poor judgement (by them or their partners). Carriers and manufacturers are interested in short term gains, regardless of the impact its having on their brand or Android's. For the vast majority of consumers, Android's openness means nothing more than open to crap.

A couple points of interest. First, the difference was pretty staggering. Especially for two separate Radio Streaming apps (GrooveShark and Last.fm). I stayed with 2.1 - I specifically wanted to keep the same version of Android to rule out the OS as the cause. I can't say whether it was the performance fixes, or removing the Samsung bloatware, of the Smartone bloatware (my phone actually came with a XXX Smartone app...which I have to pay for...how double lame), but Google should be pissed.

What's the point? Buy an iPhone

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