No more Windows phone... but Android really isn't so great, IMNSHO


#1

I’ve been on the various Windows mobile platforms since Windows CE, through 2003, Windows Mobile 5, 6 and 6.5, and most recently into the Windows 10 environment. I’ve been a big supporter/evangelist of the OS, particularly the current UI and the way my stuff syncs so well with my desktop and Surface tablet.

That said, my latest phone (BLU Win HD LTE) had been acting up, with LiveTiles not updating and Edge browser really mucking up many websites. I finally gave in and picked up an ASUS Zenphone 3 Max with Android 6.0.

On the plus side, the Zenphone is a nice piece of kit. It’s very snappy and the battery is killer. The display is gorgeous and the sound quality on calls is much better than the BLU. I’m happy with the hardware.

But I just don’t get why Android captured so much marketshare. The OS is – coming from Windows – a kludgey mess, and while I now have all the apps I could want, the interoperability just isn’t there. It took me two days (and several factory resets) to figure out how to get Outlook to work as the default email/calendar/contact app rather than Gmail, but I think I’ve finally got that sorted away.

My big outstanding issue right now (until something else rears up) is the lack of Bluetooth SMS to speech in my car. I have a 2013 Kia Rio SX, and with my Windows phones I simply paired the device and had full interface with texting through Bluetooth. Incoming texts were announced (text to speech) through the head unit, and I had the option to reply (speech to text) or call back. It was very handy, and I used it daily. Now, while the phone is paired for calls and music, I don’t seem to have the SMS to speech feature. I’ve read up on “Android Auto” but that seems to be only available in 2015 and newer vehicles.

This isn’t a deal-breaker, but it’s something I’d really like to have working again. Anyone here have a similar situation they’ve been able to get to work?


#2

The real reason Android captured market share was piracy. Google nearly actively promoted it in the early days, and Android grew pretty much solely on the fact that every game, every app, and every song that cost money on iPhone was downloadable free directly to Android. The app developers just saw it as a tiny add-on in revenue so they let the apps out, and couldn’t do much about it. iPhone required rooting and generally was purchased by people without a tech-piracy background, so the piracy didn’t get started so much. The walled garden hatred continues to this day even though they’re pretty much the same now in terms of features and usability. Actually piracy is pretty rampant today on Android, little bit less in North America maybe. All IMNSHO, too :). Actually I like Android better personally but wish the cameras could match the iPhone - they’re pretty far behind.


#3

I’m pretty sure the Android platform didn’t become popular just because of piracy. For one thing, most apps are free and most games where on the iPhone so good luck pirating something that doesn’t even run on your OS. I would say that Android grabbed the majority share because they were able to grab the lower end of the market with cheap phones and because they offered people choice and finally, once the platform matured they offered more innovation than Apple. Also you can get Android phones with fantastic cameras but you may have to pay Apple prices for them.


#4

[quote=“Scott123, post:2, topic:128434, full:true”]
The real reason Android captured market share was piracy. Google nearly actively promoted it in the early days, and Android grew pretty much solely on the fact that every game, every app, and every song that cost money on iPhone was downloadable free directly to Android.[/quote]
Ummm… you do comprehend that Android doesn’t run native iOS apps, yes? Every iOS app that’s available free on Android is so because the developer put in the effort to port it to Android and release it on the market. That’s, like, the exact opposite of piracy.


#5

Uh, yeah it was. It was the good old days (still is for many), the hype of the iPhone 3GS… app developers started releasing the same apps on Android. Google search of the app name and Android, first result was a link that downloaded the install file. Freaking wildfire…

Jeez guys just use Google. These took all of 11 seconds to find.

App developers are concerned that Google is being too lax in its regulation of the Android Market, where apps are made available for download to the millions of Android phones now in use – and allowing copyright infringements, as well as the risk of malware-laden apps, to flourish.


#6

There’s no question that it is easier to pirate apps on Android than iOS, but I don’t see a lot of evidence that this was the main driver for adoption. Even if most pirates are Android users, it doesn’t follow that most Android users are pirates. In fact, I suspect a large proportion only use their phone to access social media, maps, web browsing, YouTube, email, calls, and text. They have no use for pirated apps at all.

I think Canuck is right, Android captured market share simply because their phones were substantially cheaper.


#7

Ok but I think the present is a bit different than 2009-2012. In 2009 business people had blackberrys and a subset of 20-30 year olds had smart phones. Most went for iPhone the status symbol and tech oriented people had a choice: iPhone from the company you didn’t like, or a cheaper smartphone with unlimited games and music for free.

So I’m saying they were intertwined, at a minimum.


#8

Like almost anyone who’s ever used Windows Mobile, I of course feel the exact opposite. Windows is horrifically limited, and klunky, whereas Android is refined, elegant and far more useful. However if you’re all-in on the MS ecosystem, I suppose it works out.

That said, Android Auto is an app, You don’t need anything in the car. Hook it up to your bluetooth, launch the Android Auto app (you can have it launch automatically when it connects to your car bluetooth, as well) and you’re good to go.

When you receive a text it tells you that you’ve receivecd a message and presents a BIG button. Tap it and it’ll read the text aloud. Say “OK Google, reply to text” to reply, and dictate. It’ll read it back and ask if you want to send or re-dictate.

Even without Android Auto running, you can always send a text. Just say “OK Google, send text to so-and-so’s cell phone”, it’ll ask you what to say, and you can either send or re-dictate if it misundertood.

You can say OK Google while driving and ask it anything. Be it directions, the nearest gas/coffee/diner, or a random fact that the kids are harassing you about from the back seat.


#9

The ASUS phone comes with a ton of shovelware/bloatware if I recall. It’s best to use Action Launcher/Nova Launcher Prime–it’s what I use to standardize my multiple Android phones. As someone who insisted on buying all mobile OSes (except BB) to keep abreast of the offerings (I kept buying Lumias until the 930 even) I’ve now settled on a OnePlus 3 and iPhone 6S Plus.


#10

Android took off for the same reason Windows did - manufacturers are free to do whatever the fuck they want to it to try to squeeze out profits from customers, without restrictions, of any kind, and they can sell enormously cheap devices at mass market.

That said, it was a quick boom but few other than samsung have ever been profitable because of it.


#11

Bingo.


#12

Outlook is incredibly terrible compared to Gmail. You may want to give Gmail a shot.[quote=“magnet, post:6, topic:128434”]
I think Canuck is right, Android captured market share simply because their phones were substantially cheaper.
[/quote]

It was also a much more customizable interface, and evolved way faster.

While piracy certainly existed, the idea that it drove Android’s success is silly at best. Literally no one i ever knew with an Android phone bought it because of pirated apps. Literally zero people.


#13

I originally bought into the Android ecosystem because they had phones with a fucking physical keyboard and Apple wanted me flailing around on a godawful touch keyboard. (Also Sprint was the only company that offered me a decent deal despite my lack of credit score, and they didn’t have iPhone at the time.) Now the market’s unaccountably trended against physical keyboards even on good Android phones but I stay because Google’s apps are better than Apple’s, I have a lot more control over my phone (down to being able to install modified versions of the OS), and I can just hook my phone to my PC with a standard USB cable and mount it directly instead of having to use iTunes as a go-between. Oh, and my phone still has a fucking headphone jack. WTF, Apple.

I never even considered a Windows phone because I hate Windows on desktop and use it only incredibly grudgingly because it’s where the games are. But even if I thought it were a superior OS, my experience with the Palm Pre (which I still think was a better phone than Android devices of the time) taught me never to buy a smartphone that isn’t widely supported by app developers. And while Android may not have quite the same level of game support as iOS, it has plenty of utility apps and I have zero desire to game on my phone ever, at all. So it works out.


#14

I remember when an Android developer of a popular podcast app (might have been Doggcatcher) discovered most of his users had pirated the app. So he switched from paid to ad-based. Then he discovered most of his users were blocking ads. So he introduced code to stop the app from running if you’re blocking ads. His app went from five stars to one in just a few days, with most reviews along the ilk of “App won’t run anymore because I’m blocking ads! WTF?? Not cool, developer!! One star!!!”.

It was such a sad thing to see. I wanted to give that app developer a hug.


#15

Back in the day Adobe didn’t mind Photoshop piracy. It’s market share. Let them pirate it rather than spending far less on an alternative program with nearly the same feature set. You know that Autodesk (engineering CAD software) doesn’t mind piracy either… college students pirate it to use / learn at home. This way they don’t go into business with a bunch of sketchup skills. It’s all about market share, and my point was about market share, and there’s a history of companies supporting it or allowing it as a market share strategy. Google was almost at the line of actively promoting piracy - like I mentioned above I specifically remember that you could google search a paid App and the first result was the install file. Piracy DROVE android. When app developers didn’t get support from Google in combating piracy, it in turn drove the freemium model of apps and games which I still hate.


#16

I tend to disagree. Windows phone tried to follow roughly the same model and didn’t go anywhere. Linux is a better example for your point (manufacturers can do whatever they want with it)… and its never taken off. And you sort of disprove your own point when you admit it hasn’t been profitable.


#17

I still don’t buy your argument. You don’t Google search for an Android app until you own an Android phone, and at that point the decision has already been made.

And when Android was gaining market share, it was doing so at the expense of iOS and other operating systems. An iOS user who does a Google search for their favorite app usually finds that it doesn’t even exist on Android.

And lack of Android apps was even worse when Android lacked market share. At that time, people bought their phones in the Verizon or AT&T store. They looked at the screens, snapped some photos, compared the prices, and made their decisions. They certainly didn’t have the ability to install apps.


#18

I chose Android for Gmail, Chrome and because I haven’t entered Apple’s walled garden yet, and I have no plan to either. It had nothing to do with Piracy. I wanted a smartphone I control, not the other way around. Also price… which I suspect was the driving factor behind most my family members’ choices.


#19

Do you honestly not realize how crazy you sound? You are actually suggesting that Google was artificially promoting search results for pirated apps.

Yeah yeah, I get it, this is your pizza child prostitution ring theory and you’re not going to let it go.


#20

I didn’t say actual support, I said top result. Anyways, when it comes to software piracy, there’s no point in trying to have a discussion, ten million flaming internet posts didn’t get anywhere over the years. Here’s another ball from left field - personally I think piracy has hurt PC Game sales over the years! Crazy I know. But yeah I can drop it too.