We get a lot of hate mail from Android users, despite my attempts at keeping things on an even keel around here. Sure, I tout the iPhone in a much more pleasant light than Android phones, but I have a reason for this. I think it’s time for me to explain myself a little bit.
I get the geek crowd, heck I’m one of you. I tinker with my hardware, hack my iPhone, install Ubuntu on my MBP, tinker with my consumer electronics, and try out more application hacks than I care to admit. People who know me well know that I can waste away an entire week futzing with some form of geeky entertainment.
But, in my opinion, there’s a time for that, and there’s a time for me to actually get some things done without having to worry about permission changes on my phone. I battle permissions in CentOS more than I’d like, and having to do it on a device that lets me make phone calls is more than I’m willing to concede to a phone. I can manage it, if I had to, but what I don’t expect is the rest of my extended family to know how to manage it. My parents, siblings, grandparents, and the rest of the family probably couldn’t tell you what the heck a permission update means, let alone why they should have to do one.
In my opinion, technology should librate people, not enslave them in a world that they aren’t comfortable with. It sounds Jobsian, and I can almost hear the Android fans out there rolling their eyes, but it’s true. The Android, and the iPhone currently meet the needs of two very different markets — hardcore geeks who don’t mind the tinkering, and the rest of the world.
There’s a ton of features on the Android that I wish I had access to on my iPhone, and there’s no doubt that Android will continue to develop over time, but right now, I just want a phone that pretty much manages itself, so I can enjoy it, without having to worry about if I need to update permissions on my phone.
You may not agree, but it’s where I stand.
Think of it like this, you’re about to buy a smartphone for your grandmother, which are you going to choose: An Android device or an iPhone?
PS. If you’re looking for an indepth Android review, this Arstechnica review pretty much covers it all.