Leaving Android

I’ve left Android.

It’s been far too long, and my patience was worn far too thin.

You see, I love Android, but hardware ruins its potential in the iPhone-driven market.

I’m on the road a lot, so having a capable phone is far more than a necessity. For the past 2 years I have had to deal with a Samsung Captivate. I’ve been through 3 of them. The first replacement wasn’t my fault…the latter 2…the same can’t be said. I bricked them, but that’s beside the point. In the beginning, I knew there were issues, but I was still excited about the Android platform. After waiting far too long, Samsung finally delivered a bloated, slow, and ugly version of Gingerbread. This was the beginning of the end.

Samsung, along with AT&T, love to ruin Android’s native interface. Why they find this necessary I’ll never know. TouchWiz, Samsung’s Android skin, ruins the entire Android experience. Android is natively a nice experience. It looks clean, just like the image to the right. The apps are tucked away in the app drawer, and the important apps are available in the tray. You can customize the entire Android experience with widgets and you can put your apps on any of the 6 available home screens. This is, of course, doable with TouchWiz; it just looks like ass the entire time.

Then there was light. The CyanogenMod community added the Captivate to its list of supported devices. They promised a lot, and they delivered! The nightly releases were phenomenal, and could’ve been stable releases had anyone gotten lazy. I flashed my phone. It was awesome. It looked good, it was vanilla after all, and it was pretty quick. The iPhone was notably faster, but I didn’t care. I wanted the openness of the Android platform.

I’ve run CM7 since it was first available; I just flashed the first official nightly release of CM9 – it looks really nice!

I have no grief with Android, it’s a beautiful platform. I have grief with phone manufacturers. They constantly release phones with slow, bloated versions of Android on lackluster hardware. If just 1 manufacturer would release a vanilla version of Android on some decent hardware (dual core, 2 GB RAM kind of device), people would love it. I would love it. It would allow Android to shine and be a more serious iPhone competitor.

All of this said, I’ve gone iPhone for the time being. I’m waiting for that perfect Android phone. It may never happen, but I’m holding out.

So far, I’ve loved my iPhone experience. Apple has a significant advantage in the phone market. Being closed source allows for so much more control over everything. After all, their software is written for their hardware, and vice-versa. They have a seriously intense app submission process, which, after experiencing several shitty Android apps is a relief. The other, unfortunate thing, is that the best mobile apps come to the iPhone first. Android is an afterthought for many developers.  It’s a plus for me, but I’d love to see someone create a beautiful app for Android first, then iPhone when they’re ready. Like Instagram, but in reverse.

All of this said and done, I love Android. I love iOS. I just wish that Android was done more justice. It’s a great platform, and it deserves more from everyone.

For now, I’ve gone iPhone…but I don’t intend to stay here forever. I’ll be waiting for someone to treat Android right; not the afterthought that it’s become.