Everyone reading this site likely knows I’m an iOS guy, but I’ve been spending the last week with Android 100% of the time. I have a Moto G4, which is a near stock Android phone with respectable specs and is running Android Marshmallow. Here are some of the little things I’ve noticed over the past week that make Android distinct from iOS in both good and bad ways.
It seems like I do this every year like clockwork. The weather starts to get colder, we start buying presents for each other, and I start using Android again. Last year it was the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge and before that was the HTC One M8 and Moto X, and before that it was the original Galaxy phone, the T-Mobile Vibrant.
Oftentimes we get stuck in the past with preconceived notions of how the world works. For many years we lived in the world where it was safe to say that all Android phones had inferior cameras to the iPhone. M.G. Siegler made this popular quip the day Intagram launched for Android.
This feels to me like Google is demoting Nexus owners to a lower level of Android fans. The entire reason people bought Nexus phones was so that they could stay up to date with the canonical version of Android. They wanted to get the best version of the operating system they love, straight from Google, and for years that’s what they got.
These are things that are not givens in the world of Android, as the vast majority of people are running a version of Android that is customized by the phone manufacturer. Samsung, HTC, and LG, are some of bigger players in the market and they all ship a version of Android that is tweaked both from a functionality and a visual perspective. Because of these, it’s a whole production every time a new version of Android comes out; it’s not a matter of just shipping the new Android version to customers, you have to devote developer time to rebuild their custom software on top of the new version of Android. This is tough, and rarely happens, so many phones hit the market with one version of Android and never get upgraded to even the next release.