5 Things I Hate About Android

For everything Android does right, there are some things the platform can’t get right to save it’s life.

I’ve been an Android user for years, and I still carry an Android device with me almost every day. After spending 6 months using both an iPhone and an Android smartphone I’ve settled on 5 things I can’t stand about Android phones.

(Read: 5 Things I Hate about the iPhone)

Android smartphones offer a wide range of hardware, prices and user experiences, which make them popular with a number of users, but this also hurts the platform in a few key areas. For background I’ve used almost every Android phone available on Verizon and currently own the Galaxy Nexus.

Android Apps

Hulu Plus AndroidAndroid apps rarely measure up to their iPhone counterparts. When some Android apps do compete with the iPhone versions, they’re often launched months after the iOS original.

For example, I’m still waiting for Instagram to arrive on Android so I can make my photos look bad on purpose. Instagram’s Android app is almost here, so I shouldn’t be too upset right?

Sadly, even when apps arrive on Android there’s a catch or a gotcha. When Temple Run for Android arrived it didn’t bring support for the Droid Bionic and the Droid RAZR, something that has been fixed, but not for all phones. Thankfully I can play it on my Galaxy Nexus, but with Android apps you can never be sure.

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Take Hulu Plus for example. Hulu Plus just released support for seven Android tablets. About time Hulu. But, back to Android phones. I have the Galaxy Nexus, a flagship Android phone with a beautiful screen begging to be used to watch The Daily Show, but Hulu still doesn’t officially support my phone. Hulu offered an app that worked on the Galaxy Nexus when it launched, but pulled it because someone isn’t paying them enough money.

I’m a geek, so I can find a version that works, but I shouldn’t have to, and there’s no way my friends and family are going to go out and do that. They just get frustrated.

For apps that I can use, the user interface and quality is rarely as good as on the iPhone. There are tons of Twitter clients for Android, but there none of them stand out in the way that Tweetbot does.

When it comes down to it, I buy and try more duds on Android than I do on the iPhone, which may be why so many Android users are fans of free apps instead of paid ones.

Android Cameras

I hope you like the look of disappointment on your face. That’s what you’ll get if you take your photo with most Android phone cameras.

Motorola’s line of cameras are dissapointing, and even the fast shutter speed of the Galaxy Nexus is ruined by the time it takes to launch the camera app and the resulting image quality.

There’s hope in the HTC One X and One Series, but the current crop of Android phones have trouble hanging with the iPhone when it comes to capturing life.

Video Playback

If you’ve ever tried to play an embedded video on an Android device you know this frustration. First you need to hit the video in the right spot to start playing, then you need to zoom just right or tap just right sop that it is almost full screen. Good luck pausing the video.

On the iPhone, when you want to watch a video embedded in a post it goes full screen and plays with a standard set of controls that make it easy to pause and change volume.

I’m still not sure why Android can’t offer a similar functionality, or at least the option to make this happen.

Lack of Accessories

Android phones aren’t devoid of accessories, but there is nowhere near as many as are available for the iPhone.

Honestly I just want a car dock with line out for my Android phone, but many users would appreciate a better selection of cases for Android phones.

Even when we see cool Android phone accessories, like the Galaxy Nexus car dock with 3-pin support, it never arrives for sale in the U.S.

Why don’t we have more Android accessories? Android phones come in all shapes and sizes, so it is costly to support a phone with custom fitting cases.

Couple that with the fact that a new phone comes out every few weeks instead of every year, including some that are immediately overshadowed by a new phone from the same company, and you have significant barriers to making great Android accessories.

Slow Updates and Bug Fixes

icsGoogle releases a new version of Android every year, about as often as Apple. But, Apple devices are more likely to get a current version of iOS at a speedy pace than Android devices.

We’re still waiting for news on when most Android phones will get Android 4.0 and learning every week that more phones won’t get access to Ice Cream Sandwich.

Even bug fixes, which phones need fast, can take forever. Droid Bionic owners waited months for a bug fix. Galaxy nexus owners are still waiting for a bug fix and minor update.

Carriers are partially to blame for these slow updates, but Google and manufacturers can’t keep pushing the blame. Android users shouldn’t have to turn to third parties for leaked updates and fixes.

While most of my iPhone complaints are tied to software, Android issues are a mix of hardware and software problems. Hopefully Google can fix these software issues and provide hardware guidance to Android manufacturers, specifically about how to make better cameras.

What do you hate about Android?

Comments

  1. Tone says

    Well, according to the reviews, the HTC One X is slaying the iphone in terms of photo and video.

  2. Josh says

    Original Droid Incredible.  Beats all iPhone cameras hands down.  And there have been a slew of cameras since then.

    • kecker says

       Wow, thanks for that substantive post.  Personally, while I disagree with a couple, I think they’re all perfectly valid complaints about Android, even the ones I disagree with.

  3. Myles Monkey says

    IPhone users get version updates because nothing changes… apple just added new apps rather then core phone is changes. Apple also fragments the is so that all the phones can be on the same is but that doesn’t mean they shareall the features…

  4. warpv5 says

    Sigh. Most of this is not recognizing the fact of life and business. How many models of Iphone and Ipads there are and how many different models of android phones? Of course the accessories and even the applications are all going to cater to the largest market share that is accessible with the least effort. BTW, did you count Hulu + on the Touchpad w/Cyanogen7? Works great. 

  5. Madeline Elliott says

    Seeing as there are loads of phones that are run by Android and only a few that iOS runs on, App compatibility for ALL phones is gonna be a challenge for Android.

  6. Kassim says

    the article really dont make sense, apple provide instant support just because  only phone is release every year and iOS is there proprietary it means no can have hands On it, where as android is open source which open huge opportunity for the companies to provide best of the hardware and customization level is very high compared to IOS, if u go to see UI varies from samsung to HTC to ASUS to Motorola, u get a different experience in same version android OS, and its obvious evry good thing has a dark side, if google release the next version of OS, it will take time for manufacturers to customize the OS and release their version, IOS providing support to only 1 phone at a time, whereas groogle provide support to wide array of phone and hardware

  7. what THe heck says

    ^ this author is dumb…He compared apple to oranges…There are way better cameras on specific models that are running android…Video? what? actually Samsung hold the records for fps playing video…also HTC holds the hgihest megapixil…I think this guy is paid by apple or doesnt know anythign about phones….loser

  8. Benhall847 says

    I really didnt like this article, I disagreed with almost all of it, I have GREAT apps that let me do souch more than the iphone can around their os, I LOVE the camera! granted some android versions come with bad software for it, but throw cm7 or cm9 on there and you have a GREAT camera with more features and quality than the iphone has, controls over iso, white balance, color controls etc really make a huge difference on the quality of photos you can produce daytime or night. Nd I have no idea what you were talking about its hard to playback video and pause it? XD seriously? You just hit the pause button.
    Ps: notice all android phones are different so dont complain if an app doesnt work for 2 or 3 phones out of hundreds. If you want to be protect by boundaries of no variety of phone, no major possible changes and a closed market etc then get an iphone, we have an open market growing mucj faster than the iphones market so yes some crappy apps will show up but new developers gotta start somewhere yeah?

  9. Android says

    Man these type of article’s really crap my butt,  4 of the 5 items aren’t even Android.  I have the Galaxy Nexus since January and I have had 4.0 4.0.1 4.0.2 4.0.3 and not I am on 4.0.4 so 4 updates in as many months so I don’t know what you would call timely updates.  The only problem I have with my phone is that Samsung (it’s the company that makes the hardware not the OS) totally dropped the ball on accessories.

    • Josh Smith says

      Are you on the International version? Or are you installing the updates yourself. I’ve installed the leaked versions, but the average user is not going to go through this trouble to fix their phone.

  10. James says

    I have never used iPhone, but have used old windows, new windows, nokia n series, blackberry (all versions for t-mobile usa since the last balck and white monochrome screen), and can honestly say I have to agree with many aspects here except camera. Today there are a few Android phones that can compete camera wise with even a point and shoot camera.
    Having tried and used several android phones (all top-of-the-line at the time) I can agree with a lot said here. I hate getting a new android phone, then waiting for my favorite app to be availible for it (especially when I paid for that app/apps). Updates are by no means garateed and often bypass older (as in one year or less) models making them practically worthless as new apps become availble only for updated software versions. And yes, too get the best accessories, you need iPhone, because iphone stays the same. I mean, there are cars built with docks for iphone that otther phones just do not fit into correctly, not to mention tons of raid players, alarms etc, that the iphone slips perfectly into.

  11. ArrowSmith says

    I wonder if anything can ever catch up to the iPhone ecosystem in terms of apps & accessories.

  12. Kollin Spenrath says

    My evo has Vignette and it takes awesome pictures, however the video camera and the recording sound quality with the video and voice recorder is crap. The apps can be amazing but 9 out of 10 times the update ruins the app permanently. Calling updates on the Android slow would be an understatement. And like you said it takes months to years to get an Android version of an app (eg Netflix). I absolutely love all the customization features I can do to my phone, being able to save attachments from the email, loud speakers, big screen, widgets, and even rearranging my apps on the homescreen the way I want. If only my phone weren’t an iPhone.

  13. snu3 says

    thanks Josh.

    +1 the lack of accessories – it makes me sad. i’m hoping the manufacturers will standardise the plug/cable for data/recharge, and that someone starts building speakers &c with adjustable dock size and a flexible cable for the standard plug.

    +1 android apps – often imperfect. i wish there was ONE reliable app to synchronise docs/ photos/ music & album covers & playlists/ downloads etc, AND backup my settings/ contacts/ SMS history/ call history/internet favorites etc, between android phone and Win7 computers, using Wi-Fi.

    i’m content with my camera performance, video playback, and OS updates (HTC Incredible S S710e, Android 2.3.5).

  14. James says

    I hate the fact that my html newsletter that’s set in a table which displays perfectly on iPhone (the Apple email client effortlessly scaling it so it looks exactly as it does on the desktop), looks awful on Android. Android insists on only showing a third of it, so a reader has to scroll from right to left to read it. It just display a lack of common sense by whoever managed the coding decisions.

  15. Adrian says

    Everyone has to remember the title of this is “5 things I hate about Android”, I don’t respect his opinions because most of them are just speculation rather then being even some what factual.

    But the thing to remember is that he very specifically chose the word “hate” which is usually used in context with an opinion that has no legitimacy.

    Such as racists, I don’t agree with their opinions of “hating” other racial minorities.

    They have no rhyme or reason but that doesn’t stop them from forming they’re opinion.

    But this is very typical for an Apple fanboy.

  16. Roseanne says

    Android and iPhone are both great phones but I personally like the iPhone better. App market for google isn’t so great. So many third party apps out there that could lead to a virus. Anybody can do it. I like the tradition of Steve jobs how he keeps everything innovative. They literally go through every app and it takes weeks to approve before it goes out on itunes store. This shows how much quality they have in it. You go to google market and get so much crap that pops up. Not to mention, there are so many incompatible apps out there especially for all those android phones with different screen sizes. I’m an app developer myself and porting to the android is not fun at all. Don’t get me started on those annoying pop up ads on android apps as well. Anywhere, there are tons more differences but this was just on my mind. Thanks :)

  17. Marissa says

    If none of you noticed, said author also published a “5 Things I Hate About iPhone” article. That being said, I’ve gone from BlackBerry to Android to iPhone (currently with iPhone) and there are things I like AND dislike about all three (platform OS and hardware). However, when it comes to ease of use, fluidity and user experience, I prefer iPhone/iOS to Android.

  18. Kora says

    This is awful! Every fact here is updated even old mcdonald has better knowledge about newer android and other phone types.

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