Top 10 things I hate about Android

I admire Apple, and love their story. They are a wildly successful, highly innovative company, founded by one of America’s great visionaries, Steve Jobs. Apple’s story encompasses birth to boom to near-death to re-birth to conquering the world. Yet their best days lie ahead.

I believe that mobile computing is the central computing paradigm for this generation and Apple, simply put, makes the best; the best smartphone, the best tablet, the best laptop. I believe they will be valued at well over $1 trillion before this decade is out.

But, I do not love Apple. I am not swayed by their marketing or history or their coolness factor. I simply admire them. Android, however, I hate. At least, as much as any person can hate a smartphone platform.

Android just isn’t that good. Worse, it’s just not that good when the potential to be good is easily within reach. Whereas iOS, Apple’s operating system, is a thing of beauty, I view Android as a copy of a copy, one whose primary purpose is to capture more of my digital footprint.

This is not an emotional view. It is fully rational. Here are my ten reasons for admiring Apple iPhone and hating Google Android:

1. It just works

iOS is more functional and more intuitive – by far. It works seamlessly across all my iOS devices, including my old iPhone 4 and my second-gen iPad, and integrates well with my four-year-old MacBook. iTunes is easier to navigate and use than Google Play, payments are a snap, finding the right music and video works simply and efficiently. I’ve even found that oftentimes the exact same app works better on iPhone than Android. This is not by chance. Everything about iOS is simpler than Android. Simple is always better. If you are harder, more complex, difficult, than you better offer some valid reason for this. Android does not.

2. Support

The majority of Android users are using an outdated version of the OS. This is anti-user nonsense. As an iPhone user, I do not have to rely on Samsung or HTC or Verizon or Google for my updates. Apple makes sure I get every single update, without fail.

If there is a problem with my device, I go straight to Apple. There is no confusion, no uncertainty, no multiple points of culpability.

Every app I purchase, every movie I rent or song I buy I do so through Apple’s iTunes. I do not ever concern myself about carrier billing versus Google Checkout, for example. Better, simpler, and with a single point of contact for support.

3. Security

To the best of my knowledge, I have never had my identity stolen via my Android phone. I have never been the victim of malware nor has any Android device I’ve used been hit with a virus. But, facts are facts. Android is more vulnerable to malware and viruses and other security threats than iPhone. This is well documented. I would simply rather not take the chance.

4. Original and Best

I never understand why Android users deny this. Obviously, Android is a copy of iPhone. Android started as a copy of Blackberry. When iPhone revealed the future of mobile communications, Android switched paths. Smart move. But, let’s not deny it. The problem, of course, is that the entire Android experience strikes me as a rather pale copy of iOS. Full touchscreen, swiping, slide to unlock, square app icons, an app store – all taken directly from Apple, but not as well. It’s no wonder Apple was forced to launch patent and copyright infringement suits against so many Android makers. I want to support innovation, not copying.

5. Quality

I have no illusions that low-end Android devices are made of cheap hardware, out of necessity. The problem is that even high-end Android devices feel cheap to me. The Samsung Galaxy, for example, feels like cheap plastic. Why is this? Nokia devices are solid. Blackberry makes quality devices. It’s not just Apple that shines here. Android, however, seems not to care about quality – at least on the outside. This always makes me think they don’t care about quality on the inside. I don’t have enough money to buy devices of suspect quality.

6. Commitment

Is Google committed to Android? Probably, but how can I be sure? The fact is, Google makes more money from iOS than their own Android. Google is even working with their Motorola division on an “xPhone”. Will this be Android or not? What about HTC? Sony? LG? They adopted Android but can’t seem to make any real money off the platform. I would not be surprised if they all transition over to Windows Phone. Samsung rules the Android landscape. Yet they continue to fund alternatives to Android. This gives me pause. I am confident that Apple is 100% committed to iOS. More than this, however, I am confident that Apple will improve its product every single year. They have a multi-decade history of continuous improvement: each year the same device becomes more powerful, faster, lighter,  and/or longer-lasting at the same (or lower) price point. I simply can’t yet trust that the maker of my Android product will do the same, year after year after year, especially with such a suspect business model.

7. Google

Google already has too much of our personal data. I am hesitant to adopt their smartphone platform, handing over to them my real-time location, a history of all my purchases, everyone of my personal contacts, and so much more. Google makes its money off me by capturing, recording and selling my personal data. Frankly, I would rather keep them at bay.

8. Offensive Marketing

Despite all the money they spend on marketing – far more than Apple – Android makers seem to do everything they can to not talk about their actual product. This always bothers me. Notice ads for the iPhone. Nearly every single one has focused exclusively on what the device can do. Not so with Android. Almost never, in fact. Their big budget ads mock Apple users, or feature women in leather, or have lasers or ninjas. Cute, but I want to buy a mobile personal computer.  Tell me why I should buy yours. If you can’t, end of discussion.

9. Cluttered

I like the idea of multiple app stores. I like the idea of widgets. I like the idea of altering settings from the home screen and/or within the app. These aren’t possible (or practical) with iPhone. But with Android, the idea fails in execution. The Android interface is cluttered and ugly.  There are numerous studies that reveal that iPhone users use their device far more than their Android counterparts. I suspect it’s because Android is, frankly, cluttered and less intuitive.

10. Conspiracy

Apple is like the American cowboy – ready and able to go it alone. Don’t like them? Fine, don’t buy their product. They aren’t offering something free at the start – like Google – then trying to make money off me while I’m not looking. It’s a straightforward transaction. The entire Android ecosystem, however, unnerves me. Google seems more than willing to abandon long-standing principals, such as net neutrality, if carriers work with them. They control the “open handset alliance” yet seem ready to pick one – and only one – handset company to get the first new release. How does this work, exactly? Backroom deals? Despite claims of “open”, Google bought Motorola, one of the largest (closed) handset makers in the world.

That’s not the only concerning aspect of Android. Smartphones and smartphone apps (from all platforms) can access our private data. Google seems to have no qualms, however, over spending big bucks to lobby the government so they can go unchecked. It’s their business model, after all. All of this bothers me. I do not believe Google is on my side.

Life is too short to hate

These are my reasons for choosing iPhone over Android. Don’t agree with them, fine. You have a choice. Perhaps choice is something I should embrace. Maybe hate is too strong a word for how I feel about Android. Without Android, there would probably not be anywhere near a billion or more people around the world using smartphones. The more people we connect across the planet, the better, I think. If there was only iPhone, for example, and those lesser platforms, such as Windows Phone and Blackberry, this innovative, rapidly iterating multi-trillion-dollar market might be of far less consequence to our lives. Probably, the investments in apps and services – like mapping and Twitter and Instagram – might never have fully taken root. There would certainly not be as many games, possibly no Angry Birds. Just as importantly, if not for Android, I am not sure the newest iPhone would be as thin and light and powerful. It cannot be denied that Android, Google and Samsung, in particular, have spurred Apple to greater heights. Nonetheless, after considering all the evidence, I simply don’t like Android nor can I recommend the platform because there are better options available.

Editor’s Note: This is an opinion piece. In the interest of promoting openness and to help expose unnecessary biases by our contributors, before publishing this post we asked Brian to write a follow-up post, entitled “Top 10 things I hate about iPhone”.  That is scheduled to run next week.

Author: Brian S Hall

Brian S Hall writes about technology, immortality and food for ReadWrite, Techpinions, Unwired View and other publications. His thoughts on the 'smartphone wars' and how these are rapidly de-constructing markets, industries, business models and relationships around the world can be found on his personal site at www.brianshall.com.

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  • http://profiles.google.com/sahilsandhir Sahil Sandhir

    I agree with pretty much everything you said but android is moving at fast pace. iOS needs a major change.
    FYI I own a iPhone, galaxy note 2 and a Nokia limit 920 so I know what I am talking abt. Lol

  • undisclosed desire

    Nice try fanboy. Never read so much crap in an article in some time. Nice job! Enjoy your closed-sourced, non micro-usb, iPatentTroll controlled market iCrap. I’ll stick with my fully customizable android device.

  • http://AndroidAuthority.com/ Bogdan Petrovan

    If you do not know Android, maybe you shouldn’t write about it.

  • http://vlad.im/ Vlad Bobleanta

    I think it’s simply wonderful that you finally decided to come out.

  • Vipul Jain

    Two things i hate about unwired..
    1. Ignorant writers
    2. Approving the articles by these writers.

  • TGMzero

    Definitely an opinion piece.

    I wonder though… Have you really spent any time using an Android phone?

    Asking this, you could easily say you have and none of us would know for sure.

    You make note that one reason you hate Android is because of malate, yet you have stated that you’ve never experienced any. So why hate it? Based solely on what others have stated? That’s ridiculous.

    App store navigation. How is it easier to use than the play store? Can’t you simply type in what you want and results appear? Again you state reasons but no facts.

    Also, some of your other reasons come down to OEMs and their own decisions. So why not write an article entitled why you hate Android OEMs and what they do with Android? Google makes a device that is their own through collaboration with OEMs and these devices are usually free of many of your so called issues.

    I’m all for opinions, but you had no real facts to back them up.

  • http://www.facebook.com/markmarcelo Mark Marcelo

    He has a point although really biased and he obviously love Apple. I am an iOS user myself. This year I switched from Android to iOS. I gave up my Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 and Samsung Galaxy S3 for an Apple iPad4 and iPhone 5. To tell you honestly, I’m loving it. Now I know why there are Apple fanboys. Don’t get me wrong but I love Android especially Android 4.1 Jellybean. It was great. But I like iOS more with its simple interface.

    Everything may change next year. I have been monitoring Microsoft’s good performance on Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. They have been aggressively expanding their apps in Windows Store. I saw a friend’s Nokia Lumia 920 and I was impressed by the OS and UI. Maybe in 2014 I will switch to Windows Phone 8 and that will be for good. I’m just waiting for apps like Instagram to be available there and then I will switch. BlackBerry 10 is great but I still prefer Windows Phone 8.

  • Nahov

    Samsung Galaxy? What phone is it? I’ve never heard of that. You don’t even know what are you talking about. Please stop writing. It is simply not for you.

  • András Oláh

    If you want to read a valid and well-written critique of Android, read this article: http://www.androidpolice.com/2013/02/04/stock-android-isnt-perfect-jelly-bean-4-2-edition/ This should be the minimum quality standard…

  • http://www.brianshall.com/ Brian S Hall

    The Samsung Galaxy line is probably the most popular brand of smartphones after iPhone.

  • http://www.brianshall.com/ Brian S Hall

    I think you’ve helped me make my case. You say I shouldn’t blame “Android” for what “Android OEMs” are doing. But that’s who is selling me that “Android” device!

  • http://www.brianshall.com/ Brian S Hall

    I don’t think Android is moving at a fast pace. Not at all. That’s why **most** Android users are on a very old version of the OS! But, I do think Google is moving at a very fast pace. That’s why their email and search and voice search and maps are so great (on Android and iPhone).

  • TGMzero

    Or you could buy a Nexus device right?

    I’m not looking to argue since this is simply your own opinion, but back it up with facts.

    Some of your points did that, others didnt.

    Take the one regarding Malware. You said it never effected you, yet its a failing on Androids part. So if iOS on my ipad becomes a problem, do I write it off and all iOS devices?

    Any mobile computing device is susceptible to malware if used incorrectly.

    And the point about Google having your information. I mean really…c’mon. The folks at Google didnt come to your house with a gun demanding the information. You gave it up willingly when you agreed to their terms and conditions.

    And why are you worried if they have it? I’d be more worried about the mailman who delivers my mail which might include my SSN and what not than some huge corporation that has to juggle millions of accounts. The chances of someone rooting through your mail and garbage and harming you finacially is greater than it happening through your GMail account.

    Again, this doesnt make sense in some areas. I do agree with the build quality statement, but thats subjective. I liked the larger screen of the iPhone 5, but disliked the decrease in weight since the device no longer felt substanial.

    To each their own though. A better title for the article wouldve been ‘What I Hate About Android OEMs’ since the majority of your gripes have to do with them and not Google.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sivasagaru Siva Sagar Ghajini

    Well this is of course your opinion towards it.. As you were already told, you should rather blame theI OEMs instead of the Android.. Google bought the Android and has left it to the world of open source.. He world where anyone can do anything with it.. I feel the iOS as a compacted room where I’m being kept and the Android is the jungle that I can choose what to do..
    Most of what you said, I felt like you are hating the Android more than you love the iOS.. It’s again true that the Android has adopted few things from Apple so does the Apple.. idevices are great devices but are not just for everyone.. And by the way, android is giving jobs to thousands of ppl.. There are companies that are solely depend on Android OS..
    Lagging, Malware n all are everywhere so things can get better..
    One thing that both the android and ios lack is the multitasking.. It’s never easy in any of them.. None of the devices in the world are any close to palm webos multitasking..

  • Knio

    Oh my god. What a piece of absolute rubbish this article is. Except point 7, with which I agree wholeheartedly, I think you are the typical ignorant Fanboy.
    The only things going for Apple is their Design (which I must admit is miles ahead of anyone out there) and their audio / sound hardware. Every other point you make is such utter garbage that I felt nauseated, and this is coming from a long term Iphone user.
    1.) “Simple” depends on which you have used first. For instance, if you have used a Samsung phone, you would hate the Iphone not having a back button or a simple way to actually exit an app without it running in the background eating up resources.
    2.) Would you rather have an outdated app that works perfectly, until a real update comes along that makes some difference, or be bombarded with update requests every two days with no tangible difference on either side?
    3.)When an iPhone is Jailbroken, it is as good as a box of malware. So the reason iOS has higher security is because it is a completely closed system. That’s like saying being a solitary prisoner in jail is better than being out on the road because there is a chance that you will die while crossing the road.
    4.) Really? Microsoft came up with the touchscreen tablet at least 6 years before Apple. Mitsubishi came up with Multi touch in 2001. Apple and Microsoft started using multitouch in 2007. Apple has in fact done nothing innovative in hardware or software. All it did, was make the design appealing. But I have already given design points to Apple.
    5.) The processor that Apple uses comes from Samsung. The casing that iPhone uses comes from Foxconn. The Oled displays are all innovations by Epistar, Samsung and other Asian companies. Apple merely buys it from them. Yes, Apple is a Samsung customer. It is typical of apple fanboys to assume that Apple is of better quality because they have a 30% higher profit margin than any other company out there (because they can charge idiots that much).
    6.) My god, this point is so stupid it makes me lose faith in the human race. How is funding alternatives bad exactly? Innovation can come from anywhere. It comes from opening up borders, freeing people from a boxed thinking. Apple boxes people. You have to work within the boundaries of the closed iOS system. The only way you can preserve your edge is by hiring lawyers to sue everyone else to stop them from innovating.
    7.) This point is very valid, Google’s personal data collection scares me sometimes. Of late though, Facebook seems to have taken over the lead in this aspect
    8.) Have you even seen any of the Samsung / Motorola ads? The only thing iPhone advertised was Siri in its 4 series.
    9.) I don’t know what ‘studies’ you are talking about. Cluttered and unintuitive? Perhaps that could be partly a design thing, which Apple is batter at than any android based maker, but partly also the absolute morons who can’t pass a 4th grade exam who find it hard to understand basic stuff.
    10.) I think you saved your most moronic point for the last, quite fittingly, leaving the reader no doubt about your utter ignorance about anything related to technology. Basically, you don’t like free stuff, you only like it if you can overpay for it. You talk as if Google gives Samsung 3rd rate Android software, keeping the best for Motorola. It is alright for Apple to not allow any other interface to link with their products unless it is made by them, but it isn’t okay for an open source provider who gives their software free to buy a hardware company without limiting access to their software. You crib because Google makes money behind your back. You would rather pay yourself than let the advertising companies pay for you to enjoy the product for free.

    I still use Apple because for me the sound and audio are very important. But please don’t spew your ignorance around – you’ll only look even more like a fool.

  • http://www.brianshall.com/ Brian S Hall

    I find it interesting how many people are prepared to blame OEMs for Android and not Google.

  • http://www.teqno-logical.com/ Teqno-Logical

    Um, sorry, but have you really used Android? If yes, which version, on which phone and for how long? I think almost all these points are kind of too general, and each Android user will disagree with you…

  • http://www.newlaunches.com Dhiram

    Because the OEM’s are the one who layer the OS with their own so called improvements. Ask any user feedback on the Nexus 3 or the 4 and you will know.

  • Jandreausmith

    I have totally admired the feature of making of Apple but I dont Like it Android.

    http://www.prlog.org/12068683-ashford-coupon-code-grab-2013s-exciting-40-off.html

  • MIG

    I confirm that some manufacturer are destroying the Android OS with their “special” adjustments.

    For that reason the only real Android is the Nexus line by Google. If you are overwhelmed with the freedom this OS is offering . . . don´t use it.

  • Speedbit

    jejejejeeee… you could even understand the sarcasm of the comment! “Samsung Galaxy”? Yes sure… may be it’s offered by all the stores in your neighborhood…
    As Nahov says… you don´t even know what are you talking about!
    BTW, as far as I know, the only market worldwide, where Samsung Galaxy series is “the most popular brand of smartphones after iPhone” is in the US…
    Nobody can say it´s a “minor” market, but SURELLY it can´t change the global trend led by Samsung.
    Keep dreaming =)

  • http://profiles.google.com/lastone1968 LA Stone

    iOS and iPhone are like having a regular feature phone. You can’t really do much with it. That’s why it’s so ridiculous to say that iOS is simpler to use than Android. If that’s true then maybe it’s because iOS really can’t do much of anything. If all you need to do is post to social networks, then you might as well have an iPhone. But if you need a phone to help you to be productive, then you need an Android phone. As a creative professional, I think the Galaxy Note 2 should be a requirement. LOL I sit down with my iPhone loving buddies and start hashing out ideas. They talk about stuff, I break out my Note and start creating stuff. I’m taking notes, drawing images, with full color and layers. I can draw, write in my own handwriting, captured images, photos, record audio and mix all of that together into a single document if you will. Sort of like Microsoft OneNote. I import my ideas into Photoshop, layers intact, and continue working on my computer. This is real work. Android is an OS that supports actually getting stuff done. I’m doing this with my phone that a carry in my pocket! I make booklets of ideas, password protect the private books, and sync to the cloud, and back up on the SD Card. An SD Card is additional storage that is common with Android devices just the iPhone crowd is unfamiliar with those. LOL

    What are you doing with your iphone? You’re posting on facebook and twitter and marveling at how easy it is to do. Not a whole lot more than that. I read recently that if you want to attach an image to an email with iOS, you always had to start from the image. You can’t simply hit the attach icon from the email client. That’s “bizarrely ridiculous”. I can browse the web and copy 5 or 10 images just by longpressing them and choosing copy to clipboard. They all sit on the clipboard along with text or whatever else is there waiting for further use in maybe an email, MMS, Note app, painting or drawing app, wallpaper or whatever. I can open a new email, and dump all of them into the email. Just that easy. I can plug my Android phone into my PC or Mac and drag and drop whatever types of files from one to the other. Simple. I can edit files directly on my phone. I can rename a file, I can change the extension, I can view Illustrator files directly on the phone. I have a file convertor, file browser, and local automated backup to SD. I have a widget that shows me my next 3 calendar appointments directly on my home screen at all times. How long does it take you to read your next 3 calendar appointments on your iphone? How long does it take to view anything other than static icons? Android lets you see any kind of information directly on your homescreen rather than opening an ap. I have live weather on the homescreen and lockscreen. When it’s snowing, raining, windy, foggy, sunny, cloudy, etc outside, that’s what I see when I unlock my phone. It’s local to where ever I happen to be and updated as little as every 15 minutes. How many times have you unlocked your iphone and went, “Crap, it’s snowing outside”? Then checked the window and verified it. When I’m ready for work, my phone tells me how long it will take considering traffic, and an alternate route and offers navigation. Same for coming home. Try Google Now to get an idea of how poor Siri is by comparison. I have a battery big enough to handle all of that, lasting longer than iPhone battery. I’m just scratching the surface.

    I say all that to say, it’s ridiculous trying to compare iOS to Android. One is like a tablet while the other is a full blown computer.

  • RS

    Can’t believe anyone could write such a lame, stupid article and have it published on a public forum!
    You seem to be seriously concerned about the drop in your Stock valuation, and trying to do your stupid “little-bit” in helping things improve.
    Idiot!

  • http://www.brianshall.com/ Brian S Hall

    Wow. You must really love your ANdroid device to leave such a comment. Glad you found something that works for you.

  • http://profiles.google.com/sahilsandhir Sahil Sandhir

    oh I mean the level on innovation. Android looked shitty on the G1 but now its elegant and smooth. IOS is same old grid of icos..but I know IT gets the job done all the time. By moving fast I meant android has changed so much in last few years but IOS really hasn’t. I would really like widgets , mutlitasking and notifications and a big screen iphone- all of which android does better. And I do agree with android being behind in software updates. That’s a major flaw of the OS. All OS have have their pros and cons and some does things better than the other OS but I think I went a lil too far in voicing ur opinion. Its a news website and u have some power as a editor so please use it carefully. I am not bashing u(if I offended u, I apologize!) but its just a suggestion

  • Josephharris

    Great article. Really well written and insightful. The puns kept me really amused and I felt they helped to make the information sink in.

  • Asif Sajjad

    This guy is seriously desperate :D

  • Kohler Family

    That is the point, there are so many different android devices running so many versions that the user experience suffers. Nothing ever really works perfectly, unlike iOS that works across all devices. I jumped ship from Android to IPhone because of many of the reasons cited in this opinion piece.