Is Android Ready?
Is Android Ready?
Although Android has gone mainstream already, and is currently the dominating smartphone OS, there is still some skepticism over its overall polish and usability.
To clarify, I don't mean, "Is Android Ready - For group 'x'?"
I mean, quite simply, is it ready as a whole? Would you consider it a complete product?
To start the discussion, I am going to argue that Android, as an Operating System, is indeed ready. However, Android, as a marketing movement, is not.
What do I mean by that? I mean that since manufacturers have some inexplicable desire to mutilate vanilla Android with their custom skins, they are stealing value and ease-of-use from their customers. One of the biggest problems caused by their customization is a lack of uniformity. Though Android is inherently customizable, out of the box, ALL ANDROID PHONES SHOULD LOOK THE SAME. I don't mean the hardware, I mean what you see on the screen. I mean the default apps. I mean the /experience/.
What would this do for a user? A few things:
1. Unified experience, tutorials work across the board. When a user decides to use Google to look up a 'how to' thread or video, they should be able to use it across any android device. This means that the community as a whole, and also manufacturers, will be able to better cater to the user, and they will need less manpower to handle manuals and FAQ's, such as what is needed for HTC's Sense, Samsung's TouchWiz, and ViewSonic's Tap'n'Tap.
2. One less thing to 'go wrong'. With that one less layer of customization, users will inevitably have less problems. For example, the Droid Incredible 2 has problems with its Clock widget and app due to Sense customizations (see: http://tinyurl.com/72jxmvv ) and ViewSonic's Tap'n'Tap is so horrible, some users returned it rather than trying to install a custom ROM such as CyanogenMod (which shouldn't be necessary at all).
3. Less confusion, easier marketing. Even some less savvy users have seen the hype about Google's latest OS releases, such as Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) and eagerly await their updates to the spiffy new software. With no additional customizations, the manufacturers could port the latest releases to their devices with relative ease, which in turn may mean some devices get more updates during their lifetime.