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Over the past two years, I have extensively used all of the popular mobile operating systems here in the States. Each platform has unique benefits which cause me to love each and every one in their own way. BlackBerry has BBM, topnotch email and excellent battery life; iOS has an endless supply of apps and one of the best software keyboards; webOS has superior multitasking and unobtrusive notifications; and Windows Phone 7 has a “no nonsense” air to it.

With such a diverse selection, I like to switch it up from time to time. Popping the SIM card into a new device on a totally different platform can be fun and refreshing. But of all the platforms, I find myself having a hard time taking a break from one in particular: Android. It's full of bugs and glitches, the devices and users are plagued with fragmentation and battery life is generally a joke. Android devices are usually irrelevant by the time they finally make it to shelves and you're never really sure when official updates will hit.

Despite all of its gaping flaws, I can't leave. Since I started with Android back in 2009 with the CDMA HTC Hero, I have not totally left the platform. Not for a week. Not for a day. I have had an active Android phone on one of my lines since 2009 without break. Why can't I leave? Google has me tied – tied up in all of their services that are either completely absent or inferior on other platforms.

Navigation

This is the number one reason for always keeping a connected Android device nearby. Even though I moved here two years ago, I'm still new to the Charlotte metro area and do not know my way around very well. Being a nice brother, though, I gave my GPS to my sister (who had just moved to a new city) after buying my first Android phone. Little did I know I would break into the tech journalism industry and switch phones more than I change my underwear (not really …) and need a reliable GPS again.

There are always third-party navigation services that add a monthly charge to your bill. But knowing Google offers the service for free, I can't force myself to pay for the carrier's service, especially after seeing how the two compare. I've tried them all and I prefer the native Android feature.

Google Music Beta

There are a handful of alternatives to Google's Music Beta. Cloud streaming services are all the rage in 2011, but after spending almost an entire week uploading my music to Google's servers, I don't want to have to sit through that again. And Google's service is seamless – perfectly streamlined with the Android experience.

I do pay $9.99 per month for Spotify to stream practically whatever music I want, so an additional cloud music service should not be required. But I've been using Spotify for two months now and I'm running into more and more music and artists – like Red Hot Chili Peppers and Despised Icon, two that I've severely missed listening to – that are not available due to licensing fees. Having a free secondary service with all of my music available at all times (without taking up precious SD card space), and being able to listen to the missing artists on Spotify, is extremely convenient.

Google+

I'm going to catch flak for this one, I just know it. Google launched their second attempt in the social media realm just months ago and it has spread like wildfire. Initially, the Google+ app was only available on Android. After a month of torture, the iPhone app was approved.

I have used both applications extensively and surprisingly found the Android app to be more enjoyable to use. The iOS app does have one leg-up on the Android app: the notification page has the “pull to refresh” feature. But the Android app has one key feature that the iOS app can't hold a candle to: Instant Upload. Every picture I take with my phone automatically gets uploaded to a private album on my Google+ account. Also, when I sign in and enable Google plus from an Android phone, all of my Google+ photos are available for local viewing in the Gallery app.

Widgets

This portion is debatable, but for simple “at a glance” items like weather and agendas, I don't want to have to open an app or drop a notification bar down. I simply glance at the home screen and I have the information I need to know. It's quick and only makes sense.

Google Account sync

Lastly, I use Google Apps religiously. Contact sync, Gmail, Calendar, Docs, Music and more are offered natively through account setup in Android settings. Most of these can be viewed or enabled on another platform, but they are not nearly as streamlined as they are on an Android device. Syncing my Google contacts through a BIS (BlackBerry Internet Service) doesn't always show all contacts – those I've manually entered and those I've only contacted or “recents.” And I've found much of the same on iOS.

I may not always have to carry an Android phone as my primary, but like Chris, I find it impossibly hard to completely leave Android behind, no matter how crazy it makes me at times.


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99 Reactions to this post

"What's your favorite mobile OS?"


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Louis Millares
Louis Millares iOS ftw!
Aaron Latham
Aaron Latham iOS and Android
Ron S. Pascual
Ron S. Pascual stupid iOS5 is not out yet its only for developers
Stephane Hosty
Stephane Hosty Android
Mikey Datadeen
Mikey Datadeen Android!!!
Leon White
Leon White All of them but blackberry sucks azz
Talon Meyer
Talon Meyer WP7 mango!
Kevin Joel
Kevin Joel WP7 used to be Android!!!!!
Melissa Wynemia Kritzell
Melissa Wynemia Kritzell Android
Matt Antonucci
Matt Antonucci QNX on the blackberry colt.
Dominic Greifinger
Dominic Greifinger Guess ill be the only one here to represent BLACKBERRY BABY!!!! Yeah buddy!
Nicolas Flores
Nicolas Flores Android 3.0 Rooted Mytouch 3g Slide. But I want a Galaxy S 4G
James Cunningham
James Cunningham WP7 Mango is pretty smooth
Kymani Grant
Kymani Grant IOS
Max Abir
Max Abir Android fo sure. Ios is just a history now.
Henry Guerrero
Henry Guerrero webOS!!!
Isaac Dargan
Isaac Dargan Android 3.1 & ios
Trinity Kolarova Hoodrich
Trinity Kolarova Hoodrich android
Luis Gomez
Luis Gomez Android!
Talha Qasim
Talha Qasim symbian anna and the belle
Joseph Torossian
Joseph Torossian android ftw!!!!!!!! ios is for the technologically-retarded, and i havnt tried out web os or windows phone yet.
Daisy Sandoval
Daisy Sandoval An evo 4g adroid but it is only at sprint I don't have that company I have T-Mobile
Zach Cline
Zach Cline I don't really have a favorite. I like iOS and android equally. But I'll most likely get the iPhone 4 in November only because my past two devices have been android. Time to try something different.
Benjamin Ghan
Benjamin Ghan I just bought the sony Ericsson xperia pro with gingerbread. Iv been using a dumbphone paired with a iPod touch for years. Now I have tried android I will never go back:-)
Rabindranath Melgar
Rabindranath Melgar Wp7 mango y android OS
Adrian Salazar
Adrian Salazar I love android and web os but like the how sexy ios and wp7 look....
Geo Foreal
Geo Foreal Ios is borring but stable
Geo Foreal
Geo Foreal Sidekick3
Michael Singer
Michael Singer Gingerbread
Matt Delima
Matt Delima Wtf is that a serious question? Android FTW!
James Zhang
James Zhang andriod
Tyrone Rupert
Tyrone Rupert If android can just wish without resetting so often.Any o.s as long as it has swype I dont have a problem.
Andrew Young
Andrew Young Android honeycomb :)
Taavi Kala
Taavi Kala Android, eventhough I have a Symbian phone I still like Android better and wlil buy an Android phone as my next device.
Michael Alvarado Castellano
Michael Alvarado Castellano I just switch I had the iPhone 4 but now I got a inspire ANDROID phone and I'm liking it very much
Steven Jaycoxe
Steven Jaycoxe Android
Derrick Woods
Derrick Woods Android 2.3
Danny Spaide
Danny Spaide Android of course
Erman Guido
Erman Guido Go Green!!
Ignacio Contreras B.
Ignacio Contreras B. WebOS... oh wait
Noah OBrien
Noah OBrien iOS and WP7!!!
Russell Tillson
Russell Tillson Apple IOS. Is there anything else?
Fallon Rivera
Fallon Rivera ANDROID!! I had ios & blackberry. Nothing can top android?
Zakari Ghachi
Zakari Ghachi ANDROID, even though I respect the gay community ( iOS owners )
Suzette Brown-Scotland
Suzette Brown-Scotland Android!
Chris Mejia
Chris Mejia Android without a doubt why go with a fake os android is freedom even more when you have root
Joe Gates
Joe Gates WebOS was my favorite but now it's BlackBerry 7.
Grant Young
Grant Young Android
Efrain Alvarado
Efrain Alvarado Android of course.
Andres Barroeta
Andres Barroeta Android
David Harness
David Harness iOS
Danny Téllez
Danny Téllez Android first though.
Danny Téllez
Danny Téllez Ios and android.
Nelson Pagan
Nelson Pagan Meego wen its com out looks nice and clean and qnx can't wait till that com's to phones and web OS but I use android waiting for meego to com out
Andres Escobar
Andres Escobar Android HTC sense 3.0
Erick Rozales
Erick Rozales iOS!!!!
Alim Visram
Alim Visram Symbian!
Wood Franklin
Wood Franklin Android
Jose Pablo Islas
Jose Pablo Islas Android!
Mac-us Bat-uhan
Mac-us Bat-uhan Android plus we got better hardware
Rey Dominguez
Rey Dominguez Android forever
Jose Garibay
Jose Garibay Fully rooted evo 3d running viper rom, & oc daemon. Android ftw baby!!!!
Aditya Kulkarni
Aditya Kulkarni iOS 5
Jamil Oquendo
Jamil Oquendo I've used IOS, Android and WP7 and the best one by far is WP7, it's not even close. When I use my iPod touch once in awhile, the IOS feels so ooooold now compared to WP7. I haven't even tried WP7 Mango yet, so I can only imagine how much better that is going to make it. Android is ok if you like to customize things like I did but it became mundane after a while. I don't have this need to customize with WP7.
Jourdan Fletcher
Jourdan Fletcher android!! Thats not even a question
John Alves
John Alves iOS, without a doubt!
Victor Sanchez
Victor Sanchez iOS
Zaben Hashish
Zaben Hashish A-N-D-R-O-I-D!!!!
Tom Chavira
Tom Chavira Android, IOS is for people who have no knowledge on the tech world and decide to go with everyone else.
Jommel Macaraeg
Jommel Macaraeg Android w/ HTC Sense 3.0 & Gingerbread
Tarl Spangler
Tarl Spangler IOS!!!!
Brandon Ritchey
Brandon Ritchey Android. Obviously
Juan Manuel Ramos
Juan Manuel Ramos android with htc sence 3.0 the bes ui in the whole world
Brandon Joyce
Brandon Joyce IOS FTW
Ivan Aleman
Ivan Aleman Android
Henrick Rawlins
Henrick Rawlins Android.. Nuff Said...!!!
Tyler Tresenrider
Tyler Tresenrider Wp7 is amazing
Ryan Lampkin
Ryan Lampkin Android of course
Rian Kapadia
Rian Kapadia IOS=Osama... it was hated when it was alive, and now it's dead at the bottom of the ocean
Muhammad Bin Tabassum
Muhammad Bin Tabassum Androiddddd
Dee Motto Love
Dee Motto Love Android
Nick Kalman
Nick Kalman IOS 5 & WP7.5 Mango
John Hoegemann
John Hoegemann Android
Jonathan Flores
Jonathan Flores Symbian
Darryl Mouzone
Darryl Mouzone I have an iPhone and an Android phone and I use them equally so they're both great in my opinion. I guess it would be a tie for me.
Nathan Parks
Nathan Parks Android. Ios is boring and has less functionality
Alberto Garcia Flores
Alberto Garcia Flores Android = Freedom
Logan Astorga
Logan Astorga My fave is Android. It's fun and easy to use. :3
Wais Hamidi
Wais Hamidi Used to be iOS, but when I switched over to my sidekick 4G, it has been Android all the way!!!
Sam Rick
Sam Rick Lol is that even a question???! ANDROID FTW!
Dewayne Williams
Dewayne Williams Android with root access! Flashing fast and stable ROM's ftw!
Luis Montoya
Luis Montoya Meego
Marrion Bell
Marrion Bell Android freezes
Larry Campbell
Larry Campbell Miui.us 2.3.5 which is the newest... amazing. Still some issues but so much better than anything else. Quick, battery life, etc...
Sammy Feliciano
Sammy Feliciano What travis said.
Sunny Sg
Sunny Sg Android ...
Mo Man
Mo Man Out of all of these comments, only 1 iOS comment got liked... that just shows that Android rules :). p.s. I have the old iphone 3G, but my next handset will definitely be an Android since I am absolutely in love with my Asus Transformer tablet (returned an ipad2 to get it btw ;P)
Marrion Bell
Marrion Bell Ios does everything android does plus. More. Freeze all the time IOS ALL DAY
Nela Schmagoogly
Nela Schmagoogly Android




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