Since the launch of Google’s mobile operating system Android, the main argument between Apple loyalists and those who follow within the ranks of the Android Army, has been that the little green ‘droid is all about customization and input, while Apple’s mobile OS is what Apple wants, and there’s not much else left. There are other arguments, of course, but you’ve got the “openness” of Android and Apple’s “walled garden” that started it all. What I haven’t heard all that much lately, though, is that Android has gotten stale – at least, not until Android 4.0 hit the scene.

And now, I’m starting to see it pop up here and there. And actually, as I look back over the last few years that Android has been around, I think that’s an argument that is pretty sound. And I know it may sound strange, due to the fact that every other mobile OS out there probably looks pretty stale nowadays, but I don’t think any one of those operating systems are “advertised” in the same way. Sure, webOS had the same kind of “do what you want” look and feel, but it still wasn’t about the out-right customization or openness.

And I think Android 4.0 goes a long way to show why, exactly, Android is built around those customizations. You look at Android 4.0 and Android 2.3, and the similarities are there, but even the similarities have been tweaked. Android 4.0 looks like Android 3.0, yes, but we’re keeping the conversation about smartphones. And, honestly, the differences between 2.3 and 4.0 are drastic, and much needed.

Because I think Android is one of those things that need revolutionary and not just evolutionary changes to make it stand out. The Android fans are going to say that that isn’t necessary, that Android stands out against the likes of iOS and BlackBerry OS all on its own, but these would probably be the same people who go out of their way to make Android uniquely their own, and focus on customization. Android is about customization, about making your phone different than your friend’s phone. So, why did Google make it so necessary for manufacturers to make Android look different?

You know what I’m talking about: proprietary user interfaces. Things like HTC’s Sense UI, Samsung’s TouchWiz UI, or any other manufacturer’s out there who have chosen to put a custom skin and in-depth alterations to the Android OS on their phones. Some would argue that Google made Android a blank slate, more or less, so that those manufacturers could make it different, but over the years we’re just looking at the same stuff. Vanilla Android looks like vanilla Android, and Samsung’s TouchWiz has looked the same since its launch. Features change, yes, but where’s the customization we’re talking about? Why hasn’t Google made the huge changes we see in Android 4.0 in every other major update? Android 2.0 should have looked hugely different from Android 1.0, and I’m not just talking about icon alterations, or color changes.

I think Android 4.0 is a long-time coming, and it’s something that Android absolutely needs. I’m not even talking about the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, that’s just hardware. Android 4.0 should show that Google is ready to make the changes to Android that they should be making, and not leaving it up to manufacturers to make the alterations. We know that HTC is planning on releasing Sense 4.0 with whatever devices they release next year with Ice Cream Sandwich, and hopefully Sense looks different, but it probably won’t.

So, thank you Google. Thank you for giving Android the visual boost it needed. And, here’s to hoping that whatever version of Android for smartphones you release next has another huge graphical and technical boost that we’re seeing now. Fingers crossed!

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59 Reactions to this post

"Should Android see more revolutionary changes?"

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Prithvi Raj Dev What is the matter with you people? Every person has a different view then the other. I honestly don't get it why are you people bashing about android and ios? Its clearly a post for android asking if it should see more revolutionary changes? But why are the ios fanboys opening this post and trying to take the life out of android? We android lovers don't even care to open up an ios related post and try to bash it in the comments.
Prabhath Jay mmm there should be. but cant think of any
REVSAIFUL Android? Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha
Vincent Hung No changes.... Just marketing strategy like Apple
Bryan Platt Android rocks ios sux
Orion Pax Google needs to get their shit together on the Market and do some clean up.
Chris Robato ICS is already quite a good direction. I love the way it kills apps by swiping.
Salomon Murillo Yes like adding more home screens from 5 to 7 like the T-Mobile G2.
Philip Raghunath Also, if they add too mch at once, we're left to wander what else can they add that they havent already. Slow and steady
Philip Raghunath If they do, Apple may sue them for it, mainly saying ''it's revolutionary''
Nick Truskowski Charles like iPhone? Haha. They got one damn phone! And they try to compete with Android Lmfao.
Charles Phillips If Android OS was only on 1 phone then it would still blow the Iphone and WP away.
Nick Truskowski Josh what was inaccurate? Only thing I saw was something about blackberry, which that person should realize when ios was out blackberry was still not even a colored phone lol
Josh Lazenby Always so many ignorant fanboys in here talking about things they don't actually have a clue about... Stop with the flaming, and for the love of whatever god you believe in... please, please at least educate yourself a little on the topic you're spewing BS about.
Josh Alvarez no cuz android sucks
Chad Richter You guys take things way too personally. Who cares who did what first. Android and iOS are obviously the top os's and each for their own strengths. My problem with android is stability but I love the customization and all the free stuff. My problem with ios is the blatant lack of anything decent for free but I love the stability and smoothness. I'm willing to pay for high quality and so I'm using iOS for now. I'll see what happens with ics and if it's more stable than gingerbread I'll probably switch to android again
Danial Sleeper agreed /\ /\ /\
Scott Smith Android "IS" Linux /Redhat OS Kernel devoloped by Linus Torvalds in 1991 the best Open Source OS ever developed by mankind. I predict that it will be the only OS used 20 years from now. Open source is the only way to go...
Scott Smith Hey Rich Wielgosz - It's surprising how many people don't know that everything Apple OS was originally developed by Xerox, and stolen by Wazniak for the original Lisa/Macintosh OS and rest is history....
Eduardo Ordaz Android does need to make more revolutionary changes. I mean when the make a new OS sofware they should make even more changes. So not to make it look like it hasnt been improved or make it seem it has been the same. But ICS is great.
Scott Smith You don't thiink that Ice Cream Sandwich OS is fairly revolutionary?
Devlin Robear Yeah, but please re-phrase it. I don't want Android to become like Obama!
Arvydas Gr Android was created earlier than iOS, but it was BB style. Just after iOS release it changed to Android we have seen being released. And yes, it's a ripoff
Nico Pajor Hahaha i know Nick I'm just kidding its the same battle ever android vs apple why just enjoy your cellphones and its over xD here in argentina the only cellphone that its on sale its the droid 2, galaxy s2, HTC desire, iphone 4 and BB hahahaha if u stay here u will die!!!! Its a crap!!!
Nick Truskowski #Android #winning
Isaiah Marshall "IPhone has better battery than Android phones" google iPhone 4S battery problems. Android copies iOS? Google that, and look at the results.
Yasser Lassalle They can keep going people think iphone was the first in fact htc and palm haf touch screen before the iphone if u dont khow look it up
Nick Truskowski Nico, your blackberry will stop receiving updates in less than a few months, enjoy the flashy-ness now lol.
AJ Goren It needs even more webOS-esque features. I really like te new swiping-card task switcher, and browser tabs. Keep adding more of this, Google! Oh, and the swee-eet notification light on the GNex.
Nick Truskowski You idiots realize Android was designed in 2003 right? Way before the iPhone software? And before you go aspires shit, I said designed, not released. But Android was first and they were/are best.
Nico Pajor Haha its look like all of you are cellphones engineers!!! Ahaha fuck all of you Black Berry OS Ruuuuulee!!! (?)
Michael Foresto They need to get away from solely relying on the Google cloud and start directly linking to the computer so we don't have to upload EVERYTHING to Google. They should have no problem designing a program like iTunes, but much better, to control the phone.
Angel Miguel Peguero ios looks almost the same for 5 years now who needs changes lol
Ernest Marvin Esteban Android will continue to push technology further.
Gainaako Munyal If anything iOS needs the most revolutionary changes. It's basically the same as it was when the first iphone/ipod touch were released.
Chris Narez Yes they need to come out with some new shit
Derrico Brown I think Android will continue to make better devices and have better features because of the top manufacturers and fans that's behind them. Even ICS has a lot of features that devs have made already as apps/features for Android. I can't wait to see what's next
Gabriel Sotomayor All android need its more app/games (maybe exclusives), more "light" and battery efficient OS and i would personally change the black that dominate most of the OS and use more bright colored UI , i haven't taste ICS yet (looking forward to get a GN). I exchanged my 3GS for a Vibrant and I've been an Android user since
Jeremy Abad Always a Android iOS war on these posts. I'm a die hard Android fan. But I'm afraid that Microsoft will creep up in the coming years and take it all.
Joel Rivera Apple Stole The Notification Bar, the 8MP Camera The 1080p HD Recording, its stupid the " Revolution" Apple Has Done is a copy of what Android Has Already Accomplished. They weren't the first Touchscreen, The LG Prada was; they arent the first. Why must everything Be Apple. GOOGLE+Manufactures have far surpassed iPhone they just dont know how to Market. Samsung is barely getting there to the point where they Kick iOS @$$!
Jake Hartman android was made first it just ios was announced first so apple fanboys gtfo. also all companies copy here and there its what they do, without copying there wouldnt be any good pruducts.
Cyrus Vargas @Eric Casanova: Have you ever used iOS 5 on an iPhone 3GS? its so slow they've been calling it the iBrick 'cause it doesn't do shit.
Israel Leiva Are we talking about Android or Egypt here? LOL
Chris Mejia Android copies? No sir look at ios they copied a fair amount of things that android has. So please leave this post now
Rich Wielgosz Someone needs to tell the apple minions that everything they have is stolen from Xerox PARC.
Eric Casanova They should update older phones look at the iPhone 3gs it runs ios 5
John Cruz screw your iOS
Monica Jones I am returning my iphone 4s to get rezound today. I guess I will be a android chick this afternoon.
Josh Stanley Increase the battery life on all android phones and then the iPhone will have a big challenge
Abram Wenevermet Dennis Buggy androids
Arvydas Gr Tony, I am not talking about iOS5. Look how many things are copied from WP7. And there are some copies from iOS5. Althout, Android was a fresh copy of iOS, when it hit the market. It always was and will be just a cheap copy
Brandon Johnson Until I can charge my phone just by holdin it in my hand, all these os' are rehashes of something that's already been out for a while, sure they add nice features but nothing "revolutionary".
Tony Trann "Changes copied from other OS"? Look at who just got the notification bar!
James Gustavo Hidalgo They should stay on 4.0 and keep improving its quality
Nick Truskowski Arvydas, your retarded and have it backwards.
Arvydas Gr No. I want it to die. It sucks from the beginning and those changes are just copies from other OS'es
Chris Mejia Android 4.0 isnt enough?

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