In this next installment, I want to take the focus off of Apple’s mobile operating system, iOS, and turn your attention to Google’s offering: Android. The mobile platform came into existence for the general consumer after iOS, and it has seen plenty of different versions through the years, but the platform is still here, and doing quite well for itself. There have been naysayers in the past, and there are still some out there now, but no one can say that Android isn’t doing well. Moreover, it doesn’t look like it’s going to slow down anytime soon.
I can still remember the HTC G1 fondly. I loved that phone. It had a unique form-factor, and even if the hardware keyboard wasn’t perfect, it got the job done. But, to be honest, the best part of the phone was the OS. Android was new and exciting. I can recall watching the Google videos of Android, and getting excited about moving around an analog clock on my home screen. Android wasn’t iOS, and I think that’s one reason why I was excited about the platform back then.
I was even more excited when the original HTC Hero found its way into the world. That phone is the only device I’ve watched an unboxing video for. To say I was excited for it would be an understatement. And yes, I was a fan of the chin, too.
Over the years, I’ve used all sorts of different Android devices. Ranging from all the major manufacturers, one of the greatest things about Android is the diversity of its hardware. You can find something to fit your needs, no matter which carrier you’re on, and I think that speaks volumes about the platform. Yes, there are several different software versions out there, and sometimes some devices get left in the dust, but that’s just the way things go. After all, we don’t buy our phones for future updates. We buy it for what it’s running at launch.
Android’s strongest feature, to me, is that you don’t necessarily have to buy an HTC device to get an HTC-inspired experience. Thanks to ridiculously talented devs, running customized software on a device isn’t something out of a dream. Sure, there are obstacles sometimes, but obstacles were made to be overcome.
However, I’ve accepted that I need to have the newest piece of software on my phone as soon as possible. No, I don’t ever buy a phone because a manufacturer promises me something is coming down the road, simply because I’ve seen what happens time and time again when that happens. I buy a phone for what it’s running out of the box, and then I am perfectly content with that device. That is, until a new version of the software is made available.
This isn’t the thought process for most consumers who buy an Android device. In fact, if they don’t read tech sites or don’t talk to people who do, they’ll probably never know there is new software out there. And that’s probably the way it should stay. The crowd of those of us who do read tech sites and pay attention to new software are already vocal enough.
Recently, my mom decided she wanted a new phone. Now, I’m not going to embarrass her and tell you what she was using before she picked up her new phone, but it was Android-based. So, she wanted another Android phone. She decided to go with the HTC One X, because of the big screen. (She was transfixed by it, and she basically “had to have it.”) And you know what? She’s beyond happy with her new phone, and she will never, ever ask me about new software. Not until her phone chimes, and tells her that a software update is available. (“Evan, do I want to download this new software?”
Android is popular for a lot of different reasons, and I know that I used Android for several different reasons. I loved the customization, and I loved the way that manufacturers were able to tweak it to their liking, so that not every phone out there looked the same.
So now I want to hear from you, Dear Reader. I want to know why you use Android. I want to know why you’ve chosen to stick with Google’s mobile operating system, instead of opting for another option from a different company. Or, if you don’t use Android, tell me why you’ve decided to skip it in favor of something else. I’m certainly looking forward to hearing your reasons!