First and foremost, happy new year! I realize that it’s just another day and it really only signifies that it’s time purchase a new calendar, but for a lot of people out there it means a fresh new start - and possibly even a brand new cell phone maybe somewhere down the line this year? Either way, it’s a good way to remind ourselves that we now have to put a “5” where the “4” ought to be, even if we will inevitably be scribbling out that “4” to desperately make it look like a “5” for at least a good, oh, 6 months or so.
On to more relevant things.
The other day I wrote up an article on the things I appreciated about iOS. I realize that most of the time when I write up articles, it’s under the assumption that whoever is reading them are already in the know about the different platforms, different smartphones, which smartphones belong to which platform, etc. In reality, there are still a lot of people out there who haven’t been properly introduced to the world of smartphones yet, so today comes part two in my small series explaining why I like different platforms. Today, I’ll be talking about why I like Android.
Android is probably the most versatile mobile platform out there, both when it comes to hardware and software. The Android platform is one that comes in many shapes, sizes, and flavors. To somebody who has never really looked at Android in depth before, it can be a somewhat confusing experience. How is the HTC One, which looks completely different from the Galaxy S5 over here, possibly be a part of the same platform?
It’s because Android is considered an “open source” type of platform, which means that manufacturers like HTC, Samsung, Sony, or anybody else who chooses to use Android can create skins to make Android look, act, and feel different. However, it still technically runs on the Android platform.
It might be confusing at first, but one of the great things about Android is that you can pick up a device like the HTC One this year, get bored with it, and decide to go with a Galaxy S whatever next year and feel like you’ve gotten something completely different but you really haven’t. You can keep the same apps and use the same ecosystem that you’ve been using. Anything you’ve already purchased you can simply re-download again using the same Google account.
You also have the ability to easily change the way your Android phone looks (on the inside) anyway. The Android platform makes it easy to skin your own phone just by using certain apps from the app store. Don’t like the way Samsung's TouchWiz looks? Find a different launcher in the Google Play Store. Don’t like the way your icons look? Download icon packs from Google Play Store. Want a different font? Find them in the Google Play Store. There’s a ton of customization options that Android gives you, and it’s more than any other platform offers. If you like customization, Android might be right up your alley.
Another reason to appreciate Android is the very range of smartphones that are available for the platform. You can either go with super fancy flagship status smartphones, or you can easily find something much more affordable on the lower end of the market. A few years ago, I normally would not have suggested even looking at low-end Android devices. They were sluggish and often unreliable, but as Android has changed over the years so has its ability to handle less-than-stellar specs. Phones like the Motorola Moto G or the Moto E are considered a great value for the amount of money you have to pay, even for a full-price device. Alternatively, if you want something high-end or mid-range, that’s not hard to come by either. There is pretty much something for everybody when it comes to Android.
Android is a Google product, so if you’re all Google-centric on your computer you’ll probably fit right in when it comes to the services associated with most Android devices. As somebody who uses a ton of Google services on a daily basis, this is one of the things that I, of course, dig about Android. This might also be a reason that you hate it, though.
I mentioned that one of the reasons I liked iOS so much was because of the huge app catalog that it had. The same goes for Android. The Google Play Store is, in my opinion, right on par with Apple’s App Store. Generally speaking, if there’s an app available for one, the same app is available for the other. The only bummer is when you’ve purchased the app on one platform. If you ever switch platforms, you might have to purchase it on the other. Still, at least the same apps are generally available.
That basically sums up what I appreciate most about Android. The ability to customize your phone right out of the box, the sheer amount of variety of their smartphone selection in general, and a huge app catalog. It’s nice to see how far Android has come in terms of stability as well. Once upon a time I did not think that Android would ever be as stable as it is today.
Readers, what are some of your favorite aspects of Android? Let us know in the comments below!