DO YOU AGREE THAT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN APPLE AND ANDROID, APPLE SAYS NO WAY YOU NEED THAT WHILE ANDROID SAY YES YOU CAN HAVE IT?
It has been awhile since I spent some quality time in Android. While I was away, it appears we have both changed. First of all, Jelly Bean still feels less polished than the iOS devices that I spend the majority of my time with. But the gap has narrowed substantially. Significant technical shortcomings have mostly balanced out, and now the difference often is a matter of personal taste.
Apple is comfortable giving you a device that unapologetically says, “No, you can’t do that,” and then tries to make you feel guilty for desiring that thing — whatever it is — in the first place. Then, perhaps, a future version of Apple hardware or software will offer it. The company did this with the App store, even allowing Facebook on 3G. Indeed, each new version has a handful of features that you knew you needed a year ago. You just had to wait.
Android works the other way. It says “yes” to everything, but rare is the app that shows the polish of the best-in-breed iOS app. Out of the box, my Android had two e-mail clients: one e-mail client and a Gmail client. But neither works as nicely as their iOS doppelganger. I get a back arrow on the bottom edge of my machine (a lovely consideration not available in iOS), but most apps provide a somewhat redundant step-back user interface element in the upper left corner. It’s inconsistent and clumsy. It seems crazy to me that, on the iPhone, I get a physical “home” button that does different things depending on the context, while on Android I get a virtual button that does the same thing even when that same thing means doing nothing at all.
In the last year, however, the apps have changed the most. And, in this case, I can definitely say it’s not you; it’s me. I’m not a big app buyer. My iPad has probably $30-$40 worth of random games, almost entirely purchased on a whim to entertain my kid. In some cases, a $3 app has resulted in dozens of hours of pleasure for him, for me, and best of all, for us together.
Almost every one of those games is also available on Google Play (the Android equivalent to the Apple App Store). But I already bought these games once, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to actually buy them again. The tablets and phones that I touch for hours every day cost hundreds of dollars, but I’m locked in not to the object, but to the proportionately insignificant investment in apps.
I see a couple of possibilities: Give cross-platform app users a free code to transfer from one platform to “all.” My iPhone apps were universalized so that they could be used on iPads. I’m not sure how much revenue would be lost by App makers in this process. Although, clearly, the biggest winner in this scenario would be Google.
See Votes by State