Photo: asgw via Flickr
As much as we love Android phones and tablets, there are still a few major hangups that keep us going back to Apple’s iPhone and iPad.Android continues to catch up with each new version (Jelly Bean is pretty good, after all), there are still a bunch of annoying quirks that persist.
When someone first picks up an Android phone, it can feel like a lot is going on. There are widgets, apps, and more options than you know what to do with.
This is especially apparent in Samsung's Galaxy S III, which is packed with cool features that the iPhone can't do like automatically sharing photos with other phones over Wi-Fi. Unfortunately, you have to dig through a bunch of settings to turn many of these features on, which can be pretty daunting for Android novices.
Google beefed up the content in its Google Play store this summer, finally offering TV shows and more movies for rental or purchase on Android devices.
But compared to iTunes, the selection still lags far behind what you can get on the iPhone or iPad. And when it comes to music, Google Play is still missing content from Warner, one of the four major music labels.
It feels accessory makers don't care as much about Android.
Android phones simply don't bring out the same kind of enthusiasm from accessory manufacturers, meaning you're pretty much stuck with what comes out of the box.
Hardware acceleration is a process in which the phone can switch between the GPU (graphics) and CPU without using a large amount of the phone's memory. This has existed on Android devices since the beginning, but only for features like sliding the notification bar down. Android devices did not utilized full hardware acceleration until Android version 3.0.
The iPhone's smoothness comes from the way engineers and designers created the foundation of the phone's software. Full hardware acceleration has been available on the iPhone since the beginning and has made the user experience much more enjoyable.
It is important to note that the newest version of Android called Jelly Bean greatly improves the overall responsiveness of the OS. Unfortunately, only a tiny fraction of Android devices today run Jelly Bean.
Because of Android's open system and the availability of unofficial app stores, Android devices are more susceptible to malware and fake apps.
Just last week, a stealth SMS virus popped up in China's Android Store. The malware affected over 500,000 people.
Despite Android narrowing the gap between apps available, Apple has been able to retain the loyalty of many mobile developers. This means that more quality Apps will be released first on iOS.
And when a popular app does finally make its way to Android, it tends to look worse than its iOS counterpart.
Having a choice in hardware sounds nice, but there in Android's case it's too much of a good thing. While there are plenty of excellent Android devices out there like the Galaxy S III, there are a lot of cheap duds too.
In addition to phone quality, fragmentation also creates an issue for app developers. They have to make apps to fit various screen sizes and shapes. Sometimes this means rewriting the same app just to make it compatible with a certain phone.
Google released its newest operating system, Jelly Bean, in July. But the majority of Android devices today are still running a version of Android called Gingerbread that came out over a year and a half ago. That's because manufacturers tend to heavily modify Android, so it takes extra time to catch up to Google's updates.
The only way to guarantee you get the latest updates is to get one of Google's Nexus-branded devices. But only a small percentage of people own those.
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