5 things Android still needs to improve to compete with iOS and the iPhone
Alright, Apple fans, get out your constructive criticism gear. Today we are going to take a look at Android, and the trouble spots that need to be addressed to make the OS more competitive. Android fans need not worry, for tomorrow it will be their turn to address problems with the iPhone. Again, this is not supposed to be a dig at Android, just a look at what could be better. So, let's keep the flaming to a minimum and look at what Android needs to improve.
5. Media: Love it or hate it (personally, I am on the "hate it" side), you have to admit that iTunes integrates wonderfully with the iPhone. It allows you to purchase music, movies, apps, and games all in one place, and seamlessly sync everything to your device. Android simply doesn't have anything like it. Sure, drag and drop works great for some people, and the ability to rent movies in the Market is a start. However, for now the iPhone is master of media and Android has some work to do to catch up.
4. User Interface: I can already hear the Android crowd disagreeing with this statement, with comments like, "Android gives you more features, so it has to be complex!" and, "User interface is a matter of personal preference!" These statements are true, but they do not detract from the fact that the iPhone has the prettiest and easiest to use interface on the market. Android is great, but it is a bit ugly and takes some getting used to.
3. Malware in the Market: As much as people dislike Apple's approval process for apps, it does serve one important purpose: it keeps malware apps out of the market. On the other hand, Google's "anything goes" approach with the Android Market is great for developers, but it means that it is easy for malware apps to sneak in. Say what you want about stupid users downloading malware; people will still feel safer in Apple's ecosystem.
2. Battery life: Poor battery life has always been a problem with Android devices. Even though it can be improved by simple tweaks, most users don't want to worry about them. Even my phone, which has a custom ROM, kernel, and all kinds of tweaks for battery life, hardly lasts as long as a stock iPhone 4. Having your phone die in the middle of the day is a frustrating experience, and whether the battery life problem is caused by hardware or software, it needs to be fixed.
1. Fragmentation and updates: By far, fragmentation is the most common complaint I hear about Android. Whether it is frustration that a new app won't run on their version of the OS, or they can't get the latest update with new features, consumers hate dealing with the different versions of Android on their devices. Unfortunately, fragmentation will be difficult to deal with because it goes hand in hand with the "openness" at the core of Android's philosophy. Google is trying to fix this problem, but until they do it will seriously impair Android's appeal.
This is just my personal list of problems with Android. I am sure there are many more. If you want to add to the list, or disagree with my statements, go ahead and leave a comment. Android fans, stay tuned, for tomorrow the iPhone will undergo this same treatment.