Droids, Droids, Droids: Droids are everywhere
Do you have a Droid? If you do, this probably doesn't apply to you, so let me ask another question. Do you have an Android device that people have mistaken for a Droid?
It happens all the time in the world of Android devices. Basically, the uninformed non-techy crowd that surrounds us geeks everyday is under the assumption that every device that is not an iPhone is a Droid. Have a Samsung Captivate? Droid. HTC EVO 4G? Droid.
Why is this? Can't people just differentiate that something may not be a Droid after all, even though it looks like it? Well, that's kind of the problem. The Droid name has been through the hands of so many different manufacturers that, for the people who don't know better, every device from those manufacturers, even if not a Droid, looks like one. Let me show you what I mean with the Droid Charge and the Droid X2.
First off, let's start with the lock screens. There are some mighty differences in even the first screen a user would see. Puzzle pieces for the Charge, and simple sliders for the X2. What amazes me is that the puzzle piece design is from the Galaxy S line, so automatically, that makes the Charge and the Galaxy S line harder to differentiate.
Here you have the home screens of each device. Again, these are both found on devices other than Droids from both manufacturers. There's also another point of view to come from here: these are both Droids, so shouldn't they have the same layout? I sure think so.
Samsung and Motorla (and other Droid manufactures, I'm guessing) have even thrown on their skin to things as little as menu layouts. It frustrates me as a reviewer to have to learn new layouts and setups while going from device to device. I'm sure it also frustrates you guys, too. When your contract is up and you'd like another Android device, it is probably hard to find another one setup just the way your last one was.
Right down to the color schemes, even! Ugh! I think that if there is to be a cross-manufacturer brand name, things need to be put together a lot better, so as not to confuse people. They already are, but they might be able to salvage the people who are just coming on to the tech scene.
What are your thoughts on Android fragmentation (which is an issue; don't tell me otherwise) and skinning?