Marco Arment sums up my bemusement with the Android platform, and, by extension, why my frustration that that AT&T’s network is so awful where I live:
The current must-have Android phone changes every few months, and they’re often radically different from each other, making it difficult for consumers, developers, the press, and the carriers to build loyalty toward any of them or entrench them in the market. The OS needs to be updated over the air with three involved parties, only one of whom is motivated to update it. Features are added when they can be, not when (or if) they should be, or if they can be done well. Nearly every usability detail appears to be an afterthought, as if “design” is relegated to a coat of paint at the end of the development cycle rather than a deep-rooted philosophy throughout it.
The driving theme of the iPhone, as evident in every “There’s an app for that” ad, is “use this to do stuff.” Meanwhile, as near as I can tell, the driving motif of the Droids — with all the menacing Terminator-style chrome and unblinking red eyes — is that they’ll kill you if you aren’t careful. The tech-heavy “Droid Does” slogan reminds me of the days when Sega, hoping that more advanced specs would win the video game wars, tried out “Sega does what Nintendon’t.” And that turns out to have worked great for them, right?
The Verizon signal where I live is great, and I get a work discount, too. I simply can’t justify ditching that right now for AT&T’s extraordinarily mediocre signal, no matter how much I prefer the user experience of the iPhone. While there is precious little that actually draws me to Android, it’s a less dead end option than any other option that’s not an iPhone.