Android Sucks

I had a heated discussion this evening with someone who owns both a jailbroken iPhone and an Android-based phone. The discussion centered on the conflict surrounding DRM and the availability of options on a jailbroken iPhone not present on a warranted iPhone. I am not in favor of jailbroken iPhones. I think they are a disgrace. iPhones are fucking awesome. If you don’t like the OS your phone ships with, buy a different phone. Why go through all the trouble of jailbreaking your device (which has the potential to turn your device into an expensive paperweight that can not be restored), when you can simply use the fucking thing as intended right out of the box? Sure, you can tether with a jailbroken phone, and you can use apps that Apple wouldn’t approve, but honestly, why? It’s true. Apple rejects some apps because they don’t meet their standards. You know why? Because they care about their product image. They do not want a metric fuck load of apps on their device that crash, steal your identity, block your calls without your consent, record your calls without your knowledge, or any of the far worse things I can’t even imagine because I’m a decent fucking human being. But that’s not what Android is about. Android wants you to be completely free to fuck yourself in the ass without a reach-around. That’s the price of freedom. Without filters, you are exposed to the shit, and it’s far worse than you could possibly imagine.

If you’re a Windows user (please stop reading my blog if you are. the world would be better off if you walked into traffic), you are quite familiar with viruses. Well, guess what? Your Android phone might just have a virus, and you would never know it. Wondering why you haven’t received a text from Sally, who you really thought you had a shot with until you stopped receiving any texts from her? In all likelihood, your phone has some app on it that has blocked your text messages from Sally. Sure, you thought you were downloading some app to make your background show pictures of Megan Fox naked, but actually, it’s blocking your texts and instead re-routing them to a scammer, who is using them to determine how likely you are to buy into their latest con.

When it comes to freedom on your mobile device, you sometimes get more than you bargained for. Sure, it feels good to be able to do anything you want to your device. After all, you paid top dollar for that HTC Evo 4G, and you’re all about the flexibility to tether your other wifi devices and do video calls via 4G. Just remember that you’re at the mercy of the developer, who might very well be out to steal your identity at the first opportunity. And there’s nothing to stop them because you chose a device without any review process in the apps you download. There is no one to protect you from the wild imagination of the sinister developers. And if you think I’m just being paranoid, think again. With openness comes great risk. Do you really trust this random developer who built a theme for your background? On an Android phone, you can’t be sure your lolcats background of the cat flushing the toilet isn’t also quietly sending your personal information to a third party. Without a layer of protection keeping out the malicious developers, you just can’t be sure. You are completely exposed.

Even if it’s true that Android devices outnumber iPhones (which I don’t believe), there is no doubt that an app on an iPhone is guaranteed not to fuck you over. Can your Android device claim that? Far from it.

17 thoughts on “Android Sucks

  1. How do we manage to surf the internet without amazzinggg Apple to save us from ourselves?!?! lol. And how do I download software onto my computer without the amazzinggg Apple to (again) save us from ourselves?!?!

    This country and the internet were formed on the basis of freedom and I’ll take that any day over someone choosing for me.

    Yours truly, iPhone (for now) user

    PS. Net Neutrality is important, too.

    1. If you are using a Mac, you need not fear viruses because the OS prevents unauthorized access to files. Sure, Macs are vulnerable to trojan horses because they rely on human ignorance or naivety to circumvent the security structure. My point is that with an Android device, you can easily download something to seriously fuck up your life, like sending random lude texts to people on your contact list without your knowledge or consent and then hiding the replies, so you don’t know it’s happening. That is nearly impossible on an iOS device because of Apple’s review process and strict DRM. You can’t install an app without signing it correctly. The OS wont even launch an app until it passes a signing check.

      And by the way, it’s not Apple protecting us from viruses. It’s the UNIX PAM daemon, which is about 20yrs old.

      1. Correction if you are using a Mac, you need not fear viruses because nobody feels like coding viruses for a Mac, it’s a minority when compared to Windows, and virus developers would much rather code their virus for the system that will spread the virus in the least amount of time, which is Windows because there are more PCs in the world, therefore, more carriers of said viruses.

      2. If I understand you correctly, you’re saying virus creators only target systems with widespread adoption because that gives them the best chance of influencing a large audience. I’d say platform vulnerability plays a larger part than market share. We don’t see viruses on the iPhone, yet it represents a huge chunk of the market. This is because the iOS platform is heavily moderated via DRM and access controls, preventing malicious code from executing. It is plausible that a developer could possibly sneak something through the review process and begin collecting user data, but Apple doesn’t look kindly on trojan horses. Eventually, they would get caught, lose their developer license forever, and face a lot of bad publicity.

  2. So I probably shouldn’t jump in, but hard to resist. So, I too have both phones and I think the user experience I get on iphone than android is currently better and would recommend it to most users/consumers picking a new phone. If I had to pick one for myself, I’d still probably go with one of the newer androids though (just personal preference).

    Anyhow, I think the point missed here is that the approach being taken by google and apple is different. Apple provides a controlled environment with their products that gives you a certain level of guarantee on your experience using them. With android, google is providing an os that not just software developers can build on top of, but manufacturers as well. That’s how you get these things like Sony’s playstation phone or the Nook e-reader being built on top of android, where they can take advantage of being able to offer considerable additional capabilities (including third-party apps already built for android) that benefit the end user as well as reduce the cost of manufacturing and development time.

    You mentioned paying top dollar for an evo phone, but that’s just one phone and you have to pay top dollar for an iphone as well. Also, again, what google is providing with android allows manufacturers to produce lower spec’d phones that are cheaper, or even free on contract, which allows a greater amount of people to be able to enjoy a smart phone experience and get a certain level of functionality in their phone that they’ve never had before.

    Regarding security, it will always be the case that more freedom has more risk. Personally, I’d always want to be able to use what I pay for the way I want even if it allows me to screw myself over. That being said, I like the confidence you get in the system apple provides with their controlled environment and would feel better if someone like my mom was using it. So take that how you will. It is nice to be able to install mobile firefox on my phone and have all my history/bookmarks sync’d between my different computers and phone though.

    Anyhow, google knows it’s got a long way to go with user experience and interface. It’s definitely lagging behind apple. Given the alternatives though, I think it’s a pretty great choice, especially when you consider that you have greater choice of carriers with it (outside the US too). You can be on that family plan on Sprint and pay $30 a month (my case).

    Apple’s market is high quality products, both hardware and software. They hit that target well and will likely continue to. Even if the android operating system or fragmentation does suck, do you really think what they are trying to do does?

    1. Ironically, with iPad 3G, I’m not sure i would even want the smart phone features. I could have a device that *gasp* only makes calls, and use my iPad for everything else. Currently, i have an iPhone and an iPad wifi. I have considered upgrading to the 3G model, but i think I’ll wait for the 4G.

      Mostly, i have both the iPhone and iPad because I’m an iOS developer, and i want to be able to test on both hardware platforms. I can’t imagine the nightmare of needing to buy every Android device just so i could do basic hardware testing.

      Don’t get me wrong. I am a huge fan of freedom and liberty and all that. I’ve just heard some horror stories about the level of access available to the developer on the Android platform, and it scares the shit out of me. The ability to intercept incoming traffic (txt and phone) is far too powerful. Sure, it’s good for parents who want to lock their kids out of sexting, but it’s too easy a target for malicious developers.

      1. Agree with you on all points here! And yeah, testing and supporting all the different devices sucks.

  3. Actually google is using symbian’s old strategy.

    Back to 2000’s symbian is there on 100’s of devices. But still symbian is leader even today.

    People who watch pornography,free-market-to-develop-hacking-apps,
    People who want selection of diff selection of phones go for android as it support flash and not much restricted.

    While apple think YouTube is enough since 90% people watch it and remaining 10% watch porn.

    Apple learned lot from iTunes and introduced app store and now Mac store because it has 3 advantages :
    Consumer is safe from hazardous apps,no hacking. These 2 things prevent phones from crashing while noneed of antivirus.

    Last thing is popularity.
    Once people observed demand for app store.
    First they attract people to develop apps while he pays 100 bucks year 30% income from sales to apple.

  4. Wow I was Intent on reading your article but seeing as how you advised people to walk into traffic just because hey use pcs and not macs I don’t think that you’re a partial or even a good person. There are more important things in life that what computer someone uses and just because someone uses a pc does not mean that their life is worthless and that they should die. You know what I think? I think that the world would be better off without people that insist on spreading negativity such as yourself. Your world must be very small if your willing to wish death on people over what computer they use.

    1. Thanks for reading! I see that you missed something. Wikipedia tells me this about sarcasm:

      Understanding the subtlety of this usage requires second-order interpretation of the speaker’s intentions. This sophisticated understanding can be lacking in some people with certain forms of brain damage, dementia and autism.

      It’s good to see challenged people getting out and using the internet.

  5. Are you trolling?
    In case you’re not, you should probably write this using a less hostile tone towards pc users. Everybody has the right to choose their favorite OS. Incidentally, mine are Windows for PCs and Symbian for smartphones.
    My opinion is that Android and iOS both suck, but not for any of the reasons you or the general consumer that fights for the fastest cpu and best touch screen resolution on phones do. I don’t think either of these systems grant you with enough freedom. I don’t want an application market to choose what apps i can run, I want to install whatever the heck i want and be responsible for my actions. Chances are that retarded people that break their phones can’t benefit the most from the fancy new hardware on their new shiny brick they just bought to impress their retarded friends.
    And I don’t praise Symbian, it’s flawed, and I have to hack it first to make the most of it, but it’s still the closest to an operating system I can find.

    If you are practical and use your smartphone for other purposes than being smug, consider the following:
    – do you want a phone that can run any DOS application (even programming languages)?
    – do you want a phone that can boot windows?
    – do you want a phone with UPnP that reads flash drives?
    – do you want a phone that’s built to last out of top materials, has good battery life and can take some punishment while looking pretty?
    – do you like pc games and want to run them on your device?
    – can you code your own apps? (i realize this is out of the question for most users)
    Then you should get a Nokia Symbian device.
    However, if you’re all play and no work, want your phone for entertainment, games and movies, go ahead and buy a big-screened brick with android, ios or proprietary crappy systems used by LG or samsung.
    I’m not blatantly refusing to consider these phones, i have carefully weighed all of their pros and cons and just figured out what best suited my needs.
    There are tons of other points I consider when choosing a phone (for instance, i need a qwerty keyboard), but I am stopping here.
    You see the point of my POST is that everyone of us should do this kind of rationalization in their own head and not out loudly, because honestly, only people who need to justify their already-made investments look for reasons why their products are superior – aka ‘fanboys’. Just think before buying.

    I still think I got trolled into writing this comment, but i respect your choice of Apple products. You didn”t say at any point that you have an Apple PC (it’s still a PC – deal with it), but I kinda got that vibe from the way your article was written, and I think a Linux user would appreciate Android more than iOS.

    Oh, as a final argument, please die in a fire.

    1. Thanks for reading. I respect your choice and acknowledge that we clearly have different interests in how we wish to use our mobile devices. I find your tone confusing, though. You are simultaneously defensive about your choice and offensive about others’ choices. In essence, you are embodying the very “fanboy” troll persona you accuse me of adopting.

      I embrace my fanboy status. Ruby on Rails and iOS projects represent 100% of my business. I am opinionated, and I make no excuse for that. If anything, I’m proud of it. I have a few negative things to say about the iOS developer and user experience, but for 90% of my needs, it does an awesome job. It never steals my identity, intercepts text messages, or sends text messages without my permission. I can’t say that about an Android device.

  6. You make it sound like there has never been an incident where an iOS application had to be pulled from the App Store because someone found out there was either malicious code or a security flaw in it. How can you call it a guarantee at that point?

    The application approval process for iOS seems to be done by a non-perfect system. Android’s looks to be even less so. However, I have seen that prior to installation of any program from the Android Market, the system will notify the user of system permissions required for its use, much like modern Microsoft and Apple desktop operating systems.

    You would be concerned that most Android applications will request “Access the Internet” and “Coarse / Fine GPS coordinates” – but how would an iOS user even know that such things are happening on any of their programs?

    Relate this to car manufacturers that no longer install true-to-measurement engine oil pressure gauges in new vehicles. You give drivers the basic knowledge that low oil pressure is bad for the engine, or a sign of a failing engine. Pretty soon there’s flocks of people taking their cars in for service, complaining about low or fluctuating pressure levels. The manufacturer then decides to do away with the real gauge, install a false one that always shows a steady “normal” pressure alongside a warning light, and soon enough people are no longer paranoid about it (even though the actual pressure is no different from before).

    Good move on Apple’s part to hide the truth from App users. I would prefer a permissions reporting system, or at least the option to view those items. But who am I kidding – if Apple implemented this, the general public trust in their products would go down really fast due to the paranoid users. That paranoia is the same cause of Android’s bad reputation in this aspect.

  7. I liked what you were saying till you made that little stupid snipe at Windows users, I find Android is a good system but Google makes it too vulnerable, the apps can all be dodgy there is no Guarantee that something is good.
    Allot of people are not Tech Savvy so just because majority of Android users might approve an App, unless someone who is an expert has picked it through thoroughly you never know.
    And a Smartphone is a far too personal far too vulnerable piece of tech that people entrust too much of their sensitive info details logins and usage on.

    Mac has no Viruses but i will not get an Imac because i am not made of fucking money, and i know enough about using a PC to be safe and have a plan in place in case my system is compromised, if it happens, i just nuke the fuck out of the Harddrive SCRUB IT CLEAN and reinstall everything, might take a better part of a day but it’s fine by me, and i keep all my files and documents on a redundant drive separate from the PC anything else, programs or media i can just redownload or reinstall or get from Backup.

    Would i do this shit with a Smartphone? HELL NO! it’s supposed to be a casual device for me, And the problem with Android is that apps can legally obtain your google account information which is a gold mine for scammers and spammers, it’s all down to “Either allow permissions or don’t use our app”

    You’re not impartial or objective in your views, your an Apple Brand Loyalist, i suggest you stop that shit, it does you and nobody else any favors, I still want Flash on Safari allot of people do, Flash is not irrelevant anybody who says otherwise is just defending a flaw and trying to somehow consider it a “pro”

    Also one last food for thought, DO YOU TRUST APPLE? they are starting to integrate all kinds of spyware into their new devices, under the guise of “customer recognition” and to “stop unauthorised users” but do you really feel comfortable doing that? you might as well be using Android if your okay with the direction Apple seems to be heading for.
    I felt i owe you a heads up that you should be aware that the future of Iphone may be making a dangerous turn, and remember, NOTHING is unhackable IOS maybe much more closed circuit but it can still be compromised, be aware of that.

  8. Just got a Android phone for free and played a week with it. I’m used to iOS too, but not phonewise, but iPod wise. I came to the conclusion that both major mobile platforms suck. Here is why:

    – A normal computer OS is a basic system to set up to your personal needs and want to be as invisible and unobtrusive as possible. Mobile OS-es arent. They are a portal for sales. Either sales by App store, or sales by consuming your data bundle as fast as possible
    – Sign-up mayem: Everything needs an account and signup. On a PC you just bought a program and started to use it. With mobiles, this is impossible. No manual transfer of an app to your phone. Forget it
    – Endless data harvesting. Lot of mobile apps are location based. OK if it has a purpose, but at least half of the programs I used don’t do anything usefull with the location. And if you turn on GPS, but decide to leave the internet connection down, the programs won’t work. So what is the real need? To know your location, or to share a crapload of personal data without having any idea.
    – (With Android) No uninstall of apps you don’t like, and all apps stay running as long as Android likes. Facebook harvested 300kb of data in 3 days, yet I did not sign up to facebook anywhere in my life, nor started the app.
    – It is all about consuming. Creation is totally limited. The lack of keyboard makes the email app totally bothersome: you CAN read what you receive, but it results in that you 1) read e-mail all the day and 2) forget to reply. As the mails get marked read, replying is often forgotten, just because typing on a mobile sucks big time. I tried to remove my email account, but it resulted in closing all Outlook like components: my contacts were gone too, and my calender got empty again. Mail sucks on a mobile, but the Calender is one of the only handy things on your handy.
    – The nature of Apps. Apps is the web being crippled. You have to consume websites the way an App wants, and you have to install updates over and over again. You have nothing to say over ads, over data harvesting, over looks, over plugins. With Firefox with adblock, a hosts filter, CSS overrides and a good RSS reader you can consume everything that is Apped, but much better, faster, on a bigger screen and without all those crazy acounts.

    So I put my SIM with big dataplan in an old Nokia 3310. I use it for calls now.

    From my short smart phone experience I know I want the following:
    – A phone that does regular and Skype calls.
    – A phone that syncs my calender
    – A very portable photo/video camera/memo recorder
    – A portable wireless network for working on the real thing: a lightweight notebook

    That is all a phone has to do. Android/iPhone wants to do 10 times as much, 90% of which I don’t like and can’t turn off.

    1. I’m with you on the smartphone push back. I resisted getting a cell phone at all until it seemed like the landline was deemed laughable. These days, I don’t make a lot of calls. I make a lot of text messages, which sucks on a touch screen. I’ve moved all my higher order digital functions over to the iPad. Email, web, media – all better on the iPad. Now, what I want is a phone with a tactile txt interface and 4g wifi tethering for my iPad.

  9. I have had two android phones. The original droid and a droidx2. These are considered good androids, although not the flagship Nexus. I have happily now parted with android and have the 4s. There are many things that are okay and even good about android. Google nav and Gmail integration are excellent, but that’s about the best part of the differentiation.

    People say android is more customizable and has widgets. That is true, but after 2 years in Droidville, all I can say is “so what”. I don’t want to spend all day customizing my UI or getting marginally better basic functioning apps than stock. I want to have a device I can use and download apps that are useful in addition to the basic call, email and texting apps.

    Open source? Open Markets? Yeah those are great selling points and I’m sure there are users out there who really pride the openness and such of their phone, but again “so what”? As a user, open source doesn’t matter to me, I want something I can utilize. All of the device fragmentation and poor Underlying dev tools are a pathetic sub substitute for device homogeneity and a fantastic SDK and underlying graphic at the core of iOS (yes, I code but not mobile sw) Open Markets are just a place to catch a cold. Even the Goog warns their users about non-Market apps.

    All I can say is that I work hard for my money and, after two years, I’m tired of being part of Google’s long term Alpha test. Thank you Apple, for making the best mobile device I’ve ever used.

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