Why the Galaxy Nexus and Android isn't for me
So, since 2009, I have been using an iPhone 3GS and upgrade to a 4S in 2011 when it was released. I guess you can call me an Apple Fanboy as I enjoy Apple products and own an iPhone, iPad, and a Macbook Air (although I use a PC as my main machine). About 1 year ago, I decided to expand my tech horizon and understand more about other ecosystems. I started with my friend's old and beaten Motorola Milestone AKA the OG Droid in the USA. It came with Android 2.2 and I flashed it to a custom version of CM7. It was slow and pissed me off to no end but I did see the potential of Android. I used the phone for about 2 weeks before returning it back to its owner. From the time I first tasted Gingerbread to when I acquired my Galaxy Nexus, I have bought a BlackBerry Playbook and test drove a Windows Phone 7 from work. I felt unsatisfied with both products and feel they either aren't as polished, slow, or as useful as my iProducts.
When I saw the Galaxy Nexus price drop, I thought this could be my next as it had the greatest and latest version of Android, solid hardware, hackability, and had a good price. When the package arrived, I felt disappointed with the unboxing experience as it just couldn't compare with Apple products. Out of the box, it had Android 4.0.2. I was puzzled, I thought the latest version was 4.0.4. After some Googling, I found out that my build wasn't "Yakju" but "Yakjuux" so I went through the steps to update it to the Yakju build. After a month of using the GNexus on 4.0.4 and about 1 week on 4.1, here are some of the things that bothered me with Android and general thoughts on Android vs iOS
1. UI design/System: I personally don't like the aesthetics of Android 4.0 but its highly usable. I feel the Look and Feel(L&F) of Android 4.0 is too futuristic/dark compared to iOS's bright and cheery look. The back button can be confusing sometime as I am unsure where it will take me.
2. Apps: Again, I don't like the L&F of the Apps on Android. Most of them doesn't look polished. Also I hate apps that doesn't update itself to take advantage of latest feature of a new OS. During iOS 4, it was apps that doesn't background properly. On ICS, it was apps that still pop-up the 3 dots in the bottom bar. Also, one of the things I like about iOS is that apps can use webview to render the webpage directly within the app while Android has to open the browser or chrome.
3. Good Google Reader app: I use Reeder on all 3 of my Apple Devices and I tried both the default Google Reader app and treader. I found greader's layout to be too clustered and Google Reader to be too light on features and it also lacks subtle transition animations compared to Reeder.
4. Good Podcasting App: I have to admit listening to podcast on the default music app on iOS is garbage and the Apple Podcast app is worse. I started with Google Listen and realized that it is also a piece of garbage. The nonsensical layout of the playback buttons and the lack of auto download of new podcast was the deal breaker. Using podkickPro was a much better experience and when I changed back to the iPhone, I missed the experience and ended up buying Instacast.
5. MS Exchange Active Sync: For work, I needed to access my company's exchange server through Exchange Active Sync (EAS). On the iPhone, I feel it is flawless. On Android, I cannot push selected folders under inbox. I have tried a few 3rd party apps that supports EAS folder push but they look like garbage. Because of company security requirements, I have to set a pin code with the device which is fine. On the iPhone, I can set the lock timer to 5 minutes and lock and unlocking the phone within the 5 minutes doesn't requirement to input the pin code. While I can do the same on Android by setting the lock timer to 5 min and unchecking power button instantly locks but in doing so, pressing the power button will directly take the phone to the home screen and makes it easier to pocket dial. If I leave power button instantly locks checked, I would have to reenter the code every time I lock my phone and unlock my phone.
Anyways, I am now trying a Galaxy S3 for 2 weeks and see if a different skin will change my mind.
Comment below on what do you think could change my experience.
EDIT: Ok I guess you guys are right, there are certain apps that can open site directly in app. But most Android app doesn't do it. I used PodkickerPro on Android and I think it was very well done and had to find a similar app on iOS (Instacast). Regarding the L&F of stock ICS/JB, the app launcher has a dark background while on the GS3, the launcher is transparent. What I mean by dark is mostly in regards to the background which ends up being black in order to save battery on AMOLED screens.
Regarding the GS3: I feel the skin on the GS3 makes android more to my taste and the GS3's software is on par with iOS. But the main advantages of the GS3 and Android is general are
1. LED control: Lightflow is the bomb, that is all.
2. Hardware differentiation: Even though this can lead to fragmentation, I believe Android's hardware feature such as LTE or a larger screen makes it stronger compared to iOS
3. Nature UX customizations and gestures: I still haven't decided if these are gimmicks but I really enjoy using them when I remember to.