Confess your unpopular views about technology
Here are some of mine:
- The OnePlus One is going to turn out to be a vapourware publicity stunt, not a real product that consumers can actually buy.
- HTC's dual camera system is not a gimmick, and is actually a great idea. It's a more elegant way of simulating shallow depth of field than Google's system of physically moving the camera, which requires a static scene. In a few years, all the other phone companies will have imitated this sytem.
- Similarly, in retrospect HTC had a good idea with Blinkfeed. I thought it was stupid when it first came out. But with Google and Samsung both introducing similar systems of scrolling information screens in the left-most panel of the launcher, it seems like a good time to admit that HTC was right.
- Despite recent rumours concerning Google+, the core idea of Google+ (a single social identity that can be used across all Google products and integrates them together) was and remains a good one - and I hope it stays. This is true irrespective of whether the Google+ "feed" is a useful social network.
- I like the fact that Google is taking more control over Android through things like stricter GMS licencing requirements. In general, I feel like Google has wielded this power in a way that benefits users and developers, eg. by mandating that OEMs must use a recent version of Android. If this makes Android slightly less "open" from the perspective of OEMs or carriers, that's a price worth paying.
- As much as I like to criticise Samsung's taste and design sensibility, the fact is that they clearly offer the best deals in my country. While I go to the effort and expense of importing Nexus devices from the US, this isn't something that "normal" users can or should be expected to do, and I often end up advising my friends to buy Samsung.
- SD cards are slow, and make life difficult for developers, and should gradually die out. I understand that some people need more space for media, but then we should be pressuring OEMs to include larger quantities of internal storage, rather than SD slots.
- From a usability and UX consistency standpoint, the latest version of Android is just straight-up better than the latest version of iOS.
- Android is still not a smooth as iOS. Maybe it is if you look at a latest-model Nexus straight out of the box, but the iPhone does a much better job of retaining its smoothness after you've used it for a long time and installed lots of apps. Android has improved, and by some measures beats iOS in terms of raw "speed" (eg. time it takes to start an app). But I don't want to choose between "smoothness" and "speed" - I want both. As Android fans, we should continue to criticise Google for this, so that Android will become better. We shouldn't be making excuses for it.
- I've made peace with the fact that I don't have any privacy from Google. Contrary to Microsoft's "Scroogled" campaign, if you put your private data on any company's servers, then by definition they have your data, irrespective of whether they show you ads next to it. I'm willing to accept the loss of privacy in exchange for convenience, and I've even enabled logging of my searches because it makes Google Now work better. I'm more comfortable giving my data to Google than, say, Facebook, because I feel like Google will just keep it to themselves and use it to target ads, whereas Facebook wants me to "share" my private info with my friends.
UPDATE - some more than I wanted to add:
- I love stock Android, but it has moved too far towards simplicity at the expense of power and customisation. It's ridiculous that it doesn't allow you to do simple things like customise the quick settings menu (I really want a flashlight toggle on there), or select a default homescreen.
- Project Ara is a fantastic idea, and I'm glad that Google is willing to experiment with ideas that other companies would consider to be farfetched or impractical. Perhaps it won't work out, but I think that a lot of people are dismissing the possibilities they can't see past their ideological belief that an Apple-style integrated approach is the only "right" way to build consumer technology.