Originally Posted by JMRouse
This is a great point and should be kept in mind during online discussions like this. Android users often like to point out the use of custom ROMs and kernels as a major plus for the platform, but this is ignoring the reality of the mass market. Most people have no idea what a ROM is or would ever bother to root their device. You can brag all day long about how "open" Android is, but that's not a concept in the world that most smartphone owners live in.
I also have yet to hear a compelling argument on how installing a custom ROM on an Android device is all that much different then jail-breaking an iPhone. Depending on the hardware there may or may not be a few more steps, but the end result seems to bear similar fruit.
It's a fair point. I agree. However my father absolutely LOVES his Galaxy Nexus that I bought him this year as an upgrade to his 3G which had a wireless chip failure.
Android has come a very long way since it was first released. Since ICS and JellyBean have come out, stock Android is awesome. I agree that it was not very good before and rooting and custom ROMs were almost a must. Of course, this is ignoring the fact that Android has its "fragmentation" issues and the vast majority of devices are not using the later versions of Android. That's a big shortcoming of the platform.
My Xoom is rooted but my Nexus 7 is not even though it's very easy to do since it's a Google device. Like easy enough that my tech unsavvy father could do it. The thing is that I don't even need to. I can install a launcher (if I wanted to; I don't) or change my keyboard without needing to. You don't have
to root Android to do the customizations. My next phone is most definitely going to be a Google Nexus device so I don't have to root it to remove all the BS the carriers install.
I appreciate that you don't have to do that with Apple devices. I bought my dad a mac mini to use as his desktop so he wouldn't have to tinker. However, I don't like that if I wanted to I couldn't change many things about my phone if I had an iPhone. Many people don't care (some because they don't know better/differently and others because they don't want to). For all the customization you can do in Android, my homescreen setup is very simple. I only use one
widget which is something that lets me adjust settings such as brightness, silent/vibrate vs only silent, wifi and bluetooth without having to actually go into my settings. Thing is that I love that functionality so much I would never switch to an iPhone because of this feature alone.
I personally feel that there should be a happy medium between Apple's locked-down state and Google's overly-open nature. Apple's big strength is the fixed hardware being developed for (this goes for their computers too). There are very few unknowns/variations which allow things to be optimized. I think Android would be much better without all the skin nonsense that each company has that makes upgrading the OS either impossible or have a very long delay. At the same time, Apple is too locked down. What they give you is what you have. I don't like the stock Android voice (think Siri; which also sounds terrible IMO) so I changed it to something that's almost human-sounding to me. Much better. I prefer Swiftkey keyboard to stock. So I changed that too. I simply cannot do that on the iPhone. As I said, some people don't care cause they're happy with things how they are but I also feel that some people don't know what else is out there so they just accept things. Again, there has to be some inbetween.
Check out the Victoria UK voice. I use that over the US English voices. Obviously not perfect but sounds a lot better than the default Android and Siri voices. I don't like how robotic they sound. Of course, I'm sure some people do like that aspect.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Edited by Jumbie - 10/16/12 at 8:59am