I get to use a lot of different devices as a tech journalist. I’ve gotten my hands on Android phones, iPhones, Windows Phones, iPads, and Android tablets for work. I’ve spent time with all major platforms (and Windows 8).
Despite all that, I still prefer using Android. I use a Galaxy S4 with a stock 4.3 ROM and a Nook HD+ with CyanogenMod 10.1. I could have bought an iPhone or an iPad recently, but I chose against them (Windows 8 wasn’t a real contender).
The Flexibility I Want
Android operates by looser rules than iOS does. When you use an Apple product, you agree to color within their lines in exchange for a smooth, worry-free experience. It just works.
Jelly Bean and KitKat’s improved performance and ever-rising specs on most high-end Android devices have brought Android well into the acceptable range.
Now, when I use my Galaxy S4, it runs with minimal lag. I can use it without worrying about apps crashing or glitches. It just works.
The point of all that is to say that you can get good performance without living inside Apple’s walled garden.
I don’t have to mess around with iTunes or iCloud. I just copy files to my Android device. It just works.
Mature Design That’s Easy to Use
I admit I’m likely biased on this one as somebody who’s used Android for years, but I find it easy to get around.
Is the alarm going off? Pull down the notification shade and select the automatically expanding notification to snooze or dismiss it.
Frustrated with the texting app? Just download a new one from the app store that’s easier to use.
Need to type something? Swiftkey or my favorite Swype let you seamlessly input text by dragging your finger from letter to letter. Gimmicky, sure, but intuitive and addicting as hell when you get used to it.
It’s just easier to do stuff on Android. You can share anything, upload and download files, and interact with notifications faster and more efficiently than you can on Android or iOS.
Obviously these qualities don’t matter to everyone. Most users care about their phones just working without them having to mess with anything, where I don’t mind swapping out a launcher or trying a new messaging app.
That goes back to my original point. For my needs as a journalist and heavy mobile user, Android provides greater performance within a smooth and responsive system.
If I can ask this without starting a comments fight, what system do you prefer? Why?