Android is going to become more like Apple because that's what Google wants
0. phoneArena 08 Aug 2013, 14:47 posted on
I'm getting a little bit tired of the constant shouting by Android fans that nothing seems to matter aside from specs. The trouble I have with that argument is that it's based on old, busted logic. To me, it comes off just as silly as when Apple fans continue to claim that Android is laggy or buggy, because both arguments are based on platforms that don't exist anymore...
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145. yowanvista (Posts: 318; Member since: 20 Sep 2011)
From single to quad in one year? Nope! Several devices like the SII or even the Android 2.2-powered Optimus 2X featured dual-core SoCs and the kernel support was already there. (Read IKS and Linux scheduling). Basically the number of usable cores depends on what configs were used when the device kernel was compiled so those devices running 2.2 or 2.3 did in fact fully make use of the cores. Your point is moot. The Dalvik VM was only further refined with 3.0.
149. hboy857 (Posts: 242; Member since: 03 Jun 2013)
Excellent Article as always Michael. You're my favorite writer on PA.
150. ibap (Posts: 711; Member since: 09 Sep 2009)
If there was nothing to the spec issue, how would the manufacturers and carriers convince us we need new phones?
155. volcano321 (Posts: 20; Member since: 08 Aug 2013)
I think phonearena helps generate those spec junkies by releasing tonnes of pointless articles simply to feed the desire for more news. People who come here every hour are probably the types that want the fastest and best. If you don't care about the bleeding edge, probably better to just read anandtech where they give much fewer, but much more comprehensive articles. Or get an iPhone. I personally hate iOS, but regarding the article, of course I want top end specs for top-end price.
If you're talking about $200-400 dollar phones, no one cares if it's SD600 or SD800 or OIS or whatever. But when you're paying $600+, we better be getting top end hardware. Only an idiot would s
156. Taters (Posts: 3598; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)
Specs will always matter a lot. Optimizations are just clever ways of making the work easier but no matter how clever it is, like a puny human using a wheelbarrow to push a million pounds, it is still not as solid and effective and as 100% guaranteed/foolproof method such as say using a 1000 hp tow truck or Hercules to just lift it. Sure the results might be the same but one way is still better than the other. Who would you rather have, a peasant with a wheelbarrow and some fancy pulley system or Hercules? The answer is obvious. Specs over optimizations any day of the week.
Specs will always matter until software optimizations are just as effortless as a CPU/GPU doing all the work.
184. darkkjedii (Posts: 12640; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)
But that's your opinion. Doesn't matter how powerful something is, things need to work in a synergistic fashion. 500hp engine with multi port injection, or 500hp engine with a two barrel carburetor? Which combo is better "optimized"?
210. rallyguy (Posts: 574; Member since: 13 Mar 2012)
I think I see where you are going with this. But in reality fuel injection is not that more efficient as long as the carb is adjusted correctly.
162. xtian1103 (Posts: 361; Member since: 11 Feb 2012)
What's wrong with you guys it's just a phone.
163. poping (unregistered)
i went from winmo to ios (3gs) to android...
android is the best...
would like to try wp8 but look at nokia's units... thick and bulky.. thick bezels... some features from winmo missing... etc.. etc.. etc...
166. ilia1986 (unregistered)
Better specs = device being more future proof. It's really that simple.
Oh and don't talk to me about contracts or device support limitations - I live outside the US and will always root my android devices and install a custom ROM.
192. ilia1986 (unregistered)
It is, it always has been and it always will be.
195. HansGoneInsane (Posts: 401; Member since: 09 Aug 2013)
How can you say its more future proof? I have an iPhone 4 and it will support iOS7. That are 4 years of support of the latest OS and iOS 7 won't lack of any performance spec related features. There is no Galaxy device for example you could say the same of. If you use a custom ROM, you are a minority user anyway. Not really representative I think (no offend meant). If you do a good job with programming your software you can run it with lower spec requirements. I guess that is why my iPhone 4 still can handle up-to-date iOS 7.
199. ilia1986 (unregistered)
Precisely. As you said - if you do a good job with programming - your software can run on lower spec systems. But that doesn't detract from the fact that having a device which has better specs - causes that device to be more future proof.
Besides, due to the fact that iOS versions come only once in a year, whereas android versions come out all the time, OS support can't really be compared between he two platforms.
201. Ant34 (Posts: 193; Member since: 10 Aug 2013)
iOS is old, boring and stale. The first iPhone should be able to support the latest version of iOS since there's been little innovation through the years.
206. cp1024 (Posts: 5; Member since: 16 May 2010)
What will iOS7 do for you that is so much more mindblowing than iOS6.x.x ?
170. BooBooooooo (Posts: 56; Member since: 07 Aug 2013)
? I think android just getting better.
172. itsdeepak4u2000 (Posts: 2866; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)
Nice article. Thanks Michael.
Android is getting smooth.
173. johnbftl (Posts: 224; Member since: 09 Jun 2012)
Nice article Michael, but I do disagree with your view on how the two companies have approached the evolution of their operating systems. It has nothing to do with the lag or bugginess. From Cupcake to Doughnut to Eclair on up, Android has pushed itself to grow, and up until hiring Matias Duarte after the collapse of webOS, it's been in-house. When the G1 was updated to Doughnut, an on-screen keyboard was added as well as speech to text. Eclair brought Google Navigator and live wallpapers. Froyo gave us Flash support, tethering and file uploading through the browser. Gingerbread brought NFC support and Google Wallet.And Honeycomb have us optimization for tablets.
Apple on the other hand has taken an outsourcing route. Many of their groundbreaking features have been applications previously found in the app store, and purchased by Apple. The first iPhone didn't even have the ability to send multimedia messages. When Apple was confronted about it, they placed the blame on AT&T. Now I work for AT&T. At the time our employee plans did not allow us to have iPhones. I had the Samsung Sync A707. Simple flip phone with a camera. Now I could send all the picture and video messages my happy butt would like without issue over AT&T's network. That little flip phone also recorded video. Something the iPhone couldn't do until its third iteration. Apple holds back to make their next product seem like it's so much better. I really don't think Google has that business model. They have proven time and again they want to push the limit with the possibility of what their OS is capable of. For what it's worth, I don't think anything above a dual core is needed to smoothly run Android. You're spot on about them pulling away from the specs posturing. It's not needed.
174. TylerGrunter (Posts: 1058; Member since: 16 Feb 2012)
First time I don't agree with Michael in an article for several things:
a) Specs are not the ONLY important thing, but they ARE important. Even if you optimize software it runs slower in a slower CPU, and games can't be as good in a woser GPU. So specs allow developers to create new experinces.
b) While the statment holds quite good for Apple, it does not holds its ground so good for Android, where several OEMs use the same OS. They use specs as a differencing factor, as much as the customization. How to convince customer to pay the extra price if all the Androids are the same in your eyes?
c) Google uses the LAST and the BEST HW they can. Let's check: first 10" tablet with high dpi, first A15 cores, first 7" with full HD, first 7" with good processors, and a looooong list more. So they DO care about specs too.
181. Charlie_boy (Posts: 64; Member since: 04 Jan 2013)
Michael makes a good point in the specs issue.. but maybe it could be stated better and less provocative...
If you have an optimized software (like Android), Hardware specs become a means to an end; the end being the user experience.
So, if you are the average joe, you would just need decent specs (some call it mid-range now) to have a great USER EXPERIENCE.
If you are a mobile gamer, power user, tech enthusiast; you would need the bleeding edge specs for a great GAMING EXPERIENCE (or what ever else you'd use the smartphone for).
That's what Motorola did recently with the MotoX, not bleeding edge (or should I say not Gaming) specs but will please 90% of the consumers.
186. nasznjoka (Posts: 361; Member since: 05 Oct 2012)
Well said MH! The truth is there for us to see! If you don't want OEM to put SD cards on the phone so that users should use Drive,Dropbox etc that's just being selfish like apple! I believe they bring those services for free for us to choose not to be forced into them! That's why i salute Samsung for being sturbbon on this one in particular. Let us decide what we want its the first reason for jumping ship! Freedom!! On spec v optimization i think AVARAGE CONSUMER PREFERS SPECS THATS WHY GALAXYIES HAVE BEEN SUCCESSFUL
191. casperspirits (Posts: 15; Member since: 20 Sep 2012)
This article is only interesting when talking about the revolution of Android platform. Passed that, are just the regular nagging and personal.
194. HansGoneInsane (Posts: 401; Member since: 09 Aug 2013)
Many comments here miss the main point of the article and are full of insults. I think the author has drawn some interesting conclusions. I agree that there are two different schools of thinking: One school thinks from the hardware side ("We build the best hardware into our devices and then think about what we can do with that device.") and the other one thinks from the software side ("Which user experience do we want to deliver to our customers and thus which hardware do we need for that?"). It looks like that Google has come to conclusion that in the long run, thinking from the software and therewith user side will win the race. Now, some people could argue that Andriod has grabbed 80% of the marketshare with the the hardware side approach. True, but that is not because people love Google and Android so much but rather because all more affordable devices run Android. iOS devices are simply to expensive for many people. You don't agree with me? Then answer the question how Apple could dominate the MP3-Player market with their iPods? They were also inferior from the specs they offered for the price. Still, people bought them because Apple delivered high quality user experience and since MP3-Players don't cost the world, people bought them. However, this strategy doesn't apply to the phone market since an iOS smartphone costs $650 and not $150 like an iPod therewith forcing many people to buy something else due to a lack of money. I think Apple can be very proud to earn 50% of all smartphone profits with just 13% marketshare. As soon as Apple delivers more affordable Smartphones that are up-to-date models (not older versions of the iPhone) and additionally diversifies the product like to a version with a larger screen (next to the classic iPhone with its smaller screen) it will gain a larger share of the market. Realistic are 30% in my opinion. In the end, user-experience matters. As soon as the hardware has reached a certain level, a user cannot experience the CPU anymore. It is true that a user still can experience the screen though. The question is, what kind of screen does he want to experience? Some want a larger screen for sure, others want a smaller screen they can handle with one hand. The key to success is that a manufacturer needs to have both kinds of devices in their portfolio. Apple hasn't recognized that yet.
198. davidbonatz (Posts: 3; Member since: 06 Aug 2013)
With just a quick glance at this article, i figured immediately how dumb the author is. APPLE is becoming more like Google if anything. Have any of you seen or actually USED iOS 7. its biggest improvements are copied from android mostly and windows phone a little. Wake up and talk after you know the facts
200. Ant34 (Posts: 193; Member since: 10 Aug 2013)
If you're charging me $600 to $700 for a phone I want top of the line specs along with a good user experience. I don't see why they have to be mutually exclusive.
203. xkorpio (Posts: 4; Member since: 11 Aug 2013)
" It also means taking more of the iPhone approach and making Android devices that consider what "value" is for average users, and not just target the elite crowd with features and specs that don't make any real world difference, but look good on a comparison chart. "
Doesn't Apple target those people who want an all "PREMIUM" phone ??? LOL By the way WHY DO I KEEP HEARIN apple is going to produce a plastic "cheap" phone??? hahaha same thing. I love how sammy keeps using top of the line specs for their phones. BUT HEY! if they want to tap into other populations they can always offer other phones. WELL i think they are with likes the galaxy mini. So here's my question to the author.... "why is apple creating a ("Cheaper") phone ??? LOL i think we (logical thinking individuals) can figure that out. lol V
207. cp1024 (Posts: 5; Member since: 16 May 2010)
I personally do not like Apples way of doing business, or their products, but the plastic is the right move. look for drop test comparisons between iphone4/5 and Samsung Galaxy S II/III/IV
204. 9thWonderful (Posts: 232; Member since: 24 Jan 2013)
Best PA article I've read in a long time. I'm glad someone at PA has found a way to articulate the reasons why iPhone remains successful despite last year's spec sheet which many of us commenters have been saying for awhile now. Many android fans can't wrap their heads around why one would prefer an iPhone over any android...but it's really simple...most regular ppl could care less about the majority of hardware specs & benchmark tests. Screen size, camera MP's & usability are the most common preferences...everything else about smart phones most are oblivious to.
208. wilsong17 (Posts: 1094; Member since: 10 Mar 2013)
u mean samsung
without samsung android will never be what it its today
209. rallyguy (Posts: 574; Member since: 13 Mar 2012)
Apple doesn't release new apps until they are sure they work?
Ummm. Apple Maps?????? Enough said.
211. rallyguy (Posts: 574; Member since: 13 Mar 2012)
Isn't it the other way around? Apple wants to be more like Android phones?
Apple has been following Android phones for years.
Did the author write this article just to piss people off.