Welcome!

API Journal Authors: Rishi Bhargava, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, XebiaLabs Blog, Dana Gardner

Blog Feed Post

Gizmodo and TechCrunch are full of trolls and clowns

By

image via sodahead

image via sodahead

In yesterday’s Mobile review, I went on a little (or not so little) rant about Gizmodo and TechCrunch articles decrying Android for cheapness. The articles can be found here: Android is Popular Because it’s Cheap, Not Because it’s Good by Sam Biddle (Gizmodo) and The Truth Is That Android Is Cheap, Not Good by John Biggs (TechCrunch). Both of these writers are die-hard Apple fanatics, you can read their trolling yourself, but even worse, when they “review” Android devices, it’s as a secondary device, they do not force themselves to actually use them exclusively. I am sick of the FUD that many mainstream bloggers see fit to spew forth, and wish to rectify it.

When I undertook the iPad Mini experiment, I forced myself to use the device exclusively. I still used my Android smartphone, but I only picked up the Nexus 7 to keep it updated, not to browse or anything more. I read books on the iPad Mini, I surfed the web, I used it for Evernote (and cooking) as well as watching YouTube videos. And did not like it. My reasons are myriad, but I do not have the arrogance to claim my reasons are right (or the “truth”). Sam’s article regarding the rise of the Android platform includes gems like this one: “People without money happened.” The original pricing scheme for the iPhone was 4GB/8GB $499/599 with two-year contract. That makes the cost of the first iPhone over $700, for 4GB of storage. Buying that doesn’t make you smart or cool or discerning, it makes you a sucker. The first iPhone was a HUGE jump from non-touch optimized interfaces, but the rest of the applications, etc, were nothing great. Capability-wise it was not far in front of other devices, it was just touch-optimized. Anything else is pure revisionist history.

I have often decried when people will buy $1 phones on contract (devices such as the iPhone 4 or Samsung Galaxy S3 from Amazon Wireless) that they are doing themselves a disservice, I don’t like it when people will even buy $99 phones on contract (devices such as the iPhone 4S or the Motorola Droid RAZR HD MAXX). Because if you are buying on contract, you should get the most out of your commitment to the network, because they will take you for everything that they can. Sam denigrates that Samsung is marketing to African Americans by using LeBron James and the Galaxy Note 2 (if there’s a person for whom a phone as large as the Note makes sense, it’s the best basketball player in the world, but I digress). He references that the “Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project shows that Android is the chosen smartphone of people without money.” Not only is this a remarkably entitled and pompous statement, but it ignores other stats from that study, such as 50% of Americans use the mobile web for the majority of their browsing. In Sam’s words, Apple is both “too stubborn” and “too smart” to go after poorer Americans (I’ve noted in the past that Apple will struggle in the developing world until they create a pricing strategy that makes sense in those nations). Poor people need smartphones too, and they need other technology as well. Apple does not have to charge $329 for the 16GB/WiFi iPad Mini, or $500 for the 16GB/WiFi iPad, they choose to do so, to create a (false) sense of prestige and quality. Apple makes barriers to entry so high, that in my mind the best valued device is the 16 GB iPhone 5 ($199 on contract – the same as top quality Android devices). For every other mobile device, there is an equivalent Android device for less.

Here are some undeniable ways that Android is better than iPhone:

  1. Google Now – the Search and Personal Assistant capability scrapes your e-mail and web searches to return you information that you desire. This can be the traffic on your daily commute, the status of packages you’ve ordered, and the scores of your favorite teams. It can offer information on your flight status, and Google keeps adding more. Popular Science called Google Now the Innovation of the Year, no small feat. It is innovative, and nothing Apple has touches it.
  2. True Multitasking – the multitasking in iOS is bunk, and garbage. It barely works and only for a handful of programs. People throw around that “Android is open…thus better,” without realizing what the “openness” means. It means that any program can be running in the background, present in your notifications, enabling interaction with many tasks at once.
  3. Sharing – the Android operating system allows programs to talk to each other. It allows them to share data to any source. I can take something and instantly add it to any other installed app. I can share data to my Pocket application, enabling offline reading and consumption. This is simply not possible with iOS. iOS only allows you to share data with the applications of Apple’s choice, and then not as cleanly.
  4. Customization – Android allows you to download the browser, mapping, texting, email, launcher, keyboard and anything else you desire and make it the default app of choice. iOS does not. Plain and simple, you can create the Android experience that suits you, how it suits you. This includes things like widgets (available on both your homescreen and your lockscreen) and which apps even show up on your homescreen. I could go on for days, but the device that you use the most (smartphone) should be customized to fit your style, Android allows this, iOS does not.
  5. Google Integration – Google’s integration into Android is (no way!) extraordinary. You can access any of their top notch services from your Android phone, including Google Voice, Drive, Maps and Mail. My Google TV app is amazing, and annoying for others who want to control my TV. Google’s app development is so good, their apps are also recognized as top iOS apps as well. Google integration is a deal maker for me, and really hamstrung iOS’s compatibility with my life.
  6. App Scaling - I wrote about this extensively in my review of my time with the iPad Mini, but it is important. Yes iOS has more “iPad” apps, but only because it has to. If the app is non-optimized, it is a miserable experience. Pixelation, not even fitting the edges of the screen and more.
  7. Android lets you choose - There is no one-size fits all Android solution. If you like a skin, you can buy that OEM’s devices. If you want water resistant, there are the Droid RAZR series of phones, if you want removeable batteries, there are the Samsung Galaxy lines of phones. If you want a bigger phone (Galaxy Note) or smaller (Motorola RAZR M). Android gives you choices, in device, options, and capabilities. Everything about the Android ecosystem is designed to give the consumer options instead of having one company making all the choices for you.

To further this argument (and derail the “cheapness” argument), when I purchased my HTC Evo 4G it was the exact same price as an iPhone, except Sprint did not carry the iPhone. The same was true for smartphones on T-Mobile and Verizon. The iPhone is not as popular because it is not as universal, not because it is cheap. Cheap iPhones are always available off contract. The iPhone was not even available for any carrier besides AT&T until 2011 – which drove Android marketshare more than any other factor. Users wanted a similar experience to iOS, and it could only be found via Android. iPhones may be a symbol of the rich and success, but they are not only for the rich. Many users rely on MVNOs (pre-paid carriers) for their service, only Straight Talk is offering an unlocked iPhone on their network. Not making the iPhone available may have been a marketing ploy (and a result of Steve Jobs’ insane controlling tendencies) but it crippled iOS more than anything else.

Lastly, if Apple allowed Samsung or HTC or even Motorola to design an iOS product, they’d jump at the chance, but Apple won’t. The more you look at it, the reason that Android is trouncing iOS in adoption and use is Apple. In every way, they have made their devices harder to get and less universal. They are not bad devices, not in the slightest, but they are meant for a target consumer, and it shows. This consumer is invested in the iOS worldhas a personal computer (Mac or Windows), and purchases content online. For those of us who do not fit that bill, iOS is not for us. I think despite Apple’s inroad into emerging markets, their target consumers mostly reside in the US, Canada and Northern Europe. The steep barriers to entry designed at countries with heavy middle classes do not translate to poorer nations. Apple is the reason Android is winning, not the other way around.

Despite my list, I do not think that Android is for everyone. I think for many users (especially those already invested in the iOS ecosystem) the opportunity cost is too high to switch. But, for others, Android is the perfect place for them to reside. When you start with a blank slate, both mobile operating systems are equally easy to learn and master. Making technology choices is an intensely personal decision, one that should be chosen on each individual’s needs and not because some tech blogger says so. If you are not informed when making technology choices, you are doomed to regret them. I often pull out my Nexus 4 and amaze iPhone users with what I can do, but I’m extra dorky that way. My problem is not that iOS is bad or anything, it’s that too many bloggers fill the net with FUD, in cheap attempts to garner pageviews and attention. Instead of providing true analysis, they spit rhetoric and opinion, and pass them as “truths.” Please keep your minds open when reading, and take anything guys like Biddle and Biggs write with a grain of salt.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Bob Gourley

Bob Gourley writes on enterprise IT. He is a founder and partner at Cognitio Corp and publsher of CTOvision.com

@ThingsExpo Stories
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to imp...
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device.
Large scale deployments present unique planning challenges, system commissioning hurdles between IT and OT and demand careful system hand-off orchestration. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Smith, Senior Director and a founding member of Incenergy, will discuss some of the key tactics to ensure delivery success based on his experience of the last two years deploying Industrial IoT systems across four continents.
Basho Technologies has announced the latest release of Basho Riak TS, version 1.3. Riak TS is an enterprise-grade NoSQL database optimized for Internet of Things (IoT). The open source version enables developers to download the software for free and use it in production as well as make contributions to the code and develop applications around Riak TS. Enhancements to Riak TS make it quick, easy and cost-effective to spin up an instance to test new ideas and build IoT applications. In addition to...
Identity is in everything and customers are looking to their providers to ensure the security of their identities, transactions and data. With the increased reliance on cloud-based services, service providers must build security and trust into their offerings, adding value to customers and improving the user experience. Making identity, security and privacy easy for customers provides a unique advantage over the competition.
"We've discovered that after shows 80% if leads that people get, 80% of the conversations end up on the show floor, meaning people forget about it, people forget who they talk to, people forget that there are actual business opportunities to be had here so we try to help out and keep the conversations going," explained Jeff Mesnik, Founder and President of ContentMX, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"There's a growing demand from users for things to be faster. When you think about all the transactions or interactions users will have with your product and everything that is between those transactions and interactions - what drives us at Catchpoint Systems is the idea to measure that and to analyze it," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York Ci...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
I wanted to gather all of my Internet of Things (IOT) blogs into a single blog (that I could later use with my University of San Francisco (USF) Big Data “MBA” course). However as I started to pull these blogs together, I realized that my IOT discussion lacked a vision; it lacked an end point towards which an organization could drive their IOT envisioning, proof of value, app dev, data engineering and data science efforts. And I think that the IOT end point is really quite simple…
"My role is working with customers, helping them go through this digital transformation. I spend a lot of time talking to banks, big industries, manufacturers working through how they are integrating and transforming their IT platforms and moving them forward," explained William Morrish, General Manager Product Sales at Interoute, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...
Extracting business value from Internet of Things (IoT) data doesn’t happen overnight. There are several requirements that must be satisfied, including IoT device enablement, data analysis, real-time detection of complex events and automated orchestration of actions. Unfortunately, too many companies fall short in achieving their business goals by implementing incomplete solutions or not focusing on tangible use cases. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products...
WebRTC is bringing significant change to the communications landscape that will bridge the worlds of web and telephony, making the Internet the new standard for communications. Cloud9 took the road less traveled and used WebRTC to create a downloadable enterprise-grade communications platform that is changing the communication dynamic in the financial sector. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Leo Papadopoulos, CTO of Cloud9, discussed the importance of WebRTC and how it enables companies to focus...
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ) and Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) have entered into a definitive agreement under which Verizon will acquire Yahoo's operating business for approximately $4.83 billion in cash, subject to customary closing adjustments. Yahoo informs, connects and entertains a global audience of more than 1 billion monthly active users** -- including 600 million monthly active mobile users*** through its search, communications and digital content products. Yahoo also co...
A critical component of any IoT project is what to do with all the data being generated. This data needs to be captured, processed, structured, and stored in a way to facilitate different kinds of queries. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle certain kinds of queries, but they are not always well suited to many problems, particularly when there is a need for real-time insights.
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings in the last year, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their back-end AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT – especially in the connected home and office. Amazon is extending its reach by building on its dominant Cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strategy, recently announced Replenishment Services, the Echo/Alexa voice recognition control platform, the 6-7 strategic...
The best-practices for building IoT applications with Go Code that attendees can use to build their own IoT applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Indraneel Mitra, Senior Solutions Architect & Technology Evangelist at Cognizant, provided valuable information and resources for both novice and experienced developers on how to get started with IoT and Golang in a day. He also provided information on how to use Intel Arduino Kit, Go Robotics API and AWS IoT stack to build an application tha...
IoT generates lots of temporal data. But how do you unlock its value? You need to discover patterns that are repeatable in vast quantities of data, understand their meaning, and implement scalable monitoring across multiple data streams in order to monetize the discoveries and insights. Motif discovery and deep learning platforms are emerging to visualize sensor data, to search for patterns and to build application that can monitor real time streams efficiently. In his session at @ThingsExpo, ...