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Is Choice a Problem For Android?

Soulskill posted 1 year,8 days | from the it-wasn't-for-Jif dept.

Android 361

New submitter mjone13 writes "Dave Feldman, in a blog posts, says that the problem Android faces is giving consumers too much choice. He cites several studies which state that consumers generally are unhappier when they have too much choice. 'Catering to all individual preferences creates a bloated, bland product. Not to mention a UI that’s impossible to navigate. Furthermore, people are notoriously bad at identifying what we want. And what we do want is influenced heavily by what we know — our expectations are constrained by our experience.' He then goes on to talk about Android fragmentation, app developer problems and bug issues. Finally he says the people who general prefer the choice Android provides are tinkers similar to gear heads who love tinkering with their car. 'I think many who extol Android’s flexibility fall into the tinkerer category, including some tech bloggers. They love all the ways they can customize their phones, not because they’re seeking some perfect setup, but because they can swap in a new launcher every week. That’s fun for them; but they’ve made the mistake of not understanding how their motivation differs from the rest of us.' Is choice really a problem for Android?" Whether it's a problem depends on what the goals are. Providing a satisfying experience to a bunch of tinkerers is a very different thing from providing a satisfying experience to the multitude of non-tinkerers who buy smartphones.

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choice doesn't *require* bad defaults (5, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | 1 year,8 days | (#45140861)

You can have a highly customizable UI without making the default bland and impossible to navigate. Having more customization does make some things more difficult, since you can't assume all users will have the same setup, but it's still compatible with a decent default interface.

Re:choice doesn't *require* bad defaults (2, Insightful)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | 1 year,8 days | (#45141031)

It's not the users that are the problem its the dev teams because if you're writing for Apple you only need to test on few handsets & tablets. However, if you're writing for Android you need to test on fucking hundreds of different hand sets because each manufacturer has fucked with the OS. So either apps don't get written for android or if they do they normally get approx 100th the testing apps get on Apple.

Re:choice doesn't *require* bad defaults (5, Informative)

somersault (912633) | 1 year,8 days | (#45141079)

Why is everyone talking like there even is a problem? In August Android had almost 80% of the market [techcrunch.com] . Yeah, it must be incredibly boring and horrible to use if so many people want it.

Re:choice doesn't *require* bad defaults (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45141083)

Don't read this... it is a curse...

In 1994, an adventurous young lad named Winston was frolicking about in his neighborhood and eventually discovered an ominous-looking building. Winston, being the fearless young lad that he was, decided to investigate the building with the hope that he'd discover something new and exciting all by himself. After wandering around the building for a period of time no longer than a few minutes, Winston came across an opened door leading into a dark room; from his position, he could see that a small area in the middle of the room was illuminated by some sort of spotlight. Winston, feeling as if he was being drawn into the building, decided to head inside to see what this mysterious place had to offer.

Winston immediately began regretting his decision to enter the building as soon as he noticed numerous shady individuals surrounding the spotlight he had seen previously. In the spotlight, Winston saw a naked little boy that looked exactly like him; curious, he slowly approached the light. By the time Winston was no more than twenty feet away from his lookalike, he could tell that the boy in the spotlight did indeed look exactly like himself, and that the spotlight boy had his precious ass pointed up in the air. At this point, Winston noticed that had no body, and from that he surmised that the boy who resided in the middle of the spotlight was no imposter, but he himself!

Winston became scared and wondered how he could be viewing events while outside of his body, as if he were a ghost. The boy, being quite bright, quickly figured out that he was no ghost, but something along the lines of a disembodied perspective; an observer. As question after question surfaced in Winston's mind, an entity that would make him dread his vacuous decision to enter this building appeared right behind his real body's bootyass. "What is that!?" Winston screamed to himself. Winston stared intently and discerned the entity's true nature; it was an ET doll, and it was moving of its own accord! Even a cursory glance of this enigmatic entity would be enough to tell one that it was malevolent by its very nature, and Winston, being a little boy, became absolutely terrified at the mere sight of it...

The misfortunate young boy then noticed that the shady individuals he'd took notice of when he entered the building began whispering to one another. "It's beginning. I can't wait!" said one shadowy figure. "A grand experiment is about to unfold; an experiment unlike any the world has ever seen before!" said another. The whispers came to a sudden halt when the ET doll began to move closer and closer to Winston's prized bootyass. It was at this point that poor little Winston realized that an experiment was taking place in this building, and that he was the test subject!

The ET doll drew near Winston's vulnerable little ass and stuck its hand up in the air. Winston, at this point, had already succumbed to trepidation, but he stilled tried to stop the malicious entity from taking any further actions. Unfortunately, Winston, being a mere observer, could do nothing but watch in horror as the experiment unfolded before his very eyes! The ET doll began screaming "Ba la la la leh leh leh!" repeatedly, and not long after that was when it began to conduct the much-anticipated experiment. The malicious entity then began jabbing its hand into Winston's asshole while repeating that same phrase again and again. What followed was not pain, but excruciating ass tickle!

"It tickles! It tickles horribly!" Winston screamed in his mind. Winston tried his utmost to stop the evil doll from harming him any further, but he could not move a single cheek! The speed of the ET doll's movements quickly became faster than even the speed of light, and similarly, the tickle being inflicted upon Winston's tortured bootyass became increasingly intense! The tortured boy screamed internally again and again, but it was to no avail; the ET doll merely laughed as it continued jabbing Winston's ass with its hand. Winston's fragile mind had shattered the moment the ET doll laid its hands on his most prized possession...

Even the most foolish individual would have been able to tell that no entity in existence, no matter how powerful, can withstand the suffering that Winston was going through and emerge unscathed. Indeed, the tickle being inflicted upon Winston's precious ass was so intense that even an eternity of painful torture would be preferable to experiencing what he was going through for any amount of time. So, then... what became of little Winston? Well, let's just say the boy that was once known as Winston effectively no longer exists.

Now that you have read even a single word of this, you will be lured into a mysterious building and will become the subject of a grand experiment not unlike the one that Winston found himself the subject of! To prevent that from happening, you must copy this entire story and post it as a comment three times.

Re:choice doesn't *require* bad defaults (1, Interesting)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | 1 year,8 days | (#45141113)

Hey I'm not complaining I have Android and love it it's just I know dev teams and most of them wont support Android just because it's such a pain in the arse to test your app on. Oh it may work on a Galaxy S4 but you still have to test on every fucking flavour (For which there are lots). Most of the Dev teams I know (and I know a few) would rather write for Blackberry than Android because there are only 2 handsets at the moment.

Re:choice doesn't *require* bad defaults (-1, Offtopic)

AlphaWoIf_HK (3042365) | 1 year,8 days | (#45141149)

Don't read this... it is a curse...

In 1994, an adventurous young lad named Winston was frolicking about in his neighborhood and eventually discovered an ominous-looking building. Winston, being the fearless young lad that he was, decided to investigate the building with the hope that he'd discover something new and exciting all by himself. After wandering around the building for a period of time no longer than a few minutes, Winston came across an unblocked entrance that lead into a dark room; from his position, he could see that a small area in the middle of the room was illuminated by some sort of spotlight. Winston, feeling as if he was being drawn into the building, decided to head inside to see what this mysterious place had to offer.

Winston immediately began regretting his decision to enter the building as soon as he noticed numerous shady individuals surrounding the spotlight he had seen previously. In the spotlight, Winston saw a naked little boy that looked exactly like him; curious, he slowly approached the light. By the time Winston was no more than twenty feet away from his lookalike, he could tell that the boy in the spotlight did indeed look exactly like himself, and that the spotlight boy had his precious ass pointed up in the air. At this point, Winston noticed that had no body, and from that he surmised that the boy who resided in the middle of the spotlight was no imposter, but he himself!

Winston, now terror-struck, wondered how he could be viewing events while outside of his body, as if he were a ghost. The boy, being quite bright, quickly figured out that he was no ghost, but something along the lines of a disembodied perspective; an observer. Not only was Winston now little more than a perspective, but he could somehow feel what his body was experiencing. As question after question surfaced in Winston's mind, an entity that would make him dread his vacuous decision to enter this building appeared right behind his real body's bootyass. "What is that!?" Winston screamed to himself. Winston stared intently and discerned the entity's true nature; it was an ET doll, and it was moving of its own accord! Even a cursory glance of this enigmatic entity would be enough to tell one that it was malevolent by its very nature, and Winston, being a little boy, became absolutely terrified at the mere sight of it...

The misfortunate young boy then noticed that the shady individuals he'd took notice of when he entered the building began whispering to one another. "It's beginning. I can't wait!" said one shadowy figure. "A grand experiment is about to unfold; an experiment unlike any the world has ever seen before!" said another. Every last one of the shady figures were standing outside of the spotlight and were surrounding it, as if they were an audience to some event that was about to take place. The whispers came to a sudden halt when the ET doll began to move closer and closer to Winston's prized bootyass. It was at this point that poor little Winston realized that an experiment was taking place in this building, and that he was the test subject!

The ET doll drew near Winston's vulnerable little ass and stuck its hand up in the air. Winston, at this point, had already succumbed to trepidation, but he still attempted to stop the malicious entity from taking any further actions. Unfortunately, Winston, being a mere observer, could do nothing but watch in horror as the experiment unfolded before his very eyes! The ET doll began screaming "Ba la la la leh leh leh!" repeatedly, and not long after that was when it began to conduct the much-anticipated experiment. The malicious entity then began jabbing its hand into Winston's asshole while repeating that same phrase again and again. What followed was not pain, but excruciating ass tickle!

"It tickles! It tickles horribly!" Winston screamed in his mind. Winston tried his utmost to stop the evil doll from harming him any further, but he could not move a single cheek! The speed of the ET doll's movements quickly became faster than even the speed of light, and similarly, the tickle being inflicted upon Winston's tortured bootyass became increasingly intense! The tortured boy screamed internally again and again, but it was to no avail; the ET doll merely laughed as it continued jabbing Winston's ass with its creepy hand. Winston's fragile mind had been shattered the moment the ET doll laid its hands on his most prized possession...

Even the most foolish individual would have been able to tell that no entity in existence, no matter how powerful, could have withstood the suffering that Winston was going through and emerge unscathed. Indeed, the tickle being inflicted upon Winston's precious ass was so intense that even an eternity of painful torture would be preferable to experiencing what he was going through for any amount of time. So, then... what became of little Winston? Well, let's just say the boy that was once known as Winston effectively no longer exists.

Now that you have read even a single word of this, you will be lured into a mysterious building and will become the subject of a grand experiment not unlike the one that Winston found himself the subject of! To prevent that from happening, you must copy this entire story and post it as a comment three times.

Re:choice doesn't *require* bad defaults (5, Insightful)

LordThyGod (1465887) | 1 year,8 days | (#45141115)

Why is everyone talking like there even is a problem? In August Android had almost 80% of the market [techcrunch.com] . Yeah, it must be incredibly boring and horrible to use if so many people want it.

Exactly. Its like the fragmentation argument that is just killing Android. Or how insecure Android is. Its just people writing headlines to attract attention to themselves.

Re:choice doesn't *require* bad defaults (3, Interesting)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | 1 year,8 days | (#45141151)

Why is everyone talking like there even is a problem? In August Android had almost 80% of the market [techcrunch.com] . Yeah, it must be incredibly boring and horrible to use if so many people want it.

Yet Apple's profit was greater than the other's combined; with Samsung a close second in terms of profitability. It's really just a two horse race with Apple vs. Samsung; so in that sense as long as Samsung maintains a consistent UI and feature set the "too many choices" argument is not relevant. It's shaping up a lot like the PC market did - Apple has it's own proprietary offering; the PC has MS-DOS but each implementation is customized often to the point of a lack of compatibility until IBM essentially set a hardware standard that allowed the emergence of a standard OS implementation. The biggest difference, other than the much greater difficulty difficulty in making Samsung clones like the old IBM clones, is Google didn't chose to make money on the OS like MS; it remains to be seen if that will ultimately was a good choice.

Re:choice doesn't *require* bad defaults (1)

myspys (204685) | 1 year,8 days | (#45141259)

So you're actually trying to imply that people buy phones based on the OS? And not on the price and features?

Aren't around 99% of low price phones based on Android?

Re:choice doesn't *require* bad defaults (1)

somersault (912633) | 1 year,7 days | (#45141395)

That depends what you mean by "low price phone". Real low priced phones don't even run smartphone OSes. A lot of budget smartphones will be running on Android though, yes.

For me personally getting a new phone, I care primarily about OS version and potential support for updates, then screen size/resolution.

Re: choice doesn't *require* bad defaults (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45141265)

80% of .5% of all the phones purchased in the last two years is not impressive. Use some real stats instead of bogus stat intended to make a misleading point.

Re: choice doesn't *require* bad defaults (1)

somersault (912633) | 1 year,8 days | (#45141375)

It was the most recent global stats I could find. I don't see how it's misleading. People like Android. It's not like they're even locked in in any way, as people are with Windows.

Re:choice doesn't *require* bad defaults (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#45141501)

I think the 80% comes from android being the best offer of the moment: very good apps, incredible range of devices for any kind of budget, highly customizable but at the same time it works reasonably well out of the box.

Still I think it my be important to think on how to go forward: more choice or a simpler, cleaner UI? Personally (as a Nokia N9 user) I am of the latter opinion.

Re:choice doesn't *require* bad defaults (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#45141517)

Being the cheapest in the market usually gets you the most market share. That doesn't mean people *want* to use it.

Re:choice doesn't *require* bad defaults (5, Informative)

jareth-0205 (525594) | 1 year,8 days | (#45141109)

It's not the users that are the problem its the dev teams because if you're writing for Apple you only need to test on few handsets & tablets. However, if you're writing for Android you need to test on fucking hundreds of different hand sets because each manufacturer has fucked with the OS. So either apps don't get written for android or if they do they normally get approx 100th the testing apps get on Apple.

Except if you were actually a developer working in the real life world (I am, on an app with 2 million daily active users) you'll know that that is not at all necessary. There are device-specific bugs, but they're rare, and in the most part we rotate testing on about 6 devices, and use bug reporting libraries to catch the rest. Our crash-rate is a tenth of the iOS team's crash-rate.

Re:choice doesn't *require* bad defaults (-1, Offtopic)

AlphaWoIf_HK (3042365) | 1 year,8 days | (#45141153)

snap

Don't read this... it is a curse...

In 1994, an adventurous young lad named Winston was frolicking about in his neighborhood and eventually discovered an ominous-looking building. Winston, being the fearless young lad that he was, decided to investigate the building with the hope that he'd discover something new and exciting all by himself. After wandering around the building for a period of time no longer than a few minutes, Winston came across an unblocked entrance that lead into a dark room; from his position, he could see that a small area in the middle of the room was illuminated by some sort of spotlight. Winston, feeling as if he was being drawn into the building, decided to head inside to see what this mysterious place had to offer.

Winston immediately began regretting his decision to enter the building as soon as he noticed numerous shady individuals surrounding the spotlight he had seen previously. In the spotlight, Winston saw a naked little boy that looked exactly like him; curious, he slowly approached the light. By the time Winston was no more than twenty feet away from his lookalike, he could tell that the boy in the spotlight did indeed look exactly like himself, and that the spotlight boy had his precious ass pointed up in the air. At this point, Winston noticed that had no body, and from that he surmised that the boy who resided in the middle of the spotlight was no imposter, but he himself!

Winston, now terror-struck, wondered how he could be viewing events while outside of his body, as if he were a ghost. The boy, being quite bright, quickly figured out that he was no ghost, but something along the lines of a disembodied perspective; an observer. Not only was Winston now little more than a perspective, but he could somehow feel what his body was experiencing. As question after question surfaced in Winston's mind, an entity that would make him dread his vacuous decision to enter this building appeared right behind his real body's bootyass. "What is that!?" Winston screamed to himself. Winston stared intently and discerned the entity's true nature; it was an ET doll, and it was moving of its own accord! Even a cursory glance of this enigmatic entity would be enough to tell one that it was malevolent by its very nature, and Winston, being a little boy, became absolutely terrified at the mere sight of it...

The misfortunate young boy then noticed that the shady individuals he'd took notice of when he entered the building began whispering to one another. "It's beginning. I can't wait!" said one shadowy figure. "A grand experiment is about to unfold; an experiment unlike any the world has ever seen before!" said another. Every last one of the shady figures were standing outside of the spotlight and were surrounding it, as if they were an audience to some event that was about to take place. The whispers came to a sudden halt when the ET doll began to move closer and closer to Winston's prized bootyass. It was at this point that poor little Winston realized that an experiment was taking place in this building, and that he was the test subject!

The ET doll drew near Winston's vulnerable little ass and stuck its hand up in the air. Winston, at this point, had already succumbed to trepidation, but he still attempted to stop the malicious entity from taking any further actions. Unfortunately, Winston, being a mere observer, could do nothing but watch in horror as the experiment unfolded before his very eyes! The ET doll began screaming "Ba la la la leh leh leh!" repeatedly, and not long after that was when it began to conduct the much-anticipated experiment. The malicious entity then began jabbing its hand into Winston's asshole while repeating that same phrase again and again. What followed was not pain, but excruciating ass tickle!

"It tickles! It tickles horribly!" Winston screamed in his mind. Winston tried his utmost to stop the evil doll from harming him any further, but he could not move a single cheek! The speed of the ET doll's movements quickly became faster than even the speed of light, and similarly, the tickle being inflicted upon Winston's tortured bootyass became increasingly intense! The tortured boy screamed internally again and again, but it was to no avail; the ET doll merely laughed as it continued jabbing Winston's ass with its creepy hand. Winston's fragile mind had been shattered the moment the ET doll laid its hands on his most prized possession...

Even the most foolish individual would have been able to tell that no entity in existence, no matter how powerful, could have withstood the suffering that Winston was going through and emerge unscathed. Indeed, the tickle being inflicted upon Winston's precious ass was so intense that even an eternity of painful torture would be preferable to experiencing what he was going through for any amount of time. So, then... what became of little Winston? Well, let's just say the boy that was once known as Winston effectively no longer exists.

Now that you have read even a single word of this, you will be lured into a mysterious building and will become the subject of a grand experiment not unlike the one that Winston found himself the subject of! To prevent that from happening, you must copy this entire story and post it as a comment three times.

Didn't work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45141293)

Read the first para, read the last, know it wasn't worth reading.

If someone can't get why you need to read it in the first few sentences, it's not worth reading. Even if the content is good, it's badly written and you'll need to work at filling the chasms. Moreover, on the internet, someone else with better skill will tell you the same stuff, without the need to work at working out what's said.

Re:Didn't work. (-1, Offtopic)

AlphaWoIf_HK (3042365) | 1 year,8 days | (#45141337)

Wow! What do we have here? Some sort of grand experiment is unfolding, and you're in the middle of it all...

Re:Didn't work. (1)

cyborg_zx (893396) | 1 year,7 days | (#45141471)

Some sort of grand experiment is unfolding,

No it isn't.

Re:Didn't work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#45141535)

Rutabega salad... the difference is you'll experiencement them. Therefore, all of your arguments are the absolute 100% garbagenesses this minutenesses with a number of failnesses equal to zero! Such a thing!

Now, why is your snap quivering in fear? I can see the future of your ass, and I see only tickle...

N9 (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#45141461)

I am one of these guys that finds android 'too complicated'. My wife just bought the new S4 mini. Incredible device: beautiful screen, fast, great camera and good battery life. It's only the 'hey what's this' and 'Hey, how do I do this?' kind of stuff I hear all the time that keeps me running back to the safe simplicity of my trusted nokia N9.
Yes it doesn't have the application support and that sucks. I'm not going to tell you I don't care about apps. If there is anything that will get me to switch to android ever it will be that.
But for now I hold on to it. The reason? The swipe. Want to see your start screen? Swipe. Want to start an app? Swipe. Want to see what apps you have open? Swipe.
It's so simple.

what I want to say is, (2, Funny)

renzhi (2216300) | 1 year,8 days | (#45140863)

Dave Feldman, please speak for yourself only, ok? Please continue to use your fruity device, choice is good for us, I like it that way, thank you.

Re:what I want to say is, (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45140887)

Dave, how much did you get paid to write that shit, free iphones for life?

Re:what I want to say is, (5, Informative)

gl4ss (559668) | 1 year,8 days | (#45140937)

"Dave Feldman is a product designer with a background in user experience, product management, and front-end development. Heâ(TM)s the co-founder and chief product officer of Emu. Heâ(TM)s held positions at Yahoo! and AOL. Check out his website Operation Project and follow him on Twitter @dfeldman."

aka mr. "I configured my configurable system to act like crap and by the way I love iPhone".

now, of course if I can make a plugin to handle file saving.. then of course I can install a dozen apps to do it. just because I install two different homescreens for example doesn't mean that I have to choose between the two each time I press home.. I could though, if I wanted.

basically the answer to his problems is to not install extra apps. I don't know what the fuck is his actual suggestion on how to remove the problem of choice. maybe he is working on his own android variant where you can't install anything... more likely he is trying to troll some buzz and score a new gig. that's what his writing looks like. only made more obvious by him submitting these pieces on different blogs to gather maximum buzz since nobody gives a shit about his blog and the product he is promoting(emu.is, some kind of sms frontend where you can attach your position easily. how novel, for 2003).

and the other problems? android phones are so BIG! well fuck buy a smaller android phone.

(oh and he doesn't really seem to understand android multitasking, only sort of).

Re:what I want to say is, (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45141171)

android phones are so BIG! well fuck buy a smaller android phone

With width being the most important size-criterium for holding the phone comfortable, if you look at Android phones not wider than iPhones, the choice is much more limited.
Modern android phones (Android 4.x, dual core, 1+ GB RAM) almost don't exist. In fact, the only one I can find right now is the Sony Xperia SX. And even that one is much less capable hardware-specs-wise than iPhones.
Whether width is the One True Criterium is up for debate, but remember the topic was whether Android phones are too big or not, so here at least is a way of looking at that.

Re:what I want to say is, (1)

msauve (701917) | 1 year,8 days | (#45141349)

Dave's not clear on the concept.

His whole premise is refuted by the simple fact that Android has a market share three times that of iOS [idc.com] . The market has proven him wrong.

Re: what I want to say is, (1, Insightful)

binarylarry (1338699) | 1 year,8 days | (#45141367)

Yep and Apple was a very formidable, entrenched competitor who was the previous market leader and had decades of history.

Android supplanted them in a few short years.

Android's biggest problem is fucking retarded articles like these.

SubjectsInCommentsAreStupid (5, Insightful)

lesincompetent (2836253) | 1 year,8 days | (#45140893)

I stopped reading at "Not to mention a UI that’s impossible to navigate."
My bullshit detector went off the scale.

Re:SubjectsInCommentsAreStupid (2)

Chrisq (894406) | 1 year,8 days | (#45140897)

I stopped reading at "Not to mention a UI that’s impossible to navigate." My bullshit detector went off the scale.

I thought you had stopped because the summary was impossible to navigate

Re:SubjectsInCommentsAreStupid (3, Insightful)

lesincompetent (2836253) | 1 year,8 days | (#45140919)

I think there are too many nitpicking unemployed english majors on the loose on the interwebs. A.K.A. grammar nazis; a substantial subset of them, i think.

Re:SubjectsInCommentsAreStupid (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45140959)

I pretty much stopped there too. Some people really have no idea that they should keep their biases hidden in order to make their argument, or risk losing it.

Re: SubjectsInCommentsAreStupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45141015)

To be fair, Android is harder to navigate. There are desktop pages (similar to IOS app pages). Then there's a list of apps under the apps button. You can also copy stuff from the apps list to the desktop list.
I find this paradigm very confusing. I've seen Android users get confused on this too.
But, I desperately miss configurability in IOS. Absence of settings has my life very hard in the past... So has the conduit called iTunes. iTunes really sucks when it doesn't work properly, and is clunky when it does work.

Re: SubjectsInCommentsAreStupid (2)

somersault (912633) | 1 year,8 days | (#45141147)

I've always found iOS much more of a pain to navigate, because of the lack of the "back" button. I mean it's not like it's even a new idea - everyone uses one already in their web browsers.

I don't see how the apps list vs desktop is any different to having a desktop plus a start menu (plus a quick launch bar).. maybe it would be confusing for someone that's come from iOS, or hasn't taken a few minutes to explore their device or read a quickstart guide.

Re: SubjectsInCommentsAreStupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45141179)

To be fair, Android is harder to navigate

Harder than what? Compared to the most popular alternative, iOS, it is pretty great. It makes much more sense and almost every action requires fewer steps.

Irony (5, Insightful)

tuppe666 (904118) | 1 year,8 days | (#45141211)

To be fair, Android is harder to navigate. There are desktop pages (similar to IOS app pages). Then there's a list of apps under the apps button. You can also copy stuff from the apps list to the desktop list.
I find this paradigm very confusing. I've seen Android users get confused on this too.
But, I desperately miss configurability in IOS. Absence of settings has my life very hard in the past... So has the conduit called iTunes. iTunes really sucks when it doesn't work properly, and is clunky when it does work.

Itunes is a nightmare that should have been burned with fire, on Android you do not have this extra layer of complexity at getting content onto your devices.

You talk about reconfigurability and settings...or the absence of them. Ignoring the irony of arguing for additional complexity at the cost of customisability, or that Apple copied the look of this with iOS 7 from Android, you argue that having a desktop(sic) that you can only add applications to is better than one you can add widgets to.

I don't think you really understand your own argument.

Re:SubjectsInCommentsAreStupid (2)

thegarbz (1787294) | 1 year,8 days | (#45141197)

I stopped reading at Android facing a problem. I struggle to believe that the most popular mobile phone platform (by a large margin) is not giving consumers what they want.

Many consumers love choice and the explosive international rise of Subway restaurants is a great indication of that. Not to mention Apple's own recent moves to introduce more models and more colours.

The black Model-T Ford isn't fashionable anymore.

There's iOS (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45140899)

For those who don't want/like to tinker, there's iOS. Not too mention that a lot of the stock Android skins are quite simple, it just takes getting used to (as with everything else in life)

Re:There's iOS (1)

arbiter1 (1204146) | 1 year,8 days | (#45141001)

that is called the no choice market.

There's Android (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | 1 year,8 days | (#45141195)

For those who don't want/like to tinker, there's iOS.

There is also Android for those who don't want/like to tinker, and unlike iOS comes with some incredible first party applications. Although you have the option to tinker.

Broken premise (1)

eddy (18759) | 1 year,8 days | (#45140909)

Ignoring the premise that Android is "impossible to navigate" (which is false), as for this specific quote:

That’s fun for them; but they’ve made the mistake of not understanding how their motivation differs from the rest of us

No, I understand perfectly well, it's just that I don't care about your needs. Why should I put your needs first? Are they more important than mine? What's the end game here? If Android copies iOS then it's called out for that by people like you ("no innovation!"). If it doesn't then it's "impossible to navigate because it's not exactly like iOS".

Is there a middle road where tinkerers and "normals" can coexist on one OS? Perhaps. But maybe it's okay that to have the existing distinction between the OSes. Or maybe iOS should be more open to tinkerers? Why don't you head over there and suggest that they simply don't understand that iOS is too hard to tinker with.

(Again, I don't think there's acutally anything major that'd make Android hard to use. In fact, I recommended an Android phone for my mother, knowing full well that I risk being the designated support (which I don't want to be).

Not all choice is tinkering (5, Insightful)

samael (12612) | 1 year,8 days | (#45140927)

Some of us get their phone, install it the way _we_ want it, and then leave it like that (unless something spectacularly new comes along).

I don't change my keyboard weekly - but I did change it a couple of times, find one that suited me, and leave it that way.

Same with SMS, email client, and web browser. I haven't changed any of these in months, but they're all different to the stock version.

Once again... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45140929)

Betteridge law applies.

Its the Article stupid (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | 1 year,8 days | (#45141185)

Betteridge law applies.

Its a pro-Apple/anti-android propaganda. The title could have easily read "Choice is a problem for android".

Duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45140933)

Not everyone wants to mess around with their devices 24/7. It's just a goddamn phone with internet, get a life.

This applies to television, too? (1)

jabberw0k (62554) | 1 year,8 days | (#45140939)

Doesn't the trend of "cutting the cable" partly stem from having too many channels to choose from? When my dad recently considered buying a television (they haven't bought one in 15 years) the choices are bewildering and even the terminology befuddles him -- and he was one of RCA's first television installers and service-men back in 1948. I have never had cable T.V. and when I tried to find the local PBS channel on a friend's set, channel 7 isn't on channel 7 and there's a bazillion buttons on six remotes, and somehow every channel change seems to result in either Twiggy people or sumo wrestlers (what the heck is broken with aspect ratios? Aaargh) -- after ten minutes of frustration I just gave up. Maybe that's why television viewership is dropping like a stone?

Not really, no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45141333)

The cutting the cable can be seen illustrated over at basicinstructions.net.

The discovery channel "discovers" ghost hunters, country folk and antiques.
The history channel "discovers" game shows.
SciFi channel is now syfi and shows sit coms. (a geek bugbear)

and out of those 300 channels, 150 are game show/cooking and 100 are home shopping.

Most of the 50 remaining are payperview.

Orderly life (1)

kurt555gs (309278) | 1 year,8 days | (#45140941)

Life under Stalin in the old USSR was safe and orderly too. Just like the experience of the "other" smartphone.

the rest of you... (1, Insightful)

l3v1 (787564) | 1 year,8 days | (#45140947)

"theyâ(TM)ve made the mistake of not understanding how their motivation differs from the rest of us"

I think we understand all too well the rest of you, who don't care about anything. The problem is: we don't care about you. There, you have it. We don't want a device that's dumbed, locked, tailored to noob-level, without a way to customize it. We have a lot of examples for such designs, and they are all too idiotically dumb. You want "simple"? Find one that is dumb enough for you, but do not try to ruin the one mobile OS that' actually usable for power users as well as average joes who are only a bit smarter than a shoelace.

Re:the rest of you... (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | 1 year,8 days | (#45141233)

You want "simple"? Find one that is dumb enough for you

The great thing about Android is that you could make a UI that is as simple as you want. Remove the app drawer and dock, drop five or six direct-dial contact shortcuts onto the homescreen. There; You have a very pretty, very expensive, very overpowered dumbphone. Want to dial more numbers? Replace your homescreen contacts with one giant shortcut to the dialer app. You need never look at the Google Play Store, GMail, or Wireless Settings apps again.

Having said that, if you were in this situation you wouldn't be getting an Andoid phone in the first place. The whole article seems kind of moot.

Non-thinkers? (1)

FalMunir (2744313) | 1 year,8 days | (#45140951)

"Providing a satisfying experience to a bunch of tinkerers is a very different thing from providing a satisfying experience to the multitude of non-thinkerers who buy smartphones." I kept reading "thinkers" all the way through...

Just another waste of time blog ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45140953)

Mr Feldman .. may be you should take up a different subject for your wise comments ... I suggest gardening ....

Breaking news! (1)

Silpher (1379267) | 1 year,8 days | (#45140957)

Guy expresses personal opinion...

Re:Breaking news! (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45140991)

He's not so much a "guy" as a worthless anti-intellectual asshole and pro-monopoly shill.
But other than that, yeah.

Miui (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45140963)

Look at Miui, they've gone and copied iPhones layout but made it look much nicer. This is how Google was expecting oem to work with Android and they would compete on simplicity and quality, instead we got touchwiz and htc sense. :/

How is that different to Apple? (1)

elp (45629) | 1 year,8 days | (#45140967)

Ignoring the fact that Android has something like 85% market share so consumers are obviously not unhappy, how is this different to Apple? Android and Apple steal so many ideas from each other that the differences are now mostly cosmetic.

As for the large choice in phones, isn't this is like saying motorists have too many kinds of cars to choose from?

Pro-Life for Android! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45140979)

Choice is immoral! Life begins at purchase!

Troll spotted (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45141029)

"Not to mention a UI that’s impossible to navigate." At least try a Nexus device rather than a Samsung one... You will see how easy to navigate to and nice is the real Android UI !

The Troll is (2)

tuppe666 (904118) | 1 year,8 days | (#45141123)

"Not to mention a UI that’s impossible to navigate." At least try a Nexus device rather than a Samsung one... You will see how easy to navigate to and nice is the real Android UI !

The Troll is Apple copied most of Androids OS functions with 7, catching up with many severely lacking features, although most people who have used one would be quite comfortable with the other. The real difference is the first party applications, and currently Google are simply the best.

I'm a minimalist (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45141035)

I'm a minimalist, I like simplicity and leanness, and dislike clutter and bloat.

Love Function, hate Style.

I dream of being able to buy a computer where every software function was a module which I could load if I needed it.
Or not, if I didn't.

Reducto spell (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45141047)

Reducing the complex economics of Global Mobile Telephony to a simple "too much / too little choice" metric is just a little bit fucking stupid...

Just a click-bait using a old-ass argument (5, Insightful)

aiadot (3055455) | 1 year,8 days | (#45141049)

Seriously that is all I see in this article. Flaming for the sake of clicks/views. Android fragmentation was a problem back in the version 1.5~2.1 days. Back when OEMs were experimenting and the software was maturing. Nowadays, save for a handful of tweaks, all decent Androids devices are pretty much equal. As for the UI tools, maybe not having tons of options will make that guy happy, but removing them will make a lot more people angry. What does he want? A Google branded iPhone?

Even though I subscribe to the Apple/BlackBerry/GameConsole idea of one optimal OS for one or two device types, I'm still mostly a windows and android user. Trying to make everybody happy with the "one OS for them all" strategy is just impossible plus there are many marketing and development problems associated to it for platform providers, OEMs, developers and users. However to say that the Android(and by extension windows) experiences are crap, is pure BS. Like it or not, Android gets the job done, and the experience is without a doubt what I would call very reasonable . At least that is from my experience with Galaxy and Xperia phones as well as a Transformer Tablet. If you got a $0 chinese phone with a shitty firmware that is your problem, not Android.
Sure if I could get my way, each company would have it's own OS and ecosystem, assuming that all tech companies had a interesting and unique vision for themselves. Too bad that is just unrealistic plus there are plenty of practical problems associated to this philosophy as well, but that is a discussion for another time.

Choice of Hardware (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | 1 year,8 days | (#45141095)

Except Android phones are fliphones; projectors; remote controls; FM radios or transmitters; Consoles with Real Controls; or conputers with full keyboards and trackball Fingerprint readers; at all price ranges; made everywhere around the world...including America. With different screen sizes/ Dimensions Battery Life; even with extra smart paper screen; dual screen; or curved screen. Including extras from dual sims...even triple sim slots to sd readers and full sized USB

Ironically Apple is sacrificing market share for profits with its limited product line whatever you think of that. Microsoft really hurt themselves by using the software to limit the hardware, even advertising itself as much...buyers went elsewhere, and Microsoft are suddenly really flexible.

Choice ? (4, Insightful)

giorgist (1208992) | 1 year,8 days | (#45141073)

Android offers choice only to tinkerers. Everybody else simply walks in a store and buys a phone that looks shiny. iPhones are having a bit of a problem in that they offer almost a single choice which was the same as that from a few years ago. You can't have a bigger screen for example. Mobiles have achieved appliance status. Who cares about fragmentation ? There is fragmentation in car models as well and fancy cars that have weird ways to switch on. After you master it, you run with it for years. You don't care if the car in the opposite traffic works differently. Fragmentation affects developers, who now have massive budgets to overcome it. There are hundreds of thousands of apps, most people use only a few and the rest they simply forget to delete after they are downloaded. So there are enough that work well out there.

Yes Choice. (2)

tuppe666 (904118) | 1 year,7 days | (#45141441)

Android offers choice only to tinkerers.

Not to people want low priced phones; Large screen phones; Ones that take great Pictures; Lots of storage Phones; Robust Phones; Ones that double as Consoles; projectors; ebook readers; Remote Controls; Radio receivers and transmitters; Made in the USA rather than students and children. Marketing to local needs "Gold Clamshell" not a problem.

Android got to be 85% of the market by hitting every price point, and hardware need geared toward that market, most users never think of tinkering...its kind of weird you think they do.

Re:Choice ? (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | 1 year,7 days | (#45141529)

Don't underestimate the popularity of customization apps. Look at the install numbers for popular launchers (home screen replacements), for example. One app, Smart Launcher, has millions of installs. Replacement keyboards are doing even better.

People have always enjoyed customizing their phones. Originally you could only do ringtones and wallpaper (remember when iOS got customizable wallpaper? LOL), but Android has really opened up a lot of new things for users to play with.

"Android" is hard to come by (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45141091)

The problem with Android is carrier- and manufacturer-initiated fragmentation. Vanilla Android has been great since ICS, but when the manufacturers and carriers insist on reskinning and lockig down the system you do get difficult to navigate and use handsets that don't actually deliver Android.

Vanilla Android (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | 1 year,7 days | (#45141405)

when the manufacturers and carriers insist on reskinning and lockig down the system you do get difficult to navigate and use handsets that don't actually deliver Android.

Except vanilla Android is always a choice. In fact its interesting to notice that manufacturers are increasingly offering a "Dev" or Google Play edition, although you are exaggerating that reskinning Android makes it difficult to navigate, when in reality they often offer compelling features, not yet in stock android.

Agree with the locked down, but then if you don't want that...Android is your only choice, and you can choice a device that offers it.

Nope (3, Interesting)

readeracc (3385797) | 1 year,8 days | (#45141093)

I'd rather have too much choice instead of barely any.

I'm well aware of that famous TED talk where the presented talked about the paradox of choice (http://www.ted.com/talks/barry_schwartz_on_the_paradox_of_choice.html), and it does have some merit. But the way I see it, appealing to the masses means that those who don't fit the mold are generally left in the dust because it's not "economically viable" to cater to them. Keeping things open and keeping choice available means that there's something for everyone.

Choice requires a greater level of personal responsibility. You can't (and shouldn't) rely on some corporation to make all your decisions for you without being able to change them if they aren't suitable for you. It might be easier to just go with a monoculture of decision-making, but you'll pay for it once you realize that you aren't like everyone else.

Gnome 3 developers will proudly say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45141107)

"I told you."

Gnome 3 developers will proudly say... (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | 1 year,7 days | (#45141389)

"Nothing of the Kind"

Gnome still is the best (of some great) Desktops, and its choice of sensible defaults, and removing redundant controls are very sensible. What is wrong is Gnome shell. The bottom line is like Android this can be replaced with mate or Cinnamon, or Replaced entirely with KDE or XFCE, and that is something to be proud of...

It's not a feature if I can't shut it off (1)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | 1 year,8 days | (#45141111)

Everything should be as customizable as possible. That doesn't mean that the config menu needs to be complicated, it only means there needs to be a normal settings menu (sufficient for 90% of the users) and a "pro" menu with all the other settings.
Firefox (among some others probably) has this worked out perfectly. The settings in the normal options are sufficient for most users. Power users can use about:config to change other stuff. That it's not usable for 90% of the users doesn't matter. They don't need it.
And for those things that are to complex for about:config there is a plethora of plugins. Joe blow does not need them, but the 10% advanced users are very happy with them.
My opinion: If I can't switch it off it's a bug. Not a feature.

Re:It's not a feature if I can't shut it off (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45141139)

You can't switch off booting to the GUI. They really need to fix that bug.

Plus every time the phone boots, it loads a bunch of java jars. Can you believe we're up to 4.3 and they still haven't fixed that bug?

He ignores other factors than OS (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45141125)

I'm really glad i have the choice. To buy a reasonable cheap phone (199 euro or so) with a recent version of Android, and stick my prepaid sim card in.

The alternatives are an overpriced phone, possibly with non-recent software (yes, android 2.3 still being sold here by the 'telco branded' phones), or a monthly plan that is more a rip-off scheme than a fair deal - like 2 years for 60 euro/month for plan with 1.5GB data for an S4, and still having to pay excessive fees if you use more data or phone minutes.

My wallet does the choosing for me. I'm not nuts. All i care is a recent version of the OS, and preferable 'bare' - so no extra software layers like HTC and Samsung are doing. The rest of the choice is irrelevant and dictated by the pricing & value for money. I realize some people do not want choice, and that they want the most expensive product from the most popular brand (read: Apple). I'm not one of them. I have more fun in life wasting my money on different things, whilst still having a pretty good phone.

Basically, no. (4, Insightful)

Cloud K (125581) | 1 year,8 days | (#45141129)

The reason I switched from iOS was because personally, I *want* control over my smartphone. I want the options and customisations, and the ability to decide what keyboard to use and where my music sits. My advice to those who can't handle a few options is "get an iPhone".

Though really, I can't see why both user groups can't be catered for - have sensible defaults and basic options, and put everything else inside an "Advanced settings" button somewhere - no one is forced to tap it.

Re:Basically, no. (2)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | 1 year,7 days | (#45141447)

That's exactly how it is right now; You need never, ever look at Android settings if you don't want to. Stock launcher, SMS app, ring tones, screen behaviour, look and feel of the UI... They're all perfectly functional. In fact, the only usability difference I see between IOS and stock Android UI is that Apple put the icons on the home screen, whereas Android makes use of a launcher icon to bring up the list. Like it to be like an IOS UI? Put shortcuts to every app on the home screens; You can scroll through just like in IOS.

Maturity required (3, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | 1 year,8 days | (#45141141)

I agree that there is simply too much "crap" in the Android markets all over. The amount of good, quality, useful stuff is a seemingly small ratio of what's out there. But I get by just fine and enjoy a good quality experience. How?

Just like with Windows computers and the like, you simply have to limit what you do with your machines. Limit the resource consumption. Limit the amount of apps you run. Limit tweaks and [animated] wallpapers and all that junk. Do the things which are useful and stop trying to entertain yourself with a new toy every 10 minutes. I take advantage of the fact that people out there are dumb enough to try every app available. I get to read reviews and comments to assist in the choices I make. Good for me, bad for them when things don't work out.

Maturity is required. The market of available crap is not to blame for consumer behavior. (This statement is in sharp contrast to my position on the food we have available to us in the US... the market *IS* to blame and especially when they fight consumer choice and knowledge by preventing information from being available to consumers so they can make their own decisions.) The users are making all the choices... and they always will.

Make good, informed choices. Give favor to software makers with good reputations. It's not that hard.

Where? (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | 1 year,8 days | (#45141315)

I agree that there is simply too much "crap" in the Android markets all over. The amount of good, quality, useful stuff is a seemingly small ratio of what's out there.

Really that seems like a simple lie. http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=lp_2407748011_nr_p_n_feature_keywords_0?rh=n%3A2335752011%2Cn%3A!2335753011%2Cn%3A7072561011%2Cn%3A2407748011%2Cp_n_feature_keywords_two_browse-bin%3A7107988011&bbn=2407748011&ie=UTF8&qid=1381921202&rnid=7107987011 [amazon.com] here are a list of "no contract" best-selling android phones, they all look pretty good to me some are as much as 10x cheaper(larger screens; more cores; more memory; extra storage etc etc) than the latest Apple phones, yet have better specifications than the phone in my pocket which I am still very happy with. Now if these phones required proprietary software and hardware, locked down to one store, Breaking hardware and software standards. Like say the iPhone...I would argue that they would be "crap"(sic)

Perhaps iOS needs more hardware choices.

Somewhat lacking in logic. (4, Funny)

GrpA (691294) | 1 year,8 days | (#45141155)

The problem that the PC faces is giving consumers too much choice....

Clearly that hasn't worked for the PC, or it would be the 100% dominant platform, rather than just the 99% dominant platform...

And for PCs the be able to run OS-X, Microsoft or Linux operating systems? Clearly wayyyy to much choice...

GrpA.

Re:Somewhat lacking in logic. (1)

myspys (204685) | 1 year,8 days | (#45141269)

Penetration of computers/PCs is decreasing, in favour of tablets and Mac.

We're at the tipping point.

People want things to work, not tinker.

Re:Somewhat lacking in logic. (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45141365)

And for PCs the be able to run OS-X, Microsoft or Linux operating systems? Clearly wayyyy to much choice...

You're attempting to troll but stumbled on some truth here. One of the reasons the Mac is somewhat successful is that it offers a limited software library with limited options for making changes to the operating system, suitable for people who want "no hassle" computing. Conversely, Linux offers too much choice with a horde of different distros, desktop environments, window managers, ect. With Linux it can be difficult to find a satisfying configuration. Is the distro I'm using the best? What about these other 12 distros I haven't tried yet? How about the newer releases of distros I tried in the past but didn't like... have they changed? Should I use the older or newer version of KDE? What about Gnome? Unity? Xfce? Should I stay with what I have knowing there could be better options?

Bottom line: For a majority of people, having a few good choices is better than having 100 choices of varying quality because it makes sorting and ranking those choices easier and less time consuming with less afterthought and second guessing. There are always people who are an exception to the norm, however.

Catering to all individual preferences (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45141157)

Catering to all individual preferences creates a bloated, bland product.

That's an issue that comes from not having enough choice. Also adding the ability to customize the device means you don't have to cater to my preferences out of the box (something that's impossible without my direct input).

Here are your choices (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45141183)

A)Get an iphone and be trapped in the walls.
B)Get a Windows phone and be trapped in the walls with less to play with.
C)Get an android phone with unlimited possibilites and no walls.

I think it's a no brainer.

Tinkers is wrong... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45141205)

Finally he says the people who general prefer the choice Android provides are tinkers similar to gear heads who love tinkering with their car."

Tinkers is something you do. A tinkerer is someone who tinkers. Shesh

Dealing with choice is easy ... (3, Insightful)

MacTO (1161105) | 1 year,8 days | (#45141207)

Most of the Android fans that I've bumped into choose their device in exactly the same manner as iOS fans: they choose whatever is in fashion at the moment. They also deal with downloading apps in the same fashion as iOS fans: they choose whatever their friends are raving about. They also have a handy way to deal with customization: they usually leave the device as it shipped (perhaps changing wallpapers along the way).

Choice is not making people unhappy, because they usually made up their minds before they ever went shopping.

Fanatics vs Consumers (2)

tuppe666 (904118) | 1 year,8 days | (#45141279)

Most of the Android fans that I've bumped into choose their device in exactly the same manner as iOS fans; they choose whatever is in fashion at the moment

Except most people aren't fans(sic) they are consumers, and they are choosing their devices based on a variety of reasons, based on obvious things like screen size and price...as well as less obvious things like a rugged device. Samsung may be the most popular of Android...it got there with crazy nice phones. We all like to joke Apple is just a brand...but they built creating incredible mind-share and media support by being early with great product, the fact that is expensive and behind has cost them a large chunk of market share.

Dismissing anything as just fashion...especially on cutting edge technology is simply foolish.

Re:Fanatics vs Consumers (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#45141523)

In every one of these threads you claim Apple phones are expensive when they're priced on par with the competing Samsung Galaxy devices.

Also you're a hypocrite, how many times have you dismissed Apple as fashion, look at your bloody comment history you troll.

Market share is growing. (2)

thegarbz (1787294) | 1 year,8 days | (#45141229)

So random blogger posts that there's a fundamental problem with giving consumers choice. Yeah year by year Android gains more marketshare at a higher rate than any other platform.

His examples are comical too. I actually know someone who setup their phone with every app the same on the one screen. That way when the kid picks it up he ends up opening Angry Birds just by pressing randomly on the screen. The image sharing example? Actually that doesn't happen. When an image is received it goes into a pre-determined folder. What the user appears to have done is clicked "Share" or tried to perform some other file operation in which case choice is exactly what he wants.

But hey this guy is an "expert" who's had positions in user experience and product design.... at AOL and Yahoo! ...

There can only be one, huh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45141277)

Seriously, this is a load of bullshit.

The choice that consumers don't like are the 20 permutiations of the Ford Focus. That there are 300 different car manufacturers therefore at least 300 different cars that all do identical jobs IS NOT A PROBLEM.

What pisses customers off is when you've decided "I want a Samsung, it must have IM, YT, FB and cloud storage and at least 16GB of memory" and are then shown 30 colours, with/without LTE, 3G,EDGE,WiFi,... to choose from after they've already made their mind up KNOWING that the salesman cannot be relied upon to draw the correct for the customer conclusion about which one to buy, preferring instead to upsell to things that are either going to cost a shitload to use (e.g. "cloud storage plus") WITHOUT saying that they'll cost or are wasted money (EDGE in the USA) or WiFi when there are few free hotspots and the contract includes wireless data plans that make WiFi mostly redundant.

THAT is the "choice" customers don't like. Choice of things they don't like that they KNOW will be chosen for them by the seller to make more profit at their expense, therefore yet more BS they have to wade through or risk getting reamed.

For users or hobbyist authors? (1, Funny)

petes_PoV (912422) | 1 year,8 days | (#45141297)

Android, as with Linux, is conflicted.

On the one hand there are advocates who want it to be used by as many people - ordinary people who neither know nor care about "open" software - as possible. On the other hand, the whole product line is completely dependent on people writing code, who's primary motivation is to show to their peers how clever they are.

Sadly these two groups have little in common. Users don't care about options, flexibility, "free" (of either variety), choice, source code or customising. All they want is TO GET STUFF DONE. For them an operating system is an annoyance and a UI a necessary evil that's difficult to navigate, keeps changing and is badly documented. Both of those layers are seen as stuff that gets in the way of them having the results want.

For developers, users are a pain in the arse. They report bugs, they're resitant to upgrading, they ask stupid questions (which they could answer for themselves if they ever bothered to check the source code) and they complain that features change between releases and they want backwards compatibillity - sometimes all the way back to last year. Worst of all, they don't appreciate the leegance and completixty of the software the developers have written.

Cheap wins over everything else (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45141319)

A cheap product, from food to consumable goods to durable goods to electronics, will always win. Nothing else seems to matter. Android is cheap. But it's better than the old custom stuff which electronics used to have that makes Android look like a great user interface. Remember trying to program a VCR?

Every Price Point (2)

tuppe666 (904118) | 1 year,7 days | (#45141491)

A cheap product, from food to consumable goods to durable goods to electronics, will always win

Then you don't understand "cost" and "price" and users will pay for features that they need...and that includes brand. What they want is good value. Android currently offers phones hitting every "price" from low to high, as lower mark-ups and margins than competing products with a range of innovating features....its capitalism at its best.

Apple for instance produce a cheap Chinese phone at a high price! which is why outside countries that hide this through massive subsides. Its a failure.

Is Choice a Problem For Gnome? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45141323)

> Catering to all individual preferences creates a bloated, bland product. Not to mention a UI that’s impossible to navigate.

Fixed that for you.

Obligatory Car analogy (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,8 days | (#45141353)

Cars that can go straight, to the left and to the right, that can go at different speeds, that have a reverse gear simply offer too much choices. Thousands of accidents per year are proof that we need simpler vehicles. Maybe a sofa, people rarely get into traffic accidents driving a sofa.

Not for most people (2)

badzilla (50355) | 1 year,7 days | (#45141403)

"Too much choice" might be a real argument in some contexts (such as Linux desktop) but certainly not in the world of Android phones.

Most people don't flash a custom ROM or change the launcher. Literally everyone I know just accepts (and grumbles about) whatever configuration the vendor burnt in at the factory. The more adventurous ones just possibly might create a custom wallpaper or ringtone but that's it.

Unbelievably some don't even know they can install apps, or do know but avoid doing so "in case I mess anything up". Quite rightly they understand that they hold in their hand a complex computer for which they will get absolutely no assistance to fix anything they do which stops it working.

Ignoring customizers (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#45141411)

Anyone that has had to build UI for end users will know this. Users that like to customize things is the minority and they are hard to satisfy. From my own experience, 75% of the users just want a simple to use interface that is intuitive and friendly. The thing is, they don't know what that looks like or what they want.

It's the job of the UI/UX developer to apply experience and taste to arrive at something friendly. All of this BS from idiots who think "oh the UI hasn't changed in years, so we HAVE to change it" is crap. The new iOS UI isn't better than the old look. If anything, the lack of contrast makes shit hard to read. Even with enhance contrast on, it looks shitty. The same goes for android phones with pastel color scheme.

People who push for "change for change sake" are assholes. If it isn't broke don't fix it. There's so many real problems to fix, why don't they focus their energy on that instead!

A perfect counter example to Betteridge’s La (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#45141449)

A perfect counter example to Betteridge’s Law: Yes, godamit!

As a non-Apple-fanboy (right now I won’t buy Apple products if I can help it), and Android user, I can say the Android landscape is f*cking insane.

First there’s the different versions of Android. Then there’s the different crapware that the cellphone manufacturers put on there. Then there’s the different crapware that the carriers put on there. (Windows 95 anyone??)

So what happens? Well, for example, each one decides that they know _much_ better what a certain menu item should be called like. (fictional) e.g. Android says Homepage -> Settings -> Applications. Samsung says, “No way, Jose”. It should be Homepage -> Settings -> Apps. Then AT&T comes around and says, “Whaaaat?”. It _really_ should be Homepage -> Settings -> Application Manager.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg, let’s not go into how AT&T installs a cal/text message/voicemail handling app that by default runs in parallel with the original apps for that, so you get about 1 million notifications when you get a call and the person dares to leave a message. Anyways, I digress.

So next thing, some silly user asks a question on androidcentral:
Q: “I have an HTC Blaster 2, Android 4.1.2. When I put the phone in my pocket it calls 911, 50% of the time. What should I do?” (not terribly fictional)
A1: “You just got to delete the Emergency Call from your contacts (you know how to root your phone right, through the 563 easy steps?)”
A2: “Thanks A1, I don’t have Emergency Call in my phone book, please help?”
A3: “Hey guys, on my Galaxy 3 it’s called Emergency Call, but I noticed on my friend’s LG it was under Home -> Settings -> Phone Book”
A4: “This works great on my Galaxy 3!!!!!”
A5: “Got a Galaxy 3 and works like a charm!!!!!”
A6: “Wheeee !!!! My Similar problem with weathermaps on my G3, now all is well *booyaaa*”
A7: “I fond an app that doz the trick!!11!
A8: “Try Mail -> Settings -> Preferences -> Contacts”
A9: “I dropped my BlackBerry in the toilet and since then I’ve been seeing the exact same problem. After I X-rayed my micro-sd card it was fine again though. ”

That is to say that the supposed “help” forums for Android (or Google searches for that matter) seem to always return garbage.

There is simply no good place to find decent Android support today, so for that alone the answer to the original question is “yes”!

<off_topic>
Have you noticed how some seemingly comparative things have great forums (resulting in great Google-ability) and other completely don't?
Examples:
C/C++: stackoverflow kicks ass
PHP: online documentation is really awesome because great user contributed examples

Counter examples:
Python: so far I've hardly ever been able to translate any of their online documentation into code - again stackoverflow kicks ass
Android: looks like a billion people experienced the same extreme slowness after an update on the Samsung Note. However, until this day I have not read a reasonable explanation and fix on this, even though I searched almost every day for a month.
</off_topic>

Choice is not the same as choice (2)

RubberDogBone (851604) | 1 year,7 days | (#45141481)

Having too many choices in this case is not the same as having too much choice.

This sounds like nonsense but what it means is that I can look over a huge range of Android devices and immediately reject out of hand probably 95% of them. Too big, too small, wrong shape, wrong color, wrong brand, wrong OS version, wrong features, wrong ROM options, lack of aftermarket cases, etc. The pruning is fast and brutal and ends up with a couple of models on the short list and easily down to one for the final. I had no trouble at all picking my last Android phone and tablet.

So there's a lot of choice. But a lot of it is irrelevant, and thus has no meaning. Same as there are lots of car choices but if you want a specific type, you can eliminate nearly all the others. Most people do not put all the subcompact cars on the same list with pickup trucks, vans, big rigs, or motorbikes.

I had no trouble picking the last car I bought. First, I found out which models offered some specific features I wanted. ALL the others immediately dropped out of the running. Then it was price, and again the list pruned. Very quickly the list narrowed down to one model that met what I wanted and I ordered that car online without even test-driving it. Why bother when the pruning had already determined this car we the best option? And, I was right.

Substitue the word "Android" with the word "Linux" (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#45141499)

in the above article and I think that pretty much sums up re: "The Year that Linux comes to the Desktop"...
(and my personal feelings re: Linux).

Suck it up boys, the truth is difficult to hear at times.

The real question is: Is anyone man-enough to do something about it?

bagcilar (-1, Troll)

Asli Yildirim (3399593) | 1 year,7 days | (#45141519)

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