Originally Posted by Chetan_Rao
I don't regret it, just that I don't see enough difference in my usage scenario, YMMV. Call me a simpleton, but I had no real use for Google Now (I turned it off on 5.x), and Now on Tap with 6.0 goes the same way.
I need my phone to do a few simple things (Email, notes, calendar, some basic apps) I ask of it well and not be a battery hog while doing it, but apparently it's too much to ask a budget/mid-range phone to do that without having to tweak stuff on it endlessly. Oh well!
If I need to constantly tweak and toggle stuff on a SMART
phone to keep it working efficiently, where's the smart in the phone exactly?
Originally Posted by pixantz
You're right in a way, chetan. But the fact remains that for Android, or Google, the idea of "Smart" seems to be different from ours. For them "Smart" apparently means that the phone always keeps you connected to all the online "Smart" (in their terms) features and systems in the process continuosly hogging on YOUR INTERNET CONNECTION, YOUR RAM and YOUR BATTERY at YOUR EXPENSE unnecessarily wasting YOUR MONEY. Especially the system utilities themselves.
The best part is Google is so smug and proud about this "Smartness" that they created and expect you to really be ecstatic about it too! But I think, of late things are getting out of hand. sometimes I suspect its a nexus between google, internet service providers and cellphone companies always forcing us to shell out more and more money to get some work done.
Well, THAT's really the problem with Android. For all the massive success of their other products such as Search, YouTube, Chrome, GMail, Maps, Translate, etc. and their monopoly in their respective segments, Google simply hasn't been able to replicate the same with Android, and whatever comes along with it.
Android is famous for its openness and customisability, and geeks find both of it invaluable, but the average Joe wouldn't care lesser about both. And the same openness and customisability in turn leads to FRAGMENTATION. It is something even Windows hasn't seen of like how Android has. And due to this fragmentation, there are a large number of forms of Android that coexist, and be vastly different to each other. And we all tend to consider all of them in the same umbrella that is Android.
In fact so diverse is the Android ecosystem that many people don't even know what Android actually stands for. I already said that the average Joe wouldn't care about the customisation and stuff, but for most users, they prefer Android mainly due to the accessibility and due to the fact that brand 'Android' has become household, much like Maruti in our automotive world. When someone buys a smartphone, they are actually just buying a smartphone, and not necessarily buying into the Android ecosystem as Google want them to. And thus, an Android phone is bought as a phone that can run Android apps, for they are accessible and popular. In fact, for many, a smartphone will start becoming a liability only if we take out the instant messengers, especially WhatsApp, for many smartphones are actually bought primarily as a means to use these apps. Hence, most of the smartphones are OEM devices, which are strikingly different from Google's implementation of Android, may it be in terms of software, hardware, compatibility, support, or anything else. People won't care about the Android experience if the device itself works for them.
But Google care more towards the loyalists, the ones who actually are in their ecosystem and use their services. The reason is simple. More users using more of their services means more user data and more ad revenue. In turn, Google makes stuff a lot better and more intuitive for the user. Google now is the pinnacle of this loyalist-oriented service. If you use Google's own services (most of which are awesome anyway) they keep making the experience better and better for you. Google Now itself has improved leaps and bounds showing smart cards, third party cards, getting into voice search, advanced voice commands, and now the Now On Tap.
The way stock Android has been moving from a bland base software for OEM's to build upon, to a beautifully stitched together web of Google's servies is a proof of the same.
And by stock Android, I refer only to that in Nexus devices. Because that is the only version built and supported directly by Google. Even if Motorola's or Cyanogen's software feels very much the same, Motorola makes many under-the-hood modifications, and Cyanogen is essentially a custom ROM. Others like Touchwiz are not even in question.
And Google's Android is as simple and efficient as iOS and Windows Phone are. We have not heard Nexus devices performing badly, the whole interface is beautifully designed, the updates are just as quick as iOS, and way quicker than the Winodws 10 Mobile release, and a Nexus device gets prompt support for long enough for a user to stay happy.
But then a Nexus out of the box is also pretty locked down and very much into Google as well. We only have Google apps everywhere, there isn't even a file manager or a video player built in, one cannot edit or change a button or a menu, and there are no gimmicky 'features' either.
But after that, a solid app ecosystem kills Windows Phone, and customisation kills iOS. And custom ROM's kill both and the user's patience.
But that's not the Android that everyone gets, or everyone wants either. What we get are heavily forked versions. And yet we end up classifying the same as Android. For example, a Xiaomi phone is actually not even an Android phone in the real sense. It's just a Xiaomi phone that can run Android apps. And same for the others. But that's all we care about. The forked OSes suffer in terms of performance, longevity, support, etc. and the blame still goes to 'Android'. Which is not entirely fair actually. Even for a Motorola, where they do make many changes and optimizations under the hood. Their interface feels just the same, and is better than anything else out there, but yet, that isn't technically 100% stock Android.
And Google don't want this fragmentation either. It is only because of OEM's and carriers. Google have tried hard on their part but haven't succeeded. They sell the Nexus series unlocked via Google store to bypass carriers, and had introduced the Android One series to provide an affordable stock Android experience. They also had the Google Play editions of OEM flagships, but they failed as well. They also have the Fi network in the US that has cheap data, but none of these has really worked out well enough.
They haven't managed to pull off an Apple yet actually. And Apple as in terms of marketing and user loyalty. Not 'innovation'. The way their users and fans support them, and the way many people actually created the want or need to use and admire stuff like Apple Watch or Force Touch, when both weren't all that necessary for essential usage. And adjust to the many limitations of their ecosystem only to be able to admire the straightforward simplicity that it offers. And yet the Apple experience is treated as something like a privilege.
If the same way, more people maybe begin to incorporate Google's experience into their usage though they may perhaps do without them as well, the sheer benefit of the services would outweigh the negatives in terms of data or battery performance. The thing is, conditions aren't exactly such that they may prove valuable and useful enough.