Stock Android is Overrated

There, I said it. Stock Android is overrated. Let the Android purists huff and puff, but that’s the truth. I am an Android user myself, and I would never buy an iPhone. So don’t think that I am one of those Apple fanboys. What I am trying to say is that Android, with its custom skins, like HTC’s Sense, or Samsung’s Touchwiz is a lot better than the pure Android found in the Nexus devices amongst other phones such as the Moto and OnePlus phones. The complaint that a skin might slow down the phone is not 100% true in 2016. Sense is one of the most light, smooth and beautiful launcher out there and Samsung has streamlined Touchwiz a lot and it is only going to get better. Let me explain.

I have been using an HTC phone for the past 3.5 years and for the first time I bought a stock Android phone — the OnePlus 3. True, it’s not exactly pure Android and OnePlus calls its skin “Oxygen OS”. But this Oxygen OS is just stock Android with a few modifications and so I classify OnePlus, and also Moto phones, as stock Android phones. I have observed that stock Android simply does not have the many options that I found so useful in my four-year-old HTC One X. A month ago, I was reading the reviews of HTC 10 and I read about how HTC, in its attempt to make Sense even lighter, has shipped the phone without some of its Sense applications as they did not want duplicate applications on the phone in addition to the stock Google apps. Why, HTC, why? This is simply stupid because people are anyway going to hunt the Play store and install apps to replace the stock Google apps anyway! The stock Google apps are too simple and lack the features that companies like HTC and Samsung provide. So there will be duplicate applications on all stock Android phones! The default Google phone dialer doesn’t even have the option to block calls! This is something that the HTC One X has and I don’t have to remind you again that this phone came out four years ago! So far, I have replaced the phone dialer, the default browser, Google Chrome, the messaging app, the stupid Play Music app, the joke that is Google Photos (at least OnePlus provides a proper gallery app), and the featureless camera app. I have a duplicate app for every single Google app except for the Play store, Gmail, YouTube, and Google maps. So HTC, please tell me, again, why did you replace some of your applications? The so-called Android purists are going to install duplicate apps anyway. One of the reasons why I dislike iOS is because it is such a boring OS and now stock Android is almost boring to me. Why can’t Google learn from HTC and Samsung? I see that they are borrowing ideas from Samsung and other Android OEMs, but they are still slow. Even the calendar app is so primitive to what I had in the HTC One X (and that came out four years ago). The number one app that frustrates me is the phone dialer (which also includes the contacts), and the number two app is the messenger. Pathetic. Why is Google doing this? Is it because Android will become too slow if they add more features? But HTC phones are not slow. Is it because they follow a stupid policy of minimalism? I am not a fan of this “material design” and I also hate Microsft’s Modern UI. Why do we have to put up with this kind of crap in the name of minimalism? Windows 7 still looks good and Microsoft should have gone in that direction. If Android purists really love pure Android, then there should not be any app on their phones that duplicates a Google app. But clearly, that is not the case. Hypocrites. These people have no right to criticize HTC’s Sense and Samsung’s Touchwiz. How many reviews have I read that make fun of the fact that there are two email apps, two browsers, two messaging apps on Samsung phones. Whose fault is that? It is Google’s fault for making such stupid apps that lack so many features. And it has been widely accepted that Samsung makes one of the best browsers and it is lighter and better optimized than Chrome. So who makes these “bloatware?” “Stock Android is clean, lean and is buttery smooth” — that’s because it doesn’t have the features that a 2011 HTC phone had.

It took about five or six years for a company like Google, with all its technical expertise, with all its financial might, and its great engineers to stabilize Android. It makes me wonder a lot. What could be the reason behind this? Of course, Android always has attempted to be better and proper OS compared to iOS and this could be a reason. But I think the main culprit is Java. And with all the trouble that Google is having with Oracle right now, I hope that Google ditches this language and moves on to something else. But would it Go?

I did true multitasking in Android and it was so satisfactory

I have done some minor multitasking in my HTC One X before but today for the first time I did something which qualifies as true multitasking.

I downloaded some music videos and  later decided that I only needed them in MP3 format. So I downloaded an app called MediaConverter, added five to six videos on its conversion queue and I started browsing something using UC browser and after a few minutes, the conversion had completed! Wow, that was fun!

I have read somewhere that this type of multitasking is not possible in iPhone or in Windows phones. But even in android not all apps support multitasking – the YouTube app is an example. You have to stay on the app until the buffering completes or else the buffering starts all over again. Come on Google, you’ve got to fix that! Developers should take advantage of the multitasking system that android offers.

Posted from WordPress for Android

What is Apple going to do?

The iPhone 5 will be released in few months, or may be even in August. But the big question that we have is what has Apple done to make this phone greater than the Galaxy S3. We know that it is going to be running iOS6 and the point to note here is that iOS6 has nothing new other than a few enhancements and new additions that are already existing in the Android phones. Maybe a better GPU, or a better display? Apart from these kind of enhancements/upgrades I don’t expect nothing much. Leave out the iPhone, even if the Galaxy S4 comes out what new features will it include? I am asking these questions because there is a threshold that we have reached. It’s actually more of a bottleneck . The lack of improvement in the battery technology. It is this field of battery tech that hasn’t improved much compared to the other departments. So is Apple all set to lose to Samsung? Apple already has been forced to increase their display size from 3.5 to 4 inches. This is a company that once famously said that 3.5 inches was the right size for a smartphone. Well, apparently it is not.

So when the iPhone 5 releases there will be this usual fan frenzy. People standing in queues to buy a cellphone?! I usually laugh at these people. Anyway, that’s the world – we have a set of people standing all day for food and another set to buy a cellphone that they could show off. But will it better the S3? We’ll just have to wait.

Samsung Galaxy S2, Galaxy R and Galaxy M

Apart from the usual reasons like great design and splendid display, the best thing about Samsung smart phones are that we are offered a plethora of choices and the pricing is great.

‘I am looking for a Samsung phone with a display of at least 4 inches.’

‘Would you like to buy the Samsung Galaxy S 2?’

‘Yes, but it costs 30,000 Rupees.’

‘Then how about Galaxy R that costs 23,000?’

‘Sounds great! But that’s still a bit costly, I guess.’

‘How about the new Galaxy M style that costs around 15,000* Rupees?’

‘Wow, that’s exactly what I want!’

*this model was announced very recently and its exact price is unknown.

How many differences can you spot between these two phones?

Samsung Galaxy S2 (left) vs Galaxy R (right)

Display:

R – 4.19 Super clear LCD, 800 x 480 resolution

S2 – 4.27 Super AMOLED Plus display, 800 x 480 resolution

CPU:

R – 1 GHz dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2

S2 – 1.2 GHz dual-core Exynos

Please note that S2’s GPU is superior to that of Galaxy R.

Memory:

R – 1 GB RAM; 8 GB internal storage expandable up to 32 GB

S2 – 1 GB RAM; 16 or 32 GB internal GB expandable up to 32 GB

Camera:

R – 5 Mp, LED flash, 720p video recording

S2 – 8 Mp, LED flash, 1080p video recording

OS:

R and S2 – Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)

It’s really great! A Galaxy S2 look-alike phone that costs 7000 Rupees less!

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Now coming to Galaxy M…

Display: 4.0 inches Super AMOLED, 640 x 480 resolution

CPU: 1 GHz single core

Memory: 4 GB internal expandable up to 32 GB

Camera: 3.15 Mp, secondary VGA

OS: Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)

Galaxy M Style – looks great doesn’t it?!

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