Farhad Manjoo Tries Switching to Android

Farhad Manjoo, after trying the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One, both with the default carrier software and their $600 “Pure Google” versions:

But you shouldn’t have to delete stuff just to get your phone looking like you want it. Plus, I suspect that many users probably don’t even know how to delete these apps, so they just sit there, clogging up the home screen.

The worst thing about Android phones isn’t the crapware, though. It’s the “skins” — the modifications that phone companies make to Android’s most basic features, including the dialing app, contacts, email, the calendar, the notification system, and the layout of the home screen. If you get the Play edition of these phones, you’ll see Google’s version of each of these apps, and you’ll come away impressed by Google’s tasteful, restrained, utilitarian design sense. But if, like most people, you get your phone for $199 from a carrier, you’ll find everything in it is a frightful mess.

In short, the best Android phones are ones that few people buy.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

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