Smartphone doldrums



  • So with Alphabet's announcement of the death of Nexus, Microsoft doing something similar with WP, and Apple refusing to innovate I'm kind of at a loss for my next smartphone platform. I don't really like how intrusive Google is, but I was prepared to deal with it in exchange for a Nexus device. Now there isn't going to be any more of them, and the Pixel is what it is. I currently have an iPhone 6 running the newest iOS version, and I'm happy with the improvements they've made in this iteration, but they're only just catching up to features WP had years ago, and Android implemented more recently, but still awhile ago. And I don't want to pay an Apple premium for their devices.

    Are there any bright spots on the horizon?



  • Is innovation that big of a deal? I mean, from my perspective, the iPhone may not be innovating at a crazy pace, but everyone else only appears to innovate faster by playing catch up.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Smartphone doldrums:

    Is innovation that big of a deal? I mean, from my perspective, the iPhone may not be innovating at a crazy pace, but everyone else only appears to innovate faster by playing catch up.

    I'm not sure what you're getting at here. iOS is missing features that are common on other platforms, and only has a few features that others are missing that are mostly gimmicks of one sort or another. They are finally catching up in the area of notifications after years of having the worst system on the market.



  • @Kelly said in Smartphone doldrums:

    @scottalanmiller said in Smartphone doldrums:

    Is innovation that big of a deal? I mean, from my perspective, the iPhone may not be innovating at a crazy pace, but everyone else only appears to innovate faster by playing catch up.

    I'm not sure what you're getting at here. iOS is missing features that are common on other platforms, and only has a few features that others are missing that are mostly gimmicks of one sort or another. They are finally catching up in the area of notifications after years of having the worst system on the market.

    Having used both... what Android features are innovative and missing? Not intentionally missing as a design choice which is arguably every bit as innovative.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Smartphone doldrums:

    @Kelly said in Smartphone doldrums:

    @scottalanmiller said in Smartphone doldrums:

    Is innovation that big of a deal? I mean, from my perspective, the iPhone may not be innovating at a crazy pace, but everyone else only appears to innovate faster by playing catch up.

    I'm not sure what you're getting at here. iOS is missing features that are common on other platforms, and only has a few features that others are missing that are mostly gimmicks of one sort or another. They are finally catching up in the area of notifications after years of having the worst system on the market.

    Having used both... what Android features are innovative and missing? Not intentionally missing as a design choice which is arguably every bit as innovative.

    Frankly, nothing other than inductive charging springs to mind. My point is not what they're missing, but the lack of adding more than catch up features for several iterations of iOS. In addition the iPhone hasn't changed markedly (aside from the size they said they'd never do) since Jobs died. There is no way for me to justify spending so much money on a smartphone (won't buy a high end Samsung either) on a phone with that pedigree.



  • My frustration with Apple is not Apple vs Android, although there is some comparison. It is that a company who controls their own hardware and software for so long and has so much money and potential to push UI and features has chosen to rest on the tried and true. It is a purely personal frustration, but it is one factor that makes me less interested in an iPhone over another, more feasibly priced device.



  • They've very quickly become an appliance. Choose your ecosystem and away you go.



  • @MattSpeller said in Smartphone doldrums:

    They've very quickly become an appliance. Choose your ecosystem and away you go.

    Maybe I do just need to change my expectations.



  • I think we've hit the ceiling in terms of smartphone "innovation". Eventually all hardware catches up, and with software, it just comes down to UI at the end.

    I loved the freedom of Android, but there became a point where it was too free (if that makes sense?) and I was spending more time trying to get my phone to be set up exactly the way I wanted it rather than using it.

    As a current Apple user, my only gripe is setting default apps--but a long press usually brings up more options at this point so I can choose Google Maps rather than Apple.



  • @Kelly said in Smartphone doldrums:

    @MattSpeller said in Smartphone doldrums:

    They've very quickly become an appliance. Choose your ecosystem and away you go.

    Maybe I do just need to change my expectations.

    What attachments would you like for your blender?

    That's how I look at it now.

    I agree with you, it's become rather boring.



  • Maybe there needs to be a third party store...



  • @Kelly said in Smartphone doldrums:

    @scottalanmiller said in Smartphone doldrums:

    @Kelly said in Smartphone doldrums:

    @scottalanmiller said in Smartphone doldrums:

    Is innovation that big of a deal? I mean, from my perspective, the iPhone may not be innovating at a crazy pace, but everyone else only appears to innovate faster by playing catch up.

    I'm not sure what you're getting at here. iOS is missing features that are common on other platforms, and only has a few features that others are missing that are mostly gimmicks of one sort or another. They are finally catching up in the area of notifications after years of having the worst system on the market.

    Having used both... what Android features are innovative and missing? Not intentionally missing as a design choice which is arguably every bit as innovative.

    Frankly, nothing other than inductive charging springs to mind. My point is not what they're missing, but the lack of adding more than catch up features for several iterations of iOS. In addition the iPhone hasn't changed markedly (aside from the size they said they'd never do) since Jobs died. There is no way for me to justify spending so much money on a smartphone (won't buy a high end Samsung either) on a phone with that pedigree.

    I can think of a couple things. Swipe right for cards. That's been a part of Google Now since the beginning. Also travel times, where you parked your car, etc has been a part of Google Now since it came out. Apple has finally caught on and used the same design. I've found the Google voice searching much more accurate than Siri. You are right, notifications have been light years ahead. iOS didn't even have a notification try until around 6 or 7. Android had quick links first, which was then touted as some super add on to iOS years later.

    This is a small thing overall, but a big thing to me. I can't stand not being able to put apps in an app drawer. I only had the quick launch apps at the bottom and almost nothing else. I can't stand being forced to have all of it on my screen, even in folders. The app drawer is awesome. I have all of my apps, and I open it and start typing what I want and it shows up.

    Take the new 7 for example, the dual lenses is not an innovation. I had that on an HTC phone back around 2012, and it even did 3D video and photos.



  • @Kelly said in Smartphone doldrums:

    @scottalanmiller said in Smartphone doldrums:

    @Kelly said in Smartphone doldrums:

    @scottalanmiller said in Smartphone doldrums:

    Is innovation that big of a deal? I mean, from my perspective, the iPhone may not be innovating at a crazy pace, but everyone else only appears to innovate faster by playing catch up.

    I'm not sure what you're getting at here. iOS is missing features that are common on other platforms, and only has a few features that others are missing that are mostly gimmicks of one sort or another. They are finally catching up in the area of notifications after years of having the worst system on the market.

    Having used both... what Android features are innovative and missing? Not intentionally missing as a design choice which is arguably every bit as innovative.

    Frankly, nothing other than inductive charging springs to mind. My point is not what they're missing, but the lack of adding more than catch up features for several iterations of iOS. In addition the iPhone hasn't changed markedly (aside from the size they said they'd never do) since Jobs died. There is no way for me to justify spending so much money on a smartphone (won't buy a high end Samsung either) on a phone with that pedigree.

    I don't feel that this makes sense, though. So, other than the cool inductive charging that I totally agree with, the iPhone is basically so good and has been the leader for so long that... you don't like their pedigree? And you prefer a phone that lags behind but spreads out their innovation more evenly? Once Android catches up to iPhone, will they stop too? Is Android only better then, because it lags behind? That seems counter intuitive.



  • @Kelly said in Smartphone doldrums:

    My frustration with Apple is not Apple vs Android, although there is some comparison. It is that a company who controls their own hardware and software for so long and has so much money and potential to push UI and features has chosen to rest on the tried and true. It is a purely personal frustration, but it is one factor that makes me less interested in an iPhone over another, more feasibly priced device.

    In some ways, I understand. But in other ways, that's exactly what I want from a phone and exactly where Windows Phone failed. Making a great interface and not changing things just for the sake of change is the best innovation yet!



  • @ChrisL said in Smartphone doldrums:

    I think we've hit the ceiling in terms of smartphone "innovation". Eventually all hardware catches up, and with software, it just comes down to UI at the end.

    I loved the freedom of Android, but there became a point where it was too free (if that makes sense?) and I was spending more time trying to get my phone to be set up exactly the way I wanted it rather than using it.

    As a current Apple user, my only gripe is setting default apps--but a long press usually brings up more options at this point so I can choose Google Maps rather than Apple.

    Yes, while I love that Android exists and love that it is wide open, I don't want that on my phone. I want less freedom, not more. BUT I want the freedom to chose to not have that freedom, hence why I like that Android is there for other people.



  • @Kelly said in Smartphone doldrums:

    Maybe there needs to be a third party store...

    I like not having the third party store for my phone, actually. That's one of the things that I meant by "not intentionally left out", because I see the local down and vertical integrations as key features.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Smartphone doldrums:

    @Kelly said in Smartphone doldrums:

    @scottalanmiller said in Smartphone doldrums:

    @Kelly said in Smartphone doldrums:

    @scottalanmiller said in Smartphone doldrums:

    Is innovation that big of a deal? I mean, from my perspective, the iPhone may not be innovating at a crazy pace, but everyone else only appears to innovate faster by playing catch up.

    I'm not sure what you're getting at here. iOS is missing features that are common on other platforms, and only has a few features that others are missing that are mostly gimmicks of one sort or another. They are finally catching up in the area of notifications after years of having the worst system on the market.

    Having used both... what Android features are innovative and missing? Not intentionally missing as a design choice which is arguably every bit as innovative.

    Frankly, nothing other than inductive charging springs to mind. My point is not what they're missing, but the lack of adding more than catch up features for several iterations of iOS. In addition the iPhone hasn't changed markedly (aside from the size they said they'd never do) since Jobs died. There is no way for me to justify spending so much money on a smartphone (won't buy a high end Samsung either) on a phone with that pedigree.

    I don't feel that this makes sense, though. So, other than the cool inductive charging that I totally agree with, the iPhone is basically so good and has been the leader for so long that... you don't like their pedigree? And you prefer a phone that lags behind but spreads out their innovation more evenly? Once Android catches up to iPhone, will they stop too? Is Android only better then, because it lags behind? That seems counter intuitive.

    I think we have widely disparate perspectives on where features have been implemented and who is the leader aside from single handset sales. Most of the assumptions in your questions I do not agree with, so it is at best difficult, if not impossible for me to answer them.

    The iPhone is not an innovation leader any more, and hasn't been for a long time. Android doesn't really need to catch up to the iPhone in much if anything. Force touch? I don't think Android lags behind, and in fact I have stated a few times in this thread that iOS has only just caught up with other platforms. It is the one I stated is lagging behind.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Smartphone doldrums:

    @Kelly said in Smartphone doldrums:

    Maybe there needs to be a third party store...

    I like not having the third party store for my phone, actually. That's one of the things that I meant by "not intentionally left out", because I see the local down and vertical integrations as key features.

    I would like to not be locked in to a single platform and not having my <insert digital purchase> tied to that platform. Sure there are workarounds, but they are just that.



  • @Kelly said in Smartphone doldrums:

    The iPhone is not an innovation leader any more, and hasn't been for a long time. Android doesn't really need to catch up to the iPhone in much if anything. Force touch? I don't think Android lags behind, and in fact I have stated a few times in this thread that iOS has only just caught up with other platforms. It is the one I stated is lagging behind.

    Having used both, I can't agree. The place where Android needs to catch up is in the basics, not in the "features." It's ease of use, standard interface and reliability of core services (email, text, voice calls.) The Android is great at being a gimmick and looks wonderful on a spec sheet or feature list... but iPhone just... phones better.



  • @Kelly said in Smartphone doldrums:

    @scottalanmiller said in Smartphone doldrums:

    @Kelly said in Smartphone doldrums:

    Maybe there needs to be a third party store...

    I like not having the third party store for my phone, actually. That's one of the things that I meant by "not intentionally left out", because I see the local down and vertical integrations as key features.

    I would like to not be locked in to a single platform and not having my <insert digital purchase> tied to that platform. Sure there are workarounds, but they are just that.

    I can appreciate that. I like having that, though, because of the reliability that it provides. To me it is a feature. And a critical one. Or more importantly, it helps to power a feature.



  • So for a list of features that I'm wondering Apple is missing that WP or Android have:

    Notifications - as one who's never used an iPhone, I don't know what's missing there
    App drawer - Don't think WP had that, nor does stock Android
    Travel time - part of Google Now, not Android
    Car location - part of Google Now, not Android
    Wireless charging

    Feature that works better on ... than iOS
    Voice searching
    2 cameras - though new dual camera on iphone isn't for 3d, it's two different focal lengths



  • @Dashrender said in Smartphone doldrums:

    2 cameras - though new dual camera on iphone isn't for 3d, it's two different focal lengths

    Which, I think, makes it innovative. First of its kind.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Smartphone doldrums:

    @Dashrender said in Smartphone doldrums:

    2 cameras - though new dual camera on iphone isn't for 3d, it's two different focal lengths

    Which, I think, makes it innovative. First of its kind.

    Oh sure, I agree it is - I guess we'll see how useful it really is, or desired it really is if Android makers copy it.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Smartphone doldrums:

    @Dashrender said in Smartphone doldrums:

    2 cameras - though new dual camera on iphone isn't for 3d, it's two different focal lengths

    Which, I think, makes it innovative. First of its kind.

    It is only innovative if it is an improvement.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Smartphone doldrums:

    @Kelly said in Smartphone doldrums:

    The iPhone is not an innovation leader any more, and hasn't been for a long time. Android doesn't really need to catch up to the iPhone in much if anything. Force touch? I don't think Android lags behind, and in fact I have stated a few times in this thread that iOS has only just caught up with other platforms. It is the one I stated is lagging behind.

    Having used both, I can't agree. The place where Android needs to catch up is in the basics, not in the "features." It's ease of use, standard interface and reliability of core services (email, text, voice calls.) The Android is great at being a gimmick and looks wonderful on a spec sheet or feature list... but iPhone just... phones better.

    Mounds of OS fragmentation too. A lot of Android users are still on older software versions and that affects security as well.



  • @Kelly said in Smartphone doldrums:

    @scottalanmiller said in Smartphone doldrums:

    @Dashrender said in Smartphone doldrums:

    2 cameras - though new dual camera on iphone isn't for 3d, it's two different focal lengths

    Which, I think, makes it innovative. First of its kind.

    It is only innovative if it is an improvement.

    It's a big enough improvement that I'm considering the phone just for that, literally. It's enormous for those of us that use our phones as cameras.



  • The problem I have with Android is that it's not stable. I've been using Android since before the HTC Evo 4G on that crap network Sprint never really rolled out. My biggest complaint - stability. I had to reboot my phone weekly or more.

    Life was full of less reboots while I was on the Windows Phones for the past 18 months, but since moving to the Nexus 6P last summer, the regular reboots are back. Now I do think that my reboot woes are because of a game I have installed and play a lot of, and as of yet aren't willing to forgo, but still the phone is laggy and requires reboots often.

    I know the Nexus line isn't suppose to be a flagship line, but it really pretty much is/was, yet still tons of performance issues.

    My wife is on a Samsung Galaxy S6, she seems pretty happy with it. She's not all into customization like @stacksofplates with app drawers, etc, she's a normal user - wants a few apps, a few games and the ability to take pictures. To her, her phone is fine.



  • I do find it odd that @Kelly is demonizing the new Google Pixel line of phones because it doesn't (source unknown) come with pure Android on it. Kelly believes that it has an overlay just like Samsung or HTC do. I'm not sure I agree that Google Assistant is an overlay - but maybe it is. I guess I'll be surprised if you can't uninstall it if it's not part of the base OS, one of the nice things you could do with the Nexus phones.

    I'm willing to wait and see before crucifying Google for the Pixel line.

    But I do have a 4 month old Nexus 6P, I don't really see a need for an upgrade unless it's going to get rid of my performance issues.



  • Other than wireless charging and two cameras, The rest is a matter of UI. Then considering the UI, one platform is more open and allows the modification of that UI and one doesn't.

    Some people want that openness so they can bend that system to their will, others just want it to work. Currently it's rare, if not impossible for you to have a system that allows you to fully customize it (think Android) and yet not have all kinds of potential issues.

    Back in the Windows 7 days, Windows 7 almost never gave you any fits - it was almost always the crappy ass apps running on Windows that caused issues. So consider that akin to Android - the more open it is, the more variables you allow for, the more likely you'll have issues.



  • @Dashrender said in Smartphone doldrums:

    The problem I have with Android is that it's not stable.

    Same here. To me, this is what matters most. No amount of features or anything gets Android up to par with iOS because of this. Until they "innovate" to the point of being on par with iPhone platform, I see iPhone as out innovating them.


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