Optimization

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by Wide opeN, Oct 23, 2013.

  1. Wide opeN macrumors 6502

    Wide opeN

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2010
    #1
    Hey guys, I'm about to go back to the iPhone after being on Android since July of 2012.

    One of my main reasons is Optimization, or should I say lack thereof on Android, especially on Samsung devices.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm already missing some Android features in principal alone, however, I have a lot going on in my personal life and just want a phone that is going to get the job done. I'd be lying, if I didn't say that iOS 7 tempted me as well.

    My question I guess, is how many otherwise happy Android users are tired of Androids lack of optimization with the hardware they're using. Or better still, sites that aren't optimized for any other mobile browser, than Safari!?

    I'm genuinely asking, as a recent convert, how many current android users feel similar!?
     
  2. Dontazemebro macrumors 68020

    Dontazemebro

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2010
    Location:
    I dunno, somewhere in West Texas
    #2
    Have you tried the Note 3 yet? It's easily Samsung's best touchwiz effort to date. I wholeheartedly agree with you on the S4 but the Note 3 is a night & day difference.

    As far as sites being optimized, I rarely if ever view them in mobile format.I like the full desktop rendering and with the added screen size, it makes viewing web pages much more enjoyable.
     
  3. ChazUK macrumors 603

    ChazUK

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Location:
    Essex (UK)
    #3
    I haven't visited a site that required mobile Safari for a long time! Used to happen a lot in the past but all sites I visit detect my phone fine and work as intended.

    As for optimization, stock Android on the Google Play Edition One seems to work wonderfully for me. TouchWiz however does have its boggy moments and can be horrid!

    Do you have any examples that I could easily sling at my One or any sites that would not work in Chrome that I test out at all?
     
  4. Stuntman06 macrumors 6502a

    Stuntman06

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2011
    Location:
    Metro Vancouver, B.C, Canada
    #4
    I'm always annoyed at Android apps that don't behave like Android apps. You press the Android Menu button and it does nothing. You have to tap on some other location on the screen before it takes you to the menu that should have appeared when you press the Menu button. The same goes for the Android Back button. It annoys me when I press the Back button and it doesn't go to the previous screen I was on. It either doesn't work or does something unexpected like exit the app. It seems a lot of developers port over an iOS app and do the bare minimum to get it working. It didn't occur to me until I used iPhones more and realised that the Android apps work almost exactly like the iOS app.
     
  5. strausd macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Location:
    Texas
    #5
    Totally agree. Android is incredibly inconsistent compared to iOS. I love the customization and currently prefer it over iOS, but if Apple offered a 4.7-5" iPhone and the ability to set default apps, I would switch in a heartbeat. In my mind, Android only has a slight edge overall over iOS.
     
  6. JH- macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    #6
    Default apps are the only reason I'm switching to android.
     
  7. Wide opeN thread starter macrumors 6502

    Wide opeN

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2010
    #7
    Firstly let me say on android, I used chrome exclusively.

    Try invitation homes, that's the company I lease my home from.

    Tried putting in a work order on chrome and it was a no go. Tried wifeys iPad and voila, order went through.

    Too, they tell you the iPhone app is available, with android to come soon.

    This too was a big annoyance, apps arriving late to android (plants vs zombies 2 for example), and apps not looking, nor functioning as good, as on iOS.
     
  8. Lloydbm41 macrumors 68040

    Lloydbm41

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2013
    Location:
    Central California
    #8
    What phone are you using? Which sites or apps don't work properly with the menu or back button? I have not experienced this.
     
  9. tbayrgs, Oct 25, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2013

    tbayrgs macrumors 603

    tbayrgs

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #9
    Apologize for the long post--didn't start out with intention of it being this long but I got on a roll. Please feel free to skip right past. ;)

    I used iOS exclusively until last sumer when I picked up a Galaxy Nexus. Since then, I used an iPhone only for about a month, relying instead on Android, first on the GNex, followed by a Nexus 4, Galaxy Note II, and finally a HTC One (my phone for the last 6 months). There's much about Android I prefer--the ability to customize nearly the entire experience as you'd see fit (change themes, alter the lockscreen, add gestures to control the device), the flexibility (changing default apps, the intent systems allowing you to share content with nearly any other applicable app), its use by a variety of OEMs that subsequently affords one the ability to find the piece of hardware that fits their specific needs (build materials, display size, expandable memory or replaceable battery if you'd prefer, capacitive or on screen buttons, etc), the back button.

    Yet after saying all that, I've decided to once again go back to the iPhone (at least for 30 days ;)) for 2 reasons; integration with my Apple heavy household and nearly iOS/Apple exclusive family & friends and for the reliability I nearly always find using iOS.

    I don't do much 'heavy lifting' with my phone. Its use is generally limited to calls, messaging, music and internet radio, light photography (mostly of my family) and some other app use. I've tweaked my Android devices to be able to do any number of cool things--i.e. I set up my HTC One so that I could use it almost exclusively with gestures. I've rearranged home screens, tried any number of widgets, changed themes, rooted my devices, flashed custom ROMs, etc. Being able to do all of this is great and pretty liberating after using iOS for so many years. But you know what else I've discovered? I don't need to do pretty much any of it to meet my phone needs. And you know what else? I'm finding lots of little aspects of Android that on there own don't mean much but put them together and it's much more bothersome. Some examples:

    - My bluetooth connectivity is rather unreliable. I'm in my car a lot and use bluetooth to listen to music/radio and to obviously take/make calls. I find that I have to turn BT off and on at least once a day to re-establish the connection with my car after it's mysteriously lost. Sometimes after I do this, the media plays back at various speeds, going twice as fast, then stopping and studdering only to playback at high speed again. When this happens, only recourse is to shut off my car and restart, allowing it to reconnect again. Also, if I start a call on my phone while connected to bluetooth, sometimes it routes the call through my car via BT, sometimes it doesn't and now the caller likely thinks I'm an idiot (if I'm calling my wife, that's a given ;)) because I claiming I can't hear them. This behavior has occurred to varying degrees with all Android devices I've owned. Similar behavior on iOS? Can count the number of times over the years on one hand.

    - Playback of music or radio is inconsistent. For example, I'm listening to ESPN Radio via TuneIn. I shut my car off, later return and start it up and TuneIn restarts on the station I left, as I specified it should in Settings. Although sometimes it doesn't and instead starts playing random songs from the native Music app on my Android phone. The problem is that I listen to music through Google Play Music. And the same thing will occur with Google Play Music. I try to disable the Music app but can't because it's grayed out by the OEM (HTC in this case) and I'd have to root my phone. Don't want to do that.

    - Messaging. I like the stock message app in Android. Except that functionality is terribly limited, specifically in my case to MMS. Using the stock messaging app, I can only send photos no larger than 300K. So of course I have to opt for a third party app--I've chosen Textra and I like it, especially since I can designate the max filesize for MMS. Yet I still have see irregular behavior when trying to send photos--sometimes they go through, other times they don't and I have to bump down the limit. Never had to deal with any of this nonsense on iOS, plus I can use iMessage which my iOS heavy list of contacts (realize that benefit is specific to me).

    - Power management. I don't like to micromanage my battery life--pretty much a set it and forget it (leave Wifi, BT, GPS on all the time). I heard battery life horror stories from past versions of Android and regarding specific handsets, experienced it to an extend first-hand with the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 4 but the latest Android offering acquit themselves quite well (though often because of enormous battery capacities). Except when they don't. All of a sudden a couple of weeks ago, my battery life spiraled downward on my One, so I installed a monitoring app and it appeared some aspect of the OS was causing greater drain than usual. I don't want to have to manage individual apps, wasn't sure what specifically was causing it so I decided to do a reset. Seems to have corrected the issue, but restoring from backup on Android is a mixed bag--tried it twice, once using HTC's backup solution and another time using Google's and neither resulted in a full restore. I'd get my wifi passwords saved in one, not in the other while my bluetooth connections were maintain in one and not in another. App data was a complete mixed bag. So I had to spend far more time than I should have setting everything back up. Needless to say, double frustration--first with the battery issues and then with the incomplete restore from backup.

    These are just some recent examples that come to mind. I also miss having a good camera in my phone, the ability to quickly AirPlay it on one of our Apple TV to share something with the family, the ability to message my kids on their iDevices or quickly and easily have a video chat via FaceTime when we travel, being able to quickly set up a photostream to share with my family and friends across the country. I know there are other ways to do all of this but nothing is as simple when everyone is using iOS/Apple. Now I'm not trying to give the impression that I'm constantly having huge problems--95% of the time things work great. What I'm finding now is that it's that 5% that's really having an impact.

    And please guys/gals, don't come back at me with replies telling me what I'm doing wrong, or apps I should use instead, or how I should root my device so I can remove certain apps/functionality, etc. I perfectly understand that this all pertains to my own personal experience and needs on a phone. This is not meant to be a critical diatribe against Android and why iOS is better, because that's not my intention. As I said, I find Android to be far more capable in many ways to iOS. It's just that I'm finding for my needs, the advantages of Android are mostly lost on me, yet the problems I'm experiencing are having a wearing impact.

    I use a lot of Apple gear, have for years and my needs/uses/habits have likely developed around how the Apple ecosystem works. Maybe I'm just stuck in my ways, who knows. I really like quite a lot about Android and the devices available to me that run it. I like the flexibility and customization. I like the variety of hardware and the larger displays. What I've come to realize is that while I like it, I don't need it, at least in my phone (I'm really liking my Android tablet experience). And over the past year of using Android and everything I've learned about it, I think it's just easier for me to use an iPhone to meet my specific needs and find myself gravitating back to the it, as inferior as it may be.

    Needless to say, I'm going to give iOS and the iPhone another crack. Who knows, maybe after a few weeks I'll have the same feelings about what I'm missing on Android. I am certain that I will at least miss the back button. :D
     
  10. Wide opeN thread starter macrumors 6502

    Wide opeN

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2010
    #10
    To the poster above very well stated.

    You took everything I was thinking and put it into words... Thanks ;)

    I can't say that I didn't enjoy the past 15 months with Android, cause I did. But as was brought out, those times when you really need your phone or are doing seemlessly routine things, and Android or the Android App, glitches, it just frustrates you to no end.

    I realized as too was brought out, that I had undervalued simplicity. Slowly, but surely, the boredom that caused me to move away from the iPhone, was outdone by the inconsistencies of the Android platform and it's apps.

    I even traded in my first Gen Nexus 7 too. It was a nice ride, and I can say that I gave Android a SUPER-THOUROUGH, try, for now though, it's good to be back home on iOS!!! :D
     
  11. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    #11
    I was going to ask the same thing. Only in some games that the back button or menu button don't work. But that's because they made it like that and have an onscreen navigation. Also it's probably to prevent accidental pressing while gaming.
     
  12. macred macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2013
    Location:
    LAX & beyond
    #12
    First a disclaimer: As a Apple user / enthusiast and shareholder, I have a long background especially with their computers. So while I'm very outspoken, that in no way should be interpreted as anti Apple.

    To the topic of Optimization, I truly believe that one of the fundamental reasons that many users often fail to enjoy the current abilities and strengths of Android, is too often based on not learning the platform before giving up. It's my opinion that the differences in platforms get lost when the post or thread drifts off into a contest of iOS is better than Android or vice versa.

    Discussed on their own merits I find each to be excellent, therefore I use both concurrently.

    I have a genuine need for a powerful full featured smartphone. Therefore in my case Android with its file system and computer like architecture is an advantage. But it takes awhile to learn and get up to speed with Androids vast capabilities, a task that many iOS experienced users may not want to spend time on. That is something I find completely understandable.

    To use a popular expression, heavy lifting is a strength of Android, just like refinement is a strength of iOS. Therefore each has their place.
     
  13. Stuntman06, Oct 26, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2013

    Stuntman06 macrumors 6502a

    Stuntman06

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2011
    Location:
    Metro Vancouver, B.C, Canada
    #13
    I'm using a Galaxy S3. Yahoo! Weather is an awesome looking app that doesn't work like an Android app. The menu button does not work. Instead you have to tap the top left corner which is difficult to reach with your right thumb. Here's a critique of how it fails as an Android app: http://www.androiduipatterns.com/2013/08/yahoo-weather-app-beautiful-design.html

    The Scotia Bank app is another example. The back button doesn't work properly. It often doesn't take me back to the last screen which is what I expect. Sometimes it logs me out which is not what I want considering the previous screen was not even the login screen. Finally, it does not support landscape which makes it useless on my Transformer tablet with keyboard dock.

    For the most part, apps work as expected. However, I always encounter some that look or work like a non-Android app. I just find it so annoying that these developers do not adhere to Android guidelines.
     
  14. QuarterSwede macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Location:
    Colorado Springs, CO
    #14
    I don't know, with the way iOS 7 has a gesture for back (swipe left to right) it's actually annoying when I use an app that hasn't updated to 7 yet and still have to push a button to go back. There aren't many anymore but still.
     
  15. Lloydbm41 macrumors 68040

    Lloydbm41

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2013
    Location:
    Central California
    #15
    Okay, I had never used either app, until just now (I downloaded Yahoo weather), but it worked as I expected it to. The 'hambuger bun' Menu button is now a Google standard (even Apple uses it in their apps) to be placed in the top left hand corner of apps (including on PC's) and is now the standard spot (barring app interference).
    I am on a Nexus 4 and Nexus devices only have a back, home and recents button (there is no capacitive or software 'menu' button on Nexus devices) so it makes sense for new apps to use this standard, instead of buttons that you may find in different spots on HTC, Hauwei, ZTE, Sony, LG or Samsung phones. Android is first and foremost developed for Nexus. This may impact how an app performs on these other manufacturers devices, especially those with different button layouts to Nexus. This appears to be the case with Yahoo Weather.

    I so understand your point though, but to be fair, you will find this same issue in the Apple app store as well. There are apps that don't function like you expect with menu buttons or back buttons in all kinds of places. For example, I do a lot of running, elliptical and biking and have the Nike Running app, Nike+ Fuelband app and Nike+ iPod app all on my iPod, with all 3 developed and made by Nike (a huge Apple partner, mind you); not a single one of them are set up the same way with menu buttons in different spots on all 3 of them. Another example would be to go to Apple's Music and Reminders apps and notice that the Menu buttons are opposite to one another. Would you have an issue with your thumb reaching the top left corner of an iPhone?

    All said and done, I don't think any of the apps make the experience worse on either OS though. The vast majority of apps behave in a similar fashion, even when set up slightly differently. I personally don't have any issues with either OS.

    I made a quick vid of me using the Yahoo Weather and even though it was my first time using it, you can see I didn't have any issues. Touch points were turned on, so you can see what I hit and when.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgP53-GWz8k
     
  16. Stuntman06 macrumors 6502a

    Stuntman06

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2011
    Location:
    Metro Vancouver, B.C, Canada
    #16
    I had an HTC Desire Z before which also had the Menu button. I guess I really expect the hardware Menu button to actually do something. The only other Android device I use is the Asus Transformer tablet. It resembles a Nexus Android device quite a bit. I have the keyboard dock which does have a Menu button, but I don't use that button. I only use the hardware back button on the keyboard. For everything else, I rely on the touch screen. I don't use Yahoo Weather on my tablet. If I did, I wouldn't have trouble tapping on the hamburger shaped button at the top left as there are no hard to reach spots on a tablet.

    On a phone, I would hold it in my right hand and use my right thumb to touch the screen. The Galaxy S3 is rather large and the top left corner is hard to reach with my thumb. It seems that a new standard is to swipe in from the left edge of the screen which works with Yahoo Weather.

    The Google+ app has that hamburger bun on the top left and you can swipe in from the left edge to bring up the same menu. Google+ does also allow you to use the Menu button with brings a different set of options.

    An iPhone is much smaller. When I was using my HTC Desire Z, I didn't have any difficulty reaching the top left of the screen with my thumb because the screen is only 3.7". The iPhone has a small screen and is easier to reach the far corners of the screen with your thumb.

    I wasn't aware that the Nexus devices had some rather subtle differences that affected how I view app behaviour. I didn't know there was no menu button.

    As for the Scotiabank App, it had a similar behaviour to bring up the menu. However, the back button still did not behave as I expected. At least when I select a different screen, I expect the back button to take me back to the previous screen. Instead it takes me to the logout screen.
     

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