Paul Stamatiou, on falling in love with Android:
I set out to write an article about how I feel Android provides unique affordances that create a unique cohesive mobile experience (more on that below) rather than talking openness, features and apps. However, the more time I spent living with Android it became obvious that being able to do anything and suit a variety of needs is a pillar of the Android experience.
I was trying to find out why Android felt so remarkably different to use, beyond aesthetics. I found there are a few pieces that help contribute to this magical user experience: the global back button, intents and Google Now.
Delight. It’s what designers strive to produce in the experiences they craft. Google Now has hit the nail on the head. I can’t even count the number of times friends have pulled out their phone to show me the smart things Google Now did for them.
Using Android feels like one fluid experience.
And it just keeps getting better and better!
My immediate response to change of removing the switch was: “Thank god, that should have happened ages ago”.
If you’re really paranoid about your privacy, use Firefox, enable the Do Not Track flag in your options, enable click to play for plugins like Flash or Silverlight, and install the Ghostery and Adblock extensions. Anything else is just going to break the web at your own expense.
Soren Johnson, lead designer of Civilization 4:
The answer is to make digital games so attractive that players will abandon physical discs on their own. (One might call this the Steam strategy.) Microsoft could have avoided this whole fiasco by maintaining the old disc-based ecosystem while softly undermining it with three moves that create an alternate digital future.
Combined, these three changes would destroy the traditional retail market. The $40 price would make digital games cheaper at release; the ongoing heavy sales would undercut the used games market; and persistence would make digital games easier to maintain across multiple devices. Microsoft needs to make buying games digitally a better deal for the consumer than buying them physically.
I was extremely disappointed to hear Microsoft cave in to rabid demands to maintain the status quo. I was really looking forward to their plans for combined physical and digital ownership, where I could get all the benefits of buying physical copies, including special and collectors’ editions of my favorite titles, while simultaneously retaining all the benefits of a digital copy, like the ability to forego disc-swapping.
How long will we have to wait for consoles to catch up with Steam?
Along a similar vein as my previous post on Why I Prefer Android, Ralf Rottmann, a self-described “Apple fanboy”, has described why I prefer Android better than I could in my own words:
The latest version of Android outshines the latest version of iOS in almost every single aspect. I find it to be better in terms of the performance, smoothness of the rendering engine, cross-app and OS level integration, innovation across the board, look & feel customizability and variety of the available apps.
On the topic of app and system integration:
Another great example: Sharing stuff on social networks. On iOS, I have to rely on the developers again. Flipboard, as one of the better examples, gives me the ability to directly share with Google+, Twitter and Facebook. On my Nexus 4, I have 20+ options. That is, because every app I install can register as a sharing provider. It’s a core feature of the Android operating system.
All of this is entirely impossible on iOS today. I’ve stopped counting how often I felt annoyed because I clicked a link to a location in Mobile Safari and would have loved the Google Maps app to launch. Instead, Apple’s own Maps app is hardcoded into the system. And there’s no way for me to change it.
Regarding possibilities for app developers:
On iOS, many things I always wished to see being developed, simply cannot be done because of the strict sandbox Apple enforces around apps.
I also have apps [on Android] that give me great insight into the use of mobile data across the device and all apps. Or the battery consumption. Or which apps talk home and how frequently.
None of it is available for iOS. And possibly won’t be at any time in the near future.
And summing up the way I’ve felt for a long time when using iOS devices:
… whenever I grab my iPhone for testing purposes, iOS feels pretty old, outdated and less user friendly. For me, there currently is no way of going back. Once you get used to all of these capabilities, it’s hard to live without them.
There are many things Apple got right with iOS, like making a consistent user experience, and encouraging users to spend money in the market for quality apps. But when they place so many restrictions and limitations on how you can use your phone, and what your software is allowed to do on your own device, I gladly give up those things that make iOS so great for the freedom to run apps that can do what I want — and expect — from a modern computing device.