Ok, what is that supposed to mean ?… Sade is the genius pervert writer “sadism” was named after, and it relates to my post as I think that Android OS is for… masochists.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all gung-ho about my new Galaxy Tab 2, 7″ slate PC, it’s way cool. But the system running it, Android 4.0 aka “Ice Cream Sandwich”, is a bit of a punishment in itself. Not far from cruel and unusual, either, if like me so far you’ve been a lifelong Mac user.
I had tried an Android based phone before, the wildly acclaimed Galaxy S2, and had hated it thoroughly. Everything about it was shit. From the garish, totally unrealisticly colored and contrast screen, to the cheap feel in hand, along with the ludicrous battery life (or lack of) and the numerous indiosyncrasies of the OS. I promptly traded it back for an iPhone4 and lived in bliss ever after.
Now, I wanted a tablet. Tablets are just the flavor of the day, you see them everywhere, and when I see how hooked I am to my phone, it made sense to get something with a bit more real estate, if I am in any hope to retain some eyesight into old age. Of course, being an Apple fan I wanted an iPad. But the capitalists at Cupertino are a little *too* greedy for comfort, and I’ve really come to hate the iTunes scheme of transfering files.
Enters, the Galaxy Tab 2, 7 inches screen. I didn’t want a large tablet (may as well grab my latpop then) and this one’s size is just right.
So where the pain lover Marquis de Sade comes into play, is with the tab’s operating system : Android. Oh geez, where do I even start ? If you’ve ever used iOS (Apple’s own interpretation of what a user experience should be), you must have noticed, at least somewhere along the way, how easy, fluid, and just totally intuitive it is. Sure, Apple haters will say it’s hobbled, dumbed down, and locked. And they’re totally right, too. But (iTunes synch thingy put aside) if iOS is a prison, then it’s a golden cage, because it’s fun, sleek, beautiful, easy to use and just a joy. Little kids use iPhones and iPads even before they turn 2, and older folks with zero computer experience happily discover a world of opportunities in a natural, intuitive way. In iOS, every process is framed, channeled. There is one start to an action, which results in one outcome. No way to get stranded along the way. It’s black or white, yes or no, and the choices the systems offers are simple and limpid enough that there is little risk making a wrong move (because the device will have asked confirmation at least twice, which should be enough to raise your suspicion at least a bit and promote caution).
With Android, on the proverbial other hand, everything is unnecessarily complex (and even complicated, more often than not). There is always two, three, and sometimes four ways to do the exact same thing, to access the same settings or obtain the same outcome. How confusing is THAT ? Obscure screens will pop up routinely, as well as perplexing lists and intimidating graphs. Icons are mysterious, tough to guess what the hell they stand for. There isn’t a proper, centralized search enchine, neither is there a simple and obvious way to go back to the start of an application. One can only either go back one move at a time, or altogether to your home page. Dumb.
Thank God, when you’ve handled computers for a few years, you get a little comfortable with them, and are able to find your way around different systems. I still think Android is clunky, heavy, and a bit maddening. But I do like the Tab very well, it’s a cute and smart little device than can do a lot of things reasonably well, so I’m determined to learn to live peacefully with Android. Maybe even to the point of being bold enough to try a non Apple phone. Who knows ? 😉