If Android is what winning looks like, the Macalope will take losing every time.
The other day the Macalope said offhandedly that there were plenty of good reasons to use Android. This caused some commenters to scratch their heads. “Plenty? That can’t be right. I can think of one. Well a half a reason. More like a third, really, but we’ll round it up to be generous.”
Now, now. Don’t be like. That’s the Macalope’s job. No, really, here are some perfectly valid reasons to use Android:
Price/carrier combination. You’re either unable or unwilling to spend anything out-of-pocket on a cell phone. Right now your only free iPhone option is with AT&T, the carrier with more dropped calls than your mom. (The Macalope has no idea what that means.)
Open! Maybe there’s an app you’ve decided that you can’t live without, which Apple won’t allow on the App Store. It could happen. If you’re an incurable pedant or work for someone who’s an incurable pedant. (Won’t you give generously to wipe out incurable pedantry?)
There’s a hardware feature that you can’t live without. 4G! Great swaths of screen space your fingers can’t possibly reach across on a phone that won’t fit in your pants! Removable batteries! The design aesthetic of a cave troll! 3D!!! (See #2 about pedantry.)
Principle. You think open source is the bee’s knees. The cat’s meow. The nerd’s sniffle. And you’ve deluded yourself into thinking Google cares about open source. Or you just hate “walled gardens.” Because a walled garden killed your brother. Or Steve Jobs literally ran over your dog. Literally. Black Mercedes with no license plate came bombing down the road and boom—no more Mr. Barksdale. You have your reasons. Whatever they are. (See your mom about pedantry. Again, no idea what that’s supposed to mean.)
Is that it? Who cares. Four is enough. The Macalope’s not running some kind of outreach program for wayward Android users here.
People have this annoying tendency to declare that Android is “better” or that it’s “winning.” It’s certainly not winning in app revenue. Nor is it winning in profit, of course.
The one metric Android leads in is market share. In case you hadn’t heard. Today.
What about better? Android might be better at some things, but interface consistency certainly isn’t among them. And neither is security.
Is the iPhone categorically better than Android? No. It’s better at some things. Many things. Most things? The important thing is, they happen to be the things that matter to us.
(Programming note: The Macalope will be off tomorrow, munching the sweet alfalfa of thanks.)
[Editors’ Note: In addition to being a mythical beast, the Macalope is not an employee of Macworld. As a result, the Macalope is always free to criticize any media organization. Even ours.]