Android phones have grown from an interest to a bit of an obsession with me, but that’s not the only way they’ve grown recently, and I’m a little worried that all this excess is going to harm our cute green friend.
I’m a proud owner of a Samsung Galaxy Nexus, the official Google phone. It’s a bit of a beast, to be honest, and that’s the way I like it. Forget about the physical size of the screen, and take a look inside. It’s got a powerful dual core processor, oodles of RAM and a hunk of storage space. In short, it’s built to handle pretty much anything you throw at it without slowing down, hiccupping or melting. It’s been rock solid since I got it nearly five months ago. Now all the talk is about the HTC One X – another monster phone with even better raw power than my Galaxy Nexus.
This is all very well for those of us who are prepared to part with many hundreds of pounds for a phone, but we’re not the mass market. The average man and woman in the street wants an affordable phone which will do the normal phone stuff, as well as letting you go on Facebook, take a half-decent photo and let you launch exploding birds at mutated pigs! These are the people phone companies and Google should be looking after. Get these phones right and you won’t have to worry about those pesky Apple people taking your profits.
I know quite a few people with these phones – HTC Wildfires, Sony Ericsson Xperia Minis, Samsung Galaxy Minis, etc. They all run task killers because they find their phones lagging when trying to do everyday tasks. Is this something we should have to accept when paying bargain money for smartphones?
The trouble is that manufacturers are building average phones that still try to do everything a Galaxy Nexus or HTC One X do. So, is it time for a new leaner, more efficient version of Android that manufacturers can use on their budget smartphones, whilst keeping the full version for the super phones to run?
It wouldn’t be the first time that software has come in different flavours depending on the hardware it’s running on. The most obvious example is Windows for PCs that comes in 32bit and and 64bit versions. But there are many other pieces of software that come in ‘lite’ versions.
This way you could get a speedy little phone that will let you text, email, tweet, surf, go on Facebook and play some games. In short, do what most people do on smartphones. If you want the extra power and functionality then you can get a premium phone with the full version of Android. Let’s face it, most people who use a smartphone to its full potential will be buying a top end handset anyway.
Some people would say that skins like HTC Sense and Samsung TouchWiz are the problem, and I would agree to an extent. It’s not likely that you’ll persuade HTC to remove their signature take on Android though, and this is why Google should be able to supply an operating system that gives the manufacturers headroom for their skins.
Do you have an Android phone that you feel could do with a boost? I’d suggest a well researched and selected custom ROM will do the trick. Why? Because the developer will have trimmed the fat.