Gizmodo: Google’s Android totally lacks Apple’s ferocious attention to detail

“So here I was, all excited about Android. Not because the G1’s physical design is especially attractive. In fact, it’s a gray design with no soul. Not because of the user interface, which at first glance reminded me of a mash-up between the Nintendo DS and a ’90s Windows desktop manager. No, I was excited because this is the first post-iPhone smartphone that could be a serious challenger to Apple’s mounting dominance. Then I looked closely at this image and realized the G1 will not pose a threat to Apple at all,” Matt Buchanan reports for Gizmodo.

MacDailyNews Take: If Buchanan was excited that there could be a serious challenger to Apple iPhone because he hopes competition will increase the pace of innovation, then fine. We just hope it’s not because of some underlying issue that some people seem to harbor which goes something like this: “I’m supposed to hate Apple, but not any other companies, for no real reason other than they make the best products, they know they make the best products, and they aren’t afraid to tell the world that they make the best products.”

Buchanan continues, “The problem in this promotional mock-up image is obvious: The analog clock says it’s 9:10 but the digital clock says it’s 2:47.”

“The problem with the clocks would have never escaped Apple’s ferocious attention to detail, but it is not the image itself that’s so troubling. It is what it symbolizes, what is missing at Android’s most fundamental level: Attention to detail,” Buchanan explains.

When using the G1, Buchanan explains, “Typefaces boldly change from place to place, giving a sense of randomness to the whole interface. The same thing happens with color schemes—going from color over white, to color over black, to browns combined with greens and blues, to green over white—and the way the graphic elements are treated—with solid colors or with gradients. Even the shape of the widgets and sizes look arbitrary. Finally, the icons themselves—which get different treatment from flat to fake 3D—add to the overall confusion.”

“Perhaps the explanation for this apparent lack of overall coherence is Android’s Design by Committee nature, something that seems to plague many of Google’s applications and most open-source projects,” Buchanan writes. “Hence the question: How many Google engineers does it take to tell the time?”

Full article, with the images, here.

In another article for Gizmodo, after a photo mockup of the Google G1 exiting the rear end of a cow (we shit you not as we reminisce about our own “Zune Dock” imagery), Buchanan writes of “Android and T-Mobile G1’s Five Most Obnoxious Flaws” which include:

• Contacts and Syncing: There is no desktop syncing app
• Video: There’s no video playback at all right now, except for YouTube
• Hardware Inadequacies: No multi-touch, lack of a headphone jack
• Miscellaneous: SD card required, you have to use the QWERTY keyboard for all text entry which can be annoying, t’s locked to T-Mobile
•  T-Mobile obnoxious flaw: If you’re lucky enough to live in one of the markets sprinkled with 3G, after you’ve used 1GB of data, T-Mobile will slow you down to 50Kbps for the rest of the month – that’s slower than EDGE

Full article here.


  1. I kind of like the thing. No way it’ll ever replace my iPhone, but it will sure eat whatever’s left of Windows’ lunch after Apple gets its fill. Google is a helluva lot more valuable as a competitor than M$. Like the gadget, like the company. Chrome has promise, too.

  2. The G1 Android Phone from T-Mobile has all of the same features as the iPhone from Apple, except for a headphone jack, a multi-touch screen, an accelerometer, Microsoft Exchange support, a virtual keyboard, and 8 or 16GB or storage built-in.

    But other than that, it’s got all the same features as the iPhone.

  3. Quote from the full article: “The proof is that the iPhone still lacks several things that consumers want—in theory—but they can live without them because of how polished Apple’s cellphone is, because the attention to all those details, from packaging to user interface.”

    This has been Apple’s M.O. for a while now under Steve Jobs. The professional complainers cried at great length about all the features the original iPod didn’t have, and continue to complain in similar fashion about the iPhone (*cough*copypaste*cough*). And yet, apparently, the lack of those “must-have” features doesn’t seem to negatively impact the majority of Apple’s customers.

    Which tells me that Apple generally has a very accurate sense of what is and isn’t necessary in their products, and is comfortable ignoring the vocal minority who think otherwise.

  4. “-Mobile obnoxious flaw: If you’re lucky enough to live in one of the markets sprinkled with 3G, after you’ve used 1GB of data, T-Mobile will slow you down to 50Kbps for the rest of the month – that’s slower than EDGE”

    WOW, and people complain about AT&T;’s 3G coverage? Sheesh.

    However, this just illustrates the point that wireless networks are not built for data (yet). They were designed and established for voice, and then someone thought how cool it would be to get data wirelessly. Not a huge problem until the iPhone came along with it’s ability to watch YouTube, surf the real web, etc.

    Now we’re seeing wireless providers having to scramble to improve their service speeds and capabilities after being caught with their pants down. They were too busy figuring out new ways to get teenagers hooked on texting and paying through the nose for it to think ahead at what’s the Next Big Thing.

  5. I knew a girl who had a T-mobile Sidekick 3, and had it mastered, especially since she had a Sidekick 1 & 2. So what’s the point of making something similar, also by T-mobile, whose interface reduces the usability into essentially a Sidekick 1.5?

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