What follows is a simple example of why, in my experience, most people who own Apple iOS devices (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad) claim they “love” them, while most owners of Android devices are ambivalent at best about their devices.
Let’s say you wanted to play the super popular game Angry Birds. If you own an iOS device, *any* iOS device including the first iPhone or iPod Touch, you can download and play Angry Birds from the Apple App Store. You do need to make sure your device is running version 3.0 or higher of the iOS software. But you likely are already running version 3.0 or higher because the upgrade process is suggested to users when they sync their iOS device with iTunes. The upgrade process, including a backup, is pretty automated and generally users just need to click OK a few times. However, if you need help with this process, you can call Apple’s AppleCare line, generally considered one of the best support services by any technology company.
However, if you own an Android device, buy a hat and get ready to hold on to it. First, you need to make sure that you don’t own one of the 17 devices that is not supported by Angry Birds, including some very popular devices such as the Droid Eris, T-Mobile G1, and HTC MyTouch 3G. Because there are so many different types of Android phones, developers have a hard time writing their software to work properly on all of them.
Also, you need to make sure you are running Android version 1.6 or higher. If you aren’t running version 1.6 or higher, you just need to follow a few “easy” steps (completely depending on which device you have) such as making sure you have all the vendor and carrier updates for your phone first, manually backing up all the data on your phone, making sure you have enough space on an SD card on your phone (you do have an SD card in your phone, right?) and making sure your phone is on a good Wi-Fi network. Oh and just so you know, depending on your device and carrier, you might be updating to the latest version of Android, 2.2, but not all phones and/or carriers support it, so you might be updating to version 2.0 or 2.1.
I hope your hold on your hat hasn’t loosened, because if you need help with all of this, you are the the mercy of “your friendly, neighborhood” tech support from your network provider (who doesn’t love calling their cell phone company!). If they run into any problems, they just might blame the phone vendor because the cell phone company doesn’t make the phone, they run the network. You might get lucky and get help from your phone vendor, but again they don’t make the software that runs on the phone, Google does. Of course, Google doesn’t provide support to end-users – that is the responsibility of the phone vendors or the network carriers.
Having fun yet? Or maybe you feel like one of the Angry Birds – smashing your head against a brick wall?