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Android Cellphones GUI Handhelds Operating Systems

Is Choice a Problem For Android? 361

Posted by Soulskill
from the it-wasn't-for-Jif dept.
New submitter mjone13 writes "Dave Feldman, in a blog posts, says that the problem Android faces is giving consumers too much choice. He cites several studies which state that consumers generally are unhappier when they have too much choice. 'Catering to all individual preferences creates a bloated, bland product. Not to mention a UI that’s impossible to navigate. Furthermore, people are notoriously bad at identifying what we want. And what we do want is influenced heavily by what we know — our expectations are constrained by our experience.' He then goes on to talk about Android fragmentation, app developer problems and bug issues. Finally he says the people who general prefer the choice Android provides are tinkers similar to gear heads who love tinkering with their car. 'I think many who extol Android’s flexibility fall into the tinkerer category, including some tech bloggers. They love all the ways they can customize their phones, not because they’re seeking some perfect setup, but because they can swap in a new launcher every week. That’s fun for them; but they’ve made the mistake of not understanding how their motivation differs from the rest of us.' Is choice really a problem for Android?" Whether it's a problem depends on what the goals are. Providing a satisfying experience to a bunch of tinkerers is a very different thing from providing a satisfying experience to the multitude of non-tinkerers who buy smartphones.
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Is Choice a Problem For Android?

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  • by Trepidity (597) <.delirium-slashdot. .at. .hackish.org.> on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @05:10AM (#45140861)

    You can have a highly customizable UI without making the default bland and impossible to navigate. Having more customization does make some things more difficult, since you can't assume all users will have the same setup, but it's still compatible with a decent default interface.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      It's not the users that are the problem its the dev teams because if you're writing for Apple you only need to test on few handsets & tablets. However, if you're writing for Android you need to test on fucking hundreds of different hand sets because each manufacturer has fucked with the OS. So either apps don't get written for android or if they do they normally get approx 100th the testing apps get on Apple.
      • by somersault (912633) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @06:04AM (#45141079) Homepage Journal

        Why is everyone talking like there even is a problem? In August Android had almost 80% of the market [techcrunch.com]. Yeah, it must be incredibly boring and horrible to use if so many people want it.

        • by LordThyGod (1465887) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @06:14AM (#45141115)

          Why is everyone talking like there even is a problem? In August Android had almost 80% of the market [techcrunch.com]. Yeah, it must be incredibly boring and horrible to use if so many people want it.

          Exactly. Its like the fragmentation argument that is just killing Android. Or how insecure Android is. Its just people writing headlines to attract attention to themselves.

          • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

            by jedidiah (1196)

            Isn't this just some random communist kook anyways? The "anti-choice" guy? Some people will just go to any lengths to try and justify their consumerist fixation while ignoring the actual state of the market (many markets actually) in the process.

            • Actually, isn't this the guy who was a director of something at AOL during their years of rot and a director of user experience at the shithole known as Yahoo?

          • by ducomputergeek (595742) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @01:18PM (#45144953)

            A lot depends on who and what you are targeting. If eyeballs and advertising is what you after supporting Android is a must. But if you are after in-app purchases as your revenue model, it's iOS you want.

            I've been developing mobile apps since 2009. Early on I was making as much off ad revenue vs app purchases, but by last year the ad revenue went in the crapper. So much so that I stopped releasing updates for android. By that time Android accounted for a little over 60% of the installs. It accounted for less than 15% of my revenues. Android accounted for over 90% of my complaints and requests for support because someone with a cheap pay-as-you-go android phone would run into a problem on a device I didn't even know existed. I was making at most a couple thousand a month from the apps, mostly from iOS users. It was enough that it paid my basic living expenses like rent & utilities meaning my day job work could go into savings. But it wasn't enough for me to go out and buy every freaking handset on the market at $600 a pop.

            Now on the professional day job part of the world we usually price for iOS first and includes QA for current generation and usually the previous 2 generations before that. Right now if you paid us to write an app, we'd ensure compatibility with the iPhone 4, 4s, 5 & iPad 2, Retina, Mini. Next month it will likely be 5S/C, 5, 4S & iPad Retina, Mini, + whatever is announced next week.

            For Android we will test against Nexus Phone & Tablet and certify QA with those devices only and it costs our clients about 1.5xiOS. Why? Because we know we'll be answering "QA for XYZ handset was not covered in the contract" a few times. So we build it into the price of the contract. We do offer QA for additional handsets & tablets @ $5,000 per Android handset/tablet. Most of our clients will maybe ask for QA against the latest Samsung Galaxy devices and that's it. Only one that I can think of asked for Samsung & Motorola because the boss man had a motorola phone.

            When Android first started we tried to QA against as many handsets as we could and we were losing money on those contracts. When Google released their official devices we decided, even though nobody used them in the mass market, those would be what we'd test against. That was the "official" devices for compatibility. What handset makers & carriers did beyond that we'd have to charge extra to fix because we'd run into the same model android phone would have odd quirks between different carriers sometimes.

          • by schlachter (862210) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @01:28PM (#45145053)

            and MSFT was thinking, why are we even talking about problems, we have 90% of the market. until they didn't.
            marketshare size doesn't mean everything is dandy.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          Why is everyone talking like there even is a problem? In August Android had almost 80% of the market [techcrunch.com]. Yeah, it must be incredibly boring and horrible to use if so many people want it.

          Yet Apple's profit was greater than the other's combined; with Samsung a close second in terms of profitability. It's really just a two horse race with Apple vs. Samsung; so in that sense as long as Samsung maintains a consistent UI and feature set the "too many choices" argument is not relevant. It's shaping up a lot like the PC market did - Apple has it's own proprietary offering; the PC has MS-DOS but each implementation is customized often to the point of a lack of compatibility until IBM essentially se

          • As far as I know Android has a standard as well. You use Java for hardware compatibility and C++ for speed. Most apps run on all modern versions of Android devices. MIPS processors are the only exception that I can think of. Does every app run on every iOS device? No, because of difference between the devices.

            The best analogy I can come up with are trading card games.

            * The card game Apple only sells their game in pre-built decks. Everything is same so everyone can play the same game. If you change the deck the wrong way (mods and unofficial add-ons) you may not play with the other kids.

            * The card game Android sells everything in booster packs. You get more variety and can pick up cheap decks of discarded cards. But the cheap decks may have old cards from previous game version that are not compatible with way most people play the game. Or you have someone who decided to make their own cards which don't completely follow the core rules. More fun to play for certain people but doesn't work with the game as a whole (we're looking at you Kindle).

            Which one would you have more fun with for the price?

          • by mystikkman (1487801) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @09:50AM (#45142533)

            Yet Apple's profit was greater than the other's combined

            By the same metric: 1) Windows Server is absolutely killing Linux in the server market
            2) IIS is absolutely trouncing Apache in the web server market
            3) Visual Studio is the only winner in IDEs etc.
            4) ???
            5) Profit

        • by myspys (204685)

          So you're actually trying to imply that people buy phones based on the OS? And not on the price and features?

          Aren't around 99% of low price phones based on Android?

          • That depends what you mean by "low price phone". Real low priced phones don't even run smartphone OSes. A lot of budget smartphones will be running on Android though, yes.

            For me personally getting a new phone, I care primarily about OS version and potential support for updates, then screen size/resolution.

        • by fantomas (94850) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @08:32AM (#45141747)

          Went to a presentation on a project that's released its web tool as an app (iSpot [ispot.org.uk] - a nature spotting community tool). the project leaders said that at the point they decided to develop an Android app version, they asked the technical team to identify how many different versions/configurations of Android were out there that they'd need to make sure the code presented well on, to ensure a good user experience for all (you really don't need your first reviews on Google Play to say it sucks on their device in their preferred configuration). Apparently the technical team identified 123 versions/configurations of Android (approximately early 2012).

          The project leader said this makes it a nightmare to test for a small development team (about 4 employees on the project). I am not sure what the solution is but it sounds like it causes them a lot of pain and requires a lot of management to ensure the majority of users get an equitable and positive experience of the app.

          • by somersault (912633) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @09:35AM (#45142361) Homepage Journal

            What counted as a different configurations?

            I think if they decided on some minimum requirements such as Android 4, then they'd only really have to deal with differing screen sizes, since there are already APIs to handle finding your current location for example. There probably still are a lot of Android 2 devices out there, but you have to draw the line somewhere. They could start off making a decent Android 4 app, and then port it back to older versions if they're worried about compatibility issues.

        • by TWiTfan (2887093) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @08:36AM (#45141789)

          That 80% market share hasn't translated into more profits for app developers, or more apps being available for Android than the iPhone. The fact that a lot of cheap phones happen to run Android doesn't mean that the people who own those phones are buying apps.

          It's the Xbox/PS3 vs. Wii argument. Sure the Wii outsold the Xbox and PS3, and judged by that metric alone, it clearly "won" the previous console generation. Yet where were all the good games and developer effort going? They were going into the Xbox and PS3 because developers quickly realized that the people buying all those Wii's WEREN'T buying games. So, while more Wii's were out there, they were sitting in closets gathering dust while the PS3 or Xbox was hooked up to the TV and being used. And that's what defines the REAL winner in the end.

          • I didn't say anything about apps, I was just talking about Android adoption.

            I don't think most people are leaving their phones away in cupboards. They use them every day. Licensed Android devices already have most of the stuff you need built-in, and then most of the apps that people like to use are free. Think Kindle, Instagram, FB Messenger, Spotify, Chrome, that kind of thing.

            I'm not sure why app adoption matters so much to you, unless you're a developer. The "real winner" is the person who gets to use a

      • by jareth-0205 (525594) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @06:13AM (#45141109) Homepage

        It's not the users that are the problem its the dev teams because if you're writing for Apple you only need to test on few handsets & tablets. However, if you're writing for Android you need to test on fucking hundreds of different hand sets because each manufacturer has fucked with the OS. So either apps don't get written for android or if they do they normally get approx 100th the testing apps get on Apple.

        Except if you were actually a developer working in the real life world (I am, on an app with 2 million daily active users) you'll know that that is not at all necessary. There are device-specific bugs, but they're rare, and in the most part we rotate testing on about 6 devices, and use bug reporting libraries to catch the rest. Our crash-rate is a tenth of the iOS team's crash-rate.

        • by master_kaos (1027308) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @09:55AM (#45142573)
          then your iOS team sucks as you only need to test on at most 3 or 4 devices (depending on what version your are building for) We test against 3 devices. iPhone 4 running 5.1, And iPhone and iPad running 7. We will run through other versions quickly using the simulator to see if there is anything obvious, but we haven't found any bugs that werent present on the device testing.

          I do know it isnt necessary for android to test against every device, like you we only test against maybe 2 devices and then let crash reports catch the rest, but the issue is if there is a crash report for a device, and the crash isn't painfully obvious and research doesn't turn up what the issue is, then you might be forced to go out and pick up the device.
        • It's not the users that are the problem its the dev teams because if you're writing for Apple you only need to test on few handsets & tablets. However, if you're writing for Android you need to test on fucking hundreds of different hand sets because each manufacturer has fucked with the OS. So either apps don't get written for android or if they do they normally get approx 100th the testing apps get on Apple.

          Except if you were actually a developer working in the real life world (I am, on an app with 2 million daily active users) you'll know that that is not at all necessary. There are device-specific bugs, but they're rare, and in the most part we rotate testing on about 6 devices, and use bug reporting libraries to catch the rest. Our crash-rate is a tenth of the iOS team's crash-rate.

          Then, to be perfectly honest, your iOS team sucks.

          I've worked on a lot of dual platform projects and recently launched my own Android app. We've definitely found plenty of device specific issues (one app I work on deals with cameras, which is a giant device specific rabbit hole on Android.) We use Nexus devices, we code things the right, Google recommended way, and things still break. On the app I just released, I had a custom keyboard (that comes on many Android devices) cause problems because it was simpl

      • by minus9 (106327)
        "So either apps don't get written for android or if they do blah blah blah belm"

        Lol. Nice troll there Ian.

        http://www.phonearena.com/news/Androids-Google-Play-beats-App-Store-with-over-1-million-apps-now-officially-largest_id45680 [phonearena.com]

        "Android's Google Play store has just officially reached over 1 million apps and it is now finally outgrown the Apple App Store and its 900 000 applications."

        I suppose you think PC software has to be tested on every individual PC in the world too?

        Insightful my arse.
  • Dave Feldman, please speak for yourself only, ok? Please continue to use your fruity device, choice is good for us, I like it that way, thank you.
    • by gl4ss (559668) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @05:29AM (#45140937) Homepage Journal

      "Dave Feldman is a product designer with a background in user experience, product management, and front-end development. Heâ(TM)s the co-founder and chief product officer of Emu. Heâ(TM)s held positions at Yahoo! and AOL. Check out his website Operation Project and follow him on Twitter @dfeldman."

      aka mr. "I configured my configurable system to act like crap and by the way I love iPhone".

      now, of course if I can make a plugin to handle file saving.. then of course I can install a dozen apps to do it. just because I install two different homescreens for example doesn't mean that I have to choose between the two each time I press home.. I could though, if I wanted.

      basically the answer to his problems is to not install extra apps. I don't know what the fuck is his actual suggestion on how to remove the problem of choice. maybe he is working on his own android variant where you can't install anything... more likely he is trying to troll some buzz and score a new gig. that's what his writing looks like. only made more obvious by him submitting these pieces on different blogs to gather maximum buzz since nobody gives a shit about his blog and the product he is promoting(emu.is, some kind of sms frontend where you can attach your position easily. how novel, for 2003).

      and the other problems? android phones are so BIG! well fuck buy a smaller android phone.

      (oh and he doesn't really seem to understand android multitasking, only sort of).

    • by msauve (701917)
      Dave's not clear on the concept.

      His whole premise is refuted by the simple fact that Android has a market share three times that of iOS [idc.com]. The market has proven him wrong.
      • Yep and Apple was a very formidable, entrenched competitor who was the previous market leader and had decades of history.

        Android supplanted them in a few short years.

        Android's biggest problem is fucking retarded articles like these.

    • by synapse7 (1075571)
      Yeah, fuck you in questioning our choice.
  • by lesincompetent (2836253) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @05:17AM (#45140893)
    I stopped reading at "Not to mention a UI that’s impossible to navigate."
    My bullshit detector went off the scale.
    • by Chrisq (894406)

      I stopped reading at "Not to mention a UI that’s impossible to navigate." My bullshit detector went off the scale.

      I thought you had stopped because the summary was impossible to navigate

    • by thegarbz (1787294)

      I stopped reading at Android facing a problem. I struggle to believe that the most popular mobile phone platform (by a large margin) is not giving consumers what they want.

      Many consumers love choice and the explosive international rise of Subway restaurants is a great indication of that. Not to mention Apple's own recent moves to introduce more models and more colours.

      The black Model-T Ford isn't fashionable anymore.

    • Yeah... Betteridge's Law of Headlines [wikipedia.org] applies here.
    • If the android UI is impossible to navigate I suggest either the short bus or remedial summer school.

  • by samael (12612) * <Andrew@Ducker.org.uk> on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @05:27AM (#45140927) Homepage

    Some of us get their phone, install it the way _we_ want it, and then leave it like that (unless something spectacularly new comes along).

    I don't change my keyboard weekly - but I did change it a couple of times, find one that suited me, and leave it that way.

    Same with SMS, email client, and web browser. I haven't changed any of these in months, but they're all different to the stock version.

  • Doesn't the trend of "cutting the cable" partly stem from having too many channels to choose from? When my dad recently considered buying a television (they haven't bought one in 15 years) the choices are bewildering and even the terminology befuddles him -- and he was one of RCA's first television installers and service-men back in 1948. I have never had cable T.V. and when I tried to find the local PBS channel on a friend's set, channel 7 isn't on channel 7 and there's a bazillion buttons on six remotes,
    • by P-niiice (1703362)
      and somehow you apply that to smartphone apps that you actually chose and installed yourself. mkay.
    • by gmack (197796)

      The trend of "cutting the cable" has more to do with the fact that with all of those channels, there is still nothing worth watching most of the time. Most of the channels are barely distinguishable from each other and all show similar crap. Even channels that were supposed to be different have become the same as everything else (MTV cut back on music, Syfi cut back on science fiction etc). And that's on top of the fact that anything I find worth watching tends to be on when I would rather be doing somet

  • the rest of you... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by l3v1 (787564)
    "theyâ(TM)ve made the mistake of not understanding how their motivation differs from the rest of us"

    I think we understand all too well the rest of you, who don't care about anything. The problem is: we don't care about you. There, you have it. We don't want a device that's dumbed, locked, tailored to noob-level, without a way to customize it. We have a lot of examples for such designs, and they are all too idiotically dumb. You want "simple"? Find one that is dumb enough for you, but do not try to ru
    • You want "simple"? Find one that is dumb enough for you

      The great thing about Android is that you could make a UI that is as simple as you want. Remove the app drawer and dock, drop five or six direct-dial contact shortcuts onto the homescreen. There; You have a very pretty, very expensive, very overpowered dumbphone. Want to dial more numbers? Replace your homescreen contacts with one giant shortcut to the dialer app. You need never look at the Google Play Store, GMail, or Wireless Settings apps again.

      Having said that, if you were in this situation you wouldn'

  • Ignoring the fact that Android has something like 85% market share so consumers are obviously not unhappy, how is this different to Apple? Android and Apple steal so many ideas from each other that the differences are now mostly cosmetic.

    As for the large choice in phones, isn't this is like saying motorists have too many kinds of cars to choose from?
    • As for the large choice in phones, isn't this is like saying motorists have too many kinds of cars to choose from?

      For a while, each Android phone's physical buttons (back, home, menu, search) were in different places on the bottom row. It's as if not all cars had the accelerator on the right and brake in the middle.

  • by aiadot (3055455) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @05:57AM (#45141049)
    Seriously that is all I see in this article. Flaming for the sake of clicks/views. Android fragmentation was a problem back in the version 1.5~2.1 days. Back when OEMs were experimenting and the software was maturing. Nowadays, save for a handful of tweaks, all decent Androids devices are pretty much equal. As for the UI tools, maybe not having tons of options will make that guy happy, but removing them will make a lot more people angry. What does he want? A Google branded iPhone?

    Even though I subscribe to the Apple/BlackBerry/GameConsole idea of one optimal OS for one or two device types, I'm still mostly a windows and android user. Trying to make everybody happy with the "one OS for them all" strategy is just impossible plus there are many marketing and development problems associated to it for platform providers, OEMs, developers and users. However to say that the Android(and by extension windows) experiences are crap, is pure BS. Like it or not, Android gets the job done, and the experience is without a doubt what I would call very reasonable . At least that is from my experience with Galaxy and Xperia phones as well as a Transformer Tablet. If you got a $0 chinese phone with a shitty firmware that is your problem, not Android.
    Sure if I could get my way, each company would have it's own OS and ecosystem, assuming that all tech companies had a interesting and unique vision for themselves. Too bad that is just unrealistic plus there are plenty of practical problems associated to this philosophy as well, but that is a discussion for another time.
    • Except Android phones are fliphones; projectors; remote controls; FM radios or transmitters; Consoles with Real Controls; or conputers with full keyboards and trackball Fingerprint readers; at all price ranges; made everywhere around the world...including America. With different screen sizes/ Dimensions Battery Life; even with extra smart paper screen; dual screen; or curved screen. Including extras from dual sims...even triple sim slots to sd readers and full sized USB

      Ironically Apple is sacrificing market

  • Choice ? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by giorgist (1208992) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @06:03AM (#45141073)
    Android offers choice only to tinkerers. Everybody else simply walks in a store and buys a phone that looks shiny. iPhones are having a bit of a problem in that they offer almost a single choice which was the same as that from a few years ago. You can't have a bigger screen for example. Mobiles have achieved appliance status. Who cares about fragmentation ? There is fragmentation in car models as well and fancy cars that have weird ways to switch on. After you master it, you run with it for years. You don't care if the car in the opposite traffic works differently. Fragmentation affects developers, who now have massive budgets to overcome it. There are hundreds of thousands of apps, most people use only a few and the rest they simply forget to delete after they are downloaded. So there are enough that work well out there.
    • Android offers choice only to tinkerers.

      Not to people want low priced phones; Large screen phones; Ones that take great Pictures; Lots of storage Phones; Robust Phones; Ones that double as Consoles; projectors; ebook readers; Remote Controls; Radio receivers and transmitters; Made in the USA rather than students and children. Marketing to local needs "Gold Clamshell" not a problem.

      Android got to be 85% of the market by hitting every price point, and hardware need geared toward that market, most users never think of tinkering...its kind of weird y

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      Don't underestimate the popularity of customization apps. Look at the install numbers for popular launchers (home screen replacements), for example. One app, Smart Launcher, has millions of installs. Replacement keyboards are doing even better.

      People have always enjoyed customizing their phones. Originally you could only do ringtones and wallpaper (remember when iOS got customizable wallpaper? LOL), but Android has really opened up a lot of new things for users to play with.

  • Nope (Score:3, Interesting)

    by readeracc (3385797) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @06:10AM (#45141093)

    I'd rather have too much choice instead of barely any.

    I'm well aware of that famous TED talk where the presented talked about the paradox of choice (http://www.ted.com/talks/barry_schwartz_on_the_paradox_of_choice.html), and it does have some merit. But the way I see it, appealing to the masses means that those who don't fit the mold are generally left in the dust because it's not "economically viable" to cater to them. Keeping things open and keeping choice available means that there's something for everyone.

    Choice requires a greater level of personal responsibility. You can't (and shouldn't) rely on some corporation to make all your decisions for you without being able to change them if they aren't suitable for you. It might be easier to just go with a monoculture of decision-making, but you'll pay for it once you realize that you aren't like everyone else.

  • Everything should be as customizable as possible. That doesn't mean that the config menu needs to be complicated, it only means there needs to be a normal settings menu (sufficient for 90% of the users) and a "pro" menu with all the other settings.
    Firefox (among some others probably) has this worked out perfectly. The settings in the normal options are sufficient for most users. Power users can use about:config to change other stuff. That it's not usable for 90% of the users doesn't matter. They don't nee
  • Basically, no. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cloud K (125581) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @06:17AM (#45141129)

    The reason I switched from iOS was because personally, I *want* control over my smartphone. I want the options and customisations, and the ability to decide what keyboard to use and where my music sits. My advice to those who can't handle a few options is "get an iPhone".

    Though really, I can't see why both user groups can't be catered for - have sensible defaults and basic options, and put everything else inside an "Advanced settings" button somewhere - no one is forced to tap it.

    • That's exactly how it is right now; You need never, ever look at Android settings if you don't want to. Stock launcher, SMS app, ring tones, screen behaviour, look and feel of the UI... They're all perfectly functional. In fact, the only usability difference I see between IOS and stock Android UI is that Apple put the icons on the home screen, whereas Android makes use of a launcher icon to bring up the list. Like it to be like an IOS UI? Put shortcuts to every app on the home screens; You can scroll throug
  • Maturity required (Score:4, Interesting)

    by erroneus (253617) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @06:22AM (#45141141) Homepage

    I agree that there is simply too much "crap" in the Android markets all over. The amount of good, quality, useful stuff is a seemingly small ratio of what's out there. But I get by just fine and enjoy a good quality experience. How?

    Just like with Windows computers and the like, you simply have to limit what you do with your machines. Limit the resource consumption. Limit the amount of apps you run. Limit tweaks and [animated] wallpapers and all that junk. Do the things which are useful and stop trying to entertain yourself with a new toy every 10 minutes. I take advantage of the fact that people out there are dumb enough to try every app available. I get to read reviews and comments to assist in the choices I make. Good for me, bad for them when things don't work out.

    Maturity is required. The market of available crap is not to blame for consumer behavior. (This statement is in sharp contrast to my position on the food we have available to us in the US... the market *IS* to blame and especially when they fight consumer choice and knowledge by preventing information from being available to consumers so they can make their own decisions.) The users are making all the choices... and they always will.

    Make good, informed choices. Give favor to software makers with good reputations. It's not that hard.

  • by GrpA (691294) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @06:25AM (#45141155)

    The problem that the PC faces is giving consumers too much choice....

    Clearly that hasn't worked for the PC, or it would be the 100% dominant platform, rather than just the 99% dominant platform...

    And for PCs the be able to run OS-X, Microsoft or Linux operating systems? Clearly wayyyy to much choice...

    GrpA.

    • by myspys (204685)

      Penetration of computers/PCs is decreasing, in favour of tablets and Mac.

      We're at the tipping point.

      People want things to work, not tinker.

      • Sorry, where are the figures that prove your sweeping statement?

        I know of nobody who has ditched a PC for a tablet and can count on one hand the number of people who have swapped their PC for a Mac - I can probably count on two hands the number of people who are trying Linux alongside Windows or have ditched Windows for Linux. Still not a lot but more than those converted to Mac.

        Only an elite few spend top dollar on desktop PCs or Macs - for most people "cheap and cheerful" is good enough, and they're never

  • by Anonymous Coward

    A)Get an iphone and be trapped in the walls.
    B)Get a Windows phone and be trapped in the walls with less to play with.
    C)Get an android phone with unlimited possibilites and no walls.

    I think it's a no brainer.

  • by MacTO (1161105) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @06:42AM (#45141207)

    Most of the Android fans that I've bumped into choose their device in exactly the same manner as iOS fans: they choose whatever is in fashion at the moment. They also deal with downloading apps in the same fashion as iOS fans: they choose whatever their friends are raving about. They also have a handy way to deal with customization: they usually leave the device as it shipped (perhaps changing wallpapers along the way).

    Choice is not making people unhappy, because they usually made up their minds before they ever went shopping.

    • Most of the Android fans that I've bumped into choose their device in exactly the same manner as iOS fans; they choose whatever is in fashion at the moment

      Except most people aren't fans(sic) they are consumers, and they are choosing their devices based on a variety of reasons, based on obvious things like screen size and price...as well as less obvious things like a rugged device. Samsung may be the most popular of Android...it got there with crazy nice phones. We all like to joke Apple is just a brand...but they built creating incredible mind-share and media support by being early with great product, the fact that is expensive and behind has cost them a larg

  • by thegarbz (1787294) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @06:45AM (#45141229)

    So random blogger posts that there's a fundamental problem with giving consumers choice. Yeah year by year Android gains more marketshare at a higher rate than any other platform.

    His examples are comical too. I actually know someone who setup their phone with every app the same on the one screen. That way when the kid picks it up he ends up opening Angry Birds just by pressing randomly on the screen. The image sharing example? Actually that doesn't happen. When an image is received it goes into a pre-determined folder. What the user appears to have done is clicked "Share" or tried to perform some other file operation in which case choice is exactly what he wants.

    But hey this guy is an "expert" who's had positions in user experience and product design.... at AOL and Yahoo! ...

  • Android, as with Linux, is conflicted.

    On the one hand there are advocates who want it to be used by as many people - ordinary people who neither know nor care about "open" software - as possible. On the other hand, the whole product line is completely dependent on people writing code, who's primary motivation is to show to their peers how clever they are.

    Sadly these two groups have little in common. Users don't care about options, flexibility, "free" (of either variety), choice, source code or customising

    • On the one hand there are advocates who want it to be used by as many people - ordinary people who neither know nor care about "open" software - as possible.

      Except that is not even remotely true...Although I am not sure of the relevance to this choice. Ignoring your offensive comments. Its interesting no note...suddenly everybody...those ordinary people(sic) are suddenly concerned about "open" they don't use those words, they use words like "privacy" and "human rights" and "government" and "company" "abuses". We don't talk about open source here because we are clever we are just good at this...I personally would struggle with brain surgery....hell I struggle ma

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Cars that can go straight, to the left and to the right, that can go at different speeds, that have a reverse gear simply offer too much choices. Thousands of accidents per year are proof that we need simpler vehicles. Maybe a sofa, people rarely get into traffic accidents driving a sofa.

  • "Too much choice" might be a real argument in some contexts (such as Linux desktop) but certainly not in the world of Android phones.

    Most people don't flash a custom ROM or change the launcher. Literally everyone I know just accepts (and grumbles about) whatever configuration the vendor burnt in at the factory. The more adventurous ones just possibly might create a custom wallpaper or ringtone but that's it.

    Unbelievably some don't even know they can install apps, or do know but avoid doing so "in case I mes

  • by RubberDogBone (851604) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @07:50AM (#45141481)

    Having too many choices in this case is not the same as having too much choice.

    This sounds like nonsense but what it means is that I can look over a huge range of Android devices and immediately reject out of hand probably 95% of them. Too big, too small, wrong shape, wrong color, wrong brand, wrong OS version, wrong features, wrong ROM options, lack of aftermarket cases, etc. The pruning is fast and brutal and ends up with a couple of models on the short list and easily down to one for the final. I had no trouble at all picking my last Android phone and tablet.

    So there's a lot of choice. But a lot of it is irrelevant, and thus has no meaning. Same as there are lots of car choices but if you want a specific type, you can eliminate nearly all the others. Most people do not put all the subcompact cars on the same list with pickup trucks, vans, big rigs, or motorbikes.

    I had no trouble picking the last car I bought. First, I found out which models offered some specific features I wanted. ALL the others immediately dropped out of the running. Then it was price, and again the list pruned. Very quickly the list narrowed down to one model that met what I wanted and I ordered that car online without even test-driving it. Why bother when the pruning had already determined this car we the best option? And, I was right.

  • Apple and new Windows Metro - lets force users to use our blessed design, with no way to configure.

RADIO SHACK LEVEL II BASIC READY >_

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