Open Source vs Closed Source.

Intro

I recently shifted from my iPad Mini to an old Nexus 7 tablet lying in my house. Here are a few things I’ve learnt in a week with this first Nexus tablet from Google about Android.

First things first, Android lags. Irrespective of the hardware (I have 2 Android phones), or software. The lag is eternal. On my Nexus, I was on Stock Google ROM 4.4.4 (AKA KitKat), 100% unrooted or modified in any way.

The lags were rampant even on this stock version, provided by Google. It lagged from going to the homescreen to the app drawer, from one app to another. It slowed down randomly, stopped without warning, and overall gave me a headache just seeing it like this even on Stock Android.

Especially for someone who has used an iPad all this while, this was quite a culture shock. I wasn’t doing anything, just browsing through the tablet. And all it did was sputter and stutter.

I knew this wasn’t going to please me. So I decided to do what I didn’t want to do. Unlock, Root and Flash.

Old Habits…

Next day, flashing and rooting was all done in about an hour’s time, but couldn’t decide on what ROM to flash. It took me an entire day to just find the right ROM.

The PA ROM was also 4.4.4 with a lot more customization baked in the OS than the original image. And it definitely performed better than the original. It is stable, to say the least.

But that doesn’t mean it isn’t laggy. Sometimes the lag was so bad, I had to literally put the tablet away for it to recover.

Some of the things that made me laugh in spite of being furious:

1. Constant and random blackouts. The tablet just went black. The wallpaper changed on its own too, while switching from portrait mode to landscape.

2. The bottom unlock key went missing on the lock screen. A giant black patch was all I could see under the clock. And conversely, the clock disappeared a few times. (See pic)

3. It doesn’t register mode-switching very efficiently. Have to be patient and wait for it to go from landscape to portrait and vice versa.

4. Task switching is a task. Doesn’t go very smoothly from one window to another.

5. Parts of the tablet went dead randomly. No matter how many times I tapped on the bottom right folder, it didn’t open.

So end of Day 2 was at least better in terms of usability compared to day 1.

Final Verdict

I can go on and on so let me cut it short and just rant it out.

Android is a humbug, slow and a poorly coded OS. It doesn’t know what to do or where to go. I don’t know how and more importantly why it’s a leading operating system in 2014 according to todays market analysis. The stock, non-bloated versions are so heavily laggy on Google’s own hardware, it gives me the shivers to imagine what it would be like on a Motorola Xoom or Samsung Galaxy 92,096.

So what is the issue at the heart of all this? It’s the fact that it’s open source. Why don’t we see custom ROMs for iPads and iPhones? Or Nokia Lumias? Because these companies don’t want you, the end user, to take pains and understand what ROM you would need. They are confident about their decisions and proud of their engineering talent.

Though Android fans had a good laugh when the iPhone users finally had a custom keyboard, the joke is on Android. An operating system that lags so badly even in its fifth rendition, is not worth the price.

I don’t want access to system files. I don’t want to take “admin privileges”. I don’t even want to unlock my bootloader. All I want is a WORKING DEVICE that does what is told. With Android, you not only pay half the price of an iDevice, but also spend countless hours in tweaking, modding and calibrating it to just make it work normally.

This by far, has been my worse experience with Android and I am drawing a line here. Never ever going to invest in this useless, hopelessly-coded, good-for-nothing, sorry excuse of an operating system.

Here are some pictures to tell you my story in a more graphic way…

Random UI shut down error:

image

The lock screen goes missing!!

image

System blanking out the wallpaper every now and then.

image

Where’s my clock??

image

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