Saturday, 4 February 2017

The trouble with Android...

So let me first start by saying that in terms of mobile phones, I was a convert from a (fairly early) iPhone to the world of Android. Why? Because I could set up my Android phone how I wanted, not how Apple thought I should. I could add widgets for weather, news and music to the home screen which you couldn't do on an iPhone then. And I could get my music and photos on and off it without using the monstrosity that is iTunes.

In short, Android appealed (and still does) to my sense of wanting to actually own and be in control of the device and what was on it. The iPhone felt like a prettified version of my 1999 Palm Pilot.

But here's the thing that concerns me now about Android: security. iPhones are now heavily encrypted by default (as the FBI famously found out in 2016). Most Android phones aren't, although you can turn it on if you like (newer ones will often be encrypted however).

There's also the question of apps stealing data. As I had to explain to my daughter, the keyboard in Android is just an app, and most of us use the one the phone came with. But she had installed a free one called 'Emoji Keyboard' or something like that. I had to point out to her that she had no way of telling whether the keyboard was sending everything she typed (including texts to her friends and passwords) to a central server, linking it to her Google ID.

So I'm beginning to wonder if the walled-garden, controlled world of Apple is actually better than the Wild West of Android.

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