Where Samsung trails

Farhad Manjoo for The New York Times:

If you pay the premium price to Apple, you get a phone with a well-designed operating system, no overlapping preloaded apps, and a host of services that often work very well, like iMessage, Apple Pay and expanding compatibilities with Apple’s personal computers and devices like the Apple TV and, soon, the Apple Watch. You can criticize Apple’s sticky ecosystem as a form of consumer lock-in, but Apple sure has built a luxurious prison, and customers are willing to pay extra for it.

If you pay that premium to Samsung, you don’t get a whole lot more than you can get on, say, a phone made by Xiaomi, OnePlus or any of a dozen smaller players.

Samsung's latest hardware is clearly inspired by the premium experience of the iPhone — I am very much a fan of the S6's aluminum and glass design, especially on the Edge — but does not match up in software terms.

But if the new phones are beautiful and functional, they are still something of a pain to use. The S6 and S6 Edge run Samsung’s modified version of Google’s Android operating system. Despite Samsung’s engineers’ efforts to clean up the software, the phone’s interface is a hodgepodge of odd design decisions and overly complicated functions.

The situation is made worse by the many companies competing for space on your phone. Open a new Galaxy and you’ll find a host of duplicative apps preloaded by Samsung, Google, your carrier and even Microsoft, an ostensible competitor of both Samsung and Google. The crush of apps would be funny if it weren’t so annoying. Why does a brand-new phone have two web browsers, two email apps, two app stores, a handful of music and video services and four different messaging apps?

He's got a point. 

I find this a problem with Android in general. Why must I choose between two apps to do the same thing so often? Yes, it's nice for the power users to be able to change default apps and have that granular control, but as a consumer I don't want to be faced with the choice between Photos and Gallery every time I want to look at an image.

Maybe I'm using the wrong Android devices, but you can bet that the mainstream public is too.

Source: The New York Times