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Why Android is ahead of iOS contextually

I'm sitting with +Binil Antony who is showing me his app, Friday, http://www.fridayed.com/ which collects all sorts of stuff. 

Why can't he do this on iOS? Because Apple doesn't let him code stuff that touches the dialer or the SMS functionality.

So, why is that important? 

Well, what if you want to build a new kind of photo search? One that lets you do a query like this "show me all photos that I shot within an hour of getting a call from +Rocky Barbanica." Now, that might not seem all that interesting, but that kind of thing is important to figure out context. But certainly searching for "all photos taken at Rackspace San Francisco" will be.

Add that to location, device state, and maybe even how close you are to a wifi radio (another thing Android lets developers study, but Apple doesn't) and you add up into a new kind of system.

As +Project Glass comes along at the end of the year, think of all the use cases. This will be a lot more important, too, because we're going to shoot about 100x more photos than we are today. I might even set mine to automatically shoot photos every minute or so.

Already Binil's app is a better context gatherer than, say, Moves, on the iPhone. He showed me another app, Dialer+, which lets him build a custom phone dialer based on the frequency someone calls. This is impossible to do in iOS.

Here's a few screen shots of Friday running on Binil's phone. Notice that this feed on his phone notes when he shut down his phone, or when he went into airplane mode, or did other things. Also, when calls came in. Or SMS's. Or emails. 

I haven't seen an app like it on iPhone and I want one. So, I am being forced by Apple's lack of openness to switch to Android.

Which device am I getting? Well, Samsung is announcing a new device on March 14th. I'm trying to rearrange my schedule to be at the launch in New York.

Apple, if you aren't scared yet about this contextual trend you should be. I've been a die-hard iPhone customer ever since 2007. But you are forcing me to go elsewhere because of how you treat developers and how closed your systems are. 
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283 comments
 
Looks rather confusing. You tend to see stronger design & UX on iOS. 
 
+Andrew Brackin It doesn't look that busy by any stretch. In my opinion, it displays info nicely - the side column of icons is exposed via a swipe to the right, I believe.
 
Nice interface for the app. A little nonstandard (don't see too many persistant sidebars in Android apps) but good looking all things considered. 

On topic, I'm not too optimistic about contextual apps on iOS. The closed platform is one of Apple's biggest strengths and weaknesses, and unfortunately I don't think we're going to see it going anyway any time soon.
 
I've had two iphones, 2G and 3G. They were great at the time. Nothing compared. Now with Samsung Galaxy SII, I'm quite happy. The screen size was the deciding factor at the time. I wasn't aware of the contextual issue with the iOS. Isn't that something that could be easily implemented in future iterations?
 
+Andrew Brackin what you said used to be true. New apps tend to look better on Android as long as they respect the guidelines. So many developers are embracing Holo and the results really show up. There are so many apps that i open just to look at their gorgeous interface, i don't even need them for their actual purpose.

Times change...
 
+Robert Scoble I had the same thoughts but then you look at the number of manufacturers that are jumping on the bandwagon, it's pretty impressive.  Mozilla makes the argument that it will have much a wider developer base because of the html5 support and that you will simply be able to do things that aren't possible with native apps in iOS and Android. 
 
I don't think iOS will ever allow apps to read a device's state anytime soon. Heck, it doesn't even offer a decent file management system that allows manipulation of a variety of file types. That's what threw me off when I had an iPhone.
 
Sadly, I just don't think Apple care. They'll continue to trot out the privacy, security and battery life concerns, whether they're valid or not. I don't think it's in their DNA to really interoperate and enable these kind of things to exist. An example of that is the Apple TV. I have a Plex server, and a whole house of devices that support DLNA and connect to it. My TV, my Xbox, my PS3 - they all stream from it. But not the Apple TV, because it's not an Apple standard. There's a "not invented here" attitude that I think extends to what they enable third-party developers to do, just in case they invent something else they don't have true control of. They even cripple the speed of non-Safari browsers for the sake of "security".

I switched to a Nexus 4 a few months ago after also being an iPhone user since 2007, and I can't imagine ever going back. And it's being able to hook my Pebble into every notification and use Tasker to control things like that which makes it so far ahead of anything Apple is offering.
 
I should add the idea being obviously to attack the low end market first where Android is having the most success against Apple. 
 
I'm switching to Droid this week. My contract ends and I want a big screen .
 
It's about time you start to see through the Apple facade and understand why Android was a better design to begin with. Take a look at Tasker on Android, it is a shining example of the great things that are possible when you open up the system, stop treating your users like children, and allow people the opportunity to use their device to its fullest potential. This is an app that will never be available for iOS, and I couldn't live without it!
 
+Gabriel Pagan totally agreeing. Reason why I'm probably picking up a N7 soon and then in October probably an Android phone. I'm probably eating those words in the future. But I'm looking at an open future.

All I use in iPhone are google services anyways. 
 
Welcome to the club, Scoble! ;)
 
As a user I am kind of happy that I am protected by Apple for this. Those API's can be used to call phone number without me even knowing about it. Also data harvesting is not the kind of thing I like an app to be doing on my phone. In my opinion it is just to dangerous for users in the Play store. And yes I have used Android for some years, and used dialer apps to make autodials.
I have had a client that wanted me to build something in this context on iOS but I just could not build it because of these rules, point taken, I lost a job/money because of it.
 
My good old 3GS is in it's final week.  The iPhone has been good, but considering there have been three new phones and a handful of tablets after the 3GS, and only a few significant improvements to iOS - I certainly hope for Apple's sake that they are able to surprise us with their next generation phones and OS.
 
It's a cool way to browse the data, but Google is already using most of that (sans dialer, it seems) for Google Now.  When it tells me to check out a concert in town because it knows where I am (GPS) and which artists I like (based on YouTube habits), it's pretty awesome.
 
+Carl Coddington I switched in December, Apple has become stale and boring. I was also an iPhone user since the first phone available here in Australia.
 
Way back in the day (early Google+) we briefly discussed Android's merits. Good to see you understanding what us #android users knew for a very long time. +Robert Scoble
Though I'm sure you will always love your little iphone :-) 
 
+Kjeld Kahn you have a point there, but, that lack of UI is holding you back and will be more and more disadvantageous as time goes along. Plus, good developers won't do stuff that's anti user. I'll be pushing apps that are pro-user, not anti, only.
 
Wait till you get into flashing ROMs with fantastic functionality tweaks. As to iOS, now Forestall is gone, I'm wondering how things will change, but they have a lot of ground to catch up and Android is still moving fast.
 
Apple's OS has evolved so little since the first iPhone, is it really that surprising that they're getting woefully behind? 
 
Tasker is one of those apps on Android that show the platform's flexbility and granular control offered to the user. Make scripts based on your own rules, and you can automate almost every single function of an Android device.

I hope Friday will be successful once it comes to the Play Store. This looks to be a hit for those looking to monitor their daily habits on their phone with more detail.
 
S4/Nexus/xphone.. going to be an interesting year for android.
 
+Robert Scoble Firefox OS and Ubuntu aren't competing with Android, iOS or Windows Phone. But I have a feeling that they could even hurt BlackBerry. Even a niche can be huge for a market, that will sell some 800+ Mio devices in 2013.
Mobile isn't desktop.. it's way more fragmented. Yes, I do believe in these systems because they bring new and fresh design ideas to the table and they will inspire the industry...

But I am still all about Android but you know that anyways ;)
 
I switched about a month ago after a bug in iOS6.01 cost me $1000 in excess data usage. (I have been in contact with Apple, the global engineering team are looking in to what caused it, It all happened whilst I was on wifi.)

Now I have a data limit set on my new Nexus4. Love it. I feel safe again and whilst I will keep using my Mac I will never buy another iOS product again.
 
As for Firefox, it seems that they are positioning it for a different market. An article on the topic from today http://goo.gl/a4OtB (Google translate from Norwegian to English) - "Initially, Telenor will pursue its Central and Eastern European markets: Serbia, Montenegro and Hungary. There, smart phones with Firefox OS will be available for the mobile giant's customers during the second half of this year. Next step is to look at the Asian region, the company reports in a press release."

Telenor have some 150 million subscribers worldwide, of which some 45 million are in India.  

We do live in interesting times.
 
FYI .This app is already available in the play store. not the dialer though
 
who needs high tech.?as long as you can call someone on a phone,you don`t need $700 tech.
 
+Lars Fosdal That's exactly what I was saying.  That's precisely were Android is beating iOS in the low end market. 
 
Robert, you have made your case on the Gillmor Gang clearly for the switch. The question I have for you is app investment. How much does it matter?

For you, you follow innovation, not apps. I tend to be just as reckless because that's what excites me. But Apple will offer something at some point that is interesting. How will the AVERAGE USER manage innovation that bubbles up infrequently. Today Apple, tomorrow Google. I followed you enough to see you switch back and forth.

You review innovation, you can switch, but will most people stay agnostic and neutral and be able to follow innovation as you do.

You are right we are in the age of context. Most people don't get that yet.. but they will. Will companies like Apple get that?    
 
Ironic. After 6 months with two different Android phones, I switched back yesterday. I continually felt limited by the Androids both in tangible ways (no decent calendar app, no decent calculator app - and even if there were "good" ones, they were usually butt ugly) and intangible ways - just the whole experience.

I only switched to Android for one reason - large screens.

Bu aside from those wonderfully large screens (I had a HTC One XL and then a Samsung Galaxy Note II) I never enjoyed using an Android phone. And all the talk about you could do so much more because it was "open" was rubbish. That may be so, but it doesn't actually provide any significant advantage to the end user.

Samsung and HTC both imposed their own limitations. Despite much googling, I couldn't change the keypad tones on the phone from splashy water. I seriously expected that making your keypad tones any sound you liked would have been par for the course for Android devices. Too often I read of good changes that required rooting the phone (a geekish procedure akin to jailbreaking, except allowed) - and HTC had disabled rooting anyway.

I didn't find the so called freedoms of the Android OS brought me any useful benefits, just as having a jailbroken iPhone didn't bring enough benefits.

It's only been a day back with the iPhone, but I am finding the touch screen much more fluid and responsive, and am enjoying using a phone again. The only thing I will really miss is the large screen.

I understand why people would be happy with Androids, but my own experiences tells me that their advantages are way over-sold, just as Apple over-sells how "great" the iPhone is.

So after owning an iPhone 4S, HTC One XL, Samsung Galaxy Note II and an iPhone 5 in the last six months, and definitely finding advantages with each phone, I've definitely decided iOS, overall, provides the best apps, experience and usability.
 
Ingress is awesome! It will come out for ios. The devs have already said this. Great fun though!
 
+Euro Maestro - Android have climbed out of the low end, sort of.  The Samsung, Sony, HTC, LG, Motorola, ZTE and Huawei phones are not really low end, neither in function nor in price - although there are tons of "nobrand" Gingerbread.  This could spell all kinds of trouble for Windows Phone - but at this point in time, the Firefox phone will not eat into the upper end of the Android range, and likely not the iPhone range either.
 
+Lars Fosdal I'm talking about where the grab the marketshare away from Apple is in the lowend markets. As it stands now, the only one making significant profits in smartphones is Apple and Samsung. 
 
And I love the typer app you were on about last week.
 
Nice, can a person whos never developed a app comprehend the tools and develop a idea into a app on android?
 
Robert, I recently switched to Samsung's Galaxy Note II - wow! One tremendously powerful phone! Small enough to fit in pocket or purse, but with a large, gorgeous high-resolution screen (can be a split-screen also), long-life battery, powerful Droid apps, etc.to do all the multi-tasking you want. Brilliant! ~ Kim Batson, The CIO Coach
 
Funny, Apple almost had me ready to convert from a PC - and now I'm ready to loose the iPhone. The closed system doesn't allow for innovation at the same speed that an open system does...
 
that's so awesome! Open source is always better.
 
Google / Android powers ahead.

More contextual data + better design + willingness to innovate = win

Apple, the leader in mobile devices is falling behind. Tim Cook's super efficient supply chain keeps margins high but has zero to do with the next big thing. Apple's UI is old, it's web / data services are crap, and it's year long product cycles re too slow. 

Jony Ive has his work cut out to undo all the crap Forrestal built the past two years, so Apple is undoing the damage with Google powers ahead.

Game, set, match to Google and Larry Page. 
 
Isn't an iPhone something you use to look smartphone-geek-somethingy while mostly using it for the same things you would use a Nokia 3310 for: texting and calling?
 
I hear you want to switch Robert, but what device would you switch to if you did it today?
 
good use of link to the app too....
 
I don't normally use heavy tech stuff just simple f b and twitter and g +,but one thing I want to know what's the logic behind not letting me have the option of spare battery.every other phone has a removable battery why not I phone 5.could somebody explain maybe I am too stupid to understand the good thing behind it
 
With Jobs gone, Apple will fade. All Android has to do is bide it's time and not screw up.
 
See you when you get back
 
No need to wait, get a #nexus4 now. Stock android without any bloat, bang upto date, always upto date infact - its a nexus device, available now and a great price. (buy two for the price of an iphone) 
 
+Euro Maestro this isn't only about low - end markets, it is developing countries where high end is simply not an option at all, where an iPhone represents a year of rent or food. In those markets, Firefox has 2 major competitive advantages:
- devices need less power and then are less expensive obviously.
- the OS will behave like chrome OS, it will grow and evolve with time, making the phone faster with updates instead of slower. Which is very important in countries where they can't afford to buy a new phone every year or two.
I believe this would also be their angle in our market where phones are getting obsolete way too fast. 
 
+Andrew Brackin judging an app by its UI is, ahem, a skin deep evaluation. Don't underestimate an Android app simply because it lacks polish. Android is where innovation is going to come from over the next few months and years simply because Apple is too closed and all the other manufacturers are too far behind. 
 
Glad to see you switching to Android +Robert Scoble. From the rumors thus far, the Samsung Galaxy S4 is going to be pretty powedul. Then, in a few months Motorola X Phone. It's a great time to make the switch.
 
I see he's using it on the LG nexus device nice.. That app looks pretty cool 
 
You should have ditched your iPhone a over year ago. Once you try an android phone for a week you will never go back. Apple is the new Blackberry.... They had the best then tested on their laurels. 
 
+Euro Maestro Might not have caught your point then I'm sorry ^^ 
I wasn't so much arguing with you than stating my opinion :)
 
I've been waiting for you to switch since your discussion a while back as to why you were sticking with iPhone. Surprised you waited this long and just assumed switching would speed up access to Google Glass.

But really, what are you going to do with all those photos? Seems kind of narcissistic that you think every minute of your time awake is that important!

Most of us have to work for a living, make a few calls, tweet a few tweets, read some email and texts and take a photo here and there, for which the iPhone is perfect!
 
I use to be an Android fan, but I have recently converted to Windows Phone Mobile.
 
+Robert Scoble do you have any insight in how this Friday app affects battery life? I've been interested in this one a while now and maybe it's time to give it a shot. 
 
shoot i love my droid. its a pretty good phone.
 
I recently changed from iphone to Galaxy  note 2, and I have to say I'm very very happy with the change.
 
+Andreas Duess - Great suggestion!

I have ONLY used Nexus devices - and always suggest them to people going Android. This is my 3rd Nexus device - Nexus One, Nexus - S and now Galaxy Nexus for me.
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What a useless app for the majority of consumers!

Micromanaging...

ain't nobody got time for dat
 
I think it is awfully short sighted to have so much personal information available to an app. Then again, I have a sneaking suspicion that the e911 function on my phone can be switched on remotely, not that I am planning anything. If only we could trust people with our personal data, but it proven we cannot. 
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IKR!!! ^^^

As long as it praises android for the it's insignificant tweaks, you'll get in!

"My android's vibrating motors helped me poop, and that's why I love android and it rocks because I can set the motor speed and vibrations like a boss"

You know what's funny?

There was a report of Marketplace yesterday about a PD opening up a separate department to handle stolen iPhones and iPads... Only the iPhone, you know why?

Because when an android user loses his/her phone, they can simply get for free cheapy phone from carriers or buy it for cheap because their resale value is dirt low!!
 
There would not be a security restriction added had we not seen dialers like this on our computers. Yet it was perfectly possible, as it is now, to restrict which tools are allowed to perform specific actions with a finer grained security. One serious flaw and this protection is no longer effective on iOS or Android.

Completely off-topic: Something like the current oauth permission exchange for apps would be able to more easily exchange permissions between apps so it is possible to give some apps explicit permissions to access features in another app or the phone itself. In this way you can maintain the synergy between apps that exists, while making it possible to protect you data from possibly corrupt apps.
 
+Kent Smith
it runs on the background all the time and it still doesnt figure in the list of apps that consume battery the most
 
I don't see it, sorry. Posted from a GN2
 
I think the main point to this is that there's an openness to innovation with Android as compared to Apple. But I suppose consumers nowadays aren't really fans of such "thinking" trends...
 
the title is catchy that would start fanboy wars...
but the apps is LOL.
 
Nobody jailbreaks anymore?? That's the reason you jailbreak to open up your iPhone ..all that fancy dialing mode is almost irrelevant since I don't even call people on my phone..we text or Skype, tango and even oovoo instead..this another stupid trick that android thought was cool to do but obvious nobody really needs it..just another preference 
 
+Robert Scoble I know exactly what you're talking about, but at the end of the day the apps I want to use today are on iOS, not Android. Sure there is promise that the openness of Android will allow apps to supersede iOS one day, but that simply isn't the case right now. Even in your own post above where you compare Friday to Moves - Moves is the app I want to use. Friday? Doesn't look appealing to me in it's current state. Does it have promise, sure. Do I want to use it as is? No.

That's the epitome of Android in general. Google are getting closer to the iOS experience, but all it would take Apple is to open up some more APIs in iOS7 to completely blow away Android once again.

Friday looks like a hodgepodge of contextual data, it doesn't look useful to me. Moves has a simplicity and elegance that serves a function. Apple philosophy in a nutshell.

I have an Android device and I love dabbling on it, I love it's power features and customisation options, but the iPhone is my daily driver. The apps I love are on iOS.
 
There are two sides to this, not open enough, app developers abusing / being stupid with the openness... it's an optimization problem and I find Android's openness to be frustrating... and I'm a developer.
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"Thinking" trends

Ha! Look at you guys feeling high and mighty because you're "thinking"...at the end of the day, it's about practicality!

Sure I can make my phone slice and dice my tomatoes, but is it practical?

I think not...

Simple, minimalistic, functional, aesthetically pleasing... Apple philosophies.
 
+Yuset pozo people are obviously finding uses for these types of integrated features every day... a lot of people don't want to bother to jailbreak, they are to scared to.... android allows this stuff out of the box no hassle... 
 
Apples leader is dead. They are dying slowly
 
Just helps reinforce how open source is becoming that way of the future. Development by the masses.
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That's what they said about Nintendo for having that closed system...
 
+Drew Snyder there are plenty of things android does not allow unless your device is rooted ..and jail-braking is so easy now that evasion figured it out but its worth any little hassle once its done..I was android for a few years and unless you have a top notch android phone you not doing too much anyway ..
 
+Peter Petrovski wow...you completely downplayed an app's whole premise and point solely based on design.  Something that can be changed over a few simple updates.  "Even  in your own post above where you compare Friday to Moves - Moves looks like the app I want to use. Friday? Doesn't look appealing to me in it's current state. Does it have promise, sure. Do I want to use it as is? No."  How is this even possible?  It's not a question about whether Friday has promise...just based on use alone, Friday blows Moves out of the water.  I looked up the description of both of these apps and I would never install Moves evne if I did have an iPhone.
 
+Yuset pozo No no, you are completely right.  I remember back in 1990, mobile phones were cool, but who would ever need a phone all the time?  You only really need to make calls from home, and if you need to make a call outside the home, there are payphones everywhere.  GPS is another whiz-bang toy for tech geeks too.
/sarcasm

Exposing core functionality is the tech equivalent of fundamental research in science.  It always seems like a pointless toy until someone figures out a novel way to exploit it, and then it becomes a central part of how we interact with the world.  Don't you worry though, I'm sure that 3 years after the app that utilizes this functionality in a way that people get really excited about comes out on Android, Apple will release some gimped, mediocre version of it as the coolest, revolutioniest new feature since cell phones.
 
I know you'll eventually switch, and so every other smart human on the planet.
 
Android will be better than iOS until iOS does something new. When apple first released the iPhone it was the best thing ever. But since the original release they v haven't changed much. They might add a new feature every now and then. But when you getv the newest phone you really don't notice much. Android gives you the feeling you are getting a whole brand new experience. Upgrading from 2.3 to 4.0.4 was a tremendous step. When i first used ICS i noticed how smooth and crisp the update felt. You don't get that with apple. Most of their new features basically involve some new app (that they bought out or made deal with. Siri ) integrated into the newest version. On top of that some phones don't get all the features unlessv they buy the newest phone. With Android if you don't get the newest features or even the latest os there is probably some dev out there who is
Programming it. If Apple doesn't do something fast Android & Ubuntu will take over

 
I just canceled that stupid data plan to have a hotspot on my iPhone with sprint cause I use much more than 6 gigs a month so a jailbroken iPhone allows me to use the unlimited data that I already have and I have a hotspot app that gives it to me for free..I was paying a extra 50 a month for something that should be free if you have unlimited data plan..but no the company's are taking advantage of the non tech people and charging for something that your phone can do for free..and I did the same with my android when I was able to root it but they had a new upgrade and killed my root on my android and I had to pay for the hotspot on my phone cause they hadn't rooted the update yet..
 
not true, i wrote an app for the iPhone that uses SMS
 
I too have been a die hard iphone user for years, yet due to its obvious limitations and restrictions I have moved to a Samsung Galaxy 3 this last week. So far so good. Yes it was a little strange at first but I feel the device works with you instead of limiting you. Just yesterday my wife wanted to watch a program I had downloaded to my phone yet she didn't want to watch it on the S3. With a press of a button it was on the screen (Samsung LED). This is another example of the devices intuitive design.
 
very good article, my first high end phone is the galaxy s3. to be honest iPhone was always out of my price range. people at work have the 4s, and the 5.they are nice phones, but honestly not for me. after trading phones for a day, besides screen size, and home widgets, for me I realize I love home screen launchers.I'm not crazy about touchwiz so I bought next launcher and love it. I didn't like the weather widget, changed that, got SwiftKey for keyboard and love it. the ability to change what you don't want is too much for me to go to Apple. I want widgets, I have 12 screens no app icons, the ability to do that is why I like android
 
Apple has been and will be playing catch up for years to come...
 
I jailbroke my iPhone for the first time recently. The bitesms app is amazing. And other little things that iOS is lacking. I love this phone but they really need to think forward with ios7. Simplicity only works so much..
 
It's like stalking yourself
 
I do not get this at all and there's good reason.  My study and understanding has not begun but it will very soon because I am planning on making a purchase of a hand-held device that does just what my desk-top will do but with less convenience, more hassle with typing accurate words as opposed to what others call 'hunt and peck' in the dark while knowing code words; who wants that?  Maybe I won't be buying one but I have witnessed one or two that once I get over this hurdle of thinking my enjoyment of speed in typing on a keyboard may be overcome with quickly learning how to 'hunt and peck'; well maybe things will change.  AS always, any correction or suggestions is most appreciated.  Thanks.
 
+Andrew Brackin How in the hell does that look confusing. It looks awesome. A system log that is usable. 
 
+Gabriel Poli the S3 costs the same as the iPhone when it launched. I have a nexus 4 and an iphone 5. I haven't owned a Samsung phone but to say you pick that phone because you love android is laughable. It's skinned! It looks horrible. Now if you put a custom rom then it's the same as jail breaking an iPhone. My nexus 5 has twice the horsepower as the iPhone 5 but can't even render google+ as smooth as the iPhone. There isn't one app on android that's better there than in iOS. Even this article is centered about an app that hasn't been released. No idea how it will perform. I've used both systems since the beginning and there is a reason apps are better on iOS 
 
looks cool...
what is the name of the app?
 
Android market is full of half finished junk apps.
 
+George Foundas There is that, of course.  Since Android has more granular access, apps can also ask for and receive extra permissions, which can be used for good, or evil.  

There are a number of tools like WiFi mapping and cell signal strength mapping that I find tremendously useful on Android that are simply not allowed in the iOS API model.

But I also need to take a second and check the permissions for any app I install and ask myself, "are these permissions appropriate for what this app does?"

I respect that users looking for a simpler experience might wish to rely on someone else to vet their permissions.
 
lol, love how the only good arguments here are 'apple are shit' come up with a real argument
 
+Bryan Parks I just looked at Tasker. That is great if you use a phone that you have to worry about battery life. My iphone 5 lasts all day with bluetooth on wifi always on. Also built into apple phones is this feature of remembering volume levels of headphones and auxiliary cords plugged into them 
 
I'd love to do this fancy stuff, but my battery doesn't live through a day even without
 
+David Mackay Speak for yourself.  There have been a few good points posted on either side, and a whole lot of "the platform I dislike is fecal" along the way.

I don't get how a smartphone platform is somehow a religion, but then I don't get how religion is a religion anyway. We're one seriously miswired species.
 
The age old battle once again... If it works for you use it, if not try something else...
 
IPhones are CRAP. Drop em once, and there goes your 300 dollars down the shitter. Merry Christmas.
 
I guess another Siri project is ahead...you are really a gem for the unique way of thought +Robert Scoble 
 
+Kevin Robinette cliffhanger, ted, pattern, file wrangler, beautiful widgets, dash clock, eventbrite, paper land, paper, pocket, talk.to, quora etc

This is just from what i have installed. Times change, good android apps are a dime a dozen. 
 
I use to love Apple but not anymore! 
 
Amen. Hallelujah. So. E fi alkyl sees the closed mindedness of apple and sees the open source of android. That is all. 
 
Who gives a shit! Call me a sheep because I can afford apple products. Hating bahhh bahhh bastards!
 
...yet another reason to pile on to the I hate Apple band-wagon.  If you love Android just move to it and stop your hate'n. 
 
Well said +Shawn Brezny. You never hear apple calling android shit, suppose it would be like Manchester United calling Shrewsbury town shit, theres no need! Lol
 
+Gregor Fraser Macdonald So in the one sentence you said you never hear people calling Android shit and then compared it to Shrewsbury town (i.e. called it shit). Intelligence is just way out of reach for some people.
 
Calm it android nazi i got some facetiming to do
 
ios is better unfortunately, but the hardware in apple sucks
 
Damn the design, full market share ahead!!! Sounds a lot like Microsoft a few years ago. As an iOS developer, the restrictions of the iOS system can be frustrating to say the least. However, apple has those restrictions for a reason. Besides obvious security issues, by apple standardizing apps and interfaces means users can pick up a device and know how to use it. It improves overall experiences and satisfaction with experiences. There's a reason "apple fanboy" exists. 
 
Apple is the phone of the official communist party.  They tell you how you can use the phone, when you can use the phone, overcharge you for the use of the phone... illegally use up your broadband usage with a sneaky data vampire in iOS6 on iPhone 5 phones. And tell you what you will love it
 
Troy. is that uniformity the reason why you have separate apps for the phone and tablet?
 
Oh, and I'm not a fanboy myself. My next purchase will be an android based tablet. The hp looks interesting and I have to say, the HTC The One is downright sexy. 
 
iPhones are better anyway 
 
You have to carry your charger around with androids. 
 
Superb article that explains why Google will surpass Apple in development 
 
+Robert Scoble Forget Samsung. Use what the devs use. Stick with the Nexus line and reap the benefits NOW especially if you want the latest and greatest of what Google is cooking in the contextual game. 
 
get voxer on nexus free chats and texting
 
I may be joining you later this year when the Google-X phone comes out. I've loved and owned every iPhone released but Apples policy's, horrible cloud services and big mistakes (maps) have pushed me away.

Soon these will be the "Droids you are looking for"!
 
You could wait for the s4, but I would get a nexus 4 to try out stock, there's nothing like a nexus!
 
Mass iOS defection predicted.

I should know. iP4S started that slide downhill for me. Too bad. 
I think I might like an iPad, so I won't totally defect. Galaxy calling.
 
+Mike Cosmi I'm right there with you. I asked earlier to name one app that was better on Android then on iOS and the response didn't even as wet the question instead gave me a list of apps that are still better on iOS. Phones are computers. The OS doesn't need to do everything. It's there to provide a platform on which amazing software can be built. It's not supposed to change just to change or be experimental. At times it feels like android should carry a beta tag. It's fun but couldn't and wouldn't at this point depend on it. 
 
Wow.. I DIDN'T expect such a post, hacked?
 
In a way +Robert Scoble it reminds me of a little of what the journal function in outlook was supposed to be.

I can imagine amazing things that people could do when traveling on business, working on different projects... Tie it into Evernote etc, and the lid blows off. 
 
I understand the context epoch but wonder how large of a end user population this expects to draw?
As neat as it looks I already get bombarded with an influx of data with out having that sea of bytes pointed out in an application. So I guess +Robert Scoble is how does provide a raft in the torrent of data of digital life? 
 
Context allows it all to make sense.

It takes that trip to Disney and allows you to find where you parked, checked in, the pics you took, give you emails you dealt with then. Etc.

Who has ever found themselves trying to sort through all the glorious shit piles of stuff just trying to find a pic you took "that day"
 
The i-sad5 still uses the same OS ever since 2007 so sad.
 
iPhone set the tone, Android Should be much farther ahead than they are now, since they started from a foundation already laid by Apple. The are just edging past for the moment and think Apple wont catch up. I switched to iPhone from a Galaxy, it's better and just not having to charge my phone every four hours is great by the way.. With Cydia, I can make my phone do whatever I want, Android and Apple apps, tweaks, flash player, any Goole or Safari thing I need... Oh, Lifeprooof makes it a fun underwater camera as well....
 
An app to track/leave a trail of my life, no thank you.
 
Why? For the same reason that PCs today have a much larger market share than iMacs.
 
iPhone = greatest phone ever (and first real smartphone ever. Everyone else is just a biter trying to play catch up to the big boys) The things mine does and the way it does them beats ANYTHING any other phone can do, including "features I don't have."

iPhone + Cydia = DOUBLE the greatest-phone-ever power, and nullifies ANY advantage of "features" that any other phone might have.

iPhones will rule the world...
 
Oh hey, +Miguel Gonzalez, welcome to 2013! You must be new here, let me show you around. You can still get the iPhone you know and love, and it's more or less the same as any you're familiar with! It's gotten a wee bit bigger, shinier too.
Over here you have your Android phones. You probably dont recognize them - they've all evolved so rabidly, they can be hard to keep track of. Whether you're after harder, better, faster, stronger, or bigger, you'll find it here. These have evolved at the speed of human creativity, with nothing holding them back. In the mean time, the iPhone has plodded along, slow, but predictable, under the careful control of your friends at Apple.
 
The right people can track your life and everything when and however they want to. I have high enough credentials with my job, I don't have air use my phone for anything that would jeopardize anything. I have access for those things. I can track whoever is tracking me, it's no worry what so ever. I just don't understand the Android thing. I used to hate Apple, never would have anything to do with them. I owned four Androids before I ever got an iPhone. Now I have iPad, MacBook, and the new iMac. Love em, the do soooo much work for me, I would never switch. Apple has no need to worry.. 
 
+Miguel Gonzalez - if you look at the latest market share stats thats not the case. I would say Android rules the world and thats a fact.
 
miguel is a apple sheeple... let him be "bliss"ful in his own decaying world..
 
Bc it's the next new thing, like iPhone was at the beginning.. If iPhones hadn't stet the pace, who the fuck would Android even mean today???? I don't understand, Android should be WAY more ahead than they are now.. They are re em venting the wheel..... Adding some much expected tweaks and whoa!!!!! When it comes to work and doing things for me, I like Apple, bc I don't have to worry about it not ever working.. 
 
Lol there's no need to explain ,if they don't already know then they never will 
 
Welcome outside the "Walled Garden" Robert. Watch your step. You are now responsible for your actions. Root your phone, own your phone.
 
The lack of openness is definitely Apple's weak point, the amount of control they want turned me off the whole company quite a while ago while I was quite a fan before. I wouldn't hold my breath for iOS to become more open because the trend has been them trying to make more open platforms (OS X) more closed.
 
Robert: made the switch and never looking back. Apple's ecosystem is so shutdown and have to live in their walled garden. Android lets developers explore and build great apps. The ecosystem will improve and developers will make money. It's gradual money, not the quick riches of Apple's iOS. 
 
There are a lot of great android devices, and they are often better phones when you look at their specifications.

They are, however, crippled by absolutely horrific marketing and general sense of aesthetic. They are almost always ugly phones with marketing strategies that brag about technical specifications as if everyone is a 34 year-old computer programmer with a neck beard who hasn't had sex in 8 years.

That being said, they also dominate market share. Albeit in a weird way that doesn't always make them seem popular. I notice everyone on the subway thumbing iPhones, yet I rarely notice Android devices.

Of course I agree that Apple has created a hugely closed platform and that this limits almost the entire device. They are notorious for this. But at the same time, they have created beautiful, highly functional products that are so polished to the point that most people probably don't care about your new Android app.

They are so on point with every aspect of their marketing persona, media aesthetic, and beautiful minimalist product design and packaging that the majority of people don't want to even listen to you talk about the 'miraculous' auto-dialing app you can develop with your open system Android device. You're just a nerd. 
 
Android is well architectured. Components are re-usable, mostly decoupled, and cohesive. It's like well structured code. Definitely makes it easier for developers to develop whatever they imagine. Win/win for the customer/developer.
 
Not related to what you are talking, but it might have been a good idea to have taken screenshots of the app instead of photos, and also hide personal data like phone numbers associated with names in these images.

Leaving that aside context-driven apps have mind-boggling potential.
From the limited view of the screens you have shared, your friend's app shows contextual data, but I don't see how this app beneficially uses this data...
 
What will that app be called? (So we can Google Alert it right away)
 
Developers are now targeting Android first, ios later. I notice +FxGuru has their awesome Android app out, ios is coming soon... 
 
lol +Robert Scoble i've been trying to convert you to the dark side for around two years now saying pretty much the exact same stuff. 

i think it's awesome that all it took was one 'killer app' that demonstrated this fundamental platform difference so thoroughly that you made the switch. :)
 
Welcome to ANDROID :)

I just bought a new Motorola RAZR I for only 1 Euro over here in Germany. It's amazing what this thing can do. Much better and faster than my previous NEXUS S or the overhyped iPhone. And I haven't rooted it yet, which should add further possibilities.
 
Welcome to a world that is open. Open = diversity and creativity. Open always wins.
 
This has always been the way, as people get bored with the slow changing iOS now though they're starting to realise it. Get babied in the nice, safe and slow-to-change world of iOS or get a device you can play with yourself and see proper app innovation from the crowd on.
 
The thing is that a smart dialer which that looks at call frequency for example will only hit the public imagination when Apple bake it into the OS. Until then it'll be a niche product.
 
Android definitely offers more options! And samsung galaxy phones rock! (Sent from a GS3)
 
apple it's long time buried, like the so called "retina display " it's so 2011...everybody has a 440ppi in MWC now
they are in need for an overhauled iOS ..like..YESTERDAY!!!
you all know it's true.
they can come up with the most "beautiful" device ever. but who buys a smartphone just to show it off...those days are gone ...
if I pay 600$ for a piece of technology i need more than a nice display , better be a quadcore something...and have functionality in its guts.

just to put it in a few words , ANDROID it's the smarter choice now, even for those of you with plenty of money who used to buy apple products just to show them off
 
Oh my god, who gives a fucking shit? Does the phone satisfy you personal and/or business needs? If so, then good. No need to have this "personalized" brand war just so you have a group of unassociated people to hate on. 
 
Damn!...I feel like a traitor now!...having been an Apple Devotee for the past 20 years plus from my first Mackintosh, original iBook and several more (there are 3 iPhones, 3 iPads and various iPods in the household), I've just had the last straw!...recently bought a Samsung Galaxy Camera running Jellybean (which I love), loaded Swiftkey which works like magic. Then tried to find it for iPhone & Pad (not available) so got Swype instead only to find out that Mr Apple doesn't let you use third party keyboard to write SMS etc. (you have to type inside application and then copy and paste to whatever you are writing in). That is just like being in a police state; oh yes of course, it's American; Stupid me!
 
Android is the real operating system. No doubt abouf it :) 
 
iphones ........  piece of shit , waste of ur money 
 
dialvetica does frequent dialler cache
 
+Spencer Jenko i think the most relevant answer to your question is a comparison of Google vs Yahoo stock value over last decade. same with aol vs apple over the same time frame.

obviously being the leader in market share for your industry segment is irrelevant when the paradigm shift introduced by new innovations in thinking renders your entire business model obsolete. we have seen this happen so often these last 20 years that it is hardly surprising that the real innovations turn everything on it's head.

apple's business model unfortunately has favored the short term thinking that the product quality will ensure end users continue to tolerate all of the bullshit of not being able to do what you want with your own device. up to this point, it has worked brilliantly because the overwhelming majority of consumers could care less about an open platform - as they do not understand the difference.

the rent seeking content delivery strategies they count on as providing long-term residual revenues even if they lose market share fails when you compare it to the google approach being opposite: android was simply designed to make google services ubiquitously available on any manufacturers product. 

long story short, apple is going to be really boned if they don't figure out that the black box approach to product development only works when your black box does things the white box doesn't. 

i really could care less about siri or panorama shots. can't think of anything i could do on an iphone that i couldn't do on an android, and a thousand things i couldn't do vice versa. 
 
+Andreas Duess 

iOS is simple but very limited, it's also very clunky.  Widgets on Android make checking my email, next appointment, weather totally instant, an iOS user will spend 10x longer opening apps to do all that.

As for the browsing statistic, you have been fooled by Apple's viral marketing machine and it's "Conviently" flawed browsing statistics.  

On Android of course, you can change the browser to be whateever you like (Opera Mini, Opera Mobile, Firefox, Dolfin, Boat, Chrome, and no doubt loads I haven't mentioned).  The browser stats ***ONLY*** counted the stock Android browser, vs the stock iOS browser (which can't be changed).

Do you see how flawed those OS browser statistics are?   (More so given that Opera is the worlds most popular mobile browser).


 
 
Android phones costs the same as an iPhone and some cost more. Open systems are the future in terms of innovation. Closed systems such as Apple, thas like asking Van Gogh to paint only within the lines and to use the tools given to him. He won't be able to paint what he wants, just what they tell him what to do.
There's a type of government that practices this same type of "philosophy" and you can see where they sit at. 
 
Same reason i have never liked apple from the start... crippled and locked down. who wants that?
 
+Hafiz Hassan i was the biggest apple fanboy in the world circa 2002-2008 before it was so cool to be one, and i refused to buy the iphone from the get due to the fact that it was the worst drm ever invented at the time. 

i could not use an iphone in the way i could use my ipod, powerbook, and macbook/mbp devices: i could install whatever i wanted including another OS onto those devices let alone applications. i could use whatever content and media my heart desired whether or not i paid for it. right from the gate i saw this would be a horrible strategic move and i started my boycott of derived products. 

i'll still buy a mpb, but i won't continue to use os x when it requires that apps be installed from an app store. when the vendor controls what i can do with a product is where i draw the line on purchasing it. would you buy a car if it wouldn't let you drive over the speed limit or on back roads?
 
+Jeeljel Amine lol at least being an android fanboy is hipster chic instead of mainstream. :)

apple certainly has a simpler user experience that is more enjoyable for a layperson whereas android has features that are essential for experts. as there always will be more laypeople than experts, i imagine that there will probably be more apple fanboys to hate because their piece of plastic cost way more. xD

<3 <3 <3
 
Why ios's security surpasses android...
 
and thats why Apples rocks. because they filter out unnecessary things from the masses. not all the time though. HDMI came too late etc..
 
+Jason Edwards it has everything to do with layperson and expert. i am a network and systems engineer by trade, which means i oftentimes have to do things that an end user never would. ergo, not being 'root' on my own device in the android sense would prevent me from running packet captures or collecting hardware level debugging information for some use cases. 

as someone who develops on android, these tasks are fully documented and provided my hardware is capable of doing what i ask for it to do, it will. the same cannot be said for apple products. 

it's really easy to dismiss it as fanboyism, when really it is practicality and engineering concerns that transcend subjectivity inherent in most debates. i use the best tool for the job whenever possible which is why i would prefer an apple notebook,  hp server,  nexus phone, and microsoft office suite to any alternatives provided by other vendors.

+Esmond Missen ? bare-assertion fallacy anyone?
 
+Niko Pavlidis yeah it's totally awesome that you can't install applications your carrier does not like or competes with apples interests.. :p
Ryan Ng
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I'm never using iOS phones again.
 
Very nice article that expounds the virtues of Android. I would guess that if Apple perceived this as something the average customer wanted (and to quote Apple, people don't know what they want), then Apple would build it natively. If one could pick apart each area of customization that Android allows, AND show a useful use case (and there are), your argument (which I agree with) would be even more pronounced.
 
The funny thing is how iFans come out to talk against Droidheads now that our Android OS is maturing but 2-3 years ago, you guys bashed Android badly. Now the tables are turned where Android is now leading the pack. The term iSheep has been a term for a long time. Where you think it came from?
Not so great being on the receiving end, now is it? 
 
What's the name of the app
 
+Kjeld Kahn it seems that all your concerns could be addressed through a feature which would only allow call/SMS (and why not also email) requests only when initiated with a screen touch event. Perhaps a setting where you could whitelist which apps were allowed to perform such things. We already have it for contact list access, position information etc. This seems like an easily solvable problem. 
Wei Zhe
 
我也想试试看 可惜是
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I used to have a grudging respect for iOS and the iPhone/iPad... that's just not the case anymore. The difference between the upcoming iWatch and Google Glass is quite telling.... Apple better release one hell of a watch. 0_o
 
A reason to switch to android. Right? 
 
Android is already by far the most popular mobile OS in the world, with APAC markets particularly high in penetration (source +GlobalWebIndex ) . Plus the total integration with all the range of Google services is a key driver in adoption and the constant grow of G+ is definitely another point that should make people think about the next handset they are going to purchase.

Here is the blog post where i got all the data: http://bit.ly/YxCJ3T
 
Can you believe i read all 200+ comments? Anyway iApple should start changing their ways. Why should i jailbreak a phone before i can send a file via bluetooth to other non iApple device??
 
Attention Ladies And Gentlemen, i have been observing the posts, they quite thrill me, but for those who haven`t been in a experience with the latest android phones and iPhones, you can`t judge on how you only have 1 phone like only iPhone and get pissed off and throw your comment like "iPhone FTW Android sucks!!!!!!", I was a nokia e65 user and now using LG Optimus L7 and happy with it, my friend is an iPhone user and clearly what i remember from him "iPhone doesn`t get viruses and gets broken easily when it fells like my phone" , i haven`t tried an iPhone yet so i dont have the right to judge between Android and iPhone but as far as now i can`t clearly see one positive comment about iPhone, iPhone`s era is about to end if those developers keep playing a catch-off. Thank you for reading :)
 
+Robert Scoble, I think Apple won't be scared due its iOS is designed for those who follows and is not meant for those that are curious... Then there always be "users" who likes nice designed devices and not putting effort into it... For the rest, the ones who likes customization and openness, there is Android.
 
As a developer who works on both android and ios, I'll say one thing.. Apple is hell to develop for, the lack of freedom and the non existence of basic controls such as a check box, radio button or combo boxes are just stupid.. Shows you what happens when you build an OS for a music player and then put it in smartphones and tablets.. vs android which was developed as a full fledged smart OS.. 
 
those were some cool apps, ty
 
Context is HUGE! Find it hard to believe Apple isn't already working the space though.
 
Google Play is a cesspool. Too many fraudulent apps go unchecked. 
 
+Jason Diaz 
(1) You generally have to go out of your way to find crummy apps
(2) You have to be blind to skip over the page that tells you what features of your phone and account the application is asking permission to use (hint: if it's a game, and asking for full access to your Phone and SMS ... something probably isn't right)
(3) User reviews are usually a great indication that something is or isn't right.
 
+Andrew Moore

1. No you don't, many if not all are mostly mimicking legit apps. C'mon think like a hacker.

2. Blind as in the majority of non tech savvy users that most blow right pass those prompts. Ask any Windows user how that goes.

3. Again Cesspool, those are usually spoofed.

Now, I'd want less control for Devs in a ideal world, why? Too many legit Devs have been caught stealing user data without user consent on both platforms. Now, Apple should perhaps allow the same mechanism that is seen with OS X for downloading apps. App Store, known trusted Devs, and wild wild West. Still, it's not perfect but it's leaps and bounds better than Android approach. Windows RT anyone?

Now, Scobble is trying to light a fire up somebody butt in secretive Cupertino labs, it's not gonna work. iOS is geared for all to use as a fantastic well designed product, that's the bottom line as long it doesn't hurt their bottom dollar, which it hasn't, the opposite has happened.

I'm sure Jony Ive will clean things up and add fresh insight, seriously nobody is on his level on industrial design and aesthetic. Jony Ive should get into the ink business because the industry is trying photocopy.

Perhaps he'll get enthusiastic about allowing trusted Devs more access to private API. Still, I'd go with the slow well thought planned approach and not rush a hack job just to appease a few self-bored geeks who clammer for the "wow look what I can do." 
 
Not trying to switch gears but any news regarding what you said 17 says ago:

"Real productivity killer apps are coming next week, including one from the same place Siri came from." - Robert Scoble.

 
Totally agree with the premise, and am very happy the base design and performance of the latest Android and devices are finally caught up to iOS. Not a moment too soon. 
 
+Robert Scoble I too have been an avid Apple fan, by no means a fanboy, and have been on board with almost all of the iPhones. I got the first gen iPad on launch day, the first gen AT&T iPad on launch day (still have my AT&T unlimited data plan) and am basically knee deep in Apple products.

I've also been on board with Android since Cupcake, and I've owned and used for a significant period of time nearly all major Android phones released since then.

If you plan on switching to Android, while the specs on the soon to be released Samsung S4 look impressive, I'd like to suggest that you also keep in mind the Galaxy Note II (I think you're on Verizon, right?) 

I had the original Note and now the Note II - for about a month I waffled back and forth between my iPhone 5 and the Note II, and then made the switch... permanently... and I've not looked back... at all.

The size of the screen, once you get past the size of the device itself, is what makes this micro-tablet-with-cellular shine so bright - so much so, that I'm looking forward to the 6+" screen size of the Note III.

The N4 is also a great device, with OS updates direct from Google, but the battery life is no where near that of the Note II, and my N4 spends most days sitting on my desk.

I've used the app you're referencing here and I'm a huge fan of Google Now - I'm excited to see how Apple will compete in this space.

No matter which phone you end up with, if you do make the switch, I'm sure it will be well documented here, and I look forward to reading your first impressions, as well as those after an extended period of time with the device.
 
+Jason Diaz You are not saying that the app store is any different, are you? It is full of garbage too.
 
That's the great advantage of Android for users like us who want a little more automation or control over stuff. While most would be happy with iOS, which is stable and keeps things secure for them, Android is so much better for users like me.

Things like the above mentioned examples, using Tasker, scheduling a tweet for later, etc aren't possible on iOS since Apple limits what apps can do and also limits multitasking etc. iOS is great, but it's Apple saying it knows what is best for us, which while great for most users, isn't for everyone.

Features like actionable notifications, homescreen customization (I simply drag my phone icon up to call my gf's primary number, down for her secondary number) etc make things really faster as well quite a few times, not needing us to go into each and every app before we can do what we want to do. Then there's Android's sharing feature, allowing sharing between everything and everything. iOS' mail, Twitter, Facebook, clipboard sharing options leave much to be desired.

Another example of Android's openness - my Mom received some images from someone on her iPad, but in zip format, which naturally she was unable to open. Thankfully, I had installed ES Explorer file manager on her Android phone, told her to use that to open it and voila, all done. These things were already possible on OS of old like Symbian, etc, and it's sad to see with all the awesome specs and stability, iOS doesn't actually let you do much to put that power to use (except play good looking games). iOS is great, I accept, I love using the iPad, and it's great it puts in limitations to keep things simple for users, but it's not for everyone. 

So yeah, it's great we have Android as a choice in OS that don't lock us down to their way of doing things, here's hoping more come in the future with Ubuntu, Sailfish, etc! iOS is great too and an extremely simple and stable OS, but again, not for everyone.

P.S: Apple also fails in making things simple sometimes - there's no stop button for apps in the App Store, making the process of stopping an app long winded as one goes to homescreen, long presses on downloading app's icon, then deleting it. I mean, not even a stop button in the App Store? Basic things like this really irritate me. For an OS that's made to do things simple and fast, these things really go quite the opposite way, with excuses from people being "how often do you need to stop an app download". -.-
Jim shi
 
I like Android more than ios
 
I can think of ways to use that to harm users that download my app.
 
+Frederick Tubiermont Haha, I thought the same after using Friday for a few minutes, but like you yourself say in the last sentence, it's more about how all of this is possible on Android, gives a lot of functionality to apps not possible on iOS (unless jailbroken of course).
 
TheL jjnn6v rro ₩)) ₩11!-€99
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