You say tomato, I say tomato

John Gruber theorizes about the disparage of Android and iOS usage of mobile browsers:

Not sure how to square the disparity here other than to assume that an awful lot of Android smartphones don’t really get used as smartphones.

Jason Grigsby disagrees and says:

The UI for joining a Wi-Fi network on Android is easy to miss. (( about this check this post ))


People at lower income levels are less likely to have access to Wi-Fi networks on a regular basis.

So basically they are both saying the same think but while Grigsby focuses on the reasons, Gruber focuses on the consequences which is that Android phones are not really used as smartphones.

That might be for the reasons that Grigsby elaborated but the end result is that as smartphones they pretty much are only used for the typical on-the-road features of a modern “feature phone”: GPS services and mail. Everything else, the “smartphone” things that an iOS user would do at an available wifi network either at home or work, is pretty much not used in Android phones. Which bring us back to the original point.

You can get an Android phone for little more than 75€. At that price most people don’t even realize what they are actually buying and don’t realize that you can do something else with it. Considering the absolute chaos and unfriendly experience that is Google Play (( with apps that don’t download, apps that download but don’t start, apps that just go missing and a random craziness of chaos )) it’s a miracle that they actually use some sort of app that requires internet connection.

One Reply to “You say tomato, I say tomato”

  1. When Gruber and others have argued that Android users don’t use their phones like a smartphone, but instead like a feature phone, one of the arguments given is based on web browsing behavior.

    This web browsing behavior–or lack thereof–combined with other factors, cause people to believe that many Android users have a different mental model or a different way of interacting with their phones. That they think of their phones as just phones, not computers.

    What I’m saying is that when Android devices are on cellular networks, that usage of Android is much closer to iOS suggesting not a difference in mental models, but instead some other explanation.

    In other words, when it comes to web browsing on cellular, Android users don’t act like feature phone users. They act much more like iPhone users. That’s worth examining.

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