The Android Army is Rising

In a humorous article from David Pogue of the New York Times, it seems that the “Android Army” is rising to meet any naysaying about the Nexus One or the Android platform with fanboyesque flames of their own.  It seems Pogue wrote a review of the Nexus One and pointed out a few of the flaws that he saw in the phone, and IMMEDIATELY started receiving feedback from people that did not paint him in a great light.

Here are the few of the quotes he got;

  • “It’s ridiculous that you dinged the N1 for not having a physical ringer switch. Millions of phones have no ringer switches and they manage just fine.”
  • “You are an idiot. You write that only 190 MB is available for holding apps, but I hear that Google is planning to fix that in software next year.”
  • “You write that the Nexus One doesn’t have a multi-touch screen, but it does; Google just didn’t enable it. You should be fired for your incompetence.”

Now I have read the initial article that Pogue wrote, and I actually found it to be a pretty positive review of the handset, simply pointing out some things that were missing from the handset that would have made it that much better.  So it does surprise me that he got these kinds of flames.  As I was reading the article, I was thinking to myself that these comments sound like they were coming from Apple fanboys, and I chuckled out loud when Pogue comes to the same conclusion.  I really did not see any reason for the hate he got, but Pogue goes on to talk about how he is hearing these same kinds of responses at CES 2010, and so are other tech writers.

“I’m at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week, and I found myself in conversation with editors from tech blogs Gizmodo, Engagdget and Gdgt. To my amazement, all three had noticed exactly the same thing: that the Android Army is amassing, and they don’t mince words.”, writes Pogue.

He goes on to speculate as to why the Android Army is so volatile,

“Popular theories: Maybe it’s because Google has just become an electronics maker for the first time.

Maybe it’s the Nook Effect: a product’s advance hype becomes so intense that when it finally arrives, and it’s a letdown, people feel betrayed and angry.

The most plausible theory, though, is that Google’s Android phone software is a more open and hackable operating system than the proprietary software on the iPhone, BlackBerry or Palm. Therefore, Android appeals to precisely the sort of frustrated, anti-establishment people who have no trouble writing abusive notes. It brings them out of the woodwork, gives them a new counterculture champion.”

I am not sure I agree with Pogue on any of his reasons for the Android Army, I think it more falls to the Underdog nature of the platform.  Since it’s launch, it has been seen as the alternative to the iPhone, and as such is seen as a Little Mac taking on Mike Tyson in the old Nintendo game, Punch-Out!.

Whatever the cause, it seems that the Android Army has been gaining soldiers, and those soldiers are loyal to a fault.  Long live Android!

  • I'll speculate one step further… Having read an out-take of Pogue's review I was surprised of his bios ONLY because his points (items he did NOT like) were all bogus (fixable via software updates). Seeing that Walt Mossberg had just written a very positive review of the Android – Possible that Pogue subconsiously Mossberg envy?

    PS – When I countered every one of Pogues arguements he responded to via Tweet: " Funny that everyone who doesn't like my review has never actually seen the Android…"

  • SDsc_rch

    all the "theories" about why this is happening are bogus

    simple fact is… people on the internet are rude – when they get anonymity, ppl's true nature comes out

    google is simply getting a lot of customers – and… a certain percent of them are fiercely loyal (as is in any population) and a certain percent of those ppl also have no qualm with being rude and mean and nasty


  • I think it has to do with identifying with the platform. Previous Android phones do indeed lack some of the flair that iPhone has, for various reasons that I think in the end don’t matter much. But along comes the Nexus and it feels like something Androidians can be really proud of… not really an iPhone “killer” but the new flagship – and so even light criticism feels like a personal slam.

  • James Bailey

    I'm anything but an Google/Android/Nexus One fanboy. But I tried to correct Mr. Pogue on his somewhat overstated comment on the lack of multitouch on the N1. He, like a lot of other tech writers seem to misunderstand the situation. The lack of multitouch is purely the Android shipped applications in the US, not the hardware and not the Android OS. It seems to me that stating that multitouch is "disabled" on the N1 is technically wrong and should be corrected.

    I got a couple of interesting replies. First he said that he wasn't talking about "rogue" applications. I thought a little odd so I called him on it. He then changed the terminology to talk about occasional or odd applications. Still strange. So I asked about third-party multitouch games being a big driver for multitouch and haven't heard back.

    I don't think David Pogue is an idiot or on the take from Apple or any of that nonsense but I still find the egos of these tech writers who seem unable to take polite criticism to be a problem. Insisting that you are right on a technical issue isn't a matter of opinion. You are either correct or incorrect. When I presented David Pogue with the correct technical interpretation, he still resisted admitting that he was wrong in the article. That isn't good tech journalism.

    This is what he wrote:
    "Sadly, the Nexus One also lacks a multitouch screen like the iPhone’s. "

    That is wrong in every way and should be corrected. The fact that his ego resists fixing the article is a shame.

    • @jt

      What you wrote him sounds almost what I wrote him exactly about the multi-touch issue, his response to me was identical.

    • "Sadly, the Nexus One also lacks a multitouch screen like the iPhone’s. " is why IMHO, the android army is rising. iphone this, iphone that, stop comparing everything to the iphone.
      i have come to hate the iphone more and more, i excitedly posted info on the nexus one on my facebook back in december, a girl i used to work with who now works at a local att retailer repeatedly "just come get an iphone". at first i chalked it up to her wanting sales, but the more info i posted regarding the phone the more negativity i got because "its not an iphone"
      "it doesnt allow you to browse the web while talking on the phone" "it doesnt have multitouch"

      i dont think its android or google fanboyism, i think its people who arent sheep, marching to the beat of their own drum and getting sick of having apple and iphone shoved in their face with the ever so popular apple fanboy elitist attitude they seem to all have.

      almost every single review, article, video, etc. which i have come across about the nexus one seems to have some iphone owner talking trash in one way or another whether it is the reviewer or someone commenting on it. so yes, android army rise up and crush the elitist negativity of iphone sheep.

  • jeff

    I Might be wrong but it seems to me that the really negative comments about android from the tech blogs are kind of coming out of left field and it makes people a little angry …maybe all the big tech blogs are just bitter that the nexus one didn't turn out to be some sort of landmark event that will change the landscape of the cellular industry….or maybe the site of all these android releases at ces has triggered some sort of failsafe to go off in their apple chips and they have no choice but to launch a bunch of android hate all over the place ….either way the android army is just responding in kind

  • pjv

    Have you seen this:… ? I nearly choked. It's quite some iPhone 4.0 rant. Add to that that there is not always much truth in the claims.

    Makes you wonder which army is at war currently. That the "Android army" is swelling and only took form recently, rather than being a hard block of frustrated extremists right from the start attacking the iPhone directly, makes me think it's that fanboys have suddenly picked up an enemy on their radar (now that Android is flying a high enough) and are working to contain and eliminate the danger. The little resistance offered – the minimal effort of setting their lies straight – from the Android part is only the consequence.

  • SDsc_rch

    i just read that BGR post ^^

    and ya know what? alot of what he says is TRUE!!

    and i'm glad he's sayin it!

  • Joel
  • david pogue

    James wrote: “But I tried to correct Mr. Pogue on his somewhat overstated comment on the lack of multitouch on the N1. …First he said that he wasn’t talking about “rogue” applications….He then changed the terminology to talk about occasional or odd applications. Still strange.”

    What’s so strange!?

    As far as I know, there very few Nexus apps that offer multitouch (one is the Dolphin browser). To me, that is indeed “the occasional” app. Meaning “rare.” Meaning “not system-wide, as on the iPhone.”

    Maybe I should have written, “The screen on the Nexus One is theoretically capable of multitouch, but Google has chosen to disable it. Third-party app writers have the option of re-enabling it, and so far, a couple of them have. But you’re still not getting OS-wide multitouch where it counts, like Maps, Photos, the Web browser, email attachments, PDF, and so on.”

    Would that be better?

    I think that, for my layman audience, that’s a whole lot wordier, and no more helpful, than “The Nexus doesn’t have multitouch.”


    • Nox

      I haven't read your article, but reading your comment here I'd say that you should have written something along the lines of:

      "While Nexus One support multi-touch most of the applications available, like Maps, Photos and the default Web Browser, currently don't support it."

      Short and should be clear enough, no?

    • James Bailey

      You do that if you want to be ridiculous. Or you could write something short that is technically correct.

      Something like:
      "The US version of the Nexus One does not ship with any multitouch applications from Google but the hardware and operating system support it for third-party applications and games."

      Not so hard.

    • cachorro

      [email protected]. You could also say that Android is capable of displaying everything in monochrome, but it lacks that feature. Apple fanboys lamenting multi-touch is akin to the separation anxiety dogs get when left home alone. I hope that Google leaves multi-touch out of Android. If you want a toy where you are forced to hold it with one hand and give it a cute little pinch with the other just to zoom, then get an iPhone. If you want a device that you can easily hold and zoom with one hand, then get an Android phone.

  • david pogue

    Oh, and by the way… I think Ray's theory about Fandroid hostility–the underdog theory–is brilliant! (That would explain Macheads' hostility, too…)


    • Appreciate that David, thanks for reading.

  • You know, if that is actually David posting, I completely agree with him. I'm Android evangelist, but you guys have all gone way, way, way off the deep end. He gave a positive review…shut up and move on.

  • John

    Lets take some of his comments into consideration:
    "Like most HTC phones, it’s bland-looking." define "bland". Insted of what ….iphone i guess.

    "…although the photos themselves are roughly on par with the iPhone’s." Explain to me the "roughly" factor because i don't get it. 5 MP with flash is the same as 3.2??? Lets everybody stop producing any more MP than the iphone because they "roughly" look the same!

    "the Google app store is much smaller, featuring 18,000 fun little games" Yes its smaller in size because android is released only a year ago, but "fun little games"????

    "Worse, even if you find a lot of good ones, you might not have anywhere to install them. "
    I have 119 on my htc magic and i have 164 mb left. Game manufactures could also produce huge games and install the game data on the sd card. Don't we have gps road map apps that the main program is on the phone and the maps on the sd card? Also on sama thing on windows mobiles and nokias? Dont you play games on the pc and the data are on the cd, and each level is loading when needed?

    "But even DoubleTwist doesn’t let you shop the Android app store from the comfort of your computer; you have to do it on the cramped little phone." Well on iphone don't you have the ability to shop from that "cramped little phone" or iphone screen is not little or cramped?

    "There’s no physical ringer on-off switch (you have to do it on the screen), and therefore no way to tell by touch if the ringer is off, as you can on the iPhone and Palm phones"
    When you add a widget to turn the ringer off there is the status bar on top telling you the state of the ringer. Or shall we add a wall switch to be certain from a mile away that is off.

    "Sadly, the Nexus One also lacks a multitouch screen like the iPhone’s" this point is covered by people above my post.

    "Finally, the Nexus just doesn’t attain the iPhone’s fit and finish" at the beginning of the article you said "it feels terrific in your hand".!!! By finish you mean copy the design of the iphone and that would make you happy. Add that silver frame all around and it would make it better?

    He also forgot to mention multitasking, widgets, home replacements, themes.The new gallery etc.

  • I'm apart of the Droid army! Go Droid! Follow us on Twitter @certifiedscoop

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  • go android..

  • Constructive criticism should be viewed positively and undertaken rectifications, if needed as that would be the sure path of progress. Customer care should be prioritized above all without deviating ones core. “I really did not see any reason for the hate he got, but Pogue goes on to talk about how he is hearing these same kinds of responses at CES 2010, and so are other tech writers.” The reason why Pogue is amazement, all three blogs;
    Gizmodo, Engagdget and Gdgt had noticed exactly the same thing: that the Android Army is amassing, and they don’t mince words. Thanks for sharing the information.

  • Its great witnessing the Android army rising to the occasion; to meet the challenges, to address the criticism in a positive note and to create and present on demand to the ever growing world of technological imagination sans iPhones.

  • “The Android Army is Rising” is an encouraging article. Android needs strong muscular soldiers of introspection and self rectification to strengthen itself to conquer the world of operating systems. Hopefully, Android has got the spirit and force to redeem self to fight to finish. Good article for reading.

  • isn’t it ?

  • go android..

  • so easy

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  • funny that I am old enough to have owned that old Mike Tyson punchout. Good article was surprise some quotes being tough with the “idiot” comment.

  • Now that iPhone is with ATT, I’ve seen tons of people switching from Android phones to iPhone. That’s a ridiculous reason to switch from Android, though. It’s still the same old iPhone regardless of the carrier.

  • Hahahaha nice post! Yeah, come to think of it — it’s an android army and it will take over! Hmm… now it makes me wonder, who came up with the name Android? Was it really named after the droids from Star Wars? LOL! Acid Reflux

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