Android & mystery battery drains: things we won't miss with Windows Phone 7


 [Okay, we're doing it. We're call out Android a bit here to serve as example of why their model can be bad for users.]

Editorial: There's no doubt that Android is kicking butt these days, having ousted RIM for the #1 spot in the U.S. and racing to overpass the iPhone like nobody's business. But it's not all perfect.

Recently, the official Facebook app received a big makeover on Android. Everyone downloaded it and then people started noticing severe battery drain issues. It took forum members to engage in back-and-forth discussions, pseudo-scientific controlled tests and investigating what was the culprit. Why? Because everyone has different devices, setups and have different updated software, so the Facebook connection was not obvious.

And that's the problem. Android's programming schema allows access to power-management features, data, screen, GPS, etc. on the device. A simple coding screw up and you're app is now sucking juice, causing glitches or worse, not working with the latest release of Android OS (whatever this month's silly dessert name is). Who notices this? You, the end user because there is no formal testing system in the Market to prevent this thing from happening in the first place. Then you have those security scares with potentially malicious software.

Recently I upgraded to Android 2.2 'Froyo' (rolls eyes) and now my Gmail on my second account stopped syncing and HTC Sense crashes. Or I upgraded Seesmic to the latest version and its fonts are screwed up. Facebook causes a mystery battery drain. Etc. Don't get me wrong, the HTC EVO is a fun device but Android is very far from a perfect platform (though with 'Froyo' I can at least finally copy text from my own Gmail, weeee!).

Despites all of its limitations (yes, there a lot for v1.0), this is the kind of thing Windows Phone 7 seeks to alleviate and I'm all for it. Listen, I did my time in forums playing "Lets fix the OS!" and "Why does my device suddenly feel laggy?" or "Is it me, or is the latest update to this program terrible?". In WP7, power management is done for developers--they don't touch it because the code itself is managed, so the Facebook situation should never happen. Nor will conflicts between HTC Sense and the OS, or OEM customizations which delay OS updates (and become a source of frustration for users). 

Android may be open, it may be growing exponentially, but its model is something even I want to get away from. Spending time in phone forums playing Sherlock Holmes is not my idea of fun anymore, nor is beta testing software.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.