Android 4.0: “Google’s overstuffed mobile OS”

Farhad Manjoo for Slate Magazine:

I don’t want to sound too negative: Ice cream sandwich represents a great improvement for much of Android, and I think it’s a credible rival to the iPhone and Windows. But of the three major smartphone operating systems, Android is still by far the most confusing. It’s also the least likely to inspire joy.

I have tried ICS on my Nexus S since a developer on XDA released v2 of his ROM. So far I can only say that ICS looks nicer than Android 2.3 did, but I still find it more complicated to get into than iOS or Windows Phone 7.

A year ago or so I had a Windows Phone 7 device by HTC for a few days, I believe it was the HTC 7 Mozart. Only a few minutes went by and I already knew where I had to go to get the important things done, where to find the settings and so on. At the very least it felt like I knew what I was doing. On Android 4.0 I still discover things running in the background, have to hunt for settings of various (included) apps, etc.

I’d really like to give Windows Phone 7(.5) another try, if only for knowing how it changed compared to Ice Cream Sandwich and iOS 5.