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Me, Android, and my Mom [opinion]

Today being Mother’s Day, I couldn’t help but look back and think of the role my mom has played in my life so far. It’s kind of difficult not to when people keep sharing this beautiful P&G advertisement on Facebook.

Sure, I might not be an Olympian, but to her I’m running a different race that holds as much importance. We spend a lot of time together, often play golf together, and she’s one of the first people I share anything I create with. More often than not, she doesn’t fit the target demographic, but her approval, and more importantly the excitement she has gives me a whole lot of encouragement.

Going against the usual “iOS is more user-friendly” cliche thrown around the web, my mom actually prefers Android. In fact, a few weeks ago someone brought their new iPad over to have me set up a few things. As an experiment, I opened Google on both the iPad and my Galaxy Tab 10.1, and gave them to my mom asking her to tell me which she preferred.

The Galaxy Tab won, hands down. No over-heating, brighter screen and settings in the notification area were the main reasons. One of the main reasons I want to buy a new phone is so I can pass on my current myTouch 4G to her, so that she’s no longer infuriated with her iPhone 3G (which was given to her by my sister, who has horrible taste in phones).

I often spend time just watching her use my tablet since it gives me some vital knowledge in understanding how people who aren’t as technologically aware as us interact with the device. She found her comfort zone very fast, learning pinch-to-zoom on her own, and even sometimes puts on YouTube while working in the kitchen.

My gift to her on this day? Besides taking her out to dinner, I’ve decided to add her Google account to my tablet, so she can easily read her mails in the app instead of opening the browser. So far, I hadn’t because I didn’t want to keep getting notifications for the chain-mails that her friends’ circulate. But, hey, I can make that little a sacrifice. She’s happy with using the browser so far, but gets annoyed at times when she can’t get the mail she’s reading to take over the complete screen space.

I really hope someone takes out the time to educate this particular demographic the benefits of Android. There’s a lot of money involved here, especially in the tablet market considering for people like her it can act as the only personal computing device required.  For some strange reason, it seems like manufacturers have just assumed that this demographic is only interested in Apple. To a certain degree, that’s true, but its generally because of the advertising strategies employed (especially the Droid series). I’d love to see everyone stop taking potshots at Apple, or talking about robots and stuff, and simply focus on family.

Continue reading on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 forums, see the specs, or find news and reviews.




  • Tania N

    Love that video! Nice post, Raveesh :)
    Happy Mother’s Day everyone!

  • housry23

    I have been preaching the ease of use in Android to people for a while now. There are some things in the settings that just don’t make sense, but other than that, Android is easier to use than iOS as a whole. I own a Galaxy Nexus and an iPhone 4S and prefer the GNex in 95% of my daily use. I have even had arguments with people on an Andoid hacking forum on why Android is easier to learn and use even for the older, not tech savvy people. Sure, older versions of Android have given some people a bad taste when they first tried it, but with Gingerbread and ICS the Android OS is well polished and quite easy to just pick up and use. There are situations where I do recommend iOS to people and that is usually because they have owned “i” products ever since the first iPod and since all of their content like Music, Apps and videos are all in iTunes, it would not make much sense to go and try to change that now. So, even people that use and hack Android have been programmed to think that iOS is easier and more user friendly, especially for older, non-geeks, than Android. This is entirely false and I hope more people will start to understand this. My dad was thinking about buying a cheap, low budget Android tablet and asked me about it. His words were “it’s no iPad, but I’m not worried about that”. I told him Android is better and he said, “It is?!”. I told him not to buy the cheap one(and I think these cheap, budget tablets are what is ruining Android for the older generation) and spend a little more for one and he would be much better off. He still has not purchased a tablet, but I stand true to my opinion that Android is easier than iOS.

    PS. I am not a fanboy and do NOT hate Apple.

  • jhobo

    If we go by need only, then android fills the need part of most users nicely.

    Need to:

    Browse, get connected, social network, make phone calls, sms, etc etc.

    I have been slowly converting ios family users to android, the first few years on iphone was their honeymoon. Then comes the expensive upgrades and the cracked screen. Android phones then becomes a very viable alternative. Since by now they don’t really care about the latest games on their phone anymore.

  • Perry

    I did something very similar with my ma. She preferred my xoom over her ipad and gave her my gnex and grabbed the note. BTW sick hair bro.

  • Saurav Mukherjee

    lovely post!

  • CarlosFontesJr

    My mom used an iPhone for business when she ran an authorized dealer. Now she swears by Android and currently uses a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and an HTC Amaze 4G. She loves the customization and how you can replace messaging apps.

  • jimmy

    I love the architectural style of Indian buildings.

    • Raveesh Bhalla

      This actually happens to be the Jantar Mantar in Jaipur, an astronomical area from centuries ago, built by the Kings.

  • reverend_house

    Raveesh, you’re an excellent writer. Keep it up fella!

  • dirgesil

    I also dig a lot of Apple products, but this was very well-written…my Mom who is not a computer person at all just leapt into the world of Android tablets (While I still remain without one, grrrrr….) and she is loving it. I am happy with my Android phone, and have no intention of going Apple for my phone or a tablet anytime soon…My Mom messed with my sister’s iPad (the same day I did) and we both found it underwhleming, especially considering the fact that we have been conditioned to think that it’s the most needed, and magical device out there. Is the iPad great? Sure…was it a game-changer? Absolutely…is Android a better option for a lot of people? In my opinion, yes…happy Mother’s Day, all!

  • BmoreHuntr

    You can turn off notifications on individual Gmail accounts, so you could allow her to check whenever she wants and not deal with the notifications every time she gets an email.

    If you have root on your tablet, you could also look at using SwitchMe Root Profile Manager so your mom could have her own profile, and her own individual settings on every app.

  • ChanceIll

    I just bought my mother the Mytouch 4G. Although she’s still learning, (61yrs young) she loves it!

  • http://dak4.com/ David Kearns

    You can turn off the notifications, of course…

  • KillerG

    Beautify written article. I think I’m going to go teach my mom how to use my phone

  • http://der.derp Michael Gonzalez

    Cool story bro

  • Gus70

    Raveesh,
    You are a true professional. Keep up the great writing. Thanks for sharing.

  • Semianonymous

    My mom’s been rocking my old nexus one on a prepaid plan, since she insists she doesn’t need data.

    Her tune has been slowly changing, I give it another few weeks before she breaks down and buys a One S and a data plan.

  • EarlyMon

    Happy Mother’s Day to your mom from all of us, Raveesh! ^_^

  • Scott Tompkins

    I gave my mom my Nexus One when I got my EVO 3D, and she loves it. It was her first smartphone and she didn’t have any problems at all..

  • Sapan Dhora

    Raveesh

    Great articles coming along. I am doing a write up on Android in the Government and thought you could take a look as well

    Let me know if you have some free time.

    Thanks!

    • Raveesh Bhalla

      I’d have some time this week, next week would be difficult since I have my college finals. After that, I’m pretty much free as a bird.

      You can mail me at raveeshbhalla90 at gmail

  • Kai-Chun Lin

    After developing for Android for 2 years and recently being gifted an iPad 2, I think the main difference between Apple and pretty much everyone else is the *consistency* of the polish they have on their products. By which I mean you can count on 99% of their features/functions to be on the 75~90 satisfaction level, but on Android the
    satisfaction level would swing wildly, one instance it maybe 95, the next sec you might see something that’s 60, and it’s these rude swings that destroyed the overall Android experience.

    There’s an appeal in consistency, and after using iPad 2 for a few months, I can see why despite all the shortcomings that iPhone/iPad have, there are still many people believing it to be the best phone/tablet they’ve used.

    But worse still, you can see this while developing for the platform as well, I can’t count the times that, right after telling myself ” Holy cow! I can’t believe how easy it is to implement [insert_feature] on Android, Android rocks!”, only to found some bug/API shortcoming/fragmentation that made me want to order a custom-made Android toy just so I could smash it in anger Hulk style. This is something I didn’t experience during my (albeit short) iOS development.

  • Scott Norcross

    I have my mother my original galaxy tab 7 and my htc sensation and she loves them both. She is not tech savy in a way, so its nice to see that she can use these devices with ease.

  • IronHorse01

    She prefers the screen of the galaxy tab to the iPad? O_o no disrespect to her, but there’s no way in hell you could even compare, the iPads screen is gorgeous, say what you will but it is true

    • Raveesh Bhalla

      She couldn’t make out the advantages of retina display (keep in mind that its relative to eyesight) and the Galaxy Tab’s screen was much brighter (when the iPad was at full brightness, the Galaxy Tab was under half and they were pretty much equivalent).