Is Android Losing its Mojo?

Andrew Williams writes for Trusted Reviews about the decline of Android's appeal.

One example he gives is about the decline of memory expansion in recent devices:

The most noticeable gear shift was when Android phones started omitting the microSD card slot. It wasn't down to cost pressures, or the need to keep smartphone bodies thin, but seemingly out of a desire to emulate the approach of the market leader, the iPhone.

This tactic has come to define HTC's top-end Android phones. The HTC One S and One X both left out memory expansion as a feature, instantly turning off thousands of Android enthusiasts

I argue that this is more for convenience. We don't need the added hassle of a separate partition, especially in an age where cloud infrastructure and device synchronisation are becoming mainstream.

One reason Williams explores is Android's natural desire to become a more centralised system.

I'd argue that this is right, and it's what Android needs. Android's landscape is a mess, and to no fault of any one player. HTC and Samsung both alter the crucial user experience, and this deteriorates the Android experience as a whole. If you were to move from using a HTC model to one from Samsung, the experience wouldn't be as familiar as is should.

Android's move towards a simpler system as a whole is crucial for it's success. This shouldn't discourage manufacturers from branding their software, but it should from changing the user experience. A colour scheme is less hurtful than a change in the default applications.

One last point from me, about this passage:

Today saw Android shed another of its original selling points over iOS. Flash is being pulled off the Google Play app store, following Adobe's dropping of support for the Android platform earlier this year.

There are plenty of reasons to defend the decision. HTML5 is on its way to replacing the standard, Flash eats up battery life and many uses for Flash can be covered for with apps. But is Android starting to align itself to all-familiar tracks where it once blazed its own trail?

I like Flash and I think it compares well on the web compared to HTML5 and JavaScript, or on the desktop to Java apps or Dot Net. What it shouldn't be is another layer on Android's already capable Dalvik application layer, or on top of the web's native layer. Removing it from Android is right. Instead, Adobe should have Flash apps compile to native Dalvik, although the approach violates Apple's stricter policies.