[This post is part of a series on my initial Android impressions.]
Just to be clear, my Android criticism is because I want this shit fixed in the last promising mobile platform standing, not because I hate it. Platform specific comments are based on the default MT4GS Android 2.3.4 with Sense 3.0 ROM, rooted and largely de-bloated. And now for the hate.
Android doesn’t come with a file manager. It doesn’t come with a terminal emulator, or a task manager, or almost any of the things one has come to reasonably expect an operating system to have. This makes it excessively hard to share instructions, since everyone is using interfaces broken in slightly different ways, and means the first few days of using a new device are spent on “Damnit! why won’t it do $Basic_function? Now I have to sort through the crap pile in the app store until I find one that actually works.” (which, come to think of it, is likely the objective.)
The file handler functionality is as good as any desktop platform (I don’t actually know if it is based on XDG like most other *nixes, or some homegrown solution) so it wouldn’t debilitate third party solutions to have sane defaults, and the argument that most users wouldn’t want all of those functions is completely specious… it took me a couple hours to strip most of the unwanted crap off my new phone, and that crap was certainly less useful than the things I’m complaining about being missing.
Also, most of the third party solutions suck. I’ve been using ConnectBot for a shell, which is better than the other free options I’ve tried, but handles the keyboard differently than every other program, and thus has problems with entering symbols like “|” and “>” which are sort of important on the command line. Likewise, after several seriously disappointing alternatives, I’ve settled on ES File Explorer for file management (also a solid [s]ftp/smb client), which is a little quirky about permissions and different file systems, and is nearly unusable in landscape mode (a rant for later), but is generally adequate. I’ve heard there may be some paid alternatives which are significantly better, but the idea of paying for this kind of basic functionality is infuriating – it is basically the same situation of coughing up for a Mac then having to buy one of a dozen Finders from some random dude for $20 before you could use it.