Android’s consistency crisis
Back in Android’s earliest days — way, way back in the prehistoric era of 2010 and the years around it — the platform was a promising but messy piecemeal effort. It was fresh, it was packed with power and potential, and it was absolutely exciting. But it also had virtually no standards surrounding it, and it consequently felt like a mishmosh of conflicting interface styles and design patterns.
In those early days, in fact, that was a frequent criticism you’d hear from folks on the Apple side of the fence: Android was inconsistent. It was disjointed. It wasn’t, ahem, an elegant user experience.
And you know what? In many ways, they were right. Android had a lot to offer from the get-go and presented some intriguing advantages over Apple’s then especially locked-down and tightly controlled approach, but design and interface consistency were certainly not strengths of the platform at that point. Anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is either delusional or forgetting what, exactly, the experience of using a Gingerbread-era Android device was like. Powerful? Yup — you’d better believe it. But polished? Yeah — not so much.