An Android Parable

A week ago, I switched from an iPhone 4S to the Samsung Galaxy S4.

Here’s one thing that shocked and delighted me, and might be enlightening to anyone trying to understand the philosophical differences between iOS and Android. On the iPhone, the Amazon MP3 app lets you stream music, or download songs to your device. The downloaded songs are still locked inside the Amazon MP3 app, though– the download feature exists basically to save time and bandwidth: if you download your music on a wifi network at home or work, you won’t need to use your metered data plan.

This is basically what I expected when using the Android version of the Amazon MP3 app. I downloaded a few albums so I could listen to them on my commute. Imagine my confusion when I opened up the built in music player and saw my music there.

Oh! They’re just files.

It’s like downloading an MP3 from Amazon and opening it in iTunes. On a regular computer, this is normal– on iPhone, it’s impossible. On Android, it just works.