Slate: Android is a wonderful operating system. But most Android phones are crap.
Six years ago, Google launched an unconventional effort to gain a toehold in the growing smartphone business. Rather than make its own phones, the way Apple was beginning to do, the search company decided to make only half a phone: just the software to run the device, not the device itself. Google planned to give its operating system, called Android, to phone makers for free, and it would let them alter the OS in any way they liked.