Image: Jack Wallen

Now that you’ve stuffed yourself with food, spent time with family, watched football, and enjoyed all the trappings and trimmings of the Thanksgiving holiday, let me take a moment to reflect on the less important… why I’m thankful for Android.

Warning: Some of these words may have been said with tongue planted firmly in cheek. Or not. I suppose it depends upon your point of view.

In any case, there is plenty to be thankful for in the world of Android mobility, and I’m offering up my top five reasons. Without further ado, Happy Androidsgiving!

1: Flexibility

Coming from the world of open source and Linux, flexibility has always been one of the most important aspects of an operating system for me. I have to be able to make a platform do what I want how I want. Thankfully, Android delivers that in spades.

If you don’t like the way the default Android looks or behaves, change it! Don’t like the home screen? Change it! Don’t like the lack of automation? Install Tasker and do things with it.

Android is a platform that is ready to do whatever you need. With a little creativity, you might be surprised at how much you can stretch and bend Android to best reflect your personality and needs.

2: Integration

I depend upon Google Docs and other Google apps to get me through the day. I’ve shrugged off Evernote for Keep; Google Calendar is my default; and Photos has become my go-to app for images. Google Drive is my cloud, and Google Now keeps me in the now and know.

Google has done a stellar job of integrating all of its services, and it makes my daily routine exponentially easier. And on the rare occasion that I need to bounce between cloud accounts, I can open ES File Explorer, and those accounts can easily interact. Android integrates with Google like no other platform (save Chrome OS).

3: It’s not Apple

From the earliest iterations of the Apple products, I’ve always felt their platform to be too rigid, too unintuitive, and too, well, Apple. Android has, since inception, been the antithesis of the Apple product line.

The iPhone insists you do things Apple’s way, while Android insists you do things your way. That, my friends, is right up my alley, and something I’ve been thankful for since the first time I touched Android (although that first device, an HTC Hero, was a dreadful piece of hardware).

4: Vanilla Android

As much as I hate the size of the Nexus 6, I love that it runs a very vanilla version of Android. There’s no overlaying of a carrier homescreen, there’s no bloatware, there’s nothing but Android goodness. Sure, you can install whatever home screen launcher you want (such as my favorite, Nova Launcher), but sometimes nothing beats good old stock Android. It’s clean, it’s super fast, it’s reliable, and, best of all, there’s no bloatware!

Sigh. The very mention of bloatware sucks the joy out of everything. Are you listening Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and on and on and on?

5a: Marshmallow

Oh wait…no, never mind that. Why? Because I’ve yet to receive it! Even though I have a Nexus 6, which was supposed to get an OTA of Android 6.0 almost two months ago, I’m still lickin’ on Lollipops. Why? I have no idea.

Hold the phone! This list is for things I’m thankful for. Fine. Spin this into the positive.

5b: Android!

Yes, that’s perfect. One of the things I’ve been so thankful for is that, unlike the competition (wink wink, nudge nudge) each iteration of Android offers up a bevy of improvements. There has yet to be an Android release that failed to please. Lollipop was better than KitKat, which was better than Jellybean, which was better than Ice Cream Sammich — you get the idea. This is one of the very reasons I’ve been so excited about getting Marshmallow, as well as why I’ve been so frustrated about not getting it.

So there you have it — five reasons I’m thankful for Android. Done and done.

What about you?

What reasons do you have to give thanks for the Android platform? Tell us in the discussion.

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Top 5 reasons I'm thankful for Android