Yes, it does need saving. The reason you see more and more Android-based phones is twofold:
1. Manufacturers have hopped on the Android bandwagon, ramped up production and are pushing the things.
2. iPhones are so popular that people are beginning to look for alternatives that set them apart from the iPhone-toting crowd. Android is the obvious choice.
I decided that I would switch from my iPhone to a Google Nexus One last month. After using the Nexus One as my primary phone for the past 3 weeks, I'm switching back to my iPhone this weekend.
Why? Because I'm willing to give up some of my freedom for a polished phone that works. If I want to tinker with a half-baked open source project, I can always do that on my desktop.
Android is a nice concept, but it's a mishmash of bungled user interfaces and crappy apps.
My major complaints:
1. There is no consistent user interface across *any* of the apps - built-in or 3rd party. It's a free for all. I can understand that when it comes to the 3rd party stuff, but the apps bundled with Android should at least *try* to adhere to some sort of usability and user interface standard.
2. Multitasking, while a great idea, is executed incredibly poorly on Android. Hell yeah, you can run as many apps as you want in the background. But Google doesn't have a good way to manage all of those tasks. There is no decent built-in task management system.
There are 2 buttons on the front of the Nexus One that relate to task management: Home and Back. Pressing Home takes you to the home screen and puts whatever app you were running into the background. Fine. "Back" according to Google documentation, is supposed to quit your app and return to the home screen.
Only guess what? "Back" functionality can be overridden in each program. So in some programs, pressing Back does indeed kill the task. In others, it doesn't. In others, like the Android browser, pressing it repeatedly *eventually* returns you to the home screen - but doesn't exit the Browser process.
And then there's the problem w/tasks that start automatically when you don't want them to. I have an RSS newsreader that automatically runs whenever the phone boots, even though I've set it to *not* poll feeds in the background. Same with the Amazon MP3 marketplace app (hello, why does that have to run on boot? I'm not *buying* anything, so get out of my face).
3. Android Marketplace App sucks. It's hard to find things in the marketplace - you only have a few top-level categories and then giant pools of apps to browse through. Which you can only do on your phone (well, Doubletwist now allows limited Marketplace browsing, but iTunes still wins for usability).
4. Did I mention that the Marketplace reviews are filled with spam comments? Not just people who are unimpressed with the apps, but outright spam.
5. Android forks. Lots of complaints in the Marketplace about how an app works well on one device, but not on another. Holy shades of Windows CE / Pocket PC Batman!
Basically, my experience with Android can be summed up as: "typical open source project - shows lots of promise, but usability and user interfaces were an afterthought".
That's OK when we're talking about a Linux server or desktop where I primarily interact with it on the command line. It is *much less* OK when it comes to a mobile device that I rely on for communications.
While I do miss the Nexus One's beautiful screen, I'm much happier using my iPhone as my day-to-day phone.