Re: Pixel wars
"In fact whenever I've needed a picture from my phone I just go to iCloud.com and download a copy from there, no transfer required from the phone because it's already been done." - oh, yippee! There goes my data allowance. Not to mention my content being punted to servers hosted in a crazy regime.
That said, bouncing a file off the cloud is not so different to emailing it to yourself. Neither is a real substitute for the device doing what you expect it to do.
"Well done you for thinking of something the iPhone can't do," - actually it was an iPad, but same difference. It is iOS. Oh, and it didn't take much effort. I'll give you another example for free. WiFi only iPad, rural location, nobody I know has an iPhone. How do I get my iPad to "recognise" my location from the MAC address of the AP so it knows where I am? The short answer is "you can't". There is some convoluted secret method that iPhones use to associate APs with GPS locations and send that information back to Apple. If you don't have a GPS enabled device, and no others to use instead, and live too far away from reality that a passing car with an iPhone won't pick up your AP... you are stuffed. Don't even bother replying on this point, I have a log of the discussion with Apple support that pretty much confirms this. Hence, I don't tend to use Siri much, it's useless asking what the weather is when she isn't even capable of associating the "home" address of the owner to a location.
There. That wasn't hard, was it? ;-)
"but the example I gave was one where the only alternative open to many Android phones is to replace the phone." - what? I'm sorry. What? Please tell me how I can add NFC and WiFi 802.11n to a first generation iPhone? Oh, you can't. You need to replace it. How about an iPhone 3? Nope? Gotta replace that? Maybe an iPhone 4? Well, that does the faster WiFi but still no NFC. iPhone 5? Um... Not there either.
You know, it's pretty much like my Bluetooth file send problem. The Android alternative of buying a new phone is at least an option. At the moment, there's no point looking for a new iThingy. It (any type currently available) won't send (or receive) files via Bluetooth. And it (any type currently available) doesn't do NFC. No point looking for alternatives that do. None exist.
"and it seems only Apple are willing to leave things out on purpose while any feature lacking in the Android world is on the to-do list regardless of it's merit." - there are numerous features lacking in Android that have not been sorted in years. Take, for instance, proper sane in-line quoting in emails. None of my phones (one Motorola and two Sony) have an email client that is up to much. One can't count how many messages are outstanding. One periodically gets confused and marks everything as unread. One gives up all attempts to fetch mail at the slightest hiccup (and out rural with patchy coverage, hiccups happen - God forbid Google think a phone might experience reception difficulties and need to retry!). By contrast, the email client in iOS is sublime. Proper quoting, in-line. Attachments that make sense. A reader that is reasonably capable and not crashy-crashy. In fact, the only bug I experience is the "On blah, blah said:" line in a reply is itself indented as a quote. Small bug, when you compare the generally shitty experience that is Android's email.
That said - you can extol all the virtues of Apple's bold daring epic awesome decisions not to do stuff, but if I need to find ways around these, then these are not great design decisions, they are limitations.