Originally Posted by inmado
@ browser issue: I meanwhile learned that the issue cause by a change of the the rendering engine in Android to WebView. So, almost all browsers are affected by this. (For details, google "Text Reflow Removed From WebViews In KitKat, Probably Not Coming Back"). Opera is an exception, because it comes alone with its own machinery. However, I tried Opera and is is slow on my HTC Desire. As many, many other people complaining, I cannot understand why the Android development folks dropped such a fundamental feature. The Android Browser of Kitkat tends to be unusable now! And I consider a smartphone without a proper browser as unusable as well. Which at the end might prevent me from buying another Android smartphone...
@ contacts: I totally disagree. Well, yes, from Googles perspective, your statement might be true. But for the user, Android is at first just an operating system to run your smartphone. Think about why Google wants your data...! - I want to *own* my data, so I don't want to use cloud services. Strange that you think syncing of data is equivalent to syncing to Google! Of course I sync all my data. To my own PC. If I'd loose my phone, I won't loose my data, just re-install it to my new phone from my PC.
It is nice that Google offers syncing. But enforcing to sync *is* evil...
I can see this descending quickly into a rather philosophical debate, but on the basis of your reasoning I wonder whether an Android smartphone is suitable for your needs in the first place. I didn't know your stance on personal data from your first post.
I agree with the text reflow browser, a really useful feature. Opera has it like you found out, though the Desire is just an old phone now which struggles to run it. Plenty of newer Android devices will run it just fine. The depth of the Play Store is such that you'll almost certainly find an alternative suitable for your requirements, so perhaps test and consider that for future smartphone purchases.
As for syncing with cloud services, it comes down to user trust and needs I guess. You're right you don't have
to use Google, but an Android smartphone really does work best if you use their services.
No, I don't think that syncing of all my data is equivalent to syncing to Google, I use other other accounts too and don't sync everything. In my opinion I think it's possible to find a reasonable middle ground between paranoid tin hat and being ignorant about all personal data. For me, I disable all location tracking stuff and usage stats for any apps (not just Google ones), as I don't need them and feel uncomfortable sending this data. But I do sync other google services like Gmail / contacts because I find they work and are convenient for me. You believe it's evil, I believe it's useful and convenient, just a difference of opinion.
For your workaround, if you don't want to sync contacts, you could disable contact sync within the settings. Would be equivalent to local storage. Or install a different contacts app to manage and store contacts locally.