Why There is No Comparing The iPhone to Android Phones

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27 Responses

  1. Ruhani Rabin says:

    I second this .. I am using a stone aged phone.. but I’ve been playing around with iPhone and others.. I like to keep my niche.. so I will get something other than iPhone.. Great writeup!

  2. hilzfuld says:

    Thanks so much Ruhani, great to get a comment from one of my all time favorite people on Twitter…

  3. I_Artist says:

    Ah, seems like just yesterday I was suggesting your first apps. And now look at you, all grown up and bloging about Android… time goes so fast… :)
    Good work man, informative, easy to read, I like it! Next step is rooting your phone cause…you haven’t seen anything yet!
    Keep up the good work.

  4. hilzfuld says:

    Um, sorry for the question, but do I know you? Seriously, who are you? :)

  5. James Katt says:

    Did you mention that the Android has only 256 MB for Apps? The iPhone has up to 16 GIGABYTES. A single iPhone app can be 2 gigs or more, completely overwhelming what can be done on the Android. But then, you may not need a selection of 140,000+ apps to play with like iPhone users have.

  6. Mike Snider says:

    I get it – the Android works for people who want to customize their phone to the point that its interface and operation are unrecognizable to anyone but the customizer. And it’s a Good Thing that those with such needs or wishes can do so.

    But for the majority of users, who just want to buy a phone and use it – you know, those who don’t know how to empty the missed call log on an LG flip-phone (if they even know there is such a log), such customizability is NOT a feature, and the need for it is a clear defect.

  7. Mark says:

    James, you are just looking at 1’st generation Android devices, no doubt future generations will have much more space available and will permit much larger apps. But I do agree that it is a severe limitation of the current generation devices.

  8. DD says:

    Thank you for proving why Apple’s approach is vastly preferable for the great majority of users (though not you or your fellow geeks of course..). Most of us just want to use our phone, not spend time endlessly configuring it.

  9. hilzfuld says:

    Thanks for the feedback guys. i would like to point out that the point was not that everyone would want to customize their phone to the point that us geeks do, but that it should be your decision, not the phone maker’s. YOU should be able to change the battery, decide how much memory to use, and have apps in the Market that completely change the phone if you so desire. The point is it should be your choice!

  10. fizzgig says:

    hilzfuld – Your choice argument is, unfortunately, self-contradictory. The point is, we do have really good choices. We can buy a phone that offers all the “choice” you find important, or not. The contradiction is that, in the name of “choice,” you want to standardize how all phones will be designed. What about my choice to buy a phone that might drive you nuts, but suits my purposes perfectly?

  11. Shock Me says:

    I like the home screen customization. Both the iPhone and forthcoming iPad need that. I’d prefer to have my widgets on the lock screen though with the option to turn the camera on with one button.

    I like my iPhone and it looks like this will be a nice phone too. I’ll consider it when my contract runs out once I’ve seen the apps that can be purchased for it.

    Nice job Google.

  12. Michael says:

    “be your decision, not the phone maker’s”

    So you want to take away the phone maker’s choice to design and make the product they want!?

    The need of having a choice is a fabrication made by people who usually aren’t happy with decisions that’s led them to the realization that they made the wrong choice. Instead of excepting responsibility for making that choice, you’d rather play the blame game.

    Don’t get me wrong, I firmly believe your experience with the Android phone is a lot more to your liking than what you had with the iPhone, but there’s no reason to belittle the experience Apple tries to offer to their customers, just because you found something closer to heaven in another device.

    This is exactly why Apple is highly regarded as a design company, they do not compromise their designs. They don’t do paint-by-number art, they do it their way and you’re free to decide to take it or leave it; therein lies the choice.

  13. Bear says:

    All of that customization comes at a price: My Google phone, ridiculously named MyTouch, was frustratingly slow and unstable. The crashes and molasses-like interface I experienced on this Android device made it useless to me. It was horrible at everything – including phone calls. 20 seconds to pull up my contacts, 10 seconds to setup a call, “phone.android.com is not responding – Force close?” crash after crash. After the shininess and excitement wear off, it comes down to how well the device operates for it’s basic functions – phone, voicemail, text, email, web. The stability and speed of those functions was unacceptable. In fact, the only task it seemed to perform well was GPS navigation.

    After 60 days of frustration, I trashed it and bought an unlocked iPhone. It has everything I need right now. I’ll wait a few more years before trying anything else.

  14. Greg says:

    It is simple as always… Apple is for sheep and all others are for leaders… I have refused, even after much thought, to sell out to a company that wants to own all of you… I listen to an MP3 player.. not an Ipod, I used Intel based products at home and in the office, So when it is time to trade in my BlackBerry I will be looking to the companies that allow me the freedom of choice… My display is only a small part of it… I also want to choose my carrier. It is looking like Google is mastering that.

  15. Andrew says:

    This is a great article on the customization possibilities of Android, but liable to generate the same “I love Apple/I hate Apple” discussion board tail that any article mentioning an iPhone/iPod/iPad seems to. It’s great that so many people want to be different in their choice of hardware and software: this can drive differentiation and innovation in the industries that supply them.

    At the end of the day, though, I carry an iPhone, and work on a Mac because I can get what I want out of them quickly and easily – without having to ‘struggle against an interface’. I expect their design team to be able to produce and maintain a UI better than most of their user-base! And, yes, this coming from someone who designs and builds mobile apps for a living.

    And for those who accuse Apple of wanting to “own” you – what corporation doesn’t try to glean as much market intelligence from their user base in the twenty-first century, even superstores… And last time I booted up an Android device for the first time I was asked to either enter or create a Google login…

  16. I’ve been an iPhone user since the 3G first appeared and I still think it’s an amazing device. I’m soon going to changing to a Nexus One because it has a few features that I’ve been wishing the iPhone had for a while.

    Having said that, I’ll be keeping my iPhone as a spare / testing device for mobile web applications so I’m looking forward to being able to compare the two for myself.

  17. Erik says:

    Let me start out by saying that you (as are most readers of this blog) understand technology. The Android system is great for someone who can (and wants to) put time into figuring out their phone.

    Everyone else should get an iphone.

    Ease of use wins every time. Even my techno-challenged parents can use an iphone. I guarantee you they cannot search online to find an alternate keyboard that works.

  18. Erik above made the point I was going to make very well.

    I have been considering getting a NexisOne as a 2nd phone (with no intention of getting rid of my iPhone). But as a consultant who works in digital marketing / advertising, I’m not the typical user.

    What typical user wants is ease of use — where the iPhone is the clear winner.

    The only other criteria that may sway some over ease of use is price, and that’s one game we can be sure Apple will not play.

    As for the non-removable battery issue. As I’m sure you know, Apple has made a conscious decision to have non-removable batteries on everything, not just iPhones but even their laptops. This is because the mechanics of having a removable battery (springs, latches, clasps, isolating the battery enclosure from the other electronics, etc.) take up at least 1/3 of the space needed for the battery compartment. Instead, Apple can do one of two things: 1.) Use that extra space to give the device a larger battery and therefore longer life between charges, or 2.) Use that space to make a slimmer, more compact device. We’ve gotten to the point where a quality manufactured rechargeable battery should have a lifetime as long as the device it powers. If for any reason it fails, the warranty should cover it’s replacement. Provided it is reliable, I suspect most people (including myself) would rather have the longer battery life and/or the slimmer device, rather than a removable battery.

    Certainly in time, Android is going to give Apple fierce competition. Like deja vu all over again — Android could very well prove to be the modern day mobile equivalent to the early 90s Windows vs Mac OS on the desktop.

    As for myself, I believe competition is good. I don’t want to see any one platform completely dominate the industry (the way Microsoft has owned the desktop for the last two decades). Not Apple, not Google, not anyone. I’d like to see at least at least three or more platforms fighting it out (iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Symbian, Palm, etc.). This will mandate some degree of interoperability between platforms, it will ensure pressure for competitive pricing, and it will ensure that all competitors stay on their toes, innovating.

    Thank you for the informative article.


  19. kumbi says:

    agreed. that iphone thing doesn’t seem to appeal to me. in fact i can thinkof other droids out there that i think are better than iphones… htc tilt2 anyone?

  20. ben Dover says:

    well said Greg. To those with an iphone:the whole point of android is that a lot of customization is possible unlike the iphone. That should not imply that the average user is going to have a harder time using it than an iphone. Maybe you should actually try out an android device before making such a biased judgement.

  21. Jon says:

    Why all the animus between droids and iphones? The iphone is a great phone. The droid phones are great. My 65 year old, technically uninclined mother has no problem using her Hero, they are not innately difficult. Apple does put more time and energy into making their phones very user friendly. As a droid user I love Iphones, without them my android-based phone wouldn’t be what it is (or more likely wouldn’t exist). Likewise, my iphone friends love the androids for pressuring Apple into giving them some of the things they want, and androids offer. We are all better off for each of them existing. Can’t we all just get along. =)

  22. Someone says:

    All the customization is done via apps. For example, the Better Keyboard (now Swype / BlindType) can be installed simply by going to the Market, searching for the keyboard name, and click Download. A lot of these non-obvious kinds of applications will provide a step by step instructions, or even open the settings menu for you.

    However, the best part about Android is that it tells you what the Application has access to upon install (albeit a little verbose at times). Unlike most other platforms, you have no idea where your contact list is going, or even what the application is doing. And no, the App Store cannot protect you very much. They let slip a tethering application through a flashlight app. The only reason why it was discovered was because it was far too well known. No reviewer was wondering why it was (probably) larger than the other similar applications, or even wondering why there’s wifi API calls? God knows where your information has gone to.

    P.S. I like this app: http://www.appbrain.com/app/com.smart.taskbar . From anywhere (in app, home screen, settings), I can slide my finger from the right side of the screen and open up a frequently used task list. It could use some UI work, but it’s free, and the developer is responsive and updating things.

  23. Brian says:

    I tried two different android phones. On either one, touch typing was a joke compared to my brothers iPod touch. And on one of them, mist of the apps I dl’ed were incompatible.

    I took the 2nd one back and got an iPhone. It is fantastic. I liked Windows, but now I am thinking that all the standard criticisms about Mac sound a lot like what I heard about iPhone–none of which was true. Again, I tried android both an HTC and a Droid.

    And the iPhone 4 is way faster, much, MUCH better app selection (this is what I liked about PC), and the antenna is awesome, that whole antenna thing was BS.

    Finally, now Mac runs ALL the Windows and Linux AND the Mac software (nothing to sneeze at-apparently), so my next laptop or desktop will probably be a Mac

    Stop the hatred. Free your mind and your ass will follow.

  24. Nico says:

    Just found your post, nearly a year after writing. Things have considerably changed, android 2.2 is shipping with great performance improvements.. Anyway, what’s nice about your screenshots are the pictures to your phone contacts! not all people like being photographed to appear in your contacts list – for that try out AcePic an app that lets you assign the profile pictures of social networks.

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