For the past 7 days, I have been using an iPhone 4S as my primary phone.
Up until February 14th, I was a very happy Android user, one that appreciated the iPhone as a competitor, used the iPhone 3g, but didn’t really see myself using an iPhone as my primary device again.
Since using the iPhone 4S for the last week I have been able to really distinguish key differences between present day iOS vs Android.
5 Things the iPhone 4S Does Better
The iPhone 4S, combined with iOS 5 delivers an amazing user experience, and actually beats Android in a few key areas.
I am not one to download 1000 apps and clutter my phone with a bunch of apps that I might use once a year. But I have enjoyed the iPhone App experience over the past week. Apps on iOS all feel far more polished and eloquent the way in which they function. Even the “standard” apps (aka the ones I downloaded as soon as I got my iPhone) such as: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Path, Yelp, Foursquare, are far more polished. Whether its the Path menu spinning the icons when you open and close them on the bottom left of the screen, or the submenu system of the Facebook app, these iPhone apps were more sophisticated than Android.
Not having to worry about rooting or jail breaking my phone to get some media apps like Netflix was a relief. Unfortunately many Android devices still dont support some media apps such as Netflix and Hulu Plus.
The base user experience with Voice is much better on the iPhone 4S than on Android thanks to Siri. I am looking forward to Android come out with a better voice control system because honestly Siri can be a bit of a bitch. She’s kinda rude, I’m not going to lie.
I do however love asking Siri for prices and P/E ratios of stocks and seeing the information and stock chart pop up right away. You got to love driving and being able to set a quick reminder for later using Siri (not encouraging using your phone while driving…it’s always a bad idea).
Dictating text messages on the iPhone 4s is also far more flawless on the iPhone as compared to Android. Sure it’s something that Android has had for a while now, Apple just made it significantly smoother and far more accurate. Also, correcting one word is far easier on the iPhone than on Android, which loves to delete the entire sentence instead of allowing one to simply correct one word.
I was hesitant that the 3.5″ display wouldn’t be a good fit for me, but after a week, I really enjoy the Retina display. It’s beautful. It’s made me really excited for the new iPad coming in March, which I’ll get while I am in Santiago, Chile ;)
The iPhone isn’t perfect by any means, but when it comes to performance, it handles basic functions great. My Dual Core Atrix was just a tad bit slower.
The battery life on the iPhone 4S has been a win over Android devices. Not a huge win but still a relative win. Granted I am comparing 4G Android devices to the 3G iPhone, but I have used all of the Android smartphones in 3G coverage, and still haven’t been pleased with the battery life on Android. I enjoyed being able to swap batteries and carry a few spare Android batteries with me. I hate that I can’t take my battery out on an iPhone. Just silly if you ask me.
5 Things Android Does Better
Android isn’t beat by the iPhone, in fact there are a number of key areas that Android handles far better than the iPhone. Yes you cultish iPhone users, Android still has got you beat in a number of key areas.
Gmail and Google Voice
On the iPhone I am syncing my Gmail account, but without Priority Inbox support, I have to use the webmail client. The unexpected benefit of this is a life without email notifications, but the web app cannot compare to the Gmail app for Android.
On Android I simply sync my main Gmail account and boom all of my email and contacts are perfectly set and synced with the cloud. I miss that.
Google Voice is also lackluster on the iPhone, unless you are on Sprint. Unless you add extra contact information, you can forget about using Siri to interact with people through your Google Voice number. In order to get a full Google Voice experience, I will have to jailbreak my iPhone 4s.
Google Navigation brings turn by turn GPS navigation to every Android phone, free of charge. You gotta love dictating your destination and getting flawless turn by turn navigation in the palm of your hands. I found that Android’s Navigation would often be far more accurate and more user friendly than most high end luxury GPS systems.
On the iPhone you get Maps, but no turn by turn directions. Let’s face it, without turn by turn directions I may as well go back to printing out MapQuest like I did in 2003. Remember MapQuest?
Who the hell wants to purchase navigation apps like Navigon for $59.99? Screw that. Step it up Apple. I thoroughly miss navigation on Android.
Another thing I miss on the iPhone is the ability to get access to all of my files with an explorer app. Android made it cake.
I hate the need to root just to get access to a new app, but I definitely enjoy installing new ROMs on Android, for a new look or streamlined OS.
Overall Android’s are still more customizable than iPhones. You ever sit in a room with 10 people who have iPhones and they all have the same tones for calls and texts? Annoying to say the least.
When I first got this iPhone, I couldn’t stop accidentally attempting to press the search, menu, or back buttons.
I love the Android buttons for search, menu and back. Highly doubt Apple will ever add buttons so looks like I am simply going to have to adjust.
When I got my Android, the iPhone wasn’t even a Dual core processor. It allowed me to swipe my finger to gain access to my phone. It has a laptop dock for the phone something apple is light years away from making.
But when it comes down to user experience, Apple has really put forth immense effort in making the user experience as flawless and friendly as possible. Android needs to stop catering to tech geeks and start improving their user experience. I’m excited to see Android’s new improvements in Ice Cream Sandwich.
Choosing a smartphone truly is a personal choice, thus I wont make any conclusive statements as to what you should use as your primary device. As of now I am choosing the iPhone but am more than open to giving the next best Android a try.