I will writing this in a few Parts since the topic itself is quite wide to be covered, so please bear with me.
Toward the end of this year, a lot of my colleague and readers are asking me which types of smartphone are most suited to them. Mostly were asking contemplating whether to choose iPhone or Android Phone. Since iPhone 4S was just recently launched in Malaysia by the Telco Giants such as Maxis, Celcom and Digi and several new Android phones such as Samsung Galaxy Note, HTC Sensation XL & XE, Samsung Galaxy Y and continuously popular Samsung Galaxy SII, these wide range of choices definitely seduce the consumer to get their hand on one of these devices.
Well, some were also asking me on why I was choosing HTC Desire HD (Android) over iPhone 4 since they perceived me as an Apple/Mac fanboy since I have iMac, iPod, iPad and Macbook at home. Well, i think you’ll get the answer by the end of this article later (after Part 3)
I will be touching of these topics while discussing between these two Giants:
- Operating System (Part 1)
- Interface (Part 1)
- Customization (Part 1)
- Application/Apps (Part 1)
- File Transfer (Part 2)
- Sync (Part 2)
- Web (Part 2)
- Display (Part 3)
- Keyboard/Typing (Part 3)
- Social Networking(Part 3)
- Camera(Part 3)
- Battery Life (Part 3)
- Software Update (Part 3)
- Multitasking (Part 3)
- Hackability (Part 3)
- Siri (Part 3)
1. Operating System
Both iPhone and Android Phones are using the two most advance operating system namely iOS and Android respectively. iOS 5 is the most recent software for Apple while Android 4.0 or more popularly called as Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) is the most current software available for Android. However, most of Android Phone is still using the older version of Android which is Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) or Android 2.0 (Gingerbread). Android is basically owned by Google which initiated the Android Platform soon after the launching of the first iPhone.
Majority of the smartphones makers apart from Apple, Nokia and Blackberry are adopting Android as their major operating system which includes HTC, Samsung, Motorola, LG, Sony Erricson, Asus and a few more. More details of the specific of both OS below.
Everyone including a one year old kid can easily navigate iPhone for its simplicity of interface. iOS interface (which include iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch) is very easy to use. This is where the late Steve Job’s influence is highly seen in one of the Apple Product. He wanted all product of Apple to be easily used starting when you first get the product on your hand.
On the other hand, using an Android device is not a straightforward one. As I mentioned earlier, each smartphone makers (HTC, Samsung, Motorola and etc) will modify the original Android UI to make it specific to their own. For example HTC have ‘HTC Sense’, Samsung have ‘TouchWiz’, while Motorola have ‘Motoblur’. All these UI are powerful some can sometimes quite complex to use.
Therefore depending on what type are you, if you prefer simplicity, iPhone might be your choice. But if you are a guys like exploring deep inside the phone, Android might be for you.
When you have simplicity, sometimes you sacrifice customization. Using an iPhone, you have very little to choose to customize your phone. You can change your wallpaper, the ringtones and a few more and that’s it! This is one area where some of my colleague complained of their handphone. They wish that they can customize their iPhone one they see others with HTC or Samsung smartphones. That’s why some chose to ‘jailbreak’ their phone just for customization.
This is where Android win the most against iPhone. There are 1001 ways to change the look of your iPhone. There are a lot of options to change themes, wallpapers, colors and ringtones. But the major one will be ‘Widgets’.
Widgets are a feature introduced in Android 1.5. A widget displays an application’s most important or timely information at a glance, on a user’s Home screen. The standard Android system image includes several examples of widgets, including widgets for Analog Clock, Music, and other applications.
Users pick the widgets they want to display on their Home screens by touching & holding an empty area of the Home screen, selecting Widgets from the menu, and then selecting the widget they want.
4. Application/ App
One of the major reason people bought an Android or an iPhone over a Blackberry is because of a wide range of apps available on these two platforms. Apple have its own App Store while Android have Android Market as a one place for their users to download and install the apps. You’ll need to login using your Apple ID or a Google Mail account respectively to use the App Store and Market.
How about the quality of apps?
Now, Apple has a very stringent approval process before an app is approved and later on appear on the App Store. This in to ensure the apps created by developers met certain criteria and quality check. Therefore each app of the store are very much bugs free and on high quality.
Android apps used to be quite buggy. But after several years, the approval process has been tightened and nowadays Android apps are quite high is quality. However I still find some apps are making my phone to ‘Forced Close’ (FC) occasionally.
For the past few years, Apple’s iPhone has benefited from having the best app store of any smartphone platform. Say what you will about Apple’s walled garden, it hasn’t stopped users from grabbing apps by the billions. Meanwhile, the Android Market started out as a second-class storefront, but steady improvements have addressed developers’ complaints and made the market a more hospitable shopping destination.
Ease of Updates
The iPhone App Store devotes a separate tab to available updates, with the changes for each app listed directly on that page. You can update apps individually or all at once. Android has an ‘update all’ option, but the version notes are buried within each individual app page. Still, I’m giving this one to the Android Market because there, unlike at the App Store, you can turn on automatic updates for any app you like.
Having second thoughts about the Android app you just bought? Within 15 minutes of purchase, you can get a full refund by heading to the ‘My Apps’ section of the menu, selecting the application, and pressing the ‘Uninstall & Refund’ button. Officially, the iPhone App Store has no refund policy other than for apps that don’t download properly.
Number of Apps?
Bigger isn’t necessarily better, but it does increase your odds of finding what you want. And the iPhone App Store is bigger, with an official count of 280,000 apps as of October 2010. Android’s app count is growing fast, as this graph from Distimo shows, but it hasn’t caught up to the iPhone’s yet. An unofficial count of apps available at the Android Market in late December 2010 turned up 200,000 apps.
Counting only paid apps, the Android Market is less expensive than the iPhone, with an average selling price of $3.23 versus the iPhone’s $4.31, according to an August 2010 study by Distimo. But if you narrow the lists down to each store’s top 100 paid apps, Apple’s store is less expensive, at $2.15 per app versus $4.57 per app in the Android Market.
For the tiebreaker, we go to Distimo’s ratio of free to paid apps. In the Android Market, 60 percent of apps are free, compared with 29 percent in the iPhone App Store. In view of the much higher proportion of free Android apps, you’ll probably spend less in the Android Market.
I will continue on others on Part 2 and Part 3.