Wednesday, June 20, 2012

iPhone Users: Should You Switch to Android?

Before we dive into this, there are iPhone people who love their phone and would never look at another kind of phone.  This post is not for those people.  There is another kind of iPhone user who has an iPhone because they needed a smartphone.  A lot of those people are now considering an Android phone.  While there are a variety of reasons for this, the main ones are most likely:
  • Their friends have stopped complaining about how unstable Android is
  • They are tired of not having a phone with 4G capability, 3D Nav, and some other features
So with that in mind, let's take a quick look at the current state of Android vs. iPhone.  The main things Android phones can offer over the iPhone are:

  • 4G network capable phones (higher speed)
  • Google's awesome 3d navigation tool
  • Phones with bigger screens than 3.5"
  • Real multitasking
  • A lot more freedom and control as to how you can configure your phone and what you can put on it
With the exception of the last couple of points, the new iPhone is rumored to address many of these.

Down sides
  • No more iTunes (Actually, I probably should put this in the advantages section)
  • Android does not share the reputation that iOS has for its seamless integration of apps, robustness / crash proofness, and user interface simplicity.  However, I can honestly say that there is not much of a difference.  Susannah got an iPhone last year, and I got an iPod
    touch, and in that limited experience I have seen just as many issues with iOS as Android is reputed to have: Apps crashing, settings that are hard to find and figure out, and updates that break things.   So it's hard to say that iOS is necessarily better than Android in this regard.
  • There is a different version of Android for almost every phone out there.  95% of the apps available work on any phone, but there is that 5% or so that may not work because you have a Verizon Weebleschnifter 4G instead of an HTC Longleblockerdoodle.  To my knowledge this isn't a problem for iOS (although I suppose you could make the case that there are apps that only work on iPad vs. iPhone vs. iPod).

In summary, if you can make it until September, you probably should.  If nothing more than to see what we are really dealing with on the iPhone front.  Otherwise, there are some excellent Android phones available right now.  I recommend the Samsung Galaxy S III, or Galaxy Nexus, two great phones that run Google's latest version of Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich).  They are available on AT&T and Verizon Wireless.
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