10 Things iPhone Does Better Than Android
In response to this Gizmodo Article:
10 Things Android Does Better Than iPhone OS
1. UI Smoothness and Consistency.
Android has tried its hand at a smooth UI, and it has very recently gotten smooth and responsive kinetic scrolling, a feat that took a whopping 1Ghz processor and 512MB of RAM to complete on the same level as the iPhone. Android also FINALLY got pinch-to-zoom working properly. However, there are still many other inconsistencies and unintelligent disconnects in Android's UI programming.
For example, there are slight transitions in some places, like bringing up the keyboard (though it's a janky transition at best), and in other places, like opening an app or even rotating in the browser, there are no transitions. It feels very cheap and so outdated.
Top it off with Android's stock UI (and therefore third-party applications following their UI cues) being overall less attractive, and I think you understand what I'm saying.
2. International / Language Support & Soft Keyboards
It's very clear that Google's priority is the United States. For whatever reason, they have left many popular languages completely unsupported in Android.
iPhone supports many more languages along with specific input methods used by the people who speak those languages. (i.e. Kana and hand-writing input for Japanese, hand-writing for Chinese as well)
There may be third-party solutions, but you can't guarantee the quality they would present, nor would a user who needs them have them available upon purchasing the device.
3. Accessibility Options
iPhone OS has a host of accessibility options for those with bad eyesight to better use the device. Using a three finger tap and drag, you can zoom in however much you like in any part of the OS. You can also invert the screen for black-on-white reading, which can be toggled by triple-clicking the home button (when enabled).
It's no secret that the iPhone is a media powerhouse. Its large internal storage makes for faster reading of media content as well as not having to buy often expensive micro-SD cards to get substantial (16-32GB) storage.
The iPod app has many more functions than Android's media applications, and can even be used with voice activation without taking the phone out of your pocket. Couple this with genius features, the ever-popular iTunes store with a free song every week and even TV Show and Movie downloads, and the iPhone is the clear choice for media buffs.
5. Browser Consistency
Even in Android 2.2 (Froyo), where they supposedly now have the "world's fastest browser on a mobile phone", the browser is still not completely accurate. When loading many full pages, it's clear that Android still has problems interpreting the code properly, as many areas are not properly formatted and end up looking much less similar to a desktop browser's interpretation.
When you double-tap on an item in iPhone OS, it zooms in exactly so that you can clearly see / read the item you tapped on. On Android, it zooms to the middle of that item, so if it's a wide block if text, you will have to zoom out after double-tapping in order to make it fit exactly and begin reading / viewing the item. I use double-tap-to-zoom every day, and to me this would take away the entire purpose of the function.
6. Battery Life
When the iPhone was first released, it was trashed for its battery life. However, over the last few years Apple has taken the time to really optimize iPhone OS for conserving battery life and it shows. The iPhone 3GS can stand up against the best of them today in terms of battery life, when similar tasks are performed.
Android is not properly optimized for maximum battery life, leaving new, high-end devices such as the Evo 4G with unsatisfactory battery life.
7. Resource Efficiency
Watch a video from any of YouTube's biggest tech reviewers/bloggers comparing the HTC Incredible, a brand new device featuring a 1Ghz snapdragon processor and 512MB of RAM, to the iPhone 3GS, a year-old device with a 600Mhz processor and 256MB of RAM.
It's no secret the iPhone is slightly slower than the HTC Incredible, but what's impressive is that it's really not much slower, while having almost half the specs, and it gets significantly better battery life.
This is because the iPhone is much more efficient with its resources, much like Mac OS is more efficient with RAM and processor power than Windows PCs tend to be.
8. Hardware Quality
The iPhone 3GS is a great machine. It doesn't break easily, the screen doesn't easily scratch or become damaged, it can handle being dropped from a fair distance, and it feels very solid. The buttons are responsive, the screen is the most responsive multi-touch screen on the market, and its minimalistic style looks much better to most people.
These front-running Android devices tend to always have at least one major hardware flaw. Let me list a few that I know from flagship Android devices:
Nexus One - AMOLED screen makes it extremely difficult to view any content outside, Screen likes to randomly break because it's "not meant to be in pockets", capacitive buttons are unresponsive for the lower 75% of each button.
Incredible - AMOLED screen makes it extremely difficult to view any content outside, Battery life is unsatisfactory compared to the 3GS despite the AMOLED screen which is actually supposed to conserve battery.
Evo 4G - Battery life is unsatisfactory, phone itself is slightly too large for one-handed use (very difficult to hit each end of the screen while using one hand), Camera lens sticks out too far and feels like it could easily become damaged.
9. Upgrading Firmware
When you buy a currently available iPhone, you know you'll be able to get the next software update for free, the day it is released, without having to hack the phone or do anything regular consumers wouldn't be comfortable with doing.
As it stands with Android, hardware manufacturers are not required to promise consumers any further updates with the hardware, and even when they do promise an update, sometimes they decide not to deliver (see Samsung and the Behold II). There is no guarantee your phone will ever get an official update.
Some people will say the iPhone OS platform is fragmented as well, because the first-gen iPhone won't get 4.0, and the iPhone 3G will not get multitasking. However, the first-gen iPhone is going into it's fourth year, and you can't expect Apple to support a device they haven't even sold in 2 years forever. Which updates did the G1 receive before Google said it would never be updated again? Let's check - 1.x - 2.1.
The iPhone? 1.x - 3.x . That's a big difference. Regarding the iPhone 3G not getting multitasking, be honest, if you've jailbroken your 3G and tried out multitasking, you KNOW why Apple is not officially supporting that. It's not a good experience, and Apple wouldn't be able to provide the seamless and self-managed multitasking experience as they can on the 3GS and this year's hardware.
10. App Store
Do I even need to say it?
People tend to focus on the fact that the Android Marketplace has expanded, claiming that it is growing faster than the iPhone App Store. In fact, this couldn't be further from the truth. During the same time that Android gained approximately 30,000 "apps" (many of which are simply keyboards, tweaks, or other add-ons which are not actually applications in themselves), iPhone's App Store gained 100,000 apps, and is now at a whopping 200,000, growing every day. Also you must factor in that the iPhone App Store would probably MUCH larger right now were it not for the approval process, which is sometimes good (in the case of removing porn and repetitive apps), and sometimes bad (in the case of censoring art), and sometimes... AT&T.
The quality of applications between the two stores (App Store and Android Marketplace) are practically two different worlds. Let's be honest, the design of Android apps is really not very good, except when it's ported directly from its iPhone counterpart. Android developers are starting to get a little better at this, but there isn't as much incentive on Android as there is on iPhone to design a great app for a couple of reasons:
1: Money. The App Store is a much more lucrative ecosystem for developers, because of the number of users actively purchasing applications and using iPhone OS devices around the world. Also, Android users more often just expect things to be free, and are less willing to pay for things.
2: Recognition. Apple holds design awards every year for iPhone applications, so there is a huge incentive to design the best app you can in hopes that you will be featured for one of these awards, in which case your app sales will skyrocket and your company will develop much higher standing in the community.
I just thought it wouldn't be fair for Gizmodo to publish such an article with no counterpart... Then again, they have really become the "we hate Apple" blog ever since they illegally purchased stolen property and exploited it for a news story.
- 06-12-2010, 08:22 AM #2iPhone Intermediate
- 290 Posts
It's a bit difficult to compare battery life between android and the iphone because of the wide variety of phones, but I do feel like android tends to favor power over battery life. But my droid gets far more battery life vs my 3gs. But I suspect that my iphone constantly searching for a signal didn't help things.
The market for android sucks still. Its still all about the OS.
But android has the clear advantage with service since THEY ARE ON ALL THE MAJOR PROVIDERS....are you listening Apple?
Its difficult to compare, both are good platforms.
- 06-29-2010, 07:59 AM #4
iOS vs Android, is a poor comparison. They are targeted at two completely different sets of people. Coming from my Nexus One over to the iOS, I notice the biggest difference is simplicity. The iOS is simple. The Android OS is more complex. I love both of them. My Nexus One runs circles around my iPhone as far as pure power goes, and the abililty to do, well just about anything I feel like without Jailbreaking. The iPhone on the other hand (which I'm currently using) is keeping me more entertained, yes the APP Store is TONS better, and I dislike Android's very much. I actually spend more time "sideloading" apps on to the Nexus One then in the actual Market. Multi-Tasking on the Nexus One, DEFINITELY a perk, that way you're not launching apps "Fresh" where they have to go through the whole loading, etc. However, this isn't a complete dealbreaker to me either, with no multi-tasking, there is no real need for task managing. I've said this before to multiple people, we're really just entering a MAC vs WINDOWS race all over again.
- 06-29-2010, 02:32 PM #5
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- 07-22-2010, 06:29 PM #11
Interesting take, with some valid points but also many inaccuracies. You really should get your facts straight.
The only real advantages are better accessibility and languages. Okay, a better stock media player...but there are good free big name options that actually give Android more media features.
Transitions or not are personal preference. No transitions is a faster simpler approach while transitions use more resources and is flashier. Android lets you choose if you want transitions or not. And you can turn on transitions for the screen rotating. I don't see the need and don't have one. You'll see this recurring theme with Android, choices for almost everything.
Either way, transitions don't add functionality. It's just glitter. Android 3.0 Gingerbread is focusing on UI, so plenty of the glitter people wish for will come.
"Multi-lingual users can add multiple languages to the keyboard and switch between multiple Latin-based input languages by swiping across the space bar. This changes the keys as well as the auto-suggest dictionary."
It's pretty cool actually and I have it set up to switch between English and Spanish as I'm taking a Spanish class. It's a great feature that the iOS does not have.
Plus, BetterKeyboard has a lot of different languages and themes and is a good quality keyboard that's not expensive.
Google continues to add support for more languages too.
However, given everything iOS has better language support although Android does offer some things as well.
Though, I must say being able to speak to input text is great in terms of accessibility.
They're also both flash memory so their speeds will be similar.
I also wouldn't exactly call it a media powerhouse. It doesn't support that many audio formats...like FLAC or OGG.
iOS users have to deal with plugging their phone into their computer all the time. That's really outdated.
I use 3 as my audio player, it has different unique ways of going through your albums and artists and has great widgets.
Ah right, you don't really get the play with widgets at all.
Dolphin Browser gives you tabbed browsing, syncing with your google bookmarks, gestures and more nice features. iOS only has Opera Mini as an alternative which I do use for when I'm on Edge.
What websites do you see that don't load properly?
Last edited by Deathwish238; 07-22-2010 at 06:34 PM.
- 07-22-2010, 06:30 PM #12
A better comparison is the Nexus One which has the Incredible's specs but came out in January. The 3GS came out in July, so it's only a 5 month difference. The iPhone 4 just matches the Nexus One's specs...I expected Apple to surpass it at least a little. The Nexus with FroYo is also faster than the iPhone 4 when opening apps and browsing websites.
The G1 has full multitasking and handles Flash with FroYo or SenseUI ROMs while having iPhone 3G specs. Now that's efficient.
I use my Nexus around campus walking around all day in the bright as hell sun. I can see my screen perfectly outdoors with the brightness on Auto. The difference is, indoors my screen looks a lot better than the 3GS because its really dark blacks and vivid image.
HTC would say that no screen is meant to be in your pocket. Not exactly new news...jeans can put a lot of pressure on a screen.
The capacitive buttons are great, definitely not unresponsive. What's your source for that? Initially, the press point was a little high...but that was taken care of months ago and almost immediately in custom ROMs. It took a few days to get used to...not an issue.
3.5" is on the small side, no reason to no have at least 3.7".
The camera lens isn't on the outside, the protector is. So you're not going to easily damage your camera's lens.
The 3G being so slow shows how much better the G1 is. The G1 with one of the newer versions of Android is a much better phone than when it came out at Android's launch. It's evolved with newer versions of Android incredibly well. The 3G on the other hand has already been left in the dust by Apple. Part of that is Apple disabling features to entice you to upgrade. The G1's specs are pretty similar to the 3G's specs, only slightly more RAM. It handles full multitasking and Flash very well while the 3G can't dream of getting either. I've had a jailbroken 3G, it's multitasking was okay but not as good as Android's.
So is Apple's way of delivering updates better? Not necessarily. They're not free to everyone(iPod touch and now the iPad possibly). They're not always smooth launches and each one breaks jailbreaking again and again. Many people had problems with the iOS4 rollout. They're not OTA...stuck to the cable connected to your computer. Two generation old models are missing out on features. It seems nobody wins it all.
The Android marketplace also has some nice advantages like a 24 hour return policy, auto updating apps and almost twice as many free apps.
Plus, I don't have to learn a language only used by iOS to write an app. I just need Java that is commonly used throughout the world.
Last edited by Deathwish238; 07-22-2010 at 06:40 PM.
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- 07-26-2010, 07:45 AM #20
I don't think anyones ganging up on iOS or Android. It's like if I had red ball, and you had a green ball. I would think all red balls are amazing, and that green balls suck. Just as you would be more partial to green balls, and not like red ones. That's all that's really going on. Both are solid, both are amazing advances in technology.
- 07-28-2010, 06:03 PM #21
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- 08-19-2010, 04:38 AM #24
- 08-19-2010, 10:30 PM #25
Preface: This is a pretty long post. I needed to vent some, so if you read it, thanks for indulging me; if not, there's a bottom line summary at the end.
I've got to side with Jello here...and I have had an EVO since launch. Some background on my smartphone history and an explanation first. I have always been a big fan of the best technology available, as I am sure most of us on this site are. I started out with a Panasonic MP3 player back in '05 and then switched to the original iPod 30GB video and was sold on Apple ever since. However, as much as I recognize and appreciate all things Apple, I like my money a little bit more, which is why I am on Sprint and have been for years. So, since I have not been able to get the iPhone, I have had to go with the best Sprint has to offer for the past few years. I started out with an HTC Mogul in '07 (I ran the numbers and AT&T was like $30 more/month...just couldn't do it) and then switched to the Pre last year and finally the EVO now. All of these phones have all had great features and were powerful in their own ways.
The Mogul was multitasking and copy and pasting like a champ years ago. The Pre had a very innovative UI that was fun, easy to customize, and had some great iPhone port versions of games. The EVO has just about every hardware feature known to mankind, most notably the huge screen and 1GHZ processor (neither of which are unique anymore, but still very good features). So from WinMo 6.1 to webOS 1.4 to Android 2.2, they all have great features and generally good phones.
However, the biggest thing that all of these phones are missing is the aforementioned "usability." The lag on every one of these phones is horrible; to qualify, it's not perpetually horrible, just frequent enough to REALLY **** you off. All of these phones are great proof of concept phones, but beyond that, say 2 months in, those concepts and features start to fall apart.
To focus on Android, since that's what this thread is actually about, I was really looking forward to a lot of the great features and vast app store that I had read about. When I first got my EVO, the new apps I would find or hear about every day was very fun--and useful. But at some point I had downloaded all of the main apps that both platforms have and started to notice all of the websites/stores that have an iPhone app but not Android. It's frustrating the more and more I realize that Android (as far as apps anyways) is absolutely second rate compared to iOS.
And as for all of the landmark features on the EVO (this can be expanded to Android in general since most of the top-tier phones are basically on par with the EVO specs), they are nice at first, but then the phone jerks, freezes, resets, force close errors popup, etc and then does it again and again, and I started to get pissed until I made the same realization as the app store--Android is second rate to iOS. I'm generally happy with the layout of the UI and the aesthetics, but my phone becomes unresponsive (i.e. I can't hang up a phone call) multiple times per day. Sometimes it was get a little laggy and unresponsive and I think I'm just being picky, but then I will consciously think "I wonder if I'm just being picky. Maybe, let's see if I can open something on the computer before my phone responds." And then I will open and close an e-mail on my computer, turn back to my phone, and a second or two later it finally responds or an app finally opens. I really want to go all in on Android and Google b/c I like gmail and other Google services, so the ecosystem integration would definitely be nice...but I just can't do it, or recommend it to anyone else.
The main issue here is the fundamental difference between bleeding edge and cutting edge technology. Android (and WinMo and Palm, once upon a time) is bleeding edge technology. It can do pretty much everything that is possible with the current technology, but it just does not do it reliably. Apple, on the other hand, is cutting edge technology. Some (not all--no one can deny them of their innovation record) of their features may technically be one step behind the competition, but when they implement them, they do it well, and make the user experience very good, reliable, and most importantly, enjoyable.
Good news for me: with Sprint's $10 "premium data" add-on times multiple phones on a family plan, they are no longer cheaper for me than AT&T after I factor in my corporate discount (which is also 5% better with AT&T), so my next phone will definitely be an iPhone.
Bad news for me: I'm only about half way through my current 2-year Sprint agreement, so by the time it's worth paying the pro-rated ETF, it will be next June when the next iPhone comes out.
Maybe Google will "fix" Android by then, but if it's like any other "bleeding edge" tech I've used, I'm not going to hold my breath.
Here's to waiting for iPhone 5!
P.S. As an example for my points, I was trying to show the EVO vs. iPhone cartoon that the Best Buy employee made on youtube the other day to some non-techies--while on wifi--and the video kept getting about half way through before some random error message would pop up, forcing me to restart the video and find where it left off. Definitely not cool. You can probably imagine the reaction from the non-techies.
Last edited by Frankenstein; 08-19-2010 at 10:37 PM.