Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Android vs. Apple: A First Hand User's Experience

Android vs. Apple

With the looming iPad 3/HD announcement tomorrow, I've come to terms with something. I've sold my soul to the Apple Devil. For years, I was the biggest advocate of non-Apple products and would try to speak to others about giving other items a try like Android, Zune, etc. Well in the past year I've purchased both an iPad 2 and an iPhone 4S. Times changed. I tried to give the other non-Apple items an honest chance but eventually bit the forbidden Apple. The tablet choice was easy as to me, no Android tablet out was comparable to what the iPad offered despite the price tag. As for the phone, it's been years in the works.

The Samsung Epic
I don't own the white one.
I was told only girls buy the white ones.

Before this I spent nearly two years using a Samsung Galaxy phone (The Epic, the one with the full keyboard). It was running the Froyo (2.2x) operating system for such a long time until I decided to manually upgrade it to Gingerbread.

I was able to get an early discount deal through Sprint so earlier this year I had the decision to upgrade to the latest Android phone that was out or I could switch to the iPhone. Many things have always intrigued me about the iPhone but there were business practices by Apple that turned me off such as their app approval process, the inability to customize options on the iPhone compared to Android, among others. But in the end, the iPhone won the battle in the latest phone for me to purchase. I had to see what all the hype was about with the iPhone. I needed to see first hand if it was that cool. It's been well over a month now since I've had the iPhone so I decided to write up my opinions on Android vs. Apple. Figured since I've used both phones for a good amount of time, I could write an unbiased review on what I thought was better.

THE APPS
Let's face it. For most smartphone users, apps are very important. It's like running a computer. What's the point in using a computer if you don't have any programs on it? It's the same for a smartphone; it's more than just a tool for people to talk and text with. One of the major pros the iPhone has to Android is the availability of the apps. Developers are quick to always release their apps out on iPhone well before Android. Take "Scramble With Friends", a game I’m totally addicted to, for instance. It's already out for iPhone and still awaiting an Android release. It was the same case with "Words with Friends". But in the long run, the apps do come out. Also the total number of apps available on iPhone beat Android's number even though a huge portion of those apps the average user will never use.

On the flipside, Apple doesn't give you free trials of apps. For Android, you can buy an app and request a refund in a set amount of time. I think that is now 15 minutes but I could be wrong. It used to be longer than that. Plus on Android, Amazon gives a free Android App of the Day which is excellent and can save you lots of money. There are many more apps available on Android that let you customize your phone compared to Android.

Winner: Android

THE OPERATING SYSTEM
iPhone's operating system is locked down. You can't really do much to change what's there. The Android is much different, you can change how every single thing looks from every single detail of the home screen, to text messages, icons, etc. It's incredible. The biggest issue with Android's operating system is there are so many different versions out and the availability of which OS on your phone is determined by your cell phone provider and cell phone manufacturer. While one Android phone can get the latest update, another Android phone could wait six months later. There's no uniformity to it all. This in comparison to Apple's where once it's announced nearly every phone can run it. You can download it yourself.

Since iPhone's OS is locked down, that leaves it less vulnerable to bad things happening. My Android phone was getting to the point it would automatically reboot. It just wasn't my phone, I knew of others that had the same issue with different phones. It was getting to be very annoying. Plus on the Android phone, there's more bloatware (apps you don't want but can't get rid of).

Winner: iPhone

BATTERY LIFE
I have the newest version of the iPhone currently available so it's kind of unfair for me to compare this to my old Epic phone that was two years old. But I can basically judge this off of other Android phones I've played around with or heard from friends. Android's battery life is NOT good. I'd wager to say if you used the iPhone 4S and another comparable Android phone that came out at that time, the iPhone would last longer. On my trip to Omaha, we had an Android, Blackberry and iPhone all start the day with battery life. By end of day, the iPhone outlasted everybody and I'm a heavy cell phone user.

For the record, my Epic phone had an extended battery when I had it. Still sucked.

Winner: iPhone

PHONE POWER
The iPhone is a very good phone. Everything loads up fast; moving from screen to screen is very quick. This is compared to my Epic that would take a while to load up the text messages. That was annoying. But it's unfair to compare these phones because there are Android phones out there now that are much more powerful than the iPhone.

Winner: PUSH

KEYBOARD
I loved my Epic when it came down to it. The keyboard was so nice to have. I was able to type out long e-mails on it without issue. When I wasn't using the keyboard, I was using SWYPE which is the keyboard where you can swipe your fingers across many different letters to form words. It's very cool. Before the Epic, I owned a Palm phone which had a full QWERTY keyboard too. Old school!!! The iPhone was my first all touchscreen phone. It took me a while to get used to it but the predictive text slowly came around and I got used to it.

Winner: Android

OVERALL
I like both phones. I think if I ended up purchasing one of the newer Android phones out there, I would have been very happy with the decision. But if I had to choose between the two phones, I'd go with the iPhone.

It's a very slick interface and I really don't need to customize the phone that much. As long as I have the apps I want, that's all I need. The future of phones will end up being with no physical keyboards so in time, I'll have to get used to it which I already am.

One of the reasons I went with an iPhone was because I wanted my phone to match whichever tablet I purchased which was the iPad. It all syncs together and I have no problems at all with it. The whole iTunes interface makes it very easy to sync it all up including all the music I listen to whether it's the newest Drake song on the radio, some old school Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jason Aldean or even the coolest bubblegum song ever, Miley Cyrus' "Party in the U.S.A."

The iPhone is just smooth overall from the look and feel of the phone to how it runs and loads up every app or text. I'm very pleased with it and probably won't be looking to switch anytime soon. The only thing that could probably sway me another way is Microsoft. If they could incorporate their Office suites into their phones and tablets, I'd consider it especially if Microsoft made it very manageable in the business world.

But for right now, if I had to do it all over again......I'd still purchase the iPhone.

Ok tech glasses off, food goggles back on.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The first paragraph is all I read (and needed to). Apple-fanboys like me get tired of trying to explain the allure of Apple stuff. Eventually, the Apple-haters 'get it'.

I'm a senior IT person, and use about every platform there is. Apple wins, hands down. Once people get past hating on Apple and actually try it, they're hooked (not that you were an Apple hater, just making a point).