James Duffy

The iPhone iOS 6 versus Android 4.1 debate: Android

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Repost of CSU Signal

There is no doubt that Apple has revolutionized the phone industry with the iPhone, but it has taken 6 iterations of the phone for any significant change since its initial release. Apple has become stagnant. The only reason for the recent breath of fresh air is that Steve Jobs died and Apple has been forced to think on their own. Except they can’t.

Android is far superior to Apple’s iOS, the software running on their iPhone and iPad. iOS has more apps in their AppStore, but that is not an accurate comparison for Google Play. Any major company releasing mobile apps has both an Android and iOS version. Some of the last companies (Instagram for example) couldn’t ignore Android and its larger user base. Of course you are still going to have apps that are only available on iOS, but there are apps only available on Android too. Many of these apps are better than those found on iOS. You can change the keyboard with Swype, protect your phone with Norton Security, watch Adobe Flash videos, download P2P files using uTorrent and thats just a taste of the Android-only apps that Apple won’t allow.

Widgets are among one of the most innovative features for Android. Widgets are miniature applications that can run on the homescreen. iOS only allows a grid of icons on its homescreen, and the only way an app can give you information in iOS is by showing you a red notification count next to the app’s icon. You aren’t forced to open the app in Android to see the information.

Siri was a good idea with bad execution; Google has done it better. Apple requires that your voice be uploaded to their servers and processed there and the result sent back to your phone. Have you noticed how often Siri doesn’t work because the servers go down? Everyone I know who has used it has had trouble with it. Google’s voice controls are processed on your phone which makes it worlds faster and more reliable.

Android also has the benefit of being Open Source and having thousands of outside developers looking at every line of code and submitting bug fixes back to Google. The developer community can be found at XDA-Developers.com and almost every phone has a custom version of Android available. A few brave souls will “jailbreak” their iPhone so they can have more customization like on Android at the expense of stability and battery life, but when you flash a new version of Android from XDA-Developers many people report they are getting more stability and longer battery life than they would from their phone carrier.

Android has come a long way in recent versions and makes iOS look outdated. Apple has begun to lust over Android phones. Just look at the iPhone 5 with it’s bigger screen (just like most Android phones). Apple usually has great hardware, but they are increasingly becoming less relevant. If you want something exciting and new, go Android. If you want the 2012 equivalent of a rotary phone, go pick up an iPhone.