5 Reasons To Choose iPhone Over Android [Opinion]

sad android intro   5 Reasons To Choose iPhone Over Android [Opinion]If you’re considering buying your first smartphone, you’ve got a fairly big decision to make. As well as choosing a carrier, plan and minimum contract period you then have to trawl through the barrage of handsets until you find something you like.

Most buyers will probably end up choosing between the Android operating system and an iPhone, running iOS. So how do you know which is right for you? In this editorial I’ll put the iPhone argument forward and explain why I think Apple’s plan is better than Google’s. Don’t forget to have your say in the comments.

UI Response & Lag

I’ve had enough terrible mobile phones in the past to understand the value of a smooth and responsive UI, and this is guaranteed with the iPhone. Pretty much every mundane task you take for granted – scrolling your Facebook feed, looking up a phone number or responding to email – is silky smooth with very little lag at all. Even if you managed to pick up an ageing 3GS you’d still be pleasantly surprised as the OS glides through most tasks the way you’d expect.

Unfortunately, Android has still not quite caught up despite Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) making leaps and bounds over previous versions. The Galaxy Nexus is surely one of the most talked-about devices of 2011, but even it seems to have some issues. This controversial TechCrunch article claimed: “It’s still not as smooth as it should be. For the most part, ICS fixes many of Android’s performance issues, but there are plenty of times that you’ll still see stutters here and there.” Let’s not forget the multi-touch issues and rotation lag that has plagued the device as well, making some apps and games unusable.

Google even acknowledged Android’s lag issues before Christmas, and whilst Ice Cream Sandwich is a huge improvement not every brand new Android phone in the shop will be running it. So why, when manufacturers continue to pile on the power, is Android still stuttering through some pretty basic tasks?

Too Many Handsets

The dazzling array of phones sporting the Android operating system is enough to confuse many people considering a purchase, especially your average consumer. Globally HTC released 4 Android phones last year, Motorola and Sony Ericsson turned out 6 but none could match Samsung who incredibly managed a total of 12.

samsung smartphones   5 Reasons To Choose iPhone Over Android [Opinion]

Aside from the release date, choosing between these phones is bound to confuse your average consumer. The names become even more obscure (see Android Phone Name Generator for a humorous take on the situation) with only letters, words like “Droid” or “Galaxy” and screen size to tell the models apart.

Apple’s response is a one-size-fits-all device, released every 12 months or so. The company devotes its time to one product and the multi-device iOS operating system that every iPhone uses. The result might be limiting in terms of choice, but when it comes to quality of build, software-hardware integration and support, no manufacturer comes close. Which leads me on to…

Update Cycles

Many people were surprised when Apple announced that their iOS5 update would be compatible with the 3GS, a device that was released mid-2009 (making it three years old when the update hit). This level of support is much easier for Apple to provide considering they produce much fewer devices and control the operating system on which the products run.

ios5 compatibility   5 Reasons To Choose iPhone Over Android [Opinion]

As previously mentioned, there are a lot of Android phones on the market today with varied hardware set-ups, many running outdated versions of the operating system. The problem with releasing 12 phones in one year (Samsung, I’m looking at you) is that many of them will probably never see a single update, partly due to the perceived cost-effectiveness of updating “old” devices (for free) and partly due to the fact that the manufacturers do not control the core OS.

The result? A horrible mess of varying Android versions on the shelf of your local smartphone retailer and updates that might never arrive. Much of the time this update process is hindered by another bane of the Android OS…

Preloaded Crapware

Be it the carrier or the manufacturer, Android phones are guaranteed to come with some sort of custom interface that is designed to make your life easier. The only problem is that in the long run these interfaces – HTC Sense, Motorola MotoBlur, Samsung TouchWiz to name a few – slow down the upgrade process as they introduce more work for developers.

htc sense ui   5 Reasons To Choose iPhone Over Android [Opinion]

Another issue (which is often purely subjective) is that these interfaces may bloat and slow down devices, with no straightforward “disable” option. Tweakers prepared to flash their phones on a regular basis might be happy enough with a custom ROM, but for your average consumer who just wants a phone that works: this is not the way it should be.

Apple were stubborn over crapware ever since the iPhone was announced, declaring that no additional carrier-installed software would ship with their devices. This ensures a smooth uniform experience, regardless of whether your device is 3 weeks or 3 years old, and to top it off there’s no custom interface to write for when it comes to updates.

Malware

One thing Android users have to worry about is malware, which became a real problem in 2011. In August of last year McAfee announced a 76% surge in malware over a matter of months with incidents reported in the Android Market and seemingly benign apps. Now the problem is so bad that there are dedicated scanners designed to remove malware for the platform, such as Avast! for Android 2.1 and above.

avastmobilesecurity1   5 Reasons To Choose iPhone Over Android [Opinion]

Another report from McAfee in December of last year announced:

Apple so far has done an excellent job of securing its devices; as we write this there were no reported cases of malware for iPhones that have not been jailbroken.

The report criticises the Android security model and goes on to analyse Apple’s approach as proactive and Google’s as reactive, stating:

from the security perspective [Google’s approach] creates exactly the kind of environment in which malware gangs feel comfortable.

Clearly, there’s work to be done.

Conclusion

These are my personal reasons for choosing and above all recommending the iPhone to friends and strangers alike. Whilst this is an editorial, there’s no denying that Android devices have become fragmented, threatened with a lack of updates, loaded with custom manufacturer ROMs and are the highest-risk devices on the market when it comes to mobile malware.

Finally, it must be said that the iPhone is not a perfect device, especially for users who don’t appreciate the locked-down nature of the OS. Then again, if you want an easy to use, rock-solid device with performance and build quality to match…

What do you think? Do you own an Android device? An iPhone? I bet you’re itching to get stuck in, so have your say in the box below.

Image Credit: HTC Sense (Wikimedia Commons)

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87 Comments -

Dave LeClair

Prepare for the impending attack…..

Th

attack…

Crim

I am a Android user, and I couldn’t be happier with my phone. I have the Samsung Galaxy S2. I believe it is probably the best phone Android has right now, barring a certain Nexus. I understand this is an opinion, but I am going to refute some of the points you make.

1. UI Response and Lag – This depends on the hardware. I have never experienced any lag on my phone, even when it was on the stock ROM. I have given my phone to my iPhone 4S toting friend too, just to make him see that too. And he said the same thing. I’m not saying that iOS isn’t smoother, but to say that Android as an OS lags, is not true. Because it has as much to do with hardware as software, and I’m not even on ICS.

2. Too many handsets – Yes I agree, there are too many handsets. But I believe that is a good thing, instead of being bad. I look at Android and see something that can be adapted for varied needs. If you want a giant 5″ screen, you can. If you want a 2″ screen with qwerty keys, you can. You have a choice, and by not restricting Android to a particular manufacturer, Google has indirectly given people freedom. They can choose whatever they like, not the only smartphone that is available. Now that also means that Android is found on subpar hardware, but that is not the OS’s fault. Just because I can make Windows 7 run really slow on a Pentium 4 does not mean that the performance is Windows’ fault. 

3. Update cycle – More of a carrier fault than Android’s. Google gives every update to the carriers, it is they who choose when to release it. Unless it is a google phone, in which case, you are assured to be among the first to receive it. But here comes Android’d biggest positive, the dev community. Whether or not your carrier updates your version, you can be rest assured it will arrive on your phone one way or the other. If you are THAT bothered with your phone not being up to date, it literally takes about 10 minutes (varies by phone of course) to get to the latest and greatest. Yes that means tinkering with your phone, but Android’s basic concept was open source, which means YOU can make changes to it to suit YOUR needs. If you don’t want to, you are better off with iOS, where somebody else decides what you can or cannot do on your phone.

4. Crapware – One word, root.

5. Malware – Its the same argument I present when somebody tells me that OSX is better than Windows because it has no viruses. If you are smart enough, you will not get them. 

I agree that there are people who want and like the curated Apple experience, but I don’t. I don’t force my opinion on other people, I just like to give reasons why I will stand by Android, always. 

Anonymous

“Yes I agree, there are too many handsets. But I believe that is a good thing, instead of being bad.” If you believe it’s a good thing, it’s not really “too much”, is it?

“More of a carrier fault than Android’s.” While your argument about the dev community is fair, I would say that it doesn’t matter whose fault it is, it’s still a point and an argument for iOS.

“Unless it is a [G]oogle phone, in which case, you are assured to be among the first to receive it.”
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I remember reading an article where one of Google’s own phones – which can very much handle it – is not going to be receiving Ice Cream Sandwich.

Tim Brookes

Thanks for the reply. The lag issue is unfortunately an Android issue in general according to Google, and that’s one of the main things they’ve been working on in this latest version (ICS). Hopefully it will get better, but to be honest it’s amazing the issue has persisted this long into the platform’s life.

I don’t see the excessive handset choice as a good thing, and I even believe it’s damaging to the OS to have so much disparity between models, especially when it comes to apps. Let’s be honest, Google have to provide the 30 minute refund Window for Android users because a lot of the time the apps refuse to run. This isn’t the developer’s fault, and it isn’t even necessarily Google’s fault but all down to the manufacturers who have been allowed to run riot for years.

Update cycles might often be delayed by carriers but the manufacturers don’t help either. This is a point that will stand against Android as a choice of OS, which is after all the main argument here. I’m not blaming Android, but the problem is inherent in Android phones and thus it’s a point for iOS.

Thanks again for you input, I’m sure many will agree with your point of view! 

Tim

Cuya289

Not all user are smart as you are my friend!

Der_zenit

Smart OS for smart people. The rest can use iOS.

Rushyang Darji

100% agree with you.

Jonathan Maingot

“One word, root.”

One word: audience. 
Not everybody is going to want to root their phone. Hell, many can’t even figure out how to use the dam camera. The iPhone is a great device for those who don’t want to make a hobby of playing with the workings of their phone.

No?

Christian Hagen

My experience with any iPhone is limited, but I have enough experience through friends and family to say:

It isn’t a one-size-fits-all. At the moment I have a Nokia E7-00 (craptastic), but even this actually works with Skype. My dad’s iPhone don’t. He received a Skype call from my grandfather while we were driving. If it hadn’t been for me looking at the stereo system (dash-mounted above) at the time, we wouldn’t have noticed it because there was absolutely no sound whatsoever to announce it. And when we took the call, it was impossible to hear anything without shoving the earplugs HARD into my ear. Volume buttons didn’t help, and after searching for an hour, I could not find ANY settings to raise the volume, either in Skype or the rest of the phone.

Add to it the general dictatorship of Apple, and the fact that while the camera is supposed to be better than my built-in webcam on my laptop, yet my webcam takes clearer pictures, iTunes-for-everything-no-matter-what and the price tag, and I will NEVER own an iPhone.

If I were to somehow get one, as a gift or through a lottery or some other happenstance, I wouldn’t even open the package, just straight go to my country’s equivalent of ebay and sell it.

Anonymous

I disagree with number 2, because while I think it is a legitimate reason for choosing Apple’s singular approach for YOUR purposes, I don’t think it’s an argument that can be laid on the table, simply because this is different for every individual.

As for point 1, just goes to show that specs don’t matter. Integration can optimise even the lowest-specced of hardware.

Tim Brookes

To many who understand the main differences between the handsets then yes, it’s a nice choice to have. To your “average” consumer who won’t be rooting/jailbreaking the sheer number of phones is too much. 

It’s too much to choose from (choice is great, confusion is not) and the manufacturers know it’s going to be too much time/effort/money to provide proper updates on all these slightly different handsets.

As for hardware/software integration – well, it speaks volumes that an old 3GS that’s getting on for 3 years old chugs through iOS5 and performs as well in its native environment as any phone that was released in the last year. So yes, great point and thanks for commenting.

Imthaz

I just got myself an iPhone4S and these are the exact same reasons I didn’t go for an Android. Also if you don’t like an iPhone go get yourself a Windows Phone which is way better than Android.

Tim Brookes

Glad you enjoyed the article. My only issues with Windows Phone at the moment are based in the finer details. I’ve used WP7 and must admit it’s a great interface to navigate your way around (and I’m also fond of the similar new Xbox Dashboard).

The immature nature of the OS does eventually shine through however, and when it comes to things like workflow, or pausing music whilst composing a text (stupid things you don’t think about but notice when there’s something up) then you notice that the platform still needs work.

I do however think it’s a great UI and the Xbox Live integration is brilliant. I’d wait for better hardware at the moment though…

Joe

I love android.. I am a developer, and I run an android blog.. but recently switched to iphone 4s for these exact reasons.  Yes I was rooted and always had the latest rom which is also a pain in the butt.. I found myself spending more time “adjusting” or “tweaking” my phone than using it.  I had an evo 4g, and could get almost 2.5 days on a standard battery with use..  Anyway, Im kicking the 4s now and my wife has a evo4g.. she is complaining about battery, or lock ups etc.. I have not done much to my phone..  I love it and am happy.. I still love android but pure android.. not each carriers and each handset makers version.

Tim Brookes

I must admit I’ve noticed a lot of people seem to spend hours of their evenings devoted to the latest Android ROM, and whilst there’s nothing wrong with this I think many will find (like you) that it wears thin after a while.

That’s not to say everyone’s going to go out and buy an iPhone.

RichieB07

I personally use an iPhone, and I knew full well going into the lack of customization and the “locked down” approach Apple has.  I wanted a phone that “just worked” and was “no frills”, which is exactly what I got.  I’ve seen Android phones and what they’re capable of, it’s astounding, but I don’t want a phone I need to mess with to get to work how I want it.  Sure Apple has a very strict approach in their phones, but to me it what makes the phone easier to use. 

Again, this is what *I* wanted in a phone, and I got what I wanted.  For others, the modding ability of Android is better.

Evelyn

Hi Tim,

I own neither one of these phones.  I’m in the market for one and I am leaning toward the iPhone.  Your information about the 2 has helped me understand the 2 systems better.  

Take care,

Evelyn

Richard Oliver

This is only one person’s view, however, Evelyn. I am neither agreeing nor disagreeing with the writer, but there might be a corresponding article somewhere offering the exact opposite view!

RB

Same here, but I need/want a bigger screen.  end of story.  Also, i am not sure about not flash.  I’ve heard from iphone/ipad users it IS a hassle, contrary to there apple battle cry that flash is dead and most of where you surf has an app for it anyway.  Still on the fence…

Tim Brookes

Trust me, a world without Flash is like a dream come true. No more singing-dancing “Click the Puppy for A Prize” resource-stealing Flash adverts and now that Adobe have officially announced the death of Flash for mobile platforms it won’t be long till we all have rockin’ Flash-free handsets that eat [canvas] for breakfast.

As for content – yes, there are apps to get around the lack of Flash and any website that depends on it that’s worth visiting (Vimeo, YouTube etc…) has HTML5-ready versions that are (much of the time) designed specifically for the iPhone and iPad. 

In short – it’s not a bad thing, but a blessing in disguise.

Tim

Guest

Have both HTC Desire HD and iPhone 4G, IPhone rocks just that its a bit more exp. compared to most android phones, only to buy iphone if you are willing to spend enough time on itunes though.

Tim Brookes

Hi Evelyn,

Glad the article helped. As another commenter said it’s best to surround yourself in opinions and make a choice from there, however I’ve tried to be as objective as possible in my reasoning (despite the subjective nature of an editorial).

Play with as many phones as possible, pick two or three you really like and focus on them. You have to live with your phone every day, if you’re like me it’s your alarm clock, inbox, cooking timer – everything. 

Choosing a system that you eventually grow to dislike is bad because you’re paying money for something you’re not satisfied with and you’ve still got another 12/18/24 months to wait before you can change!

Good luck,
Tim

1oldgeek

Opinions are like assholes.  Everyone has one, but some stink more than others.

thenonhacker

We got a Bitter Android owner here!

Triobot

well that’s like your opinion man

Alexander

huh? I have an ipod touch 4g and it hasn’t updated yet. If I am suppose to figure out how to upgrade it then my htc flyer is better as it notifies when upgrades are available. I think most apple products do too but not mine. My htc flyer upgraded to 3,2 last week. Had it for 2 weeks now.

Tim Brookes

The iPhone and the whole iPod/iPad family have gone OTA-update friendly, which means once you’ve updated to iOS5 you’ll never have to update via iTunes again. The new updates download over-the-air and install themselves onto your device without the need for sync.

If you have already updated to iOS5 (by connecting your iPod Touch to iTunes) then you can find any update information in Settings -> General -> Software Update.

Scott

Call me an Android fanboy if you like, but I just hate the iOS interface. I can’t stand that it’s just a bunch of icons spread across multiple screens in order of install. Android offers a sesnsical app drawer where you can find your apps quicker and widgets and other meaningful shortcuts to be used on your homescreen to access your apps and data quicker than on iOS. iOS is just a glossy app launcher in desperate need of a redesign. If I were to choose or recommend another OS other than Android it would be Windows Phone. At least they get it. There are no widgets but their tile concept works about the same, allowing you to quickly launch apps and see meaningful data at a glance without the need to launch an app. And WP7 app directory is simple and easy to use. It doesn’t have malware or any lag. Basically all the arguments you made against Android are resolved in WP7. So if you should recommend an OS other than Android because of these reasons, it should be WP7, not iOS. iOS looks nice because of its retina display and has a quality camera, but the OS is seriously outdated and customization within the OS is terrible. iOS is the worst OS of the three because it gives extremely limited control to the user and the apps get lost in the outdated mess of homescreens.

Andy Simmons

But it’s not “just a bunch of icons spread across multiple screens in order of install.”

Those icons can be moved and reordered in any way that one likes, and can be collected into “groups” (folders, basically) that one can name as they please.  On top of that, the system-wide Spotlight search includes apps by default, so even if you’ve got eleven pages full of apps, you can find the app you’re looking for with just a few taps.  Further, the muti-tasking bar provides easy and quick access to the apps that you’ve used most recently.

I get that you prefer Android, and that’s fine, but you’ve clearly not spent enough time with iOS to know what you’re talking about where it is concerned.

Tim Brookes

How is a cluttered homescreen full of unsightly widgets that don’t do anything other than show limited information better than a simple menu of installed applications?

iOS does in fact now have widgets, and they’re hidden away in Notification Center. Why? Because most widgets are pretty much pointless. Who needs a weather widget when you can look outside? Why have a dedicated music control on your homescreen all the time (when in iOS it’s hidden in the double-tap menu), how is an email widget better than Apple’s mail icon with the number of unread emails above it? Need more detail – swipe down for Notification Center and see the emails without launching Mail. 

I also don’t “get” the one-touch widgets for turning on/off things like wifi (I never turn it off, my battery does just fine), Bluetooth (can’t say I’ve used it in 5 years), Airplane mode  and so on.

Homescreen widgets (and in fact widgets on the Windows desktop too) have always struck me as unsightly non-uniform resource hogs that don’t quite do enough to justify being there in the first place. 

Oh, and you can re-order your homescreen on iOS and even chuck things in folders. Once you’ve got a “pattern” to stick by then it becomes second nature. I literally never have more than 2 homescreens and about 4 folders.

James Bruce

*Exactly*

… Widgets suck. Exactly why Windows 8 is going to fail!

Brian

As a recent iPhone convert, I agree with many of the reasons above, though some (like lag and malware) are terribly overblown. Regarding lag, I have an iPhone 4S and I’ve routinely experienced slow and unresponsive apps bogging the phone down so it’s hardly an Android-only thing. What I did notice is that both OS’es in a vanilla state function perfectly fine. No lag or anything.

I guess it boils down to what apps you use and how well they are coded.On Android’s supposed malware problem, it’s been complete and utter FUD since day one. If you look into it, most of the malware comes from third party markets outside the U.S. and you almost have to be trying really hard to get infected by it (a wallpaper app that requests permission to your contacts…really?). The biggest difference here is that Android users are at least aware that the platform isn’t bulletproof which enables them to be proactive, or at least mindful about it. iOS users on the other hand, generally assume that the platform is impenetrable even though it’s been proven time and again that is far from the case. For proof, google “ios pdf exploit” and Charlie Miller. Tells you all you need to know.

All things considered, of the two platforms *I* think iOS offers a more enjoyable experience but remember that this is very subjective. Go out to the store and play with both. See what works best for you.

Tim Brookes

Interesting points, thanks for your input. It’s odd that you mentioned the “proactive” steps being taken by Android users, which according to McAfee is the opposite to what the overseer (Google) is doing surrounding malware.

I do accept that it’s not that easy to get infected with an Android virus, but many people still do. Your phone is no longer a simple text-and-voice device – but your whole life including work/personal email accounts. Users should not have to worry about malware on these devices, especially as much of it was found in Google’s Android Market. Really – it’s absolutely unacceptable (despite the inevitable nature of these things).

I agree that the PDF exploit shows that nothing is bulletproof, and this is a fact of life. As web users we know this by now, at least we should! 

There is still no iPhone malware, and there probably won’t be for a very long time. This is the way it should be, and it provides massive peace of mind.

Brian

Tim,

I didn’t necessarily mean that Android users are actually being proactive, just that being aware the platform has some security issues enables them to be. 

And on that note, I’m quite skeptical of McAfee or any AV vendor that reports about OS security woes every five minutes because they have a vested interest in scaring up business.

Saying that there is no iPhone malware may be true for the moment, but as the examples I gave above show, that has not historically been the case. 

iOS users would do well to remember that.

Alphaxs

Hi, my personal experience, is that ios as an apple produt, is as we all know it closed down point

I as good thing’s make it simple, to use coz there aren´t 1001 versions ou the GUI (Graphical User Interface), and there’s not 1002 apps for each situation… and this are all the bad thing’s too!

Plus there the issues price and update (High and avaiable if… and when)…

Android devices are the oposite, u can get confused with all the apps u can get and much for free, for almost everything u can image, and on top um can change the GUI… if you want to look like … and iphone or anything else.

You can supercharge it (take care so you down blow the processor!

Ah… you can run flash…

One other thing the lag thing, you been talking, it’s not an Android issue, it’s been delt a long time ago, the issue is to the apps, there’s an instructon that as to be activated but that solves the issue forcing the use of the graphic interface the “rigth way” it’s related with graphic accelaration and and 3d, so each app as to make use of it. so if the programmer of the app for any reason doesn´t use the code… then it may cause in same cases the lag effect.

About the update thing…ill just say…i’m a cooker.

Personally apple as good products, but a much better marketing, and a inflationated price. The close down aproach, granted them more control every thing, i still remenber situatons that they uninstalled apps from users just because they changed their minds about it …
And that’s a big issue to own a device but not realy own it… it’s not my thing…

Just one thing… you got the money,you need a phone, to do what… phone calls anyone do… more… well then chose the one you like more, the thing is you can do more with less money if you don’t buy apple, besides that, crapware is removable… and virus… lag multitasking and all, just don run to many thing’s at once, be carefull and wise about what you install and you ‘ill be safe.

Conclusion

Just be wise, know what you want and to do what whit it, them if you want to get locked down to apple, ok if you don´t choose anything else

Good Luck

Az

iPhone + Jailbreak = perfect phone

Tim Brookes

Thanks for bringing this up, I was actually very tempted to mention the jailbreak as a rebuttal for the whole Android rooting argument. The only problem is that by jailbreaking you open your phone up to potential damage from unofficial apps, and I can’t really recommend that with the Malware debate raging.

Antoniolordelo

The only real reason I see there is malware. Choosing iOS over android implies you only have about 3 phones to choose from, instead of dozens, each with different specs and pricing. Oh wait, that’s “too confusing”… ok, how about the fact that pre-loaded crapware can be easily removed from most android phones? And you can get custom versions of updated android software too. All you need to know is how to read and use google search, lol. But I guess you’d think that’s too much trouble for a ~$500 phone… for that kinda money you should expect something rather simple and n00b-friendly, right?

Tim Brookes

Uhh.. yes? For $500 why on earth would you be happy to then take the thing home and work on it for hours so it runs the way you expected to in the first place? Would that not mean you’d spent $500 on an unfinished phone?
When I spend anywhere near $500 I expect the item to work from the get-go, as I expect, with big fat smile from the person serving me as I walk out the door.I don’t expect to spend the next 3 hours of my life researching custom ROMs and rooting my phone. That’s not why I pay $500.

Cicas

and what about spending $500 for a phone, which doesn’t suit me and I could NOT do anything about it? that’s ok?

Cicas

because I do not expect there is a phone out there to fully suit me – I’m too unique person to expect that…

M D Godbout

Although I agree with some points I also agree with many of Crim’s points. Force Sure the iphone may not have some of the problems described but it’s has no freedom. It’s like if everyone decided to buy Toyotas because they make good dependable cars (or insert your own manufacturer). We would all be lemings.

For one pricing vs memory is one of Apples big scams. I can’t believe the price people are willing to pay for often much less memory.

Hardware. When I got my xperia arc It was no contest. The iphone 4s was not out yet.
My screen is a half inch bigger (feels like double)
Camera on the arc 8 megapixel vs 5.
32G vs 8 on the iphone.
That’s just to name a few.

You also have the interface. I happen to the the iphone is so bland because it doesn’t bag te same widget freedom. Things like the HTC clock or Timescape make it such a more pleasant experience.

To me it boils down to what your looking for. Either you go the boring, overpriced but safe bet way like a Toyota Corolla (e iphone) or you don’t. To each his or her own. I certainly would not say either is a better choice.

Pamm C

After reluctantly getting an iPhone with being a die-hard Android fan, I wholeheartedly agree with this article.  I got the iPhone because of my work situation, not expecting to really like it as well as Android, but after using it, I like iPhone much more than Android. 

MarioCU

I bought a 7″ Galaxy Tab and it is the worst piece of gadget I could ever put my hands on. I will never again buy a Samsung or Android device in this life on planet Earth.

Cuya289

I like iPad 2…

Haplo

I don’t remember where I read it but Android will not be as smooth as iOS because of the way the system works: in iOS the screen is given preferential CPU access, so it’s always smooth and fast, while in Android some other things get preferential access.

The example they put up was that of a webpage loading, in iOS if you scroll then the page stops loading and the screen gets the CPU, in Android the system will continue to load the webpage and scroll it at the same time while doing a decent job at both.

So, it’s an intrinsic characteristic of both OSs and you could well forget about that and consider more important things such as screen size, freedom of choice, whether you frecuent or not starbucks (heh), etc.

Tim Brookes

To many people (myself included) the way the handset behaves in general, the responsiveness and smoothness when scrolling and so on are important. It’s what makes your phone a pleasure to use.

I’ve used enough terrible dumbphones (though most were responsive enough) and the horrendous mess that is (was) Symbian S60 to finally appreciate a silky smooth UI and feel as if the phone is doing what I want it to, rather than catching up with me.

With regards to Android’s graphical capabilities, here’s the full explanation right from the source:

https://plus.google.com/105051985738280261832/posts/2FXDCz8x93s

It doesn’t quite work the way you put it, especially now Android has moved over to tiled rendering (which is what iOS uses) in a bid to speed things up.

Interestingly you mentioned screen size, but larger screens are actually not helping this lag issue because bigger screens = naturally larger resolutions = more pixels to draw. The other reason would be third party apps that haven’t been written to take advantage of hardware acceleration in order to maintain backwards compatibility…

Tim

Cicas

i don’t need to scroll on unloaded pages, i need to load them as soon as possible.. but that’s certainly just my weird nerdy opinion, isn’t it?

King Indronil

just one question why not use nokia …i would be happy to get a review on symbian ,a comparison and why or why not to use it

Tim Brookes

Well the latest iteration of Symbian is the last seeing as Nokia are switching to WP7 as their primary platform. Symbian is very much dead so I don’t think a comparison is really needed.

Windows Phone 7 Nokia devices on the other hand… 

Count Stex

I personally stick with Android for one main reason. Control. I like to decide which apps I want to install, and not have some ‘higher power’ deciding if they are appropriate for me. I like to decide how my phones screens look, maybe a want icons, maybe I want widgets, maybe a mix, maybe all my apps in folders maybe just a few with the majority hidden away. Get bored of the font used on the phone? Fine change it for another one. I’ve always personalised my devices, I did the same for years on Windows playing with themes and replacement task bars. I get bored of looking at the exact same layout day in day out for years on end.
Or course that’s not for everyone, some people just like a phone to tell them how to use it and for these people an iPhone is fine, as is a stock Galaxy S2 or a stock Nexus. 
I think the huge number of Android phones is misleading, everyone I know who has jumped on board with Android have all selected one of about 3 models. Just because they are out there doesn’t mean people are actually buying them.

In the end though it all becomes a mute point. I have been running Android for over 2 years and I will not swap for the following reason. I am heavily invested in the Android market with getting on for £100 or apps. It would be the same for some one who’s had an iPhone for years. You become invested in the market/store of choice and once you have done that jumping ship is a far more expensive process than just picking a contract.

Oh one final point, the bloatware only occurs if you fall into the trap of buying a phone from a provider. Far cheaper to get a SIM only deal and buy your own phone, at least in the UK.

Scutterman

Buying a phone is usually a major investment. As with any other investment of importance, choice is good. If there is too much choice, people have two options:
* Spend hours or days researching products, specs, prices, technology, etc. or
* Go to someone who knows all of that, and have them talk you through your options.

It’s no different from buying a new TV, computer, or anything else technological.

Also, this article seems to be comparing a single manufacturer / OS (Apple and IOS5) against every single manufacturer who has released an android device. I’d like to see an opinion piece like this that focuses on just one device from each side (iPhone 4S vs a similarly priced or spec’d Android).

Tim Brookes

It would probably be fairer to compare the 4S to one particular “iPhone killer” Android phone but which would you choose?

I also think many of the comparisons would boil down to the differences between the core OS (as well as whatever manufactureware is on there).

I’d really like to write an article focusing on a few aspects – screen, battery life, build quality, sound etc… and compare the 4S and the top 4/5 other Android devices – Galaxy Nexus, whatever HTC are selling, latest Sony Ericsson etc. Unfortunately unless someone wants to send me a load of Android phones it’s going to have to stay in my head.

Scutterman

I never like the phrase “[x] killer”. I also don’t think that Android will kill iOS, but I do think it’ll remain a strong competitor.

brian burke

Great article. The lack of a consistent OS update schedule is what moved me to the iPhone. On another note, I discussed these new “previous” and “next” buttons that are interfering with MUO pages. Here’s a photo. I can’t get rid of them. When I scroll, they stay there, on top of everything. I HATE IT!!!!

James Bruce

Brian, what browser are you using? The arrows are coded to disappear using CSS3 if the viewport is less than however many pixels. They may overlap a little due to font size differences, but something is definately wrong in your case. If you could email me jamesbruce@ this site to follow up, much appreciated. 

Anonymous

All your reasons are valid but most users don’t care about updates. As long as their phones work, they’re good.

I chose Android over iOS. I don’t believe in Apple’s vision of a perfect device. I don’t like walled gardens, lockdown, etc.
I own a Galaxy S2 and wouldn’t change it for anything else. You talk about lag, but there is no way of making this thing lag. Especially when over clocked and running a leaner ROM as MIUI.

Anonymous

Since disqus sucks on mobile devices I can’t edit my lat comment so I will comment once to finish what I had to say.

What really grinds my gears about iOS is its UI. I’m a huge fan of minimalistic UIs. Something impossible in iOS. In iOS either you have a cluttered ui full of icons ruining your wallpaper, or a bunch of icons ruining your wallpaper. There’s no way around that. In Android you can have a cluttered UI, or a minimalistic UI. You make of Android what you want. That is priceless. I use MIUI but hate their stock iOS esque Launcher, so I got around it installing a different launcher. I don’t like Android’s stock keyboard, so I installed another. Apple won’t let you do that, at all.

You spend money on an Apple device, but it is never really yours.

Cicas

excelently pointed out! :)

Aibek

thanks for the input
p.s. here at MUO about half of the authors use iPhone and another half are Android users.

Anonymous

With all due respects but your reasons are pretty lame…I am an Android fan who owns an iPad and is lucky enough to be in possession of 2 of the best (apparently) smartphones currently in the market: iPhone 4S and the Samsung Galaxy S2…

I can’t use the iPhone: my S2 is too good.

Why?

-Back button on Android
-No slavery to iTunes
-Bigger screen
-Widgets!
-Pay less per month for contract
-Can customise my lockscreen
-No boring interface which has not changed for the last 5 years

Tim Brookes

It’s all subjective at the end of the day, but to be honest I don’t really see what’s so great about some of your reasons.

A back button? Everything is contextualised on iOS so you don’t need a back button – and if you do need to get out of an app you hit home. I see no need for a back button…

iTunes – agreed, it’s a shame I can only put music on my phone via iTunes but everything else (OTA updates, iCloud syncing etc) is now done minus iTunes. 

Bigger screen – Again, subjective. Bigger screens require more battery power both to drive and for the backlight. They also require higher resolutions which puts more load on the internals, contributing to the lag issues seen in the Android world. And is it just me or are those massive Android phones like mini tablets, just a bit big to comfortably fit in your pocket but still falling short of proper tablets?

Widgets – I personally can’t stand widgets everywhere, and see no need for them when apps are so quick to launch and notifications work so well. The only “widget” i use on iOS is controlling music playback from the task manager.

Contract – Well I’d recommend everyone go and buy an unlocked iPhone from Apple, rather than get it on contract and pay through the nose for a plan and a LOCKED phone. I’d recommend this for any phone to be honest, my days of buying on contract are over.

Lockscreen – You can do a certain amount of fiddling with a jailbroken iPhone, but to be honest my lockscreen displays all the notifications I care about, the time, date and if its charging my battery level. I can’t see what else you’d need on a static “locked” screen…

Interface – Again, purely subjective. I’ve already mentioned this in the crapware section of this article, and I can’t see how every other Android device having a different OS version/launcher/entire front-end (TouchWiz arrrgghhh) is any better than the KISS (Keep it stupidly simple) approach taken by Apple.

We could keep going round in circles with this, most of these arguments (both mine and yours) are subjective. Both my comments and article are purely offering an opinion. Thanks for taking the time to read and respond, reader feedback is what we love here at MUO.

Tim

Tim Brookes

Aaargh sorry about double-positng, Disqus can be pretty awful at times :S

d?nzzy

I like my iPod touch plainly for music. But I love my Android phone simply because of customization and USB connectivity. 

Patrick Trippy

I have the droid 2 and I am upgrading my phone in august of this year to an iPhone 4S because my phone lags, and weird things happen to the look of the graphics that I don’t know how to explain. I didn’t get an iPhone 4 the last time and I am not making the same mistake again, heck I am not even taking the risk of having another android.

Tim Brookes

Thanks for your input, it’s an interesting point that honestly doesn’t surprise me. I’m sure you’ll be delighted with your 4S (my girlfriend just got one and I’ve been speedtesting things – 4S noticeably faster, awesome camera, Siri).

The honest truth is that I seem to hear comments like yours more and more, not necessarily people buying iPhones (though what other choice is there till decent Nokia WP7s are in our hands) but warning against choosing Android again.

Interestingly I don’t often hear it the other way round – e.g. “I can’t stand the Retina display, solid build quality and reliable OS any more, I have to get an Android for widgets and rooting”. Ok, so I’ve injected some humour there but you get the picture.

Apple are in a very powerful position once someone’s bought an iPhone – now you’re plugged in to iCloud, have App Store purchases, use Siri or iMessage… there’s so much to “give up” when leaving the iPhone and Android just doesn’t have that pull.

If Microsoft can pull off an Apple with things like Xbox Live integration (which is already brilliant), SkyDrive stuff, Office365 etc… then it’ll be Apple vs. Microsoft all over again.

Tim Brookes

Thanks for this by the way, it was fixed a day or two ago but my comment never appeared! 

Tim

Tony Cerda

I gave my iPhone 4s to my little brother because it was such a joke. It was like having a children’s learning toy for ages 3-5. I purchased the Samsung Galaxy S2 and I’ve never been happier. It’s true what the Co-Founder of Apple said about the iPhone, He said that iPhone is for people who are scared of computers and don’t want to touch them. He also said that with Android, you can do so much more! I totally agree with him now that I know. 

Nicole

Nice objective article! I had the G1 for a good while before I got the Galaxy S a bit over a year ago. The last update Samsung released was horrible and caused my phone to lock up frequently, especially when opening the browser or when I tried to unlock it. Imagine the shock when it became apparent that my phone would not get ICS! Thanks Samsung! Way to keep me from updating to your next flagship model when the time comes! The biggest joke is though that earlier this week I finally abandoned the stock from for ICS as provided on XDA developers and guess what? No more crashes or inexplicable lags. Go figure.

Tim Brookes

So based on this I’d say that the manufacturers really aren’t helping Android, the ecosystem or the product’s reputation thanks to horrible manufactureware and patchy update cycles.

Which is surely why Apple have been able to gobble up so much market concentrating on one phone, one OS and several compatible devices.

Windows Phone 7 will be interesting!

Djunkv7

Stick to the half-dead Symbian OS or move to Windows Phone OS

Tim Brookes

To be honest, Symbian won’t be around for much longer and suffers from several generations of bugs, a terrible UI and disappointing apps.

So I’d have to object to that one on the basis I’d never recommend someone invests in a dying platform.

Jonathan Maingot

Great article. I like your conclusion particularily the idea that there is no “better phone,” but rather “a phone that may be a better fit for you.”

Hooray for being reasonable, fair, informed!

Oh, and hooray for Android! ;)

Tim Brookes

Thanks very much, I’m glad you enjoyed it! It was indeed never my intention to be overly biased, but simply lay down my own reasons.
It’s interesting to hear how other users prefer their devices, so much of the feedback from this article has provided a great read.

I must admit the “iPhone’s for crappletards” trolls have somewhat missed the point though!

Tim

Amr Shalaby

I have tried Samsung Nexus, Android’s flagship phone, as soon as it came.

I owned iPhone 4S before it, and despite buying Nexus for $630 or 4S for $680, the Nexus was not worth the price tag.

First off, Nexus: LOW volume from the speakers, which is stupidly positioned at the back so everytime one holds the phone, the speaker is muted.

The headphone jack is at the bottom, instead on the side (like Blackberry or on top).

There is LAG no matter what.

The phone was infected with a virus, shortly after I started seeing Chinese SMS messages sent in-and-out of the phone.

Customization was not stable for some apps. (like flashlight when shaking the phone vs Cydia’s Activator).

Nexus had PROBLEMS when it was first released, so it is obvious Google wants money before quality.

Tim Brookes

Thanks for the tips, I’m sure the advice about the launcher will help a few people out. 

Naturally (and I’m not arguing, but sticking on topic) the iPhone doesn’t need a new launcher (yadda yadda) and the only browser it runs is Safari (which is great) but then again if you like to tinker this isn’t going to suffice.

I agree with you about the Market too, granted it’s a lot faster to get your app in the store and I believe Google take a smaller cut than Apple but this doesn’t excuse the mountain of awful apps that stream onto the service.

Brian

Thanks.  It took me a few minutes to write that all out.  To be honest..I think that Amazon will start taking market share from Google.  Usually, Amazon’s Apps are cheaper and they screen the App heavily.  In fact, I download from Amazon most of the time.

Yea, I also agree that out of the box there should be a need to install 5 or 6 different programs to fix the problems that Google should have taken care of.  I find myself downloading and setting up these apps on friends android when they come and complain to me.

Tim Brookes

I can see how Amazon could start taking a larger percentage, and a lot of that rests on the Kindle Fire which isn’t really an Android device. Sure, it runs the same kernel but It’s so removed from the usual Android ecosystem that it has its own Amazon Store, custom firmware and is designed to be seen as another Kindle, rather than another Android tablet.

And it sounds to me like your friends owe you one!

Tim

Crystal Dunscomb

Could not thank you enough for the articles on your site. I know you add a lot of time and energy into all of them and hope you know how considerably I enjoy it. I hope I could do something identical for another individual sooner or later.

Lola

This is probably the worst article I’ve ever read simply because I can counter every single argument they make. Number 1) Ice Cream Sandwich. So stfu. Number 2) Are you kidding me? Sorry Androids are customizable and are made for you to choose the one that fits your personal tastes and lifestyle. Number 3) Sure, you can upgrade your iPhone 3gs to iOS 5, if you wanna slug your phone and kill your battery without using it. Plus, part of the beauty of Androids is the ability to ROOT and run custom ROMS on it that will improve your phone’s performance and, with the right processor and if you find the right rom, you can even run a more recent version of Android. Illegally of course, but isn’t piracy wonderful? Number 4) That’s why you root and delete the bloatwear and run a custom UI. N00bz. Number 5) Sure, if the person is an idiot and is installing untrustworthy apps off of the internet then they’ll get malware. But so do tons of other types of technology if you’re not careful. Just don’t be an idiot. There’s a ridiculous amount of energy that has to be put in to install apps outside of the app store which includes jailbreaking your iPhone. There’s no need to root to install outside apps. Customization > being a phone zombie. Free apps off the internet > paid apps from the app store. Android > iPhone. Always. Bottom line, stop trying to pretend like your ridiculously expensive iPhones are better than our awesome Androids because they’re not.

Ramachandran.G

nice tutorial ,,now only i can oly understand the benefits of Android.

Sasu

Are you kidding me… The iPhone does lag… Just cause they’re aren’t that many cases or times when we hear about it… Trust me… They do and can lag… Both iPod and IPhone… My iPod and my moms iPhone do lag… Very much but I’m
Able to deal with it… I’m going to switch to android no matter what anyone says…

Jesse

You didn’t even come close to talking about the versatility of apps and widgets that aren’t available on iphone. Droid’s apps/shortcuts/widgets are completely customizable and allow instant info… who wants to have use shortcut buttons just to dim the screen?? Dim a droid directly… Droid allows every instant accessibility you can think of. Widgets are where its at. Iphone better than droid? Not if you like to save time and press thousands of less buttons over a life time, just to get from point a to point b….

Spend more time reading info from your desktop, rather than digging into you phone to retrieve info…. view your notes weather and mail, directly! Iphones are limited beyond belief, they miss the whole convenience factor and THAT is what the point of a smart phone is.

Iphones bug up too… i just got one and I have to cancel some apps from downloading, just so they stop crashing during installation!!! It also froze a few times too in the first day of ownership.

I am a user of both types of phones… and Droid wins by a mile

Cicas

about screen: actually iPhone is to big for me, so i picked an android phone:) first was galaxy 5, now i have xperia mini for couple days…

Tim Brookes

Are apps a pain on that tiny screen? Doesn’t it only have a resolution of about 320×230?

I read somewhere that the iPhone was designed to be the perfect size to allow your thumb to comfortably reach the opposite side of the screen when the device is held in your palm.

I don’t dispute this because a) I’ve tried it and it works and b) Apple are notoriously design-concious, with even the iCloud logo conforming to the Golden Ratio.