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Android versus iPhone

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At the beginning of the year, I handed my Windows Phone 7 over to a co-worker and decided to try out the latest Android devices available via AT&T.  I am now testing with Galaxy S from HTC.

My take on Android is that the iPhone is designed for ease of use (best for first time users of smartphone).  Even my wife, who is new to smart phones, can use an iPhone.   My Android is a bit too complex if you get into the advanced settings available to the power user.  However, these advanced capabilities also translate to flexibility.  The android operating system has been the worst of all smart phones tested in 1 area in particular…connecting to older versions of Exchange Server.  I assume this is part of the OS and due to its limitations; I had to move to a 20 dollar exchange email app which works great.

In general, Android has lots of settings you can configure.  Linux users like a lot of custom settings and advanced editing of the OS tasks.  Android is a lot like Linux.  It seems geared toward the right brained user.

The visual appeal of simplicity is a powerful benefit to any smartphone system.  Windows Phone 7 and iPhone are both simpler for the broadest range of users.  I have been using my Android now for about 2 months and I am not complaining about it except occasionally it has more time out issues.  I like three buttons to move around, I also like how the iPhone navigates.  Ideally, a user should be able to choose how many buttons they want to use regardless of the device buttons.

In terms of applications, the marketplace lacks advanced capabilities especially for filtering the list of apps to narrow down your search.  Apple does very well in this area.  Apple at this time seems to have the most mature application for managing “sales” of apps.

The Android feels more like open source in its approach of having “many versions” at once.  There is no easy upgrade path for most devices that run these older versions of the Android OS.  So as devices mature and their life becomes more like the PC of today (I know people that have not upgraded for over 5 years) and many OS updates will be expected to remain relevant.

I like the notifications tab that fills up and sometimes makes forces me to take too many steps.  This can be annoying.  Android has static icons for applications.  iPhone’s use of the left icon corners and Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7′s panels are a great use of design space.  This is something Android does not have.  It uses icons on the top bar coupled with notification alerts which is less efficient.  The email program on the Android was terrible in my opinion.  Web Links, phone numbers, and formatting are poorly supported in my version.  I switched to Touchdown Pro which does a great job of email for Exchange Server.

I suggest Android if you hate Apple, otherwise, use the iPhone.

Next up…which mobile OS wins this year?

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One question

  1. Adam R. says:

    I don’t hate iPhone or Apple per se, but I’m also not as enamored with it as many folks are. I’m fairly tech savvy but not a total geek, but I’m considering getting an Android for my first smartphone because I really want to take advantage of the 4G speed. I’m loyal to Verizon and due for a full upgrade. I love the fact that the only currently available 4G smartphone at Verizon offers simultaneous voice and data and acts as a hotspot for up to 8 devices – as a roaming freelancer, being able to have a secure hi-speed connection for my laptop wherever I am is a major benefit.

    My question: should I go for it and snap up one of these HTC phones?

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