iPhone v Android
In February 2011, I asked RV Lifestyle Ezine readers to tell which Smart Phone they liked: the iPhone or Android. Here is a summary of their replies:
I love my Android:
- Love my Droid X: I just got a Droid X in November and I love it! I can do email, facebook, twitter, check radar in the area I am in during severe weather, play games, surf the internet, compare prices with a shopping app, make a grocery list, check for gluten free products with an app, and the list goes on and on. And it even makes phone calls, hahaha! Really, in the place we are now, my old phone wouldn't get a good enough signal to make a call, but the Droid does. FabGrandma
- Love the open environment: Being a former Blackberry user I couldn't help throwing in my two cents on the question of iphone vs Android. I thought the Blackberry was the only phone until I took the plunge about a year ago! Keep in mind I am a Mac fan who has had several mac's and ipods, but being a Verizon customer didn't have the option of an iphone when it came out. At any rate, now that I have experienced the Android OS I would NEVER think of switching to an iphone. Android being totally open source is a joy and a pleasure to use without the frustrating control of Apple has on it's product's usage. I have never enjoyed an OS more than Android. There are a multitude of apps to choose from. My phone is the Motorola Droid, but when it's time to upgrade I will go with the Droid X or one of the other large screen phones. I use my phone for TV, YouTube videos, and games as well as phone calls/email/chat. I am waiting now for the plethora of Android tablets which will be out in the near future. I am now a bigger Android fan than a Apple fan!!! Apple is an innovative, cutting edge producer of beautiful products, but Android's open source can't be beat!! Hope this helps, and best of luck in your decision! Charlotte
- I switched: I had an IPhone for the last two years with AT&T, I was looking forward to Verizon to get it because of the coverage they have. Last Tuesday I bought the Motorola Droid x mostly on the recommendations of my two sons but also it has a bigger screen and I like the set up better. Time will tell if I made the correct decision. Ken
- Samsung Galaxy S-type: I can't speak for the iPhone, but I love my Android Samsung Galaxy S-type Mesmerize (USCellular). It is easy to use, dependable, and I use the tethering mode regularly. The Galaxy S series of phones seem to be pretty powerful and functional. My son has an iPhone and loves it. He had one from AT&T and has now switched to Verizon. My suggestion? Get your hands on an Android phone that you might want and get your hands on an iPhone and try out their features for ease of use. Do remember that all Android phones are not created equal! But I am pleased with my choice of an Android phone. Forrest
The iPhone is the way to go
- I have an iPhone and truly love it. I was very happy with the phone I had till I saw a friend and his family using them when we visited Christmas '9. So before we started our travel in the RV I decided it was a must-have and I haven't been sorry but of course I haven't had an Android to compare. I have been so impressed with the iPhone that I have since bought myself an Apple Laptop to go with it and I have never used Apple before. Still working my way around the laptop, which now has its own App Store now too. Took only a week to work the phone out though. I love the App "offexploring" that I type offline if needed, add photos and use GPS to pinpoint where I am on a map. It also can automatically sync with Facebook so your friends can follow your status there too - I had my own travel blog and it was so easy to use. So many more options in USA when traveling to connect to free Wi-Fi also (I know most phones can do that). In Australia we seem to rely more on McDonald's for free Wi-Fi hookups. Leigh
- Not a geek? Get an iPhone: Unless you are a geek, I would suggest that you would enjoy an iPhone more. The Verizon rep doesn't know what he is talking about regarding apps. There are definitely more iPhone apps by a multiple of at least 10 times. However, that is not the primary issue. It comes down to how easy is it to use. There are currently multiple versions of the Android operating system available. Not all apps work on each version. The benefit to the iPhone is that it is a closed environment so every app runs on every iPhone and often the iPad as well. The other main issue is usability. Apple is the master of the user interface. It is simple and is focused on the things you do the most. Not nearly as focused on high tech capabilities that you will rarely use. That's my to cents. By the way, I am on my second iPhone —an iPhone 4. John L
Reserach by Andy Baird- the iPhone's have it
More RV apps: There are many more apps for iPhones, and most reviewers agree that the overall quality of apps in the iPhone App Store is higher than those in the Android Marketplace. And there's a rich variety of RVing-related iPhone apps. An iPhone App Store search for "RV" turned up more than 60 RVing apps, and that's not even counting GPS, navigation, and other general travel apps, which number in the hundreds. A similar search of Android apps turned up only 14 apps. [Note: those numbers could very well be higher now.]
By the way, my "New Mexico State Parks Pocket Guide"
(http://www.andybaird.com/nmsp/) and "Lazy Daze Pocket Guide"
(http://www.andybaird.com/travels/LD-guide-web/) web apps are free, and
can be used by any iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad, as well as by most
Android phones, and any computer with a web browser.
No viruses: All current and recent iPhones can run all 350,000+ iPhone apps, whereas many Android phones can't run some Android apps, due to hardware incompatibilities and multiple, obsolete operating system versions. And Apple provides OS upgrades that keep iPhones current for years, whereas Google does nothing for Android users, and cell phone carriers are very reluctant to upgrade phones once sold. There are no viruses or worms on iPhones; there are plenty on Android phones.
Apple apps all tested: Android fans say that Apple's not "open," a vague word that has taken on almost religious significance to cell phone partisans. But here's what that means in practical terms: each of the 350,000+ iPhone apps has been tested and approved by Apple. That's why there's no malware in the iPhone App Store. Android, by contrast, is a Wild West scenario, with no law and order in sight.
No standardization for Androids: There's more. There are scores of different Android phones, with varying screen sizes, button layouts, and hardware features... and a wide variety of different versions of the Android operating system. That's what I meant by "fragmented." It means that software that runs on one Android phone may not run on another. It's difficult to tell whether a given program in the Android Market will actually work on your particular phone. By contrast, if a program is in Apple's App Store, it WILL work on your new iPhone 4--no ifs, ands or buts. Screen size, button layout, and hardware features are standardized, and all software has been tested for compatibility by Apple before it gets into the store.
Apple updates operating system: Because iPhones, iPods Touch, and iPads all use the same operating system, Apple keeps them up to date. 90% of iPhones out there now are using the latest revision of iOS, so they're compatible with all programs. With Android, it's a far different story. Three out of four Android phones now in use are running obsolete versions of Android--so obsolete that many new programs simply won't work. Believe it or not, even some brand new/just announced Android phones use obsolete Android OS versions. Phone manufacturers don't care, and neither does Google. After all, it makes no money from Android.
iPhone updates are free and often: Operating system updates for iPhones come from Apple (free), and Apple works hard to make sure all its customers are on the same page. But OS updates for Android phones come from cell phone carriers--NOT from Google. It costs money for the carriers to provide them, because each phone's Android is customized differently... and once they've sold you a phone and a contract, there's no incentive for them to update that phone. By and large, they don't. When you buy an Android phone, the chances are good that it will never be updated to take advantage of new features. It's obsolescent right out of the box.
Accessories: In addition, there's a huge variety of accessories (cases, docks,
cables, speaker systems, car kits, etc.) available for iPhone/iPod/iPad
products, because they're standardized in size and shape and use
standard docking connectors. There are relatively few accessories for
Android phones, because no two Android phones are alike. Walk into any
electronics store and ask to see iPhone accessories. Then ask to see
Droid X (or HTC Hero, or any Android phone) accessories. The difference
Apple sells to users, Google sells ad: Apple has built its business on providing the best possible experience to users, and it shows. Google's business is selling ads--95% of their revenue comes from ads. They don't care about users; they just want to make advertisers happy. They give away Android for free, in hopes they can get more ads on cell phones. Cell phone makers, of course, love Android because it's free and it looks sorta kinda like an iPhone... if you squint real hard. ;-) Well, you get what you pay for.
Will the updates come from Apple or Verizon if you get the iphone from Verizon?"
From Apple, via iTunes... and that's a very good thing for us users. Verizon is cut out of the loop; all they are is a data pipeline. This means (unlike with other phones) that there's no Verizon logo on the iPhone, no Verizon junkware installed on it, no attempt to trick you into using their overpriced "services" to buy ringtones and primitive games... etc. They're no longer in control of what you put on your phone. You are. As I said earlier, Verizon, like all cell carriers, really doesn't want to hear from you once you've signed the contract.
Apple has no contracts, and they work hard to make sure you love your Apple phone. (They've had the highest customer satisfaction rating in the computer industry for 11 years in a row now.) They do that so when it comes time to buy a new phone--or a new computer, or TV set-top box--you'll want to buy it from Apple.
And it works. Android lovers like to brag about how many handsets are selling (most of them, it turns out, cheap no-name phones sold to mainland-Chinese users), but if you measure by profit--the only criterion that matters in business--Apple is now the largest cell phone manufacturer in the world. That's in less than four years, from a cold standing start in 2007. (See http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2011/01/31/apple-is-still-sucking-most-of-the-profit-out-of-the-mobile-phone-business/ for details. :-) Says Fortune magazine, "Everybody else is playing catch-up." Or as Nokia's CEO put it in a companywide memo two days ago, "The first iPhone shipped in 2007, and we still don’t have a product that is close to their experience."
Tech site Engadget puts it this way in their review of the new Verizon iPhone (http://www.engadget.com/2011/02/02/verizon-iphone-review/): "We think the design and build of the iPhone 4 is best in class by a long shot. [But] Apple and Verizon did the impossible: they made the best smartphone in America just a little bit better." Andy Baird
Kim Komando: Just a quick note to respond to your smart phone inquiry. I am no expert, but if you go to Komando.com, the lady there is an absolute genius on all things electronic. She has some really interesting points of view on this very subject. I have used this site for years, and it is very safe. There are also many, many free and useful downloads on her site mostly free. I hope this helps you. John F. [Note: She did describe each product but did not do a comparison that I could find.]
A day in the life of Andy's iPod Touch: Here's a page in which I describe, in "day in the life" fashion, how I use my iPod Touch. Every app described here will run on an iPhone, which has the same screen and OS. (Very few of them are available for Android.)
Andy's favorite iPhone apps: And here's a page listing some of my favorite iPhone apps:
Thanks to all who responded.