Yes, I confess . . . I am an avid Android mobile user. AND . . . I have an iPod Touch (which I essentially just use for music now) and an iPad at my disposal. Some are die-hard advocates of one platform over the other, and I respect that. I personally like both and see how both platforms have broken down huge barriers in the mobile world of technology and shook the very foundations of some long-standing Institutions of the tech world (i.e. Microsoft). So which one is better and what’s the difference?
The answer to the first question depends on who you ask. More importantly, it’s really about the type of user and wants/needs you have in a device.
So why do I choose Android over iOS? For one, I am a huge Google user and Android works a bit more seamlessly with Google products. I want the power of “the cloud” functionality and I like things simple. You can make an iOS iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad work with Google products like email, contacts, and calendars “in the cloud” pretty easily (entering either on the device or online and it’s updated everywhere else), and even though the process is simple . . . many are not comfortable doing the steps. I actually used an iPod Touch as a PDA for a few years. Great applications, and the user interface was beautiful. So why didn’t I just get an iPhone? For me it was a couple of other things in addition to the Google piece I mentioned above:
- The iPhone was only available with one carrier at the time and I preferred another carrier that had Android.
- I don’t care for the constant need to hookup to iTunes for things with iOS products like initial setup. Android devices are simple in that you sign into your Google account and everything you have is there (i.e. contacts, calendars, etc.).
- I like choice when it comes to tech products. Android is open source and is used by several different manufacturers. iOS is . . . Apple and Apple only. For some crazy reason, Apple’s idea of choice is just wait 9 to 12 months and buy the new version of their product. What bothers me the most about their timing for new versions is how short the time frame is. I’m always left wondering why they didn’t just wait a bit release the better version in the first place?
- I also don’t like being “locked out” of things like batteries and expanding memory. Some Android devices allow you access to the battery. Most have expandable memory with SD or Micro SD cards.
- The biggest reason . . . my stuff is always backed up including my apps with no hookups. I can also easily shop and get apps either on the phone or on the Android Market Place online without any need to ever hook the phone to my PC.
So is there anything I don’t like about Android? Yes, there’s a couple:
- The apps are better on iOS, but they are getting better on Android. They are typically better visually and in terms of functionality on iOS products.
- Updating depends on the manufacturer of the device. For example, Android 2.2 and 2.3 is available for many phones. My particular phone (Samsung) is less than a year old and has yet to get the update from 2.1. Trust me, I’e complained to everyone. Update: Android 2.2 released for Samsung Fascinates with Verizon today! Unfortunately, my wife’s worked and mine didn’t. They are sending me a replacement phone. Go figure.
So, I’m not one to typically agree with the “one or the other approach”. It’s important to select the tech tool that best suits your needs/wants and make an educated decision. What I particularly like nowadays is that whatever platform you choose the user isn’t not so blocked out of things as they were in the past. For example, Apple Macs always had the issue of software selection issues. But in the world of apps for mobile devices, the selection is enormous on both platforms. And what I love the most out of everything . . . a selection of great Catholic apps on both platforms!