When it comes to picking a cell phone these days I hear a common yet valid argument: iPhone or Android? I have come today to help point out the main differences to help someone stuck in the middle make a decision on which phone suits them best.
Apple has always and most likely will always make the hardware themselves. Apple makes the iPhone in one flavor with a few storage opportunities. From iPhone to iPhone 4 the hardware follows a pattern. Large touch screen and minimal buttons. There are not iPhones with a hardware keyboard at this time, and for some this may be a deal breaker. On the other hand Google’s Android platform can be found on all kinds of hardware and form factors. Motorola has been a flagship manufacturer for Android devices from Motorola Droid to the Motorola Droid X(extreme). If you want a keyboard, there is a phone with Android for you. If you want a big screen but no keyboard, there is also and Android phone for you out there. If I were to personally pick a device I would have to hold it and use it before coming to my conclusion. Android is great because you can get almost any form factor you want but Apple has great hardware that works wonderfully with their iOS system.
Apple offers it’s consumers great features. On iPhone 4 they offer dual cameras, one on the back and a front facing one on the front screen. They are now offering the ability to do video calls on a program they are calling “FaceTime”. Apple’s software is closed and doesn’t allow for a lot of customization and adding applications not approved by Apple but the great thing is the Apple iTunes app store has an app for literally everything. You can even use an application to confess your sins to the church now! On the opposite hand we have Android who is an open source platform. Manufacturers can tweak Android to their likings for each handset they offer. Motorola usually puts their “blur” software on their handsets. HTC uses software called “sense” on their products. The consumer can them tweak it even more by adding new applications and adding customization options from the Android Market to change the layout of the homescreen, and text messaging applications. When it comes to customization, Android is the king. However the Android Market is big but lacks the volume of applications Apple is currently offering.
A lot of people will argue that iOS by Apple is the most stable operating system on a mobile smartphone today, and they would be right. Because the iOS platform is a closed ecosystem and there is only a handful of hardware implementations, which Apple has made themselves there are few bugs that have not been fixed. Android on the other hand is very open and allows each manufacturer to change things on the software for their handsets. The main issue with this is each handset is now susceptible to having it’s own bugs and issues. I believe that it is however very appealing to most consumers to have more customization on their handset than to never have any problems. Manufacturers back up their hardware and software with warranties and as long as you don’t void them, if you do have a problem they will replace or fix the device free of charge.
Apple has gotten usability down to a science. The consumer should be able to pick a phone up and immediately know what to do and how to use it’s features. Apple has done a great job with iOS in the usability field. I can pick up an iPhone 4 and immediately use it. There is NO learning curve. With Android because the manufacturers tweak each handset, it is a bit of a learning curve to learn the system and how everything works.
Verizon and AT T; are the sole carriers for Apple’s iPhone at the current moment. Sprint and T-Mobile and other US carriers do not have the device on their networks as of now. Android, because of the many hardware vendors and options, is on every major carrier in the US. T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon Wireless, and AT T; all have plenty of Android phones to choose from.
When it comes down to it, most consumers need to ask themselves do I want an easy to use phone that does everything a phone needs to right now or do I want something with customization and more hardware to choose from. I chose Android. I use a Motorola Droid X for Verizon as my main device and I love it. (I did have an iPhone 3G with AT T; for a year).