As you can see in my previous post, the most expected smartphone 2011 is Apple's iPhone 5, followed by Android devices. As for me, I have been using an Android phone since a year, and I am quite satisfied with it. But various iStatistics impressed me really very much, so I’ve decided to take a look on the device that has been enchanting the whole world since almost 4 years. And I got an iPhone 4! But - what’s a pity! – only for an hour.
So let’s check, what an iPhone can make with a staunch Android supporter within an hour I must confess, that the first thought I had was not “What an impressive design!” and not “The display is really good!”, but: “WOW! I am holding an iPhone in my hands!” But of course the design and the display are significant advantages of the iPhone 4. I’ve never seen such a clear and detailed screen on a mobile device before. It was especially bright in comparison with my own phone: Huawei U8230. Yes, I do have a Chinese phone running on Android 2.1. That’s why I’ll try to compare not the phones, but their OS: Android and iOS. What do I need a smartphone for? I surf the Net, make my schedule, read books, play games, watch weather, check my E-Mails and take photos. And yes, I also make some calls and type SMS. I also need a nice and customizable desktop and often use my phone as an USB flash drive. Within this hour I was trying to find out if all these things will be as convenient on an iPhone as they are on my Android device.
- Phone calls and contact lists – no remarkable differences. Moreover, the Android dialer has a very good feature: when you begin typing a phone number, the device shows you possible contacts. I find this really useful.
- Internet – Opera vs. Safari. I liked Opera more, but maybe because I am accustomed to it.
- Calendars are very similar-looking, too. I couldn’t say that one of them is better or worse.
- Books reading. That’s the point where my sympathies belong to Android. I read books in fb2, txt, rtf and doc formats – whatever I may find. On Android it's enough to download the file on SD-card and then to find an appropriate app on Android market. As for me, I use FBReader and Cool Reader, they support all above-mentioned formats. On iPhone I faced the problem of convertation to epub format. And I am going to speak about file downloading below.
- Games and other apps. Here I was in difficulty. I always thought Android market was good enough. But AppStore has more apps – and they are carefully selected, which is a very important point. There are too much random and useless apps on Android market, and sometimes it is quite difficult to find the one you really need. On the other hand, there are more free apps on Android market. And as for their number – I don’t think, I’ll feel the difference between 200.000 apps for Android and 350.000 for iOS. I’ll never try them all. But purely personally – I liked the games installed on the iPhone more than my Android games.
- Music. Like books reading, it is the matter of the downloaded player on Android. On the iPhone I faced iTunes. It looks nice – but I think it’s not a good idea to run to my PC for making any changes in the playlist.
- Photos. I liked the photo albums on iOS very much. They are organized more conveniently and understandably than on Android: all in one place, while I often have to search through my whole file system to find a photo or a picture on Android.
- Desktop. And that is the point where I am pretty disappointed about iOS. I like to customize my desktop on Android and to fill it with widgets. But iOS doesn’t give me any possibility of making this. No widgets. That is a great minus for me because I am used to see weather forecast, last news, interesting facts and notes on my desktop.
- File system. An another point where Android wins. I often use my smartphone as an USB flash drive and have already got accustomed to working with system folders. iTunes is an insurmountable obstacle on this way.
- File transferring. No Bluetooth on iPhone. WTF?!
- Phone settings. I was very pleased with the setting system on iOS: all in one place (apps, photo albums, messages etc.), while I find some menu points on Android a little tangled. But Android offers a very detailed description of battery usage statistics. I didn’t found something like this on iOS.
- Other things. Here I collected some points I want to mention separately. Firstly, multitasking and apps management on Android. Using the Task Killer I can see how much memory running applications “eat” and “kill” them. On iOS I can only “kill”, without watching the statistics. And I also like the notifications area on Android. Secondly, only one physical button “Home” on iPhone. I don’t mean it is bad, but by working with some applications my fingers are looking for the menu button themselves.
- Price. Android devices are usually remarkably more affordable than iPhones.
I think that’s all I wanted to describe. I didn’t mention various technical details on purpose: you can easily find them in hundreds of other reviews in the Net. This post is my subjective impression from Android and iOS. And you know – my conclusions surprised myself. If I start to compare the OS point by point, I’ll find out that Android possess more advantages than iOS: 7 points (books reading, music, desktop, file system and file transferring, apps management, price) against 3 (apps, photo albums, phone settings); phone calls, contact lists, internet access and calendars are similar. So, I find the usability of Android better. But a very strange – and easily explainable – thing: if I compare the general emotional impression from Android and iOS, I realize that I want an iPhone! Years of advertising did their work: an iPhone isn’t only a mobile device anymore, it’s a brand, surrounded by a charming veil of privilege and popularity. Even if you know that there are devices with a better usability, even if you understand that you’ll pay Apple for every breath on your device – you’ll love an iPhone. Believe me.