Efforts to understand, improve, or do less harm to the world around me.


Friday, January 21, 2011

iPhone 4.2.1 vs. Android 2.2

Following up on my "The Future is actually going to be Linux" article, I can safely and easily say that at least in one aspect, yes:

Customization: absolutely outstanding.  Makes the iPhone look like a complete and total joke:
  • Tons and tons of great widgets and the terrific Zeam interface.  Awesome.
  • Ringtones of whatever you want.  If you already own the MP3, you don't have to buy anything else.
  • Change the amount of data you want to cache in Google Maps
  • Multiple different mapping programs that will cache huge data sets (Mapdroid, Locus)

More software that so far much better with tons more features:
  • Multiple broad-format audio players including WinAmp, DoubleTwist, and the awesome network-audio capable 2Player
  • Calendar: Jorte
  • TodoList: Astrid
  • Browser: Firefox
  • eBook, text file reader: CoolReader
  • Barcode tool: Barcode Scanner
  • Navigation: My Tracks
  • Remote Desktop: Remote RDP Lite
  • Mail client: K-9 Mail

Other strong points in Android's favor:
  • Dramatically better selection of freeware applications, including some great GPL'd software that Apple legally will not allow (Weight Chart, KeePass, AppsOrganizer, and many more)
  • A torrent client, file manager, and capability to open many different file types with a variety of available programs
  • Adobe Flash support and a great game selection via the Kongregate client
  • Super-simple WiFi, Cell Phone, and GPS on/off switch via Elixer
  • Better keyboard and "landscape" interface (that doesn't occasionally work as with the iPhone)
  • Multitasking via "Perfect Task Switcher"
  • SSH, SFTP, and Samba client (all tested and work great) and an FTP server (SwiFTP)
  • Open standard encryption tool (APG)
  • Figure out what the device is doing what with OSMonitor
  • Built in voice-to-text is way more accurate on Android than the free Dragon Dictation
  • Almost all Google's services seem way better on the Android, although this isn't fair to say since Google could conceivably cripple their iPhone offerings.
  • Usually much higher resolution pictures and video, as well as the ability to usually just swap out a tiny SD card to double the amount of space on your device.

So far the only places that iPhone comes out on top is ease of use and generally smoother, easier to use hardware.  Battery life seems to be a bit better, but the yawning difference between these two devices very much shocks me.  Essentially, Android is an actual computer while the iPhone is just a gadget.

The press constantly seems to be talking about issues in Android's future: patent issues and the fragmentation of the Android OS.  For me, Android is so far ahead, it would take a very long time to lose its standing on the points listed above to Apple.

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