Android or iPhone? The discussion goes on and on. At the time the iPhone first hit the market, there was really no competition. The iPhone was playing in a class of its own. Early Android devices were mediocre: sluggish UI response, redraw lags, and the overall “assemble-it-yourself” approach just didn’t with consumers.
Today, the market has changed. With the latest iPhone being a superb device and a luxurious platform, the latest Androids leave little to be desired. Today’s Androids have responsive UI, offer most of the same apps in the Android Market, and abandoned the do-it-yourself, LEGO style approach. Today, choosing one system over another is more of a personal preference. Let’s try to discover what’s good about going the Apple route, and what advantages the Android way can bring.
Hardware and Models
With Apple, you are always limited to just a few models. Or, rather, you can choose from only one current model in several versions that differ very little. There are a few older models you can get from the used market, but that’s about it. “You can have any color as long as it’s black”.
Android devices, on the other hand, come in all sorts of shapes, models and colors. Various manufacturers use entirely different hardware. Different displays, processors, memory. Very different reliability and usability. Buying an Android phone will require you to do a market research, while you can’t really go wrong with any iPhone you can afford. Are you a techno geek or a gadget guy? Look for an Android phone you like best. The rest will be served by Apple.
The latest generation of iPhones has a superb Retina display. These super high resolution displays will display your apps, icons and photos so smooth it’s hard to believe. Kudos to Apple: they built one of the greatest screens ever.
Androids ship with all kinds of displays. Some of the better ones can match iPhones in resolution, but software integration is still lagging. Many applications are still using low-resolution icons and graphics designed to be shown on lower-resolution screens. When selecting an Android phone, you will have to look really carefully to buy a model with a good screen. If you’re not friends with numbers, icon resolutions, angles of view and other specs, just leave the Androids alone.
Pre-Installed Software and Interface
An iPhone is an iPhone. They’re all the same. A single operating system, one UI, the same set of pre-installed apps, exactly the same icons. You can customize it by moving stuff around and picking a few icons on your own, but there’s only so much you’re allowed to do.
Androids are available in all sorts of flavor. Different firmware and dozens of OS versions, builds and codenames. Different sets of icons for same apps. Many different shells and launchers. Extensively customizable: you can make Android phones look like whatever you want (and it’s not just about custom icons) – but you have to know what you’re doing. With such a huge variety, some devices are simply better as in easier to use, more robust and working more reliable than others. If making your very own custom environment is fun for you, by all means buy the Android. If you like your phone working straight out of the box, get an iPhone and begin using it right away.
Maintenance and Upgrades
iPhones don’t take memory cards. You’ll be stuck forever with the amount of memory you originally got. If you outgrow your iPhone, you’ll have to pay for another iPhone, bringing more money to Apple.
Most but not all Android phones come with a microSD slot, allowing you to add more memory when you need it. With microSD cards getting cheaper every year, you will be wealthier in the long run if you buy an Android.
With iPhones, you can’t even swap a battery. If your battery dies in some years (they all do; lithium batteries won’t hold charge after 3-4 years), you’ll be mailing your iPhone to Apple for a “major repair” (more dough to Apple), or be on the market for a new iPhone (even more dough to Apple).
While some Android devices use similarly user irreplaceable batteries, most Androids are easy: just lift the cover and throw a new battery in. A new battery will set you back a few dollars, allowing you to buy a replacement phone when you want it.
Android phones are cheaper to buy and more affordable to upgrade and maintain. They’re more extensible and customizable. iPhones work great right out of the box, and offer possibly the best usage experience ever. Which one to pick? The choice is yours.