Saturday, October 2, 2010

iOS4, Android 2.2 and Rim Faceoff....

There was a time when the iPhone had no real competition.  In some ways, that may be still be true.  But Google is trying to change that.  The battle of the mobile OSs starts here!
This review will not end like in a conversation I found on a very good blog covering Android and iOS4 which went like this: "Android phones are much more logically designed. They aren't designed for idiots, and are inherently not idiot proof. So, if you have a brain, get an Android phone, if you're an idiot, get an iPhone."  To which another user responded: "Hey, thanks for proving my point! Enjoy your iPhone."

Android in its latest version (2.2) is becoming quite grown up.  It has come a long way from 1.0.  On the other hand Apple's OS has also come a long way (iOS4).  This review will be based on other reviews and will attempt to be a roundup of all the other reviews of note done to date.  The Blackberry RIM will be mentioned here not because it is a close contender but, because it is a very popular "smart phone."  In reality Blackberry has a long way to catch up, even in its Storm versions.

We are not going to compare hardware because there are many manifestations of the Android phone.  But when it comes to these companies we must make clear the different philosophies that govern Apple and Google.  Apple has always kept a somewhat "closed" system.  By this we do not mean that they are closed off from innovation.  Quite the contrary, they have always been a leading innovator pushing the limits and raising the bar of the technology they manufacture.  Apple wants to control both the hardware and software so as to optimize the users experience.  Now some especially of the open source community may strongly disagree with us, but we must grant that at least this is Apple's intent.  Google however, has followed the course Microsoft took with the PC.  They chose not to make the hardware, but, simply supply the OS to certain general standards that everyone had to adhere to.  This of course, gave each hardware manufacturer the opportunity to be different in some way from their competition.  This open system, although full of choices, made things hard for Microsoft, especially in the early days when hardware components were incompatible with each other in some degree, producing such ludicrous problems as a PC that would not recognize the CD player that was built into it after it crashed and was restored.  The famous Microsoft mantra "plug n play," was changed by critics to "plug n pray."  Now since those days, Microsoft has cleaned up its act with Windows 7.  But it will be interesting to see if similar problems as Microsoft experienced, arise with the Android phones in their many variations.
Most people want to see comparison tables but they do not tell the entire story.  Although both phones may have the same feature, the user experience may be quite different.  It is critical to consider HOW WELL the feature has been implemented.

ANDROID 2.2 (Froyo)
According to a PCWorld article, Android runs 2-5 times faster than version 2.1.  It also has a new javascript engine which is 2-3 times faster than version 2.1.  It also increases the speed of switching between apps.  It fully supports Adobe Flash and Adobe Air.

We all know about Adobe Flash.  It is the basis for youtube.  Right now 99% of internet users can see Flash movies. The iPhone does not support Flash directly, although apps that use Flash will be permitted in the iTunes store.  Android supports Flash 10 fully so it will be easier to see more videos on an Android phone than an iPhone.  Right now when there is en embedded Flash movie in the browser clicking on it takes you to youtube to play.  If it is a youtube video.  Some of the others are switching over to HTML5 but slowly, to play back video including Vimeo, a large website for all sorts of videos, and youtube, but not HuluAndroid 2.2 Android 2.2 also supports Adobe Air.

Here are some videos posted by engadget showing different speeds of downloads on Wi-Fi by both the iphone and an HTC Android 2.2 phone:

There have been websites attesting the dramatic difference in the way the two operating systems run Javascript.  Javascript is critical to web sites in allowing the browsers to do very sophisticated things.  Javascript, invented in 1995 by the Netscape Corporation, (which made the first browser - Netscape Navigator).  Javascript is used on 95% of the world's computers.  Seeing how important this scripting language is to a browser look at the startling difference in the way an iPhone and an Android 2.2 handle Javascript.


CLOUD TO VOICE MESSAGING by Google  (this explains it all watch)

In the end, no matter what different features any phone has what matters it how it makes the user feel.  All successful models are designed by people who understand and believe this principle.  For that we go to the satisfaction polls.  In this area Apple seems to be without peer.  For the last 4 years according to J.D. Powers Associates they have come in first in satisfaction with a score of 800 out of a possible 1,000.  The only thing that kept them from 5 stars was the battery life of the phone.  Again one picture says a thousand words.
For a detailed report and better quality image you can go here.  We want to include a very insightful defense of some of the features that a user named xavier posted at another blog criticizing what he perceived as a pro-Apple review of the Apple and Android platform.  We will quote in full since he speaks eloquently enough.
Here are a few of the mistakes you made.  1.First of all how can you compare home screens without mentioning the notification bar which not only shows missed calls, and messages but also shows some running apps.  Also you seem to be clueless about widgets and how they make android a joy.  And you also seem to have forgotten the android homescreen is fully customizable. You change wallpapers, both animated and non animated.  2.You dont need to rearrange apps in the app screen, you can do that on your homescreen.  Also android has up to nine screens. Its set to display five by default. You can choose the number of home screens you want in the display settings  3.You also forgot or purposely neglected the fact that you can get apps anywhere without hacking your phone.  4.You can switch thru apps by holding the home button and additionally most apps show up on the notification bar when they're ative. Also you can add running services as a short cut on your homescreen so you dont have to go through the settings menu.  5.And lastly your "you have to go through the menu to do this" argument is a bit retarded. You forgot android has a dedicated menu button so opening the menu option on any app is no problem  You seem like an ios fanboy seeing as you purposely neglected to mention the areas where android outshines ios. Like its fully customizable homescreen, widgets and how the notification bar is way better than on ios.  Also having dedicated home,back and menu button on android makes it much easier to navigate.
If what some are saying is true, the Android has surpassed iOS4 as the most dominant smart phone OS.

Which is the best phone?  Here We will leave the user to decide.  After all, in a capitalist society he votes with his money.   The decision is too difficult for us to make.  We will simply supply you with the facts.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

After reading this article, I was surprised to discover that I am seriously questioning whether I should have bought the iPhone 4. I am going to have to keep a close eye on this before upgrading next time. Thank you.