Monday, February 28, 2011

The Big Comparision: Andorid OS vs iOS

I planned to write this post as I used iPhone 3g for 2+ years got little bored and I do owe iPad since 2 months (which is awesome) and I recently got HTC desire with Android 2.2 froyo. So big question is which is better. This might serve as guide for all iOS users who wants to change to Android.

I will try to compare different topics one by one.

1st I will start with the topics where Android wins the battle.

Hardware: as I don't have latest iPhone 4 so can't compare directly so my knowledge is based on reviews and some time on friends phone. iPhone 4 is great but come for price. There is no cheaper way u can have so that is big negative. For android u can have something from 150$ to 700$ so u can find device of yr budget and few of them come with same specs as iPhone 4. Because of variety of device you can have your own identity unlike when everyone owns same device which is boring.

Keyboard: After using iOS keyboard for so long its difficult to switch to another type, that was I thought. But it was easy and I must say now after using android keyboard its works great for me.
Layout:- Its almost the same but with few welcome changes. Long press don't give weird character screen but have other keyboard (numbers and special characters) so you don't need to keep switching between ABC and 123 keyboard like iOS.
Spell check:- Everyone used to hate iOS keyboard for not remembering non standard words(hindi/gujarati) or short forms. Here android does very well remembering words once used. Even how you go about choosing different options, I cant describe that but its just awesome and I love it.

Notification and push:- Android wins all the way in this. Universal fact now. It is so irritating to get pop ups and everything stops and u have to press ok and go back to previous application. Its awesome how android notifies you in menu bar without disturbing what you are doing. One can just go for Android for this reason alone.

Personalization:- There is not much you can do if you have iOS device just rearrange icons and wall papers. Android comes with Widgets. you can have those on the screen for quick access and lots of info comes to you without opening any applications. I can compare this to DOS and Windows. iOS is like DOS, everything is listed and you have to go to each thing and check. Android is like window or OS X where there is app directory(program files) desktop and widgets makes it more usable but you have to set it up.

Physical keys:- Apart from usual power and volume key. iOS have just home button which makes things simple and after switching makes things complex in android but I got used to very fast and like it now. There are usually 4 keys on most android phones.
1. Home - which works same as iOS. Additional function I will compare in multitask
2. Menu - which I can say right click like features.You dont have find menu button which is located in different app in iOS and search for it. Everything is right there when you press this saves screen space and make life easy.
3. back key - Loved this. in iOS they have to provide back button and its anywhere on the screen but here its in same place so easy to go back and check so you dont have to keep searching on screen.
4. Search - This provide same thing what searchlight do in iOS. But dedicated key which works from any application you can have access to google, contacts, applications, mail, message. I use this alot.
Ofcouse as I said more button add more complexity but for my view its works better for me.

Android market and sync:- Not much difference between android market and iOS app store listing from device but when you press install in iOS it closes the application and start installing stuff while in android market it is shown in notification bar and you can keep on downloading different stuff.
While if you want to install something from computer Android do better job. You just have to go to their website and install and application is installed over the air compare to download it to itune and sync.

Multitasking:- I hate multitask in iOS which makes android winner. In iOS you have to double tap home and select other app which is fine but iOS never closes your application everyday you have to manually close it which was irritating. While android its long press to home button and that shows only last 8 applications and you can quickly switch. There are lots of memory manager also available which can help as android gives permission for apps to use this.

Haptic feedback:- Started loving this. Small thing but I don't know why apple is not including it. (you can add it by jailbreaking but thats all different story)

Open:- When you compare application in their app store and market, iOS is more about fun while android apps gives more of personalization and tweaks to their hardware. So overall android system looks more open and you can make it work how you like rather than just default way like iOS. Few things like FM radio and bluetooth file transfers which I like is available only in android devices. You can have more control over your device.

Now I will list where iOS wins and things I miss the most:-

Applications:- Variety of application that iOS provides gives it the edge in this area. When I compare iOS applications to android applications, iOS apps looks more polished (even facebook, twitter official apps). So iOS got variety and quality both.

Fragmentation:- There are not lots of iOS models available so everything looks great. While on Android tons of device with different processor, screen resolution and various other different specifications are in market which makes it confusing. This is typical OS X and windows type comparison which one cant say which is better but I think iOS wins with limited models.

Sync:- As I said earlier Android wins when it comes to app sync but for other than that (music, movies etc) iOS is great if you don't have problem using itunes. For media there are various applications available in market but generally I felt iOS was better.

Battery:- I am not too disappointed with android but i think iOS do better job conserving battery. I use smartphone lots so not much of the issue but all negative points listed about iOS just to create good battery life.

There are few other things:-

iOS:- Apple just force you to hack into their software just by not providing unlock phone at first and not providing latest phone. You need to Jailbreak to do this. Process is simple but other than unlock not gives much tweaking options as their system will still remain closed.
Android:- While android natively gives lots permission to many things but you can root your phone to go into their roots and change few things and install custom ROM which can suits you but generally provide much more options. Not going too deep into this.
So hacking iOS mainly solves your unlocking issue while hacking android solves your memory issue for me.

Conclusion:- So as you can see there so no winner here but I was trying to list down positive and negative of both OS so you can choose from it.

Bottom line:- 
-- If you want simple interface not much tweaking with lots of fun and have good budget go for iOS.
-- If you want lots of personalization and tweaking and phone that suits your budget go for android.
Both are great OS.

PS:- I might have missed lots of points. Please write in comments and I will keep on adding also questions are also welcome.

Snap from LaptopMag website.