Android Thoughts

Recently a friend decided to upgrade from an Android device to an iPhone 4s. I commented on her facebook post:

You're crossing to the dark side??

Kyle youll be back to the dark side iphone is taking over the world!!!! and i want to be on team apple when that happens.

Touche. can't argue. iphone is by far the best. Android is decent but given iOS and apple hardware as an alternative it's almost a no brainer. unless windows phone 8 makes a splash...

Someone else chimes in:

Almost a no-brainer... but not quite. Compared to budget Android devices, the iPhone is definitely superior. But there is literally no hardware spec on the iPhone that isn't matched or beaten by higher end Androids. If you favor features over price point, it comes down to preference, not superiority. The user experience on Android 4.0 is absolutely amazing, and the open source nature of Android puts it light years ahead of iOS in terms of development opportunities.

Again, it's about preference. iOS is clean, simple, and beautiful. Android is powerful, customizable, and versatile. It's all about what you're looking for in a phone. But let us be wary of granting to Apple some of these unearned superlatives.

My latest thoughts on Android:

I haven't used Android 4.0, but given the improvements between 2.2, 2.3, 3.0, and similarly positive and 'groundbreaking' reviews for 4.0, I can't imagine it being something I get too excited about. I switched from an iPhone 4 to Android (dual core Motorola Atrix) for many of the reasons listed but have ultimately been let down.

Google delivers power, customizability, and a sense of freedom on Android devices, however I find the power comes with some catches - weak battery life, unexpected FCs, laggy display (WHY?? the Atrix's processor should kill the iphone 4). The customization options are confusing and inconsistent across different hardware makers. Even having developed two Android apps, I haven't seen (or maybe just haven't utilized) any features that I feel are compelling. Lastly, the freedom I feel due to the open source nature of Android is refreshing, but honestly, I'd be fine giving up this flexibility for a superior WP7 or iOS device.

To me, bottom line is the Android ecosystem is discombobulated and inconsistent. It's a decent OS and beats any feature phone on the market, but having seen both Android and iOS up close and personal, I'm ready to switch back to iOS or try something new in WP7/WP8.

How do I tell if my iPhone is 3G or 3GS?

Here's a couple quick tricks that'll tell you if your old iPhone is 3G or 3GS.

  • "iPhone" - On the back of the phone, look for the word "iPhone".  If it's chrome like the Apple logo, the phone is 3GS.  If it's in gray letters it's a 3G (sucks for you).
  • Compass - Looking at the apps, if you see a "Compass", click and hold to see if it has the "Voice Control" feature.  If yes, you have a 3GS (yay for reselling value).
  • Camera - Open the "Camera" app.  If the the camera has a square box in the middle for auto-focus, and if you see a video mode switch in the bottom right, it's a 3GS.  Otherwise, it's a 3G (sucks for you).