2012/10/30

Opinion: iPhone vs Android

A friend of mine is finally joining the smartphone using masses and asked to the general Facebook public what type they should get, iPhone or Android (or other).  Here's what I posted in response.

I'm an Android user and will upgrade to another Android when the time comes. I have plenty of iPhone toting friends, and yes, the iPhone is a decent piece of hardware. It is an mobile "experience" that is carefully constructed and controlled by one company - Apple. Therein lies why I won't get an iPhone.

Apple has a knack for keeping people locked to their products. Get an iPhone and you have to get apps that are in the Apple App store, get music/books from Apple's iTunes Store. The iPhone 5 uses a proprietary, and expensive, charging/data sync cable that only Apple sells (and is currently not licensing to third parties). Upgrading iOS has the tendency to remove apps made by companies Apple doesn't like (e.g. Google, as is the case with iOS 6 replacing Google Maps with the poorly excuted Apple Maps). I just don't like that sort of micromanaging - especially by a company who's only after my money.

I won't say that Google/Android is better for everyone. I just know it's better for how I want to use my phone. I like how flexible and customizable it is. I like that it can be useable from a free upgrade phone to a premium one that would cost me $300.

Ultimately, by the numbers iPhones and (premium) Android phones are equivalent. On both you can check your email, post on Facebook, check the weather/traffic, take photos, and occasionally make a phone call. I really depends on who bothers you less as they look over your shoulder - Apple or Google.