Android vs iOS

A friend of mine recently send me an email with this link from extremetech.com listing the 5 Android features that leave iOS in the dust.  Here are my thoughts in response:

1.  Homescreen/widgets.  These drain battery life, which is why iOS doesnt have them.  I’ve been learning to code in Android and their OS can run as many background services as apps that contain them.  This drains battery and consumes bandwidth. iOS’s solution is APNS or push notifications which a server running on the internet can send to the device instead.  Its not as fancy as Android, I agree, but ill trade it for battery life anyday.  When hardware manufact can come up with a battery that will last for days, Apple’s iOS is a few code snippets away from implementing all those features.  Im sure its probably coded already.  Apple is a very business as well as tech savvy company.  They know how to release features and products when the market is ready.  Take their strategy on iPhones.  They could have left Android in the dust a few years ago but everyone wondered why Apple would limit their iPhone to ATT only.  They know the advantage the first comer has and how long they can make that lead last without it hurting their business.  Which is why Apple is so profitable aside from being so cool and market leader etc…

2.  Flash.  Please, as they say in my country, “y vuelve la mula al trigo”.  Loosely translated it, it means “not that again!”.  I have enough user experience to know that Flash is buggy and causes problems.  You dont need to know anything about coding to know this is so.  Just load a page that is loaded with Flash ads and see how slow i loads, slow it scrolls and often skips.  Flash is nice, but its not that important to the internet.  Moreover, with HTML5 coming round the bend, its clear this “nice feature” & “advantage” will be shortlived at most.
3.  Customizability.  This is true, Android is more customizable.  Apple’s response, it listens to customers and eventually puts things into play, as it has with a lot of features like the flash, twitter integration, notifications and so many others.  Its not as quick to market with these features but they make it into the iOS soon enough to make users think, “Hey, i thought of that!”.  The other side of the coin to me is much more worth it; the OS stability.  I have been coding for Android for about a month and iOS for about 3 years.  Anyone who has done so can easily tell you the tools and debugging and overall stability of iOS is far better than that of Android.  This results in better quality products.  Id rather have a stable mobile device OS than one where programmers can control your device in many ways you may not even know about and have no supervision over what programmer’s apps can do, see, send, delete, create and poke around in your mobile device.
4.  Voice Control.  I have been playing around with Dragon for a while and other apps that give voice control functionality to iOS, including Google’s own Google Mobile App.  Plus with Apple’s move into Nuance, thats just like saying…”I just got the latest Buck Rogers action figure”….”Great, Im gettin mine tomorrow!”.
5.  Google Accnt Integration.  Alas, an actual advantage.  The afore mentioned were comparative advantages.  They dont really represent a core, solid, durable advantage.  Anyone in business will tell you, they are simply features that can be copied and implemented.  This on the other hand is indeed a real advantage because its not easily reproduced.  I love gmail and so does the rest of the world so unless Apple came up with a back-end solution for this in their new Cupertino Spaceship campus, but it would be better to simply buy Google out :).  (Im kidding).  But it would be better to just play nice with Google on that.
In conclusion, far from leaving iOS in the dust with 4 features, the one real advantage Google Android has over iOS is their integration with their own back-end services.  Nothing a little money and an alliance can’t remedy.  Just ask the motown 4 [the 4 major record labels Apple signed up for their iTunes Cloud Service]. 🙂
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