If you’re considering buying your first smartphone, you’ve got a fairly big decision to make. As well as choosing a carrier, plan and minimum contract period you then have to trawl through the barrage of handsets until you find something you like.
Most buyers will probably end up choosing between the Android operating system and an iPhone, running iOS. So how do you know which is right for you? In this editorial I’ll put the iPhone argument forward and explain why I think Apple’s plan is better than Google’s. Don’t forget to have your say in the comments.
UI Response & Lag
I’ve had enough terrible mobile phones in the past to understand the value of a smooth and responsive UI, and this is guaranteed with the iPhone. Pretty much every mundane task you take for granted – scrolling your Facebook feed, looking up a phone number or responding to email – is silky smooth with very little lag at all. Even if you managed to pick up an ageing 3GS you’d still be pleasantly surprised as the OS glides through most tasks the way you’d expect.
Unfortunately, Android has still not quite caught up despite Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) making leaps and bounds over previous versions. The Galaxy Nexus is surely one of the most talked-about devices of 2011, but even it seems to have some issues. This controversial TechCrunch article claimed: “It’s still not as smooth as it should be. For the most part, ICS fixes many of Android’s performance issues, but there are plenty of times that you’ll still see stutters here and there.” Let’s not forget the multi-touch issues and rotation lag that has plagued the device as well, making some apps and games unusable.
Google even acknowledged Android’s lag issues before Christmas, and whilst Ice Cream Sandwich is a huge improvement not every brand new Android phone in the shop will be running it. So why, when manufacturers continue to pile on the power, is Android still stuttering through some pretty basic tasks?
Too Many Handsets
The dazzling array of phones sporting the Android operating system is enough to confuse many people considering a purchase, especially your average consumer. Globally HTC released 4 Android phones last year, Motorola and Sony Ericsson turned out 6 but none could match Samsung who incredibly managed a total of 12.