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Let me make this clear: I'm annoyed with Apple. I don't like their current policies and I don't like where Steve Jobs is taking the company. In general, I don't like it when any one company gets too much control in a market. When that happens, the leading company dictates the game and as consumers, our options all but disappear.

That said, I'm still going to buy a new iPhone next week. My Apple-hating friends seem to desperately want me to go Android instead, but frankly, it's not good enough for me, and here are the reasons why.

The Modern WinMo

One of the reasons that Microsoft has identified for Windows Mobile's rapid decline is the breadth of hardware. They exercised little control over manufacturer's implementations. In theory, that sounds great. We as consumers have lots of choice. In practice, though, it meant among other things that updates to the devices were left up to the manufacturers. As a result, that rarely happened. (I'm still bitter at Toshiba for leaving me hanging back in 2002.)

And now, Google is doing the same thing with Android. Case in point: my wife has a Motorola Backflip that we bought in April. It was released in March. Motorola says it will get Android 2.1 "sometime in Q3". Great. Meanwhile, I pull down the latest version of iPhone OS (now iOS) and install it the same day it's released.

You may say that I can't judge Android by one lazy manufacturer. Yup, I sure can. With Apple, my original iPhone has been supported perfectly for 3 years. With Android, I will have to wait for upgrades after Google releases them, possibly indefinitely. Not cool.

AT&T

We signed a new contract with AT&T in April to get my wife's phone. I've had a reasonable experience with them. I don't imagine my experience with Verizon would be any better, and I'm relatively confident that Sprint doesn't have the coverage it takes to work well for us. The fact is, AT&T, for whatever reason, doesn't have jack for Android phones. May not be Android's fault, but it's still a shortcoming that prevents me from having it just like the iPhone's exclusivity keeps some folks on other networks from having it.

Innovation? What Innovation?

Android has a nice dashboard and a great notification system and… nothing else original. I keep reading about how disappointing the iPhone is nowadays. "It has no innovation," people say. Who does? Android has modeled its behavior after the iPhone. That's fine, but if all you've got is a similar product and I'm invested both skill-wise and app-wise in my current platform, why should I change?

Microsoft's new Windows Phone 7 looks somewhat innovative, and I'm pretty excited to see what they'll bring to the table, but that's another six months away, at least. I've got a 3 year old phone that has some annoying issues now (thanks to recent encounters with water). I need a new phone now.

Is This Going to Work?

There's no shortage of criticism of Apple over its App Store policies, and I've vented my own anger about it. However, I will give them credit: their screening of apps has done a great job of weeding out the crap and gives an excellent indication that the app will work on my device.

How about Android? Nope. It might work on your phone. Maybe. You'll have to try it to see. Get burned by it? Well, write a nasty review to try to keep others from making the mistake you did. If you don't mind doing that stuff, then Android is the platform for you. Personally, I'd rather have a receptionist screening out the telemarketing and survey calls than hang up on them myself, but that's your call.

Slow, Slowing, Slower

All this yapping about multitasking. This is an area I've been on Apple's side from the beginning. Sorry folks, but this is the number one reason I hated Windows Mobile: the longer you use it, the slower it gets because it doesn't kill apps. I'm with Steve Jobs on this one: if you see a task manager, we're doing it wrong. I don't want to have to manually kill apps. I hate doing that on Windows let alone on a mobile device. To me, priority one should be keeping the device speedy. Waiting for your device to respond is unacceptable.

Bonus!

Taken from iPhone Letdown? 8 Things Apple Didn't Announce, here are my responses:

4G

Yeah, let me know if your area actually has it. I live in Lincoln, Nebraska. No carrier is going to have 4G here for at least 3 years. Meanwhile, you still get to pay for it. Yay!

Cloud iTunes/OTA Sync

You got me here. Of course, whether or not your Android device will be able to do it is always a good question.

3G Video Chat

You got me here, too. I'm sure you spent countless hours in front of your phone with video chat. Also, I can't wait for the "No Video Chat While Driving" laws.

Mobile Hotspot

This is a neat feature, but as the author points out, it's left up to the carrier whether to implement it or not. Pretty sure any Android phones that come to AT&T won't have this enabled in the foreseeable future. Is Verizon even allowing this? I just figured Sprint was because they're failing so hard at keeping customers.

Free MobileMe

I use Google's services with my iPhone. The only people I know who use MobileMe are Apple fanboys and fangirls. If you choose to pay for a service that you can get for free, that's your decision, not Apple's.

Voice Input

Voice input has been available on phones (even "dumb" phones) for years now. iPhone does have the ability, though limited. Why don't I hear people telling their phones what to do? Maybe because it's still easier to use your fingers than talk to it. Get back to me when this becomes an important feature.

Free Navigation

Maybe this will be a bigger deal to me now that I'm getting a phone with GPS, but when using my buddy's 3gs, Google maps has worked just fine. Maybe I just don't trust turn-by-turn navigation enough to want it.

Dashboard

The only legitimate complaint on this list, to me. iPhone's home screen is pathetic, doubly so for the iPad. What a waste of perfectly usable space. I also want to add notifications to this list. Android's notification panel is far superior to the iPhone's. I don't want to hunt all over my screen to find little red dots. Put 'em in one place, Apple.

Posted on Wednesday, June 9, 2010 9:13 AM | Back to top


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