iPhone vs. Android: One Year Later

May 17th, 2011 Leave a comment
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iPhone vs. Android

Last year, we published an article pitting iPhone and Android against each other. It’s now one year and several versions later for both of these smartphone platforms: is our decision still relevant? Who is the king of the smartphones one year later? Should you still consider dumping your iPhone? We’ve given this question another shot by looking at the same criteria we used to compare the two phones in the original article. Read on!

iPhone’s Sync Options

To no one’s surprise, iPhone is still a nightmare to sync. Unlike an Android phone, which loads as a regular drive that can be accessed normally, iPhones insist on syncing with one computer and one computer only, and it requires iTunes to boot. Our criticism of this one still stands; Android wins on ease-of-use, plug it in and go!

Google Apps

Also no surprise on this one; Android still reigns king on compatibility with Google Apps. To be fair to the iPhone, however, it’s made tremendous strides on the Google App front. Almost all of Google’s apps are now on the iPhone or come preinstalled. A quick look at Google’s “Google on iPhone” page shows a pretty large offering of Google apps for iPhone, including a sync option for your address book and calendar. This was something that we noticed was severely lacking in our last article, and it’s something that’s definitely closed much of the gap between Android and iPhone!

Multitasking

Last year, the iPhone couldn’t contest this category: it simply didn’t have multitasking. Apple made amends for this particular oversight in their release of iOS 4, which includes multitasking as part of its many upgrades. iPhone’s multitasking does require developers to program in multitasking, otherwise the program simply runs suspended in the background; Android, on the other hand, has multitasking that allows apps to run in the background. Though iOS 4 has closed the gap on this one, and the multitasking is getting very close to equal, Android’s multitasking still has a slight, slight edge in this match-up!

Web Browser

Android’s still got the edge on this one, due to its native Flash support and opportunity for installing multiple web browsers. Safari’s a very slick browser, true, but the fact that you can’t watch videos in the browser or run Flash apps definitely puts Android ahead on this one still.

Unified Notifications

One year ago, Android won out against iPhone with its Unified Notification system; one year later, the situation hasn’t changed that much. the iPhone’s notifications system has improved some with the release of iOS 4, but it still doesn’t match up to the incredible versatility of the Android unified notification system.

Open Source Framework

The big Kahuna on this list, this is the divide between Android and iPhone. Android (and Google’s) commitment to open source and openness on their platform has not waned in recent years, and nor has Apple’s commitment to its “walled garden” approach. In fact, the situation one year later is almost exactly the same; the example we used before of Flash being available on Android but not iPhone is still relevant today.

Conclusion

We came out last year with the opinion that Android wins out against the iPhone; one year later, that opinion still holds true. While iPhone has made many inroads and made up for some of the shortcomings that we touched upon in our previous article, Android still wins out this competition for now!

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