I am an Apple user. I have to admit I am often disgruntled but so far, I’m sticking with my Mac.
I’ve had owned and pwned 3 iPhones. They are great phones and are perfect for most people. But they weren’t for me. I switched to Android for many reasons and I’m going to talk about the top four here. I have a mytouch 3g and hope to upgrade to the Nexus One in the near future.
Here are the advantages:
1) They are root-able. The iPhones are too but Apple seems to spend more time and money on stopping the “rooters” than they do on innovation. The Apple terminology for “rooting” is called “jailbreaking.” I think EVERY single iPhone “update” has disabled the jailbreak of the phone in the process. That really ticks me off.
I stick with HTC hardware for the Android and they have NEVER put out an update that un-rooted a phone as far as I know. There is a huge developer community at sites such as http://xda-developers.com. What goes on there is done in the OPEN… thousands and thousands of developers working to make the phones better and more able to do useful stuff. In contrast, the iPhone community must do all of their work IN SECRET (!!!) lest Big Brother, er I mean Apple, finds outs and sends them a Cease-and-Desist letter, or worse.
That leads me to #2…
2) The Android platform is “open-source.” This means instead of just 1 company working on the code, an unlimited number of people are able to do so. This has many advantages. First of all, open sourced software tends to be more secure than proprietary software because thousands of eyeballs are pouring over the code every day. Holes in the software are quickly found and patched. Second, since it is open source, there is no Big Brother lurking around and seeing if the developers are being more creative than Big Brother himself. Creativity is encouraged not squashed. Right now, I am running the bleeding edge version of Android on my mytouch 3g. It is version 2.1. The official t-mobile version is 1.6. But because I have rooted my phone and the OS is open-sourced, I can stay as up to date as I want. In fact, I load a new ROM on my phone at least once a week. You could say I’m addicted to the bleeding edge.
3) There are way FEWER “App store shenanigans.” This is what turned me away from the iPhone for at least the foreseeable future. It happened when Apple banned all apps using Google Voice. They said it was because it caused an overlap of services and people would get confused. It’s all a bunch of hooey. They didn’t allow Google Voice apps for the iPod. That would NOT have overlapped any services. And they HAVE approved many apps that allow VOIP, even over the 3g networks. They banned the Google Voice apps because they are mad at Google plain and simple. It had nothing to do with what is best for the customer. All I can say is “Wow.”
On a side note: It is true that GOOGLE runs the official app store for the Android. But they have mostly stayed out of the approval process. I could see the day coming that Google interfered with the Android app store like Apple did. The good news is that if they do, there are already other legitimate app stores for Android out there and ready to serve up the same apps the official store does. And since Android is open sourced (see #2) the thought police won’t be around to shut the 3rd party app stores down.
4) App Freedom. Android apps are allowed to do whatever they want, like an app running on a real computer. For security reasons, they have to get approval from the user at installation time for the things they will be doing like say “accessing the internet” or “reading the state of the phone.” Apple apps, on the other hand, are tightly restricted. Apple Apps are not allowed to communicate with each other for any reason. Apples Apps are not allowed to run in the background. Android apps can do both of these things. The Android platform is NOT the prettiest platform, Or the slickest. It’s missing a little bit here and there. But that apps can do almost anything! Copy and paste was in the OS from day one. My twitter app (seesmic) can open a link to a web page and still stay running. The possibilities are endless.
Please leave your thoughts in the comments…