Monday, March 22, 2010

The Switch from Iphone to Android

I finally made the switch from my Iphone 3GS to Android (Nexus one), and after more than a couple of months, I think the switch was well worth it.    Here are the key factors that make Android better than the iphone (for me).

  • Background applications: this has been discussed widely across the web, but the aspect that bothered me the most about this was the inability to sync arbitrary data in the iphone (other than ones such as email/calendar etc.)
  • Better notifications: this has to do both w/ the hardware and software.   All android phones have an external LED for visual notification which according to me is a prerequisite.  With proper customization of the LED behavior, a pretty solid notification system can be setup with minimal battery usage. With respect to software, "repeat notification" can be achieved through external apps on Android, which isn't possible on the Iphone. (repeat notification is something like say playing a notification sound every 5 minutes when there is a missed call or other event, until it's viewed).
  • Customization: the ability to configure most aspects of the phone behavior according to specific user needs.  Iphone is worst on this aspect.
  • Range of functionality that external apps can provide: although the number of apps available for iphone is much higher than that for Android, the range of functionality that iphone apps can provide is limited due to the fact that the iphone OS does not export a lot of low level functionality.  (for example, an app cannot modify the phone behavior when a call is received).
  • The pace at which the OS is improved/updated.

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