Despite what most people think, I love Android. I really do. I love almost everything about it, when you own a Nexus device, it’s pretty much one of the best phones you can buy. But if you’ve read my blog post on the transition from iOS to ICS, you may realise that it’s incomplete.
Why is it incomplete you ask? Well, it’s because I went back to my iPhone. In fact, I went back to a now almost 2 year old, iPhone 4.
It’s hard to point out why I can go back to a 2 year old device, when the Galaxy Nexus was such a perfect phone, except of course for the size. Despite what everyone things, bigger isn’t really better.
This isn’t the first time I’ve had an affair with an Android phone.
I bought the original Nexus One, on day one. In fact, here’s a thread I started on Erodov (a popular technology forum).
I went back to my iPhone 3GS from the Nexus One. Here were some of the reasons I had posted back then.
#1 Its a great phone, hardware and software wise both.
#2 Android is still in its infancy and there are a few rogue apps on the Market which are very annoying. Specially when your sitting in a Lecture and the friggin Notification sounds off. Highly annoying.
#2.1 I really really really miss the Silent Switch, which all iPhone’s have. I never realised how useful it is, until now that I dont have it on the Nexus One.
#3 The Camera is brilliant and the flash is blinding.
#5 I love the AMOLED Screen, but only in a building. It is actually almost impossible to see the screen if your walking on the road with sunlight falling directly on it.
#6 Keyboard sucks, but the Landscape Keyboard is a different ballgame all together. The predictive typing works very well though.
#7 Music Player is hopeless. Honestly, the iPhones iPod.app owns it left, right, center, back, diagonally, everything.
I don’t believe that I had to make my M3U’s in Foobar and then put them on the phone to have any sort of meaning to the list of Music.
#7.1 The Music Quality is not as good as the iPhone. Not to say that its bad, its just not as good.
#7.2 There is no real built in Movie player app.
#7.3 Drag and dropping your music is so passé. Honestly, Syncing is much easier and convenient.
#8 Android Market is screwed up for me (possibly all Indians). I cant for the love of god enable Paid apps. Like WTH?… Funky, can you help me with that?
#9 The most annoying thing other than #7 is this. The phone is blazing fast at sometimes, and horribly slow at other times, and this is at random. One second it will be amazingly fast, while 5 seconds later, its slows down to a crawl and in another 10 seconds is mad fast again. Like WTH?
#9.1 The 512MB of RAM is just a joke. It technically still has only about 256MB of RAM, because Snapdragon requires like 200MB of Memory for the OS itself.
Plus the current kernel can only see like 220MB of the RAM, so we still don’t have all the RAM that is available. In the next update, hopefully, we’ll be able to see 300MB’ish.
#11 Facebook for Android, sucks. Its absolutely horrible. Its not even 1/4th as Capable as the Facebook app on iPhone.
The Notifications don’t even work (and its not only me, google it).
#12 and the most important point, I think the iPhone is much easier to live with, easier to use, easier in every way possible.
It takes me like 5-6 seconds to find a contact and make a call on the N1, while it took my about 3 seconds on the iPhone. (I’m talking browsing the contact’s and calling, no search use involved.)
#13 Android is not ready for primetime yet. Like the iPhone is lacks a few basic features, while unlike the iPhone Apps (Jailbroken and AppStore both) dont always make up for it.
#14 Jailbroken iPhone 3GS > Nexus One, for now.
So this wasn’t the first time I went to Android and it definitely won’t be the last.
But time and time again, I keep going back to my iPhone.
I’ll tell you why, the best I can.
- Size. Bigger isn’t better. You can argue that the iPhone screen is too small and I’ll agree with you. But you can also agree that the current crop of Android phones, are too big. It’s supposed to be a phone, not a tablet. The Galaxy Note, the Phablet as the internet refers to it, is a prime example of too big.
The Galaxy Nexus at 4.65″ though not as huge as the Note, is still too big in my book. It’s just a pain to use with one hand (and I have considerably large hands) and just uncomfortable in jeans.
4″ is where it’s at. It’s perfect to hold, perfect for games, videos, everything. I sincerely hope that the next iPhone is 4″ big. No more, no less.
- Ease of Use. Despite what Google has tried to do with Android, the iOS is much much easier to use as compared to Android. Androids System Menus still remind me of Symbian from time to time, and oh, how I’ve hated Symbian. Yet, I love Android. I can do things much faster on an iPhone than I ever could on an Android.
Yes, Android has widgets, makes things accessible fast but to complete a task like calling a number, messaging a contact, I just do it faster on an iPhone.
- Applications. It’s like the Play Store has absolutely no quality control or app guidelines. Again, Google is trying to change that with future iterations of Android. Let’s hope it works.
This may sound silly, actually, it is silly. One of the major reasons I couldn’t live with the Galaxy Nexus was that, I couldn’t find a decent Twitter app. Plume, Tweetdeck, etc. just didn’t cut it compared to Tweetbot, which is by far, the best Twitter app on any platform. It’s exclusive to iOS, and thus I needed to use my iPhone.
There was only so long that I could wait for the fabled Carbon for Android. (Which still isn’t out, by the by.)
Other applications were also comparatively poor. Whatsapp is much better on iOS than it’s Android counterpart.
The only applications that I liked better on Android as compared to iOS, were Facebook and Skype. Apps which I use far less often than Twitter or Whatsapp.
- Battery Life. I know what you’re going to say, I bought a Nexus device. It’s pretty much a beta device. But hey, is a days worth of Battery Life too much to ask for?
Comparatively, my two year old iPhone 4, lasts me through a day, with similar medium-heavy usage.
- Games. Why does this deserve a different point? I’m a Gamer, and because casual games while travelling or bored, are very helpful and stress relieving.
Games on Android, bar a few, just don’t cut it.
A few games that I play right now, that aren’t available on Android? Pocket Planes, Jetpack Joyride and a few others. All amazing fun. All unavailable on Android.
- Sound Quality. I like my music. I like my music to sound good. The Galaxy Nexus, thought great, didn’t sound as good as my iPhone 4.
Also, wasn’t as loud. I tried a few sound output boosting tweaks, and while they didn’t increase the output volume (through the headphone jack) the trade-off was poorer battery life. Unacceptable.
- iCloud. I have a TV Show Tracker app called iTV Shows 2 on my iPad and my iPhone 4. They sync data through iCloud, very very well. Same with Pocket Planes, syncs my data between two devices. So I can pick up where I left off on any of my devices.
I’ve not had an Android tablet as well as a Phone together, so I don’t know about this on Android. But, I need this easy syncing between devices.
Also, Google Backup was annoying. You couldn’t select just a few apps to install automatically. It’s either all or nothing. Stupid no?
- Ecosystem. I realised that with my iPad, iPhone and now Apple TV. I’m too invested in the iOS Ecosystem to really move to Android.
I’ve spent a good deal of money on the App Store. Paying again for Apps, which weren’t as good as they are on iOS, just seemed silly.
- Jailbreak. I wouldn’t buy an iPhone if I couldn’t Jailbreak it. You can quote me on that. Small things like Activator, Deck, SBSettings, make the iPhone even faster and easier to use. I could never live without the Utility of Jailbreaking an iPhone.
I consider a Jailbroken iPhone, better than a rooted Nexus.
- I’ll add something here, eventually.
It’s been years and I still come to the same conclusion. Jailbroken iPhone > Rooted Android.
That said, I miss the Galaxy Nexus. I don’t know why, maybe I’m just a sucker for new devices and operating systems. I want a Galaxy Nexus again, just because Jelly Bean released lately.
Things I miss about the Galaxy Nexus and Android?
I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but, Widgets mainly. I miss quickly using a Widget to glance at Twitter, Facebook or some News.
I miss changing ROMs. I’d change or update ROMs more often than meals I’d have. It was just fun. I miss that, the Geek in me misses that. A lot.
If there’s one thing I want on the iPhone, it’s Tasker. Tasker is the bomb. It’s what defines Android.
The app looks like crap, it’s highly unstable but at the same time, it works. It’s the ultimate app for a Geek.
Luckily for me, I got my Dad a Galaxy Nexus, so I’ll play with it from time to time. I’ll also have a Nexus 7 soon, so I’ll be able to judge the “cloud sync” between two Android devices.
Lets see how it goes.