Archive for August, 2010

Smartphone Debate: Android or iOS4?

August 30, 2010 2 comments

Let’s set the record straight from the start: I’ve become an Android fanboy, joining the open source, community friendly, hardware superior side of the argument with the purchase of my Nexus One.  Although to be fair I’m not familiar with ios4 so I can’t draw comparisons accurately, just from superficial general knowledge.

(Image credit n/a - it's open source demmit)

Where to start? From the unpacking of course. You can use an android straight out of the box without any itunes nonesense.  Syncing it with my Google account and I immediately have access to all my contacts, no need to start from scratch or import.

Next, the software.  Over the air, hassle free system updates – you don’t need to wait for the next phone model for the latest OS version. Greater choice of free apps, which now can also be automatically updated instead of going through them one by one.   The app market isn’t as restrictive as Apple’s.  There isn’t the fear of having your submitted app rejected by some mysterious review board.  For those living in the states there’s also GPS guided turn-by-turn voice directions to drivers. Take that Garmin.  A budding voice-to-text capability – any text input field can be filled in by voice, although the success rate isn’t very high and you still have to review the transcription.  Then there’s Google Goggles, the awesome image recognition beta app.  It allows you to shoot something and then returns search results based on what it recognises.  Applications of this include: taking pictures of products in shops and then searching for information or other prices, shooting landmarks and having relevant information returned on the search, business cards can be scanned and entered directly into contacts.

Next, the hardware. Changeable battery, SD card support (on which you can now store apps, not just media), arguably faster processor, wifi tethering, noise canceling dual microphones, oh and no need for a rubber band around it to keep from dropping calls.

The only thing I’ll concede is that apple products and apps (i.e. the UI) are sexier design wise. But that’s what captivates the audience.

I’d say that the argument between apple and android is ultimately one of impulse/desire vs logic. And in the end, the fan bases on both sides are not easily convinced to switch. It’s like the point of contention is so close to heart that to concede any ground would be akin to admitting a deep personal flaw.  Of course there are those well funded enough to be able to “try out” the other systems, only to to say that they prefer their previous phone and revert back to it (or the latest version thereof).

Update: this webcomic sums up nicely the apps possibilities of the two OS. If you don’t know what a custom ROM is, see my next post.

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August 17, 2010 1 comment

Taken a break from writing (as if it’s my full time job).  I’m not feeling motivated to write much.  Besides, there’s so much inspired writing going on around me (try: the heart felt Mich Cafe, or Shelina’s insightful Ramadan post), that I feel that I cannot contribute much to the blogosphere.

It’s currently Ramadan here in the UAE and in the rest of the Muslim world.  This is the second time I’m experiencing it, but it’s a bit easier this time round since we’ve moved to larger premises at work and I no longer share the same space with my Muslim colleagues.  So I can munch away in wholehearted content without disturbing their fasting.

Until next time.

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