Sunday, October 12, 2008

Comparing Android with iPhone

The other Boleyn girl, …errr I mean the other mobile platform (sorry, I watched too many SNL episodes ~LOL~) that’s also chasing after the iPhone ghost is none other the Google’s Android.

It’s easier to make comparison between Android against iPhone, since both share the same paradigm of the ancient battle between proprietary and open source platform. And that’s why Android has been touted as the heaviest contender for iPhone’s OS X.

Tim Haddock from
Macworld has summed up the interesting parts of Android that can be talk about in comparison with Apple’s brainchild; the iPhone. He starts off with a good insight: “iPhone users have grown accustomed to thinking about phone hardware and software as part of a unified whole. How will the G1 (introduced last month and scheduled for release later this month) stack up next to the Apple gold standard?"

Tim later categorized the comparison first in hardware: A trackball and flip-out QWERTY keyboard may appeal to business people used to typing on their BlackBerries. The G1's memory slot will only support expansion up to a maximum of 8GB--not very impressive when you consider that the iPhone 3G ships with 8GB standard. The G1's touch screen doesn't support multi-touch, and the unit's accelerometer won't recognize that you want to use the screen in landscape mode unless you open the keyboard.

The hardware verdict? Tim’s is: “If you're a fan of the iPhone's sleek, single-button approach, you could find the G1 a tad chunky and inelegant.”

Next is the software platform: As you would expect from a Google-based smart phone, the G1 appears to do a very solid job integrating Google applications including Gmail, Google Talk, and most impressively, Maps. But unlike iPhone apps, it can actually run them in the background. Google's answer to Apple's App Store is its own Android Market. But analyst Gene Munster warns that users could find the process of downloading and installing Android apps significantly less straightforward than they have come to expect based on experience with Apple's App Store. Read about the predicaments in App Store at my post here at PalmAddict.

Tim’s verdict is: “But don't expect to be able to sync your G1 with iTunes. In fact, don't expect to sync your G1 with your desktop computer at all. That could make life tough for Outlook users, and may scare away potential business users attracted by the device's added keyboard."

Last of all, and the most important for Android further growth is the developer perspective on Android: Google Android's open-source, free market approach means that canny developers could build in device functionality, like VoIP via wireless, that service providers might now want--and that Apple would never allow to see the light of day. By opting for Google's open OS, manufacturers save $2 to $10 per unit.

The verdict on this is represented by Carl Howe, an enterprise research director for technology research and consulting firm Yankee Group said "Android is for handset makers, and the iPhone is for users."

’Nuff said, because for the rest of end users like you and me; it doesn’t matter who is more superior to the others. As long as they’re keep on competing and releasing better products every now and then, it’s good enough for me. What do you think?

[blogged with my Treo 750v]

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