There is plenty of debate over which is better: the iPhone, or one of the many Android smartphones available. And it’s not difficult to understand the confusion that faces consumers. They both have apps. They both allow for access to the internet. They both have appealing features. So, just what is the difference, and which is a better choice?
iTunes: The vast majority of smartphone users agree that the Android market is no match for the hundreds of thousands of apps, television shows, podcasts and music downloads available in iTunes. Not to mention, iTunes can sync to various devices including your iPhone, iPod, iPad and PC.
Accessory Availability: Apple has cornered the market on aftermarket smartphone accessories like speaker/charging docks. If you want to integrate your smartphone into your home entertainment and use it to rock the tunes, iPhone is definitely an easier route.
Ease of Use:This very blog exists because iPhones are simple enough for, yes, even kids to figure out how to use. The highly intuitive interfaces of iPhone typically make sense to users and allow smartphone buyers of all tech-savvy levels to operate the phone with ease.
Network Choices: For years after the iPhone’s release, service was only available through AT&T. That meant that if you wanted an iPhone, you would be required to sign your cellular and data contract with AT&T. Which loyal customers of other carriers plain didn’t like. Today, however, the iPhone is also available on Verizon, although the features vary slightly from carrier to carrier; and this still means that you only have 2 network choices.
Cost: The iPhone is an expensive device. Although older models like the iPhone 3GS are now being offered by service providers for as little as $99.00, new models like the iPhone 4 (and highly anticipated, upcoming iPhone 5) sell for $199 to $299. The unlocked model that does not require a carrier contract, however, is over $700, although few people have use for the unlocked model.
Content Approval: All of the apps in the iTunes store have to be approved by Apple, meaning that they have a large amount of control over the content available on the iPhone. For instance, iPhones do not play Adobe Flash, leaving some users in the lurch.
Network Choice: Android phones are available on a wide variety of networks. Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint…All offer an Android phone. This means that you have the power to choose a network with coverage and a data plan that works best for you.
Phone Choice: Android smartphones come in various models. This means different sizes, shapes, colors, features and prices. If the iPhone just doesn’t appeal to you, Android phones create options.
Content Security: While Apple approves all of the apps in the iTunes market, anyone can develop apps for the Android market. This means that security holes are far more likely with Android apps, meaning that users have to be more cautious.
Operating Systems: The Android operating system will appear different from one device to the next. This means that with each new smartphone, you’ll have to learn your way around it. Conversely, one iPhone works the same as the next, and as the iPad and iPod Touch.
Making the Choice
When you finally decide to make the leap to a smartphone, try to visit a vendor that sells both and try each out. Typically, both Android and iPhone users are fiercly loyal to their platform, so take the time to find out which option best fits your style and needs.
So, readers, what do you think? iPhone or Android, and if you had to make the choice again, would you go the same route?