When it comes to smartphones, the iPhone is like the attractive sibling that gets all the attention, and Android is the geeky classmate that knows everything but can’t get a date. Times are a’ changin’ though, and Android is grabbing an average of 300,000 activations per day in spite of the iPhone 4s release.
It has been argued that Apple is simply falling behind the curve, losing some luster in the wake of Android’s refined look and speedy performance. The shift in demand is more likely due to the lower price-point. After all, it can do just about everything an iPhone can do, and some things it simply does better.
#1 File Management
Using a mobile USB cable that you can buy from any retailer, your Droid can be hooked up to your computer and browsed like any external device. Unlike the iPhone, which locks you down to using a specific app to manage your files, the open nature of Android’s OS lets you create folders, rename, delete, reorganize and drag-and-drop from one device to another using your native OS. If you prefer the file organization and sync capabilities of iTunes, check out Astro or DoubleTwist.
You may be shocked to see this one on the list, since apps have always been the iPhone’s strongest selling point. The Android marketplace has an equivalent for just about every popular iPhone app, including Flickr (Instagram), Springpad, Pandora and Iris (Siri), but it one-ups Apple on both price and true integration with the entire Google App suite. An impressive 60% of apps offered through the Android Marketplace are free. That’s about 33% more than Apple offerings. There may be less Android apps for now, but there is less redundancy. With more and more developers turning to Android, expect it to get even better.
#3 Social Networking
An iPhone app exists for just about every major social network, but not all of them offer the full network experience. The iPhone also requires you to run an app or use the browser for social networking. With Android’s new People app, contacts are connected with all of their social profiles automatically and accessible through the native contact list. The Android app environment also features widgets, which let you use app features without actually launching the app. For example, with a widget you can stream music, manage tasks and send a tweet right from the Droid desktop, simultaneously!
#4 Plays Well With Others
Apple’s accessories have been a huge hit largely for their uniform and beautiful design. They are also guaranteed to work perfectly with Apple devices. The problem is that Apple devices will only accept Apple accessories into the clique, which can be expensive and restrictive. Since Android phones are manufactured by a variety of vendors, from Motorola to Samsung, the accessory market is astronomical, allowing you to choose from high-end designer toys or thrifty one-size-fits-all components.
Along with its “open personality” Androids have an “open mind,” too. Android phones accept most SD cards of any size, allowing for a ton of extra room – awesome news if you’re a movie or photo nut. It is also awesome news for your pocketbook – with a storage or battery upgrade you won’t be as pressured to buy the next new model.
#5 Web Browsing
It’s no new news that iPhones have a limited browsing experience due to their lack of Flash support. The fact is, it will be awhile before Flash disappears from the web. Android not only offers full support for Flash in its native browser, it gives users the freedom to use other browsers and allows for true Flash video support in media player apps, which should be a huge relief to anyone that likes to watch shows and movies on the go. Based on this study Android loaded websites 52% faster than the iPhone.
iPhone versus Android is quite a hot topic. If you feel like reading this made your blood boil (read: you are an iPhone user) – feel free to unleash your rage in the comments.