Usually ask me for tech advice? But you got yourself an iPhone 4s? Big mistake!

As you already may know, the Apple iPhone 4s was released just over a week ago and many people have purchased it for different reasons. The usual suspects include:

  • die hard apple fans,
  • rich folk who don’t know what to spend their money on,
  • people who have never heard of android,
  • and previous blackberry owners who have also never heard of android.

However, if you have purchased an iPhone 4s, then you may be forgiven if you have got it on the basis of the late Steve Jobs as this was his last invention which he had a direct influence upon (i.e. for sentimental reasons). He truly has shaped today’s technology. I don’t believe that’s this is the reason most people would have purchased one. It is most likely because of Siri which I have to admit is quite impressive but you can’t make the most out of it if you live anywhere outside the US.

To get back onto the topic of article, the title suggests that if you have purchased an iPhone 4s then you have made a mistake. The reason being is that Google have also recently released their flagship mobile phone with their brand spanking new Android 4 Ice cream sandwich operating system partnered with Samsung known as the Samsung Nexus which is safe to say is better than the iPhone 4s in every way shape and form, but how? Well, check this out!

The screen

Well, the Nexus comes with a Super Amoled HD screen which has a phenomenal 0.01ms response time and the iPhone doesn’t. As the screen is made by Samsung, one of the market leaders and innovators in screen technology, it is already safely trumping the iPhone 4s.

The speed

For the iPhone it isn’t confirmed on what the speed is of the CPU is however, according to a source, they have a dual core 1GHz CPU. On the Nexus Prime, it has a 1.2 GHz dual core CPU which kind of makes the Nexus Prime faster.

The camera

You could say that apple win this battle as the iPhone 4s has an 8-MP camera whereas the Nexus Prime has a 5-MP camera, but to be fair, it isn’t all about the number of pixels a camera produces – it is about the quality of the image. A nifty thing about Android 4, is that it has a lot of camera effects of which a cool one is the ability to take panorama images with your mobile phone. iPhone fans, deep down you know that this phone is better.

The cloud

Apple have just released iCloud however Google have been doing this as long as I have taken keen interest in technology and have many cloud based services for anyone to use.

Unlocking your phone

Android already have many ways of unlocking your phone such as using a pin, password or pattern, and to add to its array of unlock methods, Google have decided to add facial recognition to unlock your Android phone. Apple are still using their pin number unlock which I have taken many sneak peeks of during my daily commute to work.

Unlock with your face!

Voice Commands

Apple have released their quite impressive Siri which is some way better than the Android version in the way that it works. Siri is more of a conversational voice control system and android is more of a dictate style voice control system. The impressive thing about the new Android is that it turns your speech into text on the fly and that you don’t have to press a button to activate voice commands. I assume this is something you can enable and disable – I wouldn’t want my phone listening to my every word.

The Interface

The Apple interface doesn’t actually change much between versions – every major update they do includes a few variations of design and a couple of added interface features such as the notification bar on iOS 5 (which android had introduced from version 1). Android 4 is an amalgamation of the best of Android 2.x for mobiles and Android 3.x for tablets. A lot of research has gone into the user interface making it very intuitive and slick.

Misc

With an Android phone, you have easy access to most of the services Google offer such as maps, navigation, latitude, docs, reader, etc. This phone also comes with NFC (near field communication – bit like an oyster card) which looks to be the new way of payment in the near future. I think we’ll likely to be seeing NFC in the iPhone 5.

There is actually a lot more detail I could go into however I think I should leave it at that as I don’t really like making long blog however, just to round up what makes it special, the Google Android Operating system is Open Source!

4 Replies to “Usually ask me for tech advice? But you got yourself an iPhone 4s? Big mistake!”

  1. Soo, hate to be one to start a fight, but… 😉

    The screen on the new Nexus actually has a lower pixel density compared to both the iPhone 4 and 4s due to its use of sub pixels, giving it an actually pixel density of around 200, compared to apples 326.

    The speed – benchmark tests have shown that both are fairly even when it comes to running apps, mainly due to the greater multitasking on android (giving it worse battery life, also due to the more powerful processor) and better memory management on the iPhone

    The camera – the camera on the iPhone rivals most points and shoots now with its better exposure, 5 part lens and massively improved aperture, so no need to hide bad pictures with gimmicky effects 😉

    Google have got more services for the cloud…. but you can use them with your iPhone anyway!

    Unlocking your phone – watch the event for the unveiling of ice cream sandwich – the face unlock didn’t work!

    Voice commands – Siri is more contextual, you don’t have to learn a list of commands that it understands, plus it is still in Beta and more features will roll out to the rest of the world in time

    Interface – less customisation on the iPhone, and less choice, but easier for the mass to use and understand, and nothing new to learn (though will give it to you, android probably wins here, even if it isn’t as fluid)

    Misc – barely anyone supports NFC at the moment, no point putting it in. And finally security and apps, the android app store is full of malware and viruses, something which the closed apple ecosystem doesn’t have, for that very reason, and unless you jailbreak your iPhone, its fairly secure. Android, not so much, especially all the background info it collects and sends to google for advertising and carriers. And finally, open source – only if google wants it to be http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/mar2011/tc20110324_269784.htm

    Anyway, theres the other side, I’m off to buy the new iPhone ;P

    1. Ah Tim, I miss our friendly technological racist banter. (by race I mean the platforms we prefer).

      To be fair, I could have gone on and on about the Galaxy Nexus but there is actually too much to talk about. If you watched the video fully, you probably noticed that every 2 minutes they were onto a new feature and I admit they couldn’t pull off a couple but that is expected if they want to boast about everything that phone and OS has to offer within an hour! Apple keynotes are a lot less rushed because they don’t really have much to talk about lol :-P. You got to admit, the iPhone 4s wasn’t the greatest of releases by Apple and you might say that is because it lacked Steve Jobs charisma.

      Since we are doing this in topical order than I shall continue it 🙂

      I understand what you mean about the screen‘s subpixels, I admit, I actually didn’t know that. All sources and leaks I looked into claims it has 320ppi – a tad bit less than the iPhone 4s. However, you got to take into consideration that the phone is designed to play 16:9 video which is widely used therefore you shouldn’t get any clipping or black bars. The Android OS in general is designed to work on many screen resolutions whereas the iPhone OS had just decided to double up on the resolution of the iPhone3 for better quality to provide developers an easy way of creating their apps without worrying about resolution which in my eyes is also seen as a bit of a restriction. The fact that the Samsung Nexus has a 0.01ms response time and it is a Super AMOLED screen makes the image very rich, vibrant and with better colours.

      A thing I had forgot to mention about the camera is its shutter lag which very, very quick as you may have seen in the video. You can keep clicking and taking continuous pictures and the phone won’t slow down. The effects on the OS aren’t there to cover bad pictures but to enhance the pictures. 90% of the images in a magazine have been “photoshopped” even when taken with a state of the art SLR camera.

      You are correct about being able to use the cloud services with your iPhone however things like apps tend to get released a lot later on the iOS compared to Android and the guys at Google just develop it for iOS to cater for the usual suspects who buy an iPhone (as written in the post) who count for a lot, but that will soon change.

      Unlocking the phone with the face didn’t work in the video probably because he was smiling into the phone too much lol which changed the profile of his face. I’m sure if they tried a bit longer then it would have worked but they had a tight schedule. Under normal conditions it should work. To be fair, I am a little hesitant about enabling this feature as someone could just get hold of a passport photo and hold it in front of the camera so I probably wouldn’t use it but it is there to add to the number of methods to easily access your phone and prevent others from accessing.

      I have used Siri and I am glad it understands me however I have seen other people with different accents trying to use Siri and it hasn’t worked very well and that’s the typical case for any voice control systems. The impressive thing about the Android version is that it converts your speech to text on the fly.

      The Android interface has been backed with a lot research and I like how they are not afraid to change the UI to make it easier (the calendar, contacts, gallery). With any phone, it only takes a few days for anyone to be able to get their head around the UI and I am sure that this isn’t a factor in the choice of buying a new phone. A change in UI is why I buy a new phone because it keeps the novelty. The interface on Android is also customisable by manufacturers or developers such as HTC Sense UI, Touchwiz UI, Motoblur UI, MIUI (which I currently use). iPhone is quite restrictive in what is customisable on the UI, they don’t have anything like Android Widget feature which gives the Android a type of “you choose what you want on the front page of the metro newspaper”.

      Misc – NFC has many different uses but for things such as payment, there has to be many other companies to jump on board to make use of it and that is slowly happening. Android initially put it in their to see what developers come up with in the Nexus S and this time around they are seeing what developers come up with the use of a barometer. It’s simply there to encourage innovation. Android has always given you the option to participate in data collection and does keep your data private unlike Apple’s location collection blunder.

      I know about the Google holding off providing the source code for Honeycomb but they didn’t say that they were going to make it closed source. They were just delaying it for various different reasons.

      I think it comes down to if someone likes change in their life. Technology is continually changing and Android are always at the forefront of the change.

      Thank you for your comment – it was definitely an interesting read and I did learn a lot however, not out of stubbornness, but purely out of amazing innovation Android now provide, it is in my opinion that the Samsung Nexus is the better handset. I also apologise for the longness of this comment. It could actually make a part two to this post.

      P.S. we haven’t even mentioned the price lol.

      1. Apple do tend to release less features per update compared to Android mainly because they tend to concentrate on doing fewer things as well as they can, as opposed to offering lots of new features. The 4s was never going to be another revolutionary device, much like the 3gs wasn’t. The problem Apple have created for themselves is that they have set such a high standard with iPhone, iPad, iPod, OS X, that people expect every new product they release to be game changing, and then get slated if it isn’t. It is still a very good phone.

        The issue with the screen resolutions (and UI), while great from a users perspective, and a customers perspective, makes it a nightmare for developers. Having only a certain number of model to support for iPhones, means that developers can easily tailor their apps for the phones (e.g. have 2 lots of texture files for graphics, one standard for 3gs and below, and just a double the resolution one for iPhone 4+. Compare this to Android, where the choice of phones is so great, trying to support them all becomes uneconomical leaving many developers not bothing with full testing and just hoping it works, which I think leads to a better consumer experience on the iPhone. The UIs which are customised by the handset makers (and networks for that matter) mean that updates and new versions of the OS can take a lot longer to be pushed through, meaning consumers have to wait sometimes months to get new features that are available on phones that have just come out.

        When NFC becomes mainstream, it will be included in the next iPhone, probably next year or the year after, much like 4G technology will (though don’t get me started on so-called current ‘4G’ phones given 4G technology hasn’t even passed testing yet in labs, let alone being rolled out!). The location data blunder wasn’t a big a deal as everyone made out to be, it was a roughly triangulated location marker stored in a cache locally on the phone, just used to speed up future location pinpointing.

        At the end of the day, both of the phones are really great phones. I’m not fussed about all the technological customisation I can do on an Android (weird for a CS grad!), prefer the Apple app offering and like the way everything works seamlessly together. Other people prefer Android for its benefits, and perhaps because it is still a niche product (much like Apple used to be, before it outgrew it and became a problem of its own success, ala the first paragraph).

        At the end of the day, it comes down to personal preference, and I think we both agree that competition can only be a good thing for both platforms (as long as they stop this stupid patent war).

        PS don’t get me started on the price, having brought a new iphone at the weekend! lol, though you pay a premium for a decent product. I sold my old iPhone for a decent amount of money, which was still working fine, and my 5 year old mac is still running as quick as the day I brought it, wonder how many PC-users can agree with that!

        1. An excellent comment, I mostly agree with what you have said.

          As a developer for both iOS and Android, I’d say android is the easier of the two platforms to develop on for many reasons. Although I do agree on the choice of screen resolution being a slight issue for developers but it isn’t a huge issue as methods are in place to overcome these issues.

          I do actually think that if iPhone included NFC tech in their handset it would speed up the use of NFC everywhere however it is still largely dependant on other businesses adopting this technology. The thing with technologies such as NFC, it will start off slow and then the usage will rise exponentially (like WiFi). NFC is gaining momentum as we speak and for expensive phones such as the iPhone 4s not to include it, users who have it will have to wait the duration of their contract which is usually 24 months and by that time, NFC would be widely adopted (lol, I know you will hold me to this).

          I do like Apple’s proactive approach to putting apps on their market over Android reactive approach to having apps on the market. Apple will not allow apps that don’t meet their guidelines go on the market however if an app doesn’t meet the android (rather relaxed) guidelines, it will only get taken off once complained about. This can also be looked at from another perspective in terms of developers having more flexibility on creating apps. As Android is a Linux based machine, users have a choice of having root access to their handset and their are many apps in the market which makes use of root access to give users that extra dimension to their phone. Not only apps but also custom ROMs. Custom ROMs makes your phone feel like a completely new phone and there is a huge community across the world who live for customising Android OS.

          You are completely correct that it is down to personal preference and I agree that it can be only be a good thing for both platforms.

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