Usability - Productivity - Business - The web - Singapore & Twins

iOS vs Android

My Samsung Galaxy S4 decided more than two months ago to take a different flight. At the same time SWMBO declared that she had enough from her iPhone 5 and demanded a bigger screen. So I took the opportunity and switched to an iPhone (for now). Here is my completely biased, partial and unscientific - but 100% accurate review for the most important use case for me: my Smartphone usage:
I'm not much of a photography buff, player or mobile music listener. I check and answer emails, social content, get around and track activities. My experiences are based on that.
Topic iPhone Galaxy S4
Battery live Lasts half a day with my usage pattern. In cycle mode: 2h screen operation Lasts half a day with my usage pattern. In cycle mode: 2h screen operation
Screen After having used a large screen is feels oddly small. I got big hands, so it can be larger. At the edged the screen touch precision is bad (planned obsolence?) Barly readable in sun light Crisp, readable in most conditions, responsive, big
Keyboard The biggest let down on the iPhone. I can't customize it. The caps lock is only visible on the caps lock button. Emoticons don't show up in Whatsapp. To get to the # I have 3 taps (unless the app requested the # like in Twitter). Auto-correct doesn't do multiple languages and I have to move fingers into the entry screen if I disagree. You can't navigate in text - try in a long URL that scrolled away to get to the front and change http to https - good luck with that. I use Swiftkey that learned my vocabulary and also allows swyping. An ideal tool for frequent peckers. Wins hands down.
Home screen Square icons, no spaces between them, max 9 icons per folder page: a joke when you had a customized Android home screen before. The swipe from top or bottom depending on the function is confusing. More than once, when I wanted to swipe up a website, article in Flipboard or Economist I ended up opening the control center. Customization to my taste: my key applications (including IBM Notes Traveler) are configured as widgets, so I don't open them to glance on them (would be interesting to compare that with Windows phone) and there is space between my logical app groups
Music & Camera iTunes and iPhoto make it easy to manage all the stuff Music is a headache, camera works for my level (a.k.a Knipser)
eMail gMail works similar on both devices. Apple mail shows its age. I can't swipe left/right for new messages but have to aim for the little arrows. I need a companion app for encrypted stuff the Notes mail application works nice with swipe and support for encryption - and I can keep it separate from private messages
Contacts One word: primitive Allows to combine contact information from different sources into a single profile. And I can access my different services directly: Whatsup, Skype calling etc.
Accessories Works quite nice with my Mio Alpha and Fitbit. There is also a bloodpressure monitor. Until Android 4.4 hits my phones making low power bluetooth available, the Mio Alpha won't work. Fitbit works.
Quantified self There is one aspect on the iPhone about Endomondo, haven't made up my mind if I like it: when starting the screen locks with a slider and keeps on, so I see it all the time. On Android it times out and locks with the passcode. Nice to watch on iPhone but a hug battery drain I use Fitbit, Endomondo and WiThings. They work equally well
Control center More than once when browsing a website or flipping upwards in Flipboard I end up pulling up the control center, unless the keyboard is displayed, then I can't pull it up at all. I like the flashlight. The control center is in the main pull down, with all settings I need and an easy to target pull area
Tasks switching iOS lets me switch back to the menu (single press) or the task list (double press). There is no concept of an universal back button, so when switching from one app to another no back brings me back to the previous, it is there sometimes depending on the app The back button lets you backtrack nicely
Sharing Apple knows best, so the share menu is what they tell me. I'm missing the IBM destinations (Connections, Sametime, Notes), Dropbox, UbuntuOne, WhatsUp, Evernote etc. Any anyhow, how can Apple know best if SWMBO already does? Any application can register with the OS the capabilities it has to share things. Items appear in the Share via menu and live is good
Applications All that I want to use can be found in the iTunes store All that I want to use can be found, mostly in Google Play (some on my corporate server)
Development ObjectiveC and Mac required. While I have a Mac at home, my workhorse is a Ubuntu Thinkpad Java and any platform. My ObjectiveC is worse than my Mandarin (ask SWMBO how bad it is)
I most likely won't stick with an iPhone, while others want to ditch their Android

Posted by on 11 December 2013 | Comments (2) | categories: After hours


  1. posted by Mitch Cohen on Wednesday 11 December 2013 AD:
    Excellent comparison, captures most of what I like about Android vs iOS. The 2 big ones are Typing (Swiftkey) and Sharing.

    I think if Google could ever solve the Android OS update issues many iOS users might be willing to take another look, the reality today is except for a Google Play edition phone there is a good chance you will not see major updates for a long time if at all on your Android Phone
  2. posted by Stephan H. Wissel on Thursday 12 December 2013 AD:
    This is why Android is best consumed on a Nexus device - unless you are comfortable with CyanoModGen