A few days ago, Lifehacker wrote an article titled Top 10 ways iOS outdoes Android. Now before I start, I want to let you know I am not going to be all Android fanboy on you and tell you how the article is a load of rubbish. In fact, I agree with many of the suggestions. Instead, I am going to point out all of the ways to improve your Android device so the negatives of Android are less strong. Most of these tips were mentioned in the article such as the use of DoubleTwist instead of iTunes. The article suggests that these alternatives are not as good as the built in features of iOS. In some cases I have to agree but I will show you the positives and negatives of the alternatives so you can make your own mind up!
1. User Interface
This is one of the first reasons that Lifehacker gave that iOS outdoes Android. Although, I actually quite like the User Interface of Android (probably because I am a bit geeky and like my OS a bit more advanced) it doesn’t suit everyone. Although you can’t change 3rd party apps to make them simpler, you can change the user interface of the mobile by installing a launcher. The great thing about Android is that you can customize it to suit you, the user interface is no exception. If you don’t like the Android user interface then install a launcher from the Android Marketplace such as Launcher 7 or Go Launcher EX.
- Customize – The LifeHacker article made a good point that everyone can use an iOS device. What it didn’t mention is that not everybody likes to use an iOS device. The great thing about Android is that you can customize your experience so it suits you.
- No consistent user interface – It’s not possible to change the way 3rd party apps work and look. This means you will always have an inconsistent user interface.
The article mentions crapware which is the extra software that manufacturers and carriers install. An example of crapware is a verizon voip app that you can not uninstall. I agree, crapware is a problem. Some of the preinstalled apps can be useful but most of them are a load of rubbish. I have a solution though, root your phone. Yes, root your phone and then install a new Rom. That way you will have a great Android phone minus the crapware.
Pros of rooting
- Uninstall any preinstalled app – The LifeHacker article said that iOS has no crapware. That may be true but some people may count iTunes, the clock app and the calender app as crapware. You can go a step further on Android and uninstall any app on your mobile with Bloat freezer or a similar app.
Cons of rooting
- Complicated – Rooting your phone isn’t easy. Not everyone is capable of safely completing the process. It is slightly unfair that Android users are expected to root their phone or suffer with crapware.
- Hassle – Rooting takes time. It would be nice to not have crapware in the first place like iOS.
3. iTunes and tethered syncing
The article points out that iOS has iTunes and therefore a good tethered syncing solution and Android does not. The article does mention DoubleTwist but basically says that it is not an official Android product so does not count. Although it would be better if it was official, anyone can download the program in a few minutes for free. In fact, it install much, much quicker than iTunes.
- Double Twist is great – DoubleTwist is a very well designed piece of free software that is less bloaty than iTunes but has nearly every feature.
- Wireless sync – Not only does Double Twist have wired sync, it also has wireless sync. I have used this feature for a while now and it is seamless and such a time saver, who wants to bother with manually syncing anyway.
- Not official – The LifeHacker article points out that Double Twist had to be created by someone else so it doesn’t really count. Even though I don’t totally agree with this I will say that it would be better if Double Twist was official.
4. Mobile tracking
The article lists Find My iPhone, the free iPhone tracking app from Apple as the best phone tracking app around. That may be true, but it doesn’t mean there aren’t good tracking solutions available for Android. There are many good apps out there such as Mcafee Wave Secure and Where’s my Droid but my favourite has to be Lookout Security. This app not only locates your mobile, locks it, wipes it and makes it scream. It also backs up your data and scans for viruses and malware.
- Very accurate – When I tested Lookout Security it located my phone to the exact building I was in, now is that accuracy or what?
- Virus/malware protection and backup - Find My iPhone only helps you find your iPhone, Lookout Security protects your phone in more ways such as protecting it from viruses/malware and backing up data.
- Some features cost – Even though the app is free like Find My iPhone, you have to pay $29.99 a year for remote lock and wipe.
5. Media store
The LifeHacker article claims that the iTunes media store is the most integrated of the lot. Again, that may be true but the Amazon mp3 store is more than adequate. I have never not found the music I wanted on Amazon and I can purchase a song with a few taps.
- Works very well – I have used both stores and I like the Amazon mp3 store just as much as the iTunes store because both have great mobile apps. If anything, the Amazon mp3 store is better because it can be accessed online from any browser while you need iTunes installed to buy music from a computer.
- Large library – The Amazon mp3 store has a very large library of music that easily competes with iTunes.
- Does not transfer to your computer – When you purchase a song from the mobile iTunes store, the music gets synced to your computer manually via iTunes. It does not appear that Amazon backs up your music or lets you re download it if you lose it.
- Not official – Like the iTunes desktop app, Amazon mp3 is not an official Android store. It would be nice if the store was part of Android.
Ok I admit it, the LifeHacker article had 10 ways that iOS outdoes Android and I only have 5. You can’t fix every con such as a a lack of a good support system or consistency problems. Each platform has its advantages and disadvantages but I hope that this article has not only clued you onto the disadvantages of Android but it has helped you make those disadvantages less important. If you feel up for reading more then read the LifeHacker article which lists 10 advantages to Android over iOS.