Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 5th Dec 2013 09:51 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless

About 2 years back, I read this article on Michael Degusta's personal blog. It was a revelation. Michael ripped the Android ecosystem apart with a simple chart. The chart converted me from an Android user to an iPhone user. I hope this chart helps other folks make an informed decision when their next smartphone upgrade is due.

Charts like this do great in certain areas of the web, but it's too simplistic. First, it does not take into account that many core aspects of Android are updated through Google Play, such as Chrome, Gmail, Maps, the keyboard, and so on. Whereas iOS needs an entire update to fix a small bug in, say, Maps - Android does not. Many core parts that require an entire OS update for iOS are updated weekly on Android.

Second, it does not mention that even though older iPhone models get the latest version of iOS, some functionality of these latest versions is disabled due to marketing, and in some cases due to hardware constraints (if you were to believe Apple, that is).

Third and foremost, though: I'm betting each and every one of those devices has at least an Android 4.2 or 4.3 release (and some have 4.4 too, like my Find 5) from, for instance, CyanogenMod - and countless other ROM makers. Installing a custom ROM is one of the strengths of Android, and not nearly as hard or difficult as some make it out to be. If your iPhone becomes unsupported or really slow due to iOS7 - you're screwed. You have no other options. If Samsung's TouchWiz crap makes your Galaxy slow, run out and get a quality phone install a custom ROM.

I see this all the time: people ignoring core strengths of Android because they don't understand them or because they don't belong to their interests - "this is just for nerds and geeks, so it's irrelevant!" Take discussions about application on iOS and Android, for instance; those arguing in favour of iOS routinely ignore that Android has access to types of applications iOS users could only dream of. If you leave those out, it's easy to make Android's application offering look weaker. The same happens when looking at Android and updates.

All this doesn't negate the fact that updates are by far Android's weakest link, although not nearly as much of an issue as it used to be during the gingerbread days. Moving more and more parts of Android to Play will eventually all but solve the issue completely.

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RE: Sure but...
by ezraz on Fri 6th Dec 2013 14:23 UTC in reply to "Sure but..."
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except i have a 3+ year old 32mb iPhone4 in my pocket right now, running iOS7 better than it ran iOS6. the free, painless update, gave my old phone lots of new features, a totally new UI (skin), and better battery life in most cases. i bought this phone in summer 2010 and it's like a new life for winter 2014.

this is a testament to apple's engineering and corporate mission of removing as much pain as possible from their customer experience. the other uniquely apple thing that haters miss is that most apple software updates actually make their hardware faster and more capable.

yes, sometimes you don't get all the new features on a 3 year old device, but you do get new features and you get a major refresh of old tech. no other phone company goes back and upgrades old hardware with OS updates like Apple does.

I personally think Android should stay focused on nerds and hackers, and leave the average dumb consumer out of it. so many people with android phones i see out in public have little or no idea how to manage the platform, in fact have no idea what they are holding and how to use it. they brag about their new high tech phone, then struggle using it in front of everyone. They loudly complain about it being too complicated, then 2 months later they have another (larger) droid and they repeat the process.

i've literally have the same iphone sometimes while my buddies go through 3-5 android phones. often times they lose their data and start over. it's amazing.

i've been in the apple ecosystem since the early 90's. i've lost my personal data once in that time, and it was completely my fault. apple hardware has not screwed my data in 20+ years. i've always thought PC users and now android users live a temporary existence where they don't even expect to have their data years later.

i have hundreds of contacts and notes on my iPhone that i entered into my first iphone in 2007. I have thousands of media files that i loaded into iTunes starting in 2001, and mp3 files that were ripped and loaded into soundjam starting in 1999. i have email in mu current client going back to 2004, and back to 1997 on the mac sitting on my shelf.

i hate reentering anything, that's partly why i'm apple all around.

i'm sure OSNews readers don't match this description, but the general "i have a smartphone too" people with nexuses and galaxys around me know less about using their device than even some grandparents with ipads. the apple iOS is locked down in certain parts, but overall lets the user explore and reconfigure their device to their liking. a backup and full restore is always a click away.

Edited 2013-12-06 14:34 UTC

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