Things can get a little heated when iPhone and Android users start arguing over who has the better phone. The Android/iPhone debate is king of the smartphone rivalries, and iPhone fanatics swear by their platform just as much as Android users.

Few people actually use both an Android and iPhone device for any extended period of time. Usually, the fights occur between people that are sitting on opposite sides of the smartphone fence. It’s always interesting to hear the experience of someone that’s thoroughly used both platforms…

ReadWriteWeb has posted a that details the experience of an iPhone user that switched over to Android for a few days. Mike Melanson has some interesting things to say,

“It’s been a little over a year now that I’ve had my iPhone and I’ve become so used to the simple way that it works, I’ve begun complaining. “There’s little to no customization,” I might rattle off one day. “I can’t stand Apple’s App Store policies,” I’ll muse the next. But there’s one thing I will admit, nonetheless – the iPhone just works.”

Before you assume that Mr. Melanson is just an Apple “fanboy,” he actually offers some appealing arguments as to why he favors the iPhone over Android,

“I’ve bemoaned the state of iOS increasingly over the past year as closed but, if two days into the open world of Android, this is the state of things, then I might be tempted to agree that quality can quickly be sacrificed with openness.

Just days ago, I got my hands on an HTC Thunderbolt and, while I’m not here to talk about the device itself, I find myself unsure. I know, any user getting into something new has a growth period, so I’m not ready to nit pick the finer usability issues of iOS or Android. I am, however, ready to talk about two points that seem like big ones for the state of Android – finding apps and then downloading apps that don’t lock your phone and send it into epileptic-like fits.”

Finding Apps

“On the first point, I’ve searched for app after app only to find that I hadn’t put in the exact correct name. It’s not “Color” it’s “Color Beta.” Really? This has been the case time and time again as I search for apps only to have someone tell me the exact name I need to enter. No partial search? For an OS put out by a company that builds, primarily, the world’s most popular search engine this just seems ridiculous.”


“Now, for the second point. Today, I found myself in a situation where I wanted to use my Android (because it admittedly has a better camera than my iPhone 3GS) to take pictures. I opened the Android Market, searched for Flickr and quickly clicked on the app named Flickr that had the Flickr icon. Great. Once the download completed, I tapped on the icon and suddenly a website opened up to a phishing warning. I tried to exit, but it just reopened. Again and again. No matter what combination of buttons I tried, the phone re-entered this unusable state of trying to reload this prohibited website and randomly rebooting.”

The lack of partial search in the Android Market is definitely an issue. Stability and crashing are always something to consider when operating in an uncurated app ecosystem.

Mike Melanson’s closing thoughts,

“I’m certainly not about to abandon my Android. I love the potential for customization and as someone heavily involved in the Google ecosystem, I’m excited to see the deeper integration afforded by Android. But is this the cost of “open”? Unfindable apps and apps that, once they are found, nearly brick your device?

If so, I might argue that Google either needs to close things down just a little bit or find a way to quickly and easily surface more reliable, trustworthy apps for its users.”

Do you agree? Especially if you use both Android and iOS, we’d love to hear your thoughts!

  • Jon

    His two main issues are more of a user issue, rather than a platform issue.

    We all know the market search sucks, although it’s gotten a little better the past week. There’s an app for that(tm): Chomp. Chomp makes app searching tons better, and I have great luck with it, and of course with google.

    Is that as easy as the itunes store search? No, of course not. But I have issues with the itunes app store too. It’s not endemic to the platform, just a byproduct of using it.

    His second issue is the same. Yes, apple vets all the applications, and they’re much more likely than some android apps to be stable. The downside of that is a giant lag time for new apps to appear, and Apple’s schizophrenic rejection of apps.

    In the Android marketplace (any of them, since there’s several), anybody can publish an app. User ratings are more important, and the comments usually indicate if the app is great, or crashes on some devices. Again, google is your friend hear, as well as trial and error.

    Amazon’s appstore, although young, is closer to Apple’s that the default android market. Their not vetting for appropriateness, at least, only stability. Apps purchased from there are more likely to be stable and non-malicious. There’s a variety of app stores, and you can choose which ones you use.

    I’m a fairly recent (January?) iOS refugee, and I love my Android phone and it’s platform. Yes, it has its issues. I’ll take them over Apple’s iron-fisted control.


    • Nice thoughts Jon. I think we can all co-habitat together can’t we? There are benefits to both platforms, although obviously I find the iPhone a bit more beneficial. BTW, what type of Android phone did you opt for coming from the iPhone?

      • Jon

        Sure, some of my best friends use iPhones.

        I scored a refurb Captivate (Galaxy S in other clothes) from AT&T. It’s a pretty decent phone, and the screen makes my 3gs’ look like a pile of puke. I’ve posted a few articles comparing them (ios and android), and why I prefer android for my phone at my tumblr, if I sound interesting enough. 😉 I wouldn’t go back to and iOS phone if you paid me, unless Apple pulls a 180 and starts supporting the jailbreak community, instead of deliberately opposing it. My ipad, however, is another story.


    • Joe

      What are you talking about the iPhone AppStore is easy to search, the search works really well. Also all the catagorizes, list, and featured work well.

      • localemo

        I also had the iPhone ..had the 1g all the way up to the 3gs I love Iowa it just clicks works and anyone can pick it up
        As I self confessed hacker type ..I got bored of iPhone and bought the htc desire hd ..I love it and hate it at the same time .The incredible learning curve of android is the only reason why everyone doesent have one
        But I have this about 3 months now and am still finding new features and something I can fix up ..anyway I would love to see an android user with to ups and see there view

      • marcus

        yes! that is a systematic management skill. not like android serching apps like searching underwear in a big garbage bin.

  • Andrew

    This year’s “Phone of the Year” winner, was (unsurprisingly) none other than Apple’s iPhone 4. The GSMA nominees for “Phone of the Year” included the iPhone 4, the Android-powered Samsung Galaxy S and HTC Desire, along with the LG Optimus 7 running Windows Phone 7 and the BlackBerry Torch 9800. Here’s what the judges’ had to say:

    “Great screen, sharp design, fantastic materials, and phenomenal ecosystem for app developers. In a tight race, the iPhone 4 built on the success of its predecessors to set the pace for smart phones.”

    • kadz


  • jimbo

    did you know that android is actually beating apple right now

    • MFCH

      That’s mind-numbingly vague.

    • Andrew

      And I bet Honda sales more cars than Lamborghini

      • Rob

        Great reply

      • Eric

        Haha! Great reply. These idiots talk about market share. Apple wants profu share. iOS is worth more than ALL of google. Lmao! Just iOS I’m talking.

    • Jimbo

      Haters, facts are facts. Android is winning with cells

      • Josh

        Oh really? What facts?! The fact that Android OS is more buggy, full of glitches and not to mention, more prone to malware and viruses. It is pretty clear that iOS and Apple win it this time, kid.

    • kadz

      lol man ur stupid ..

      • Jimbo


      • Luis

        ur definition of winning is un clear, since apple is winning more money, and google is winning more OS distribution

    • marcus

      dont using more than 6 providers’ os to compare with iOS. it is a shame. just compare with iOS with single provider. Will samsung or HTC can defeat apple’s product? only with multiple providers then u said android beating apple now. joke.

  • Andrew

    For the fifth consecutive year – as in, for as long as the iPhone has existed – the iPhone has come out top of the charts for customer satisfaction among smartphone users, in J.D. Power and Associates’ survey.

  • tytehjjkjygh

    I have used both iPhone and(roid) a lot, and I like both of them a lot, but I just can’t permanently switch to Android. That’s because:

    1) Besides Amazon MP3 Cloud Player, there is no iPod app or music app built in to Android.
    2) I’ve literally used more than a hundred bucks on iPhone apps.
    3)Even though you don’t need to jailbreak to get what you want, there are no tweak stores or full themes like the iPhone.

    4)If you want Android, you have to chose 1 out of the over 100 phone they make. In iPhone, well, there’s only the iPhone.

    5)I know a lot about iOS, but I’m not that much of a techie when it comes to Android.

    Lots of other reasons, but these are the biggest.

    • marcus

      a really big joke for smartphone let its consumer to find “how to play music” using more than 5 minutes. Lousier than sony walkman common phone.

  • old tom

    ive recently had the chance to use an android phone on a day to day basis for almost 2 weeks now. i still have my personal iphone4 . . . . .for now . . . . but have been using an htc inspire 4g to try out for work.
    while ive been an ios user since 2007, i have to say that there are some good things about android as well. And as the author said, there is a bit of a learning curve. But, as i did with the iphone, i have done with the android phone too. get on the web and do some reading and research. both are good os’s and have +/- to both.
    i personally havent run into the android market app search to the extent that the quoted person in the article has. Personally, ive run into about the same level of “app store” issues with both android market and apples app store. not identical issues, but equal amounts of issues nonetheless. so its a case of “pick your poison” really. i cant honestly say that 1 is better than the other. both are different companies approaches to an end user experience.
    as for me when im up for a personal hardware upgrade, i cant say id choose 1 os over the other as the determining factor in making my choice. i think it will come down to a combination of hardware specs in conjunction with the os that will make a final decision for me.

  • CostaXtreme

    Jimbo did you know apple is one company and android involves many different companies?

    Im sure people after trying: 1st android and then iOS… They preffer the last one.
    And many grandmas have their android coz its free… Hello? xD

    • Jimbo

      I didn’t kno b4 but now I do lol

    • Josh

      Long story short, Apple, by itself and with ONE phone, is winning this smartphone battle against Android, which would involve LG, Samsung, HTC, Motorola, GOOGLE for God’s sake. Not to mention other minor competitors like BlackBerry and Nokia.

      Apple kicks ass.

      • Andrew

        You are correct. It’s 1vs100
        Think IPhone vs Evo
        Think iPhone vs Desire

        And you would all be laughed out of the room. 1vs100, it shouldn’t even be a competition.

  • Maya Martinez

    I have had every iphone since the beginning, but I won’t say that I love the iphone. Since the time I have owned all my iphones, every single one I owned was jailbroken and fully customized to my liking. I was a huge fanboy for the iphone for the longest time until I realized what android was all about. I got interested in the android platform in the summer of 2010 and from that point I wanted to know more about it. I was really big into the jailbreaking community and now I am really into the rooting community. Yes it is true that the android platform isn’t fully polished as the iphone os but with work it can get there. The ability to get the android more closer to that of a working computer than you can on the iphone excites me. You don’t have to wait months for some update to come out and then don’t have to spend a fortune on the only products that work with it ie airprint. Being able to change the keyboards the icons the interface the font the browser the way the phone works is what gets me. I will never say that the iphone is a bad phone since it is the beginning of all the great phones but I will say that it is aging quick and not even the jailbreak community can save it. Apple needs to let the user take control and be able to personalize their phones past wallpapers and for that reason I moved over to android.

  • Bert

    This is almost exactly the same experience I had when I got a Samsung Captivate a while back. I had a iPhone 3 for years and absolutely loved it. When time came for an upgrade, I let a buddy of mine talk me into going Android, and I thought it might be a nice change of pace. I made it a point not to let the usability issues get to me as I was, after all, learning to use a completely new phone. The problems i experienced went beyond usability issues. Im a big apps person and love trying out new apps all the time. The Android market was simply a nightmare. 50% of the apps i tried would crash or crash my phone, or would look like a five year old threw them together. After a month of fixing more problems than actually gettings things done, I took it back and got an iPhone 4. I haven’t had a single complaint about it. I get good reception, unlike the ridiculous myths, and I’m finally app crazy again. I laugh heartily at Android users that comment on the size of my screen. Keep living in your little dreamland, guys.

  • Micke

    My first smartphone was the HTC Legend, which I got in june 2010. And I really liked the Android experience, I had no issues with my Legend what-so-ever. The only thing I had to complain about was that everything needed so much work to function the way I wanted it to, and that the user interface was real dark and non-inviting.

    But in february this year, I felt that it was time to upgrade, so I went to the mobile store and bought an unlocked iPhone 4 ( I live in Sweden), and I have yet to find something that isn’t exactly the way I want it. It may be a tad cliche, but it just works, exactly to my liking.

    So, having used both Android and iOS for an extented amount of time, I really must say that I prefer my iPhone.

  • RAWshad

    I’ve been using Android since the G1 came out. I had that, Motorola Cliq, then the iPhone 3G, then got the MyTouch 3G Slide, then lastly the Mytouch 4G.

    Now, I own the iPhone 3GS.

    The one thing you will notice about the Android is this: It’s way mote customizable than the iPhone. That’s a fact. The Android OS is just amazing with it’s customizing: Widgets, changing the keyboard types, etc. You can change almost anything on it. Nobody Android is the same.

    However, I love the customization, but I’m a big app user. I use apps, ALOT. (Thank God for Installous) The apps on the Android cannot compete with the iPhone. The apps on the Android can either be really trash or subpar and a few are even worth the money if it ain’t free. iPhone has a better quality app selection and if an app is on both Android and the iPhone I will put money down that the app works better on the iPhone (aside from the Facebook app, they are both trash on either one lol)

    Another thing is that the iPhone’s iTunes is a lot more organize than the Androids music app. iTunes cannot be tough by the Android. Even though iTunes is a lot more stricter, it way more easier to handle.

    Also, when I was playing with my MyTouch 4G, i felt that watching Youtube vids was a hassle as well. It freezes up when you try to click forward, doesn’t load up right, etc. IDK if it’s an Android issue, but this happened to me on multiple Android phones. I dont have the same problem with the iPhone.

    Also, Android can run Flash. iPhone can’t.

    All in all: Android is great when it comes down to customization, Flash, some key apps, and overall its own uniqueness you can develop on it’s homescreen. However, to me, iPhone is just better overall. The quality to me is more official: it runs better, apps are high grade, and everything is made for the iPhone (different accessories and such)

    I pick the iPhone.

  • Steven

    Anybody knows an equivalent app for the iPhone that Android has – SemiSilent App?
    The App let you choose which phone number to ring even you put your phone in silent mode.

  • localemo

    I also had the iPhone ..had the 1g all the way up to the 3gs I love Iowa it just clicks works and anyone can pick it up .As I self confessed hacker type ..I got bored of iPhone and bought the htc desire hd ..I love it and hate it at the same time .The incredible learning curve of android is the only reason why everyone doesent have one
    But I have this about 3 months now and am still finding new features and something I can fix up ..anyway I would love to see an android user with to ups and see there view

  • i agree with this man, i hate searching for apps on my Android.

  • Tim

    Jailbreak. Game, set, match. Winner: apple.

  • Juan

    I prefer the quality of the iOS coupled with the iPhone and the overall experience of iTunes. The App ecosystem seems fair to me even though there are some things I would change, like their biased review process.

    Since Android isn’t developed for one hardware device, manufacturers can easily muck up the OS with their custom ‘for this phone’ modifications which can piggy back more issues or introduce new bugs such as application incompatibility or applications crashing/locking up.

    The only way I’d buy an Android phone is if Apple managed to stop jailbreaking. Also, when you compare like apps, side by side (take the Facebook app for example).. Android looks like a monochrome high school project while iOS looks polished and complete.

    • QuarterSwede

      I agree. The App Store is the main reason I stay with the iPhone. There are so many great, polished apps it blows my mind. The iDevices also has tight integration with my hardware (Airplay > HTS, dock cable > Pioneer car head unit).

  • exapplefan

    I have used almost all the versions of itouch , iphones and ipads and few android phones. what i see that most people here dont seem to see is that ios is a very inferior OS. Yes it is polished and tailor built for one hardware but the OS is not built to do things that we want an smartphone/tablet OS to do.
    The very fact that it took apple 3 – 4 years to let users change wallpaper and the fact the ios does not support true multitasking even now shows that the platform will die slowly as other platforms which are built around cloud and multitasking gain ground. With all the problems that android has it will kill platforms like ios just like the old pc-mac. Google will integrate all the cloud services with android from gaudio to gvideo. Last rumor i heard was that with their acquisition of PushLife it will push all our music library to gaudio cloud and user will be able to sync their phones with their google audio cloud by signing into any pc/mac anywhere in the world . And users will be able to stream music from any device by signing into their google account 🙂 I am sure that soon once this hits the market we will have tons of services from different providers. This is something apple will never do 🙂 They have iTunes and they wont allow others to do these 🙂 So an ios will get innovation from a very few selected people.

    And google allows apps like the amazon app store and htc’s movie service(was shown yesterday). That is something apple will never allow. So the way i see it 3 years down the line the ios devices will do things seamlessly, so does Nokia 1100 which is 50$ and has a very stable OS 🙂 but will any one buy a platform which cant keep up with innovation coming from all the companies, i dont think so. I will stick on to my android phone 🙂 yes it has issues but i would rather have a phone which does things which i want my phone to do.

    • QuarterSwede

      The reason Android is doing so well (and will continue to) is not because of the reasons above but because they’re are a bazillion makers and carriers are practically giving them away. I’m not saying this to discount Android handsets, it’s just the truth.

      • exapplefan

        bazillion makers and carriers = more innovation. who is asking apple to stick to their model ?

        giving them away ?? thats the bubble we live in 🙂 most of the countries in the world dont have the system of 2 or 3 year contracts. take for example india, the biggest telecom market. you can buy gsm phones and then use them with any carrier you choose. you have to pay the full price outright 🙂 world mobile market is bigger and better than what we have in north america. ever wondered why apple could never dominate any other market but american ?

  • fojam

    i would like to use the awesomeness of ios with the freedom of android os

    • QuarterSwede

      Jailbreak then.

  • Maya Martinez

    I agree with exapplefan

  • Awesomeguy97

    Android rulz!!

    • kadz

      you got friends ??

  • Awesomeguy97

    I once downloaded an so called free internet tethering app from the android market that nearly bricked my fone

    • iPhoneCanButDroidDoes

      you are an idiot then

  • Luis

    i still cant believe people think android is anything great, it may be excelent to casual users, but to people in the technology area (computer science in my case) its a piece of trash, i cant stand its lagginess and its poor performance and it integration of incomplete multi features. its growing and getting the most marketshare, it WILL dominate as windows dominate the desktop/laptops, but i tell u one thing, no hardware will ever work as well with an android as an iphone works with an iOS. and because thats why you get a closed system, i jailbreak to find programs that complement my needs

    • iPhoneCanButDroidDoes

      you are an idiot too

    • exapplefan

      yo 🙂 i have been an ios programmer and an android programmer fr years 🙂 and being a guy in technology area urself how is ios a “better” os without a simple feature like multitasking ? and how is it better if it written as a RIGID OS for just one device and not in a portable fashion. and how is it better when users cannot use its flash storage in a way users are supposed to use flash storage ?

      the difference is android users / dev / google accept the flaws in android and we know what we are getting. the whole community works towards fixing the problems one by one. where as in apple you have no idea wat is wrong with the system. even if there is, the company is not going to come clean and accept that there is a problem. forget fixing the issue.

      “no hardware will ever work as well with an android as an iphone works with an iOS” ur kidding dude 🙂 we know that you can get android code ans install it in any device u want 🙂 can u even do that in ios ?. all u have is a limited set of devices which run ios 🙂 for all we kno the ios code can have million bugs, we just dont kno em.

      Try creating a big scroll view in ios 4.3 and add images to the scrll view 🙂 and try scrolling it will crash 100% of the times 🙂 no not the mem unavailable message. it will crash 🙂

  • Ives

    Android can be better if they have app like installous or cydia. Life after rooting android more complicated then life after jailbroken iOS. I have both os devices and I still pick iOS.

  • Rob

    Great Article, I’ve Used A Roid Several Times. But When It Comes Down To The Three Main Things For Me, It’s Performance, Usability And Entertainment Factor, While Andoid Has Loads of Great 4G Phones And Whatnot, In Performance The iPhone 4 Wins For Me, It May Not Have A 1.2ghz Proccessor E.t.c But I Can Find An App, Get It And It Works, Rather Than Deleting My Contacts. Usability, The iPhone Has A Much Simpler Sleeker Design And The OS Is So Much Easier To Navigate Than Any Android OS I’ve Seen/Tried. And Finnally, Entertainment, Whilst the Android Phones Can Have More Storage, I Have Tested Maybe 10-12 roids and None Whatsoever Can Beat The Glossy Retina display, And On The Tablet Side The Xoom/Playbook/Galaxy Tab Are Pathetic Competition To My iPad 1, The iPad 1 Is Much Better Than Both And Provides Clear Smooth Video, Whereas The Roids Is Usually choppy And Poorly Played Due To Too Many bad File formats It Calls “Acceptable”, Then There’s The iPad 2 Which Wipes The Floor With All Of Them, I’m No Apple Fan Boy, But A Day in The Office With A roid is Just Not Worth the Trouble, An iPhone Just Works.

  • Francis

    I’ve had an 3G and it was nice. I currently have an iPad. Still, I moved to Android and never looked back. As a device the iPhone and iPad are great but it’s tied to iTunes. I used to be a heavy Linux user and of course iOS has no real solutions for Linux users.

    Some people think that iTunes is a good thing. I’m glad it’s a solution for you, but for me it’s the worst part of the ecosystem. I just want to be able to move files over to my phone like every other USB device on the planet. I don’t want to have to load up a bloated piece of software just to add a song or movie that’s on my PC.

    I had to jailbreak my iPad just to move videos over, figure out with hash name folder was the proper folder to dump media into over SSH. That’s something that the lowest end, POS USB media player from Kmart can do. With iOS you have to fight it just to get features that have been available to OS’s forever.

    With my Android phone it’s drag and drop both wired and wireless. The media in the phone grabs the album art and lyrics on the fly. Since it has real multitasking I have my podcast app automatically download in the BG so I always have the newest Podcasts available. I don’t need to go into iTunes and “sync”… It’s just there.

    The voice controls in Android are crazy. While driving, I just tap the search button and tell it what I want and it finds it. It will read my txt messages and email and twitter messages while I’m driving. I tap again and I can input txt, email and twitter with my voice. Must faster than any keyboard interface. Real or virtual.

    Don’t get me wrong either. I would still recommend the iPhone to most of my friends who aren’t as computer literate. For advanced users a Jailbroken iPhone or Rooted Android is equally easy to work with. I would recommend both just to play around with.

    I think finding applications in both the Android Market and Apple Appstore are equally hard. 3rd party app stores like for Android and Cydia + Installous for iOS are much better than their stock counterparts.

    • QuarterSwede

      “… Cydia + Installous for iOS are much better than their stock counterparts.”
      You’ve got to be kidding me. Installous almost never finds the app I want even when I spell it correctly. It’s gotten better lately as it’s usually near the top now but the app store will find an app if you spell it near it’s spelling or even know the dev name. It’s, hands down, the best.

  • nat1100

    I have had been using android running HTC sense for about 8 months Desire HD.
    There was a learning curve not in a bad way I found but a fascinting one.
    There is nothing this device wont do from music player with full eq and dolby or srs to turn by turn navigation to any app that i need often for free.
    I havent had the problems that some of you talk about with apps I look at the reviews and get the good ones. Ive had worse apps from the apple app store I think the apple side is aimed to children moreso. But I can and have gotten the same apps on my android device.
    I cant go back the sound quality for music is incomparible Ive always found apple to be terrible for music even ipods. Example take a pair of standard ipod iphone headphones and plug them in to a comparable device (ie quality priced) and you will see why.
    All i can say is thank god for android as i dont have to rely on apples music players bad quality and I have a small computer that will take anything that i throw at it.
    Get a good android phone and you will be astounded as I am as to what these crazy developers are doing with these things.
    Im not downing iphone as they have there place in the market for point and shooters but if you are a high end user get a high end android device.

  • marcus

    and also i found that someone blamed that iphone only have one home physical button. u know y someone need wheel chair? crutch? prosthesis? Because they are handicapped. They need supports to overcome their disabilities!

  • Guest

    as iphone developer and android user i know both os well… would never go to iphone