An iPhone User’s Experience with Android

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!