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  #1  
Old 05-14-2011, 05:00 PM
Jon Westfall
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Default I Take My Android Phone For Granted Compared to iOS!

<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://lifehacker.com/5801862/top-10-awesome-android-features-that-the-iphone-doesnt-have' target='_blank'>http://lifehacker.com/5801862/top-1...one-doesnt-have</a><br /><br /></div><p><em>"We love both Android and iOS, but the open nature of Android just means it can do things others just can't. Here are our favorite Android apps and features that you won't find on its Apple-clad brethren."</em></p><p><img src="http://images.thoughtsmedia.com/resizer/thumbs/size/600/adt/auto/1305386943.usr7.jpg" /></p><p>Lifehacker has an article up today highlighting 10 things that Android has over iOS, and as an Android enthusiast since early 2009, I'm a bit&nbsp;embarrassed&nbsp;to say that I forgot about most of these. Not forgot in the sense that I don't know they exist - forgot in the sense that I use them all and just assume they should be part of any premium Smartphone experience. While I might only use some of these (advanced automation features, removable storage) once in a blue moon, others (such as widget support, custom launchers and ROMs) are absolutely essential to me. Don't get me wrong, I own an iPhone - but only for the few apps that I don't have an Android&nbsp;equivalent (the iPhone has never been my daily driver). And these days, those apps are few and far between!</p><p>So Androiders - what do you find essential on this list? And iOS users - what do you wish your OS had (Or what does your OS have that I should be insanely jealous of?)!</p>
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  #2  
Old 05-14-2011, 07:27 PM
Craig Horlacher
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This is a great list! There were a number of things there I didn't know or wouldn't have thought of. There was only one thing I could think of to add and that's notifications. The notifications on Android are done perfectly!!! I haven't seen notifications on any other mobile phone that I like better. Notifications need to not interrupt what you're working on but they need to be very accessible. You should be able to access or acknowledge them in an order different than how they came in.

I want to add a few comments on some of the items from the article.

10. Alternate Keyboards: He mentions SwiftKey and I just wanted to say how much I love it! I wouldn't have tried it since it isn't free and I'm too cheap. On top of that I've tried lots of other keyboards including Swype which came with my Droid X and even 8pen. None of them were for me so I kept going back to the built-in Moto multi-touch keyboard which I liked. Anyway, I love SwiftKey because of it's incredible text prediction! I've never seen any text input tool with prediction this good. I also like that I can hold down a key for a special character instead of needing to change it's display just for one character. I also like the way it has a numeric keypad - that comes in handy sometimes. Swype has arrow keys and that's one feature I wish SwiftKey would adopt but it's rare I want or need arrow keys so it really hasn't been a problem. I do agree that being able to use an alternate keyboard is a huge advantage that Android has over iOS.

7. Widgets: They are a huge plus! I love them!!! If you have an Android device and you're not using them you're not getting the most out of your device.

5. Wireless App Installation: Coming from the Windows Mobile world I wasn't so sure about not syncing to a PC. For some reason I thought I needed that. Man, it is so much nicer to not be extracting cab files from an install or anything else to install apps when I'm away from my PC. I would never want to go back! Anyway, he mentioned app stores. I love having more than one app store for Android! The Market is great because dev's can get things out right away easily. Third party ones like AppBrain, PlayAndroid.com, Amazon App store, and others give more options with different and/or better reviews, better filtering of apps, and sometimes better prices. This is a huge plus! I check the Amazon App Store pretty much every day for their Free Paid App of the day. You won't get than on the Apple App Store! That's for sure!
 
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  #3  
Old 05-15-2011, 02:51 AM
Vincent Ferrari
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As far as what I would like on IOS from Android, it's only one thing, and it's the windowshade for notifications. Honestly, that's the best feature of Android and you don't realize how good it is until you deal with the modal and mostly useless notifications that stack up on IOS. I have a feeling that'll change in the future (they hired a UX guy for notifications; I expect things to get better).

Most of the other stuff, though? Meh.

Removable storage? Sorry; having half my music library on one card and half on another is a pain in the ass. Not big on carrying a card in a box, and when you spend as much time on the subway as I do, having them "in the cloud" is meaningless.

Keyboards? Meh. I usually install Better Keyboard because it's the most IOS like. I prefer it to pretty much every other Android keyboard. Swipe is neat, but I can't imagine banging out too much text with it. I find it gets in the way a lot. Other keyboards? Not too bad either, but none of them sell me on the system.

Custom launchers? Meh. I find most of the Android launchers, because of widget overload, are just cluttered messes. They work, and if you like 3000 widgets plus 4 pages of apps on a home screen, plus a secondary press to bring up "all" of your apps, that's fine, but for me, I find that system sub optimal. I have my apps organized by pages on my iPhone, and have folders within the pages. If you ask me where my stuff is, I can tell you without my phone even being in my hand what screen it's on. It works for me. your mileage may vary.

Widgets? Clutter. Do not like.

Removable battery? If I were getting the battery life of the Android devices I used on my iPhone, this would matter, but I take my phone off the charger at 7am, use it all day long at work, listen to music on the train in both directions on my hour commute, come home, use the phone more, watch videos when I get in bed, then charge it all on one charge. I rarely if ever have the need for more juice than I get. That's not to say I've never wished for an external battery, but having one wouldn't sell me on a system at all. Every Android device I've tried (the N1, the Vibrant, the MyTouch 4g, the original MyTouch, the Vibrant 4g, the G2, and the LG G2x) have less battery stamina than my iPhone 4 with the same usage patterns.

Custom Roms? Yeah that's cool, and I love Cyanogen, but I'm not up for wacking my phone with some off-the-internet stuff mainly because my phone is my lifeline at work. Without it, I'm toast. I can't rely on a custom ROM for my job. Cyanogen is awesome, and stable, but there will be a release where it isn't, and if my phone goes, my life goes. I'd rather have the QA of the manufacturer for something I consider mission critical.

Flash? Tried it on multiple handsets and have never seen a need for it. It's a neat "wow, look at this" feature, but I can live without it. I just don't feel the critical need for it that I used to.

App Integration? Killer feature. When it works well, it's awesome. That is, until something gets its hooks into your OS and you troubleshoot the damn thing forever until you figure out some dumb running service or hook broke your phone. It's a chance you take, and I'd take it with caution, but yes, this is an awesome feature, but in my experience, it isn't always awesome.

The one thing they didn't mention? Sideloading of apps and alternate app stores. That's the true beauty of Android above everything else and every other feature. Not being held back by the whims of a carrier or manufacturer is something that actually has me ready to move to Android even though I would rather have an iPhone. I'm really surprised that isn't in the list, or even at #1.
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  #4  
Old 05-16-2011, 02:33 AM
Macguy59
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Meh. My iPhones are always jail broken giving me the ability to use most of those things. Widgets are overused IMO. I like having a weather widget on the lock screen and . . . that's it. The notifications in iOS don't bother me per se but it's ridiculous that there is still no way to see if you have emails on the lock screen (non jail broken). I use a notifier that shows if I have texts, calls and emails in the status bar. Outside of those tweaks and an ocassional icon theme, I run a stock iOS. It suits me well. Flash support on any mobile based platform is still a joke. The only things that run well are the flash based ads. Imagine that
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  #5  
Old 05-16-2011, 08:17 AM
heliod
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I look at the discussion above, and get to the conclusion that this is exactly the geniality of Android: the fact that anyone can pick the things that they like to use and leave out the things for which they say "meh!".

In the iOS, we don't have this kind of choice. We are stuck with what Apple decided that is good for us. And this is the whole difference.

So what does this picking give us?

For example, in the original article, one of the commenters says that he prefers not to use buggy custom ROMs and to have one official, clean ROM. Well, I have been using REDUX ROM for my HTC Desire for the last 4 months, and I tell you, I haven't seen ONE official ROM that is as clean, fast and battery saving as this ROM. It is just amazing to see. The phone is completely bugless, runs for weeks without a SR, fast as I have never seen it, and battery can last for two days (1.5 days in busy use).

Another examples: launchers and widgets. I am not one of those guys that dump all the possible widgets on top of his launcher, but I do use some. LauncherPro does a great job, it is clean, fast and flexible. Upon it I mainly have a clock and forecast widget, a fast dialer scrollable widget, and the stock calendar and music widgets. The rest are shortcuts to my favorite applications. With some 70 apps installed in my desire, I can't imagine what I would do if I needed to scroll through all applications every time I need to run an App as in iOS. I would be crazy by now.

The rest is standard. I like the business applications made for Android better than those that I can find in the iOS Appstore. It seems to me very difficult to find something serious in the Appstore among the stupid games that proliferate there.
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  #6  
Old 05-16-2011, 05:18 PM
Vincent Ferrari
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heliod View Post
The rest is standard. I like the business applications made for Android better than those that I can find in the iOS Appstore. It seems to me very difficult to find something serious in the Appstore among the stupid games that proliferate there.
What business apps are you using that have no equivalence on the iPhone? I'm kinda curious?

Also, don't get started on crap proliferating the app store. Neither platform is immune from that in any way.
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Old 05-16-2011, 05:20 PM
Vincent Ferrari
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Macguy59 View Post
The only things that run well are the flash based ads. Imagine that
That's been my experience as well. In fact, what' particularly funny is that sites that embed Flash videos will display the video in a tiny ass window if you have Flash, but allow you to go full screen if you use a real standard like HTML 5. Once they detect Flash, you're relegated to a crappy little box on a zoomed in web page.

No thanks.

Apple's lack of support for Flash may be bad, but using Flash on a mobile phone isn't so great an experience that it would make me leap for joy either.

And I'm blaming Flash for that, not the handsets themselves, so don't start flaming me.
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Old 05-17-2011, 11:04 AM
ggore
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I read the Lifehacker article, and as an owner of an iPhone 3Gs for personal use and a NexusOne for work, I have to say that the extra features on the Android phone are nice, but do not necessarily make it a game-changer for me, or mean it is a better overall experience than the iPhone. I find both phones to be very good, but the "fit & finish" of the software, both the OS and apps, is just a much better experience on the iPhone than on Android. There are hiccups in animations, OS crashes and app crashes, functions that might take 3-4 presses to make happen, and other little things like that that just don't happen with the iPhone. There are times when I think my NexusOne is the greatest phone I've ever owned, and then some app will crash or refuse to do its main function, or the OS will act up in a weird way, and I will just have to reboot the thing and wish I was using my iPhone again.
 
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  #9  
Old 05-18-2011, 07:48 PM
Jason Dunn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vincent Ferrari View Post
Flash? Tried it on multiple handsets and have never seen a need for it. It's a neat "wow, look at this" feature, but I can live without it. I just don't feel the critical need for it that I used to.
I agree with that when it comes to phones, but tablets? I'd really like to see Flash on my iPad 2 - I've had more than a few sites not work because of no Flash. When I had the Xoom, it was pretty nice to not have to feel like I was missing out. I think in general Flash development is on the decline and HTML5 is on the rise, but there's a lot of Flash stuff still out there that isn't going to get magically updated to HTML5.
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Old 05-18-2011, 07:54 PM
Vincent Ferrari
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Dunn View Post
I agree with that when it comes to phones, but tablets? I'd really like to see Flash on my iPad 2 - I've had more than a few sites not work because of no Flash. When I had the Xoom, it was pretty nice to not have to feel like I was missing out. I think in general Flash development is on the decline and HTML5 is on the rise, but there's a lot of Flash stuff still out there that isn't going to get magically updated to HTML5.
I guess I'm just used to not having it around. I rarely feel like I'm missing out, mainly because most of the sites that use Flash for stuff like Navigation, etc., are sites that either came around to opening up their standards and not using stupid Flash, or are sites I replaced already for ones that did :-)

For example, when I first got my iPhone, no news sites I cared about used HTML 5 for video. CNN was first. I got used to using CNN. Now I use CNN. I don't feel like I'm missing out by not going to MSNBC or FoxNews or any of the others. I'll admit that since news is news, my use case may just be different, but I don't really feel like I'm missing out in that case, and really Flash just keeps me from seeing videos and infographics, but I can always read the story which is what I go to these sites for anyway.

Different strokes for different folks, I guess.
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