Let everyone who is reading this be warned that this is NOT an objective article about either of the platform. So politely for fanboys, I’m just expressing my experience using both. It’s a love and hate relationship for me so both are winners andÂ losers.
The first of the two that I own and used everyday is an iPhone 3G 8 Gigs. I must tell you that every iPhone is a masterpiece of great User Interface (UI) design. I love the easing effects applied, it DOES NOT feel artificial and mostly missable. Overall it looks great!
The only weak point for the whole UI that I can give is its Home Screen. Sooner or later it will feel crowded by default. I say this because without installing another addon app to free yourselves from Home Screen clutters, it will be messy. Well that won’t be the case if you routinely keep it tidy like grouping certain apps/games according to your preferences.
Next on the list is Mobile Network connectivity. It basically sucks. My iPhone kept on loosing signal strength to a point where sometimes it’s just playing dead with the help of a nearby wifi access point which is actually very lame on its function to serve as a mobile Internet device.
The third thing is looking it from a developer point of view. It costs money for me to distribute my app to the mass. There is no official way of publishing your app unless paying $99 for an iPhone Developer account at Apple.com. In the west and other parts of the world, it’s not a meaningful barrier but for independent developer like myself, it’s surely a pain the butt to pay for it. There are workarounds like Jailbreaking and using black hat methods but it’s just extra work for something that is flesh and blood for every developers.
With the iPhone HD (4G) now nearing its launch date, I hope to see more from Apple. One thing that I fell in love is iAds. The ability to integrate it directly with Xcode is a genius idea! Well other platform have SDKs but I still need to import them directly to my project and this is not pretty compared to what Apple is offering. I’m just gonna wait and see for this one.
Moving on to Android. I have a Google Nexus One right now and after Blackberry, it’s the most satisfying investment for a mobile device for me. First of all, it’s Google made and for that reason, throughout my experience, Google seems to love developers very much. They just makes everything easy. Even for rooting your devices.
The rush for Android is already happening in the US. I strongly believe it’s just a matter of time before Indonesia gets a hold of it. Hopefully mobile device vendors don’t make the same mistakes Apple did entrusting their iPhone to a single operator albeit the biggest. There’s not enough competition for the device and therefore marketing is scarce.
Back to Android. First of all, from a graphical point of view, it’s behind iPhone but not so much. What it lacks with graphics, it substitutes with a great UI. I found Android’s UI increases my productivity way more than an iPhone did me.
I love what Google did with their Home Screen. It basically is the killer for iPhone. The whole application is grouped into one menu and out of the 5 Home Screens available, you can just put app shortcuts, widgets and Live Wallpaper.
If you haven’t heard about Live Wallpaper, it’s a wallpaper that actually interacts with your taps on the screen. Google it for more info.
Next up is its connectivity with the Mobile Network. It’s EXCELLENT. I’m on the Froyo ROM right now and falling in love deeply with its fixed 3 soft-buttons on the bottom-center which are Phone, Apps and Browser. That’s the 3 things I always do with my Nexus One and Google figured that out correctly.
Now comparing head-to-head with an iPhone’s easing effects, for this part Android is lightyears behind. I can see Android is designing a great UI from zero in a macro way but Apple edged any Android devices right with Apple’s attentions to details. You just can’t beat Apple’s consistencies and innovation with their designing efforts. At least not right now.
So for me if I have to choose between the two, I will definitely choose Android. Not only because I’m subjectively also consider myself as an Android evangelist but also because it’s the future. You see, Google is always launching things feature limited or not as good as others. However, Google usually has its own fond for others to make us of its platform and modifying it the way we like it. Again, it’s just a matter of time.
I develop Android apps with great ease because of all the resources available to learn and just adopt it rapidly. Let me tell you firsthand, I’m originally a Web Developer based with PHP. Right now, I’m experiencing a rather smooth transition to Android. Because it’s in Java, there are 2 big barriers for me which are syntax and a more firm understanding of Object Oriented Programming. Other than that, I’m a happy developer.
To conclude, let me say once again that this is NOT an objective opinion. I am biased by my own experiences between the two so take what’s useful for you and make your ownÂ decision. I’m a happy Android users :)