I had a very balanced article prepared about how iOS is right for some people and how Android is right for others, but after spending some time with an iPhone again, I decided to scrap it and tell the truth. I HATE THE IPHONE. Here’s why.
1. Integration – iOS boasts an App Store with upwards of 300,000 titles. No other app ecosystem comes close to the quality or quantity of titles. However, try to share information BETWEEN any of these 300,000+ apps and here’s what you get:
Yup, that’s it. I may have all 300,000 apps loaded onto my iPhone, but the only apps I can share a picture with are APPLE’S stock apps. Why? Why? Why can’t the iPhone be more like Android where I get this when I try to share a picture:
Know what this picture is? It’s a picture of a total lack of ego! In Android I’m limited only by the apps I have loaded onto my device. No one is pretending to know what the best way to use my device should be!
2. Customization – Know what iOS is? It’s a cookie sheet. If you want, you can change the picture on the cookie sheet!!! AND, you can change around the order of the cookies on the sheet, OR, you could even drop the cookies into little baggies on the cookie sheet so that lots of cookies can be grouped together. How cool is that?! This is the definition of customization on iOS. It’s cool that some people don’t really want to be able to customize their phones, but can’t there at least be an option to do so?
The only positive thing I can say about iOS and the lack of customization is the branding is solid. One screenshot is all it takes to know you’re looking at an iPhone. Android, on the other hand, can look like just about anything. As @nattabox has proven via his Fugly Android website, lack of branding can be a problem for Android as screens can look as beautiful as this:
Or as, well, fugly as this:
3. Basic Functionality – I want my phone to be efficient. I don’t want to have to dig around in settings to change the brightness or turn on wifi. In fact, when I decide the screen isn’t bright enough, I don’t even want to leave the app I’m working in to make the necessary change! Android offers multiple options either in skins like TouchWiz, or in apps readily available in the market to enable changing basic settings from the status bar or on the homescreen as widgets. In iOS, if I’m trying to update Twitter and remember that I’m in range of wifi, I have to close the app, scroll to the screen with the settings icon, three more clicks to navigate to the wifi settings and turn it on, close the settings app, scroll back to the screen with Twitter on it and re-open the app. Shew! Can someone bring me a glass of water? I’m tired just describing it! What really makes me mad is that the OS is perfectly capable of doing exactly the same thing Android can do! One quick trip to Cydia reveals many options for activating various settings from the status bar (eg SBSettings).
4. Widgets and Keyboards and Fonts, OH MY! Yes, I’m a tool. I like widgets. I like to look at my homescreen and find glanceable (is that even a word?) information. It’s 2011 Apple, how hard is to give me a widget? And keyboards? Who decided that the iPhone keyboard was the best and only keyboard necessary?! Granted, the iPhone keyboard is very good. The autocorrect, while intrusive, is better than just about any other keyboard I’ve used (minus SwiftKey for Android). I have no fewer than 5 keyboards loaded up on my Thunderbolt right now. Why? Because I can. When I have only 1 free hand and need to send out an quick text, Swype is the keyboard I need. When I’m writing a short blog post or longer email, my go to keyboards are Smart Keyboard Pro or Better Keyboard in landscape mode. My default keyboard is SwiftKey – just because I feel like it knows me better than my mother. Options are ALWAYS good. And fonts? The iPhone font is pretty. But if I’m going to keep a phone for a long time (which, of course, I never do, but if I were to then…) I want to tweak it!
5. I hang my head in shame on this one, but a rant is nothing if not honest. I carried an iPhone when they first came out and felt really cool. After two years I noticed that owning an iPhone was becoming the norm. Now I notice I’m not really in the demographic of people who generally carry an iPhone – hipsters, business types. I felt like a suit. I felt like a cliche. I can’t carry an iPhone! My MOM carries an iPhone (not really, but you know what I mean). These days, carrying an iPhone is like, <gasp> carrying a Blackberry. Everybody does it. Which leads me to my final point…
When the iPhone was released it revolutionized the smartphone market. Were it not for the iPhone, Android would not be where it is today. We’d all still be walking around zombified by Windows Mobile and Blackberries. There would be no Angry Birds. I get that the iPhone was the catalyst for where the market is today. And that is exactly what makes me mad! You don’t start a revolution then sit back and declare yourself the winner while everyone else is still fighting! That’s what my 6-year-old does when we play Rummy. He wins the first hand and then quits! Then he tells the rest of the family that he is the champion of all time and no one can touch him. Meanwhile I’m still sitting at the table dealing out the cards for the next hand – he’s too busy bragging to play. Come on Apple, if you’re going to be the leader, don’t tell us that you’re the leader, SHOW US. Revolutionize every single time you bring a new product to market. Update your OS in ways that will make Google, HP, and Microsoft scramble to keep up. You started this game. DO NOT WALK AWAY! ARE YOU LISTENING TO ME?! Yeah, kind of the same response I get from my son.