Social Question

rooeytoo's avatar

Do you love your smart phone?

Asked by rooeytoo (26951points) May 28th, 2011

I am contemplating buying a smart phone but can’t make up my mind whether to choose an Android or an iPhone. Here the cost of either is comparable so that is not a consideration. Will those of you who have one or the other, please give me your opinions and advise.

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35 Answers

OpryLeigh's avatar

I have an iPhone. It is useful but, at times, frustrating! I guess it depends what you want a phone for. I like being able to talk, text, use the internet, take pictures, listen to music and use certain apps so a smart phone is great for me. I know plenty of people that only want a phone to talk and text so a smart phone is wasted on them.

knitfroggy's avatar

I love my droid with all my heart. Everyone gives me crap about how much I use it. Like @Leanne1986 I find the phone frustrating at times. If I’m IM’ing or playing a game and someone calls the phone might lock up and I can’t answer. Sometimes it runs slow. The droid is so much better than the BlackBerry I used to have tho, so I don’t mind. My carrier doesn’t offer iPhone, so I don’t know much about them.

tom_g's avatar

Current iPhone user who just migrated from Android when my Droid died.
Android is a much better choice if you are looking for a productivity tool, a Google services (gmail, etc) junkie, or like to automate and customize.
iPhone is a better choice for simplicity, beauty, gaming, and multimedia.

BarnacleBill's avatar

I think the answer lies in your relationship with technology. Do you adapt to technology—learn how to use programs, tools, etc. or do you adapt technology to how you do things? iPhones are often described as “transformational” but people with Androids love the adaptability and configurability. If you enjoy modifying how you use technology, you will probably like an android more than an iPhone.

aprilsimnel's avatar

I love my iPhone. Can’t wait for 5. I have little hands, so I don’t have a problem using it. I just make sure to charge it every night, let the battery drain once every couple of weeks, and Bob’s my uncle, so to speak.

My roommate has a Droid. It’s OK. Maybe it’s the style of phone that he has, but I’m not too keen on it, though the sliding QWERTY keyboard his phone has is nice.

Cruiser's avatar

I have a droid I already take for granted as it can do most anything I need on the fly and then some. I am sure it does more but I don’t have the time or patience to learn more about it. Takes amazing high rez pictures and video I can email instantly to whomever!

tom_g's avatar

Just to elaborate on my answer above, here are examples of things you can do with Android:

When you get home for work, the phone will:
– turn on wifi
– turn off bluetooth

At 10:00pm:
– turn on airplane mode
– turn on wifi
– turn screen brightness down

At 6:00am:
– turn off airplane mode
– turn off wifi
– turn on bluetooth
– make screen brighter

When phone connects to your car’s bluetooth:
– launch your favorite podcast player

These are just examples. You can really do anything like this and more.
Android also has an amazing notification system that makes iPhone seem like a toy.

Android, however, has some problems. Manufacturers have destroyed it by slapping their own modifications of the OS on top (Motoblur, HTC Sense, etc). In my opinion, these non-vanilla versions of Android pale in comparison to the stock OS that runs on the original Droid and Nexus.

Anyway, good luck.

janbb's avatar

Very happy with my iPhone and how easy it was to learn and to use. I think if you’re a power user or techie, you might want the Android OS but for most of us, and even some techies, the iPhone is great.

HungryGuy's avatar

My phone isn’t very smart. It’s just a phone and can do texting. That’s it…

Mariah's avatar

I have an Android. I’m currently Fluthering from it (quite often when you see me around here, I am on my Droid). I love being able to access the internet from such a portable device, and that’s the main thing I use it for. I’ve had very few issues with it. It was my first cell phone, so I was no expert when I got it, but didn’t find it very difficult to learn at all.

jerv's avatar

I love my Droid X. I tried iOS4 and I am glad my iPod broke itself before I got too frustrated with it’s limits. And unlike an iPhone, I don’t drop calls :)

janbb's avatar

I’ve never had a dropped call on my iPhone.

filmfann's avatar

I am answering this on my wife’s smart phone. It is from TMobile, and works great. I just asked a question using this.

rawrgrr's avatar


If you’ve got specific needs, absolutely need flash in your life, and with AT&T go Android.

If this is your first smartphone, go iPhone. It’ll probably have everything you need and wont poop out on you (for most people). It’s been a year and I still haven’t had an problems with mine. I absolutely looove it <333

It’s all a matter of opinion. You can check here to see if any of these features interest you.

jerv's avatar

For the very basic tasks and a total non-techy user, the iPhone is more than adequate. However, it does have limits that I personally cannot abide by as there are things that I regularly do that can’t be done under iOS.

Personally, I vastly prefer the customizability of Android, and the widgets. Also, there are more free apps for Android than for iOS (they are roughly equal in number of titles right now) and you are not locked into just one apps market like you are with an iPhone. That said, you have to be a little more careful when picking apps as there are some real crappy titles on the Android side, but those can usually be weeded out by reading the reviews.

Another nice thing about Android is that each app has a permissions list so you know exactly what it will do to your phone before you install it. For instance, you will know if it will have access to your phone’s camera and/or microphone, or your personal information, or your contact list, or other things; with an iPhone, you are taking on faith that Apple hasn’t allowed a piece of spyware through their filters. Yeah, it takes a little tech-savvy to figure out whether an app’s permissions are appropriate to the task it is supposed to perform, but I have enough trust issues that I would rather take the time to figure it out than to trust someone else to do the thinking for me. In light of the recent hubbub over iPhone spying I personally like to know which apps have access to my GPS location.

But as @rawrgrr points out, it is a matter of opinions, and what works for me and the majority of people on this thread (Android) may not work as well for you and some of the others here who prefer the iPhone. Accordingly, the best advice I can give is to try them both out in the store and pick whichever one works better for you.

@janbb Whenever someone around me complains about dropping a call or not having a signal when I have 3 bars, I generally ask if it is an AT&T phone. So far, 100% of them have answered “Yes.”. That, coupled with the fact that I have heard AT&T techs say that ~75% of their dropped calls are dfrom ~20% of their customers (those with iPhones) combined with “Antennagate” makes me think that the iPhone 4 is really just an iPod Touch and not an actual phone.

OpryLeigh's avatar

@aprilsimnel Why do you let it drain once a fortnight? I charge my battery every night and by the time I put it on charge it is usually down to 20%. Should I be letting it completely drain?

janbb's avatar

@jerv I have heard that about the 4; I have a 3.

aprilsimnel's avatar

@Leanne1986, I’ve heard that every so often, you’re supposed to let the battery drain out completely and then fully recharge it.

rawrgrr's avatar

@jerv If you’re worried about the iPhone apperantly crowdsourcing the cell towers in your area are you not a little nervous about the enourmous amount of information about who we are, what we’re thinking, and even where we are that Google is collecting? Where does this information go and who has access to it? And with Google not being so consistent with their “Don’t be Evil” motto I think i’ll take my chances.

“I personally like to know which apps have access to my GPS location.”
There is a list in settings that tells you. You can even take away their access.

“each app has a permissions list so you know exactly what it will do to your phone before you install it.”
On an iPhone it asks you when the app wants to use your contact list, your location, send you notifications etc. You can also always choose which privileges to remove in Settings. I believe on Android it’s either all on or all off. (i think).

Now what I have noticed with the Android Marketplace after doing more research is that they have many good apps, (pandors, angry birds, kindle, etc) but I haven’t found many good killer apps. Where are the great Android apps? Most of the great apps are ones that are already on iOS. (this might have changed from the last time i checked, but that wasn’t too long ago)

You do not represent the majority. There are less people in the world who are tech-savvy than not. That said, I feel like the customizability and tinkering that someone like you absolutely needs in a phone such as Android is not something that most people would consider absolutely essential when choosing a smartphone (especially when it’s their first). But again, who knows what someone wants, it’s all up to them.

jerv's avatar

@rawrgrr Hmm… things have changed in the last few revisions of iOS 4.x then.

You are correct that Google is also rather inconsistent, but that article doesn’t mean what you think it means. But I don’t feel like debating who is more hypocritical, inconsistent, totalitarian, or batshit insane; we both know how futile that is.

Now define “killer app”; I have my own opinions, and I have actually found more stuff I like in the Android Market than I ever did in Apple’s monopolistic market, and I often find what others to be “killer apps” to be inferior to other stuff. (To quote Albert Einstein, “What is right is not always popular and what is popular is not always right.”.). Hell, some consider Android’s vast array of widgets to be that killer app, and I have to say that widgets are one of the reasons I prefer Android over iOS.

Maybe I am weird, but for all I know, @rooeytoo is as well and may actually have the same experiences my friends and I who used to live in Apple’s walled garden have and find that Android offers more stuff that meets her needs and desires than Apple has. Or maybe not. Maybe she likes living on rails and following a narrow path, maybe she likes having freedom of motion with the risk of being overwhelmed by options that can be ignored. maybe she likes the same shiny objects that mainstream people do, or she is someone who judges software on merit instead of popularity. Maybe she will be happy having training wheels that can never be removed, or maybe she will risk a little bit of a wobbly start.

Regardless, I stand by my assertion that the only way to really know is to try them both.

rawrgrr's avatar

@jerv Those options have been there since iOS 2.0 with the exception of the possibility to individually remove location access of apps which was introduced in iOS 4.0

I guess a killer app would be something that would really compel you to make a switch. For me it was iMovie and the RSS readers in the app store (omggg just beautiful) but what I really find cool is that navigator on android. I’d love to have that.

Call iOS closed or narrow all you want. The integrated experience has much value to non-techy people. You’ve said before there are always trade-offs, and many are willing to make this one. And you know iOS isn’t as much of a toy as you sometimes make it seem. You know you’d be surprised at how much can be done on an iPhone. If you wanna make it your thing, mess with the insides, or whatever then yeah guess what, you won’t like the strictly consistent, integrated, “closed” system that is iOS. But there are way more people who just want a good smartphone that would do what they expect. Especially people who have never owned a smartphone before, sometimes it can feel scary. Anywaaays again im just trying to say again that there’s a reason that iPhone users have the highest customer satisfaction and that I think the OP would love an iPhone based on my personal experience with one for years.

BTW the reason I linked that article is because I remember Google saying how opposed they were to such a thing, how they would never do such things, and how they were always for “openness” and freedom. Like how it said they wouldn’t allow tweaks to the software without approval, no more partnerships allowed without google knowledge, and companies wanting early acces to up-to-date software will need approval. Not saying it’s bad or good just saying that I thought they said they’d never do that. Maybe im wrong i dunnooo.

jerv's avatar

@rawrgrr RSS readers don’t interest me in the slightest, and I would rather do the things that iMovie does on a big screen with something far more powerful like an actual computer; don’t send a Civic hatchback to do an 18-wheeler’s job. I would rather have a micro-SD slot and a removable battery, and some people like QWERTY keyboards; another option the iPhone lacks.

That brings us back to personal preference, and for the basic tasks that most people do, neither is really inherently superior. My wife isn’t a techie, but she doesn’t find any difference in ease-of-use (or in other areas) between the two so I have a hard time buying that argument. It’s not like the old days when your choices were a slick Apple GUI or a kludgy command-line PC; both strive to make money from people who know far less about tech than you or I. You can’t do that without making the UI intuitive and simple, and judging by market shares, I would say that Android is simple enough for the average person; if it weren’t, Apple would still be on top.

rooeytoo's avatar

@jerv & @rawrgrr – I don’t understand half of what you are talking about but i lurve you both for saying it and trying to educate me and the masses!

I still have not made up my mind, here they are all so damned expensive. I hardly ever use my phone to actually make calls or text, actually rarely carry the plain old mobile/cell phone I have now. So I am still trying to decide if it is worth it to me. Course, if I could play games, figure out where I am, watch the news and all that stuff, I might be more inclined to carry it, that would make those who are trying to contact me a lot happier!

Thank you both and everyone again for your input, it is all helpful and entertaining!

jerv's avatar

@rooeytoo My lunch breaks at work were really boring until I got a smartphone. Navigating a new-to-me city is easier too. Overall, I don’t regret spending what seemed like too much money at the time, and I’m sure that @rawrgrr has had his life just as enriched; we may not agree on which is better, but w do agree that they rock.

rawrgrr's avatar

@jerv Sorry for the late reply

I would rather do the things that iMovie does on a big screen with something far more powerful like an actual computer;

True dat. I used to do lots of creative video editing with programs like Final Cut, and Apple Shake (which is sadly discontinued) and of course it would be better on a larger,ore powerful machine. But it wouldn’t hurt right? Its not something that’s for everybody but for me it’s a sign that post-pc devices are become way more powerful and capable. Things we never imagined are now possible on mobile phones. For me it’s what it signifies that I think is important. (I mean you can really create some great videos on it with animations and everything) it’s more than sufficient for someone wanting to create a slide show, or a family, or YouTube video. I just laaaaaave it<3

Also I am also very excited about the news today. Apple released iWork (Apple’s great “Office for Mac”) in the Apple Store for iOS. I. Am. So. Happy. Right. Now.

jerv's avatar

@rawrgrr BTW, the Xoom comes with movie Studio for free. Not as polished as something that has had a bit of a head-start (iMovie has been out for a few years) but given how quickly Android is advancing, I don’t think it will be too long before that changes.

However, it will be a while before a portable, battery-powered device can take on a desktop system. I mean, my Droid X or your iPhone will trounce a my old Mac Plus, but how does a 1GHz dual-core ARM A8 compare to a Core i7 955x, or even my i3–530? I’ll give you a hint; either of those CPUs draws enough power to drain a phone battery quick enough to risk melting it (less than ten minutes), and therein lies the inherent limitation of portable devices.

That may not be an issue for most people since we have now reached the point where portable devices already have more processing power than the average consumer needs. Most people don’t actually need a computer; they need a portal to the internet that can play videos. Some do a bit of gaming and thus need a little more oomph, but how many people will want to do full-on editing, 3D rendering, CAD/CAM, or the other things that send you and I running to our desktop systems? We’ll ignore the fact that a 32” screen is easier to work with than a 3.2” one, and the fact that no smartphone’s built-in speaker can compare to my 1000W 5.1 sound setup.

I have to say that I am impressed by the fact that technology has advanced to where having a phone that is just a phone is considered lame, and I am so glad I upgraded from my old Samsung Trance. Don’t get me wrong, it was a decent phone, though not as good as my old Nokia 2126, and it definitely pales in comparison to my Droid X.

rawrgrr's avatar

@jerveither of those CPUs draws enough power to drain a phone battery quick enough to risk melting it (less than ten minutes), and therein lies the inherent limitation of portable devices.

True, but it’s all about the software. There’s proof in the App Store that shows this is changing. Powerful apps can be created and designed to use less power, and run smoothly on smaller, less powerful devices (ex: Pages (like Microsoft Word), Keynote (Powerpoint), Numbers (Excel), Garageband, iMovie, and the list goes on). It is possible to create PC apps that run great on a mobile device (and not a stripped down version either!). These are the signs, I believe, that show how most people will migrate to post-pcs.

Also just look at how elements from post-pcs are leaking onto our desktops! Example: Mac OS X Lion and Windows 8 (introduced today! Just look at how similar it is to Windows Phone 7)

Yay technology

jerv's avatar

@rawrgrr That interface makes me weep for humanity and makes me glad I am childless as I would not want my offspring to have to endure it. The “ribbon” interface makes me want to switch completely to some flavor of Linux before dealing with that shite (but after vomiting, which the ribbon interface also makes me want to do).

Seriously though, I see it as creating a widening gap between people who use computers as computers and those who merely consume information. Win8 looks to be good for someone who has fewer applications than they have fingers, but I don’t see it as practical for even moderately serious computer users, so I don’t think that there will be as many people migrating as you seem to think there will be. Still enough to make it profitable for companies like Apple and Microsoft to do so, but not enough to allow them to abandon the classical interface (at least as an option) either. And considering how Apple hates options, I can see them alienating people like me even further even as they get more average people.

Now, when you say “smaller, less powerful devices”, bear in mind that a 1GHz ARM A8 isn’t exactly weak; it just is less strong than a full-on desktop CPU. And while it is possible to create some mobile apps that work just as well, I don’t see any tablet running a full-featured version of SmartCAM (complete with FANUC libraries) anytime soon… nor would I ever want to with less than a 17” screen. I do enough spreadsheet work on my Droid X to know what you are saying and (to an extent) agree.
Hell, I have a project right now that, while technically possible to do on my laptop, is considerably easier on my desktop system if for no reason other than being able to have multiple windows (each with a readable-sized font) all visible at the same time. Needless to say that any task that is difficult on a 13” screen is not something I would try on a 9” or smaller. And somehow, while my needs may be a little out of the ordinary, I know enough people like me to know that they are far from unique.

There was a time when only wizards used the magical computers.
This is a time where the same magic is accessible to all (though some wield it better than others).
The future is a time when magic will once again be the sole domain of wizards because regular people found technology that, while more limited in many ways, can do all of the things that they want done without all that pesky learning. And much of that will be due to technology advancing to the point where even a pocket calculator will be able to meet the computing needs of many people (despite Wirth’s Law) yet there will still be people that need more than a portable device can offer, thus a dichotomy.

rawrgrr's avatar

@jerv Again sorry for the late response

Yes I regret mentioning Windows 8. After more consideration I’ve realised it wont be as good on the desktop as on a touchscreen device. And the way they expect users to use the traditional Windows UI alongside the new one… ew. It’s just inconsistent and doesn’t seem like a good time.

And you never know. AutoCAD now has iPad and iPhone apps, and there is much proof Adobe will do the same with Photoshop. And i agree when you say some things are meant for certain size devices. (This is why we have iPads, things like newspapers, books, games like scrabble, videos, video conferencing are better for this size).

You are right, there was a time where only few could use computers because of how complicated, and scary they were to use. Again, this new kind of “user-friendlyness” is supposed to bring more people and make technology more accessible to more people just like the Mac did this with it’s shiny GUI (in my opinion) for those not needing to do any advanced tasks. Today all people do is play games, check social networks, email, and make documents. These things that most people do are what I believe post-pcs such as the iPad are meant for. More enjoyable computing experiences for those who don’t need the hassle for such simple things. But I also hope the traditional PC will always stay (and I think it will), it’s people like the programmers, video editors, architects, designers etc that I feel will continue to use and need the traditional PC for their needs. For the average person I see the PC disappearing in favour of post-pc.

jerv's avatar

I regret Win8, period :p

As for the “user-friendly” bit, I have to say that I don’t see the Windows phone OS as being all that great. Android and iOS are about even there; the only major differences are that iOS puts child-proof locks on the bits I find interesting, and iOS has a poor excuse for a file structure that won’t allow multiple apps to share a single copy of a data file.

For the average person, I see literacy and critical thinking disappearing while you and I take over the world. “In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man man is king.”.

Seriously though, people really don’t want to learn. I think you and I have discussed this before, but I think that with all of the problems that are caused by people not understanding technology and little things like the fact that stuff you post on your Facebook profile is seen by many people, we should keep things complicated. About as complicated as iOS and Android at a minimum at least. Excessive ease of use in an OS is like a light trigger pull and smaller grip on a handgun so that a two-year-old can fire it. It’s like handing car keys to a drunk guy. I am all for convenience, but I think that making it too easy will cause more problems than it solves.

rooeytoo's avatar

I am an Apple fan so I did get myself an iPhone and I gotta say, I don’t know how I ever lived without it! I can read my kindle books, listen to my books, I found a radio app and I can listen to the radio station in my home town in USA. I map my runs and keep a grocery list. I love it. Thanks everyone for your input and help.

jerv's avatar

@rooeytoo Yep, smartphones are a life changer. Congratulations on your new shiny object :)

rooeytoo's avatar

@jerv thanks mate, I’ll keep you posted!

rawrgrr's avatar

@rooeytoo I’m very happy for you! I hope you enjoy it

@jerv Things should not be complicated. Things should be easy to understand so you know exactly what you’re getting in to, to avoid such problems.

People didn’t understand the privacy features on Facebook because of how complicated and messy they were, so they stayed away from them. Complication caused these problems, not ease of use. No wonder most people have no idea how open their info on Facebook really is. But it’s a whole different story for those people who actually like technology and how it works (those are the people who have no difficulty using tech) but then there are those who couldn’t care less and just want to message their mom in China without worrying if the message is public or not. I think technology should be easy to understand (that doesn’t mean less capable) so people know what they’re getting into, then most of these problems could be avoided. In my opinion atleast.

jerv's avatar

@rawrgrr I think life should be simple and easy to understand, but realistically you can’t have that without some major concessions. The thing is though, the world has changed quite a bit, and people need to evolve with it.

Those who don’t want to bother worrying about privacy should, at a minimum, not complain when their banking info falls into the wrong hands because they didn’t bother to follow the three-step instructions on how to set up WPA2 on their router. That large print pamphlet with the pretty pictures was in the box for a reason!) If people want to avoid complications like having your boss find out what you really think of them and possibly being fired as a result, they need to think a little bit and maybe learn something. I know I learned a little about encryption when I wanted to be able to do things like internet banking using wifi instead a CAT5 cable.

As for Facebook specifically, even though I have an intuitive understanding of many different forms of technology and all, even I find FB’s privacy settings to be a mess; enough so that I have no choice except to believe that they complicated things intentionally. That is why I prefer Diaspora (or rather, what they are trying to do; it’s still Alpha-ware.)

My opinion is that easy to understand is impossible without losing capability since people don’t want to learn even the least little thing. They don’t even understand that posting something on a Facebook wall or most other internet sites (like Fluther) generally means that millions of people can see it, so the only way to protect people like that from themselves is to put up all sorts of walls and barriers. You can’t trust them to do it themselves, so removing capability is necessary if you want it easy for people to understand and use without consequence.

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