Android vs iPhone – a Brief Comparison

Update:

The Android phone was fine until we brought it overseas. The long and short of it is, it simply does not work. Over in the USA we’re getting messages about the SIM not allowing a connection – and yet swapping SIMs with the iPhone produces the same result while the iPhone continues to work. Orange up to now have shown that they don’t have a clue (there’s a shocker) and so we’ve a fight on our hands now getting a refund of the sat-nav software we’ve installed and getting a refund/replacement for the phone.

Incidentally though American TV shows Skype on selected AT&T Android phones, the Skype situation for Android has not changed. I’m beginning to think that in looking to see real competition for Apple, we’ve all jumped in too soon. Maybe Google should have stuck with search engines! Links like this suggest that Android has some serious problems. http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=2845

Original Article:

We just took possession of our first Android phone the other day, the much-vaunted HTC Desire. I’m not sure if it’s the fact that this powerhouse runs at 1Ghz or whether the Android operating system is just that much more responsive, but the phone does seem to operate more responsively than you’d expect an HTC running Windows mobile for example. The screen is BEAUTIFUL to say the least with the new AMOLED display, it really is something to behold.

And that’s where it starts to go downhill. We purchased the phone from the Orange shop and as you might expect, things didn’t go too smoothly at first, the phone continued to show no signal for around an hour, we took it back to the shop and the fellow there helpfully reset the phone, telling us that it won’t operate until it’s been reset due to the text message the phone needs to receive to activate it.  The problem with that is.. what’s wrong with a message that says “please wait for incoming message” then another that says “please reset your phone” – why does everything always have to be cryptic??!!??

That done, we took the phone for a spin. The phone sent and received calls just fine and so we took it home (where we have no signal) and hooked it into the WIFI signal at home – again no problem.

If you look on the web it’s not immediately obvious where to get APPS for the Android, looking around there seemed to be several official-looking stores with nothing but rubbish in them, however a quick look around the phone (which comes with VERY little documentation until you realise there’s an online Android manual) and we discovered the marketplace. There are TONS of apps on there.

Unlike the iPhone market where Apple control the App store with an iron rod, there seems to be no such control on the Android marketplace and so there were some pretty poor apps – but also some great ones – installation is idiot-proof. We’re still at the early learning stage and later I’ll details some of the better apps.

For now, I’m beginning to realise why Apple in their iPhone didn’t bother with multitasking. The more you use the Desire, the more it slows down – until you realise the reason why… every time you use an App and then press the home key to go find another – the app stays running in the background. GREAT for a PC, but to my mind largely silly in a phone. We ended up with something like 20 apps running.. again at first sight it is still not obvious how to finish using an App and close it!  The solution for now? We downloaded a free task handler for Android and you can simply run that and close the lot down.

I think I’d prefer the option to NOT run any program in the background unless I specifically ask (music comes to mind).

Biggest gripe so far? Would you believe it there is no SKYPE for Android yet!

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