Android / Apple / Mobile

Demystifying Android: Can iPhone and iPad Users Hang?

Cup of Lemonade

“Lemonade 1” by Lara604 – CC Licensed

I’m an Android convert.

After using an iPhone 4 for the last year-and-a-half, it was stolen.  Bummer, right?  Nope, I tend to make good lemonade. (When life hands you lemons…)

I have a lot of respect for Apple.  I really do.  Their quality control is amazing.  Their hardware is slick and clean.  Their operating systems and Apple-exclusive software do a fantastic job of making things simple and easy for people to use.  It’s hard to deny that they have their products so well-engineered that nearly anyone can use them.  But you’re also stuck with limited options when you move from being a typical user to somewhat of a “power user.”  It’s clear that Apple will go to great lengths to prevent users from breaking their applications, coming at the cost of flexibility.

Rather than speak at length about the limitations of iOS and Apple in general, I’m going to briefly work to remove the mysticism and fear surrounding Android.  Are you an iPhone or iPad user?  Have you considered purchasing a phone or tablet with an Android operating system?  Try it.  You will like it.

Androids on skateboards

Myth #1  Android Apps Suck

Somehow this myth is still alive.  I’ll admit that even I had fallen for the myth that Android Apps must be of lower quality because they have an open publishing model.  Can anyone publish an Android App?  Yes.  Does this mean that the apps are of low quality?  No.  If an app is very buggy, was not promoted/distributed well, or has some other critical problem, chances are that you will never see it.  Are there plenty of good Android Apps out there?  Yes!  For every iOS App you love, there is either an Android version of the same App or another (ahem, better?) App made for Android devices.  Here is a pretty graphic that shows the number of available Apple vs. Android Apps over the last two years.

Android vs. Apple Apps 2010-2012

Bigger numbers aren’t always better, but many people still think that nothing can compete with Apple’s Apps.  It’s simply not true.

Myth #2  Android is Hard to Learn

Really?  If you use an iOS device now, we can safely assume that at some point you learned how to use it.  Nobody is born knowing how to use an operating system.  Within an hour of getting my first Android device, I was able to set up all of the main functions I desired: mail, web browsing, and social media.

Do you use Gmail?  Great, your Android device already loves you for it.  Most any late version of Android will automatically bring in your Gmail inbox, contacts, and calendar after you log in once.  There are slick Widgets for Android that can give you a sneak peek of your incoming Email and Calendar appointments, as seen here:

Android Tablet Screen Shot with Widgets

Myth #3  Apple iOS vs. Android: There can be only One

Oh my gosh!  What if I don’t choose the right one?  Don’t worry…both Apple and Android devices will be around for a while.

Apple has a huge budget for not only developing their iOS devices, but also for marketing them.  Android’s edge largely comes from their community and open nature of development.  As both Android and iOS are improved, they will push each other to be better…and the consumers will see the payoff.  There is no reason why either of them would fail at a moment’s notice, so you can be sure that whatever device you opt for will be supported (and improved!) for the foreseeable future.  Want to see what the Android community is like?  Click here!

So let’s wrap this up…which should YOU use?

I use a Macbook Pro.  And an Asus Transformer Tablet running Android.  And an Android smartphone.  And I handle iPads on a weekly basis.  Which should you use?

Use what works for you.  If you are coming up on the end of a wireless contract and are a regular iPhone user, try looking at an Android phone.  In fact, you are usually granted a 30-day grace period (depending on your carrier) to try out a new phone.  Give an Android phone a week to grow on you.  If you don’t like it, return it and keep your iPhone.

Android is not scary.  It’s actually welcoming.  And easy to use, once you break out of the idea that there is more than one button on your phone.  There, you’ve been officially dared to try an Android device.

Questions?  Comments?  Would love to hear them below :]

6 thoughts on “Demystifying Android: Can iPhone and iPad Users Hang?

  1. Had I read this one day earlier I might be replying on an Asus tablet. I went with the iPad instead, in part because it didn’t require a contract for 4g. The Asus with it’s Flash support might have been a better fit for my Walden online classes. At the end of the day I think there are currently a lot of great options out there right now, and my next phone may well be an Android if for no other reason than the larger screen sizes available.

    • Thanks for commenting, Marc. I’m glad that you went with the option that best fit your needs. Having the ability to run Flash is nice for now, but we’re also hoping that HTML 5 content will replace the need for Flash in the not-too-distant future. Were you told you needed to sign on for a 4G plan with the Asus tablet? We have a pool of around 50 Asus Transformer tablets that are Wi-Fi only, no need for a 4G plan.

  2. Nice post. You know I avoid Apple products, but I was unaware that the app numbers had been met (and exceeded) on the Android side. I do love my widgets on Android.

  3. I just got an android and love it. I never had an I phone so I am a fresh student. I sure would like to be alble to use it to its full capacity. What is google docs widget? Can I work on google docs from my phone?

    • Hi Nicole- Great to hear that you’re willing to explore your Android phone! The Google Docs widget is available for the latest Android operating system (Ice Cream Sandwich) and I’m not sure when it’ll be on both the tablets and phones. What model phone are you working with?

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