This isn’t intended to be a comparison of the benefits of each system. The iPhone has some advantages, but compared to Android it also has some disadvantages. What I want to talk about here are my thoughts on the iPhone and the reason I’m choosing Android.
As some of you who know me might know I’m a bit of an Apple fanboy, I’ve been an apple user for quite some years now, and since the release of the iPhone I’ve always wanted one. The problem has been the cost, when it was first released I had a pay-as-you go phone, and was probably only spending £10 every 3 months, I was then issued a work phone so for the past few years haven’t been spending any money.
That changed recently when I decided I wanted a smart phone, this was caused mainly by getting a new work phone, which for want of a better word is crap. So I needed to make a decision, which way would I go. Should I get the iPhone I’ve always wanted or get the ever popular HTC Desire. After speaking to a few people at work who had switched from the iPhone to the Desire I decided that was the way to go. Unfortunately there seems to be a world shortage of them currently, resulting in it being over 6 weeks since I placed my order and still not having received the phone. It might not have been as bad if I’d ordered direct from t-mobile, but I ordered from another company who were doing a cash-back deal on the contract I signed up to. Hopefully I shall have it soon.
So what was the main reason for choosing Android after waiting for years to finally own an iPhone? Well it was the release of the iPad. There are a lot of people who don’t like the iPad, they have different reasons, for some its the OS, for others the cost, there are many more thoughts both good and bad, but to me its a very desirable device. If I want to use a computer I will use my iMac or perhaps my Win 7 laptop, I won’t use a netbook. I don’t want a nearly computer, a slow computer with a small screen – what’s the point, yes it might be light, and maybe I could use it to surf the web on a daily commute, but I won’t. To me the price of netbooks don’t save them, it’s just money that could have been spent on a proper laptop. Many people will disagree, but I don’t care.
There are people who don’t like the iPad, because they equate it to an expensive netbook, and again, I say this is wrong. This isn’t a computer, it doesn’t have a full blown version of OS X, this is one of the reasons that I think windows based tablets didn’t catch on in the past, and won’t work in the future. An Android based one might have better luck however.
To me the iPad is an entertainment device, it can be used for almost anything imaginable. Yes I know it won’t make phone calls like the iPhone and doesn’t currently have a camera, but have you seen the size of it why would it need to make phone calls. It’s perfect for surfing the web without being stuck at a desk in front of a computer (so good for commuters), who cares if it doesn’t have Flash, HTML5 should make that argument irrelevant. I’m interested in its ability to be used as an ebook reader, yes I know its not e-paper, but its got a high definition colour screen which can be used to include music, video, animation, 3D renderings and many more things to create awesome interactive books – who wouldn’t want that.
What about using it in the living room to control a media centre PC. It could be easily used to run a media app which links to the IMDB, the user could search for a film and then book seats at a local cinema. If the film is no longer showing at the cinema then it could automatically be added to their LOVEFiLM (Netflix for US readers) queue and streamed direct to their TV. The iPad itself could be used as a touch screen controller for for iTunes, Sky set top boxes or any other digital media device in the house. With the correct interfaces it could be used to control everything in the house, from the burglar alarm, lights and curtains.
There are thousands of apps and games being written for the iPad which help to embed it into every area of our lives. To me the iPad isn’t a netbook, its a touch screen interface that can be used for almost anything. If you want to used it in a particular way and an app doesn’t currently exist, then you can write your own app and might be able to make a few quid in the process.
So finally after years of waiting to buy an iPhone, I’m not, I’m getting a HTC Desire. It can meet all of my smart phone needs for a cheaper cost, and with the money saved I can buy an iPad which will meet all of the interactive touch screen computing needs which can’t be met by an iMac or a laptop.