android webmaster looking for criticism from iphone users

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by androidandme, Mar 3, 2009.

  1. androidandme macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2009
    #1
    Hi, I came to ask for some honest opinions about Google Android for a story I am writing for my site. Yes, I know this is an iPhone site. I'm just looking for opinions different from the groups I associate with.

    So as an iPhone user, what are your thoughts on Android? You can complain or praise about the operating system or the first phone, the HTC G1.

    I'm not trying to be a troll or anything. Just looking for some good criticism of the platform. If you have nice things to say, that is ok. I'm mainly interested in the areas you think Google messed up so we can explore new suggestions.

    Thanks.
     
  2. ppc750fx macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    #2
    The G1?

    Ok... just a few thoughts:

    • It's locked to T-Mobile. Unlocked phones are no good in my book.
    • It's Google-centric.
    • No native code w/o jailbreaking/modding.
    • Crappy keyboard design -- the raised edge on the right hand side is annoying.
    • Feels less solid than the iPhone (build quality's actually quite good -- it just doesn't feel that way...)
    • No 3.5mm jack.
    • Touch interface is not as refined as the iPhone's.

    There are also quite a few good things about it too (the SDK, for a start), but most of the pluses aren't specific to the G1.
     
  3. ThugZilla macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2008
    #3
    The G1 is a great phone, I had one for a month, but then I got a great deal on an iPhone which I couldnt resist, and I gave my G1 to my mom.

    • The phone is a brick, it was huge in my pocket, and I lost $20 when I had it in the same pocket.
    • Touch screen just isn't there yet, great difference between iPhone touch screen and G1 touch screen
    • Keyboard is too flesh mounted
    • Android Market still need maturity
     
  4. The Admiral macrumors member

    The Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    #4
    a friend of mine has one and i've had a couple of chances to play around with it. even though i use linux for most everything at home, and exclusively at work, the G1 just doesn't offer much to me. of course, it does have some strengths that i haven't seen in any other widely-deployed handset.

    the main defect of the G1's design, to me, is that it has a lot of superfluous moving parts. a full alphanumeric keypad's worth of buttons, some kind of slidey hinge assembly, some more buttons, a trackball (??)... the most likely hardware failure on a mobile phone is in a moving part. it's why i've never owned a flip phone, slider phone, etc. and i don't ever intend to. the iphone touch screen takes some time to get used to, but i can count the moving parts on my fingers.

    secondly it's only available through t-mobile. their network is pretty awful where i live, and there is only occasional t-mobile reception in my home. i'd have to get a land line or move. plus, i've been happy with AT&T wireless since i got my first cell phone* and i don't really feel like switching.

    unfortunately i have an exchange account at work, and last i checked the G1 had no support for our mail and calendaring. in contrast, my iphone is the best exchange client i've ever used. sure, i could use IMAP... but have you ever used the exchange IMAP support? it's barely functional. out of all the IMAP servers i connect to, the microsoft one is the only one that regularly gives me trouble (surprise, surprise).

    i do think the prospect of a phone based on Free software is promising. all of my favorite desktop applications are FOSS licensed in some way, and it is in my experience the development method that leads to the greatest value to me as a user. some of the specific strengths i noticed in the G1 are that its font rendering is very, very clear -- i've always preferred freetype over AAT and cleartype, and the compact and legible Droid font family that ships with the G1 really shines on a phone display.

    i'm sure the android platform will eventually mature to the point where it meets my needs and expectations, but in its current incarnation it's just not for me.

    [size=-2]*except for that whole domestic spying thing. that was seriously uncool.[/size]
     
  5. Ekelon macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2009
    #5
    The G1 is basically the iPhone... for T-mobile. I live in DFW area, which is the main T-mobile base so reception is great and I have a lot of friends who use it. The main turn-off for me not getting the G1 was the lack of a 3.5mm jack. Other than that, though, I love the Android operating system and how the G1 syncs with Gmail, calenders, and contacts (something that I cried about because of the lack of it in the iPhone until I discovered that you could use microsoft exchange).

    Otherwise, I think the G1 is better than the iPhone in the fact that it has a keyboard. Although I type 3 times faster with the iPhone than my old T-9 Razr, I was mainly considering the G1 over the iPhone because of it's keyboard and the little trackball, which is pretty mega awesome. However, the keyboard does cause the G1 to be blocky, which is a negative.
     
  6. tnisatard macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    #6
    i owned the G1 for a month, then sold it to get an iphone on t-mobile

    im not sure if you want criticism on the android OS or the G1+android, but anyways here are things i didnt like

    -charged my phone to 100%, then surfed the web for like nearly 40 minutes, edge only, wifi off, 3g off, everything off, battery went down to like 10%

    -the phone is like twice as thick as the iphone

    -the slider is cool, but it seems so cheap, the screen started to loosen up and tilt when i used it after a month

    -the OS sometimes lags, after exiting an app, it would take like 5 seconds to pop up all my apps

    -occasionally the volume rocker didnt work, i would press volume up, and about 2 seconds later it would respond

    -i had the white g1, then switched it for a black one, but i couldnt see the keyboard lettering on the white g1

    -like 90% of the apps on the market were pretty lame, or basically watered down clones from the iphone

    -track ball was wayyyyy too sensitive (although it was nice to have one)

    but there were positives
    i love the gmail integration
    touch screen is the best, i cant tell which touch screen is better, iphone or g1
    notifications bar is possibly the best part of the phone
     
  7. Katuls macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    #7
    I have both phones.


    I use the iphone for when i'm at home (play), and the g1 for my business phone.


    The business side of the g1 destroys the iphone imo. Just gettin e-mail, syncing, calendar, wifi, etc, it beats the Iphone.


    The pros of Android:
    -Ability to customize it (ringtones, text messages, etc etc in which the iphone can't)
    -Copy and paste
    -MMS, flawlessly
    -Syncing capabilities
    -ability to run background apps


    Cons- (more or less cons on the G1)

    -bulky design
    -keyboard needs better lighting
    needs to be more sleek.





    All in all, I like the Android system much better than the Iphone. It will be my everyday phone when Samsung comes out with their Android based phone. I love the direction Android and the developers are going. In less than 8 months time, the Android system is already being touted as being one of the best OS's. Say, in like 2 years, Android will have taken the cellphone OS by storm.
     
  8. JPIndustrie macrumors 6502a

    JPIndustrie

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2008
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    #8
    K, I'll bite.

    A few of my friends have one, so I have had plenty of time with it. I own an iPhone 3G.

    When I first heard of the phone, who was offering it (T-Mobile) and who was making it (HTC), I instantly dismissed it as a joke. Besides, while T-Mobile may have some of the lowest prices, it has a reputation of spotty service and I wouldn't really consider HTC phones to be of the 'highest quality', let's say.

    However, when I first played with it - I was pleasantly surprised.

    I've seen videos of Android in action, and read a few about it's details, but I didn't expect the phone to be, honesty, this polished. However, Google still missed some spots.

    First off, I think the HTC Dream model that the G1 is based off of is one of their nicest manufactured products to date. In fact, all HTC models of this generation (G1, Touch Pro, Touch Diamond, etc) have shown improvements in build quality and design. I really think they've finally listened to our 5-6 years of complaints.

    It's good, relatively speaking. Definitely on par now with current Blackberry (which I believe is also made in China) build quality. I wouldn't say matching the engineering and feel of Apple, however even their products can definitely warp your sense of 'perceived quality' (probably none to speak of, but designed to look like it does :) ).

    That being said, everything seems to function very well hardware wise on the phone. The sliding mechanism for the screen seems well put together and will probably last as long as you slide the screen with the light pressure it really only needs. The buttons are definitely an improvement over last HTC models I've seen, they have a very good tactile response.

    You have to remember that phone keyboards are completely subjective. I actually love the G1's keyboard - reminds me of a better engineered version of the Sidekick II keyboard (one of my favorite keyboards).

    Points for the display as well. Very vivid and sharp. Websites look very nice on it. Hell, the entire Android OS does. The G1 and iPhone's screen resolutions are the same (480 x 320), however I'd probably give the edge to the iPhone. Movies and graphics do look slightly better.

    The iPhone OS completely revolutionized the way users interact with mobile devices. Like the Mac OS before it, Apple took all the powerful features and capabilities of the other cold, lifeless Mobile OS's, and successfully built a capable and aesthetically-pleasing user interface around it - with an extra emphasis on stability and process management.

    When Google announced it's Android mobile platform, the iPhone comparisons were inevitable. Both are designed to be used effectively on a touch interface and are both of the 'next-generation' of Mobile OS.

    I'd consider Android a capable competitor to the iPhone OS. It's visibly appealing, contains a nice color and icon set, and regardless of what people say, the OS, once learned - is very logically designed.

    Their 'App Store' was also not bad either. Doesn't pack the 'polish' of the Apple App Store (read: Apple's is better.) but I was able to find a decent app to learn about and download, so I probably wouldn't care one way or the other.

    Basic phone functions of the phone rival the iPhone's completely. I don't think it has visual voicemail, however the menus and buttons are very pleasing to the eye, well laid out and easy to use. Texting is pleasant, emails are also very nicely designed. I didn't really make too many calls with the phone, so I can't comment on call quality and such. The browser is also a worthy competitor to the 'King of mobile browsers', Mobile Safari - however Apple still has the edge.

    I must also comment on T-mobile's 3G network. Another surprise. Actually pretty decent. Not super fast, but pretty fast - enough for a website here or an AIM chat there. Service seemed to be spot on, at least in the NYC and LI areas. Either T-mobile finally realized it needed a real data network, or there's just not enough G1's on the network. :D

    However, in the end - I wouldn't trade in my iPhone for the G1. At least not yet. There's no exchange support (that I know of), and Android does freeze and lag more than the iPhone. The screen isn't multi-touch, and a lot of the touch gestures it does have do not work as flawlessly as the iPhone. It does not support A2DP (strike 1), has a ****** headphone amp (read: no volume, strike 2), and does not have a regular 3.5 mm headphone jack (and we have strike 3.). Let's face it. Every other mobile device's media player completely pales compared to the iPhone's 'iPod' function.

    So, that's my take. The G1 was an eye-opener and I expect greater things from this platform. I'd recommend the phone to any person who refuses to leave T-mobile, and/or those who think the Blackberry storm doesn't belong anywhere near an iPhone-and-its-competitors competition. However, there is a reason why the iPhone gets this much praise. When even the major players ( ::cough:: Nokia 5800 ::cough:: ) are copying you, along with every Chinese counterfeiter, and adding touch gestures to everything and anything your finger can touch - then you know you've struck a chord.
     
  9. The Admiral macrumors member

    The Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    #9
    my friend and i had a race the other night to find out who could find some particular song lyrics faster when drawing a locked phone from his pocket.

    (my iphone won over his g1)
     
  10. theevilone macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2008
    #10
    G1 comes with an adapter for normal head phones.
    iphone had to BUY an adapter.
    G1 can put wallpaper on home screen.
    iphone had to jailbreak it to put wallpaper on it.
    G1 can put useful apps on it without jailbreaking.
    iphone have to painstaking jailbreak for apps are wallpaper, themes or farts.
    G1 has real key board with real keys.
    iphone virtual keyboard, keep mistyping letters and have to delete a lot of times.
    G1 removable memory so it unlimited.
    iphone non removable so once it is filled up that's it.
    G1 changeable battery, one goes dead pop in new one.
    iphone dead battery that's it, done until you find a charger.
    G1 put great 3rd party apps on sd card easily with pc
    iphone if it is not in app store or cydia it does not go on phone.
    G1 real useful phone.
    iphone toy
     
  11. tnisatard macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    #11
    coming from a former g1 user
     
  12. Katuls macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    #12
    i dont understand why you think the g1 had bad battery life... mine outlasts my iphone easily. Trust me, i have both and use them everyday.


    -In So. Cal, the Tmobile 3g is wayyy faster than the iphone 3g as well.
    -G1 does have apps that support exchange
    -g1 does have apps for visual voicemail


    Android is a new OS, with rookie devs. Once these guys get a hang of Android and the SDK, the possibillites are endless.
     
  13. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    #13
    I haven't owned one nor do I know a ton about them, but here's a little brain dump.

    1) My first deal is I'm really getting worried with how much control Google has over Internet stuff. I started using the search engine because it wasn't cluttered like the old ones. Then they started adding neat features like the online word processor and Gmail. But now they're getting into phone software, browsers and (rumored) operating systems. It's just a general fear after the mess that is Microsoft.

    2) I really really really like the iPhone virtual keyboard. After using it, I can't find any advantages in a physical keyboard. I didn't own a smart phone before, but I can't imagine wanting a physical keyboard. It just adds extra cost, weight and bulk and isn't something I desire.

    3) The G1 is fugly. At least the Storm and Pre have some design quality. The G1 just...fugly.

    That's about all I have. I'm not someone who really cares too much about open source, so that's not a plus for me. If it works, it works. I hope it has some success to at least push the competition to be better.
     
  14. Tokiopop macrumors 68000

    Tokiopop

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2008
    Location:
    West Yorkshire, UK
    #14
    I have to agree with others, the keyboard is HORRID. That big lump just gets in your way, and then you can't reach some of the keys properly.

    I can't say much else, I only had a 5 minute go on one :p
     
  15. BergerFan macrumors 68020

    BergerFan

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    Mos Eisley
    #15
    +10.
    Impressive feature sets(although desirable) on their own, will never be enough to 'kill' the iPhone(even in it's present state).
    That's not to say, that I didn't wish that the iPhone's feature set was better(of course I do), but it's a great balance between the software & hardware, that makes iPhone a winner for many.
     
  16. Kahnyl macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    #16
    When I first used the iPhone I started to think of it as sort of PDA or UMPC. The multimedia capabilities are excellent and the amount of applications (1st and 3rd party) are great. After using my G1 for a few days just for the sake of a change I felt like I was using a large screened Sony Ericsson. The phone (hardware and software) feels "last gen". Outside of phone functionality that has been around for years it didn't do much. The only useful apps I found in the Market were replacements for some stock apps or extensions to make stock apps more useful. The Android UI seems like it was designed for a kids netbook too. The notification bar is very good though as mentioned previously. As for the hardware the chin really did get in the way when typing. The slider did feel too loose since day one. Other than that the keys themselves were okay.
     
  17. androidandme thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2009
    #17
    Wow, thanks for all the responses! You guys gave me plenty to work with.

    For those of you that commented about Exchange, there are several free apps that support ActiveSync and push synchronization. Moxier Mail and Touchdown are currently available in the Android Market.

    Keep the comments coming. Thanks guys. :)
     
  18. nilk macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2007
    #18
    I have an iPhone 3G on AT&T. Just recently upgraded from the 2G and gave that to my girlfriend who is using it on T-Mobile (unlocked of course). Pretty happy with the iPhone (though I have my complaints) and I think its the best option at the moment for my particular needs. I've only played around with the G1 a bit.

    Being a Linux-loving geek, I am very excited about the Android platform and hope it really takes off. I can see myself switching to it in the future, but I'm waiting for a phone that I like and for the platform to mature a bit. Some thoughts:

    You can get an unlocked G1 if you join the developer program. That is great, and I hope they continue this with all their future phones.

    The open nature of the Android inspires much more confidence in the platform than the iPhone platform. With an open platform, the community can take it further than even Google intended. Whereas with the iPhone, yes, hackers have done some amazing things to get around Apple's limitations, but I don't want to jump through hoops to be able to do the things I want. As a developer, I am constrained by the iPhone platform, and can only do the things Apple approves (without hacking).

    Speaking of being a developer, I haven't spent enough time with both platforms (though spent a good amount of time developing for the iPhone but haven't released anything yet), I think the Java-based platform has a bit of an edge in that a lot more developers know it and it allows for more possibilities. Not that Objective C is hard to get into, but its a niche language. And with Java you have the existing variety of tools available for working with it and even multiple languages that can be compiled down to Java bytecode (granted, not all JVM languages work on Android yet). Sure, people have ported other language runtimes to the jailbroken iPhone, but with Android you can more easily write official apps using languages other than Java (for example Scala works from what I read).

    Either because of patents or because of agreements between Apple and Google, we may never see multi-touch or a regular headphone jack on an Android phone. That's really unfortunate.

    My hopes are that Android gets ported to phones other than the official Google-approved phones (which I believe it already has). And most of all, I hope it gets ported to the iPhone, so that I can dual-boot between the iPhone OS and Android *and* have a regular headphone jack :)

    The killer app on either of these phones is the web browser. Finally we have web browsers on phones that are good enough. I think that MobileSafari has the edge on Android's browser because the multi-touch zoom feature makes it so much easier to navigate. But Android can get the advantage if its browser (or a 3rd party) outweigh MobileSafari in features (extensions would be nice, for example). Though I have heard that Apple is finally allowing 3rd party browsers on the iPhone, so that could make things interesting.
     
  19. tnisatard macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    #19
    thats so weird

    maybe its because you use both sparingly each day and i use the g1 only

    i never had my g1 last longer than 24 hours, i think the most was maybe 18 ish

    it was pretty ridiculous, because of battery life, i never turned on wifi, only when its being charged overnight, and i never really turned of 3g even though i was paying alot of money for it

    but also there are many complaints of the g1's battery life
     
  20. bryanc28 macrumors 6502

    bryanc28

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Location:
    Arlington, Va
    #20
    I am going to add my thoughts in on this topic.

    I used to only have cheap cell phones until I took the plunge and upgraded to the iPhone. For me, a physical keyboard is NOT something I want on my phone, as my first "smartphone" I bought was the iPhone. So I am totally used to just an onscreen keyboard. I have really liked my iPhone 3G, but I opted to try out the G1 for 1 week. I actually really liked it. ALOT. The only thing I hated about it was the keyboard. They keyboard added bulk and it was not easy to type on. I'm hoping this year we see a touchscreen only G1. Where I live, T-Mobile and At&T have good reception, so switching over is not going to be too much of a problem. The minute the G-series gets a better hardware make-over, I'm going to switch. I still will keep my iPhone 3G; I will just terminate my contract and use the iPhone as an iPod Touch.
     
  21. bigmouth macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    #21
    No matter what the HTC apologists will tell you, the lack of a dedicated 3.5mm headphone jack = TOTAL FAIL.
     
  22. ppc750fx macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    #22
    Not necessarily. It would be a comparatively minor issue for me, since I don't typically listen to much of anything through my phone.
     
  23. theevilone macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2008
    #23
    I bought the iphone so I would be able to listen to music and surf the internet. the G1 battery lasts a lot longer. I remember when the iphone came out the only apps where on the phone.

    only after jailbreaking was the apps in installer available and few at that. give the G1 2 years and see what happens.

    want virtual keyboard it is on the way, G2. can you write your own programs into iphone?
     
  24. jdmac44 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
    #24
    A friend of mine posted a very detailed blog review of both positive and negative. The negatives relate in many ways to the basic functions of a mobile phone. As he stated, he's gained greatly in the area of 10% usage functions and lost greatly in the area of 90% usage functions, or at least enough to think the 10% gains weren't enough to make up for the losses. Making calls, accessing contacts, accessing call history, bugs with voice mail, etc. There are enough to give me pause about wanting a G1, I may wait for the next edition.

    http://yipcanjo.wordpress.com/?s=g1

    And yeah, I want a 3.5mm jack, not totally a deal-breaker, but a big big annoyance. I don't care about what market you're competing for (as I've heard it explained) I care about having maximum functionality for what I want to do. Having to change headsets every time you buy a phone is unacceptable, I look for these things when I shop for a phone. Being able to use a headset while the phone is charging is something that is also nice to be able to do, especially when you consider how this sucker sucks the juice. And where does all this juice go? It sounds like it needs more processing power to run the graphics...yet the iPhone doesn't seem to have a problem. I think this phone is ahead of its time, no really, it was released too soon. I don't know that I want to blow my upgrade discount on it and wait 22 months for the next opportunity.

    I have a lot of hope for this model series, I like the keyboard, I like the GPS, I like the App Market, there are tons of positives...in theory at least...the reality hasn't quite gotten there I don't think.
     
  25. Tres macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2007
    #25
    I still haven't had a chance to use an Android phone yet, but I'm really looking forward to trying one out.

    As an Apple-centric iPhone user I see Android, the Pre and the iPhone as good things for the cellphone market. For so many years the best cellphone OS's were Symbian and Windows OS, both of which are absolutely terrible. Having 3 solid next-gen OS's can only be good for competition and innovation. If I had the money I would own an iPhone, a Pre and an Android phone.
     

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