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A Long Time iPhone user tries out Android (The Dark Side)

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
So obviously I've been on here for a while in fact back then people started actual posts in these forums and not just automated slaves.

That said myself and my family are Apple people all the way. The household owns an iMac, Macbook Pro, iPad, two iPod 4th gens, iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS along with assorted earlier iPods as well.

In short the amount of money we've given Apple has been decently substantial.

That said (and as an Apple shareholder) you don't want to be a fanboy. You don't want to be a sheep, even for Apple. You don't want to stop thinking different and just knee jerk responses or begin repeating points without experience or thought.

While I own the iPhone 4 right now, I've also owned the 3Gs, 3G and the original iPhone as well.

So anyway, over the summer we camp in an area that has no AT&T service. Because of this I snagged a OG Droid of Craigslist for $100 and used it to survive the two weeks of no phone service. The phone itself was serviceable if a bit slow. You could see some promise there but it fell far short of the iPhone experience. After the summer with no need for the phone, I sold it off.

Fast foward to the around Christmas/New Year and I'm doing some bartering and trading through Craigslist with some various items. Someone offers me a Motorola Atrix as a trade. I figure it is worth a go as they seem to be worth $200 or so and he is offering it in trade for an item for which I want $150.

I slap the sim in and begin using it. It absolutely needs some changes just to get the phone usable. I learn how to install an alternative launcher, keyboard, and a replacement for the stock sms program because they are all terrible. However things settle in and I begin to realize something. The phone is damn fast. The specs on what are considered an old and almost throw away Android phone are almost insane when you think about it. It is a dual 1 ghz processor, 1 gig RAM, 16 gigs internal storage, 5 MP camera that shoots 720P video all with a 4 inch screen at 960x540 resolution (less than the iPhone 4/4S but still quite tolerable) The battery at almost 2000 mAh runs all day for me which means at least 16 hours with some pretty serious use.

It is also much, much faster than my iPhone 4 which admittedly is a whole 18 month old design while this is only a 12 month old design, but all the Android side of things won't spend a year hoping someone comes out with a great new phone once a year at some point unknown. We all know what the lastest greatest iPhone and Android specs are now and Apple is basically being held up buy some lasting software and eco-system advantages.

This has me concerned. I'm going to share what I've what is great on this Atrix, what continues to stink and my concerns for Apple related to my experiences on the Android or even just other eco-systems out there.

First the positives. The phone holds signal well. It downloads fast. The earpiece volume and sound are better than the iPhone 4. The 4 inch screen is absolutely no problem and feels like a great compromise for those wanting a larger screen size but don't want some crazy wannabe tablet. The capcitive buttons on the bottom are accurate. The screen is super bright and clear and lastly the phone itself is just super fast. The curved back ala the iPhone 3Gs is feels better than the iPhone 4 with the hard corners.

The negatives are I still haven't found a decent keyboard that is as good as Apple's. The feel is plastic (half positive though as I don't mind running it without case as it isn't glass /art, it's a phone) The button on the top to wake from sleep is terrible. Android still chugs in strange ways every once in a while without rhyme or reason to it.

My concern for Apple is that they've hit a top, will stay there for a bit and that they are letting the iPhone/iPod lines stagnate. Android is coming on so fast, so cheap, and in so many ways that Apple literally almost looks to be standing still. I'm not saying Android is better than the iPhone. It doesn't need to be. It only needs to be good enough.

Apple does not do this in other product categories. They don't only have one iPod or one Mac. They are willing to sell them in different sizes and configurations for different needs. They don't go as crazy other computer makers with so many models and options that they hurt themselves on volume discounts but they don't declare there is only one option and all else is blasphamy.

Imagine for a moment if Apple only sold one size screen of laptop. Their research determined it was the optimum size for battery life and two hand use on an actual table or lap and all the other sizes and options were inferior. Suppose they only made the 13" MacBook Air and that was it. Your choice, take it or leave it. That would be worrisome in my view both as a stockholder and as an Apple advocate.

Apple has never done this before with a product. The iPod goes from $50 items you can clip onto your belt to iPods worth hundreds of dollars that shoot high definition video. Mac's go from the mini all the way to towers.

It is only the iPhone where there is one answer for all, spit out around once a year and that is your only choice.

I really feel like that needs to change. Apple does have different price points covered if you are on contract. They haven't addressed prepaid but really they need to offer a multitude of iPhone solutions. They don't have to invalidate their design principles. They don't need to start offering removable batteries, or microsd cards or things like that. However some larger phones and perhaps some phones tailored to different uses wouldn't be terrible. Just a couple of choices would be nice.

I have no doubt these Android phones are a dime a dozen, but the specs are more and more amazing as Apple updates less and less frequently. The older phones are already getting passed on to the younger generation, thus creating future loyalties, spending habits and people who are informed about how to fix the platforms shortcomings and finally I'm fully aware of the huge early adopter lead Apple has and I am in no form or fashion claiming this will hurt them today, or even within the next quarter.

I am saying there are serious concerns though. The iPod line that is supposed to create new young iOS users hasn't been updated in over a year. Regardless of how awesome attributes of the iPhone 4S are the community as a whole saw it as a minor update and it was an update that took 16 months to get. A lot of the stuff coming out of CES, stuff that will be released this month or next and before the next iPhone by possibly 4-8 months is pretty amazing.

This is already too long but let me simply say, Apple doesn't get cloud computing. Going through iTunes be it on the iPhone or on my Mac feels archaic. With Google and Android I buy through a browser and can watch and listen to content through a browser or on the items associated with the accounts (Phone, Fire, Kindle, etc.) Apple is feeling behind here as well. Being behind on specs, on the cloud and just counting on past momentum and habits to keep you moving along doesn't feel like Apple and is worrisome. No one should ever be defending Apple by saying they've got X number of credit cards instead of X number of new products and innovations this year. I really hope they've got something in the pipeline and soon because it's getting a bit worrisome out here.

Just my thoughts, feel free to share unless you only like talking to automated slaves.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #2 of 9
Thread Starter 
Woz says the same thing.

Quote:
But oddly enough, Steve Wozniak, who co-founded Apple with Jobs in 1976, says he’s a big fan of Android phones. Woz says he still thinks Apple’s iPhone is the best overall smartphone, but he says there are ways in which Android has leapt ahead of Apple.

“My primary phone is the iPhone,” Woz says. “I love the beauty of it. But I wish it did all the things my Android does, I really do.”

I've noticed that several Android versions of the same program have surpassed their iOS version and are running faster on the Android side. This is a troubling trend Apple needs to address.

One area that I've really noticed is troubling is services. On the Mac, third parties can add to the services menu and then what it adds is available to all programs. On the iPhone this would mean things like Facebook, Twitter and others types of sharing would be available to all apps. Instead this isn't happening and the iPhone requires many more steps to accomplish basic things like sharing a photo to certain services.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #3 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

My concern for Apple is that they've hit a top, will stay there for a bit and that they are letting the iPhone/iPod lines stagnate. Android is coming on so fast, so cheap, and in so many ways that Apple literally almost looks to be standing still. I'm not saying Android is better than the iPhone. It doesn't need to be. It only needs to be good enough.

Apple does not do this in other product categories. They don't only have one iPod or one Mac. They are willing to sell them in different sizes and configurations for different needs. They don't go as crazy other computer makers with so many models and options that they hurt themselves on volume discounts but they don't declare there is only one option and all else is blasphamy.

Imagine for a moment if Apple only sold one size screen of laptop. Their research determined it was the optimum size for battery life and two hand use on an actual table or lap and all the other sizes and options were inferior. Suppose they only made the 13" MacBook Air and that was it. Your choice, take it or leave it. That would be worrisome in my view both as a stockholder and as an Apple advocate.

Apple has never done this before with a product. The iPod goes from $50 items you can clip onto your belt to iPods worth hundreds of dollars that shoot high definition video. Mac's go from the mini all the way to towers.

It is only the iPhone where there is one answer for all, spit out around once a year and that is your only choice.

Well remember what iPod did for Macs? That is what the iPhone will do for iPad. Apple's profit margins and stability was brought on by massive interest in iPod which did "halo affect" the Mac line. Now the MP3 player market has gone away and it is the iPhone that is doing the "halo effect" for Macs and iPad. Only this time, iPads now outsell the Mac by 3:1.

Let's analyse the lines:

iPod ~ simply the de facto MP3 for anyone wanting it, particularly the iPod touch being a PDA, MP3 player and very significant *gaming platform*

iPhone ~ *two* models every year, both top notch. iPhone 4S and iPhone 4. Exclusivity and demand is massive. They are selling as much as they can make. Yes, Android is coming up and slamming and tempting everyone... But the top-echelon phone is still iPhone 4S. iPhone 5 will no doubt be significant. Revenue for iPhone apps is top in the world. BlackBerry, WindowsPhone7, Nokia, SonyE, all world-class de facto mobile phone companies struggling.

iPad ~ well, the future. Will also probably split into two lines, iPad 2S and iPad 3.

Macs ~ will merge with iOS down the track, but for now, probably done their biggest quarter of 5 million units.

All in all, it's looking good for Apple. Yes, Android has risen because the uptake of smartphones globally increases by a massive amount. But so has demand for Apple gear. Apple has to be careful because if it just becomes another Android-type or Windows-type clone itself, they're in big, big trouble.

And we haven't looked at other product lines Apple has in the pipeline.

So it may seem like they're slowing, but I think they've never moved faster before and they've got a decent 5 years ahead without Steve purely on momentum.
post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post


Fast foward to the around Christmas/New Year and I'm doing some bartering and trading through Craigslist with some various items. Someone offers me a Motorola Atrix as a trade. I figure it is worth a go as they seem to be worth $200 or so and he is offering it in trade for an item for which I want $150.

I slap the sim in and begin using it. It absolutely needs some changes just to get the phone usable. I learn how to install an alternative launcher, keyboard, and a replacement for the stock sms program because they are all terrible. However things settle in and I begin to realize something. The phone is damn fast. The specs on what are considered an old and almost throw away Android phone are almost insane when you think about it. It is a dual 1 ghz processor, 1 gig RAM, 16 gigs internal storage, 5 MP camera that shoots 720P video all with a 4 inch screen at 960x540 resolution (less than the iPhone 4/4S but still quite tolerable) The battery at almost 2000 mAh runs all day for me which means at least 16 hours with some pretty serious use.

It is also much, much faster than my iPhone 4 which admittedly is a whole 18 month old design while this is only a 12 month old design, but all the Android side of things won't spend a year hoping someone comes out with a great new phone once a year at some point unknown. We all know what the lastest greatest iPhone and Android specs are now and Apple is basically being held up buy some lasting software and eco-system advantages.


Sorry but the Atrix is complete trash. The Tegra2 chip is utterly horrible. It belongs in a rice cooker at best, not a smart phone.

95% of android devices are crap. Really there is only one android phone worth buying currently and that is the Exynos based GSII.

Why? Because Samsung knows their competitor is the iPhone, not HTC, Motorola or LG. As a result they completely rework android so it doesn't run like a laggy bag of ass. They actually mate their hardware and software instead of building phones with off the shelf parts like all other android makers.

And as we know from Apple, if you want a good user experience, you absolutely must mate hardware and software synergies.
post #5 of 9
The original Atrix has a PenTile screen. That right there is enough to discount it.
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Well remember what iPod did for Macs? That is what the iPhone will do for iPad. Apple's profit margins and stability was brought on by massive interest in iPod which did "halo affect" the Mac line. Now the MP3 player market has gone away and it is the iPhone that is doing the "halo effect" for Macs and iPad. Only this time, iPads now outsell the Mac by 3:1.

Of course the iPad outsells the Mac by 3:1. Every other device in the segment outsells the Mac by the same margins. The number of phones smart or otherwise dwarfs the regular PC market.
Quote:
Let's analyse the lines:

iPod ~ simply the de facto MP3 for anyone wanting it, particularly the iPod touch being a PDA, MP3 player and very significant *gaming platform*

This used to be very true. Apple hasn't updated the line in over a year. Also one issue with all these Android phones being shoveled out is that parents just pass them down to the kids. When a 13 year old has Dad's old Droid Incredible (barely two years old) he doesn't ask for an iPod Touch. If the parents don't want to put it on a data plan they can hand him a cheap phone and let him use it for dialing 911 and just like an iPod touch.

Quote:
iPhone ~ *two* models every year, both top notch. iPhone 4S and iPhone 4. Exclusivity and demand is massive. They are selling as much as they can make. Yes, Android is coming up and slamming and tempting everyone... But the top-echelon phone is still iPhone 4S. iPhone 5 will no doubt be significant. Revenue for iPhone apps is top in the world. BlackBerry, WindowsPhone7, Nokia, SonyE, all world-class de facto mobile phone companies struggling.

This is absolutely true and as I said, I think Apple is hitting a top right now. Apple seems to be moving out the release of their next release a few months every year while Android keeps moving it up by a few months every year. We saw phones like the Droid Incredible, Samsung Captivate, etc. coming up in April of 2010 and people waited for the iPhone 4 in June/July. A year later we had a load of dual core 1 ghz phones rolling out in March (Galaxy, etc.) and the iPhone 4s came out in October.

This year we have a bunch of 1.2-1.6 dual-core phones and just a huge array of $200-250 tablets being shown at CES. We can hope Apple has an answer but we all hoped the iPhone 5 would show up last July as well.

This doesn't mean Apple dies. It doesn't mean anything terrible or bad happens. It does mean their profit margins could shrink. It does mean Apple won't have the five year headstart with the iPad that they had with the iPhone. I'd give them three years at best.

Quote:
iPad ~ well, the future. Will also probably split into two lines, iPad 2S and iPad 3.

Again this is a presumption. It is a presumption we would all like to see, but we already had the issue brought up in the past and the $250 iPad is called the iPod touch. IT doesn't matter what you want, it matters what Apple wants and for the past and foreseeable future, that is what Apple will likely do. Can $250 Kindle Fire's undermine the iPad/iPod combo? Who knows for sure but it would be nice if Apple had a real response besides offering things in white or coming out with the next revision several months later.

Quote:
Macs ~ will merge with iOS down the track, but for now, probably done their biggest quarter of 5 million units.

Mac software is absolutely stagnant. When was the last time the iApps got a significant revision? iWorks is just sitting there doing nothing. FCP revision was HATED. Apple is just rehashing these apps on iOS.

Quote:
All in all, it's looking good for Apple. Yes, Android has risen because the uptake of smartphones globally increases by a massive amount. But so has demand for Apple gear. Apple has to be careful because if it just becomes another Android-type or Windows-type clone itself, they're in big, big trouble.

And we haven't looked at other product lines Apple has in the pipeline.

So it may seem like they're slowing, but I think they've never moved faster before and they've got a decent 5 years ahead without Steve purely on momentum.

I don't believe they have five years just on momentum. Smartphone and tablet progress feels like a literal tidal wave. Apple helped generate that wave and I believe if they stay even in stats and innovation they can surf wave but if they stagnate, the wave will crush them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Technarchy View Post

Sorry but the Atrix is complete trash. The Tegra2 chip is utterly horrible. It belongs in a rice cooker at best, not a smart phone.

The Tegra2, smokes, I repeat SMOKES, my iPhone 4. I have several apps common across both platforms like Angry Birds, Reckless Racing, Sleepy Jack, etc. The Atrix loads and runs them all faster.
Quote:
95% of android devices are crap. Really there is only one android phone worth buying currently and that is the Exynos based GSII.

Why? Because Samsung knows their competitor is the iPhone, not HTC, Motorola or LG. As a result they completely rework android so it doesn't run like a laggy bag of ass. They actually mate their hardware and software instead of building phones with off the shelf parts like all other android makers.

And as we know from Apple, if you want a good user experience, you absolutely must mate hardware and software synergies.

Software synergies needs to occur with Apple and partners, not just Apple and several of their services they've never gotten right or some of their stagnating software portfolio. The last release of iLife was October of 2010 as an example. On the Mac, third parties could add services to the OS that all other apps could then access. Apple has not done this for iOS and it is a huge deal. Other phones are increasingly able to post pics to Facebook, Twitter or any other service directly from apps. Apple isn't offering this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mzr View Post

The original Atrix has a PenTile screen. That right there is enough to discount it.

At this resolution, you don't see it. My eyes see 20/15 and at 275 dpi there isn't a problem.

That said if Apple comes out with a quad-core iPhone 5 that looks like a 4 inch screen version of the original iPhone. It would destroy everything out there. I just don't think they can wait until next fall for a revision.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #7 of 9
I also started out on the iPhone (3G), but instead of getting the 4S as a replacement, I got an HTC Amaze instead (1.5 GHz dual-core, 1gig RAM, dual-hspa+, 16gig storage + 32gig micro-sd, 4.3 inch qHD screen). With siri not able to do location searches in Canada, I decided to get the latest and greatest android machine. And I must say, for anyone who uses their phone for anything more than basic tasks, android is years ahead (and HTC Sense, despite its critics, is the most innovative android skin). A larger screen means I can browse full desktop webpages with comfort, you can download and manage files like you would on a pc, I can even print documents from anywhere (via cloud printing).

While Apple has a marketing advantage, and some android devices suck (especially midrange Samsungs and LGs), Apple cannot compete, device to device, with high end androids out there now. My iPhone couldn't replace my pc, my HTC can. Integration with Google services like turn by turn Google maps based navigation also can't be beat. I've also found it works better as a phone (more reliable texting and calling).

If Apple wants to maintain market share longterm, they need more models, especially larger screened models. And they need to 'open' up their ecosystem, allow people to do more with the devices. With quad-core, large 720p screened androids running on ICS coming out in mere months, Apple needs to watch it's back. It also needs more innovation than simply copying android features like the notification bar...
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Technarchy View Post

Sorry but the Atrix is complete trash. The Tegra2 chip is utterly horrible. It belongs in a rice cooker at best, not a smart phone.

95% of android devices are crap. Really there is only one android phone worth buying currently and that is the Exynos based GSII.

Why? Because Samsung knows their competitor is the iPhone, not HTC, Motorola or LG. As a result they completely rework android so it doesn't run like a laggy bag of ass. They actually mate their hardware and software instead of building phones with off the shelf parts like all other android makers.

And as we know from Apple, if you want a good user experience, you absolutely must mate hardware and software synergies.

Yes you are absolutly correct, although you must expand that Samsung list to include the Galaxy Note as it's basicly a GSII but larger and a bit faster and Sony. The Ray and Arc are pretty good phones to. The Nexus is crap. Android is fast, even on a single core CPU it flys. Can you imagine it on Apple hardware, ooooohh. The OS to beat speed wise is the new Microsoft Mobile 7, that thing is nutty fast. Even though it only has a single core processor it smokes the Android and iPhone. I'm scared hold me.
When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
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When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
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post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by majjo View Post

Funny, you just pretty much mirrored the Anandtech galaxy nexus video I was watching a few days ago:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nfgs4...1&feature=plcp

It's funny, I never watched it before, but he pretty much sums it up. I think to a certain degree, what he describes is also part of the reason why Android tablets sell poorly. If you have a 4.3-5 inch screened Android phone, you have no need for a tablet. It can replace just about all the average person's computing needs. With cloud services, you never even need to hook your phone to a computer. Although I will admit, the complexity of the increased functionality does scare some people, despite it being much easier to use than a PC.

If Apple created a 4.5 inch device that was a true all in 1 computer system, it would be very tempting to me. But as of right now they seem to be pushing their 'eco-system', the PC + tablet + phone combo, which doesn't really appeal to me.
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