Making the Switch from iPhone to Android – A Comparison

After being an iPhone user for years, I decided to make the jump. I purchased an LG G2X running Android 2.2 (Froyo). Now that I’ve had the phone for about a month, I’ve noticed a lot of differences and a lot of similarities. A lot of pros and a lot of cons. I thought it might be helpful to some if I were to make a list and keep track of what I find. I’ll do my best to update this list as time permits.

It’s worth mentioning that I went from an iPhone 3Gs to the G2X, so hardware isn’t a fair comparison. The G2X has a dual-core processor, 1080P Camera, HDMI out, 8 MP Still Camera, front-facing camera… the list goes on. A more apt comparison would be with the iPhone 4, which is more robust but still not as stacked or powerful as the G2X. The iPhone 5, however, is coming, and should be pretty impressive. I’ll try to focus more on the platforms (iOS vs Android) rather than the hardware. OK – let’s get started.

First Impressions of Android:

  • Wow – it’s easy to set up. I entered my gmail account info and suddenly I have my calendar, my email, my Picasa photos, my blog setup, my Google Docs, my address book and phone numbers and more. That’s pretty sweet. Luckily I had been syncing my iPhone with my Google Contacts so those were already loaded within five minutes of opening the box. Nice. This may not be nearly as helpful if you’re not a gMail user – or not an avid one.
  • Apps are Easy to Get. Just like on the iPhone, there’s a centralized location for getting apps – the Market. Similar to the App Store, you’ll find lists of top free apps, top paid apps, sortable by category and ready to install. Very familiar, very simple. I did have to enter my credit card info in order to buy apps but, like in iTunes, that info is saved, making it easy to purchase. One thing I love about the Market is that I don’t have to enter a password for free apps – only for paid ones. No more password request screens every time I want to try an app.
  • Buttons! It’s easy to get used to the home button on the iPhone so I had to learn what these four buttons were underneath the screen. Here’s the rundown:
    • Menu: The first button is the menu button and it was tough to remember that it’s an app sensitive menu. When I’m in mail, it’s the mail app’s menu button. When I’m on my home screen, it’s the general menu.
    • Home: Much like the home button on the iPhone, this one takes you back to the home screen. If you hold this button for a few seconds you’ll see your recently opened apps, too.
    • Back: This serves as the back or previous button and, like the menu button, works differently on different apps.
    • Search: I admittedly haven’t used this one much – in fact, I had to check just now to see what the fourth button is. I guess I need to do more of my searches with that button.
  • Flash! It’s so nice to be able to view Flash content on the phone again. I usually have to click on it for it to load (it’s not automatically there) but that’s much better than no Flash functionality.
  • GPS is Less Accurate. This, of course, depends on which phone you have but I’ve noticed that when I use great apps like Runkeeper Free to track my daily walks, it usually thinks I’m walking super fast because once or twice during my short mile and a half stroll the GPS will jump from my actual location to a spot 500 yards away and then back within a few seconds – giving the illusion that I have super powers. Well, I do, in fact, have the ability to pop my ears manually at high altitudes but that’s a different super power. But I digress.
  • Install Apps from any computer – I love this one. I could be at my downstairs computer while my phone is upstairs charging. I’ll hop on the android market place in a browser, see an app I like and install it on my phone. Bam. Just like that. Sure enough, I go upstairs when I’m done and the app is there waiting for me. I love this one.
  • Way Less Stable (phone dependent) – The LG G2x is plagued with bugs, causing it to reboot randomly and freeze up from time to time. It kind of drives me nuts. While these behaviors don’t plague all Android phones, they exist partly because of the huge number of hardware configurations that Android runs on. Apple doesn’t have this problem because they control both OS and hardware. That’s one for Apple.
  • More to come.

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