For the average smart phone user wonderful event occurs every 2 years, your mobile phone contract expires and it’s time to get yourself a brand new handset. For a lot of people a large amount of thought and research goes into this decision and I’d like to give a short description of my experience moving from an iPhone to an HTC.
As a little background information, I’m a uni student who is fairly involved in technology. I got my phone last year so at the time a Windows 7 phone wasn’t an option and I didn’t consider a Blackberry as I believe they’re more of a business tool. I enjoyed using the iPhone but wanted to experiment with something different, so an Android phone seemed like the logical choice.
I previously owned an iPhone 3G but when it was time to upgrade last year I made the leap and got myself an HTC Desire. Why did I make this decision? Is it hardware based? Software based? Or just a personal preference? As you’d expect, it’s a combination of all of the above.
For me the hardware is nearly irrelevant. Unless you’re looking for a specific feature such as screen size or a camera in the front, you’d expect that a newer phone will have sufficient specs when it comes to processing power, RAM and the other technical aspects that people generally overlook to operate as intended. Seeing as the physical size of my phone isn’t a big issue and that I don’t plan on using it for video conferencing I didn’t have any hardware specific preferences.
The operating system, on the other hand, requires more consideration. iOS aims at making the interface simple and easy to use which is great for the general public but for people who enjoy a little customisation and more of a choice concerning the layout of their phone, Android seems like a better choice. The main tipping point for me though was the concept of ‘syncing’ your phone and the limitations that this introduced. I consider myself a fairly tech savvy person, but having an iTunes account and trying to use this account on someone else’s computer or trying to share your music with friends and family was an unnecessarily convoluted process.
On the Android side of the fence it was refreshingly simple to load new music and share it with my friends, and with the popularity of using torrents to acquire music this method made things especially easy. I didn’t need to import any files into the library of media management software, or convert anything to a specific format and for me this was a big plus. Unfortunately at the time of purchase the Android App Market was not as developed as the iPhone App Store which was disappointing but it has come a long way since then.
I don’t think that one operating system is particularly better than another but they do have their differences. For me, I value customisation and the ability to simply share and access my music but obviously these preferences differ from person to person. The important thing is to distinguish what you look for in a phone and use other people’s experiences with different hardware and software to help you make an informed decision.