Are you thinking about exchanging that new smartphone for the one you really asked Santa for? Have you done your research and decided which platform you want to be on?
The popular line is everyone wants an iPhone 6 but let's face it, it still costs a lot, particularly at a time when there's already a squeeze on your wallet. And if you use Gmail, does it make sense to try to mix hostile competitors like iOS and Android? Do you really want to switch all your thought patterns to an iOS sensibility? It's really a dilemma.
Some argue Apple is falling behind as far as innovation goes. iOS 8.1 operating system's new features are features Android rolled out years ago. iOS 8.1 may be more stable, but that stability makes it slower. And, there's no argument that if you go Android, there are many many more devices to choose from.
Does battery life affect your decision? Do you want a phone that allows you to carry a spare battery and swap it out when your phone dies?
What about screen size? The Apple iPhone 6 Plus sports a 5.5-inch display. The plethora of Android phones have screens much larger then that and several that are smaller if that's what you prefer.
What about display quality? The Retina display was truly awesome when it first came out 4 years ago and has been beefed up to 401 pixels per inch (ppi), while LG G3's 5.5-inch screen offers a whopping 534ppi.
Both Mobile Platforms Have Their Share of Performance Issues
ZDNet, using information from the mobile business management company Crittercism, reports the new iOS8 adoption rate reached 40% a mere two weeks after it was released. And Android's latest, Lollipop, was a fraction of a percent at the same point in time. While Lollipop got some very positive reviews upon release, it appears to have some pretty serious problems, particularly in new Nexus devices.
Given the huge investments in these platforms, it never takes too long for major problems to be fixed and solutions widely distributed. But, it's still looking like Lollipop may never catch up.
So, what's a guy or gal to do? If you don't already own a Nexus device you're best off doing a strategic comparison of the two platforms to determine what's in your best interest.
One thing to consider is how you use your smartphone. Chances are, you use it for web connectivity as much, or more, than for talking. What other features do you use? If you take a lot of photos on the go, there's no question iPhones have superior cameras to most Android options. But if you put your phone through a lot of activities, Android batteries last longer and are a lot less expensive, as PocketLint points out.
The biggest issues for most are the apps. There's a lot more of them for Android because the operating system is more flexible and developers have been encouraged to build apps for the platform. If one doesn't work well, there are plenty of other similar ones to try.
Don't Fall for the Mobile Device Personality Test
Business Insider recently reported findings from a British firm improbably named YouGov, which reveal major characteristics of iPhone and Android owners, at least in the UK.
- Typical Apple users are women 25-39 years old, pretty well off, who work in media, publishing, or marketing. Think London.
- Typical Droid users are guys 18-24 who are just starting out in IT, energy, media, or publishing. Think Scotland.
- Apple owners spend big. Droid owners look for bargains.
- Apple owners are politically in the center. Droid owner are generally lefties. (Keep in mind, though, European nations, including the UK, have mixed economies which lean socialist.)
Apple owners contradict themselves when asked to self-describe. How can someone be confident in one sentence and admit to being insecure in the next? Droid owners are pretty consistent describing themselves: a worrier, needy, and nerdy, although they also claim to be "calming."
The demographic data probably doesn't matter as much in the US. I suspect our culture is more Android even as we admire Apple and the genius of Steve Jobs. But given the healthy range of Android-powered products out there, more of us use them even if we don't stand in line for days to be the first to own a Nexus or even a discounted Galaxy s5.
Here in the US, saving money is as popular as football. This makes Android more appealing. Even as the Samsung Galaxy costs about the same as the latest iPhone, it just doesn't carry the same reputation. Judging from overall sales, Americans like it like that!
So, what's it going to be? Android or iOS?
Photo by NRKbeta / Marius Arnesen