The New iPhone From An Android User's Perspective
To be honest, Apple’s keynote yesterday did not live up to my expectations. I’m not saying that the iPhone 4 won’t be a great device; it will be very successful. I was just expecting to be tempted to drop my HTC Evo and get an iPhone instead. That just didn’t happen.
I think everyone was expecting something bigger to be announced at WWDC, such as OS X 10.7, but it turned out to be almost completely focused on the new iPhone. The announcements were a strong retaliation against the happenings at Google I/O, and it looks like Apple is in the lead once again. However, that probably won’t last long.
The Device Itself
The device itself is ridiculous (in a good way). It’s absolutely gorgeous. The new physical design even makes it look more powerful than previous versions.
More important than its looks is the fact that it’s rock solid. I myself do not own an iPhone, but I have two friends who have managed to ruin their iPhone screens by dropping them or whatever, and it looks like that won’t be an issue this time around.
Apparently, the screen is stronger than sapphire. If you’re like me and you’re clueless about gemstones, that means it’s pretty darn hard, and very difficult to damage. I have yet to see an Android phone as sturdy as this thing. If you get angry a lot and throw things around, let me be the first to recommend that you buy an iPhone.
Undoubtedly, the best new physical feature of the iPhone is the screen — not only how hard it is, but how good it looks. This thing is sharper than your computer monitor. When you read text on it for the first time, it feels a little weird because it’s just so crisp. No current Android phone could possibly compare. This display is known as the “Retina Display,” and as Steve Jobs noted onstage, once you try it, you can’t go back.
It is also noteworthy to mention that the iPad has a lower pixel density than the older iPhone models, so your new iPhone is going to make your iPad seem like a thing of the past.
I was a little disappointed by the announcement of iOS 4. Granted, this is a huge update for iPhone users. It brings multitasking (the biggest update), threaded mail conversations, folders, and other cool new features. So what’s the bone I’m trying to pick? Android already has almost all of this. I was expecting to be astounded by some new feature that we’ve never seen on either of the two platforms before.
It’s being said that the new iPhone will have better battery life than Android phones with the new multitasking feature, but if you’re an Android user, you know it depends on the hardware. Android will kill the battery of some devices, while playing nicely with others.
FaceTime Video Calling
This one is big. It has been anticipated for a while, and Apple is executing it well. No user accounts, no setup. Of course, FaceTime has a downfall: It’s WiFi only.
Apple is marketing FaceTime with those commercials where the dad is on a video call with his wife and kids. Sure, it’s heartwarming and everything, but let’s stop and think for a second. What are the odds that these heartwarming moments will always happen near WiFi hotspots? Also, your loved ones will have to have iPhone 4 as well. Can you afford these touching moments?
It looks like Apple is again in the lead in the everlasting mobile war. However, I guarantee you that within the next couple of months we’ll start seeing iPhone-comparable Android phones. Screens will be getting sharper, processors will be getting faster, and hardware will be getting stronger.
Despite our expectations, Steve Jobs didn’t mention Apple’s MobileMe cloud service during his keynote. Also, during his interview at the D8 conference, he said that Apple was working on wireless tethering and syncing features, but they are not yet available. It looks like Google got a head start there too.
All in all, at this point, it looks like Apple and Android are tied for first place in the mobile phone competition, which will be beneficial to all of us as consumers, including the Apple fanboys who stopped reading 400 words ago.