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Android

iPhone

Operating System (OS) made by:

Google, Open Handset Alliance (mostly cellphone manufacturers), and the Open Source community. Android is still being released by Google. It is open source but it is still under strong guidance from Google. It is not the wild wild west like open source Linux that has no central control. Android has the advantage of BOTH open source and central control of a powerful and innovative company.

Proprietary to Apple.

Only Apple can make changes to the iOS.

Phone carrier / network:

Depending on phone manufacturer: You can now choose Android phones from ALL 4 major U.S. networks: T-Mobile (GSM), Sprint (CDMA), Verizon (CDMA), AT&T (GSM) or by a prepaid carrier such as Criket by Leap Wireless (coming in 2010). By February 2010, Android was supported by 60 phone carriers worldwide.

Click here to see what is available in the U.S. market now.

One choice: AT&T (GSM).

Unless you are technical minded enough to hack/root it. Still, you are limited to GSM only network and with slower Edge only connection without 3G. How about CDMA networks like Verizon? No possible way.

4G data network.

4th generation cellular standard for digital data that is much faster than current 3G network. This give your 4G device a full broadband speed similar to home’s Cable-Modem or DSL connection.

Yes.

If you are with Sprint 4G “Wi-Max” network. Verizon will have its 4G “LTE” network by summer 2011. No word about AT&T. T-Mobile uses a high speed HSPA+ (4G equivalent) network and it is available now.

First cellphone to utilized the 4G capability is the HTC EVO 4G (WiMAX) “Supersonic”. (4.3” screen, 1GHz).

Second phone 4G phone will be the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S Pro (4” screen with slideout keyboard) for Sprint.

No.

Many confused the new iPhone 4 with the 4G network. The 4 has nothing to do with 4G. The 4 just indicate the 4th generation iPhone introduced since 2007 and it is only 3G capable. AT&T does NOT have the 4G network.

Hardware design:

HTC, Sony, Motorola, Samsung, LG, Garmin, Dell, Archos, Acer, Asus, Kyocera, and the list is growing. Click here for the list of some the older Android phones (pictures and specification).  

This is one significant advantage over the iPhone: CHOICES.

Only one choice: from Apple.

Number of phones make and models to choose from (cumulative total):

2007: Number of  Android phones = 0

2008: Number of  Android phones = 1

2009: Number of Android phones = 8

2010: Number of Android phones = 25

9 new Android models were introduced in the past two months alone (June and July 2010).

Above total does not include those models that come in different colors or any different models sold outside the U.S. 4 largest network.

Android is really doing well.

2007: 1 (June 29, 2007) iPhone.

2008: 2 (July 11, 2008) iPhone 3G.

2009: 3 (June 19, 2009) iPhone 3GS.

2010: 4 (June 24, 2010) iPhone 4.

Total: 4 different phones introduced since 2007.

Stock Price:

(July 15, 2010)

Google (GOOG): $459.61

Apple (AAPL): $249.90

Where can I run my apps?

Everywhere.

Manufacturers are making many devices not limited only to cellphones. Android OS is now running in cellphones, tablets, Android cars, HDTV, desktop phones, microwave oven, washing machine, set-top boxes for satellite and cable TV. Hopefully in the near future, we will see this in specialized field such as medical equipment, manufacturing, scientific, aviation, etc. Pictures and articles here.

Even DARPA is seeking Android apps for military usage.

Limited.

Limited to only one phone and one tablet made by one company.

Text Entry: (Touch-screen or keyboard?)

Both: Touch-screen or slide-out keyboard.

All of them have touchscreen virtual on-screen keyboard but several phones also have a slideout physical keyboard as well.

Some people love the physical keyboard while others don’t. With Android, you have the choice and that choice is yours.

Android supports Swype (see video here).

No choice, only a touch screen virtual keyboard.

Switching from iPhone to Android:

Newsweek: Sayonara, iPhone: Why I'm Switching to Android (May 20, 2010).

PC World magazine: Why I Switched from iPhone to Android (May 24, 2010).

Computer World: Switching from iPhone to Android (June 9, 2010).

Processor or CPU (Central Processing Unit):

Depending on manufacturer, from 500 MHz ARM Cortex A8 to 528 MHz Qualcomm processor to 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor with 512 MB of processor’s RAM (found in Nexus One and many others). This is almost twice the power and speed of the iPhone’s processor.

June 10, 2010, Motorola announced that there will be a new 2 GHz phone by Christmas 2010.

New upcoming HTC Scorpion is rumored to have either a Qualcomm 1.5GHz, or perhaps the new dual-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon processor.

Samsung S5PC100 ARM Cortex-A8 clocked at 600 MHz with 256 MB of processor‘s RAM.

iPhone 4 has a ARM Cortex-A8 clocked at about 800 MHz.

GPU (Graphic Processing Unit):

Samsung i9000 Galaxy S running Android can compute 90 million triangles per second.

28 million triangles per second.

Adobe Flash:

Yes.

Full support for latest Adobe Flash 10.1 on Android 2.2 (Froyo).

Here is a short 6 minute video showing the importance of Flash technology when browsing the web. Without it, web content will look very different and not function the way like it is supposed to be.

No.

Apple banned any Flash technology on its iPhone, and iPad.

Syncing (synchronizing):

Android devices can sync wirelessly, continuously, and to multiple services. It could also sync by plugging in should you choose to do so.

Example, Apps are available to allow user to sync their Android phone to an older Palm Desktop software or Microsoft Exchange server.

"Automatic syncing" for the iPhone is misleading. Syncing the iPhone is a cumbersome process that requires plugging in.

Camera resolution:

Most older Android phones support a 3.2 Megapixel camera. It varies from 2 Megapixel (LG Etna) to 5 Megapixel (Motorola DROID) to 8 Megapixel (HTC EVO 4G, HTC Incredible, Motorola DROID X).

iPhone and iPhone3:  2 MPix.

iPhone 3GS: 3 Megapixel.

iPhone 4: 5 Megapixel.

Take picture in the dark:

Many phones now come with a built-in LED flash. Some with 2 built-in LED flash like the HTC Incredible.

The new Motorola Milestone XT720 (coming) will have a more powerful Xenon flash found on real cameras.

All previous iPhones: No choice, No built-in flash.

iPhone 4: finally comes with an LED flash (copy Android hardware starting June 24, 2010).

Phone Thickness:

9.9 mm (Samsung Galaxy S) to 11.5 mm (HTC Nexus One) to 11.9 mm (HTC Incredible).

iPhone 3GS: 12.3 mm.

iPhone 4: 9.3 mm.

Screen size:

Depending on manufacturer, from 3.2” to 4.3” on a cellphone to 4.8” on a media tablet to 7” or larger on tablets / netbooks.

Phone: One choice, 3.5”

iPhone 4 still uses 3.5” screen.

Tablet: One choice, 9.7”

Screen resolution:

From (480 x 320) pixels to (854 × 480) pixels. This is almost twice the resolution of iPhone 3GS. Android supports multiple screen sizes and screen resolutions. A few phones support the new OLED (Organic LED) which is brighter and has a much more vibrant display.

Two choices:

(480 x 320) pixels for the 3GS.

New since June 24, 2010: (960 x 640) pixels for iPhone 4.

Contrast Ratio:

The Samsung i9000 Galaxy S Android phone has a contrast ratio of 50,000 : 1

iPhone 4 = 800:1

On-demand Mobile TV or live TV:

  

Yes.

Sprint TV’ from Spint network or

V CAST’ from Verizon network.

Soccer fans using Sprint can watch 2010 FIFA World Cup Soccer Matches Live with ESPN Mobile TV on Android’s HTC EVO 4G.

Verizon customers’ will get to watch all 64 matches via live streams from Univision (a Spanish-language broadcasts) of the 2010 FIFA World Cup soccer matches.

No.

GPS:

Yes, since the first Android phone.

There is a free Android app that allows you to do voice recognition turn-by-turn GPS navigation using Satellite and Street View. You can simply use voice command and say “Navigate to the museum with the King Tut exhibit in San Francisco” and this app will figure it out for you. Don’t need specific address or go through Point-of-Interest list.

Click here to see the video demo.

NYbreakingnews.com article comparing GPS navigation between Motorola DROID and the iPhone:

“The Droid gives smooth navigation experience which the iPhone doesn’t manage to do. TomTom's 3D map images are simple but Droid has higher resolution display. The Droid defeats the iPhone in giving the right refreshing directions and also compensates for wrong turns. In the end, Android’s navigation tool was simply superior giving better count on the price range too. While both devices offer voice directions, Droid's directions to the iPhone's, had much more clarity. Droid was also miles ahead in pronouncing street names than the iPhone”. Full article here.

Even Garmin (famous GPS manufacturer) came out with their own GPS/Smartphone running Android.

Yes.

Navigation software is not as advanced as Android.

Electronic compass (hardware)

Yes, since the first Android phone, the HTC G1 in 2008.

Yes, only on the newer iPhone 3G model (starting from June 2009).

Copy and Paste feature:

Yes, since the original Android version 1.0 in 2008.

This feature is so basic and essential that even the original first generation Palm Pilot PDA (small pocket device) from 1996 (yes, over 14 years ago) supports it.

Finally on newer iPhone OS version 3.0 release in June 17, 2009. Another copy from Android. Apple was so proud of this feature that it was included on their press release presentation.

Multitasking (ability to run multiple apps at the same time):

Yes from day one (since 2008), on all applications and background services. See below for specific example.

No. It can only multitask on built-in internal applications.

New iOS4 on iPhone 4 (starting June 24, 2010) finally supports multitask in a limited way. Another copy from Android. It is not a true multitasking like Android. User can only multitask certain aspects of each application. Some apps may suspend if switched, unless if its hardware related such as microphone, audio, GPS, etc. Apps does not truly run in the background.

Notification:

Background services allow apps to have access to the notification background services. Notification bar can alert you if you have new e-mail, new Tweets on the Twitter page you have been following, or new images been added to a particular Flickr account. Not just notification, you will have instant access directly to that new information. All these made possible because Android is can fully multitasked. This one minute video will demonstrate this feature.

Only way to check if Twitter or Flickr is updated is by opening each individual apps and check it manually.

Interchangeable batteries:

Yes, depending on manufacturer.

No.

Apps development:

Easier, according to this article (July 2, 2009.

Article above is about comparing Android and iPhone development with a focus on tools, platform, and the developer’s experience.

New evidence has shown more developers are interested in developing for Android. See graph here.

More difficult than Android.

“Apple’s developer tools are shockingly bad by comparison” - see article on the left.

Application software:

Open. More than 50,000 apps (May 2010) and rapidly increasing as more phones are being introduced and more adoption by the public. This is incredible considering that most Android phones did not even come out until October of 2009. Just look at the timeline.

This comparison should not even be listed. Microsoft’s Windows platform has perhaps billions of apps. Do Windows user install all these apps on their PC? How about a thousand of these apps? Not even close. It is better to have a few quality apps than thousands of junk apps.

Open. About 4 times more than Android at this time. Apple had a 2 year head start with the iPhone.

Apps. Store

Not limited to the ‘Android Market’ (an App Store created by Google). A few other independent app stores are springing up for Android platform as well.

Only one choice: iPhone App store.

Apps. Installation:

Installing apps is easier than iPhone. Free apps don't require a password each time you try  to install anything. You don't need iTunes. With paid Apps, you are only required to enter your info on Android Market once.

Easy, but not as easy as Android. Need iTunes the first time you activate the iPhone.

Web browser:

Android supports multiple web browser, like Opera Mini and Dolphine. Android's default browser supports Flash (like older YouTube videos done using Flash. New videos uses H.264 instead of Flash). It also loads pages faster than Safari. No separate apps needed to view YouTube video. Dedicated YouTube app. do exist on Android. Flash enable browser is an important since it allow user to run Flash apps. Web traffic data has increased exponentially for Android (see graph).

iPhone's Safari web browser does not support website using Adobe's Flash animation/video or Flash apps. For Flash content iPhone needs to rely on dedicated apps.

PC connection:

No proprietary software needed.

Dependent on Apple’s proprietary software iTunes just to connect and managed your iPhone. This is the same problem with iPod, and iPod Touch.

Turning ON and OFF data connection:

Just one page to turn ON or OFF bluetooth, WiFi, GPS, 3G cellular network. Fast way to conserve battery if you are not using those specific connections. This is good for security protection as well. One of Android Apps also allow you to automatically turn off Wi-Fi connection when none is available.

 

Use settings screen and navigate through multiple layers of options to access data connection status.

Desktop:

Uses Widgets to perform specific task like the ability to instantly read your e-mail in a single click. Supports 3 “home screens”, essentially 3 desktop space. Android 2.1 supports 5 “home screens” and an interactive live wallpaper.

Icons clutter the entire desktop of iPhone.

Personalization:

Allow user to configure the desktop look and behavior the way you want it. You can have an entirely different desktop if you wanted to.

Limited to how Apple dictates it.

Google Intergration:

Well, somewhat an unfair comparison since Google created Android. Naturally all Google's application are seamlessly integrated.

Not so good.

Multi-touch screen:

Now: Yes (official) since Feb 2, 2010.

Before: Yes and No.

Multi-touch is native to Android, just disabled for the U.S. market. Has this something to do with Apple’s copyright or is it because of the cozy relationship between Google’s top executive sharing Apple’s board of directors? This mounts to a conflict of interest to Google’s share holders and that relationship is also being investigated by the Federal Trade Commission on antitrust issues (The New York Times, August 3, 2009).

The FTC inquiry begun on May 4, 2009.

See Timeline as event unfolded between May 4, 2009 thru October 12, 2009.

Video of Android’s multi-touch in action.

Yes

In January of 2009, Apple was planning to sue Palm over multi-touch patents. Just like in the 1980s Apple sued Microsoft over the “look and feel” of Windows. At that time Apple had no merit because the Graphical User Interface (windowing environment) was first invented by Xerox not Apple. Turned out that Apple patent for the multi-touch is also in question because they are now on the receiving end of the lawsuit by Elan Microelectronics of Taiwan for patent infringement of their multi-touch technology (The New York Times, April 8, 2009).

 

Google Voice:

Allows user to make a Voice over IP (VoIP) phone call over the network connection. This means you can make free long distance and extremely low International calls using local cellular or simply using a Wi-Fi connection. If you rely solely on Wi-Fi, you don't even have to pay for cellular phone bill to make phone calls. In addition to VoIP, Google Voice allows you managed your voice mail and the routing of your phone number.

Here is an article from one person’s perspective: How I Learned To Quit The iPhone And Love Google Voice (August 9, 2009).

Google Voice app for iPhone was rejected by Apple's iPhone app store. It was rejected on July 7, 2009 (Wired Magazine).

AT&T claim that it played no role in this app getting rejected. Apple disagree.

Apple rejected it because "it appears to alter the iPhone's distinctive user experience by replacing the iPhone's core mobile-telephone functionality and Apple user interface with its own user interface for telephone calls, text messaging, and voice mail".

Apple insinuate that AT&T is not just an innocent by stander when Apple made a statement that "There is a provision in Apple's agreement with AT&T that obligates Apple not to include functionality in any Apple phone that enables a customer to use AT&T's cellular network service to originate or terminate a VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol) session without obtaining AT&T's permission".

Why the FCC wants to smash open the iPhone (The Washington Post. August 1, 2009).

Weird but interesting TV commercial from Motorola/Verizon comparing their Android phone with the iPhone. Playing with words that Apple’s used to market its product such as iMac, iPod, iTune, iPhone, and iTouch, Motorola decided to poke fun at Apple by calling its iPhone as iDon’t. Meaning if you own an iPhone, iDon’t do this and iDon’t do that showing that it lacks the capability of an Android phone. The Motorola’s Android phone called DROID does whatever iPhone doesn’t. This was a promo prior to the launching of their DROID phone in November 2009.

Click here for a second Motorola DROID video commercial.

Click here for more Android videos

Android  vs.  iPhone

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Apple’s iPhone

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