Sunday, August 21, 2011

Why I like the Android Nexus One better than the iPhone4

Why I like the Android Nexus One Better Than the iPhone4

By Denis Sweeney
21 August 2011

I use both the Nexus One Android and the iPhone4 phones regularly. The iPhone is my work phone, and the Nexus One is my personal phone.  I like both phones, but someone recently recently asked me which I liked better.  My friend got me thinking... Through the past year I have regularly used both phones, and I have noticed differences in the two phones. Some people might be surprised to discover that I like the Nexus One better. But there is no denying it. It is a better phone.
I use a PC for home and a Mac for work, but I connect both phones to both devices; mostly for photos.

Where the Nexus One Excels

The Nexus excels in:

  • search
  • free calls (google voice)
  • free, spoken step-by-step navigation, app (google map navigation) management/navigation
I have heard some people complain about this phone being slow, but I haven't noticed any slowness. I did run into some issues with space, but I upgraded my SD card from a 4MB to a (max size) 32MB, moved all the apps I could to the SD card, and eliminated the space issue. I run more apps on the Android since it is my home phone. My work phone isn't used for as many games or music, so I didn't max it out.


Both phones are just about tied for music, in my humble opinion. There are advantages and disadvantages to both.
Apple does a good job of providing a desktop application that does a great job of pushing/pulling music to/from the iPhone4. But with the advent of Cloud storage, and services like Amazon Cloud Player, and Spotify, that is less and less important. On the iPhone device, iTunes is a solid player.

On the Nexus One there are all the options available to the Android. There are many apps available.
Android options are varied and include: Amazon Cloud Player, Pandora, Google's Music app,, and CherryRplayer1. For moving music to the device, there are also a number of options, including: Windows Media Player, Dazzboard 2.02, Audiogalaxy3. Audiogalaxy is especially interesting because it will sync to Android and iPhone4.

iPhone, primarily, has iTunes as a music player. iTunes and its proprietary formats just annoys the crap out of me. I keep inadvertently getting files in their format and then get stuck because I have had so many machines and devices registered, that I can't add any new ones. The limit of 5 devices is ridiculous. I shouldn't have to unravel that mess and am not willing to do it. Even without that issue of account sharing, I want a format that can be used by any device/platform. I'm not a total audiophile (don't tell my brothers!) and am fine with MP3 format. I tend to prefer services like Amazon for music, because they have embraced MP3 format and don't force digital rights management (DRM) on customers. iTunes is also slow to load, and gets slower and slower as I add more and more music to my collection. Apple controls the music player market so there aren't a lot of apps available, but here are a few I saw (but haven't tried myself): Zentertain's Music Download, Sogeeky Software's FlickTunes Music Player


The iPhone camera, I admit, is a better camera than the Nexus camera. The quality is just better/clearer. It also has two lenses; one on the front and one on the back. The Nexus One has only one lens, on the back of the phone. Android has the native Camera app, and there are several alternatives available in the Market, such as4: Vignette, Camera Zoom, PRO Zoom Camera, Camera 360 Pro, among others.
Disclosure: I've used Vignette, but none of the others listed.

Photo sync apps for Android on the PC include Picassa (PC and Mac), Motorola Media Link5, among others.
On the iPhone for Mac, the primary app for photos is iPhoto. But Picassa is also an option for iPhone users on Mac or PC. While the photos are better on the iPhone, I think it's pretty much even when it comes to usability of the cameras, and usability when syncing the photos to the PC/Mac.


Search on the iPhone is lacking. I have a Google app on the iPhone, which is great for searching the web, but it's not built in to the phone and seems stuck-on. The built-in search just does a local search for installed apps that you can't find (as far as I can tell)? Bizarre.
Maps rock on the Android. It has free spoken navigation and Maps. That rocks! If you car, or car stereo supports Bluetooth, it plays through the speakers as you drive. -Even if you don't have bluetooth, it will play the directions through the Nexus One's speakers. Pretty snazzy!

Android Win

This is a Usability point that I noticed in comparing the two phones. -On the iPhone, the back button is part of the software. -Often at the top right. But on the Android, the back button is a physical button at the bottom of the screen. On the Nexus One it is the 3rd of 4 buttons (back, options, home and search buttons). I love that they're always there. Navigating becomes consistent and not up to the developers whim. As a User, I never have to hunt for any of these buttons. And that nav bar doesn't take up the top of every screen on the phone.

Final Word

The iPhone4 (full specs6) and the Nexus One (full specs7) are both decent phones, but the Android does the "meat and potatoes" work better and  more gracefully. A lot of people will tell you that the iPhone is simpler and therefor better, but I don't think a lot of folks actually try both phones for a length of time like I did.
If you use your phone mainly for music, and you don't mind Apple's format, or mainly for photography, then perhaps the iPhone4 is for you. But if you want a versitle tool to help you get around (navigation), for searching, and inexpensive phone-calls (and with a respectable photo and music player), I definitely recommend the Nexus One.


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