or An Imaginary Conversation Between a new Galaxy Nexus Owner and an Apple Fanboy
Me: I gotta’ say, I think my Galaxy Nexus has caught up with the iPhone everywhere Android was lagging.
Fanboy: The fact that you have to compare it to the iPhone is telling in and of itself.
Me: Don’t be like that. I’m not going to pretend like Uncle Steve didn’t set a new standard for the simplicity of and seamlessness between hardware and software. The iPhone scrolls so smoothly. The simplicity of the iPhone is gorgeous: just power and volume buttons, clean desktops, easy app installs. But now Android has all of that.
Fanboy: Still, why bother with something that is just catching up?
Me: What about everywhere the iPhone was and still is lagging? What about the ability to use files in any format? What about the ability for apps to perform the functions you want them to?
Fanboy: Like what?
Me: Ever notice that only the Apple camera app can use the volume buttons as the camera shutter button? That’s because Apple won’t let app developers do things like that. My Android phone is mine. I can put whatever apps on it I want to. I can get them from Google, Verizon, Amazon or install them using a USB cable. FYI, that USB cable is a standard micro-USB. I can buy one for $2 at the store. Plus I can mount my phone on my computer like a hard drive and drag music, photos, videos to it in whatever format I have them. No iTunes necessary.
Fanboy: But it still isn’t as pretty.
Me: No? How can you tell? The screen has better resolution and is bigger. It is bright and fills pretty much the whole face. The face of my phone makes no room for that large round button. The back has the very cool kevlar. The design is clean and simple. Oh and the new OS is gorgeous too. The new icons in the OS are stylized and clean. The new font they created for Ice Cream Sandwich is beautiful and very easy to read.
Fanboy: If only it had all the apps available for it.
Me: Really? Which apps am I missing? I guess Instagram is pretty nice, but there are at least 20 instagram-like apps in the Android market besides the fact that the built in Ice Cream Sandwich camera app has a lot of the same functionality. Other than that, I have Mint, Tripit, Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon and Dropbox. Plus I have better versions of every Google app: Gmail, Google Reader, Google Goggles, Google Search, etc. Plus, now that Amazon is in on the Android game there’s even more skin in the Android game.
Fanboy: But you don’t have Siri.
Me: Is Siri really the killer app? I’ve been using Google Voice Commands since before any of us had even heard about something called Siri. It lets me search my phone and the web using my voice. Plus it adds the ability to dictate text messages and emails pretty easy. It isn’t as slick as Siri, but functionally it is pretty much the same. Honestly, though, how much do you really use Siri anyway?
Fanboy: Well I still like the way my iPhone looks and feels better.
Me: And that’s fine. My original point was simply that Ice Cream Sandwich, pardon the pun, allows a more apples-to-apples comparison with iOS5. With Motorola, HTC, Samsung, LG, Casio, Maizu, Asus, Acer, Lenovo and lots of other manufacturers competing to make better hardware and Google catching up the software, how long until Android is way ahead of Apple? For me, the killer app of an iPhone is still the iPod software. I think no one knows how to make music fun quite like Apple. But now with Spotify, Google Music, Amazon mp3 store and the like, I think I can happily give up iTunes.
Fanboy: I still need (some small obscure feature) of iOS.
Me: Yes, I’m sure you do. For the most part, I don’t think that the new Android devices are quite setting a new standard yet. I just think that Google is on the cusp of changing things.