Why iPhone 4 is still playing catch up to Android

Since the World Wide Developers Conference, the iPhone has been given new life and it’s being called the iPhone 4. It is said that when Apple does something, they do it well. Lets get one thing straight; this article is not meant to take away from anyone who plans to get the iPhone 4, but someone has to point out the phone’s flaws. After all, Jobs would never do such a thing. So how can such a fantastic device still crumble to Android? Its all about the limitations; Apples largest issue.

FaceTime

From Apple – “People have been dreaming about video calling for decades. iPhone 4 makes it a reality. With the tap of a button, you can wave hello to your kids, share a smile from across the globe, or watch your best friend laugh at your tales – iPhone 4 to iPhone 4 over Wi-Fi. No other phone makes staying in touch this much fun.”

Apple is right about one thing, we have been dreaming about this for decades. But, Apple cant take credit for this one. The HTC Evo 4G accomplished this before Apple. Not only have they accomplished it first, but WiFi is not a necessity in order to make a call. Thats right, 3G is more than enough to hand its users a decent video quality call. This gives the Evo 4G’s video calling a more practical edge over the iPhone 4. The Evo 4G also works with Skype.

Retina Display

Apple says- “Thanks to the Retina Display, everything you see and do on iPhone 4 looks incredible. Text in books, web pages, and email is crisp at any size. Images in movies and photos are stunning at nearly any angle. That’s because the Retina display’s pixel density is so high, your eye is unable to distinguish individual pixels.”

From what we have seen so far, the show on the iPhone 4 is gorgeous. But, who has been complaining? This is not to say that innovation isn’t excellent because it is. How about innovation on a larger scale? Why couldn’t they make the screen a little bit larger for extended comfort when watching those soon to be Netflix videos? Apple has always been the one to make their users compromise. This time its by having the same size screen you’ve always had that just looks better. Why cant iPhone users have a larger screen AND higher revolution. While the larger Android screens may or may not compare to that of the iPhone 4, its not a factor for me. Ive never really cared that my cable was a small fuzzy, i just wanted to see the whole picture. This also can be attribued to their aspect ratio. 16:9 is a standard for HD quality widescreen TV’s and if you look at the Droid X or the Zune HD, it translates super well to smaller devices as well. Why not keep this going so we don’t get letter boxing on our already small screens?

Multitasking

Apple says- “Now you can run your favorite third-party apps – and switch between them instantly – without slowing down the performance of the foreground app or draining the battery unnecessarily. This smarter approach to multitasking is available only on iPhone.”

A direct quote from Steve Jobs. “If you need a task killer, you blew it”.

Well iOS 4 requires a task killer and it was built into iOS. If you double tap the home button a list of your open applications comes up. You can then tap and hold down on an icon to get the red minus icon. This is how you close already open applications that are potentially draining battery like Skype and a navigation application. You can call it fast app switching, but it is essentially a task killer. Android has a task killer built into the OS that you can use to manually kill tasks. It is buried in the settings so casual users don’t even notice. iOS, Android, WebOS, OS X, and Windows all use task killers. Using a task killer and saying its bad to use a task killer is pretty hypocritical.

Camera

Apple says- “Never miss a photo opportunity.” The 5-megapixel camera built into iPhone 4 captures amazingly detailed images. A built-in LED flash illuminates low-light scenes. And the 5x digital zoom gets you closer to the action. You can even shoot self-portraits with the front camera.”

There have been plenty of phones with zoom. Self portraits are possible on the Epic 4G, EVO 4G, and Galaxy S phones outside the States. Apple was reluctant to put an LED flash on the phone for a long time. This has been available on phones like the Droid and Nexus One for a while as well. There is no question, the iPhone has a great camera. However it doesn’t touch on new ground.

Folders

Apple says- “Make room for more apps.” Thanks to the App Store, you can choose from over 200,000 apps and games. But these apps can fill your Home screens pretty quickly. That’s where the new Folders feature comes in. It gives you an simple way to keep your apps organized and declutter your Home screens. And you can launch your favorite apps with a couple of taps.”

Since the G1 first existed this was possible, but don’t reckon for a second that iPhone 4 has rivaled Android here. They got the folder thing down packed, but don’t forget about the live folders. A live folder is a folder that automatically updates itself with information. For example if you have a Facebook address folder with the ever changing information from Facebook that folder will automatically update any information changed from Facebook right on your home screen.

Home Screen

Apple says- “Personalize your Home screen.” You can change the background wallpaper on both your Lock screen and your Home screen. Choose from a variety of backgrounds included with your iPhone or select any picture from your library. It’s a fantastic way to make iPhone uniquely yours.”

Wallpapers….nice. Not only has Android accomplished this since the G1, we now have animated 3D Wallpapers that react with your touch. Apple likes to play as if its ‘innovating’ in every area that it operates in when its simply not true. They do a lot of fantastic innovations, but not in everything they do. In this case they are just playing catch up with feature phones from the late 90’s.

Don’t forget about widgets! Widgets are not available for iPhone. Widgets are apps that are run directly on the home screen for complete customization and usage.

Phone

Apple says – “Tap (or speak) to call.”
To make a call on iPhone, tap a name or number. That’s it. You can tap to call from just about anywhere: a name in your contacts list, a number on a website or text message, even a phone number on a map listing. Voice Control lets you speak a name or number to make a call. And you can switch between calls, merge calls, or add up to five callers with a tap”

Android does this. Its slowly becoming a cleche. Not only does Android do this, but Android has native speech to text in EVERY application that allows you to use the on screen keyboard. The best part about this is you don’t even have to touch your phone to activate it. Simply set up your “start listening” protocol and complete voice operation of your phone available in different languages and also offers translation.

Browser

Apple says-”Surf quicker. Surf more.”
You’ll like surfing the web with Safari on iPhone 4. Thanks to the superfast Apple A4 processor, web pages render quickly, so you can do more browsing in less time. And the high-resolution Retina show renders pages perfectly, with perfectly crisp text and bright, vivid graphics.”

Android 2.2 now has the fastest browser thanks to Google’s V8 JavaScript engine used in Google Chrome. Tested. Android also has the option of using flash. It can be turned on and off just like on Firefox. Options, options, options.

Maps and Compass

Apple says- “Find yourself.”
Say you’re in an unfamiliar neighborhood looking for a nearby restaurant. With iPhone, you can pinpoint your location on a map so you can figure out how to get there from where you are. iPhone 4 finds your location quickly and accurately using a combination of GPS, Wi-Fi, and cellular towers. As you go, iPhone updates your location automatically. And when you arrive, you can drop a pin to mark your location and share it with others via email or MMS.”

Android does all of this. Plus Android has a FREE voice, turn by turn navigation that works as well if not better than some of the top handheld dedicated GPS systems. Technically, Apple hasn’t even caught up to this without the use of a 3rd party app for an application most likely not as good as Google Maps Navigation.

In a world that Android already does; iPhone is catching up.

[via Batmanlot]

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About Tony P
Connoisseur of all that is Mobile Tech.

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