When you ask an Android user to review the iPhone (repost)

Don’t hate me but I had a lot to say. I do sum it all up with Pros/Cons at the end…

I started compiling a list of Pros and Cons but then it seemed a little one-sided so I decided I needed to approach this a little differently. The best way I can contribute is as a Verizon Android user coming to an Verizon iPhone. I’m sure there will be quite a few people who “settled” on and Android phone because they wanted Verizon but the iPhone was not an option. Now that they can get the iPhone they will probably make the switch, so there will undoubtedly be others with the same Android-to-iPhone perspective. Before the flaming starts, please read this in it’s entirety and understand my opinions won’t necessarily match yours. I have used Android for years and have only had the iPhone for a week so I am trying to give as objective and opinion as possible.

First, let me say the iPhone is a beautiful piece of hardware. The iOS software is also very aesthetically pleasing. Apple has always been great at building great-looking devices. Also, I feel there would be little-to-no learning curve coming to this phone from a feature-phone. This is a phone that anyone can pick up and use, and the UI design is clean and easy to understand.

Now, I’m about to go into some Cons here, and these are mainly from the perspective of someone Coming from Android. I think we should have that perspective as I mentioned above. Some of these thing I mention may just be out of my own ignorance is not knowing how to make the iPhone do what I want it to, but in most cases I have sought assistance form a long-time iPhone user. Before you think this is an iPhone-bashing session, please read-on to see my conclusions…

From my experience with Android, there are some things I have gotten accustomed to that I miss when using the iPhone. What it boils down to is the fact I feel “confined” by iOS. Even without hacking my Android phone I am able to customize almost every aspect of it, up to and including replacing the Launcher, or main UI of the phone. I really miss those customization options. Additionally, I take issue with a phone that HAS to have a case. There have been a couple of design-related “issues” (Antenna Issues, Fragile Hardware) that were mentioned in previous emails, and I have a couple more to add: Whoever decided sharp edges on a hand-held device were a good idea was completely wrong. This was the same thing I disliked about the DroidX, but the iPhone takes it to another level. Also the glass back begs to be scratched and if you set it down on anything that isn’t level you’d better be ready to catch it when it slides off. Now, all four of these “issues” can be addressed by slapping a case on the phone. But personally, I HATE gel cases. They get all kinds of stuff trapped between them and the phone and that in turn can cause more scratches to the device. Hard cases just always seem to add more bulk that I like. Maybe I’m being too picky but I don’t think I should HAVE to add a case to ANY device for any reason other than protection.

Another little thing that bugs me is not having a consistent “back” button/function. For instance, search for something it the App Store. If you click on one of your search results and then decide that wasn’t what you wanted, you can’t get back to the search results. I even had another a long-time iPhone user try to help me, thinking I was just missing something. Instead, you have to go all the way back out and search again. Likewise, when you install an App it drops you back out to the main screen and if you want something else you have to go through the whole process again.

I would also put iTunes in the Cons list (for myself). Yes it is easy to use and should be an OPTION, but it should not be the only way to add media to your device. I LOVE being able to plug my Android phone into any PC and it mounts as USB Storage so I can drag and drop what I want onto it.

On my Android phone I have Exchange, and two Gmail accounts set up, and Contacts, Calendar, and Emails all sync out-of-the-box. You also get Voice Search out-of-the-box and Voice Command comes in an update to the included software. I’m sure there are some other things I could say along these lines, but I’m just pointing out a couple of the things that jumped out at me the most in going from Android to iOS. My Cons all seem like little things, but you know what they say about the little things….

So now that you have the opinion of one user coming from Android, let me get back to the matter at hand. I feel that the average user will be VERY HAPPY with the Verizon iPhone. And I think for any user coming from the AT&T iPhone, this version will be everything they expect it to be. Sure AT&T has faster 3G, but that doesn’t do you any good if you don’t have signal. Also, users who already have iPhones are accustomed to having a case on their phone and that will be no big deal. They are also accustomed to the flow of iOS and will not have the same frustrations I experienced. I noticed in this trial that I really don’t talk on the phone enough to test for dropped calls, but I can say that everywhere I have been with the iPhone in the past week I have had a least one bar of service. Emails and Text work without a hitch, and Angry Birds plays great (had to throw that in). For users who use Citrix on their phones, the Citrix/VPN solution works very well (I tried it out but it isn’t something I would use on the regular). The sound quality is great, both in the earpiece and the speaker. The device is solid and feels well-built. I have not used Facetime yet but I’m sure it would be nice to have with other iPhone users on WiFi. The Retina display is very nice. Bluetooth pairing with my car stereo works great for listening to to music wirelessly.

I’m sure more and more of this will change as I spend more time with the iPhone. For now I’ll try to compile all this into a concise Pros/Cons list (from my perspective):

iPhone Pros:
Beautiful Hardware and iOS
Ease of Use
Consistent Updates
Wider Service Coverage
Great Sound Quality
Great Media Capabilities (Hello, Netflix!)
Consistent Signal Coverage (as far I have been able to tell)
iTunes (Pro for many users)

iPhone Cons:
Little Customization options
MUST use a case of some sort (Signal, Protection, Comfort)
Lack of consistent Back function or Back button
iTunes REQUIRED (Con for me)
No Google Contact-sync out-of-the-box
No T9-like Dialer (hit the first few letters of a contacts name on the dialpad and it shows the matches)