The iPhone 5 and Nexus Prime: which one?
Rumors on the Apple iPhone 5 and Google Nexus Prime abound. The only common thread tying the speculation together is that both devices should debut by 2012. Both Apple and Google can’t get left behind in the smartphone game after all.
Let’s say both devices launch a few months from each other. Which phone would you prefer? That probably depends on whether you’d like iOS (the software that will run the iPhone 5) or Android (for the Nexus Prime) more. It would be great if the iPhone 5 could run on 4G networks (like the Galaxy S II), or if the Nexus Prime blows the competition out of the water. But future buyers will choose one phone over the other based on the software they run.
iOS: a gentle learning curve
The iOS remains great for non-techies who aren’t into tweaking settings and learning obscure commands to get the most out of their phone. Key to the iOS’ success is its simple and accessible interface, plus the plethora of options available from the App Store—Apple’s online catalog of apps, or software that adds new functionality to the iPhone.
Through the original iPhone, the iOS established new ways to communicate, manage information, and play games on mobile devices. It made smartphones and tablet PCs (the iPad) more accessible to Juan dela Cruz, showing him what’s possible through a touchscreen interface. iOS still sets the tone for Apple’s competitors.
The only problem: Apple exerts pretty strict control over iOS. Apps can only appear on the App Store upon approval by Apple (and there are tons of stupid apps on it anyway), while customization options are pretty limited. Even “jailbreak” software, designed to remove Apple’s built-in restrictions, are rendered useless with each new iOS update.
Android: less control, more chaos
Android on the other hand is for those who want to be free. Though it has its own App Store (the Android Market), users can install any kind of software they like. Much of what’s possible on Android isn’t available on the iPhone because of this non-restrictive environment.
A large part of Android’s appeal comes from its customization options. Users can change the entire look of their home screen, change what the physical buttons on their device does, and even use a script font for the interface. It’s also relatively easy to “root” an Android phone (remove the restrictions set by a telco or manufacturer) because Google doesn’t actively prohibit the activity.
But with more power comes more responsibility. Even veteran users struggle with inconsistencies like what the back button does in different apps, and there are greater security risks. Last year a few devices were infected by software that sent spam text messages without user consent, and earlier in 2011 Google pulled several apps that stole personal information from The Market.
So which would you prefer, the user-friendliness of the iPhone 5′s iOS or the greater customization of the Nexus Prime’s Android operating system? Or: The iPhone 5 or Nexus Prime? Why? What would you buy if both were on the market, and you had the money? You don’t even have to choose based on what I’ve written here. Maybe you have another reason for your choice.
To answer, comment below, or post your thoughts on Twitter with the #TechThursday hashtag. I’ll be compiling the answers for a special rundown next week. Answer away, dear readers!
This entry was posted on Thursday, September 8th, 2011 at 7:30 am and is filed under Editorial, Featured, Rundowns. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.