Android Offers Users Freedom of Choice
The battle of operating systems began when Google released its first Android operating system, 1.5, to the public. Since then it has been open season, with developers from every smartphone manufacturing company (except Apple Inc., of course) trying to produce the best smartphone using the OS. Apple’s iOS on the other hand, while it has made some massive improvements over earlier developments, still lacks in many areas and remains a closed platform, requiring developers to sign hefty rights-squashing agreements before they can even touch the SDK. In an ongoing poll conducted by 11,179 Mashable readers, so far Android Froyo 2.2 wins with 63.66 percent of the vote preferring Android 2.2 Froyo to only 30.27 percent of the vote calling iOS 4 the best and 6.07 percent calling the two platforms either a tie or voting for another OS. All starred sections correspond to Android 2.2 Froyo ratings.
Multitouch & Multitask (5 out of 5)
It is no secret that the multitouch and multitask capabilities on anything Android based are amazing, and Android 2.2 is no different. With upgrades to touch sensitivity and response time, Android is making strides of its own. As for Android’s multitasking features, it can, period. Apple’s iOS does offer limited multitasking possibilities, but only with seven background applications, nothing that would be considered “useful” to real users. Apple’s habit of restricting what their users can do with their phones is something that Android would never think of imposing on their loyal fans, ever. With control over kernels, on demand background process switching and the ability to use numerous apps-in full-at once, Android is the clearly the “better man” for these jobs.
Business Users (4 out of 5)
Froyo 2.2 wins in the corporate department, yet again, even if it is because of the open Administration API. While the iOS offers support for Microsoft Exchange, VPN Client, Remote Wipe, and email synchronizing, Froyo offers the same, plus the Device Administration API. Simply put, more choices mean better productivity. Business users also have the added benefit of using the Android Market, which offers many applications that are not only free, but supported by Microsoft and Flash, two more things not easily allowed on iOS 4.
For Music Lovers (5 out of 5)
Android offers so many more options when it comes to music lovers using the OS that it is almost unbelievable. iOS does allow downloading and syncing from iTunes, however, it can only be done using iTunes from the phone or connecting the phone through a USB cable. The problem with that is that all devices using iOS 4 do not support USB and have no native ports, meaning users of this OS must purchase a separate device to do what comes natively to any Android OS, including Froyo.
All Android 2.2 OS devices allow users to not only download and transfer using native USB ports, but also to use OTA transfers from any PC or third-party music store without needing to touch the phone. Android 2.2 also offers over the air streaming with an “Official plug-in” that can work with Windows Media and iTunes. iOS only offers music streaming via third-party apps, because Apple does not allow widgets. Android Froyo is clearly better in the music department, even if iOS does offer iTunes Android can access it too.
App Development, Installation, Update, and Use (4 out of 5)
While iOS offers many more applications than Android does, Android Froyo has the advantage in the area of openness. Android users and developers can both do what they want, when they want. For iOS users to do the same, they must first jailbreak their devices. iOS is a closed platform, requiring developers to sign away all rights to anything, and then some. Additionally, up until recently, Flash was not allowed, not even by converting it into usable code. However, Apple has made some strides in this area, realizing they shut out many developers, and thus creating a money-draining situation for them, so they revamped their developer agreements to allow limited versions of Flash based apps back. In fact, developers using the Packager to iPhone Utility report that some apps have already been approved. That notwithstanding, Android simply offers a more open environment for both users and developers alike.
For instance, while iOS allows installation using iTunes or iTunes via USB syncing, again requiring the purchase of an add-on, Android offers installation of apps by simply choosing the application and clicking a button. It does not matter whether you have the phone in your hand or not because the apps are installed remotely and automatically from a PC or a Mac. As for updating applications, iOS 4 updates every app all at once, or users can update them individually by opening the app and finding an update. However, Android app updates are automatically downloaded and installed as the update is released. As for the app performance, there is no notable improvement in the iOS software in this area, but Froyo takes the cake with its just in time compiler, any applications on the Android device would run up to four times faster than with Android 2.1, which already runs faster than iOS 4. Again, while iOS has the advantage of a larger application base, Android wins overall because it offers its users freedom.
The Cloud, Backup Abilities & Tethering (4 out of 5)
Again, Android wins hands down in both of these areas. While the iPhone only offers PUSH notifications and cloud notifications that trigger the applications, Android’s Froyo offers their users the same abilities in addition to the notifications triggering the device to complete actions, or intents within specified applications. For example, while using a PC, users can send a notification that automatically opens a search on the phone, without needing to search from the phone.
As for backup abilities, iPhone offers the usual; synchronizing with contacts, email, calendars, applications and music or videos, but users can only do so with iTunes. Android Froyo, on the other hand, has the ability to sync wirelessly to contacts, email application settings and other application data while using 3G services and Wi-Fi. Froyo can also synchronize any Android device applications simply by using the device owner’s Google login.
Again, Android 2.2 Froyo has it all, and this time the tethering is right out of the box. With both 3G and Wi-Fi hotspots, users have the ability to use their mobile devices as mobile Internet-freely. Yes, Apple offers Bluetooth and 3G tethering, but do not think you are going to use the Wi-Fi hotspots as freely as if you had an Android based phone, unless you want to jailbreak the iOS, that is.
Overall Viewpoints: 4.5 Stars (4 out of 5)
The lack of native Flash support is still an issue for many people and a main reason they do not purchase iOS devices. Overall, the Android 2.2 Froyo operating system completely blows iOS out of the water is most areas. When it comes to freedom, Choice is a basic freedom granted to most humans, but obviously Apple does not yet agree and Android will continue to win until Apple decides to allow their developers-and users-the freedom of choice. Another point to mention, talking about freedom, while iOS only recently allowed users to change their wallpapers, Android allows users to use any wallpaper, widget, theme, skin; you name it, the Android OS lets you do it, which is why Android 2.2 Froyo is the “better man” in the OS war and receives 4.5 out of five stars overall.