Why Android kicks the iPhone’s Ass

When the iPhone4 was announced, I was pretty excited and I was definitely going to buy one. I am definitely not a Mac Fanboy – but when I got an iphone about 2 years ago – I totally fell in love with it. However, right before I was about to pick one up, I saw this video – and suddenly my interest changed. If you don’t know, Android is an operating systems for mobile devices made by Google. Amazingly there are more Android smartphones in America than iPhones, but it has not kicked off in Europe so much for some reason. It’s 100% open source meaning anyone can get the source code and change the way anything works to the way they like it. This means no ‘having to do something one way’ like the way Windows and Mac OS work. There are also lots of good phones, HTC being the main manufacturer. The “Google Phone” that came out a while ago was made by HTC branded the Nexus One by Google. I bought the HTC Desire which is more or less the same phone with a few updates.

So, the main differences: The HTC Desire has 4 buttons at the bottom. I LOVE this. Apple sometimes try to over-simplify things – and always touching can be annouying. The Home button always bring you to your main home screen, the Menu button is a menu for whatever screen/app you are in – same for search, its specific to what you are doing, and then there is a back button (which is nice but sometimes its easier to swipe back than reach down and press the back button – but again this is changable). It’s also lighter and has a nice feel to it in your hand. The screen is absolutely superb too.

The Desktop / Homepage: On iPhone you just have a few pages with icond on them. BOOOORRRINNGG. On Android you have a “Desktop” with Widgets. I have a weather widget, a time/alarm widget. A search box that give you both phone and web search results. I have a strip of icons that with one click turn on or off your wireless/bluetooth/data/gps etc – which on ipohe you have to go into 3 or 4 menu levels. You have a total of 7 screen that can have anything on them. Facebook, Twitter, Gmail – basically anything! Instead of having to click back and forward between 7 screen, pinching the screen will bring thumbnails of the 7 screens and click one one to zoom back in. You can also change the background photo or have “Live Wallpapers” which are cool animations that change depending on e.g the time of day or weather, or it can even be a map of where you are at any time!

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Integration: Google is not just available as apps etc, it is fully integrated into the whole OS. You contacts can sync with your gmail account. Also facebook & Twitter if you want – when you look at your list of contacts/phone numbers – it automatically pulls in the persons photo from Facebook if you are friends with them. It will also pull down their updated contact details if they have it on facebook!

Notification: Whatever it is, all notifications are in the one place. If you get email, texts, updates, downloads, etc – you get an icon at the info bar at the top of the screen. Touching this bar and dragging it down, give you full details of this and you can clickc to jump into each one!

The Keyboard: The keyboard is way better. You can touch and go to any point, not just the end of a word. Holding on one letter for a second give you a second option, like a number, question mark or exclamation point etc. The predictive Text is also way better, giving you several options of what you might be trying to type, not just guessing one which the iPhone does.

Change the OS: Since Android is Open Souce, there are several different versions/flavours of it available to download and put on – basically they are all changed in certain ways so find the one that suits your needs best and use that one! Some are very simple and made for speed and battery life, some have loads of extra programs and features!

Other Random Stuff: It is FAST!!! Like properly fast. the 1Ghz Snapdragon processor is amazing. Android also has a massive range of phones available in different formats. With iPhone you can only choose hard drive space. It has REAL multitasking. And its easy to kill background apps in one go. The Android market is better. Not as many apps but its more open. You can take off the back cover and change the battery (a huge plus – since the battery is not great) – and also it has a removable SD Card for your apps and data. It also works like a big USB key as you can store anything on it when you connect it to a computer. Also, the cable to connect it is simply “Micro USB” which is the de-facto standard for all phones going forward (a new agreement from all the phone manufacturers – except apple funnily enough – groan). You don’t need iTunes although it will work with it if you want. Android supports Google Voice and Voice Actions so you can navigate your phone, call people, send texts, update twitter and facebook, all through voice recognition!!!

iPad / Tablet PC’s: Just like the iOS on the iPad – Android works on other mobile devices like tablets. iPad is obviously the first one that has become massively popular, but in the next 6 months a huge amount of manufacturers are going to come out with their own versions of the iPad – but they will be running Android! I can pretty much guarantee that these devices will be better – way more features for a lot less money than the iPad. They will have USB posts, Cameras front and back, Multitasking, Removable SD Cards, File Transfer, Flash, HDMI, GPS. All the things the iPad does not have (on purpose BTW, apple do this so that they can bring out versions 2, 3 and 4 over the next few years to keep demand/desire high for their newest line of products – knowing that a large percentage of their Fanboy customer base will buy each one – groan…)

So, in conclusion, I am so so glad I did not get an iPhone 4. Don’t get me wrong, the iPhone 4 is a great piece of kit, and for some users it might even be the better choice – its better at being a phone + an iPod for example. If you have an interest in technology and enjoy the techy/nerdy part of it, the Desire is 100% definitely the way to go. But even if you are not, this is a really fantastic phone for everyone. Mainly though, is the fact that Android has come from nothing to a real game changer and challenger to the iPhone in a very short space of time – it’s just so much more open and versitile. So, give it another year or so of innovation, plus another few new phones to be released, and I don’t think iPhone is going to have a chance…

Here are a few video’s worth watching:
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Feeling tired in the mornings? There’s an app for that!

Sleep Cycle iphoneDo you ever go to bed early to get loads of sleep, yet when you’re alarm goes off you feel like a corpse? Chances are you got rudely awoken in the wrong part of your sleep cycle. The brain goes in cycles during the night between deep sleep, dream sleep, and being close to being awake. Depending on where you are in this cycle will have a large affect on how tired you are in the morning.

Enter “Sleep Cycle” – and app for the iphone. This amazing little gadget uses your iPhone’s accelerometer to monitor your movements during the night and determine when you’re most likely in and out of a dream state. Before you go to bed, set the app’s alarm clock, then place your iPhone on the corner of your bed. As you move around during the night, Sleep Cycle records your activity and, over the course of two or three nights, gradually learns your sleep patterns. Beginning about 30 minutes before your alarm is set to go off, the app begins watching for the lightest portions of your sleep cycle and gently prods you awake with your choice of soothing preset sounds.

I’ve been using this for the last few nights now and honestly I’m amazed! I did not really believe it would work but at 79 cent I thought it was worth the try. Every time I have used it, it has an uncanny ability to wake you up, just as you feel you were about to wake up naturally yourself! You set the latest time at which the alarm can go off, and it will wake you up some time before then. So not only do you get woken up at the time when you are going to feel the best, but it might be earlier than you expected so you have more time in the morning too – and will feel more awake than if you slept those extra 20 mins anyway!

How to Jailbreak the iPhone with 3.0 software update

You may have heard that the new 3.0 software update is out for the iPhone – giving you much needed updates like Horizontal keyboard and Multimedia messaging. And sure enough only a matter of days after it was released, the iPhone Dev Team (a group of hackers) have cracked the software so that you can “Jailbreak” your iphone. Jaulbreaking your iPhone allows you to install apps that are not approved by Apple and the iStore. Apple put in certain restrictions that this can get around. E.g. The first apps I got after jaulbreaking were a video camera “Cycorder” – and “MXtube” which lets you download youtube video’s to your iphone to watch any time.

www.iclarified.com have a great tutorial on exactly how to jailbreak your iPhone using “RedSn0w”  which is the software that does it for you.

When you have done this, I recommend installing a program called “Installous”. It lets you get almost any apps on the iStore for free! To do this, add “http://cydia.hackulo.us” as a new source through Cydia (A program you get when you Jailbreak) and then search for “Installous”.


Gmail Task list on your iPhone!

A while back I was excited to write about how Google added a task list into Gmail. Like most people I always have a to do list of random things I need to remember, unfortunately I pretty much use my head for these things, which we all know is not 100% reliable. I always wanted a decent task list that was ‘just there’ – already built in to something I use all the time – so Gmail was the perfect place to put it.

So I’ve been using it for a while, and its good, but lets face it still isn’t always with you. Until now. Now google have developed a iPhone app for the task list, which syncs up perfectly. This is great. Now any little things I need to remember or do, I can add them easily here and they are always in sight and in mind.

I can feel myself getting a whole lot more productive already!

Check out the video here:

I’m getting an iPhone!

Despite the fact that I’m a fairly tech-savvy kinda guy, up until recently I’ve never had any Apple products. iPods are deemed are essential by many, but due to the fact that my music is always with me in either my car on on my pc media centre at home, I just never had the need for one.

I actually got a present of a iPod Touch a while back, and really did not use it for ages. It was not until I went on holidays over Christmas and brought it with me did I realise how cool they actually are. It’s all the extra applications from the appstore that are really impressive. I love the way it works with wifi and you have email internet and a host of other capabilities with you on your phone – music and photos as well, obviously.

So I’ve decided I’m getting an iPhone. The thing is that they are dam expensive and I’m not eligeable for an upgrade for some time. However, someone taught me a little trick. I called up 02 and told them i just got a new job, and my company have an agreement with Vodafone and want me to move over to them. Now strictly this is actually true in my case, but anyone could just say that. Anyway, I spent a good while on the phone with them and eventually they offered me a gold upgrade and a months free line rental! Happy Days!

Anyway, if you  alreadyhave one, check out this article called “Why you have to jailbreak the iPhone”

I’ll let you know how I get on with it