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Woz Says iPhone Features Are 'Behind'

timothy posted about a year ago | from the wonderful-wizard-of-woz dept.

Android 587

redletterdave writes "The iPhone may be one of the bestselling smartphones on the planet, but Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak believes Apple's flagship smartphone has fallen behind its competitors, namely those built by Samsung, when it comes to smartphone features. Speaking at Businessweek's Best Brand Awards on Thursday evening, Wozniak said he was proud of how loyal Apple fans were to the iPhone, but also said 'this loyalty is not given,' shortly before denouncing his own company's smartphone. 'Currently we are, in my opinion, somewhat behind with features in the smartphone business,' Wozniak said. 'Others have caught up. Samsung is a big competitor. But precisely because they are currently making great products.'" I prefer Android, but it seems hard to find iPhone users who aren't enthusiastic about it. Whatever kind of phone you prefer, are there features you envy the users of some other variety?

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iFirstPost (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42843255)

Patented by Apple (TM) 2013

Re:iFirstPost (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42843275)

Woz is corect appel is teh gey

Re:iFirstPost (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42843355)

Mod parent up, he's simply agreeing the statements made in the article.

Re:iFirstPost (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42843503)

Horseshit. Not what he said.

As for the question in the summary, I'd say Android handsets lack quite a few things you get in the iPhones. But he's right when he says iPhones are missing some things that some Android handsets might have.

I prefer the Android way, but only an ass would ignore that Apple does some things much, much better.

about the same as my android (2, Insightful)

rubycodez (864176) | about a year ago | (#42843267)

my friends pay money for every little thing I download for free with my android phone. sucks to be them

Re:about the same as my fembots (-1, Flamebait)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year ago | (#42843357)

my friends pay money for every little thing I download for free with my android phone. sucks to be them

So, are you saying it sucks to be rich or that you're just a sucky friend? I mean, if they're paying for all of your downloads they're not exactly "free"...

Re:about the same as my fembots (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42843375)

Or maybe you are just plain stupid. Reread what he wrote.

Re:about the same as my fembots (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42843513)

Or maybe you are just plain stupid. Reread what he wrote.

Because we all know that there are no free apps on iTunes his friends are paying for all the stuff on their iDevices that he downloads for free with his android phone, i.e. his friends are paying for all the stuff on their iDevices that he pirates and installs on his android phone, it sucks to be his friends because they are morons who pay for stuff instead of being 1337 pirates like him... happy now?

Re:about the same as my fembots (3)

chronokitsune3233 (2170390) | about a year ago | (#42843689)

Actually, you should reread what he wrote:

my friends pay money for every little thing I download for free with my android phone. sucks to be them

He gets for free everything he downloads with his Android phone thanks to his friends paying money in his stead. Honestly, that's not what was meant, and that's easy enough to see. However, the statement can be interpreted in both ways. English language, how I loathe thee.

Re:about the same as my android (5, Insightful)

jo_ham (604554) | about a year ago | (#42843377)

my friends pay money for every little thing I download for free with my android phone. sucks to be them

I know, paying developers for their time! What fools they are! In the grand scheme of things (given the cost of the phone and the plan), a couple of bucks here and there for apps is peanuts.

In all seriousness, what I want the iPhone to do that Android does is be able to control the hardware from a quick access screen - ie, turn the wifi or bluetooth on and off quickly without having to use the main settings app. When Apple announced they were bringing the swipe-down-from-top notification centre thing to iOS I really hoped that the ability to add those sorts of things to it would be there, but it seems not.

Other than that, I'm happy with it.

Re:about the same as my android (4, Insightful)

Entropius (188861) | about a year ago | (#42843445)

swipe-down-from-top notification centre thing

If fucking bounce-back lists were worth a billion dollars, this thing that's actually useful? Google should sue Apple for $10 billion.

Re:about the same as my android (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42843471)

It will be there in time. They have to milk the cow for now.

Re:about the same as my android (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about a year ago | (#42843583)

strangely enough, most of those free apps are funded by corporations that already have a revenue stream from other parts of the android market.

Re:about the same as my android (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year ago | (#42843659)

That's what a jailbreak is for. I finally did that to my 4S because I started using a bluetooth keyboard for emails at work. PITA to go into settings, to swipes and a button push or two just to turn BT on and off (yeah, I know, First World problems....).

It really shouldn't be that hard Apple. But I suppose it's Not The One Way....

Re:about the same as my android (0)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year ago | (#42843665)

Of course, it shouldn't be too hard for Slashdot to allow for comment editing, right?

to swipes,,,,

Re:about the same as my android (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42843701)

You shouldn't have to "break" your phone in order to be able to use it properly.

Re:about the same as my android (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42843395)

my friends pay money for every little thing I download for free with my android phone. sucks to be them

What a bunch of BS, there are piles of free apps on iTunes just like the Google Play store.

Re:about the same as my android (4, Insightful)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#42843573)

Find a free Samba client for iOS that is not trialware with a tiny file size limit, and a free VLC/Mplayer equivalent.* Ready? Go!

*These are the only apps I've tried to find for iOS, so far I have a 100% horrible dissatisfaction rate.

Re:about the same as my android (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42843683)

That's because what you really want is a "CIFS" client, which is the name of the file-sharing protocol. Samba has become *huge* for servers, because it can now fully replace Active Directory. And it's usually a bad idea on a smart phone for a whole stack of reasons, but try looking it up by the right name anyway.

Re:about the same as my android (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#42843789)

I remember trying that too, although you're correct about the name. The challenge still stands.

Re:about the same as my android (1, Troll)

mabhatter654 (561290) | about a year ago | (#42843663)

Yes, there is more free stuff on Android. More because nobody can figure out how to make money from plain selling apps. But many of the free apps are riddled with holes, spyware, and have zero privacy controls...

All that is BEFORE you get into the realm of upgraded ROMs and rampant piracy.

Re:about the same as my android (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42843693)

I would much rather pay $1 for an app than to be bombarded with ads. Given the choice I will pay up to $5 to remove ads from an app. Free apps with ads are fucking awful.

Check me if I wrong... (5, Insightful)

captjc (453680) | about a year ago | (#42843271)

Check me if I wrong, but hasn't the iPhone always been behind on features? I mean, how many years did it take just to get copy / paste.

The iPhone was never about features, it was about style and ease of use. The problem is that they set the standard and the other companies have finally caught up.

Re:Check me if I wrong... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42843291)

You're right! Apple is shit and has always been shit and they don't deserve to be considered king of anything. I for one agree with you sir!

Re:Check me if I wrong... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42843307)

The iPhone was never about features, it was about style and ease of use. The problem is that they set the standard and the other companies have finally caught up.

Nah... it's about selling.

Re:Check me if I wrong... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42843367)

It depends on what you mean by "features".

The first few generations of iPhone led the market in many respects when it came to hardware: screen quality and resolution, battery life, camera quality, processor, etc.

They also lagged behind in some software features: no copy and paste, lack of push notifications, multitasking, etc.

iOS also changed the way we use phones.

I've always been an Android fan, because I don't like the walled garden approach of Apple. I have to give it to Apple though - it's only been recently that Android hardware has caught up and surpassed the iPhone.

Re:Check me if I wrong... (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#42843615)

The first few iPhones were the best hardware-wise, for a short time after their release. All it means is that Apple, the gorilla in the room, got access to the best new hardware before a bit before anyone else, what an achievement.

Re:Check me if I wrong... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42843669)

I beg to differ: no 3G, no GPS...

Re:Check me if I wrong... (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#42843589)

Came here to say this. And "style and ease of use" came at a great cost too, something I'd rather other companies didn't try to "catch up" with.

Re:Check me if I wrong... (-1, Troll)

samkass (174571) | about a year ago | (#42843753)

Check me if I wrong, but hasn't the iPhone always been behind on features? I mean, how many years did it take just to get copy / paste.

The iPhone was never about features, it was about style and ease of use. The problem is that they set the standard and the other companies have finally caught up.

I wouldn't state it quite like that, but YES. Woz is not and never has been the target market for the iPhone, except in the beginning when no other alternatives existed. The iPhone is for people who want an easy, out-of-the-box device they never have to mess with and helps them do other stuff. Android is for tinkerers, cheap folks, and folks who easily succumb to marketing (Samsung alone spends 15x Apple's budget on marketing), and Windows Mobile is for Microsoft employees and people who want to be different. BlackBerry is for people whose company gives them a BlackBerry and makes them use it.

If you are comparing features on a bulleted list, the iPhone looks mediocre. If you're actually using it in your daily life, it's great. The iPhone isn't about checking off features on a list and never has been.

Woz is a very polite man. (-1, Flamebait)

lxs (131946) | about a year ago | (#42843287)

When he says "behind" he means to say "ass."

Re: Woz is a very polite man. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42843485)

He's a smart man. I'm sure he meant to say exactly what he said. Who are you to say what he meant?

It's just a phone (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42843297)

Get over it. Why are people so emotional about it?

If more Americans cared about the bigger issues in their lives we wouldn't be tax slaves living in a crumbling nation with an out-of-control government.

Am I the only person that feels this way?

Re:It's just a phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42843323)

Am I the only person that feels this way?

Yes.

Re:It's just a phone (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42843333)

Yes. Well, no actually, there are some nuts building a medieval castle in Idaho with a gun factory so they can "hide out" from the government they elected. So, there are a few others like you. You can join their crusade for only a few dollars a month, I believe.

Re:It's just a phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42843349)

Yes.

Re:It's just a phone (4, Interesting)

Dzimas (547818) | about a year ago | (#42843479)

Look, people have always liked to place themselves into heirarchies. The modern USA is no different; we fawn over the modern equivalent of wealthy nobility, grumble and whine about how they're not treated like common folk and ohh and ahh as the fancily dressed dandies parade around the film industry court. Periodically, there are popular rebellions as the raging masses rise up and install a new order. Sometimes the outcome is good - the birth of a republic, the creation of the Westminster parliamentary system, but sometimes you find yourself under the boot of raving mad Leninists, racist fascists or clueless but vicious oil sheiks. So enjoy your shiny telephone and breathe a quiet thanks that you're not in a 1920s Soviet Gulag or North Korea. (As for the root cause of trouble in the USA: full-bore capitalism doesn't work, especially when there's a strong religious and social push to consistently increase the population to build "the economy." The US has three times the population it did in 1913, but there aren't three times as many meaningful jobs and many traditional occupations have either been outsourced to legalized slave camps in China or replaced by technology. You just have 200 million extra people trying to figure out the purpose of their life.)

Re:It's just a phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42843673)

No, you are not. I too do not see the reason for all the stiffies about a fucking a phone that does some stuff. I did not read the article but I wonder if Woz told us of the features that he would wants on the iPhone? Seriously, I have a 4S with the latest OS and there is nothing missing for me. I do not understand everyones bitching about them missing stuff. What the fuck else do they intend to put on these like 5" devices????

Re:It's just a phone (4, Funny)

goruka (1721094) | about a year ago | (#42843677)

Agreed, we should abolish stuff like Baseball and Football. It gets people too emotional and forces them to spend a lot of money they could better be spending at taxes.

Re:It's just a phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42843743)

I don't think being so emotional about what today can't be considered "just a phone", but your personal link to the Internet, the main personal computing device for many, is so weird and irrational. Contrarily, I think these digital personal assistants, ready to turn to something "wearable" in the near future, then who knows, are an important piece of that puzzle called "technological evolution", that will decide the destiny of the human kind more than anything else.

As an iPhone user (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42843305)

This is the feature I envy the most: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/technology/android-phones-vulnerable-to-hackers/2013/02/01/f3248922-6723-11e2-9e1b-07db1d2ccd5b_story.html

The health of an ecosystem can be measured by the abundance of parasites... Actually, I forget if that's positive or negative correlation. Time to do some homework.

Re:As an iPhone user (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42843391)

The health of an ecosystem can be measured by the abundance of parasites...

Good God... calling a "walled garden" an ecosystem!

If all the animals are fed from a single trough, that's not an ecosystem, that's a farm.

Re: As an iPhone user (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42843525)

I'm happy to be part of that farm. I don't have to worry about malware on my phone, and I get regular updates. When was the last time you upgraded you phones OS?

Re: As an iPhone user (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42843575)

Also as an iPhone user, my phone isn't loaded with crapware and my cal quality is always superb. I know of many androids that sound like crap. My son has an android because he didn't want to spend the money on an iPhone. He's always pocket dialing me and others. No an issue with the iPhone.

Re: As an iPhone user (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42843721)

Baaaa! Four legs good, two legs bad! Baaaa!

Re:As an iPhone user (3, Interesting)

iamhassi (659463) | about a year ago | (#42843481)

Speaking of updates, nice to see iOS provides latest updates even to older phones like the 2009 3GS supports the latest iOS 6.1. Read an article about google patching a android vulnerability but only offered it for Andriod 4.2 Jelly Bean which came out November 2012. [washingtonpost.com] All older versions of android are still vulnerable. No one wants to offer android users updates to their phones, seems their mentality is "buy a new Android every 3 months when the new OS comes out". Who has time or money to buy new phones and tablets every 3 months? This problem is going to get worse before it gets better, google needs to offer a way to update all these older devices to the latest version of android.

My switch reasons. (2)

StormyWeather (543593) | about a year ago | (#42843341)

I haven't used an iPhone since my 3gs, but I switched to Android because I felt attacked constantly for being a jail breaker. With android manufacturers they may not support rooting a device, but once it is done updates generally don't remove it and try and keep me from doing it again. With my iPhone I couldn't use anything like wifi analyzer, or titanium backup. I mean there was a good wifi tracking app, then apple banned it for some stupid reason.

Also turn by turn navigation is great, Google maps is great, groove IP is great (unsure if apple has that) , and with the newest updates the transcription and voice commands under android is amazing.

Re:My switch reasons. (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about a year ago | (#42843527)

groove IP is great (unsure if apple has that)

Apple does have an IP on rounded corners, but not (yet?) on grooves.

(ducks)

Re:My switch reasons. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42843667)

With android manufacturers they may not support rooting a device, but once it is done updates generally don't remove it and try and keep me from doing it again.

With Samsung S3 you will no longer be allowed to get software updates if you root the phone, and you will be denied repair if the flash counter is non-zero, meaning you've at some point had a non stock or rooted ROM. You really have to jump through hoops to get it back to the original shape, which I had to do because my S3 is vulnerable to the S3 sudden death syndrome.

Re:My switch reasons. (4, Interesting)

mabhatter654 (561290) | about a year ago | (#42843717)

Here we have a good answer.

Apple's restrictions ban a lot of "service" apps that are used by IT techs (and by suspicious persons too) that is one good reason to use android because Apple just suddenly pulls stuff claiming its "used wrong". Apple has a clear "don't shop here" sign out for common OSS network tools and the like.

Nexus 4 (5, Interesting)

maxbash (1350115) | about a year ago | (#42843365)

I have a Nexus 4, I envy nobody. I have a $30 a month plan and Wi-Fi almost everywhere I go, so lack of LTE is non-issue for me. I'm completely pleased with this phone, no disappointments.

Re:Nexus 4 (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about a year ago | (#42843555)

I just got one as well. This covers the one of the two main problems people complain about with Android, the updates. I know it will be updated. The other main complaint is about malware, and while it's vastly overblown, is still more likely than with iOS. The solution here is to have a store that carefully reviews all software available on it. The great part is that someone could do it right now if they wanted. I consider F-Droid.org to be approaching this because of it's open-source nature. It's nice to have options in both hardware and software sources.

Re:Nexus 4 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42843585)

I also envy no one; I have a nexus 4, LTE with unlimited data, and my phone can be my access point... also no extra crap vendor apps. Best phone I've ever had.

Honest assessment leads to great products (5, Insightful)

dtjohnson (102237) | about a year ago | (#42843381)

That's great that Wozniak can look at competing products and recognize accurately their strengths and weaknesses. That kind of objective evaluation leads to better decisions and great products. Companies that mindlessly insist that their products are the 'best' and punish any who dare to say otherwise have a difficult time putting out high quality products that people want to use. Those are the kind of companies that try to force their products on the marketplace and only have success if there is no choice but to use their products.

Re:Honest assessment leads to great products (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42843559)

It's easy to be honest if you aren't working for the company anymore.

Re:Honest assessment leads to great products (2)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#42843587)

It's easy to be honest if you aren't working for the company anymore.

Actually, he's still their employee.

Re:Honest assessment leads to great products (5, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#42843567)

That's great that Wozniak can look at competing products and recognize accurately their strengths and weaknesses.

He's been exposed to Jobs' RDF longer than anyone else, I guess that his immunity system has managed to find out antibodies against it.

Re:Honest assessment leads to great products (4, Interesting)

Thumper_SVX (239525) | about a year ago | (#42843713)

Ironically, I think this is exactly what Apple lacks since Steve Jobs passed away. Say what you will about the guy; he was a showman extraordinaire. Though I didn't know him, I can imply from the stories I've read and heard that he also had that ability to recognize weakness and almost certainly never truly believed in private that Apple was untouchable and was the best. He drove Apple to create the best because he was absolutely convinced they weren't there yet.

Since Jobs passed away that has been lacking at the top of Apple. Unfortunately the RDF has outlasted Jobs himself and is still endemic to the company and everyone who worked for him (I DO know a few Apple engineers, and they agree with my assessment). They really do believe they are the best at everything and unfortunately it's going to take quite a force of will to convince them to excel as they did under Jobs. Tim Cook is a good guy and a great CEO... but he's not really the man to break that philosophical trough that Apple has fallen into.

swype (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42843383)

If apple doesn't start offering alternative faster text input methods like swype, they will lose me as a customer.

Product design mentality (4, Insightful)

MachineShedFred (621896) | about a year ago | (#42843385)

Quick question... is good product design about packing in as many features as possible, whether they are something people will actually use, or actually good ideas, or actually implemented in a good way, or something someone will actually use?

No. There are countless products in every market where the company that makes them does exactly that. They shove in every bell and whistle, whether it makes sense or not, whether it can be used in reality or not, and they are mediocre-at-best products. Many of them are bad, and you spend money on those features you will never use, just to get the handful that you will.

Just because the iPhone has "less features" doesn't make it a bad product. Similarly, just because some other phone has "more features" doesn't necessarily make it a better product. If it has more useful features, then it probably is a better product; if those features are implemented in a useful way that isn't buried under a horrible unusable interface, or requires everyone you interact with to also have that product for the feature to be of any use.

(None of what I said above applies to any specific product or manufacturer unless explicitly stated. This post was not meant to be a critique of any particular device, rather a critique on the concept of "more features == better")

Re:Product design mentality (1)

Phrogman (80473) | about a year ago | (#42843637)

I bought a Samsung Galaxy S. I would say its functional, I would not say its good. I don't particularly like using it, and it has nothing approaching "fun" for me. Its a tool, not very well made.
Its best feature is that it lets me make phone calls and it keeps a charge for a quite a few days. My reaction to Android is "Meh" so far.
Most of the folks I work with have iPhones, they love them. A couple have high end Android phones and seem happy with them. Personally I think I would prefer an iPhone, primarily due to the apps I have seen for it, and for my wife's iPad.
I am considering a BB next though, as I own a Playbook and they would mesh nicely.
Honestly, I can't see why anyone gets excited over a phone. I use my to call people, and if I didn't need one for work I likely wouldn't have a cell at all :P

Re:Product design mentality (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year ago | (#42843709)

Please report to the re education camp immediately, citizen.

We will fix that little problem you're having.

(There's an app for that, you know.)

Re:Product design mentality (1)

foobsr (693224) | about a year ago | (#42843719)

the concept of "more features == better"

... is there to press you into buying the most expensive instance to get all features that you need, besides a lot of gimmicks you'll never use. At least, this is my experience, especially with cars, but also with hifi-equipment as well as a variety of household appliances, among others.

CC.

Google undermining itself! (0, Flamebait)

bogaboga (793279) | about a year ago | (#42843393)

In the meantime, Google undermines itself by bankrolling a product (the Nexus 4) which is so delicate that it will crack with small temperature fluctuations.

Talk of a formidable but substandard product! I have held off buying this phone for this very reason. Google can surely do better.

Re:Google undermining itself! (1)

mrbester (200927) | about a year ago | (#42843451)

That's what you get when your product is made by a different manufacturer each time. Nexus S was a Samsung, based on the Galaxy with its Corning glass which is tougher than the bezel surrounding it. Nexus 4 is a LG and unnecessarily fragile.

Re:Google undermining itself! (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about a year ago | (#42843571)

Nexus 4 is a LG and unnecessarily fragile.

Doesn't this have a more MBA-ish translation in "planned obsolescence"? There you go, this fragility may be necessary for somebody, even if not... err, umm... necessarily for you (or me for the matter)

Re:Google undermining itself! (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42843473)

Stop spreading FUD, I dropped mine and it bounced down a flight of stairs. When I got to it expecting it to be trashed, it was perfectly fine.

tap to share sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42843401)

I had a last generation galaxy nexus for about 6 months last year. Most of the "totally rad" features - such as the tap to share and the nfc wallet thing- were totally useless. I used them once. I really couldn't get the tap to share thing to work (with another same generation galaxy nexus). If I need to share a file with a co worker I'm going to email it anyways. The the wallet thing took longer than just getting my wallet out. I also found android to be kinda buggy (or at least buggy feeling). The fact that you could customize it to hell and back was cool but I pretty much kept it stock. I dont have the time to dick around with a phone all day. Also android's exchange support was lacking. Thats the major point. If android had true microsoft exchange support it would be a much stronger platform.

Re:tap to share sucks (1)

mrbester (200927) | about a year ago | (#42843511)

The problem with Exchange support is that it normally comes with a "allow remote data wiping" permission. iPhone users are used to syncing all their content with iTunes (even the Windows crapfest version) with one click as that is the default out of the box. As such they don't care about a wipe as it is easy to restore. Content and apps on Android are disparate and localised to the phone unless you jump through some hoops first so a remote wipe *destroys* your content.

For the money (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42843407)

"...it seems hard to find iPhone users who aren't enthusiastic about it."

If I just spent $600 on a phone, I'd feel compelled to act like it was the greatest thing since sliced bread, too!

Re: For the money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42843641)

$600? What are you smoking? My upgrades cost $200.

Updates (5, Interesting)

MCSEBear (907831) | about a year ago | (#42843409)

Until the Android ecosystem can handle an issue as basic as providing it's users with OS and security updates, Android is not ahead at all.

Over half of the Android devices out there are still running variants of version 2 of the OS and lower [bgr.com] while the last three Android releases are version 4 and higher.

Android needs to be rearchitected so that carriers provide drivers for the hardware, while Google takes full responsibility for updates to the OS. This approach has been working with Windows for decades.

Re:Updates (1)

Spad (470073) | about a year ago | (#42843469)

Except then the carriers just wouldn't bother with the drivers so any updates from Google would break the phone.

Re:Updates (2)

Microlith (54737) | about a year ago | (#42843733)

Android needs to be rearchitected so that carriers provide drivers for the hardware, while Google takes full responsibility for updates to the OS.

This belies ignorance of the problem. The carriers do nothing but shove crap on the devices. Drivers are standard Linux drivers unless they have a userspace blob. The problem is that the kernel drivers never get pushed upstream so they rot as the kernel moves on.

And due to the way cellular service works in the US, carriers and handset manufacturers have a perverse incentive to not update old phones.

Android needs to be rearchitected so that carriers provide drivers for the hardware, while Google takes full responsibility for updates to the OS. This approach has been working with Windows for decades.

Well, it worked sometimes. Other times your Windows install would break. The only real way to get around this would be to eliminate user space blobs, eliminate the need for device-specific board files, and for the chip and handset vendors to push everything upstream and for Google to stop using so much custom shit in the kernel (nothing they've pushed upstream has been accepted into mainline yet and a lot probably won't.)

Re:Updates (1)

goruka (1721094) | about a year ago | (#42843739)

The reason why most devices are version 2 is because there are plenty of feature phones (like the Galaxy Ace or Xperia Mini) being sold in emergent economies.

Apple - the phone for your parents (4, Insightful)

SpankyDaMonkey (1692874) | about a year ago | (#42843413)

Amazing how the circle has turned when it comes to phones. The iPhone has gone from being the hip new boy breaking the rules to a member of the establishment that everyone else is slowly leaving behind.

It used to be that the iPhone was an inspirational device, a device that caused geek envy wherever you used it.

And now, well it's the device for the technical luddites who have more money than sense, or for those that Apple have managed to lock in to their closed-wall infrastructure and are now too wary of trying something else. In other words - it's the phone you recommend to your parents so you don't have to do tech support for them.

Re:Apple - the phone for your parents (2)

SilverJets (131916) | about a year ago | (#42843531)

A phone immediately fails when you need to do any tech support for it at all.

So based on your argument, if you don't need to do tech support for an iPhone I'd call that a win. If Android needs tech support than it has failed as a phone.

Re: Apple - the phone for your parents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42843691)

If all you use your phone for is to text, talk, and play games, and you don't mind never getting an OS upgrade, not to mention allowing Google to track you and use your info for its statistics then I'm sure Android is just fine. But for those of who need a secure phone, and look forward to new updates, we'll stick with the tried and true.

Side loading (1, Interesting)

medcalf (68293) | about a year ago | (#42843419)

I love my iPhone, but I do wish I could side load without having to pay Apple the developer fee. On the other hand, I also realize that the code signing requirement is one reason Android has malware and iPhone doesn't, so it's a mixed bag. But it would be nice to be able to opt out without jailbreaking.

Re:Side loading (2)

Microlith (54737) | about a year ago | (#42843749)

I also realize that the code signing requirement is one reason Android has malware and iPhone doesn't

Android has malware because Google is lax in screening software in their store and because Chinese stores (where most of the malware is) don't screen at all. Code signing doesn't, fundamentally, protect you unless there's some enforcement. And in the end, malware doesn't just "appear" on your phone, you have to put it there.

But hey, at least Apple simply gives you no choice.

Not really... (5, Insightful)

Entropius (188861) | about a year ago | (#42843433)

... other than battery life and better phone calls.

I've got a Galaxy Nexus, and the hardware is fine -- high-resolution screen, fast enough CPU, etc. The only real "lacking features" are software things, and since it's Android that's just my own fault for not finding a better app to do whatever it is.

What I seriously don't like, though, is its ability to MAKE PHONE CALLS. This is a device that people watch Netflix on, for fuck's sake. Why is it using a ~10kbps codec for voice calls with an acoustic bandpass of a few khz, and moreover one with some absolutely awful signal processing characteristics? For instance (and this is just one example), if I'm talking to someone in the wind, and there's a gust of wind on my end, the phone mutes the speaker so I can no longer hear what they're saying. Why should it do that, unless it's trying to squelch feedback, which is very much not the problem?

As for battery life, I appreciate them making the things slim, but if they'd make it another 5mm or even 8mm thicker with most of that extra volume given to battery, you'd get about four times as much life out of it. Does anyone make a phone like this?

Re:Not really... (3, Informative)

colinleroy (592025) | about a year ago | (#42843607)

Motorola tried that with the Razr Maxx with is just a thicker Razr, with a bigger (3.3Ah) battery fitted in. The thickness difference is not much, but one can squeeze out five days of use out of the Maxx, which is better than most smartphones I know of but still not much when compared to oldies like the famous Nokia 3310.

Size (2)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#42843443)

Whatever kind of phone you prefer, are there features you envy the users of some other variety?

Small size. The flagship products from Apple and Samsung are too large bricks. Currently using HTC Wildfire S from couple of years ago. I guess Gingerbread is a bit aging already, but for my needs it's still a fantastic phone. I've seen mini models from SonyEricsson and Samsung too.

Who is the customer? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42843493)

With Apple, you are the customer, and the phone is the product.

With Google, you are the product and the customer is any company that wants every little bit of information about you.

Google even admits to this. So consider this every time you think that Google products are free. They aren't, and the price could actually be more expensive than any gadget or app you could ever buy.

It's entirely normal and expected (2)

Morgaine (4316) | about a year ago | (#42843501)

In many consumer electronics industries, it's normal for the lead manufacturers to be continually leap frogging each other. At any given point in time one is ahead, and on the next product cycle their main rival is ahead.

Examples of this are common. For example in cameras Nikon and Canon are changing lead position pretty much every year, and in home theater systems the same has been occurring between Yamaha and Denon for well over a decade. In smartphones and tablets it's currently a two-horse race between Apple and Samsung, and which company has its nose slightly in front should be expected to change often. And of course other companies regularly join in the fun too.

Any "lead" that a particular company might have is actually very minor, because all high tech companies chase each other closely so it's always only by a nose.

Not much of a story really. Continual leap frogging is entirely normal in the industry.

perception of ease-of-use (3, Interesting)

j-beda (85386) | about a year ago | (#42843509)

Apple has manged to convince the "unwashed masses" that their eco-system and devices are easier to use than the alternatives, and in fact their systems are pretty well thought out and easy to use and their control of the whole eco-system has made interoperability of software and hardware pretty seamless. Non-Apple sellers have the difficult job of convincing most buyers that their possibly better features are more valuable than Apple's "ease of use", even if the "ease of use" of their devices are as good or better than Apple's. The perception of Apple being the one source for hardware, software and content (through the single iTunes channel), as well as info-syncing (iCloud) is comforting to many. The competition has a number of places the consumer might feel they need to go for hardware support (Samsung perhaps), software support (Samsung, Google, and others?), content (Amazon, iTunes, etc), and services (Google and others?). Even if there is one vastly dominant company in each of these areas, they are still going to be perceived as more complicated than getting it all from Apple - even if it is not more complicated.

Tangentially, I think smart phones are approaching the same point that personal computers reached not that long ago - for the vast majority of customers the increased power and features of new devices are insufficient to justify upgrading their current device. When everyone in the world already has a decent smart phone the market for new phones is going to get much smaller.

Re:perception of ease-of-use (1)

gutnor (872759) | about a year ago | (#42843725)

The problem of Apple competition is that they generally cover all possible price point. So the majority of Android phone that get pushed to the consumer (free if you renew your contract) are going to be second rate. Worse, even the big brand are often pushing shitty devices. A lot of the models have been abandoned either by the manufacturer or the network, so you endup with lot of people with older version of Android.

All of that make regular people wary, skeptical or simply tired. If you do not spend time reading reviews, comparing models, ... Apple is going to be a safer bet. Look at the ready meal section of your supermarket, convenience is a huge market.

Only one iPhone limitation I really dislike (1)

sideslash (1865434) | about a year ago | (#42843551)

I carry an iPhone and I do like it OK, but I have various meetings that I participate in on a regular schedule (business, church, etc.) where it would be desirable to me to put it on vibrate automatically. With Android there are several nice (and free, though that doesn't matter so much to me) apps where you can set up a schedule to control the ringer. Apple just provides this lame "quiet time" setting, which is configurable only for night hours and not for arbitrary repeating time ranges. (There are various lame third party iOS apps that attempt to do this, but do it quite poorly while quickly draining your battery.)

Not sure why Apple never fixed this shortcoming -- maybe a patent issue. Or perhaps a reason as lame as that the mute is an actual hardware on/off switch on the side of the phone, and they thought it would break the beauty and elegance for the software state not to match the hardware state, or something. Anyway, Apple settled for inferiority/inconvenience on that one, and it annoys me.

Re:Only one iPhone limitation I really dislike (2)

vakuona (788200) | about a year ago | (#42843605)

Yes, because it is very hard to flick a hardware switch on the side of the phone to put it on silent/vibrate.

Re:Only one iPhone limitation I really dislike (1)

j-beda (85386) | about a year ago | (#42843769)

Yes, because it is very hard to flick a hardware switch on the side of the phone to put it on silent/vibrate.

I suspect the sideslash would like to automate it so that s/he doesn't need to remember to do so.

I always forget to turn it back to ringer and so would like to have a "silent for the next xxx minutes" feature.

Sample bias... (3, Insightful)

siwelwerd (869956) | about a year ago | (#42843579)

I prefer Android, but it seems hard to find iPhone users who aren't enthusiastic about it.

There are a large number of people out there who think the iPhone is the only smartphone. So when they buy a smartphone, they buy an iPhone and love it, because the only thing they compare it too is their old clamshell phone. So naturally, they are very enthusiastic about it.

Actually, on a larger level my hypothesis is that Apple products work great for anyone who does not question the arbitrary limitations put on the software by Apple in the name of "ease of use". They just assume that "phones can't do that" or "computers don't do that" and are happy; whereas if you know a little bit about how much effort it would be to have that feature, and that it's omitted solely to simplify (i.e. dumb things down), it is immensely frustrating (although it seems once one reaches Apple Guru level, all the workarounds are second nature and these things are once again painless). In short, a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing. I say this at someone who uses Linux/Android at home, but OSX/iOS at work.

LTE (1)

Dennis Sheil (1706056) | about a year ago | (#42843633)

Phones like the Samsung Galaxy S2 LTE was available to customers in places like Canada toward the end of 2011. I watched the September 2012 video in which the iPhone 5 is introduced. At one point the speaker (Phil Schiller?) says the iPhone 5 will have LTE support, which is followed by a big round of applause. By then, there were a variety of Android phones in customer hands already with LTE, in a number of countries - and Android users had been using LTE phones since 2011.

I remember older iPhone presentations where they really were announcing new features - not playing catch up to something there had been Android phones out with the year before. That said, the iPhone is a good phone, and they've generally kept pace with the cutting edge of technology.

Is Woz even an Apple Stock Holder? (0)

strangeattraction (1058568) | about a year ago | (#42843687)

Woz has not been officially affiliated with Apple for how long. The author seems to write as if Apple is still in some way associated with Woz. This is mostly journalist seeking news where there is none.

I prefer cheap and durable mobile phones (1)

livingboy (444688) | about a year ago | (#42843697)

Price must be under 100 euros, no touch, good battery life, camera for snapshots.

I use phone mainly for talking, some texting and rarely sending MMS. For mobile data I use my laptop and 3g modem.

My current phone, Nokia 3120 Classic, is over three years old and has so far survived dogs teeths, horse saliva and my sweat. Next phone is probably Samsung Xcover 271, if they still make that when my current phone dies.

iPhone as first smartphone (1)

userw014 (707413) | about a year ago | (#42843727)

It took me a long time to even get a feature phone - and for the past half year I've had an iPhone.

I'm mostly satisfied with it. It does what I want. Phone calls. Alarm. Text messaging. Calendar. E-mail. Unfortunately, it's made it easier to use Twitter and Facebook - but I'm weaning myself from that.

One reason I switches to a smartphone was for a GPS device that might be able to help me for a single trip to NYC. Unfortunately, the "free" App that I used at first is no longer free, but I don't need it now either.

I wonder sometimes, that if I'd gotten an Android phone, I might have felt more obliged to use it as a personal/portable computing device and hack it, etc. rather than using it as an appliance as I do with the iPhone. I think that obligation would have left me a lot more dissatisfied.

Somehow, the difficulty of finding a useful App in the Apple iPhone App Store makes it easy for me to ignore them.

Smartphones are fragile (2)

maxbash (1350115) | about a year ago | (#42843761)

Face it all modern smartphones with their large glass screens are fragile. Older iPhones with their steel cases and smaller screens can take a little more abuse, but nothing like a rugged dumb phone. It not rocket science, you have to invest in a decent case and screen protector.

Woz knows jack shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42843767)

If you want to make a successful product you should do the exact opposite of what Woz says.

Battery life... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42843777)

Even at the cost of shelving background apps, I envy iPhone in that its battery life is much longer.

Barometer (1)

mpk23 (879460) | about a year ago | (#42843781)

My samsung Charge lacks one. Seems useful while hiking and camping, or at least interesting. The faster GPS fixes would be nice as well. I wouldn't mind some external temperature sensing ability, or infrared camera, but I don't know if current models sport these.
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