The iPhone vs. Android: What’s the Big Difference?

Look, I’m Team Apple all the way and my Droid geeky friends get sick of posting about Mac products all the time. I’m not paid by Apple and I don’t get paid to blog about gadgets (although, if you know of a gig like that opening up can you PLEASE let me know!). I’m just a power user and a Geek Diva Gadget Girl who likes her techie toys. I’m in love with my iPhone, my Mac Pro and I can hardly contain myself waiting for the new iPad 2. But, if you’re still on the fence and want a comparison between the two hottest smartphone options on the planet (sorry Blackberry, I abandoned you in 2009… RIM sucks the big one… OK, truth be told I still have a Blackberry but that’s beside the point) then this article may help you decide.

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 Thesmartphone has become the Swiss Army knife of the 21st century: endlessly useful, cool, and a necessary tool that every man should carry. The difference is that smart phones carry a hefty cost, and they’re not all designed equally well.Two of the most popular smartphones are the ubiquitous Apple iPhone and its new challenger, Google’s Android platform. Here’s a look at how the two phone giants stack up.


First, we need to be clear about something. There’s no official “Android” phone, just as there’s no official “Windows” computer. Android is simply the name for Google’s mobile operating system, and as such, it’s somewhat difficult to compare the iPhone to Android without being biased. Many functions of the iPhone seem to work more intuitively than those on Android phones, but that’s mainly because the iPhone and its operating system were designed to work together, while Android was designed to be used on a variety of phones made by a variety of manufacturers.

Therefore, if you’re looking for that “wow, cool!” factor, you’re probably going to be more impressed with what the iPhone has to offer. Every function of the iPhone seems to work effortlessly, with intuitive touch-screen controls that have made it the weapon of choice for countless hipsters in coffee shops everywhere. However, most of what the iPhone offers is available on Android phones. You want the web? The Android phones can get you there. You want a touch screen? Android phones have that, too. In fact, the best Android phone currently available, the Nexus One, feels completely natural.

The big difference is that the iPhone is a single device, while Android is a software platform. That makes a straight comparison difficult but not impossible; it’s like comparing Macs to PCs, as many bloggers have noted. Apple carefully controls everything available on its iPhone. Google’s Android, on the other hand, offers its adherents something else: freedom to do whatever you’d like with your phone.


iPhone Users Download Average of 40 Apps, Android 25, BlackBerry 14

I don’t know what is more interesting to me… that iPhone users are only downloading an average of 40 apps, or that the Nielsen company is did the research for this article. Things that make you go… hmmmm…

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Nielsen AppCategories Study: iPhone Users Download Average of 40 Apps, Android 25, BlackBerry 14The last we had heard in mobile app research was a forecast that there would be 25 billion downloads by 2015, and along the same vein, Nielsen has released the results of a survey of some 4,000 mobile users about their application downloading habits. As you’d expect, iPhone users were the most active, with an average of 40 apps installed, while those with an Android phone had 25. BlackBerry trailed significantly with an average of 14 applications, and across all platforms, the average worked out to 27 applications. Those numbers are all up from December,  showing that even on BlackBerry, interest in mobile apps is growing. No surprise there.

There was also a categorical breakdown of the kinds of apps people were downloading; games were at the forefront, with 61% of smartphone-owning respondents having downloaded one in the last month, followed by weather, maps, social networking, and music. Facebook, Pandora, the Weather Channel, and Google Maps ranked among the top five used applications across all platforms.

I wish there was more usage data published, as I would like to see how often downloaded apps are used on a platform-by-platform basis. I know that on BlackBerry, I have a select few apps, but I make use of them pretty regularly, while my iPod Touch is loaded to the gills with applications that I’ll use maybe once every two months (if that). My brief experience with Android is somewhere in between; maybe half I’ll use with any consistency, and the others are highly situational.

Average per-device application downloads rank in the same order as the size of their respective app stores. At last count, the iTunes App Store had a buxom 250,000 iOS apps, the Android Market sat comfortably in the middle with 80,000 titles, and BlackBerry App World recently broke 10,000.  Obviously if user activity is high, developers will be more interested in getting into the app store, overcrowding be damned.


Confessions Of A Gadget Girl (and why I left BlackBerry)

Blacberry vs. iPhones, it’s an ongoing battle and I just switched teams!

I’m a gadget girl from way back.  I remember when I got my hands on a PalmPilot for the very first time.  It was well over a decade ago and back then I was one of the first people to have one.  I used it to organize my entire life, appointments, addresses, my calendar it was the best thing since slices bread.  No, it was better!.  A relic by today’s standards by sure, but back then it was high tech.  Called a personal digital assistant, PDA for short, it was my fist gadget addiction and it started me down a road of “toys” I have yet to recover from.

I couldn’t live without my PDA and that silly little stylus that to this day I have no idea how I didn’t misplace time after time.  Then Motorola rolled out the Motorola two-way pager and I tell you, I was in love.  From there I went through a series of Palm devises until I landed on the mother load… the Blackberry.  My first one was big as all get out and the screen was a lackluster green with black letter.  But the draw wasn’t it’s looks, it was the fact that I could get multiple emails to my handheld device.  This means I was no longer tied to my desk!  This also meant I would end up working all hours of the day and night because I became addicted to that flashing red button and I had to know who was contacting me.

Over the years I’ve had at least seven or eight BlackBerry devises.  They rolled them out updated, new and improved and I bought a new one almost each and every time.  In my lifetime I’ve given at least four away, have had one stolen, recommend their use over 100 times and had one I only used for a month.  Through them all I remained a loyal fan. UNTIL last month.

As the iPhone and Android phone wars dragged on I stood by my Blackberry.  “I like to feel my keys” I said.  “I can’t stand AT&T”, I moaned.  Then, something started to happen.  Blackberry’s RIM technology started to fail.   Developed by Canadian company Research In Motion (RIM) caught many BlackBerry users off guard in a series of nationwide outages.  I wasn’t a part of the first outage but the second one hit me hard and the third outage had me out of commission for over 18 hours.  Normally, this would be an issue.  However, I was about to go to the SXSW® Interactive Festival, a conference of cutting-edge technologies, the brings together the world’s most creative web developers, designers, bloggers, wireless innovators, content producers, programmers, widget inventors and new media entrepreneurs in Austin, Texas.  There was no way I was going to be able to travel without a Smartphone.  So… I… a most loyal BlackBerry customer jumped ship.

The day after my BlackBerry RIM outage I looked into getting an iPhone.  I landed on an iPhone because I’m a Mac girl and it just seemed to make sense.  Well, let me tell you this… for a techie, geeky, gadget girl… the iPhone is like technology CRACK.  I am absolutely in LOVE with this phone.  I also love all the phone wars I have with me friends who take our Smartphones way to seriously!  “Do you have a signal?  No? Ha! I do.”  Or, “you can’t check into Foursquare?  LOL… I can!.”  Folks get very territorial and defensive about their Smartphones… especially Power Users (I just love that title) like myself and my techie friends.

Well, it seems I’m not alone in abandoned BlackBerry.  A new report from Business Week says  RIM shares are sinking as BlackBerry indicates prices are declining.  Well, that’s what happens when you have several nationwide outages.  Here’s a portion of the article.  Click here for the full story:

April 1 (Bloomberg) — Research In Motion Ltd. fell the most in five months in Nasdaq trading after saying prices for the BlackBerry handset are dropping, signaling its push into developing countries may hurt profitability.

The average price of a BlackBerry sold to a carrier was $311 last quarter and will drop to between $305 and $310 this quarter, the company said yesterday. RIM projected gross margin, the percentage of sales left after production costs, of 44.5 percent, down from 45.7 percent in the previous period.

Profit margins may shrink further as RIM expands into countries such as Indonesia and China to counter slowing growth in North America, said Pierre Ferragu, an analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. in London. Costs to develop new products, which climbed 46 percent last quarter, also may weigh RIM down as it vies for customers with Apple Inc. and Motorola Inc.

Social Media And Gadget Trends

Google may be all about world domination but Facebook is running an impressive second.  According to, Facbook passed Yahoo making the social networking site the number two most trafficked site after… wait for it… Google.  Facebook drew nearly 135 unique visitors in the January of 2010 and time spent on Facebook was twice that of time spent on Yahoo and Google.  I know I did my part to help them hit the number two spot!

Yahoo for years was the world’s most popular website — its ubiquitous portal has dominated the web since the 90s. Two years ago however, GoogleGoogleGoogle vaulted past Yahoo and became the Internet’s most popular destination. Last month, it became Facebook’sFacebookFacebook turn to knock Yahoo down another peg. via Mashable

In gadget news, BlackBerry is getting a cool new app.  Amazon has released a free Kindle application for BlackBerry smart phones and is planning to launch apps for Macs and the anticipated Apple iPad.  In other BlackBerry news, RIM developers have finally realized the worth of developing a Twitter app which falls under the “Duh” and “It’s About Time” heading.  I guess you could say better late than never but BB users have already taken sides on our favorite third-party Twitter BB apps and RIM is going to have a long way to go to get us to switch to an official BlackBerry app.

Finally, more computer makers are giving the tablet business a second look as we await the release of Apple’s iPad.  According to, Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard Co. have announce their devices and H-P is even looking to under cut the iPad price and release date.

H-P has discussed selling a version of the Slate—similar to the iPad in size and features, and including a cellular connection—for a price below the $629 Apple charges for an equivalent iPad, one of these people said.

Executives at Dell Inc., Acer Inc. and Sony Corp. say they are all watching Apple as they refine their own products. And Microsoft Corp. has a secretive team working on a two-screen tablet device, according to people familiar with the matter.There’s still plenty of skepticism about whether PC companies have the right products to compete against the iPad.  Many of the products risk being seen as “computers without keyboards,” in part because many of them run an operating system, Microsoft’s Windows 7, which is primarily aimed at traditional PC functions, said Forrester Research analyst James McQuivey. In contrast, the iPad’s software, which borrows heavily from the iPhone, is more tailored for consuming media on the go, he said.

However, I can’t help but think that all this open competition will no doubt give those of us who have been holding off on purchasing a tablet or eReader many more choices and choices are always a good thing.