By The Computer Quack
Finally, the big question, what is the most compelling
reason to buy an Android phone instead of an iPhone?
Take a look at the prices. (And don’t forget you can buy
a spare battery if you are a heavy user).
On the battery front, I’ve found the Samsung to be more
than adequate compared to previous Nokia’s, HTC’s and sundry other
Smartphones I’ve owned in the last couple of years. Like any phone, if you
turn on Wifi, GPS, and play music, the battery is going to drain fairly
quickly, and it’s a blessing that the Spica comes with a USB cable and a
standard charger (oh and by then way, contrary to popular belief you can
tether your phone to your netbook to use 3G, although you have to download
an app to do it).
On the whole I’m very pleased with Android. If I had any
complaints it would be that you can get carried away loading apps and it
will slow the phone down if you run too many, so a decent application
manager is required to make sure you aren’t running too many things that you
don’t need. Things like Wifi, Bluetooth, GPS and Sound controls are buried
in the menus, but I added four widgets to my home screen to turn each of
these on and off on demand and that minor irritation promptly disappeared.
On a final note, one site recently did a survey on the
amount of Internet bandwidth used by mobile users. The result? Almost half
of Internet bandwidth used on Smartphones is used by Android users. There
are a number of ways in which you can interpret this, but personally I
believe that it’s because the Android phone is easy to use, has a wealth of
applications and tight integration with Google services, and thus attracts
the kind of heavy internet user who want that kind of homogenous Internet
access from any device they carry – and Android delivers it.
So if you are looking at a cost effective, but very
useable alternative to the iPhone, take a good look at Android. I don’t
think you’ll be disappointed.
If you have any specific questions on Android, please
don’t hesitate to write to me at thecomputerquack @gmail.com and I’ll be
happy to answer them. Similarly, if you have other questions on any computer
or technology-related subject, please feel free to email me and I’ll have a
crack at it for you. I’m planning forthcoming articles on Home Networking,
Multimedia players, PDA sites and others, but if you have a subject you feel
merits some column inches, fire away and I’ll gladly take on the challenge.