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Shaldun

I was thinking to switch to Android but iOS 8 gives me a lot of doubt on that. Help me to choose between the 2 OS.

I have currently an iPhone 4S bought in late 2011 and I was thinking to change it soon.

I was thinking to switch to Android. More freedom, bigger screen amd more possibilities attract me. To be honest, reading stuff about customization or Tasker or AirDroid for example seems pretty amazing (or just downloading directly on the phone, having a real file managemenbt system). However, customization and freedom are fun for a time but knowing myself,I could be bored with it in a few months/weeks. After all, I quickly stop the jailbreak of my iPhone because I just didn't want to do the process (and also I didn't really need it absolutely after iOS 7).

I would go towards Android any way but with iOS 8 coming, I'm in a big doubt. Indeed, the extensions will probably rapidly change the way to interact in the system (communication between apps) and it is one of my main gripes with the system. Apple has even opened its system to third-party keyboards, something truly surprising as I hadn't expect Apple to do it ever actually (and that can evolve into more third party access in the future). Even widgets will arrive (I'm not really convinced of a great interest for them but I never really use them). In general, I'm really satisfied and excited for iOS 8 (I also particularly like the TouchID access for third party). It will also be apparently accompanied by new bigger iPhones which is a great thing. A 4.7" screen (as often rumored) is a perfect size for me and knowing Apple, we can expect beautiful and at-the-top phones (though overpriced). Also, Metal for games (I don't play a lot on my phone though) and mostly Swift for apps development could have a big impact: an app developped first on iOS (like many) could not be ported on Android because it requires to all code a second time as it is in Swift for iOS, right ? (I know almost nothing on development and coding so it's maybe already the case to port from a platform to the other and they do it anyway).

I'm still attracted to Android but to be honest, some stuff I heard are "frightening". Like inconsistent and less polished apps which comes after their iOS equivalent. I love the new material design for Android L but do the developers will integrate it soon ?

Also, a problem seems to be the resale value of the Android flagships and the updates. I will certainly keep my new phone at least 2 years maybe 3 and I want to be up to date and able to save some money on the next one by reselling it. The iPhones are expensive but they are good on these points (I will still be able to sell my iPhone 4S for around 250€, great to buy the iPhone 6, not the same resale value than the equivalent 2011's Galaxy S2). For the updates maybe that's not a problem with some custom ROM like Cyaogenmod but that's not really a solution (I'm not sure I will use this kind of thing, if it's too complicated, I will almost certainly use the out-of-the-box software).

So what are the truth behind these problems (apps inconsistent and less polished, updates problem) and how does Android compare to iOS (especially 8) and its "just works", "better apps in first" philosophy but still restrictive ? What system would you counsel me ? I really want to try Android which seems full of possibilities but I'm quite intimitated by some returns on the poorer apps, the inconsistency and the updates only for a short time (less than 2 or 3 years). Also, by the apparent need to root/custom/use Tasker and all to exploit fully your Android phone, that seems quite complicated and time-consuming and I don't know if I'll like/do it.

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9 replies
falleninsea

On the resell point i have to agree with you. I am not aware of an Android phone that has the same resell value as the iPhones.

Update wise, if you can go with the Nexus line from Google you will get the updates regularly and for some of the flagships you may also be able to purchase them from the Google Play store as "Google Play edition" devices but they may not be available in all markets. These also tend to get updates quicker than a manufacture's stock phone.

As for what will iOS 8 and Android "L" bring to consumers? Both look to have a lot of new features and functionality they didn't have before. But the biggest take away i got from both keynotes this year is that a lot of it depends on the App Developers embracing the "new" on both platforms.

Google has introduced an entirely new Design Language that developers need time to work with it and possibly change their apps to use it.

On the iOS side they are introducing all this connectivity that they didn't have before and developers will need to figure out how to use it and what they can actually use.

The rumors seem to be strong that Apple is introducing a larger phone. Possibly a 4.7 or 5.5 inch display device. i know that i would be interested in the larger of the two. But Apple has not said for sure and we may just get another 4 inch screen.

When Google officially releases "L" we will still have a few months before we see any devices that are built specifically to support that version of the OS and possibly as long before we see updates to existing devices to "L". I am curious if Google will release a new Nexus phone when they release the OS.

Right now i think both platforms look to have a lot of promise with the next version of the OS but i am taking a wait an see approach on this one. I want to wait and see what the Developers release for the phones. I am also curious if we will see some developers release new Versions of their application that will require a repurchase of the app over them providing updates?
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TgD

"I am curious if Google will release a new Nexus phone when they release the OS."

I feel they have to. The Nexus 5 is getting long in the tooth, and although it isn't a bad phone, it won't be able to complete with a fall 2014 iPhone in terms of people who want to have the newest and shiniest gadget.

I'm not saying that Google will be releasing a new phone, but I think it would be a smart thing to do.
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falleninsea

I would like them to release a new Nexus phone.

Does any one know if Google actually makes any money on the Nexus devices?

Also what could they do to the Nexus phone that would attract an iPhone user?

I would bet you that most iPhone users don't even know about the Nexus phones. They know more about the Samsung and Motorola phones.

If anything it sounds like google's more interesting hardware projects are things like Project Tango and even the new Android TV, or even the android in the car initiative.

on the TV side i think they have a better chance there especially if they can sell stand alone devices and if the TV Partners are able to add hardware powerful enough to 2 to 4 years performance wise allowing users to upgrade to the newer software down the road.

On the car side i think it makes more sense for the car makers that Google is also in this space so that they (car makers) are not tied to just Apple. But if they can go with something Generic like QNX that both Android and iPhone users can use i would imagine they would see that as a win. they don't have to maintain or develop the software for the head units. all of the updates, map licensing, and what ever the next new feature is would fall to the phone developers and not them. They get the benefit of saying they support Android and iOS giving the customer choice.
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TgD

I think they make no profit on Nexus devices, rather they make profit through Google Play services.

As a heavy android user (Nexus 4 and 7 by my side right now, with Google Play all-access music streaming through my chromecast) I have been longing for a better phone, and I believe Google should be capable of producing one. In fact, Google services seem to work well enough on iOS I am considering making a switch to an iPhone later this fall

What do I want that Google isn't producing? Probably the same thing that Apple fans like. I want a beautiful phone made from quality materials. The HTC One and iPhone probably take this category. The dual glass on my Nexus 4 is decent, as is soft touch plastic on the Nexus 5 and 7 series.

Nexus devices need a camera that competes. This is the selfie generation, whether I like to admit it or not, and I get better pictures from my iPod touch 5th gen and my BlackBerry Z10 than my Nexus 4.

Phones are starting to converge on hardware. We have fast processors, big high resolution screens, and tons of memory. So now the competing points become the smaller things like battery life, screen and component quality and build quality. That is where the next fights lie
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falleninsea

So, basically you want Google to make a "Surface" or a "Pixel" Android phone. Meaning something that can compete with Apple on the hardware and physical design elements, something the OEM would not normally build.

The biggest problem i see here is would any one buy it? if they made a smart phone that they had to sell at $500+ price point would the normal Nexus buyer spend the money on this high end phone?

I am not saying the Nexus 4 and 5 are not good phones but build wise i do not think they are in the same league as an HTC One or the iPhone. Just like the Google Pixel is not really comparable to any of the other Chrome Books that are on the market today. Even though its a year old feel it is still the top Chrome Book on the market.

An not to ignore the Surface Pro 3, its a great tablet with unique features that i don't see other PC manufactures competing with. they will release other W8 devices not likely anything like the Surface Pro 3. Just like on the Chrome we will see other chrome books but i doubt we see something like the Pixel.
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TgD

I do. I am guilty of being a Microsoft Surface Pro owner and I do love the sweet sweet hardware on it, even though its not a high volume device. I realize I don't represent the 99% of the population that probably doesn't care about these things.
Probably very few people would buy an expensive off-contract Nexus phone. However, right now BYOD in Canada is gaining a lot of steam as carrier plans with subsidies are up to ridiculous levels. ($80/month for a plan with 500mb of data on a top-tier phone)
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falleninsea

the funny thing about your BYOD comment i moved from Verizon here in the US to T-Mobile because it cut my monthly bill by almost 40 bucks going BYOD.

I also agree on the Surface front. The best windows tablet i have owned is my Surface Pro 3.
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frankspin

To piggy back a bit on the statement with developers adopting the changes, for me the biggest differences I saw in the two (WWDC vs I/O) was Apple brought a lot of new functionality to the OS (mobile and desktop) while also bolstering the way all their devices play together. The flipside of that, I saw Google focus more on design in Android while also introducing a multitude of newer integrations (car, wear, etc) which depending on how you look at it could be viewed as a lack of singular focus or bolstering their own ecosystem.

From what I've been seeing out of a lot of the Apple pundits I follow is there is a lot of excitement around iOS8 and it's new hooks, as well as bridging the gap more in moving between mobile and desktop. The same is said for Google, but the difference it's almost entirely focused on Wear and Android's new design and less on total package.

Regarding Swift, I wouldn't focus on that at all. If app developers want to build for both platforms, they will and you wont be seeing every app developer suddenly switching over. They'll need to experiment, test, etc before they switch. However, Metal is something to pay attention to because it's showing Apple has a big focus on making your phone/tablet a gaming device.

At the end of the day, go with the device that fits your flow best. For me, I don't use Google products (from GMail to Chrome) so switching over to iOS has been pleasant since I also use an Apple laptop. If you don't have an Apple laptop, or even iPad, you lose out a bit on what is making iOS8 such an interesting update for Apple.
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LonelyBob

Regarding your concerns about apps, look at what apps you currently use on iPhone, and search for them on the Google Play store. play.google.com
The library of apps on both platforms is comparable but there maybe certain apps only available on iOS depending on the developer.

If you find there are some apps that you rely upon that aren't available on Android, I'd say wait until iOS8 is released. As you mentioned there are many new APIs available to developers, including 3rd party keyboard and extending the apps to communicate better with other apps which open up new uses and new applications on iOS.

If you're not interested in Jailbreaking your iPhone, then I doubt you'd be interested in flashing custom roms such as CyanogenMod. Custom ROMs do make it possible for you to get the updates, but unfortunately those updates often won't be as stable or reliable, (battery life, etc.) as the Default OS & SW that the manufacturer provided. (Your mileage may vary)

Regarding wanting to receive updates/support and have a resell value after 2 years, if you decide on Android then a Nexus phone is probably your best bet. Nexus phones will receive updates from Google for about 2 years, and even after that they have decent resell value since developers are often looking for a cheaper reference device for testing/dev.
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Kurama

The reason I will not go back to iOS is because I need to be able to download, read and send a variety of file types and iOS will not let you do. I can zip, or rar right from my android phone. Not to mention the customization of the phones user interface, you can change it to anything without you having to "jailbreak" your phone to get these added features. Android has always focused on user preference. There is no need to root or do any of that sort to be able use all these features. If you do rooting allows you to have more access to the phone allowing to put custom OS some for example are more streamlined OS without any of the flashy animations other offer you more secure OS. Once you use an android phone you realize how locked down you are with apple products.
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lvavila

Wow, too much thought over a phone. If you've been a iPhone user and the device & ecosystem is not enough to keep you then move to Android, otherwise stay with what you love. If you love shiny things, buy a mirror.
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