It appears that the highlight features of iOS 5 will be notifications, widgets, and iCloud
Anyway, keeping an open mind is always best. Unlike most, I haven't closed myself off from one OS or the other. I'll just use what works best for me at the time rather than picking a side and hating on everything else.
We don't know what Apple is going to announce, but I'm sure it will be nice, much needed, and a bunch of people will say other people have done it for longer. That said, I'm never going to convince an Android user that iOS is somehow better and an Android user is never going to convince me that Android is superior.
It all comes down to your style, your workflow, and your idealogical preference for gadgets. For you and for me, iOS is superior and work well enough for our needs (even in iOS 4). For others, it's Android 2.2, 2.3, or 3.0.
That said, this competition is awesome. And it's pushing everyone forward. I absolutely love it!
You also make a good point that one of the main deciding factors when it comes to buying a phone is the carrier. I guess I was just generalizing about the main arguments of iOS vs Android when I posted. Overall, I'm just really excited about iOS 5! :D
- More hardware/carrier choices
- No need for syncing iTunes or a computer
- Native Google apps
- Side loading apps
- Better sharing options in apps (shave via twitter, facebook, text, etc)
- mkdir android ; cd android ; repo init -u git://android.git.kernel.org/platform/manifest.git ; repo sync ; make
You can have different browser, keyboards, application launcher and screen locks. Yes, you can have different browsers and screen back groups on the iPhone but there are just something can’t change that Android lets you change.
But there are things that I prefer on the iPhone. Such as media management. I trued double twist and the drag and drop of old but iTunes just makes it easier. I think the Apple app store is easier to navigate and find things I also feel safer with the applications I get from the iTunes store than I do from the Android Market. Yes I know Amazon has a store for android but it doesn’t have the selection that the iTunes does but is curated and Amazon is a fairly trusted retailer.
Hardware wise Android has a double edged sword. There are tones options to choose from 3 to 4 to 4.5 inch screen even larger, thin an light phones, some with keyboards and some with out. But with new phones coming every month heck almost every week you can easily feel outdated right after you buy or have buyers remorse because you found a bigger and better model a month later. Now the iPhone apple update about once a year and you know your phone is going to be the top model a year and even if you don’t update at the end of the year its still a decent device. But don’t try keeping it 2 years the OS probably won’t work.
The OS on the Android can be a pain to get updated because you have to wait on the carrier to push it out. But on the flip side with android you can root the device and update your self to many different “flavors” of an OS. With the iPhone Apple pushes those updates when they are ready and in most every one can get them.
Personally I love the customizability of the Android OS. I prefer the mostly seamless integration between the hardware and the iOS that Apple provides. I also prefer Apples ecosystem as a whole (movies, music, TV shows, Podcasts and applications all in one easy to access place). I also really like the Galaxy hardware and the devices that HTC puts.
So in the end it really does end up being a personal choice to what you like. You mentioned getting an Android phone if you do give it a couple weeks to really kick the tires and see what it can do.
So far the only thing that I still complain about is that I prefer the alarm clock application native to the iPhone than the applications that I have found for the Android. I have tried the native app and some additions from the store. I know of all things to get hung up it’s the alarm but the phone is the only alarm clock I have ☹
That aside, Android still offers superior customization, multitasking, app integration, and cloud features. Its not accurate to say "iOS has widgets now, so they're even". The APIs have always offered more for developers to play with. The only advantage iOS has ever had is breadth of app and accessory selection. Also, I think fewer options have made things seem simpler, which is certainly a selling point for many mainstream users.
Going further aside, I'm not even sure app selection is nearly as big an advantage in the iOS camp as many think. Yes, there are TONS more apps, but how many of them replicate what a good web app does (or should do). The apps I find most valuable on Android are not only not available on iOS, but NOT POSSIBLE. The number of apps that are on iOS that are not possible on Android is much much smaller, which makes me think the future will be brighter for Android users (and I think the past two years have shown that).
Competition choice is key for everyone, so I hope 3-5 mobile OSes can thrive in the end.