June 7th 2012 8:31 pm

Heads up! A newer version of this product is out!

final rating

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Criteria Comments Rating
  • Ease of use Apple has always been the company that makes products a child could pick up and start using. great!
  • Speed Crazy smooth, gorgeous transitions, and very snappy (partly due to the hardware i'm sure, but the operating system has been obviously been optimized for it). great!
  • Configurability Without support for skins, different app launchers/switchers, and widgets you can't quite have the fun of configuring your-own unique feeling phone like Android so-so
  • Ecosystem (apps, drivers, etc.) While Android has basically caught up on apps available, Apple still often gets new apps first. great!
  • Openness It's a closed platform. Apple doesn't like developers tweaking the OS. They don't want to risk compromising quality. Users who want to tweak, jailbreak. poor
Detailed review
iOS From An Android User's Perspective
My previous phone was a Droid X, and I recently switched to an iPhone 5.

Things I like about iOS
  • Notifications vs Alerts - It's nice to be able to say notifications from this app can just be thrown into the notification tray, but this app is important so prompt an alert for me to read/dismiss it. This is important because getting a notification isn't very noticeable if you miss the rollover. Android doesn't really have this problem because it will show app icons in the notification bar if there are notifications from that app, however I will admit it can get a little unwieldy if you get a lot of notifications, which is probably why Apple doesn't support app icons in the notification bar.
  • App Sales - it seems to be more common for apps to "go on sale" on iOS than android (AppShopper is a awesome app for watching for apps to go on sale, there's nothing quite like this on Android).
  • Smoothness - Android has made significant strides in bringing scrolling / transitions smoothness closer to iOS quality with Project Butter, but iOS has had silky-smooth on lockdown since the day one.
  • No carrier installed bloatware, although it is annoying I can't remove some of Apple's apps (most people toss those into a folder to hide them).
  • The apps drawer and the homescreen are the same thing. I actually like the simplicity of this. Most people find it annoying there are no widgets because of this though, however I never really used widgets.
Issues with iOS
  • I had to reset my apple id several times during the registration process because I couldn't tell when i was typing a capital letter when typing in the password because the keys don't change case when you hit shift.
  • Having to reach up into the top left hand corner to go "back" when you're right handed is extremely annoying (likely one of the reason's Apple hesitated on increasing iPhone 5 screen size).
  • Had to ask someone how to switch apps without going to the homescreen (it was double tap).
  • Have been unable to mark something as unread in email (edit: turns out you do this by clicking "edit" in list mode, then "mark", then "mark as read" = not intuitive) (edit 2: After a week I went to flag an email as spam and discovered the flag icon is for marking as unread - what?)
  • Took me a while before I realized I had to long press before it would get precise when moving the cursor (kept trying to move to a specific spot and it would just go before the word or after, it was annoying to backspace a word just to change a character).
  • Dismissing notifications is a pain; you can't dismiss an individual notification, you can only dismiss an entire section which also takes 2 taps (which might be why some iOS users I asked about this said they don't dismiss them, they just let them pile up).
  • I use my google voice number as my primary phone number, but needed to lookup my real phone number for something and was frustrated I couldn't find it anywhere in settings. Another iPhone user told me I had to scroll to the top of my contacts list to find it.
What features/apps do I miss from Android?
  • Sharing to any app (dear god do I miss this one).
  • Browser quick-controls (android nailed this Minority Report-like feature).
  • I miss not having to re-enter social passwords to all the apps I install (android accounts).
  • 2cloud (I discovered Send Tab as an alternative mitchmckenna.com­/items­/view­/11839­/sendtab)
  • My Tracks (iOS does have DailyMile and RunKeeper apps though and just found out about iSmoothRun that supposedly posts to both).
  • Built in Google Voice (so far I've been able to make due with the google Voice iOS app just fine).
  • Google Music (syncing my music collection automatically and wirelessly). I hate having to connect a cable to my computer and I hate iTunes more. Spotify might be an alternative for you though.
  • Tethering/wifi hotspot (I could root to achieve this though, and there are other hacks).
  • Native Google Reader app. I use Feedly mainly, but it surprised me a lot that there's not native Google Reader app. I suppose this is why Reeder does so well charging $2.99. Flipboard is another alternative.
  • Google Maps for public transit. iOS maps have been good besides that, check out gdgt Must-Have Transit app alternatives: gdgt.com­/best­/apps­/mapping­-transit/).
  • I miss being able to install apps from the web, and I miss auto-updating of apps.
Overall though, the combination of iOS 6 and iPhone 5 hardware, I'm am very happy with the switch. Especially since the Nexus 4 hardware wasn't anything mind blowing and they didn't launch a new version of the OS with it. But and I am excited to see if Google is able to sway me back to Android with one of their next feature phones.
review history
Edited comment on Speed
Updated detailed review

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Makes me want to purchase an I- Phone... however, think I would need some tech support. GREAT review, well written and informative... lots of details!