One of the key reasons people love iOS is its simplicity. It’s one of the reasons I love it. However, many use the argument that its simplicity is what makes it superior to Android. I was talking with some guys in a local phone store yesterday who told me that, actually, they don’t see Android as being any harder to use than the iPhone’s operating system. In fact, certain elements were more difficult on iOS.
One thing that grinds my ears more than anything is die-hard fanboyism. (Yes I just made up that word – I think.) Within the ranks of regular tech lovers – like most of us – is a group of people so fiercely loyal to their own brand preference that they fail to even consider that something else might suit them. In fact, they go as far as to state it as fact that the other company is inferior. A typical conversation between two opposing fanboys might sound something like this:
Phandroid: iPhone SUCKS!
Fanboy: No it doesn’t! iPhone is the best.
Phandroid: Yeh, well Android is the most popular. And at some point iPhone’s going to be gone and Google will rule the world.
Fanboy: Yeh, but, it’s only popular because there’s so many Android handsets out. There’s only 1 iPhone. Plus, what about fragmentation?
Phandroid: Do you even know what that means?
Fanboy: Like, they all explode or something?
Phandroid: You’re just a stupid, mindless sheep, following Apple and believing everything Steve Jobs says, like all the other people with iPhones.
Fanboy: At least I’m not in denial. You want to try iPhone but you’re scared your going to like it. Secretly you know it’s better.
Phandroid: No it isn’t. You only use it cos your too stupid to figure out Android. It takes a much more intelligent person to use it.
Fanboy: Whatever. Android sucks!
We’ve all seen it, or heard it. Quite frankly, it’s ridiculous. It’s okay to say “I prefer iOS”, and it’s perfectly acceptable to say that you like Android more. But, to state that someone is wrong for choosing one over the other is narrow minded. I know, I run an iPhone blog so surely I’m a fanboy? Not at all, I just prefer to use iOS day-to-day. Why? Mostly because I like the way it looks, the way it works, and I prefer the virtual keyboard on this over any of the keyboards on the purely touchscreen Android handsets I’ve had. I also like its integration with iTunes, and I’m sure as heck going to get my money’s worth from my MobileMe subscription.
Is iOS simpler than Android? See, there’s no definite answer to that question. It’s all about what you’re used to. Sending a message on one is no more difficult than on the other. Changing a wallpaper? Probably easier on the Android device – tap and hold, then hit “wallpapers”. Sure, Android has an extra drop-down notifications system, plus the added “strain” of bringing up your apps drawer. But does any of that really tax your brain? Nope. It’s just different. My two year old daughter can use my iPhone, and iPad, but she had to watch me and learn how to do it. Babies are not born with a genetic predisposition for using iOS. When I had my G2 she had no problem scrolling through screens, or finding Angry Birds.
To look at some real life examples, let’s take my family in to consideration. Out of all of my immediate family, plus extended family (through marriage), I’m probably the most tech-savvy. (That’s excluding a couple of brothers-in-law who also have iPhones.) So, if the “iOS is for dumb people/iOS is way simpler” argument stood up, surely I would be the one without the iPhone, right? Wrong. My parents both sport Blackberry (Curves 8520&8300), as does my wife (Bold 9700). Both my brothers have Android powered devices, as does my eldest brother’s wife (Desire HD). My mother-in-law has a Samsung Galaxy S, and she’s probably the least technologically sound in the whole family. If she can figure out how to use an Android device, and have it as a week-in, week-out phone for general use, I’m pretty confident anyone can.
It all comes down to this – people buy the phones that suit them the best. There’s no formula to state who should buy which device. I like iOS, but for emails I use a Blackberry. However much I like the iPhone’s virtual keyboard, I still cannot get by without a physical keypad, so I carry my Pearl 3G around with me where ever I go. What’s wrong with saying you like one thing over another? Personal preference should be the only decider, and not pressure from the outspoken haters.
What do you guys think? How many of you have used both platforms? Is one really any easier than the other? Comment below, or tweet me your thoughts.