Smartphones optimize

iPhone or Android: Five questions to help you decide

When people ask if they should buy an iPhone or an Android device, which do you recommend? Donovan Colbert lists five questions to ask prospective buyers that will help them decide.

I think every person who works in IT secretly wants the, "No, I will not fix your computer" t-shirt. Anyone involved in working with PCs comes to dread the inevitable conversation, "Since you're pretty good with computers, I've got this question." I'm sure plumbers, electricians, and auto mechanics all have their own version of this scenario.

Lately, the question I've been getting most frequently is the one that I dread answering the most. "You seem to know a lot about smartphones. I'm thinking about an Android or an iPhone. Which do you recommend?"

You might think my answer would be pretty straightforward, but it never is. I've got a lot more hands-on experience than the average user on both Android and iOS platforms, including rooting, jail-breaking, and fixing bricked devices. I own an iPad, iPod Touch, and several Android devices. I know most people have to live with one platform or the other. This makes a recommendation very difficult to make.

What seems like a simple answer is really a complex situation. Both platforms are nearly indistinguishable from one another in average, day-to-day use. Sure, there may be some features like Siri or Google's navigation that could sway a user one way or another, but for most users, their actual experience won't differ much.

So, what guidelines can you use to help someone pick a phone that won't have them coming back complaining that you steered them in the wrong direction? These points are usually where I start:

1: Are you invested in Google environments already?

Are you using Gmail, Google Docs, and/or Google as a single authentication point for other sites that support it? If you've already bought into Google solutions in your daily PC use, then Android is probably going to be a more seamless experience. It's not that the iOS Google experience is limited, but it just makes sense if you've put all your eggs into the Google basket, that a phone designed around Android will deliver a more rewarding experience than one built by their competition.

2: Are you a Windows or Mac user?

Do you like the "empowerment" of the Windows experience, or do you prefer the carefully curated Macintosh environment? If you like to tinker, explore, and get into the depths of your device, Android might be your best choice. If you want a no-hassle appliance, you'll probably prefer iOS. Apple Macintosh owners might find the iPhone iOS experience more comfortable, familiar, and well-integrated with the rest of their digital life.

3: Do most of your friends have iPhones and other iOS devices, or do they have Android smartphones?

Dropbox, Evernote, Bump, and even Words with Friends don't care if you're on a phone or tablet, Android or iOS. But each platform has unique differentiators. If all your friends use Facetime, you're going to be left out if you pick up a 4G LTE Android device.

4: Do you plan on using this device as a BYOD on your corporate network to access company email or other resources?

If so, the decision may already be made for you. Make sure to check with your IT team to see if they have policies on which devices are supported.

5: What is your experience with spam, viruses, and malware?

If you're the kind of person who constantly finds themselves turning to your local IT guru to fix your infected machine, the odds are that the same things are going to affect you in the smartphone world. In that case, you're probably better of with an iOS device. There's no doubt that iOS limits your freedom, but part of this is actually driven by a real "Apple Knows Best" mentality that seems to work.

If you've given up on Windows because of constant malware infections and you love your new Mac because it has never let you down, don't go Android. If you've learned not to click on that "must see" video on Facebook or that email from the IRS or the European Lottery, and if you've never sent your personal account information to a Nigerian prince, then you'll probably do fine with Android.

A great illustration of the difference between iOS and Android are the way apps are delivered to each device. On iOS, your only official option is the App Store. This is the perfect example of the double-edged sword of Apple's approach. The benefit is that Apple inspects and approves every app in their store. The downside is that Apple controls and approves every application in their store. They can, and have, rejected apps for any reason -- and when they do, there's little recourse for Apple users.

Android, on the other hand, has a market where there isn't any real inspection process, which makes it a buyer beware free-for-all. The end user is accountable for the security of their device. If the official Android Market (recently upgraded to the Google Play Store) isn't enough for you, there are about a half-dozen other markets that you can download apps from, as well as the ability to download apps directly via a PC or your phone and side-load them onto your device -- all without any risky jail-breaking or rooting of your device. This makes it very difficult for anyone to limit what apps are available.

With Android, I also have access to the file system, so I'm able to create a Kindle document in Calibre and send it via email, download the attachment, and then copy it in the file structure on my Android device to the Kindle directory. Kindle automatically adds the new book when I load the app.

On an iPhone, I have to email the document to my Amazon account from Calibre. I then log onto my Kindle page on Amazon, select the document, and select Deliver To My iOS device from a pull-down menu. It isn't that you can't do all of the same things, but in some cases, the simplicity of iOS can make things a little more difficult. Each of these are examples of "power use" though, where I'm pushing beyond the "appliance-like" mobile experience. Many users would never try these things. However, for people who want to push the limits, iOS can be a stifling experience.

Ultimately, the decision to go with one platform or the other no longer strongly hinges on which carrier you're most comfortable with, and that opens the gates to more difficult decisions for the smartphone buyer. I generally say I can't really make a recommendation one way or the other, that both platforms have strengths and weaknesses, and it mostly comes down to personal preference. However, asking the five questions above can help narrow the field for most prospective buyers -- and that's a good place to start.

Of course, these are just a few considerations. How do you help guide buyers to their best smartphone purchase? Share your experience in the discussion thread below.

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About

Donovan Colbert has over 16 years of experience in the IT Industry. He's worked in help-desk, enterprise software support, systems administration and engineering, IT management, and is a regular contributor for TechRepublic. Currently, his profession...

49 comments
myangeldust
myangeldust

...runs on those two systems. You can also pick Blackberry and Windows Phone. There's no reason to limit yourself to what everyone else is corraled into using thanks to high phone prices and 2-year contracts. Even though they're in a gated community, it's not like iPhone users can share anything between them. Or that any two Android users are likely to have a different "flavor" of that operating system. The only thing that unites Android users is the fact that Google tracks everything they do and everwhere they go.

mfa
mfa

If someone has to ask, they should get the iPhone.

ok2phone-com
ok2phone-com

Top five android smartphone TOP 5 - Sony Ericsson Xperia neo MT15i See www.ok2phone.com for detail information The bright spot model: the Android 2.3 operating system, 1GHz clock speed processor, 480 854 pixel resolution, a 8.1 million pixel camera, Sony Ericsson Xperia the neo MT15i (hereinafter referred to as MT15i), faced with the overall price situation in HTC, MT15i played markdowns banner, this phone has dropped to $400, the price is quite tempting. Cheap achievements MT15i, and also let it become the market's most popular smart phones of $400 level. TOP 4 - Sony Ericsson X8 Models bright spot: 99 54 15 mm body measurements, 480 320 pixel resolution, the android smartphone operating system, 3.2-megapixel cameras, ranked fourth in the sales list this month Sony Ericsson X8 It is a compact mini-smartphones, 99.0 54.0 15.0 mm, body measurements to make it excellent grip handle. In addition, a 600MHz Qualcomm MSM7227 processor, as well as the Sony Ericsson system excellent optimization to ensure the speed of the mobile phone. TOP 3 - HTC Desire Sony Ericsson X8 positive with a 3.0 inches 480 320 pixels capacitive screen, the actual display can be considered quite satisfactory. In addition, a 600MHz Qualcomm MSM7227 processor, as well as the Sony Ericsson system excellent optimization to ensure the speed of the mobile phone. Desire (G7) can be said that HTC's classic, mainstream hardware configuration, as well as law-abiding, shape design make it very popular with young and trendy family favorite, excellent sales has brought huge profits for the HTC. TOP 2 - HTC Wildfire S The bright spot model: the Android 2.3 system, 600MHz Qualcomm MSM7227 processor, 512MB RAM, stylish compact body appearance, 320 480 pixel resolution, 5 megapixel camera. By virtue of lower market prices, as well as mainstream android smartphone operating system, HTC Wildfire S in the market by some low-end users of all ages, it is also by virtue of this, this phone can be squeezed into the top two. TOP 1 - HTC Incredible S Models bright spot: 1GHz clock speed processor, the android smartphone 2.2 operating system, 768MB RAM, 8-megapixel camera, 480 800 pixel resolution. HTC Incredible S is a strong performance smart phones, 1GHz Qualcomm MSM8255 processor and 768MB RAM as the machine's biggest selling point, since the market sentiment has been high. Perhaps by HTCSensation, Desire HD models, this phone has a certain decline, but integrated to look at the price is still slightly high, and specifically how to choose the needed combination personal economic and other factors considered.

AudeKhatru
AudeKhatru

Do you want the latest and best? Windows Phone 7

randolphyoung
randolphyoung

I would like to know which works best for MS Office Pro excel, word, and Outlook and sync with PC or Mac.

kgross
kgross

Or has it already been delcared dead?

mark.cooper
mark.cooper

1: Are you invested in Google environments already? - Most people I know are heavily invested in Microsoft environments both at home and at work. Office is a biggie 2: Are you a Windows or Mac user? - Again, most people I know are Windows users on the order of 99 out of 100 users. 3: Do most of your friends have iPhones and other iOS devices, or do they have Android smartphones? - I try not to hang out with sheep. Most of my friends actually think. They realize that a device that may be a good fit for their neighbor may not be a good fit for them. 4: Do you plan on using this device as a BYOD on your corporate network to access company email or other resources? - Many of the people I know use some form of Outlook at home and most definitely have Outlook at work. 5: What is your experience with spam, viruses, and malware? - Again, most of the people I know are smart/savvy enough not to get caught by spam, viruses, and malware. So other than a possible bias on the blogger's (D Colbert) part, why was there not even a hint of a reference to a Windows Phone? I do try to send people that ask this question to a store to try the devices hands-on, but again, there is a bias against Windows Phone. Typical comment is there are not as many apps for Windows. Who needs to download an app for reading/editing an Office document when Office is built-in? Who needs to be aggravated trying to connect with an Exchange Server when Outlook is built-in?

onclejon
onclejon

iPhone is great if you have an apple PC or ipad. If you are a PC user then go for Andoid which can, though not very well, sync with a windows 7 PC so you can manage youir phone form your desk top.

kschlotthauer
kschlotthauer

When people have asked me, my reponse back is the same as if they are buying a TV, Golf Clubs, Microwave oven etc........go to Best Buy / WalMart / Radio Shack / Verizon / AT&T etc. and touch the devices, hold the devices. Just because your cubemate has an iPhone doesn't mean that is the best need for you. I play guitar and I have had people say "What amp should I get or what guitar should I buy?". I tell them "Go down to whatever music store, grab a guitar and play" or "Take your guitar to the store and plug in". I have 5 guitars and each other sounds 100% different in my amp...but that is what I want. Same with phones.....there is a reason 2 year olds know how to use an iPhone easily...because there is no learning curve....push an icon and it does something....Android is similar, but different. I also tell people "If you just want it to work out of the box....iPhone is the way to go". If you like to tinker with gadgets and you want to learn.....Android (rooting). What works for me doesn't work for my brother or sister or my parents...all of which have dumbphones....and they are ok with it....they also call me for computer help.

tazyx22
tazyx22

Another question left out is about $$$$; do you want to buy apps or do you want to have a lot of them free? If you have money to spend then buy apple; if you want more free apps then buy android. I think is enough you will pay for the phone and i-net plan then to pay extras for apps ....

daviddeveloper
daviddeveloper

Hi Donovan, I think this comparison is not right. Android is an operating system. iPhone is a smartphone. That's not right! You should compare android vs iOS OR iPhone vs specific Android smartphone. I know your comparison points are about operating system but the title is wrong and will make users go through wrong comparison. Please, consider that.

danbi
danbi

Well, creating an Kindle document with Calibre to upload to an iOS device? Seriously? If you have an iOS device, you are way better to create an ePUB document and open it with iBooks on the iPhone. You can either "side load" it with iTunes, or e-mail it, open your e-mail on the iPhone .. and there it goes, directly in iBooks. There is simply no point to convert any 'book' to Kindle format on an device, that will support more open formats for ebooks.

b372028
b372028

I take two new world monkeys, designate one iPhone and one Android, give them knives and then tell the person to buy whichever survives.

jonc2011
jonc2011

I bought a new unlocked gingerbread (2.3.3) Android phone for $120 on eBay. An iPhone 3 is around $250. No comparison - particularly when I prefer the freedom of Android.

LarsDennert
LarsDennert

You didn't focus much on hardware. Apple hardware is top notch but if you want to browse the net on a phone the little iphone screen is frustrating.

rhonin
rhonin

True, it is not an easy question. I think you do overlook one aspect though - form choice. Instead of your method, what I usually do is ask the prospective buyer what they plan on doing with the phone and what do they want physically. - big screen or small screen - texting maniac - physical or virtual keyboard - LTE 4G or it doesn't matter - work or play - etc..... When they are done, I may help them with this if they are stuck, Then look. See what fits their needs. The go try it. Best Buy is great for that. They may even find that a need is not or discover a new one. In the end, they get to make an informed choice. Doesn't matter if Android, iOS, MS, Rim or other.....

technomom_z
technomom_z

Oddly enough, if you pick up the latest iPad, you won't be able to use Facetime on the 4G LTE network. Apple has locked it down. Because, of course, Apple knows best. Good news for Android is that Google+ Hangouts are available on it AND on iPhone, so you can have your video chatting on Android and still talk to your friends who have iPhone. I can't say the reverse about Facetime. Oh, and Hangouts work fine on 4G LTE on Android. So many of my things are in the Google Cloud and from experience, I know that Google Cloud apps will work from anywhere, my Android Phone, Mac, Windows, iOS, Linux. I can't say that for iCloud stuff. So I stick with Android and will continue to do so. iCloud just doesn't have the same reach.

myangeldust
myangeldust

Overkill, maybe. Are we charging HTC by the word?

randolphyoung
randolphyoung

I regularly use a program on the web that uses silverlight. I tried to access the program with a IPAD2 and was not able to. Anybody know why or if IPAD3 will let Silverlight run on it. Thanks

mark.cooper
mark.cooper

And sync to your 25 GB of free storage on Windows Live SkyDrive which is available to anything else able to connect to SkyDrive. Windows 7 and Windows 8. I don't know if Apple or Android can sync to SkyDrive. In my haste here I'm not distinguishing between Windows Live Mesh and SkyDrive.

dcolbert
dcolbert

They both have solutions to interface with MS Office, Pro, Excel and Word that work equally well. Some people prefer the Apple solutions to this (like Pages) and others prefer the Android Solutions (of which there are several good choices - which I review in detail here: http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/tablets/office-suite-alternatives-for-android-tablets/334?tag=content;siu-container ) So I can't say, really. It will be a personal experience. I think that the Android Office Suite solutions more clearly emulate a Microsoft Office experience overall. But that *absolutely* IS a personal preference. Both sync pretty well too, either directly or through apps - but if you own a Mac and are bought into iTunes, then an iPhone is going to probably have the edge on sync for you - being that it is basically an iPod with a phone built in. Android is more round-about in that Google Suite apps sync through the cloud to Exchange through some user-automated processes - or again, through apps that require you to have an app either on your PC, on your phone or both that enables a 3rd party sync. I've had Google sync methods break on me a couple of times during the several years I've been an Android/Google Apps user (requiring me to change the methods in which my Google accounts sync with my Exchange accounts). This is generally due to something changing on the Microsoft end and Google having to figure out how to work around it. It is a lot like my complaints about how SAMBA has to reverse engineer every change that Microsoft makes to SMB/CIFS that breaks Samba sharing between Linux and Windows. Being joined to a corporate network also enables sync of calendars, contacts, etc. Anyhow, there isn't ONE way to do it with Android and it depends on how your environments are set up - but it works really well once you get it doing what you want. Sync used to be a huge concern to me during the Windows Mobile 6.1 days and I had to jump through hoops back then to get my Google accounts synced to my Exchange and Microsoft accounts. Contacts, Calendars, Tasks, Appointments - it used to be a lot of headache. Google has expanded it to the point where now too many things arguably sync to easily, and you can overwhelm yourself with how many different distinct services may sync into a centralized location in your Android device. Whenever I start up a new Android device and set up Facebook, I'm never sure which option I really want to select for how I want it to sync those contacts into my Google contacts. That is the benefit and liability of such an open platform - you've got a ton of choices. On the other hand, you've got a ton of choices. ;) Hope that helps.

dcolbert
dcolbert

Hasn't really had a chance to get started yet. Xbox was declared dead and hopelessly behind the PS/2... look what eventually happened there. I'd *never* count Microsoft out on a contest like this. See my post above. BUT - they've got a long way to go, and no one is ASKING about Windows Phone at the moment. I'd like to see them make this a 3 way horse-race. It is worth noting that MOST reviewers really LIKE the concept and execution of Windows Phone 7.x, even if they're not blown away by the hardware or carrier support that is currently available for this platform. I think most of us see a lot we *like* with Windows Phone conceptually. But that doesn't make it something I'm going to recommend to the average consumer looking at iPhone or Android - at this point in time, anyhow.

dcolbert
dcolbert

On the order of 99 out of 100 people you know are Windows users, and you don't hang out with SHEEP??? What are your justifications for that overwhelming investment in Microsoft environments? OFFICE. So, basically, your argument is that the majority of users you know (by a statistically improbable number that far exceeds the known market breakdown of users to OS platforms) choose their OS because they are bought-into a particular software productivity platform (Office). I'm good with this claim - and I don't even doubt that you are conveying your experience and observations accurately. You probably do exist in a bubble where 99 out of 100 users are on Windows because they are bought into the Office platform. A lot of times in a situation like this, Exchange on the back-end also figures into the equation. I run a Microsoft shop, Mark - so I'm absolutely familiar with operating in this kind of IS environment. (I've got one user on Windows Phone 7.x by the way, and he regrets it.) But those same drivers that apply when considering desktop OS apply for the very same reasons on smart-phones - not because people are SHEEP - but for the very same reason that your desktop users are Windows users 99 times out of 100. It is simply easier to have a homogeneous platform among a group of people who interact using those devices. I also have Windows systems because the *majority* of people I interact with have Windows desktop PCs. I don't think you thought point 3 out before you typed it. 4: Follows your claims in 1 and 2 - and actually strengthens my argument on those points (and like I said, they probably have Outlook because they operate in Exchange based corporate environments). 5: That is great - you also work with people who are ahead of the curve on dealing with issues. The rapid growth of Macintosh over the last 5 years (at the expense of a segment of Microsoft user platform installations) and the even more rapid growth of digital-appliance type devices illustrates that there is a tidal wave of users out there who aren't savvy with these kind of issues and want systems that reduce or remove these threats. My experience is that MOST of the *users* I deal with who ask me for advice are very concerned about issues surrounding malware and viruses. I exist in a user-space oriented organization where technical staff is outnumbered by "daily-grind" users on an order of about 18:1. So for every trained IT professional there are about 18 users who just come in and turn their machines on and want them to work. Few of those users are pretty technically savvy, but most of them are *just* users. Most organizations reflect a model closer to the one I work in then the one you describe. I've got several friends who work at Microsoft. One is actually a manager over a department in the Windows Phone division. You know what all of those Microsoft employees use? Windows Phones. Of course. Ask any of them if I have a bias *against* Windows Phone (and read my HTC Trophy review here on Tech Republic while you're at it). I think they would all tell you my opinion on Windows Phone is fair, balanced and pretty darned accurate. I know where Windows Phone excels, and I know where they're falling behind the competition. There was no bias in this article. I "didn't even hint at a reference to a Windows Phone" because it was irrelevant to this article. I've *never* had a user ask me, "which should I pick, Android, iPhone or Windows Phone?" Not *once*. What you are suggesting is that if someone comes up and asks me, "Should I buy a BMW or a Porsche," that I should offer, "Have you looked into a Subaru WRX?" And you may be the kind of guy who likes to offer alternatives to people that they haven't even thought of - alternatives that you think are superior to the things they've considered. Awesome. Sometimes I do that too. But in an article that is aiming to be between 800 and 1200 words, mentioning a phone that is still in an embryonic state is an unnecessary distraction that most people don't care about, anyhow. Windows Phone is something to watch - and the whole Windows-Metro, information-centric model may be a dark-horse that pulls off a come-from-behind Xbox 360 vs. PS3 style victory in the long run if Microsoft can grow it. But right now, it isn't even in the race. Other than personal bias, that seems like the most LOGICAL reason not to mention Windows Phone in an article that is clearly addressing people who are considering buying *either* an iPhone or an Android phone. There is a bias against Windows Phone because Windows Phone still has some significant gaps to close. In particular, your last statements reveal themselves. "Why would anyone want to load apps on their phones when Windows Phones already has the only apps *I* think matter already installed". Only almost everyone who is interested in a Smart Phone. If Microsoft is hoping that a desire to run Office and connect to Exchange are going to help them re-establish themselves in the mobile phone market, they're in for a rude awakening. But if that *were* the case, Windows Mobile 6.1 and 6.5 would have kept them in the running without the radical redesign of Windows Phone 7.x. They had excellent Office and Outlook integration with Windows Mobile - and they lost their market dominance completely by solely focusing on corporate mobile apps. In the meantime, Apple ate Microsoft's cake by developing a platform with an outrageously expansive ecosystem of inexpensive apps in every category conceivable. Apple focused on leisure and entertainment - something it seems as if Microsoft actively *discouraged* during the Windows Mobile/CE era. I always had the impression that Microsoft did not want Windows CE to be thought of as a general purpose gaming platform. They wanted it to be seen as a serious, enterprise productivity platform. In the meantime, Apple came out with a general purpose app platform in iOS and showed that a mobile device could deliver games, entertainment, leisure and other non-corporate apps, and *still* be useful as an enterprise tool. Now Microsoft is FOLLOWING that model (just like Android), and is far behind. If the best they can do is claim, "We support Office and Outlook best with native apps", then they *are* going to fail. And there is my non-biased (and very accurate) mini-review of the prospects of Windows Phone as an addendum to this article.

dcolbert
dcolbert

First off, if Android users don't start paying for apps, developers aren't going to be as eager to make Android apps. Long term - this has to change, and there are signs it is. The change to Google Play and to discounted paid apps is designed to start getting Android users into the mind-set of paying for apps. So, I don't see this lasting, one way or another. Second off, a recent report shows that free advertiser-subsidized apps eat up your battery life. I think at $.99/app, we'll see more users optinig to pay for an app and increase their battery life rather than go with the free version. I think it is unlikely that the developers will spend more time and money figuring out how to more efficiently deliver ads in their free apps. Combined, I just don't think that the number of paid versus free apps makes that big of a difference. If you want the *best* games from the biggest publishers, you'll be paying for those apps on Android already.

Papapau
Papapau

He clearly stated iPhone or Android "Device" right?

dcolbert
dcolbert

And what they ask is, "Android or iPhone". Now, once we go through that, if they decide "Android", that is when I get the second round of questions - "Which one"... and that is a whole other can of worms, isn't it? I suppose that could have been one of the points above (and a couple other posters have touched on this) - Do you want lots of hardware choices that are custom tailored to your desire, budget, and needs - or do you want your hardware choices limited and narrow so that you don't have to worry about specs as much as about what the phone will do for you? Honestly - a lot of buyers fall into that last category. "I don't want to buy a phone and then find out I should have gotten another model of the same brand that had a better processor, or more ram, or expansion, or..." That kind of freedom of choice overwhelms a lot of consumers. They get caught up in all these tiny issues. The Galaxy Nexus has no SD card and no removable battery. Is that important? The Droid 4 has a hardware keyboard - but it doesn't have as nice of a screen as the Galaxy Nexus. Is that important? Do I want a 4" screen, a 4.6" screen, something even bigger? Do I want a pure Android experience? If not, which vendor skin is the "best"? All of these questions - "forget it, I'll just get an iPhone. iPhone users all seem happy, and none of them are worried about all of these little hardware details - because other than what generation it is and how much memory it has, an iPhone is an iPhone." On the flip side of that, if you get a 16GB iPhone, that better cover all of your storage needs - otherwise you'll reach a point where you've got two choices - start deciding what you REALLY want on your device or get a new iPhone with more storage. The console gaming industry has been very successful against the PC gaming industry based on this basic model. "Buy an Xbox 360 or PS3, go online, and you don't have to worry about upgrading your GPU every 6 months to keep up with everyone else's rig". It gets complex the deeper you get in. But at a very high level, when people ask me the question, they frame it this way - and this is where I like to get started on figuring out which method might be more appropriate for them. And here is the thing... we could change it to "Android versus iOS", but that *really* still *means*, Android or iPhone (if we're not talking about tablets and just talking about a smart-phone purchase). iOS *is* iPhone. Android is countless handsets. See what I mean? This is why people frame it this way. Ultimately, though, you've touched on something here. This is part of why I dread this question. It isn't clear cut and there *are* a lot of things to cover when you're trying to guide someone to their most informed decision. I expected there to be a lot of difference of opinion, suggestions, and things I simply missed in the conversation this article generates.

dcolbert
dcolbert

Danbi... Here is the thing... depending on which walled-garden you've bought into - this is a perfectly reasonable solution. In particular, Kindle is a dominant e-reading, e-Ink platform. Kindle is also supported across a wide range of platforms and devices. Once you've got your Kindle library set up, you've got access to it in numerous ways. With iBooks, you're using a limited range of Apple platforms or devices. Granted, if you have eDocuments in .epub format, you can easily port the books themselves to any number of other READERS... but you're going to end up with a lot of extra overhead from platform to platform, reader to reader. They're both walled-gardens. One is just has walls that cover a lot more ground. I'd never consider buying a book from iBooks. It limits me to reading my digital content solely through my Apple devices. When I buy a .azw DRM protected title, I can read it on countless devices, including my Apple platforms. So when I need to convert - it makes far more sense to convert for the most widely supported format that I am bought into. My guess is that this is a driver for a lot of users, considering the widespread success of the Kindle platform. It is almost counter-intuitive. iBooks supports .epub, an "open" format, but their delivery system is far more restrictive than Amazon's - which only supports .azw/.mobi. In this case, pick your poison. Until I got a Kindle e-Ink hardware device, I felt the same as you. Now I realize that Kindle is actually far more convenient and flexible and consistent than .epub solutions. iBooks was never really a consideration (and honestly, I'm not a big fan of Google Books, either). I don't want my library spread across several different apps depending on platform. Nook, Kindle, iBooks, Google Reader - and formats. There are times when I prefer the experience of a dedicated e-Ink based eReader device. Most of the time. But I also like easy content accessibility on my iOS devices, my Android devices, and other platforms. Kindle delivers this far better than iBooks. Buying into Kindle is the most elegant solution in this case, at this point. You may not get that and you may not have the need for it - but that doesn't make this example any less valid.

dcolbert
dcolbert

They're buying on contract with a subsidized phone - and if you're going this way, then there is little difference between a top-tier Android phone and the latest iPhone. In fact, Android may be more expensive. Over the term of the contract, you're going to end up spending somewhere between 1 and 2 grand total, anyhow. There is a flip side to the "unlocked" market, too. Android phones tend to totally depreciate in value after their lifespan. What will you give me for a Droid 1? I could still get almost $100 for my 6 year old iPod Classic 80gb on the used market. A quick scan of eBay shows that a 1st Gen iPod Touch still brings in about $100. A 1st Gen Droid 1 has all the capabilities of a 1st gen Touch plus a camera and MicroSD for memory expansion. I see one for $20 with zero bids. The one thing about buying Apple products is that you know they'll have a large resale value for a much longer time than any just about any other electronic device you buy. But you're right - these *are* things that people should consider, and there are a number of pros-and-cons here alone.

myangeldust
myangeldust

Any device claiming to be THE device should be able to access all web technologies. If Java, Flash, and Silverlight are not included said device is not geared towards dominating its market.

dcolbert
dcolbert

Is one of those technologies that are deal-breakers. If you need Silverlight, really need it... about the only way I can think of you're going to get it from a mobile device, iPad or Android - is by a RDP or Citrix session into a Windows box that then connects to the Silverlight based service you are trying to access. But I don't see Microsoft in a very big hurry to make Silverlight a cross platform solution.

dcolbert
dcolbert

Seriously, though - it is good to see vocal proponents of Windows Phone starting to show up in the forums. It has been a platform that has been underrepresented in having passionate advocates. If a platform doesn't have that at all, it is dying - unless it has the market momentum of something like Windows itself. That is one of the troubling things in the forums - you'll find vocal advocates of Apple, Android, and Linux - but you don't see enough people passionate about Windows. Deb Shinder posted a blog about this here a few months back, if I recall. In that case, I argued that Windows doesn't need vocal, passionate support, because it has the huge lion's share of the market. But Windows Phone needs this. Passionate fans are a sign of a platform's health.

mark.cooper
mark.cooper

How is it going to really gain traction if we take a wait and see attitude? Windows Phone 7 nicely filled a need I had last April, and at a good price. $45 with a new 2 year contract with AT&T. I vote with my dollars. I sometimes vote for a job well done. Sometimes I vote to show I like what I see so far and would like to see more. Sometimes I vote by recommending for or against something. I've never voted just because everyone else does.

mark.cooper
mark.cooper

I pretty much handle the networking design and implementation for a county in Ohio along with several private companies of varying size. County agencies are pretty much locked-in by their software vendors. Windows is the standard for workstation software. There is not an option for Linux or Mac. People get to know the system they have at work and take that knowledge home with them. When they get a computer for home....it's going to be Windows. The software that solves a need drives the workstation OS. As a consultant I pretty much oversee what goes on in multiple organizations. I deal with about 160 workstations and laptops. I have 25 servers: 1 IBM, 3 Linux, and 21 Windows. I have 3 assistants in 3 locations, only one of which is dedicated full time to IT. I have sat at each workstation at one time or another. If the person that uses the workstation has a computer at home, it is a Windows computer. One guy has a son that likes Linux so the home computer dual boots. The son's best friend works at Microsoft in Redmond. Of all my non-IT friends and acquaintances, 3 have Macs with the rest owning PC's (20 - 30). I did say there was a possible bias. I said there wasn't even a hint at a third option. When someone asks me to pick A or to pick B I do consider the source. If I believe there is a possibility of C being a good fit I do offer that as something to consider. One of my client staff just got an iPhone to replace his work Blackberry. When I asked why he chose the iPhone his response was the iPhone icons looked a lot like his Blackberry icons. This is after he tried my Windows Phone and a co-workers HTC Thunderbolt. This particular client is now allowing people to replace their work BlackBerry's with their choice of smartphone as long as the phone is under $100. So I now support about 10 BlackBerry's, 3 Androids, 1 iPhone, with 1 Windows Phone on order. I have owned my own Windows Phone for a year now. I limited my phone app remarks to productivity software due to time restraints on my part. I'm going live with a new Exchange server next Wednesday. This is the client with the above mentioned smartphones. Today I'm switching the last workstations running Eudora over to Outlook. One is 2 feet away from me in the server room a little east of Columbus, OH. One is just north of Orlando, and one is in Pittsburgh. The day of the conversion we'll be dealing with a couple laptops and smartphones on a job site in Louisiana, a laptop and smartphone in Alabama. A laptop and smartphone in South Carolina. There will be several laptops and smartphones somewhere east of the Mississippi. We'll know for sure where they'll be on Tuesday. After owning my Windows Phone for a year I don't hesitate to recommend it. It is so easy to use it was a non-event when I got it. I have 2 GoDaddy POP accounts, a Time-Warner POP account, a 1and1 POP account, an Exchange account, and finally my original AOL account from the mid-nineties. They all set up without a hitch. I purchased an 80 GB Zune when they came out, so my 3200+ track song collection now resides on my Windows Phone. Because I have Zune on my laptop and often listen to my music library while working, my Windows Phone automatically syncs to my laptop when I plug the phone into the USB port to charge. I've used OneNote on my laptop since 2003. All my OneNote notebooks are on SkyDrive and thus are available to my Windows Phone. Same thing with a bunch of Excel spreadsheets and Word documents. I do have the Kindle app, the Adobe Reader app, and several other useful apps installed. When I take a picture with the phone it automatically syncs to SkyDrive for backup purposes. I'd like to know what useful task can't be performed on the Windows Phone that can be done on either an Android or iPhone? I stand by my sheep comment. 3: Do most of your friends have iPhones and other iOS devices, or do they have Android smartphones? - I try not to hang out with sheep. Most of my friends actually think. They realize that a device that may be a good fit for their neighbor may not be a good fit for them. If you had said: Do most of your friends have iOS or Android devices that provide solutions to issues you also have? or something to that effect it would have made more sense to me. When I purchased my first car in high school (early seventies) most of my friends had big iron Fords, Chevy's, and Dodge's. My first car was a Fiat 850 Spyder. My parent's driveway was not big enough for a full size car. In addition I valued frugality. This was about a year before the first gas shortage. I did not let my peers decide what I needed. Donovan, I apologize for not covering all the points you brought up. Again, I'm swamped at work and have been bouncing back and forth between this forum, tech support calls, setting up a new laptop, and minding the store in general.

danbi
danbi

My reason for questioning your workflow has nothing to do with the walled gardens in fact. It was pointing to your converting on Calibre. Which means, that you in fact do not rely on any of the walled garden approach, but create your own library. If you have your own library, it does not matter what your "reader" device is, because you have to convert to it's format and transfer there anyway. This is why I said the example is bad: because there is no significant difference between the various device's walled gardens. Your library is independent. I used to have an "other" eInk device, which hardware wise had some things to ask for, but the software, although still in need of polish, was better than Kindle's for a number of reasons: It did support dozen of different formats, so no need to convert and in some cases damage the ebook formatting, and best of all it let me load my entire library of 20,000+ ebooks on the device. The Kindle sort of has troubles with navigating that many files and I have to make choice to load only few. Unfortunately, I lost my other ereader and decided to try Kindle. While the Kindle has one major benefit: they provide software for almost any platform, and the hardware is great for what it is, their software might behave better, especially on the eInk Kindle device.. Anyway, to repeat myself one more time: Your example, which is about easy of uploading ebooks from Calibre to the different platforms, is not very appropriate, as it is Kindle software centric. (and the faults are Kindle software related, not platform specific)

myangeldust
myangeldust

Imagine if Apple had made their product available to all providers at time of release way back when. Marked versions of their iPhone for each network type. Perhaps two models including one slimmed down in body and features - the same way Apple markets the iPod.

myangeldust
myangeldust

I've had a iPhone and an Android and was thinking about a Windows Phone. I don't have one yet because they're getting bigger and bigger. They advertise that their product is made for individuals but the manufacturers aren't bringing in much variation. Samsung had the Focus Flash, an iPhone sized unit with WP7.5. Now Nokia has the Lumia 620 which is roughly the size of an old iPhone and cheap, but not available in the US. I know locking and contracts is a reality in the market. However, there must be a niche of cheaper WP8 units for the user that doesn't want a THX 3D experience. All WP8 phones should be available from all providers including Cricket, Virgin, Boost, Simple, et al. I mean if you really want to get a piece of the market wouldn't covering every provider be the best strategy?

mark.cooper
mark.cooper

AT&T was my only choice when my Verizon contract ran out. I had our Verizon rep come in a couple times to discuss our corporate account. The first time he had his iPad and his Zoom to access his corporate network. I asked him about Verizon's plans regarding Windows Phone. He said there were lots of problems with Windows but wouldn't elaborate. I got my first smartphone last April. Within the last month or so I've taken on corporate mobile phone responsibilities so past problems between Verizon and Microsoft were never on my radar. I really had no pre-conceived notions with phones. I really had the hots for the Samsung Galaxy Tab when they first came out but could never justify the purchase. Just too incompatible with my work environment. When we needed a tablet for in-house Windows software development I settled on the Acer Iconia Tab W500. About 3 months later W8DP was released. It installed flawlessly on the W500. I maintained full corporate compatibility (at 2 different clients). Microsoft has some tough times ahead but I believe they will end up with a pretty large share of the phone and tablet market. My first corporate WP7, an HTC Trophy, is due to arrive this Wednesday. It will be interesting to see what the BlackBerry guys think of it. The 2 current Android owners were new hires and already had personal Androids so that's what we got them for work. They did NOT want a BlackBerry like the rest of the crew has.

dcolbert
dcolbert

Apple did more good for AT&T than AT&T did for Apple - that is, Apple succeeded with the iPhone in SPITE of AT&T, not because of them. Droid struggled for a couple of years until they came to Verizon - and that tipped the scales *and* gave Apple their first real competition (and incentive to finally break exclusivity and come to Verizon, and then Sprint). There is allegedly a schism between Verizon and Microsoft lingering because of the Microsoft Kin debacle. If Microsoft can't get a strong WP7 presence in Verizon - I don't know that Windows Phone has enough cachet to be successful with AT&T as their primary carrier. To be honest - I'd be an iPhone user today if Apple had gotten the iPhone to Verizon sooner. They waited, and there was no way I would go to AT&T. Because they waited, Android arrived first, and I switched. By the time they did get there, it was too late - I was bought into the Android platform. Windows Phone is behind the curve already, and now is getting saddled with that same AT&T/No Verizon liability. It is a bad situation that I think Microsoft needs to correct quickly. AT&T is a no-go for millions of potential consumers - and Verizon is the alternative for almost all of them. They've already got an uphill battle, and being Verizon-crippled only makes it a tougher climb.

mark.cooper
mark.cooper

Many, many of the new WP7 owners started with iOS and/or Android. I've rarely seen such consistently positive reviews as have been posted for the WP7 devices. My WP7 is my first smart phone so I really didn't have any pre-conceived notions about any of the phones. I got it. It just works. It's just another tool in my arsenal. All my clients are Windows-centric. I figured I may as well stick with Windows. I'm eagerly awaiting the upcoming Nokia/AT&T intro. I think that event will provide the nudge to get things rolling for Microsoft. AT&T was the first carrier to provide the iPhone. AT&T has more WP7 phones in their stores than the other carriers (2-3 models vs 1 or none). I have the original Samsung Focus and, obviously, am quite happy with it. - Mark

mark.cooper
mark.cooper

In the business world there many unhappy Blackberry campers. I think Microsoft has a good shot at capturing that market. I'm not real happy with the lack of built-in VPN and Remote Desktop. But when I think about it, I'd end up using my laptop to manage my servers because there is not enough real estate on the phone. Now, with Windows 8 on my tablet we have a whole 'nuther ball game. I have my Windows Phone interface (Metro) for the easy stuff. When I need to dive under the hood I drop to the desktop with VPN, Remote Desktop, full printer support, etc. I think having a consistent interface between my phone, my tablet, my laptop, and yes, my servers, I believe Microsoft is on the right track. I installed Server 8 DP in a virtual machine but didn't have much of a chance to play with it. I've yet to download the Server 8 Beta. I don't think sales numbers tell the whole story. Part of the story is who are the buyers? I believe I have a lot of influence as a very long time IT person. I did purchase WP7. I have written to Microsoft with my enterprise concerns. I'm going to put my first enterprise owned WP7 into production next week. I do have my fingers crossed. For this particular client, WP7 makes more sense than iOS or Android. Once the phone arrives from Verizon there will then be two WP7s in the county. -Mark

dcolbert
dcolbert

And I would have switched back if they offered me a compelling reason to do so. Instead, it offered me a lot of compelling reasons to sit tight. Not that it wasn't a good effort. I was duly impressed with much of what it offered. But when I asked about the lack of MicroSD and no tethering on the HTC Titan, the Microsoft rep told me that this was by design and to appeal to enterprise security and device management concerns. That isn't going to translate into market success, in my opinion. Microsoft's success with Windows was a symbiotic thing. On one side, Office and NT technology became dominant in the workplace, so everyone wanted Office and Windows at home because it was what they knew. But that is only half of the story. The other half was that a bajillion kids started pirating Windows from the start - pirating MS/DOS, really - and Microsoft continuously became a platform for gaming PCs. Those kids grew up to be Windows gurus and joined the IT force. Carmack dropped Linux development after Quake 3 even though he hated Direct X - which is why ID games required Glide3D for so long. Microsoft nurtured entertainment and leisure pursuits on Windows platforms and that is 50% of their dominant success. Apple was paying attention - and they went for CONSUMERS first. You can really see a parallel in how iOS came out as a consumer oriented platform and was bashed for not having enterprise class security. Is that a familiar story? A quick Google search shows that Windows Phone total unit sales are something of a mystery, but even the most optimistic numbers pale next to what the iPad 3 sold before it was even available. Android likewise has a HUGE number of total units sold. Meanwhile RIM is in danger of falling off the face of the earth, almost solely courting the enterprise. By the same token of your logic, the best way I can make Microsoft see that they need new direction is by *not* supporting them with a purchase until they address my outstanding concerns. They're unlikely to poach Apple users from iOS purchases (as there are a lot of emotional reasons people pick Apple). Users who reject Apple's model and are drawn to Android are drawn there for a certain set of well discussed criteria. So why would Microsoft more closely follow Apple's model? It just means you're going to make a product that isn't appetizing to Android users, and lacks the ability to convince Apple users to switch. The sales numbers reflect that I'm on the right track with this train of thought. If they fix there problems, the buyers will come. Give the stability and reliability and smoothness of iOS, with the freedom of choice of Android - and build on that model - it would be hard to go wrong.

mark.cooper
mark.cooper

The difference between smartphones now and PC's in the early years as I see it is the people purchasing early PCs were early adopters and were willing to do a lot of hands on stuff just to get things to work. Today, new (to smartphones) smartphone buyers just want it to work. I don't think they are so big on customization (Android). I think they may be put off by high price (iOS). I see AT&T has announced the Nokia Lumia 900 for $100 with a new two year contract. I watched a video review of WP7 today. The reviewer hated that he couldn't copy his music to a folder of his choice on the phone...he had to use Zune. Yes, that's like Apple, but I believe that is what the average consumer is looking for. Microsoft has to look at the numbers when it comes to phones. There are far more average consumers out there than there are techies. I suspect there are people now purchasing smartphones that really should stick with flip phones. Anyway, the time frame from early adopters to general mass market uptake in the smartphone category has been greatly accelerated from the PC days.

dcolbert
dcolbert

Not in Ohio = especially in the suburban bliss of NE Ohio. A 4 way stop there is like the early days of 8 Bit OSes and PCs - a total free for all. :) You might be surprised at how much of this I agree with you about. In fact, I use the analogy to historical patterns of PC OS emergence as a guidepost on how modern smart-device evolution is shaping up on a regular basis. In that analogy I frequently mention that Android reminds me of nothing from that era more than the Commodore Amiga platform - a really great platform that has a ton of potential but is a little rougher than the competition in some key areas and kind of headed down its own path that is fundamentally different than the direction everyone else seems to be taking. I've bought into the dead end before because I thought the advantages were clearly superior to the disadvantages, and lost on that bet. The Amiga lasted me from the AT era well into the era of the 386DX, and was still popular and dominant in certain niche industries for a long time after that - but eventually Intel Architecture found a balance of power and price and Microsoft Windows delivered an OS platform that offered a balance of ease of use and power that made the other platforms irrelevant. But my crystal ball is just too hazy right now on how things are shaping up this time around. I have my ideas, concerns and questions - but I'm not ready to weigh in professionally on how I think the dust will settle. I think it is anyone's game. At one point, an Intel based PC was simply not a consideration outside of business. They were too expensive and too limited in gaming and other leisure activities up until well into the 286/AT era. While the Amiga and Atari ST were delivering 4096 color graphics - EGA was the height of consumer oriented PC graphics. It wasn't until 32 bit 386 IA architecture and affordable VGA graphics (and Windows) that the PC market exploded. I can even remember the first killer app that drove this... it was Wing Commander (followed shortly thereafter by Wolfenstein 3D). Suddenly, consumers were much more interested in IA PC technology, and Amiga and Atari and all the other contenders were dead within a year or two. Something could change that radically, that rapidly, right now or at some point in the near future. But what I see of Windows Phone doesn't follow the classic model which I believe was instrumental of the "WinTel" victory back in the past. Intel DIY clones and Windows were relatively open and overwhelmed by market saturation. Today, Android most closely resembles that market - whereas Windows is taking a more Apple approach where they have things locked down much tighter. The Windows phone is more like IBMs classic line of PS/2 PC compatibles. That niche didn't work for IBM very well then - I'm not sure it is a market model that will do well for Microsoft with Windows Phone now.

mark.cooper
mark.cooper

I don't follow the internal politics at Microsoft and was not aware of their internal products. I'm not surprised to hear about them. I used the E & L Intruments breadboard computer while in college getting my electrical engineering degree. I got into computers during the Imsai, MITS, et al. days. I sold computers back in the days of Northstar, Eagle (I was an Eagle dealer), Franklin, Chromemco, and others. I was there when IBM and Microsoft brought sanity to the computer world. They brought standards. I compare today's Google/Android environment to the Digital Research/CP/M days of total chaos. This was back when we had 8" floppies: single sided vs double sided, with hub rings vs no hub rings, single density vs double density. Roll your own serial cable if you wanted to connect a printer to your computer. Microsoft/IBM came along and brought standards. They may not have had leading edge technology, but they were consistent...compared to what was available at the time. They buried CP/M and MP/M. Microsoft sold to any manufacturer. IBM generally allowed competition although they did sue Eagle for making too close a copy. Today, Apple is still Apple. A device manufacturer cannot purchase iOS to use on their hardware. Google is like Digital Research, except Android is free. I'm betting Microsoft will do to/with the smartphone/tablet industry what they helped do to/with the microcomputer industry in the early eighties. Windows Phone may not be technologically the best OS but they will concentrate on the OS and sell to the device manufacturers. They will bring order to chaos. They will keep plugging away, slowly improving their product. One of my clients' LOB software is DOS based using dBase/Clipper Summer '87. This software runs in Windows 8 on our Acer W500 test tablet. Granted, it can't use the virtual keyboard, but then again, it never could use the mouse. Does iOS have that kind of backward compatibility? Android? Years ago I bet on Microsoft for my computer OS, and for my livelihood. I'm willing to bet on them again for my phone with Windows Phone 7. I did not bet on Windows Mobile. Every manufacturer has had their lemons/duds. Microsoft has had theirs. Apple has had theirs. They're both still around and they're both still competing with each other, much the same as in the early eighties. FWIW, My first 'real' computer was the Apple II+. I added the 16K RAM card to take it all the way up to 64K. I used Applesoft (Microsoft) BASIC. I installed the Microsoft Softcard (Z-80 Softcard) to get CP/M capability. This is where dBase II from Ashton-Tate came in. Back in the day, Apple played fairly well with others. Not any more. BTW - I was born and raised in Ohio and still live here, just outside of Columbus. When at a 4-way stop where several drivers arrive simultaneously, the driver to your right has dibs to proceed through the 4-way. Doesn't everyone know this? - Mark

dcolbert
dcolbert

Your comment illustrates that you're deeply bought into the Microsoft platform. I want to be blunt about this, though - it makes you something of a relic. I don't mean any offense by that, so please read on. You're using a suite of Microsoft products from front to back and edge to edge in your digital life - including Zune and Skydrive (and by extension, Windows Live). This is the marginal minority market at this point - and something that I very rarely encounter. If someone explained that depth of Microsoft platform integration to me and asked me this question, I probably *would* recommend that they look at Windows Phone. The same claims I make above about being bought into Mac or Google suites should apply by simple logic to being so bought into the complete Microsoft solution for digital management and single log-on. But you're the first person I've ever discussed using Skydrive or Microsoft Live solutions as integrated with their larger mobile device strategy. I don't think I know a single person who owns a Zune. Microsoft has failed with those initiatives so far (and Apple hasn't done a WHOLE lot better) - whereas Facebook and Google have been far more successful with offering cloud-based, single-login solutions that integrate with device platforms seamlessly. There is certainly a LOT of room to disagree here, and my stand outside of this one particular question has always been that it is far too early to declare any one of these 3 platforms as the clear winner *or* dead in the water. I have some strong reservations about the model that Microsoft is trying to push with WP 7.x and Windows 8. It mirrors the locked-down Apple model too closely for my comfort, and I think that is a mistake when Android more closely resembles the open traditional Windows style model that has consistently been successful across a gamut of personal electronics. With that said, I am most commonly accused of being a Linux-bashing Microsoft "shill", although lately I've been getting accused of being an Android "pundit" more frequently. The truth is, although I disagree with some of your points, I think that overall, for the right person, a Windows Mobile phone is probably an excellent consideration. But I'm guessing that the vast majority of people who come to me would not be happy with a Windows phone, ultimately. As for what "useful" tasks that can't be performed on a WP that can on Android or iOS - I'd imagine that the same claims I make about Android being more flexible than iOS apply to WP 7, too. Most of those concern things like the ability to open up multiple different vendor markets or to side-load apps without jumping through hoops. With WP7 like iOS, you're locked down to the single vendor market. With Android, there are maybe a dozen different legitimate choices - as well as the ability to download and side-load apps directly from publishers. If you've got in-house development, this means it is far easier to design your own apps and load them onto your devices, something that is possible with iOS through their developer program - but I don't know if it is even an option with WP7 at this point. But honestly, if we're going to qualify this with what apps are "useful", it makes it a very difficult question to answer. I'll say this - my WP7 user's complaint is that he is excluded from all the other reindeer games that iOS and Android users at the company enjoy with one another. The hot apps that are at the Apple Store and Google Play frequently aren't options for him at all, paid or free. In my HTC review, I pointed out that the biggest apps are ubiquitously available for most smart-phone platforms - especially productivity ones. But beyond that, the selection becomes far more limited - and *most* people who are interested in smart-phones are going to be disappointed when they discover that about WP7.x. Again, if I'm putting my recommendation on a platform or product, I don't want that person coming back to me in 3 months saying I steered them wrong because they can't play Words with Friends or Draw It Free because those apps aren't available on Windows Phone. I don't think being a professional, productivity minded IT pro excludes a smart-phone user from that consideration. Windows Phone lags on app equality - especially outside of the top tier of social media and productivity apps. Part of the reason that these articles are open to forum discussions is so that we can have these evolving side-threads that add to the conversation - and I think the points you bring up enhance the overall discussion. I think we've established that for some buyers, Windows Phone might be worth checking out. I think those users generally have a good idea of who they are, though. If Windows Phone continues to grow and evolve in a positive direction, it can certainly make this a 3 way question. At this time, I don't think it is for most users, though. Right now, it is a two party race - and Windows Phone is the odd 3rd party candidate with big ears and an erratic platform and a shaky policy record. Which is good. Microsoft can use a good dose of being the underdog instead of the incumbent, of being hungry and finding itself in a place where it needs to take risk and be innovative and execute flawlessly. Redmond grew complacent, and now they're feeling the hurt. I know they've got the ability to execute better if they're challenged. Over the next 5 years or so, we'll discover if they can reinvent themselves, fix their internal problems, and make themselves relevant as a technology LEADER instead of a risk-adverse, internally dysfunctional technology bellwether. You know, one of the big hangups that set Microsoft back on mobile technology is that the Office Suite group pushed-back on efforts to make Office "touch screen" friendly? They didn't want to embrace a change - they saw themselves as a Desktop PC, Mouse friendly application group and they fought efforts outside of their group to develop a broader range of user interface solutions. Microsoft needs to fix those internal issues and make sure all of their groups are on the same page with the direction the company is taking. They can't afford to fight against themselves right now.

dcolbert
dcolbert

It was one example of how my usage pattern is different on my iPad than it is on my Transformer and how the experience is more fluid and powerful on an Android device than it is on an iOS device for *my* particular use. I did go out of my way to disclose this is a kind of power use that most people wouldn't experience. The point was, though - and this remains true, and the example illustrates this - for many power uses, the flexibility of Android is going to be easier to work around than the simplicity of iOS. With that said, I didn't vote you down - I want to make that clear - and I do understand what you're getting at. There are a lot of variables going on here - and to be honest, for editorial clarity there are times when you simply can't address every conceivable variation of a situation that might arise - you've got to take an example you know well and ignore potential qualifiers. Of course, those are always the ones where someone who is doing it differently jumps out of the woodwork to say, "AHA, you discussed point A and B, but not point C, you must not have done your research!" But you're right - I'm assuming an iOS or Android user who is also bought into the Kindle platform as opposed to other eReader devices which might make this a non-issue because of more open eDocument formats. With that said, my suspicion is that the Kindle demographic and the iOS demographic probably have *significant* overlap. Educated, affluent, status conscious, dedicated content-consumers. The ironic thing becomes that these are the users most likely to benefit from the scenario I describe, but I think they're the most likely to also not take those extra steps in any case, regardless of if they owned an iOS or Android tablet.