An iPhone Lover's Confession: I Switched To The Nexus 4

Over the past few years I've invested a lot into Apple's products and services. If you come by my house, you'd find four of the latest Apple TVs, two iMacs, the latest MacBook Air, a MacBook Pro, more than five AirPort Express stations and Apple's Time Capsule. You could touch every single iPhone, from the first up to the iPhone 5, iPads ranging from first generation to fourth and we recently added two iPad minis.

My iTunes Library comprises well over 8000 songs — all purchased via the iTunes Store.No matter whom you would ask, everybody will confirm that I'm what some folks call an Apple fanboy.

The reach of Apple's products goes beyond my personal life.

As the co-founder of Germany's largest mobile development shop, I'm dealing with apps — predominantly iOS powered — in my daily professional life.

Driven primarily by the business I run, I tried to give Android a chance more than once.

In various self-experiments, I tried to leave my iPhone at home for the Motorola Droid, the Nexus One, the Samsung Galaxy S II and S III — and always switched straight back to the iPhone. None of those Android devices have worked for me — yet.

And then I got the Nexus 4.

When the latest Google flagship Android device shipped, I almost expected it to turn out as yet another "take-a-look-and-sell-it-on-ebay" experience. Little did I know.

It's now almost two weeks since I switched the Nexus 4 on for the first time — and meanwhile I completely moved to it, leaving my iPhone 5 at home. Do I miss anything? Nope. Except iMessage. More on that later.

My motivation is not to bash Platform A over Platform B. On the contrary: I will try to summarise my very personal findings and experiences based on years of using iOS. I've seen the Apple platform evolve while Android was playing catch-up for so long. When iOS 6 came out, for the first time I complained about the lack of innovation in this major new release. I asked myself, whether we might see Apple beginning to lose its leading position in mobile platforms.

Before you read on, it's important to emphasise that I'm a pro user.

I'm not the average smartphone owner, who makes just a couple of calls every now and then or runs an app once in a while. By the nature of my job and out of curiosity, I deal a lot with social media outlets, social networks and constantly try new services. With that said, my judgement might not be suitable for everyone. In case you consider yourself being a demanding power user, though, you might find this helpful.

At the time of this writing, I've been using Android Jelly Bean 4.2.1 on an LG Nexus 4.

Putting it into a single line: The latest version of Android outshines the latest version of iOS in almost every single aspect.

I find it to be better in terms of the performance, smoothness of the rendering engine, cross-app and OS level integration, innovation across the board, look & feel customisability and variety of the available apps.

In the following paragraphs, I try to explain why.

Performance and Smoothness of the Rendering Engine

I know there are benchmarks which measure all kinds of technical performance on a very detailed level. That's not what I've done and, honestly, I'm not interested into that much. I'm talking about the performance I feel in my daily use.

Using the Nexus 4 with Android 4.2.1 is a pure pleasure when it comes to performance. I don't exactly know what Google has done with "Project Butter" in Jelly Bean, but the result is astonishing. In the past, Android felt laggy, sometimes even slow and responses to gestures didn't feel half as immediate as on iOS.

This has changed completely.

I'd say both platforms are at least even. In some cases, Android even feels a bit ahead of iOS 6. I especially got this impression when it comes to rapidly switching between apps — which I constantly do now — and scrolling through a huge number of more complex content. (I'm not talking just tables with text here.)

While Android still doesn't give you bouncing lists and scroll views — primarily, because Apple has a patent for this specific behaviour — every transition between views has been reworked, polished and modernised. In most cases, it feels more modern, clean and up-to-date than its iOS counterpart.

Cross-App and OS Level Integration

One of the biggest advantages I found during my daily use is the level of cross-app and OS level integration.

This also is the area where I was most disappointed when Apple introduced iOS 6.

In fact, I think iOS has reached a point where usability starts to significantly decrease due to the many workarounds that Apple has introduced. All of these just to prevent exposing a paradigm like a file system or allowing apps to securely talk to each others. There is a better way of doing this. Apples knows about it but simply keeps ignoring the issues.

On Android, it's quite the opposite. One can see the most obvious example when it comes to handling all sorts of files and sharing.

Let's assume I receive an email with a PDF attachment which I'd like to use in some other apps and maybe post to a social network later.

On iOS, the user is forced to think around Apple's constraints. There is no easy way to just detach the file from the email and subsequently use it in what ever way I want. Instead, all iOS apps that want to expose some sort of sharing feature, do have to completely take care for it themselves. The result is a fairly inconsistent, unsatisfying user experience.

On iOS, you might use the somewhat odd "Open in…" feature — in case the developer was so kind to implement it — to first move the file over to Dropbox, which gives you a virtual cloud-based file system. If you're lucky, the other app, from which you want to use the file next, offers Dropbox integration, too, so you can re-download it and start from there. All because Apple denies the necessity of basic cross-app local storage.

On Android, it's really simple.

I can detach the file to a local folder and further work with it from there. Leveraging every single app that handles PDF files. In case I receive a bunch of MP3 files, I can do the same. And every app that somehow can handle audio playback, can reuse those mp3 files.

Another great example: Sharing stuff on social networks. On iOS, I have to rely on the developers again. Flipboard, as one of the better examples, gives me the ability to directly share with Google+, Twitter and Facebook. On my Nexus 4, I have 20+ options. That is, because every app I install can register as a sharing provider. It's a core feature of the Android operating system.

But it goes even further: On Android, I can change the default handlers for specific file types — much like I'm used to from desktop operating systems.

If, for example, you're not happy with the stock Photo Gallery application, that shows up whenever an app wants you to pick an image, you can simply install one from over a hundred alternatives and tell Android to use it as its new default. The next time you post a photo with the Facebook app — or have to pick an image from within any other app — your favourite gallery picker shows up instead of Android's own.

All of this is entirely impossible on iOS today. I've stopped counting how often I felt annoyed because I clicked a link to a location in Mobile Safari and would have loved the Google Maps app to launch. Instead, Apple's own Maps app is hard-coded into the system. And there's no way for me to change it.

The Customisability is Simply Stunning

Let me make this very clear: Gone are the days where home screens on Android phones almost always looked awful.

If you don't believe me, hop over to MyColorscreen and see for yourself.

Also note that all of those are real Android home screens, not just concepts provided by designers. They are not beautifully Photoshopped wallpapers, but fully functional screens with app icons and active widgets.

And all of those can be configured pretty easily just by installing a couple of apps and tweaking settings. Here is an album showing my current configuration, which I was able to achieve after just a couple of days using Android as an absolute newbie.

Getting inspired? Here are some more of my favourites:

Now, iPhone lovers might argue that the average Joe doesn't want to deal with widgets, icons and custom animations. I've used the same argument for years. Well, guess what, you don't have to. The default Jelly Bean home screen looks beautiful already. But in caseyou want a somewhat more individual phone, the possibilities are endless.

For years, what you could do with Android, simply yielded awful-looking home screens. This has changed. Significantly so.

And believe me or not, but after having configured my Nexus 4 just the way I always wanted — providing me with the fastest access to my most frequently used apps along with the most important information on a single screen — whenever I grab my iPhone for testing purposes, iOS feels pretty old, outdated and less user friendly. For me, there currently is no way of going back. Once you get used to all of these capabilities, it's hard to live without them.

App Quality and Variety

Yes, there are still lots of really ugly apps on Google Play.

In my opinion, this has two primary reasons.

First, the obvious one: The lack of a centralised quality control and review. It's great for encouraging variety, but obviously it also allows for some really cheap productions to be published to the store. Usually, you can spot those immediately from the screenshots on Google Play.

The second reason is more low-level: The way developers declare user interfaces (it's primarily done in an XML configuration file) allows for rapidly hammering together dirty UIs. That's what happens a lot and users can see and feel it. iOS developers tend to be more aware to involve designers and iOS UIs cannot be crapped together as easily.

However, I no longer feel as though the apps I use most greatly fall behind their iOS counterparts.

The Facebook app is identical in terms of the look and feel and its features. As a plus, it has better cross-app integration. The Google+ app is better on Android, but that's to be expected. Flipboard is fantastic on Android, plus better integration. The same is true for Pulse News. The list goes on: Instagram, Path, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, Quora, Pocket, Amazon Kindle, Spotify, Shazam and Google Talk. They are all great on Android. Plus better integration. Plus home screen widgets. You sense a scheme here?

And if you want to experience some real UI magic — even if you just need an argument when you're bumping into an iPhone owner the next time — install Zime, a highly addictive calendar for Android which features a smooth 3D animation and really innovative UI.

Talking about variety. This is, where Android's openness pays off.

On iOS, many things I always wished to see being developed, simply cannot be done because of the strict sandbox Apple enforces around apps. On Android, I use an app to block unwanted calls. To auto-respond to incoming short messages. And to lock some specific apps with an extra passcode, so my customers don't play with my Facebook profile, when I hand over my Nexus 4 for demos.

I also have apps that give me great insight into the use of mobile data across the device and all apps. Or the battery consumption. Or which apps talk home and how frequently.

None of it is available for iOS. And possibly won't be at any time in the near future.

What I Miss

I said this earlier: The only thing I miss is iMessages. I'm not kidding. Letting go iMessages was difficult, as many of my friends are on iPhones and used to text me via iMessage. While there are perfect alternatives (Facebook Messenger, Google Talk, WhatsApp, to name only a few), from time to time I still find a couple of unread iMessages, when I switch on my iPhone 5.

My Most Frequently Used Apps

I'm an Android newbie. During the last couple of days, I had to ask many questions and received hundreds of recommendations for apps. I installed, tried and uninstalled. And kept the great ones. My sincere thanks go out to the great Nexus and Android communities over at Google+.

In case you decided to give Android a try before you read this article, or got inspired here, I'd like to save you some of my journey. Here is a list of the apps I found most useful (and beautiful, given the high standards set by years as an iPhone addict):

- Nova Launcher Prime — a must have if you want to get creative with your home screen(s)

- Google+, Facebook, Facebook Messenger, LinkedIn, Quora, Dropbox, Evernote, Foursquare. - Twitter, or as alternatives Falcon Pro and Plume Premium. - Pulse News, Flipboard, Google Currents and Press(a handsome Google Reader) for your daily dose of news. - Spotify, Shazam (which you don't necessarily need anymore, because Google Search on Android has this built in), doubleTwist for everything audio - MX Player Pro as a really versatile video player that handles almost all formats seamlessly. - TubeMate to make YouTube videos available for offline viewing. - QuickPic as a replacement for the stock photo picker (Gallery). - Pixlr Express as the most amazing photo editor I've seen on a smartphone. Forget about Camera+ on your iPhone. - Instagram, Snapseed and Flickr for photo sharing. - Wifi Analyzer if you ever want to fine tune your wireless LAN. - Zedge for free access to hundreds of thousands of ringtones, wallpapers and notification sounds. - Power Toggles for home screen level access to toggling bluetooth, Wi-Fi and other settings. - Remote for iTunes as a 100 per cent replacement for the Remote app on your iPhone. - Minimalistic Text to create beautifully simplistic text widgets for your home screen. - ASTRO File Manager if you want to fiddle on file system level. - AirDroid to remotely manage all aspects of your phone from a browser on your desktop PC. - Battery Widget Reborn! Pro. - BeyondPod if you're an avid podcast listener as I am. - ConnectBot, a really capable SSH client. - Eye In Sky weather widget for beautiful weather on your home screen. - Square Glass Jelly Bean Blue icon theme;

Note: I always use the paid/pro version of apps, if one is available. Coming from iOS, I simply cannot adjust my eyes to in-app ads and probably never will. Google Play now offers credit cards, PayPal and some other payment alternatives. Plenty of choice. I encourage everybody to give back to the developer economy and not just go for the free versions.

In case you're wondering why I took the burden to include all of the links to the apps above, well, here is another advantage over iOS: Google Play allows the complete remote install via the Web. If you're logged into your account you click the install button after visiting one of the links in any browser, and wherever your phone is, the respective app will be installed silently.

My Android Wish List

Let me finish this post with a couple of wishes I've got for the next major version of Android, hopefully made available at this year's Google I/O:

- More and centralised settings for notifications, or a notification centre. The rich notifications introduced in Jelly Bean and the overall usability of the notification bar and drawer are already far better than those on iOS. (On a side note, I never understood why usability masters like the Apple engineers decided to make the "clear" button so tiny, that you can hardly hit it without using a magnifying glass.) However, the level of customisation you get for Android notifications is currently 100 per cent up to the developers.This means, even though Android offers a great variety of possibilities, they are not consistently available in all apps. In fact, some apps barely let you switch notifications on and off, while others allow you to customise every aspect, from notification sound to the colour of the notification LED to do-not-disturb times. These should be made available globally and enforced through the APIs. For example, I'd love to be able to receive notifications on Facebook messages, but don't want them to show the full message preview in the notification bar.

There are some apps, which let you chose whether you want a complete preview, or just a standard "you've got mail" message, without revealing its content. But it's up to the developer whether you've got the choice or not.

Or: Android has support for a notification LED that can flash in different colours. I configured the LED on my Nexus 4 to blink green on new WhatsApp messages. Incoming stuff from Facebook notifies in blue and new business mail causes the LED to flash in white. What sounds like a tiny feature is really valuable: While sitting in a meeting, you can grasp immediately whether you might want to check your phone right away or not. Unfortunately, not all apps let you customise the LED colour. Again, it's up to the developer to provide these settings as part of their application. This belongs into a centralised notification centre.

Options I'd like to see centralised: LED colour, notification sound, content preview. They could also be exposed on app level, but the Android notification centre should allow for overrides.

- Support for multiple accounts in Google Now. I'd love to see Google Now taking advantage of multiple configured Google accounts. On my device, I'd like my Google Apps for Businesses account to drive the calendar based cards but my private one for everything else (location and browsing history, etc). Currently, Google Now can only leverage a single account. I therefore had to switch browsing and location history on for the Google Apps for Business account I use professionally. This should be a no-brainer for Google and I keep wondering, why the folks at Google tend to forget these multiple-account scenarios.

- Solving the inconsistencies grouped around the back button. I've actually found this on many lists and from what I've read it has already gotten better in Jelly Bean. However, at times I still get confused about the multiple navigation hierarchies that are caused by the native back button which is part of the OS and a second back button available within apps. Oddly enough, the mostly fantastic Google+ Android app suffers from this issue, too. Sometimes I end up on my home screen just because I "went back to far". It's not a big issue, but one which needs to be addressed.As a starter, how about giving the damn back button a different colour if the next time you hit it, you'll be taken out of the app.

- Indicate whether an app uses Google Cloud Messaging or some other technology to stay connected. I believe this one to be huge: On iOS, there are essentially no long-running background processes, except for VoIP or Navigation apps. This means, all apps that notify users of incoming data while they are inactive, make use of a centralised service operated by Apple, called Push Notifications. It has a great advantage with respect to battery life, as there is only a single process on the OS level, that monitors all incoming messages and distributes them to the targeted apps, instead of potentially many apps doing whatever they want to do to stay connected. Android has a similar service, named Google Cloud Messaging.Unfortunately, there is no obvious way to differentiate apps that leverage this service from those, that constantly poll or even keep a socket connection to their home servers.I'd love to see the ones making use of Google Cloud Messaging identified in Google Play and on the OS level, maybe in the already available App Info screen. That way, I could dramatically increase battery life by stopping those that constantly talk back home and encourage developers to make use of Google's Cloud Messaging service.

One Last Word

At the beginning I stated, that I tried Android many times before and it never worked for me. I figured, there are two main reasons for this. First, Android has made a major step forward with Jelly Bean. It just wasn't on pair with iOS before. Second, and more important, I found the stock Android experience provided by Google the best you can get. After switching to the Nexus 4, I tried my Samsung S III again,and it did not work for me.

What Samsung does with its TouchWiz modifications and many of the other tiny changes — and other non Nexus vendors too — totally ruins the experience for me. If you're coming from iOS I highly recommend choosing one of the Nexus devices with guaranteed updates and a clean Android environment the way Google envisioned it.

Closing it Off

This was rather lengthy. I figured, switching the mobile OS platform should be worth an in-depth view. Hence this post. I hope you've enjoyed it.

Will I sell my iPhone 5? No. No. No. I never sold one. I'll keep it. Maybe it'll manage to win me back with iOS 7.

Looking forward to your feedback in the comments. Or on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.


Ralf Rottmann is a serial entrepreneur from Germany, CTO at grandcentrix and former editor for The Next Web. He successfully sold his last business to Alcatel-Lucent. Find him on Twitter @ralf and Facebook and Google+.


Comments

    Also a random fact, the new batch of Nexus 4 phones don't have a glittery back. It supposedly makes the phone less prone to cracks on the back.

      wait, what... I'm calling you BS on that one LOL

      http://www.androidcentral.com/those-glitterless-nexus-4-stories-are-bullshit

        I'm calling BS because who would know? Maybe that one guy at LG working on the Nexus 4 assembly line. Are they even making these things still?

          At least Apple has had the courtesty in the past to actually not be anywhere near out of stock when they say they are, lol.

    I agree with you 100%. I also switched from iPhone to android. I settled with a samsung galaxy s3. However, I am very disappointed with the speed of the phone/touchwiz on 4.0.4. I love how it just does what I want. I would consider moving back to ios but I next want to try a decent win8 phone then go with what's best for me.

      You can always flash the google stock rom on the S3 over at xda-developers.

        Thanks for that. I'll give it a go today.

        I can't find the stock google ROM anywhere, do you have a link?

          There isn't a "Stock" google ROM for the SIII, but you can flash Cyanogenmod 10.1, which is as close to stock as you can get, with a few power-user options.

      If you're disappointed with 4.0.4, head over to XDA developers and upgrade to 4.1.2 Jelly bean and you'll no longer be disappointed. Its buttery smooooooth!!!

    This article made me smile :) I own the nexus 4 from the first batch release, still loving it. Recommend the bumper case though, I have dropped it a few times accidentally and I was relieved the back glass didn't crack.

    Would love the N4 but still unable to get hold of one without paying through the nose, worse product launch in googles history.

      In Googles history? This is the worst product launch since Gates demonstrated plug and play for the first time and blue screened.

    You may want to add that you can also remotely install apps from your computer via the Google Play website. :)

      can also do that with the lumia 920
      i browse the site at work, install the apps and they are on the phone when i pick it up (or installing) its great

        Can you really remotely install apps from your computer via the Google Play website on your lumia 920.
        Awesome. I'm may just get one.

          Should work on any phone. Just view the desktop site. So I could remotely install an app on an android phone from another android phone. :P

      He does mention it:

      In case you’re wondering why I took the burden to include all of the links to the apps above, well, here is another advantage over iOS: Google Play allows the complete remote install via the Web. If you’re logged into your account you click the install button after visiting one of the links in any browser, and wherever your phone is, the respective app will be installed silently.

    I found one of quite a few drawbacks on android to be no complete local backup solution, and other things like tinny sounding speaker on the nexus 4, and on the back of the phone is a bad place to have it, lots of other little OS issues but not worth mentioning besides saying as things stand right now I still prefer refined OS and hardware over android and its devices which to me still seem experimental and unpolished, much rather something that works right, than dealing with inconsistency and issues. Shame we can't get a device with the best of both, but on a general level they are both fairly close, just a matter of choice in what you want more.

      The entire phone can be backed up via ADB (Android Development Bridge) - it requires turning on the option for USB debugging in the developer options, then connect to a computer and either use the command line tool, or an application that takes advantage of it to do the backup.

        I think the point that Ben is making is that there should be a simple, easy to use method to do this rather than ADB.

      If you don't want to root, Google will restore your installed apps to a refreshed phone/tablet, just without your presets.

      If you do want to root, most recovery managers will make full backups which you can backup to Box, Dropbox or Google Drive.

      Everything else is hardware and you can pick your manufacturer there.

      Sorry must disagree. Like the author ( a hardcore Apple fan ) states, ios looks old, tired and has been seriously left behind Jellybean. ios Refined ? You must be kidding. Sounds like you are desperate to nit pick. Putting up with a pathetically small screen doesnt seem to be an issue. Dont worry, whilst Apple has been clearly surpassed at present, they are making a mountain of money, have heaps in reserve and will totally redo their os and be competitive again.

        I agree, iOS is looking pretty dated now, so does osx though, but apple seem to be pretty keen to keep things the same. A large demographic of people who own iphones are old and wouldn't easily be able to adapt to any major changes without having a big whinge, hence I wouldn't expect any major changes in the iOS main screen layout. I guess they could have an option to have multiple 'themes', but they'd have to be careful to not infringe on anyone elses design now though I bet.

          It may look dated, but a lot of us couldnt care less what the desktop looks like, to be honest I think Windows 7 desktop hasnt changed its appearance substantially since W95. But who stares at their desktop, you open your phone launch into the app you want to use, use it and then close the phone.

            You stare at it before you open your app, as you just said :P.
            Seems a pretty silly argument, "why care how your house looks, u just walk in and sleep in it".

              No i glance at it not stare, and you're right who gives a crap what your house looks like or what colour your car is? If you do it's only out of vanity, if you lived on a desert island and no one was ever going to see your house you wouldn't care what the outside looked like, as long as you had everything you wanted inside.

                Yeah well, I guess that's just the kind of person you are. Funnily enough, most of the population do care how their house looks, lol :P.

                  Apparently not considering how many people buy iPhones lol

    Interesting article.

    You can use "Light Flow" to manage the notification LED colours (among other things).

    Hi Ralf, could you possibly elaborate a bit more on the phone itself? I am looking to switch phones in March when my contract is up, and at the moment i cant make up my mind between the Lumia 920 and the Nexus 4. I'm not too fussed about OS ecosystems as such, i'm more interested in the better phone overall. How would you say the Nexus holds up against your iphone 5 specs wise?

    Any info would be appreciated.

    iMessenger, the issues why using a single OS based chat system is bad... FB etc is much better as it at least works on all current OS's

    I will second the Light Flow recommendation. Takes care of the LED notification Light issues you mentioned. Here's the Play link:

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.rageconsulting.android.lightflow

    This is exactly what I've been wanting to read and hoping was true.

    I've been trying to get my hands on a Nexus 4 for a while now and got sick of waiting to treated myself to a Nexus 7 as a test toy to try out Android while I wait.

    Like you I'm a huge Apple user but until the iPhone 5 have been big on jailbreaking and adding the kind of tweaks that makes Android appealing. Obviously now without a jailbreak I'm feeling like I've taken a step back and want to give Android a try since the new Nexus line and Jellybean sound so great.

    Anyway, I've had a similar experience with my Nexus 7 which I cannot seem to put down and has made me completely forget my iPad.

    I can't wait to get my hands on a Nexus 4 to try it out.

    Last edited 05/01/13 4:00 pm

    dumped my iphone 5 for a nexus 4 and it was the best decision ever. Most things are a click or two less than iOS and having all my google account stuff just there has made it fantastic, like the gallery which not only shows you the photos on your phone but every album in my online picasa backup.

    I don't get all the hype around the Nexus 4 - it doesn't support LTE and it looks quite generic to my eyes. OTOH, the previous one looks amazing and doesn't seem to be too far behind, specs wise, either. in any event, there is nothing here that would tempt me to jump ship.

      Did you read the article??? There are 1238712831823 more reasons, launchers, widgets, smootness, variety, innovation, and it isn't generic, iPhone has now become generic, with one button and a brick slab for the device, atleast the N4 has style, crystal backing, no stupid buttons, silver/black rim (it would have been awesome if it were real crystal.)

        But all those things are a result of the OS, not the hardware. Jellybean on any handset should offer all of that. That said, I think Android is about as generic as it gets. I am yet to see anyone put any effort at all into customisng it, beyond the ubiquitous awful camera shot as a wallpaper.

        I don't think the N4 has style at all. I've not seen one but neither have I seen a photo of one that makes it look in any way desirable, especially when compared to the previous Nexus phone, which is sexy as hell.

          Each to their own, but I'd prefer to go for functionality over form. Why pay hundreds of dollars for a sexy device that doesnt make things easier/quicker for you? Yes I agree that the lack of LTE is a bit of a bummer, but for most people who cant afford the ridiculous prices of 4G anyway, I dont think many will be bothered and instead prefer a device that will give them a whole host of other benefits as opposed to a grid of squares and an LTE antenna.

        Did you read his comment? He was saying he doesn't get the hype when the previous Nexus seems just as good.

    Nice review, but this part confused me:
    "Coming from iOS, I simply cannot adjust my eyes to in-app ads and probably never will."

    Apple introduced a few version back (iOS 3? 4?) an advertisement platform for showing in-app advertisements. It is entirely possible to have ads in ios apps, and it is done, I can think of several apps that have them - with that in mind the above statement becomes nonsense.

    Great article, but the amount of Money you invested into Apple is ridiculous, they really must have brain washed you. I mean really, you've had every single iPad and now you have two iPad minis.

      he says he develops apps he probably has a $10000 gadget budget every year.

        Still a complete waste, could've been invested into many other things. Who needs like 6 iPads and several mac books and every generation of iPhone.

          You're clearly not a developer.

          No if you have employees and need to provide enough gadgets so they can actually get work done. I'm no apple fanboy, i only own an ipod nano 1st gen, an ipod video 1st gen and ipad 1st gen(which i won) nothing else. However if you are a developer iOS is a serious consideration as it is one of the biggest markets for apps. To take advantage of it you require a number of devices. If you only had 1 of each you would regularly run into blockages where one person is using the device and another person has to sit and wait. This would cost your business time and money and most likely lead to a negative work environment as employees feel like they are wasting their time.

          Developers need hundreds of devices so no it is no a complete waste.

            I tend to still disagree.

              Please explain why. I'm intrigued.

    "how about giving the damn back button a different colour if the next time you hit it, you’ll be taken out of the app."
    Holy sweet moly. Why hasn't anyone else thought of this? Should I be this excited about this idea? Damn. That's genius.

    Last edited 05/01/13 8:07 pm

    Especially now that jailbreaking ios devices is becoming harder after each iteration of ios. I'm considering switching to Android.

      You won't regret it, being able to customize it endlessly without the need of breaking warranty too. Unless you want to root, which can also be undone if need be.

    Right about TouchWhiz- it's something I work around on my Note 2. It's icky. The hardware is top notch, absolutely fantastic, but thank goodness for Launchers to replace things OS you don't like,

    Very interesting article with regards to real world use of the Nexus 4.
    I was a bit confused with your images of a Samsung device when the 4 is made by LG, a brand with dubious quality and service in this country.
    One other major issue I didn't see was if you could port over that huge music library purchased from Apple. Is it possible?

    I am an iPhone 5 user who switched to a Nexus 4. I missed AirPlay, iMessege, Apps that work properly (UNO I'm talking to you). I have since sold the Nexus and moved back to iPhone.

      i'm not completely sure that's the truth. I doubt that if you've bought an iPhone 5, that you would soon after buy a nexus 4 (which is very difficult to get a hold of) and then decide (quite quickly may i add) that it's not for you and then already have sold it. I think it's more likely you've used a friends one or none at all and saying what you'd theoretically miss if you switched to android. Uno being an app that didn't work in the past probably when it first came out (i've used it and it works fine) that you used on an older device. I'm calling bullshit on you.

        I think you have no idea what your talking about. I do have an iPhone 5 (got it on contract on release day from Telstra in the post as well as my girlfriends) and I also bought the Nexus from eBay US for US$530 with cost me AU$508. I then used the Nexus for a couple of weeks, figured it was not what I want and sold it again on eBay for AU$660. Lucky me! My situation did happen! Just because Android didn't fit my life doesn't make it bad, it just isn't for me! Your call of bullshit is typical of a jealous troll who simply can't understand how someone can't like what they have. You have no way of telling anything about my life so keep your opinions to yourself!

        Sent from my iPhone 5 (not my old Nexus 4) because the iPhone is STILL the best phone for me!

        Last edited 06/01/13 10:39 am

    Almost everything good/better you mentioned about Android here is true since I can't remember when...
    The ONLY thing Android was catching up with iOS up until recently was smoothness.

      It still jitters and lags, I wish it could be ironed out completely one day.

        Really? Not my brother's Galaxy S3, it is the most amazingly fast, slick experience I have ever encountered in a phone. A lot of that was probably down to LTE but the Nexus 4 doesn't have that.

          Trust me, any dedicated Android user who's been using it for the past years knows, that even on 4.1 and 4.2 it still has lots of moments where it stutters and lags, and the freeze ups, it's quite frustrating that the developers don't take advantages of the quad core phones that we have either

          Not my brother's Galaxy S3, it is the most amazingly fast, slick experience I have ever encountered in a phone.

          That means you haven't use a windows phone.

        I did say almost.
        And apart from speed / lag issues, what other feature mentioned here wasn't available before when comparing to iOS? As far as I'm concerned and comparing with friends iPhones, iOS was always behind in terms of features and ease of use.

        And by the way, my GS3 doesn't lag at all, I didn't even bothered to flash other ROMS, only using a different launcher.
        And my previous HTC Desire HD also didn't lag at all after I flashed Android Revolution HD. Butter smooth!

        Just the fact that iOS prevents me from doing things just because Apple doesn't want me to, makes iOS useless to me.
        Not letting me choose default apps is one of them.

    I read this article because I wanted to see what Android has that's new (having also tried the iPhone and Galaxy SII). My Windows Phone 8 does all of the stuff the author raves about, and does it awesomely. Everyone keeps saying it takes a month to switch to the iPhone. Well, I loved my Windows phone after 20 minutes and have never looked back. HTC 8X - the camera rocks!

      If it wasn't for the lackluster app support and assorted other niggles (poor notification management, solid chance you won't be able to run Windows 9 on the hardware) I think that Windows 8 mobile would be a consideration for more people. Windows 8 looks nice, its pretty smooth and when things work they work well, the market share for WP8 is going backwards though (and from a very small share to start with) so app support (the biggest issue for me at least) won't improve any time soon.

        What "lacklustre app support"? Were Android and iPhone handsets useless when their app stores only had 125,000 apps? Of course not. It is simply a perception, the reality is that 125,000 apps is already way too many. In fact, the killer app for me, Weather & Surf Australia, is only available on WinPhone and none of the alternatives on other platforms measure up as viable alternatives.

        No other platform does notifications better than WinPhone, it is one of the best things about Live Tiles and (I imagine) the People Hub.

          I you don't put the app in question as a live tile where does the notification go.... Nowhere right? Live tiles are good, I get that part but it's not a complete notification system.

          Not having popular apps and the ones that are there being out of date, the broken or sub par is lacklustre in my book, but I'm not saying there are no good apps but you can't rely on having a good app when you want/need it. With Wp8 market share going backwards the app selection is hardly going to improve.

            What app? All the things that I'd need notifications for ship with live tiles in place. Of course, I've demoted them to tiny, lifeless tiles but by defaul tthey are front and centre. I think I read somehwere that developers can even get notifications on the lock-screen now if they want (but I could be mistaken, it's not something of interest to me).

            I'd also ask the inverse question of other platforms - what do you do if you don't want to receive notifications for a particular app (which is far more likely to be needed by me)? I magine the answer is the same - you change the settings so that it does what you want. Same with the Live Tile. Turning on a Live Tile is a simple matter of a long press to bring up a menu, then choosing "Pin to start". Hardly a chore.

            If WinPhone lacks support form popular apps, then that is down to those 3rd party companies. You should be hassling them to support all platforms, so as not to restrict your own choices when it comes to handsets. Instead it is easier (and a lot more fun) to bash MS and WinPhone, even though all that will do is slow the process even more.

            The bottom line is that there are a lot of things to complain about with WInPhone 8 but these aren't any of them.

              The problem with that argument is only people who have bought the phone will hassle a company to put the app on. People who don't own the phone arent going to buy the phone then hassle anyone and unless you really really really wanted a windows phone you aren;t going to consider buying one if it doesn't have your favourite apps.

              So Microsoft should be hassling the developers if people are saying it doesn't have what ever major apps people like the above are looking for. Not the consumers job and they aren;t going to do it if there is a readily available option (iOS or Android)

              This is something that will only really ring true in WP7.8+. If I could have 1/4-width tiles on my Lumia 800 I would completely agree with you. But for the first two years of its life the live-tile-as-notification idea has just taken up way too much space on your Start screen to be very useful IMHO.

              Having said that, given the hundred of apps that support notifications I have to agree that having such a simple system of choosing what doesn't show up is a strength for the Metro UI.

        solid chance you won't be able to run Windows 9 on the hardware
        I highly doubt that. The reason behind WP7 devices not running WP8 was because of a kernel change from WinCE to NT (what they use in Desktop Windows). Also the fact that the WP7 hardware was outdated means that it probably wasn't powerful enough to run the kernel. So they're using NT now, don't see what else they would change it to in WP 9. So WP9 won't be as drastic a change in the OS, meaning that it's really likely that current windows phones will get WP9.

          While I could reasonably assume that the better hardware would mean that's more likely that Wp8 devices will get Wp9, Microsoft has a 0 for 1 record in this regard, who is to say that they won't make the baseline requirements higher than current hardware?

      Just curious to know, as I am interested in WinPhone 8, but what customization options does it have in changing the look & theme of the phone? It seems to have the one tiled look and with going by Win8, can you only change the colour?

      I have the HTC One XL, and am getting inspiration from that colourscreen website the author has posted. I can even make it look like WinPhone or IOS.

        You've always been able to rearrange them how you like in the grid, and with WP7.8 and WP8 you can change the size of the tiles. But at the moment you can't get away from the vertical-scrolling Start screen and the vertical-scrolling list of apps when you swipe left.

        Personally, I like the look and feel. Other systems look and feel like you're interacting with "things" that contain data, whereas WP looks and feels like you're interacting directly with the data. There's no conceit that you're pressing a raised button or looking at stitched leather. You touch icons and data that is separated from other data with a (usually invisible) tile - the only indication that the tile is there is the data itself.

        Anyway, if you really don't like Metro then WP is probably not for you. Pity, 'cos you're missing out! :P

          I can't wait to get it!

          yeh i definately want to try it out and do like the look of WP8, but alas I'm stuck on a contract with the HTC One XL. I went from iOS to Android and have just started getting bored of the look of stock Android so this article has helped me with showing the full customization options out there for it. I tend to get bored every couple of months so having the ability to fully customize the look is a plus for me.

      yep, being new to wp8 (coming from iphone), I believe my lumia 920 does most of those things except probably from the almost unlimited customization options (but i'm really surprised with all the integrations within apps, the photo gallery that grabs photos from fb etc, the lenses feature, the people hub is like magic, the simplicity and sleekness, so many ) though i'm missing out on instagram and a few ios only apps. I'm still playing with wp8 and discovering really cool features every now and then, but I think wp8 really need to have a notification centre coz every now and then I hear a notification tone and when I look at my phone the message is gone so I have to scroll and find the tile with the notification counter which annoys me sometimes. so far i'm loving my lumia (i've waited six weeks for this) but I might try to get a hand on a nexus 4 when they're widely available and give it a go.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now