The new iPhone 4 now on par with the latest Android handsets hardware wise, making it harder for potencial buyers to choose between these two platforms. This is my take on the current situation.
The screen in the new iPhone is very impressive: IPS matrix with 960×640 resolution. It has a wide viewing angle, similar to AMOLED and Super AMOLED. Blacks are really good on these displays, since no backlight is used. AMOLED screen is less usable under direct sunlight.
The winner here is the Super AMOLED screen. If you need a perfect screen, get a Samsung Galaxy S. Just make sure it has no problems with Wi-Fi…
What about a “retina” resolution? It would make sense on a bigger screen. I’m afraid you’ll need a microscope to see the difference between the iPhone 4 and Droid screens. Why so many pixels then? Apple simply can’t use an other resolution without breaking all existing apps.
The Back button on Android devices is not only used to return to the previous screen within the same application, but also to return to the previously started application. Menu button might not be very intuitive in the first day of use, but it saves a valuable screen space. You’ll miss these buttons if you switch from Android to the iPhone.
The Trackball is rarely used, but it’s useful for precise link navigation in a browser and text selection.
Both Market and AppStore have a lot of apps now. Some apps in the AppStore are more mature, some apps exclusive to Android Market. One thing is true – most people can find everything they need on both platforms.
A few things are making the Market more attractive for users and developers: 24 hours money back and instant app publishing. Money back isn’t very attractive for developers with crappy apps though.
This one is simple, iPhone doesn’t have a Flash and most likely will never have. If you think that Flash is mostly used for displaying annoying ads, don’t worry, ads in HTML 5 format coming your way..
Flash is running just fine on the Nexus One. I can listen to podcasts, see streaming videos right on a webpage, without launching a dedicated app. Is it really necessary to kill Flash? Probably it will be replaced by HTML 5 in 2-3 years, but right now there are tons of Flash contents.
Notifications are still the same on iPhone 4. See an example. Notification bar in Android is a much more elegant solution.
Another strong point of Android is higher level of integration with online services. Address book can be synchronized over the air with FaceBook and Twitter, photos with Picasa web albums, podcasts with Google Reader… Google even has a demo of automatic over-the-air sync with music store recently at Google IO. Apple still charges $99/year for MobileMe and no sign of cloud-based music store yet.
Of course the iPhone/iTunes media sync still wins in terms of simplicity. Rating and playback stats sync is very nice feature to have.
Customization and open source
Widgets, home screens, messaging apps – many parts of Android can be customized or even entirely replaced. Open source helps coders like Cyanogen tweak the system on a deeper level and create a great mods.
That’s it, but maybe I’ve missed something? What features in Android / iOS is important for you?