To my utter amazement, my teenage son has switched from an iPhone to a Nexus One. He can’t exactly explain why he likes it more, but this was enough for me to give it a long hard look. He also told me he switched to Chrome from Safari, and he has a good point on both counts.
I’ve compiled a list of ways that I think a Nexus One is better than an iPhone, an iPhone is better than a Nexus One, and how they equally suck. I could be wrong about shortcomings of both phones because I’m not an anal geek tester. I’m just a “normal user” albeit one with Exchange.
13 ways the Nexus One is better than the iPhone
- “Open system” so that, God forbid, if someone can create a better browser, address book, calendar, or email client, you can install it. Somebody at Apple thinks it has the monopoly on good app development. He or she is wrong.
- Actions are snappier. This is hard to quantify, but things seem to happen faster and crisper on a Nexus One than on an iPhone.
- Flash for the camera. Maybe Apple employees are always in well-lit places, but this isn’t true for me.
- The same charger for the Nexus One works with Bluetooth headsets. That’s just one less thing to carry, and one less plug in your car.
- Ability to type a period without going to another screen. I know the iPhone can do this automatically, but only at the end of sentences. I need it for email addresses and links.
- Alphabetic list of all installed apps (without having to hook up to iTunes on a computer). Sometimes don’t you want to see a nice list of everything?
- Anchored application icons on the home page—as opposed to how iPhone’s reorder themselves automatically in what can only be described as a crapshoot unless you use iTunes.
- Reasonable way to install beta versions of applications as opposed to the UDID iPhone insanity.
- Non-Facist app-store approval process. I’ve gotten so many “We submitted it to Apple. It could be a couple of weeks before it’s approved” emails that I want to puke.
- Persistent “elevator” in the vertical scroll bar. I like to know where I am in a long list (for example, email inbox). The iPhone only shows the elevator when you are scrolling. It disappears as soon as you stop scrolling.
- Better organization of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth settings. Nexus One: Settings—>Wireless & Networks has both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth settings. iPhone: Settings—>gets you to Wi-Fi but then you have to go to General to get to Bluetooth.
- Five guesses for the word that I’m typing instead of one. I’ve seen Nexus One display as many as fifteen if you horizontally scroll.
- Replaceable battery. Duh.
4 ways the iPhone is better than the Nexus One
- Name. With the infinite money that Google has, “Nexus One” is the best name it could come up with? Holy kaw!
- Syncing your Calendar with Exchange. The Nexus One’s inability to do this astounds me. It must be because Google employees only use Gmail.
- Syncing Contacts with Exchange. Google says this can be done, but I can’t get it to work completely. Specifically, I have 7,461 contacts in Exchange, Address Book (on my MacBook), and Gmail. My Nexus One shows 7,202 contacts when displaying only Gmail contacts; 60 when displaying only Exchange contacts; and 7,537 when displaying both. I assume this is my fault, but I’ve really tried to make it work. But the truth is that I can live with this disparity, but it offends my organized mind.
- More applications—only time will tell how this shakes out. Today, the essential ones that I use are there: Seesmic, Evernote, TripIt, and Fandango plus enough games for my kids. I do miss Tweetie—I hope that Loren will come to his senses.
5 ways the iPhone and Nexus One equally suck
- Dependence on AT&T. That’s all we need: another popular smartphone that uses AT&T. Yes, Nexus One can use Tmobile, but let’s be serious. God help us if Apple makes a tablet that updates automatically using AT&T. Google says that the Nexus One will be available for Verizon this spring.
- One-day battery life. I guess smartphone users just have to live with this shortcoming—but I thought Apple had the exclusive on sucky battery life.
- Why can’t Apple and Google put a “.com” button on the keyboard used for email applications? Am I the only person in the world who types “.com” many times in email?
- How about Flash? My bet is that Nexus One will have it before iPhone, though.
- How about demo versions of applications so we that can try before we buy? (Update: You have twenty-four hours to return an Android app for refund. How much can you learn in twenty-four hours, though?)
By the way, if you get a Nexus One, you should know this. When you add an application, it doesn’t automatically appear on the home page. You have to choose to display it. My prediction is that lots of people will “know” they installed something but cannot find it. Google should change this logic. Imagine if you bought songs in iTunes, but they didn’t appear in your iPod automatically.
The Nexus One is a serious challenge to the iPhone—particularly because this is version 1 of Nexus One while the iPhone has been out for years. It is the phone that Palm should have created, but that’s another story.
Right now I cannot use a Nexus One as my primary phone because it cannot sync my calendar (something my teenage son doesn’t care about), I use it all the time (without a SIM card, just as a Wi-Fi device) while my iPhone charges around the house. The day that calendar syncing works will be very interesting.
Disclosure: Google sent me two Nexus Ones.Author on Google+