How to Help Your Friend Choose a Phone.

Being a budget technologist, a teacher, and having my opinion matters, I do have to try and provide honest feedback.  People, students and colleagues, want me to guide them into choosing the right product.  With that said, I have to try and make unbiased reviews on a lot of different products.  When iOS5 and the 4s came out, I had at least 5 different people ask, “Is this the phone I should get?”  I do have to put my google fan boy behind me.

I have and love my android phone running a mac.  I am really platform independent.  I just want something to work (well).

I start out by asking a simple question, and this usually guide the answer.  “Are you so heavily involved in google products, specifically in google voice and google talk, that you need to have instant access?”  If the answer is yes, then Android is the way to go.  If the answer is anything but an instant yes, the ios5 and the iphone is the answer.  The other ancillary question is “Will you take the time to learn all the features.”  Learning all the features will steer the person towards android.

I started on the iphone with the 3g, and I constantly had to find workarounds for both google talk and google voice.  When my friend @johnament showed my his g1 and google talk access and notifications, I switched, albeit hesitantly.  Now 16 months later, I couldn’t be happier.

iOS is simple and more intuitive.  Android has extreme customizability.  People that need it to “work” need an iphone.  People who can spend a few minutes (and it really is about 40 minutes) of thought and logic will figure out android.  They will figure out that it is more extensible than iOS.  I gave my (as @harrycmarks) my degree needed android phone to my 3 year old nephew, he was playing angry birds in a few minutes.  It really can’t be that hard.  The support forums on android are surprisingly more helpful than ios forums.

The whole “it must work” is a big issue.  If your phone breaks, where do you go?  I will give apple this huge concession because it is a big one.  I drive 15 minutes to the mall when something doesn’t work, and I walk out usually with a new phone.  When my android phone had an issue it took two weeks, and countless phone calls.

Android wins in a ton of categories from, carriers, form factors, 4g (even the PR definition), screen sizes, and keyboards, but it is on the difficulty to learn.  Even with all those positives, if you need something that just works, the iphone works.

iphone also wins if you don’t have a google account.  I get so mad at salespeople when they don’t explain this  to their customers.  Usually they say, “well you need a google account.”  Three months later the person ends up moving to gmail because android is so ingrained in the google ecosystem.  I

I do have one caveat where android wins.  If you are such a luddite where most technology things are so complicated, you may want to choose android.  If are the type that has to read the manual, you are going to have to read it anyway.  You might as well learn the additional features.

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