I recently obtained an older 1st gen iPhone as a spare, and thought it would be interesting to compare the Android and IOS operating systems.

I know that immediately people will say ‘How can you compare a 1st gen iPhone with a relatively new Android device.

Well, truth be told, I’m not comparing speed, since I know the Android device, an HTC Desire will (Should) be faster.

What I’m more concerned with is how do the standard apps stack up in terms of functionality, and how does the phone make me feel?

In fact most of the standard Apps don’t really operate that much differently, so things like Contacts, phone, calendar, maps, weather and web based mail, such as Hotmail or Gmail, or work very similarly, and with those, I couldn’t find anything that made either platform stand out for me.

However, despite being a big Android fan, I can say the iPhone, despite being an older model, does have some features that the Android based phones would do well to pick up on.

Firstly, and quite importantly, the iPhone standard on screen keyboard is much better than the Android one. I haven’t had a chance to properly try the keyboard in Gingerbread, but I know it is an improvement on the Froyo standard keyboard.

That being said, the iPhone is better still, in that it is simpler and more accurately detects the key pressed. There are better Android keyboards available, such as Swiftkey (My favourite at the moment), SlideIT and Swype. For me I’d still go for the Apple keyboard.

The next item that I think the iPhone does better is Exchange email

I run my own Exchange 2003 mail server, and the Android mail client will only let me see my emails in plain text format. The iPhone client lets me see them in their full glory, as intended by the sender, images and all. Why can’t my Droid do this?

Apparently Exchange 2003 doesn’t support HTML emails via Activesync, but if the iPhone can do it, why not the Droid.

I am upgrading to a later version of Exchange anyway, but that would be a big step to take just to get HTML emails on my Droid. Harrumph.

Finally, nobody has yet, IMHO, been able to surpass the iPod, and despite a great attempt by HTC, which now allows you to sync your iTunes to your HTC device, the iPod functionality of the iPhone is still streets ahead.

What does the Android do better then, I hear you ask. Well for me the Sense UI provided by HTC is much slicker than the iPhone interface. I may change my opinion if I get to play with a later iPhone, and if so I’ll update this but for now that’s where I’m at.

In fact, the standard Froyo and Gingerbread interfaces are, for me at any rate,  better than the iPhone UI.

Why is this? Well, I mentioned earlier about how the phones make me feel, and with the iPhone, I feel like it is somebody else’s device that I’m just borrowing. It feels restricted, and I don’t like that.

The Desire, on the other hand feels like it is a blank canvas you can customise to your hearts content, and I feel like its mine, and not just on loan from Steve Jobs! The Droid has proper multi-tasking too.

That’s why, despite the good features of the iPhone, which is an iconic piece of design and a standard setter, I will always plump for the Android device, simply because of the way it make me feel.

These are my opinions, feel free to comment!

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