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Why your next phone should be an Android

Posted: March 31st, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Debatable, General | No Comments »

Today’s post is provided by Jared Meyering on why your next phone should be an android. If you haven’t yet, make sure you check out yesterday’s counteracting article on why your next phone should by an iPhone. Great stuff, hope you enjoy! (PS, if you do, let me know in the comments and we’ll keep more debates like these coming)


My background with technology is relatively extensive. I remember programming RPG games with RM2K when I was 13-14 years old. I was into programming BASIC when I was in High School and I’ve recently gotten my feet wet programming Android apps with Java but I really don’t have much time in my life to spend there.

I have a long history with Android as both an outside observer and a user. I remember my jaw dropping while I watched the commercial for Android’s first phone the T-Mobile G1. Since then I have followed every Android release while waiting patiently for my contract with AT&T to end. My mouth dropped again watching the commercial for the Motorola Droid, and subsequent HTC EVO 4G.

I was lucky enough to snag an HTC EVO for me and my wife a few weeks after the launch and we have loved it for almost a year now. My contract is up this July and I’m so excited for the HTC EVO 3D that was just announced.

I am a total Android fan and get a bad taste in my mouth whenever someone mentions an Apple product. That being said I will attempt to persuade you to make your next Smartphone purchase an Android.

What is Android

Android is a Linux based mobile operating system that was purchased by Google in 2005. Since its debut in 2008 Android has seen explosive growth and the latest phone version 2.3 (Gingerbread) was released last December. Android is now the number one Smartphone in the United States and number two in the world (Behind Symbian).

Android is not one specific phone but rather a family of well over one hundred devices. The most well known Android phones are the “Droid” line from Verizon. There are many advantages to purchasing an Android powered device and I will try to provide some of the most convincing here.


Android phones are like people, they come in all sizes and shapes. So you aren’t stuck with one design choice. Android phones come in all kinds of sized from 2.5 inches to 5 inches, there is something for everybody. If you like a vertical keyboard like a Blackberry you can go with a phone like the Droid Pro. If you prefer a slide out keyboard you can get a phone like the Droid 2 or the Epic. If you prefer a 100% touch screen phone, you can get an EVO 4G, Droid X or Nexus S. Not being stuck to one form factor is a major plus; instead of teaching yourself to get used to a new design you can get a device that works best with your tastes and preferences.


Unlike most other mobile operating systems Google gives Android to Smartphone manufacturers for free, allowing them to build lower cost devices. On every carrier you can find free Android powered smart phones. Free phones like the LG Optimus have truly impressive specifications for the price and provide a first rate Android experience. This makes Android great for the budget conscious individual who wants to get a Smartphone.

On the other end, free software means that manufacturers can provide devices with more features for less than their competitors. For example the iPhone 4 on AT&T costs $199 with a 2 year contract; if you went Android you could pick up the Atrix 4G for the same price. The Atrix has twice the processing power of the iPhone, a larger screen, 4G capability and other enhancements. High powered android phones have become known as “Super Phones” because they have an amazing amount of features for a reasonable price.


Android makes the best use of “The cloud.” The cloud is a new buzzword that refers to storing data in online servers instead of personal devices. If you have a Google account, you are all set to get started in the cloud (If you don’t its easy and free to get one). Google’s cloud allows contact lists, calendar events, and downloaded apps to be stored for free online. If an Android user loses his phone all he needs to do is log into another Android phone and all his data will be there.

The Apple iPhone has a similar free feature but in order to use it you need to use a cable to sync your device with the iTunes program on your Mac or PC and if you haven’t synced in a while or your computer gets fried you stand to lose a lot of important data. Apple does allow you to sync iPhone data to the cloud using “Mobile Me” but a user must pay a subscription fee of $99 per year to get access to this feature (That makes for a truly expensive phone in the long run).


The recent Android operating system has a very beautiful interface. There are 5 “Panels” that can hold apps, widgets, shortcuts, or folders. Widgets sit on the home screen and display incoming information like recent text messages, and Twitter or Facebook posts, etc. this allows users to gather information without actually having to open an app. Widgets can also display information like the time or weather in a really eye catching way.

The way Android handles notifications is beautiful. The top bar drops down with your finger to display ongoing activities as well as current text messages, emails, voicemails or app downloads. The notifications are unobtrusive meaning they won’t interrupt you if you are in the middle of playing a game or surfing the web.


Google releases new versions of Android every six months and each update gives speed, battery, and usability improvements. In just two and a half years Android has morphed from a rather ugly and clunky interface (1.5) to a beautiful user friendly version (2.3). These improvements are only expected to continue and improve in the coming months and years.

There is a lot of talk about the “problem” of Android being “fragmented.” Some say because there are a lot of Android devices running different versions of the OS, it makes it complicated for users to figure out which apps work with their particular phone. I would dispute that claim by saying that I have yet to hear an average Android user actually complain about the version their phone is running, and the Android market negates issues with app compatibility. To me fragmentation is a non-issue and one that some geeks tend to blow out of proportion.


The Android Market is the Android equivalent of the iPhone App Store and Android currently has about 150,000 different applications available for download, 75% of them being free. While Android’s app totals are currently smaller than the competing App Store, the majority of major apps on the iPhone can be found on the Android Market. According to recent analysis – the Android Market is also growing at three times the pace of Apple’s App Store. The bottom line is – whatever you may be looking for in the Android Market you are likely to find it and if its not there, it probably will be soon.

Google Apps

Google’s apps which come with every Android smart phone (Gmail, Maps, Navigation, Calendar, News, Youtube) are fantastic. These apps are a great reason to purchase an Android powered phone. If you use Gmail, the integration requires no set up at all. Maps is a very smooth experience which now shows buildings and monuments in 3d. Navigation is a free turn by turn GPS navigation app, so you can ditch your expensive Garmin, TomTom. Calendar is synced directly to the web and accessible by any PC or Mac. Google apps create a great experience for users who already enjoy using Google services and are a great starting point for those who don’t. Google has demoed and is expected to soon announce a “Google Music” service which will allow you to store your music in the cloud and stream it to your phone, certainly a huge leap forward in music storage technology and one that will certainly be a major selling point for Android.


There are so many more advantages to owning an Android phone, Flash support, sideloading, app freedom, rooting, alternate keyboards, music storage freedom, SD Card expansion… There is too much to contain in a single blog post. The possibilities with Android are nearly limitless and it doesn’t look like its going to slow down!

Android is the best choice for me personally because the form factor of the EVO is exactly what I want, I don’t want to go back to a screen size less than 4 inches. I like to have freedom in what I can do on my phone. I do not want to be tied down to a particular piece of software like iTunes to run my phone. On the geeky side I also enjoy customizing my phone to suite my personal tastes through optional home screen replacements or alternate ROM’s but that’s just me.

If you have any questions on why I believe Android is the phone for you please contact me, I would love to answer your questions.


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