Tuesday, July 13, 2010

How to measure iPhone vs. Android

There is a lot of noise out there about which platform is better: iPhone or Android?

I am in an unusual position as I have an iPhone 3Gs and several Android devices (G1, ION, Droid, EVO, Nexus). In the early days of Android there was no comparison - Apple ruled the mobile space. Howver with Sprint's EVO being released I see a lot of happy Android users walking around trying to tell me how great Android is.

Don't get me wrong - I know Android is great! There are a lot of ways to measure how great a platform is. This is the best way to measure how great your platform is: The next time someone from either camp starts to tell you how great their phone is ask them a simple question "What is your favorite application that you spent money on?"

It's a simple and fair question don't you think?

Almost everyone I know that has Android has the same answer "Well I haven't actually bought an application before." To contrast almost everyone I know that has an iPhone has bought some kind of app whether it's one to decode the laundry symbols on your clothing (yes there is an app for that) or a really fun game - they usually have a favorite.

A lot of reason Android users tell me they don't buy apps is because they say that they haven't found anything worth buying. The Android market place is kind of a catch 22 since no one is buying apps no one is building any apps worth buying.

As an Android developer and user here is my list of favorite for pay applications:

  • $2.99 Comic Book Inventory (CBI) <- this is my application so of course I love it
  • $.99 Picture This (Free version available) - a fun little picture game
  • $4.99 BeyondPod Podcast (Free Demo available) - a great podcast listening app
  • $.99 Power Manager (Free Demo available) - an almost obsolete power manager

There are several really good free applications available as well - NPR News, Shazam, Photoshop Mobile, Droid Comic Viewer, The Weather Channel, Pandora - are just a few of great applications for Android.

For the record here is a list of my paid iPhone applications

  • $2.99 - mSecure
  • $.99 Mars Explore
  • $0.00 Marvel Comics - in app purchase
  • $3.99 ComicZeal
  • $1.99 Crush the Castle
  • $1.99 CW-Gunner
  • $3.99 Field Runners
  • $1.99 Finger Physics
  • $0.00 Zombie Farm - in app purchase
  • $.99 Stick Wars

These are estimates the apps may have cost slightly more or less than what I listed, and with the exception of maybe 1 or 2 apps all have been more than worth the little bit I payed.

So the bottom line is this - all of you Android users out there who think your phone is awesome. Go out and buy an app! Support your Android developers or they will turn into Apple developers - right now there is more money to be made on the Apple side until that changes Android will never be able to catch up (Regardless of how you hold your phone).