By: Hillel Fuld
Before I begin, let me just get this out of the way. I use an iPhone. And an iPad. But I own a Nexus S and a Galaxy Tab. I have tried pretty much every Android phone from as far back as Android 1.5. I am not an Apple fanboy. No, scratch that, I love all my Apple products from my Macbook Air to my iPod Touch to my phone and tablet, but not because they are Apple, but because they are superior. There, I said it.
Android has come a long (long) way and Ice Cream Sandwich on the Galaxy Nexus looks fantastic. Having said that, in my humble opinion (walking on eggshells here), Android, in terms of UI and UX is still not there, as compared to iOS. Yesterday’s news proved that to me once again.
The blogosphere was filled with news about a so-called Siri competitor to be released on Android called Cluzee (sorry about the corny title, but I couldn’t help myself). Android fans rejoiced. Until the first Hands on video surfaced then the party came to an abrupt end. Back to iPhone for a second. Is Siri the most unbelievable thing since sliced bread? No, it really isn’t. But does it work? Yes. That is the thing with iPhone and Apple. Apple makes great ads, they are always fun to watch, but you know when Apple ads get even better? When you try the product in real life and it works just like in the ad.
Advertising is a tricky thing. Companies use all sorts of tactics to get their product to look as sexy and appealing in the ad as possible, but nine out of ten times, when you actually try the item, you are disappointed. Not so with Apple. The iPhone does actually scroll as smoothly as it does in the ads. Apps do launch and work as beautifully as they do the ads. And photos are as crisp as they appear in the ads.
OK, I know what you are thinking. The same is true for Android! To that I say, “Is it?” Not so sure. Now, I am fully aware of the faulty logic many Android fans will call me out on here. Siri is an Apple product, this is a 3rd party app by an independent developer. Yes, that is true, but so was Siri! Siri was originally a small little startup that developed this basic technology that enables advanced speech recognition.
Apple bought that startup for $200m, enhanced the technology, and only when it was ripe, integrated it into its OS and commercialized it. Despite the fact that Apple calls Siri Beta, which is a term Apple does not use often, use Siri, see how it works on iPhone, and use Google’s Voice system on Android, or any other app that supports Voice recognition on Android, and the difference will be right there in your face.
What I am trying to say is this. Take any iOS app of your choice including Tweetdeck, Angry Birds, or Cut the Rope, you choose. Then take the same or a similar app on Android. I would say 80% of the tests you will do, will show you that the iOS app is far superior. Not by a litte, I said FAR. I am not even going to go near the whole Android Fragmentation issue, the Android Market and its utter lack of logic, the serious Android Malware problem, or even the craziness of developers pulling off scams on Android, something that would not even be remotely possible on the App Store. Like I said, Android has come a long way, but it is just not there yet.
Take a look at the ad for this new so-called Siri competitor that everyone was so excited about then watch the Androidcentral hands on video beneath it. I don’t know about you but watching how Cluzee works in reality left me so frustrated by Android and the mess that is the average Android app that I can say that video is responsible for helping me decide between iPhone 4S and Galaxy Nexus. OK, not really, but why is it so difficult to make an Android app that works as well as iPhone apps?
Looks good, right?
Not so fast. And to this video I say “Arghhh”. Why, Google? Why?