'Android is Better'

Paul Stamatiou digs deep to explain why he prefers Android to iOS:

It was just meant to be a quick experiment. I started using a Nexus 4. I was going to go right back to my iPhone after a week. I was designing more and more Android interfaces at Twitter and realized I needed to more intimately grok Android UI paradigms.

A week in it started feeling normal; the larger form factor was no longer a nuisance. A month in I didn’t miss anything about my iPhone. Two months in I sold my iPhone 5 and iPad Mini. It has now been three months since I made the switch. I’m loving Android. I only missed having a good camera so I just upgraded to a Google Edition Samsung Galaxy S4.

Let me just say: this is a nice post, and good for Stamatiou that he likes Android.

To me, though, the appeal of iOS is in the apps. Stamatiou says there are many good Android apps to be had, but are they as good as what’s found on iOS? I don’t want an app that just “does the job”; I want an app that does the job and is exquisitely made and a pleasure to use. I want delight.

To wit, where are the following apps on Android?

  • Day One
  • Tweetbot
  • Paper
  • Fantastical
  • Vesper
  • Poster

Answer: they aren’t. All these apps are exclusive to iOS.

Of course the big names are on Android — Twitter, Instagram, et al — but I want those third-party apps; they’re essential parts of my workflow. I don’t want to settle for some utilitarian knock-off of a journaling app. I want Day One. iOS gives me that.

Judging by what I see on Twitter every day, I can assure you that even the most ardent Apple supporters are willing to concede that Android does many features better than iOS — e.g., actionable notifications. On the flip side of the coin, however, those same supporters unequivocally believe iOS has the clear advantage in developer support. Google Play may be catching up in breadth, but depth matters much more, at least in my opinion.

The third-party app ecosystem matters. Apple’s nailed that.