A few months ago, I got my first phone. It was a Verizon Samsung Galaxy S III. I have had quite a bit of experience with iOS before, but I decided that I should give Android a try. Though the phone did not come with the absolute latest version of Android, I was still pleasantly surprised. I actually prefer Android over iOS now. There are a lot of reasons, but I would say the biggest reason is simply how open-ended it is. I have tried out many custom ROMS for my phone such as CyanogenMod, SynergyROM, and MIUI. My favorite out of these was MIUI. It is the best looking, and very easy to customize out of the box. I will make one thing clear: Siri is better.
I tried my hand at Android development. I’m still not sure whether I prefer it over iOS development. My first reaction was “Ick! This runs on Java? Kill it with fire!” but after learning more about how it does not run on the slow default Java VM, that reaction has subsided. The VM Android uses is called Dalvik. When the Java is compiled into bytecode(.class) files, it is then converted into Dalvik Executable(.dex) files. The cost of developing for Android is certainly less than iOS development. The only fee that I had to pay was a one-time $25 registration fee in order to publish apps in the Google Play Store. For comparison, the basic iOS developer program costs $99/year. The iOS app store is certainly stricter on what it allows. In general, there are a lot more paid iOS apps than Android apps simply because of the different market they are appealing for. However, I have found that the Android apps that do cost money generally cost more than their iOS counterparts. I have had very few issues with the availability of apps on the Google Play Store
In terms of stability, iOS does offer more stability than Android because it only has to run on a few devices that Apple makes. And, it is more stable because it is not openly available for people to modify. You would never see entire iOS custom ROMS being popular. It certainly isn’t impossible, but Apple would catch on and add another ridiculous protection measure to get rid of it. iOS is also smoother because of how specially designed it is. Android is more versatile. You can stick it on a lot of devices and have it work to some degree. Even on my relatively high-performance Android phone, I would say that it feels a tad slower than a typical iPhone 4S interface.
I could write an entire blog post on how I think phone companies should charge less, but I have fallen for it. My cheaper plan was discounted, so even though it is not cheap by any means, it is vaguely affordable. I have been figuring out the costs of just having my parents also switch over to a family plan and dropping the land line. Currently, we have Comcast triple play. While I dislike Comcast very much, it is the only Internet around here that isn’t abysmally slow. It is rumored that VTel will be routing fiber lines in our town later this year. If this does happen, Comcast will lose my family’s business easily.
Anyways, my point is that Android and iOS are both viable mobile OSs. It all depends on what you prefer. I use Mac OS Lion and Mountain Lion as my main OS right now. However, I would never do the same for my mobile OS. If you want a very polished but more restricted experience, go with iOS. If you want a less polished but vastly free experience, go with Android. I like both, but I am leaning towards Android. The family of Mac OS does suffer from the same problem that iOS does, but to a lesser degree. People have been able to find loopholes and create Hackintoshes if they want the same performance that a normal Windows computer may have. I think I would have been happy with iOS as well if I had chosen an iPhone 5 over the Galaxy S III. If you are looking to upgrade your phone, try the other OS. It won’t be that bad.