Wayne Bishop

Last year I wrote an article titled, “Why I own an Android Phone.” To summarize, the article described people’s fascination when they discovered that I (an iOS app developer and self-declared Apple fanboy) actually owned an Android phone.

A year later I’ve decided to stay in the Android camp and have upgraded my Samsung Galaxy phone to its latest iteration. Since both Apple and Google have made substantial advancements in their respective platforms, I’ve decided to revisit the topic, explaining why an Apple developer would be enthusiastic about a non-Apple device.

Getting Perspective

Building products to meet consumer tastes is a very challenging endeavor, often needing many iterations to perfect. With everyone racing to beat the iPhone’s utility and design it’s anyone’s guess who will arrive first. Samsung could be the first finisher with the debut of its latest phone. Since most of us are already familiar with the iPhone 4S, let’s review the features of the new Samsung device.

Look and Feel

The first thing that strikes you is the size of the phone. Weighing in at an amazing 4.7 ounces, the phone is lighter than the iPhone 4S (4.9 ounces) yet noticeably larger. While larger is not always better, in this case it is.  Seeing the massive 4.8 inch HD Super AMOLED display is truly impressive. To put it in perspective, the viewing screen of the Galaxy S III is approximately the same size as an entire iPhone.

Content ‘sync’ notification with using Evernote for Android.

Beyond being great for pictures and games, the large screen also has a positive impact when working with text, video and numbers.

Getting Notified

One hidden feature of the Samsung phone is its mechanism for easy notification. Along with the notification bar that is part of the Android 4.0 operating system, the physical phone is equipped with its own color-coded ‘lighting’ scheme.  This lets you know about its charging status, new voice mails, social media updates, content synchronization and new messages. This means I can glance at my phone to see if anything needs my attention all while still in standby mode. Genius.

The Drop Test

One thing that baffles the mind about the Apple ecosystem is their use of breakable glass in their products. Replacing broken iPhones screens has become a cottage industry and seems accepted by legions of enthusiastic followers (including myself). Fortunately Samsung has taken a different approach and uses shatterproof Corning Gorilla glass in its product line. This allows the phone to easily pass the ‘drop’ test in this CNET video. Note to iPhone users — don’t try this at home.

Apps

One thing that concerns iPhone users considering the switch is the number and quality of apps available. While this was a legitimate concern a year ago, Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) makes this an issue of the past.

With the phone’s support for 4G LTE, a dual-core processor and 2GB RAM, the performance of apps is outstanding.  While iOS still has more apps in its store, the best apps now have wonderful Android 4.0 counterparts. Leading app providers today see development not being exclusive to iOS but as part of the wider ecosystem. Smart digital strategies now include support for iOS, Android (phone and tablets) and the web. Even Facebook with all its app woes has an Android counterpart that actually works.

Conclusion

So these are main reasons I continue to dabble in the Android world. While I’ve covered some general aspects, the Galaxy S III also introduces some new technical concepts such as NFC (Near Field Communications) through S-Beam and Tec Tiles. And if that’s not enough, check out what it can do with with USB “on the go” technology. Many have speculated these new features will also be in the iPhone 5, but it’s anyone’s guess what the Cupertino kids will come up with. While we’re waiting, I’ll be enjoying my new phone.

Wayne Bishop is a local technology entrepreneur who explores digital trends through product development and software engineering. Wayne also runs a project called “Art Galleries for Mobile” that promotes museums, libraries and art galleries on mobile devices. He can be reached at @gallerieshq. He also writes regularly on his site, where this post first appeared.

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Comments

  • http://www.facebook.com/rmart78 Raul Martinez

    Wayne, as a recent convert from iPhone to a Galaxy S III, I
    can completely empathize with your article. I’d had an iPhone since the 3G, but
    was slowly growing tired of the experience. The elegance and functionality of
    iOS is without question, but there comes a time when you just want to try
    something new. Know what I mean? I’ve had my GS3 for nearly two weeks now and
    although there are still a few aspects of iOS that I miss, all in all I’m
    digging it. I suppose my timing was fortunate. From what I’ve read, NOW is the
    best time for those amongst the iOS-curious to try Android, since ICS is the
    slickest version yet and easily holds it’s own. I wouldn’t know since I hadn’t
    tried any earlier versions of the Android, but I have no regrets. As you
    alluded to at the end of your article, I may be eating crow come this fall (if
    Apple releases yet another killer, must-have iPhone), but for now I’m happy as
    a clam.

    • http://profiles.google.com/alienjuggernaut Marvin Martian

      “there are still a few aspects of iOS that I miss”,
      tell me what they are and I’ll tell you how to get them on Android.

      • eatkabab

        I was just gonna say that! The beauty of android…

      • andrew

        battery life

  • RobertPerez1

    Some techblog videotaped the iPhone 4S vs the GS3 on various drop tests. Bottom line was that the iPhone was much more durable than the Galaxy S3. The thicker 1st gen Gorilla glass on the iphone was much tougher than the thinner 2nd gen Gorilla glass on the S3.

    As for me, I love to buy accessories, and no phone on Earth can compare to the iPhone in that department.

    • will

      Lol then you will just love the iPhone 5.

      • eatkabab

        Because none of your thousands of accessories will work anymore! Its like apple is kicking you out of their camp…

      • RobertPerez1

        You guys have no idea how fast the Apple aftermarket works. Within weeks there will be hundreds of cases, docks, etc available for the iPhone. Which brings me to another Apple positive that no other phone can compare with, Resale value. There is so much demand for used Apple accessories you can sell them. That’s much harder to do with a phone that had s smaller market.

  • Chaiwaner

    That does not qualify you an apple fanboy, apple fanboy loves apple no matter what. You are just one of the apple user converted to android and join its army to fight the other camo!

  • http://twitter.com/PoorCollegeGuy Joe Hindy

    Great article dude! I have to say, though, that these features you like about the Galaxy S III are Android-wide features with the possible exception of the custom notifications (I’ve only used 5 devices on ICS so I don’t have the data to dispute that). The NFC, Gorilla Glass, Application Quality, and even the size with a few variances are Android factory standard now. The HTC One series (in the US) sports the same processor as the Galaxy S III and performs much like it. The 2GB thing I can pass over, I’ve never seen a phone use more than 1GB of RAM at once.

    Not harking, just nit picking :) The Galaxy S III is an amazing phone, I just wanted to point out that the HTC One Series packs almost exactly the same punch so iOS fans looking to experiment have more than just Samsung to look at!

    • eatkabab

      But the ONE has no memory slot. So its instantly DOA.

      • Zander

        Neither does the iPhone. Lol

        • eatkabab

          Which is why I don’t have one… I can’t believe the general public hasn’t risen up against these companies selling ridiculously overpriced memory in devices.

  • XUA

    Iphone is so pre historic compared with the new ICS 4.0.Not to mentioned the new JellyBean 4.1

  • eatkabab

    You call yourself a fanboy but you obviously dont know the product you’re a fan of. In fact Apple was the driving force behind the improvement and mass production of gorilla glass. They were the first to use it and still do. If it wasn’t for apple, we would have no such thing as gorilla glass. The iPhone is much more prone to breakage probably because it’s so solid. Because of how impact mechanics work, the plastic phones, such as the galaxy line, do better because they have some flex on impact. The only place apple may have gone too far with is putting glass on the front and back because while gorilla glass is amazing, its still not scratch proof, looks worse than other materials when scratched, and is very brittle and will definitely fracture rather than flex or bend. Front is enough for such a material. There are better options for the back.

    • eatkabab

      BTW I also have the GS3 and am a full android person. I do however greatly appreciate all apple products. I do not appreciate the lack of a damn indicator light on phones though, especially all iPhones.

  • Banoori

    Where I can buy this Samsung galaxy s3 in India and what is the price?

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