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Thursday, 11 September 2014

The iPhone 6 from an Android user’s perspective


Apple has announced the iPhone 6 – in two different sizes, no less. But what did users really get? The next version of the iPhone, that’s for sure, but how does it compare with what Android users already have – and what they don’t.

Screens

First off, let’s talk about sizes. The iPhone 6 comes in both 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch versions. The former is a little better than 720p resolution, the latter is 1080p. If those numbers sound familiar, they should! The Nexus 4, released in 2012, had a 4.7-inch screen with a little better than 720p resolution (better, in fact, than the iPhone 6).
The Nexus 5 has a 4.95-inch screen at 1080p, just a little smaller than the iPhone 6 Plus. Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 even had a slightly larger screen with much higher pixel density than the iPhone 6 Plus.
Would you be surprised if I told you that Steve Job was opposed to both the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus! When talking about the iPhone’s then 3.5-inch screen, the late Steve Jobs went on the record about phones with larger screens: “You can’t get your hand around it … no one’s going to buy that”. Referring to its size, more than once, Jobs (and other executives at Apple) commented that the iPhone was “perfect”, regardless of the incarnation at the time of their sentiment. Every time a new size is released, these statements are proven wrong – again and again.

NFC Payments

Not to rain on anyone’s parade or anything, but I’ve been able to use Google Wallet and other NFC payment methods on my Androids since 2011 — on the Nexus S! That’s almost three years ago. Sure, Apple’s implementing it differently, and no, as far as we can tell you won’t be able to tap to beam like you can on Android (let alone tap to beam with an Android), but it’s a step in the right direction.
Way to go, Apple!

64-bit

Android still doesn’t run 64-bit apps like iOS can, though support is on its way once Android L is released. When it is, rather than requiring every developer to modify and re-deploy their apps to work with 64-bit (which is what Apple did), Android will automatically run the majority of apps as 64-bit applications thanks to the way Android’s VM is built.
Put simply, it’s very likely that Android will have more 64-bit apps available once Android L is out than Apple has, even though Apple had a sizable head start.

Biometrics

Apple incorporates a biometric fingerprint scanner in both of its new phones. Android, on the other hand, opts for facial recognition for its biometric login capabilities, though some OEMs have extended Android to work with a fingerprint scanner, too.

Built-in storage

If you’re willing to pay a fairly hefty premium, you can get an iPhone in configurations with up to 128GB storage. Most Android’s only opt for 32 or 64GB, but many offer additional storage through the addition of an sdcard slot – something Apple doesn’t do.
What’s more, Apple’s onboard storage is very, very expensive! Apple charges an extra US$100 to go from 16 to 64GB, and a hundred more if you want to double that (putting the 128GB iPhone 6 Plus just under US$1,000).

iPhone 6 vs Android

We could go on and on about notification actions, widgets, custom keyboards, cross-app communication, default apps, wireless charging, and more (all of which Android has had for years), but I think you see the point.
Android has everything that the new iPhone 6 has. It’s nothing new to us. So, enjoy your “new” features! But keep an eye on what’s new on Android, because you’ll probably be getting it on the iPhone 6S when it’s released – next year.
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