iOS vs Android: Notifications

Some people’s biggest complaint about iOS is how it handles push notifications.  You can only ever see one, new ones erase the old ones (unless the application badges) and you can’t do anything until you deal with the notification.  I was one of those people.  Being jailbroken, I didn’t have to deal with it (I used a 3rd party package to manage them), but they were still kind of obnoxious.

Androids notifications live where they should, in the status bar with little indicators.  Like a system tray (for Windows/Gnome), the live happily there until you do something about them.  They don’t block what you’re doing, they don’t magically “go away” when you get a new one, they just work.  They’re awesome.

Of course, there are downsides.  You can’t just clear one notification, except by touching it, which will launch the app it belongs to.  They’re not (for the most part) driven by remote servers, so (I’ve found) some of the apps aren’t as reliable about showing them.  The Facebook app, for example, has to check with FB’s servers periodically for notifications, instead of having them pushed to your device, like iOS will do.

Still, it doesn’t matter.  Android handles notifications like they should be.  I have no idea why Apple hasn’t copied them, except that they don’t have a history of copying features.  I’m sure they’re waiting until they think of something better.  And they can’t, so the users suffer.

TL;DR? Android ++ for notifications.

iPhone Traitor: Why my Galaxy S (and Android) rocks

So, a month ago, I became a traitor.  I ditched my iPhone 3GS, and picked up a refurbished Samsung Galaxy S in the form of the AT&T Captivate.

Why, you ask?  A couple reasons.  I’ve been on the iOS bus for a while now (since the 3GS was available), and while it’s a nice bus, and comfy, I can’t bring on the snacks that I want.  It’s like the movies, “No Outside Food Allowed.”  And while the food on the bus is good, I don’t always want it.

No, there’s no food involved.  It’s a metaphor for “I don’t like that I can only install app’s that Apple has blessed.”

Plus, at 18 months and change, the 3GS’ hardware is feeling a little long in the tooth, especially with iOS 4.whatever on it.  I mean, lag opening the camera app?  Lame.  Why not an iPhone 4, you ask?  The truth?  It doesn’t sound that much cooler.  Sure, new look (aka: I have to buy new cases), faster this, prettier that.  Front-facing camera, you say?  Few of my friends have one, so who would I face time?  And, for the love of god, why would I want to?

So I defected to Android.  We’ve all wonder about it, all us iOS users.  Is it as cool as they say? You can install *any* app?  Madness.  But….is it greener over there? (Again, that’s a metaphor, I don’t care if it’s ecologically greener.  It’s tech, it has horrible chemicals in it.  I’m fine with that.)

Hardware impressions first.  One word: awesomeness.  I’m not sure about the Galaxy in general, but the Captivate form factor is sweet.  Minimal branding, nice feel, etc, etc.  Find somebody else’s review if you want an in-depth.  It’s *slippery* though.  I almost tossed across the room a bunch of times.  So, you know, get grippy case.  The screen is *fantastic*.  It makes my 3GS look like a pile of puke.  No, I don’t know how it compares to the iPhone 4.  The buttons are fine, the chargey slot is fine, the dedicated Android buttons (menu, home, back, search) are not clicky buttons, they’re touch, and they work just fine.

It’s got issues, sure.  It’s mostly plastic, though it still feels solid.  The battery life (at least for me) is pretty crappy.  I might get most of the day, if I don’t touch it much.  But you know what?  I CAN JUST SWAP ANOTHER BATTERY IN!!!  Oh, that’s right, didn’t I mention?  You can change the battery.  Like a regular phone.  And when you trash a battery with your terribly charging practices?  Just replace it.  Without Apple’s +$100 “you’re an idiot” fee.  The storage it comes with is only so-so.  16GB I think?  Something like that.  But again, you don’t like it?  Shove a microSD card in there.  I just snagged a 32GB one for 88 bucks.  In you go.  The hardware is a win, for sure, over the 3GS, and (I feel) iPhone’s in general.

Enough about the hardware.  How does Android compare to iOS?  Well, what version to what version?  Who cares about old versions.  I’ve got Android 2.2, and I had iOS 4.something.  Android wins.  It does.  Parts aren’t as polished as iOS, but overall it’s just better.  At least, for me, the techy programmer geek that I am.  Now, I rooted my Android phone, and I had jailbroken my iPhone.  As a side note, it’s easier on Android.  I did it on iOS so I could install non-appstore apps.  I did it on Android so I could tether (AT&T sucks for how they price tethering), because you know what?  I can already install whatever I want on my Galaxy.  By default.

I’ll probably puke more works about Android vs. iOS, because they’re very different, and they both have good and bad points.

TL;DR? Galaxy: Win.  Android: Also Win.  If you’re thinking of switching, do it.