Android vs. iOS: default app replacement

So, both Android and iOS come with a bunch of apps for default phone stuff. You know, calls and SMS and calendar and junk. And they both get the job done. With my iPhone I can call. With my Galaxy, I can call. With my iPhone I can text. Again, with my Galaxy I can text.

Big deal, you say. They’re cell phones, you should be able to do that sort of thing. So….what’s the big deal?? Let me ask you a question in return. Do you like the iOS SMS app? You do? Good. But what if you didn’t? Apple says like it, or GTFO. You can get third party SMS apps from the app store, but none of them (as far as I know) can send and receive texts from your mobile number. You know, the one you’ve had for years that all your friends have? Yeah, have fun saying “Call me at this number, but text me at this one.”

On my Galaxy? Oh, I just downloaded a new app (Handcent’s, if you’re curious), and changed two settings, and its now my default SMS app. From my same number. For free.

The coolness of Android’s SMS app versus Apple’s isn’t the point here, it’s the philosophy that is demonstrated here. Apple says that there is some core functionality that they provide, that third party app developers are not allowed to duplicate. Ever. (Although that *may* be changing a little, see the recently approved Google Voice app as an example.). The Android philosophy is, basically, change what you want. It’s *your* phone, after all. And I like that. For all the love that I have for Apple (I’m guiltily writing this on my iPad), I have some real issues with their iron fisted control over their end products, at least from a “what the end user can do with it” perspective. They seem to think that they know best, and you know what? They don’t.

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