Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Nexus One is not an iPhone clone or rip-off

One charge I've seen repeatedly over in the forums is that Nexus One is an iPhone rip off. I do understand where the typical Apple fanboy is coming from, thinking that Apple is the most innovative company in the world and that Apple always gets screwed by the copiers. But in this case, there's no truth. A good percentage of iPhone users wouldn't want Android. It feels way more flexible and powerful than iPhone, while iPhone has an attractive simplicity if that's what you're after.

Android switches contexts much easier than iPhone. In iPhone, contexts come from apps, and right now, it's one app at a time. So if I'm walking the dog and listening to Pandora, I need to leave that app and open the email app to check email. Then I need to leave email and open TwitBird Pro to check twitter. On N1, Pandora keeps playing and my email keeps checking itself every 15 minutes (the setting I chose), alerting me with a little doorbell if something new came in. I can flip over to the Facebook app or a Twitter app and see what's up there while all this other stuff keeps going. iPhone right now feels like it has a mostly one track mind. Android can really do all those things I need in the background and let me know when one of them needs my attention.

So back to the topic of N1 being an iPhone rip-off. In no way whatsoever. N1 has four haptic buttons on the bottom, not just 1 main push button. It's got a little thumb jogger/clicker below that. N1 has a nifty little internal "bounce" to indicate that an action has been done. Of course, the OSs come from entirely different places. I think with iPhone OS 4, we're seeing Apple play a lot of catch-up, wrapped in the message of taking its time to really think out all these features. It's still catch-up.

So if you really believe that nonsense about N1 being an iPhone clone, you haven't spent 1//2 day with an N1. And if you actually have spent 1/2 day with an N1 and still think that, you're making crap up to suit your agenda.


  1. I have had an iPhone since day 1, but recently purchased a Nexus One because I really wanted true Google Voice integration, and a Google Talk client that could run in the background.

    These two things work great on my N1. In every other respect, I miss my iPhone.

    THE BAD:

    - I've been using the virtual keyboard for a few weeks now and I can't come anywhere close to the typing speed I had on the iPhone. The touch-sensitive buttons are set too close to the bottom of the touch screen and frequently get touched when I'm hitting the lower keys on the virtual keyboard. This is very frustrating. The space key is nearly as small as a normal letter key, which makes me miss the space key frequently.

    - The Marketplace is awful. Currently the 4th highest paid app in the Android Marketplace is for Jehova Witnesses to track their field time. Yes, you heard that right. This should give you some insight into the the garbage thats in the marketplace.

    - Apps are ugly and don't have consistent user interfaces. The best Twitter app for Android doesn't even compare with the 5th best on the iPhone. And this applies to a lot of apps. Don't get me started on the Facebook app.

    - It's missing the smoothness that the iPhone has. Scroll on your iPhone and on your N1, notice the bounce effect you get when you scroll too far on the iPhone? Although minor, it makes a huge difference in the feel of the user interface. It just feels natural.


    - Google Navigation is awesome.

    - Google Voice and Google Talk work just the way I would like them to.

    - There are a lot of neat toy apps, for example: Android Scripting Environment. This combined with Locale can create some interesting applications.

    - Slidescreen Pro. My favorite app for my N1.

  2. Thanks for the comment anonymous. In my second day of use, I have not had any problems with the keyboard. One thing I did miss was fingering over text to move the insertion point. Then I read the manual and the trackball works great for me, better than the iPhone method at the ends and beginnings of lines.

    Marketplace, I'll agree with your observation. App look and feel, I'd agree with your observation as well. iPhone App Store hasn't scaled perfectly either. That bounce effect though!! That actually annoyed me on iPhone, especially in Safari. I wrote a web app for reading picture books and even though it wasn't sized to scroll, you could still bounce it all over the place. To each our own...



Do us all a favor when commenting... First, let us know if you have used an iPhone, any Android phone, and/or the Nexus One.