Every once in a while we talk to someone with some misconceptions about the iPhone and what it can do.
Despite being one of the most major and usable platforms out there, the it still has some glaring omissions in what we’ve come to expect from a smartphone.
Josh Matthews is CEO of Apkudo, a company that helps developers improve their Android apps and has done the testing and optimization for companies like Samsung and Sony. He says the easiest way to talk about what the iPhone can’t do is to simply compare it to Android.
“There are two broad areas where the iPhone can improve,” he told us. “First there’s software configuration and adjustability. The second is in the hardware.”
He’s right. The iPhone’s current operating system, iOS 6, is almost as inflexible as it can be. Sure, you can customise your background, but what if the default keyboard doesn’t meet your needs? What if you’re tired of your phone’s interface and want to give it a new theme? While these are easy problems to fix in Android, you just don’t have access to these deep-level system settings in iOS.
“Closed systems hurt consumers because they don’t offer any choice in useful areas of functionality,” said Matthews.
Let’s move on to hardware. Matthews mentioned one of the more notable gaps in the iPhone’s offerings: there’s still no NFC chip in the phone despite other devices offering them for years.
All that said, your choice between Android and iOS should probably be a calculation between what you want more – a fully customisable phone that never runs out of new tricks to learn, or an off-the-shelf phone that’s known for its quality user experience.
Here we’ve gathered some of the more obvious items that people may have come to expect from phones at large but are incompatible on an iPhone.
Apple sucks you into its own family of apps like Calendar, Mail, Safari, even though there are countless alternative apps out there that do everything Apple's can more.
If you love using Chrome over Safari, for example, there's no way to tell your iPhone that you only want it to use Chrome. Tapping links in an email will still open them in Safari. Tapping an email link will still force you to compose a message in Mail.
I have use for exactly three default iPhone apps -- Phone, Messages, and Alarm. But I'm still forced to have all those other apps that I never touch take up space on my home screen.
This is a fairly standard feature in an Android phone. Running out of storage space? Slip an extra SD card into the phone and load it up with more content.
This is not the situation with an iPhone. If you buy a 32 GB phone, you have those 32 GB and no more.
You just can't. We assume this is an issue with processor power.
NFC, or near field communication, is a means of sending data wirelessly from one mobile device to another. It's extremely nichey in the States right now, but it's fairly popular in Europe.
Tech wonks love to talk about it being the technology that will make your wallet obsolete as you pay for things with your phone instead of your credit card. If and when Apple decides to include NFC capabilities in an iPhone, it will mainstream the technology in a pretty serious way.
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