We fought the draw to get a smartphone for a long time. Then Tim was given an iPhone for his work phone for one of his jobs in Guam, though, and we realized during this time how useful it was. It's like having a planner, address book, computer, phone, calculator, book collection, and camera all in one easy-to-carry item that is even backed up to either your computer or the cloud so that the information isn't lost forever if you lose it.
Popular smartphones are Apple's iPhone, Android smartphones, Blackberry, and Windows Phone. The main difference between the different phone ecosystems is the amount of applications and accessories available.
If you're trying to choose which type of phone to use, you could consider the advice we give to people whenever they ask what we recommend:
iPhone = Simpler but a little more expensive
If you don't mind paying for apps from time to time and want your phone and the apps to work without much effort on your part, then we recommend the iPhone. Other great features of the iPhone are:
- Outstanding call quality on both sides (sending and receiving)
- a respectable, easy-to-use camera
- the best finger-print sensor to secure the phone
- the most color-accurate screen
- a wide variety of high-quality accessories such as cases (we use the Magpul cases for our phone) and screen protectors (we use Tech Armor's glass screen protectors).
And remember: you don't need an Apple computer to use an iPhone. Apple's iTunes is the interface you'll use to interact with your phone for backing up, resetting, syncing music, etc. and is available for both Apple and Windows-based computers.
Android = Easier customization and a little cheaper
The saying goes, though, that you get what you pay for. Unless you spend close to the amount of the price on an iPhone, certain features may not be quite on the same level as the iPhone (such as call and screen quality).
If you really want to be able to customize your experience and want free apps instead of having to pay for apps (usually not more than $10), then you should be good with an Android phone.
The Others: Going through growing pains
Currently, iOS (Apple's mobile operating system) and Android have the most apps. iOS and Android are the #1 and #2 mobile operating systems. Both Blackberry and Windows are competing for #3.
One thing Blackberry phones have going for them is that they can use some Android apps from the Amazon App Store. Sometimes these apps don't work quite right, though, since they're not technically designed to work with Blackberry's OS -- this feature is huge, though, and should get better as time goes on.
Apps for Microsoft's Windows Phones are growing in number. Most main-stream apps are available for both iOS and Android. The same is not necessarily true for Windows Phone and Blackberry.
Profit Potential: the main difference
While Android phones technically hold a higher market share than iPhones, a majority of the Android phones are inexpensive, budget-friendly (lower quality) phones. Most customers that buy an iPhone have a larger amount of discretionary funds and, therefore, have more money to spend on apps and accessories. Accessory makers and app developers are keenly aware of this and more readily develop for Apple products because their profits will be larger. Yep, money is a good motivator!
Since Blackberry and Windows Phone hold a much smaller market share than both Android and iOS devices, apps, accessories, and people on their platform are harder to come by. Having more people on the same platform is helpful for messaging apps such as Apple's Messages service, Google's Hangouts service, and Blackberry's Messenger (BBM) service. Sending messages to another person on the same service will allow for more services such as delivery confirmation, read receipt, and an indication when the other person is typing.
Currently, Tim has an iPhone 6 and Franicia has an iPhone 5S. Tim likes the larger size of the iPhone 6 while Franicia prefers the smaller iPhone 5S.
Do you have a smartphone? If so, what kind do you have? What do you like about it and what would you like to change?