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Steve Wozniak: 8 Reasons why Android is better than iOS

Speaking to Dan Lyons, Steve Wozniak, the engineering genius who co-founded Apple in 1976, had some good things to say about Android. The Woz still thinks the iPhone is the best smartphone overall, especially for the mainstream consumer, but mentions some aspects of Android that he thinks have surpassed iOS. Steve loves the design of his iPhone, but wishes it did all the things his Android does.

Martin Carstens: Staff reporter
Martin is obsessed with technology and the future. His work life includes positions at UK based Hotcourses.com, Discovery Invest and currently, Gearburn. More

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The Woz says:

#1 Voice commands work better on Android.

#2 Voice commands deliver better results on Android.

#3 Android’s built-in turn-by-turn GPS navigation doesn’t exist on iPhone.

#4 The learning curve for Android is a bit steeper, but once mastered, has more to offer.

#5 Android could be to iOS today, what Windows was to Mac in the 1990s: a real threat due to licensing of the Android OS to hardware manufacturers. Woz acknowledges the similarity and sees it as a legitimate threat as he thinks Android is a better OS than Windows was at the time, also in terms of application design and aesthetic. “There’s not as big a difference [between iOS and Android] as there was between Mac and Windows”.

#6 The Apple app approval process is bureaucratic, whereas Android developers can get programs out faster, and push out tweaks as well as revisions in less time.

#7 Siri was better as a standalone program, and now that it’s built into iOS, is not as good. He especially called out Siri on requiring an Internet connection. He noted that it was particularly annoying when he wanted to call his wife, for example, and that he’s never had Android come back and say, ‘I can’t connect over the Internet.’”

#8 Since iOS 5, battery life is better on Android.


  • Rob Harrt

    Really? Coming from the Woz himself these reasons are a bit thin. 

  • Rob Harrt

    Really? Coming from the Woz himself these reasons are a bit thin. 

  • http://SpottedMarley.com SpottedMarley

    All truth

  • Dani57

    But Itunes is better. Because, It’s not possible to add lyrics on my music.

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  • Stephen Hall

    No no no.  The headline is misleading.  It should read something like: “Steve Wozniak: 8 ways in which Android is better than iOS”.  Wozniak did not say that Android was better overall than iOS, in fact, he said the reverse, as quoted in the story intro.

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  • Theheathsamuel

    Battery life longer….not convinced.

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  • Anonymous

    If app developers really have an easier time with android, why are there not android apps that do what apple’s do, specifically in relation to magazine and newspaper apps that work on ipads but not androids (e.g. sporting news today)? Also, like to see netflix and hbo go on droid tablets if they work on ipad.

  • http://profiles.google.com/nyteshade Gabriel Harrison

    #1 Voice commands work better on Android.

    Can’t speak to this myself, but let’s just give this one to android; if you speak English.

    #2 Voice commands deliver better results on Android.

    Lumping this in with #1. Let’s just give it to Android again. Truthfully, #1, #2 and #7 are really all the same point. Making the article 5 controversial reasons why Android is better than iOS.

    #3 Android’s built-in turn-by-turn GPS navigation doesn’t exist on iPhone.

    Google makes the best map programs. Google makes Android. Google competes with iOS. The fact we even have Google Maps at all on iOS still (happily) surprises me. Of course Google Maps is better on Android.

    #4 The learning curve for Android is a bit steeper, but once mastered, has more to offer.

    This is arguable. I agree that the learning curve is steeper. There may be another option or two on the menu due to differences in hardware but I don’t agree that it has more to offer. Google has failed consistently since Android’s inception to deliver things like multi-language support, decent virtual keyboards and a nice easy to use OS. 

    Now, this is changing. There are a few keyboards now that are finally superior in some ways to the Apple iOS ones; but not all. By this I mean things like Swype offer a potentially faster way to type on a virtual keyboard but layout, button sensitivity and again international characters are more efficient on iOS and continue to make it a better product despite the lack dragging word completion.

    #5 Android could be to iOS today, what Windows was to Mac in the 1990s: a real threat due to licensing of the Android OS to hardware manufacturers. Woz acknowledges the similarity and sees it as a legitimate threat as he thinks Android is a better OS than Windows was at the time, also in terms of application design and aesthetic. “There’s not as big a difference [between iOS and Android] as there was between Mac and Windows”.

    Apple is quickly becoming the dominant platform in corporations and homes with Linux and other UN*X based servers supporting the backend. The last CES was dominated by laptops trying to mimic the Mac Book Air design. 

    If you don’t play games I wouldn’t even bother recommending Windows unless money was a big issue. Even then I’d almost proffer the idea of a Hackintosh if the user was savvy enough over Windows. 

    Windows 8 looks to be an atrocity come to life. MacOS has better font-rendering, screen rendering and in many ways more flexibility and capability than Windows these days. I still need Windows because I love to play games, but aside from that I’d rather have a Mac. 

    So saying that Android is better than a 1990s version of Windows is not relevant at all. Both Android and iOS are better than a 1990s version of Windows and a 1990s version of MacOS. 

    If the path that Windows is on now is any indication of how Android will fare in the future then they really should be worried. Windows usage is declining and MacOS usage is climbing. Woz should choose a better analogy.

    #6 The Apple app approval process is bureaucratic, whereas Android developers can get programs out faster, and push out tweaks as well as revisions in less time.

    Yes, they release crappier applications faster and for less of a profit margin to the app developers. I agree. But even despite this “advantage”, there are significantly fewer applications for Android than there are for iOS. Period.

    #7 Siri was better as a standalone program, and now that it’s built into iOS, is not as good. He especially called out Siri on requiring an Internet connection. He noted that it was particularly annoying when he wanted to call his wife, for example, and that he’s never had Android come back and say, ‘I can’t connect over the Internet.’”

    It’s an implementation choice. There are a few ways to go about speech processing. For the simplistic responses that Siri provides now (and it’s still in beta, by the way) I agree that doing the processing on the device might be better. The truth is though as the complexity of the responses grow, cloud computing responses are going to be much more capable. As far as not having an internet connection, dude should not expect his stuff to work in a cave or the deep countryside. This isn’t Japan. Move to a populated area. Siri released native Japanese language recognition and responses in only a few months. I still can’t even type in Japanese on Android device without installing 3rd party software, let alone dictate, search and query using spoken Japanese. 

    The thing about Japanese and Android and why it bothers me so much is that I used to work for Google as an engineer. I still love their products and sites. But for a company that pushes 40+ language support so strongly I still don’t understand why nearly all Android devices are so far behind in this area. The very first release of iOS still has greater language support than ICS.

    #8 Since iOS 5, battery life is better on Android.

    Good for them, 5 versions later and due to some small bugs that will be corrected they managed to get on the scoreboard.