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My iPhone in a Crimson case.
My iPhone in a Crimson case.

By Darren Johnson
Campus News and Nu2u

Which phone is better, Android or Apple?

I have seen this question a good deal on Facebook. Someone is contemplating buying a phone and asks their online friends. A year or two ago, there were also some people asking about Blackberry, but not so much anymore.

The answers to this question always are biased toward the phone the responder owns. Apple owners say Apple, Android owners say Android. I think people want to believe whatever choice they made was smart.

But I will end this debate once and for all.

First, let me say, Apple is Apple. They don’t give out their OS. So all phones will have a certain quality, while Android’s OS is open-source, meaning some Android phones may be made by sub-par companies. A cheap Android phone will work horribly.

For the sake of this article, I will assume a top-model Android. Also, I will assume both phones are on the same good carrier. A bad carrier will make any phone seem bad.

How did I end up with two phones? I already had a Samsung Galaxy S4 and had just been using a $10 flip phone for my job as a writer/publisher. My daughter upgraded her Apple phone, so I inherited her 4S and transferred my service to that.

I have no biases for Apple or Android, having used both products a good deal over the years. Neither company advertises with this newspaper.

So, gun to my head — if I had to only use one from now on, which?

I’m picking the Apple. Sorry, Android. Here is why:

The Apple phone just feels better in the hand. It feels more natural. The screen is brighter — the high quality glass helps. Perhaps the resolution is also greater. I downloaded several of the same apps for both machines, but found myself going to the Apple when I wanted to play them. Even though the screen was slightly smaller on the Apple in this case, it just felt better.

The buttons are in the right places. I do like the “back” button on Androids, which Apple doesn’t seem to have, though.

The camera on the Apple is about as good as any stand-alone camera. I found if I had both phones in my pocket, I’d grab the Apple for photos because I knew they’d come out better.

The voice recognition is better with Android and seems to intuitively understand its user better over time. It also works better if there is background noise, such as music, playing. I would use the Android for translating English to other languages via Google, or for its Google Maps GPS.

As a device, it is easier to transfer files from an Android to a computer than an Apple to a computer. I wish Apple would just make their stuff plug-and-play instead of going through iTunes. If I were to use my phone as an MP3 or movie player, I’d side with Android so I can just move files via drag and drop. That said, I don’t like movies on a small device and use a stand-alone MP3 player, which is lighter, for exercise.

Apple seems to be classier — there are fewer stupid apps automatically included in your OS. Android gives you many unwanted apps that seem impossible to move, and that I will never click on. There also are pages for Kindle and such that look like ads and are very annoying, but it’s not obvious how to delete them. Most people would just let them stay rather than bother to figure that out. It’s the equivalent of when a hotel leaves an $8 bottle of water in your room, daring you to drink it and thus be billed. It just seems like a money grab and crass.

Battery life is about the same for the two. In fact, I think the Apple gives me a bit more of a run, though neither has decent lasting power.

For durability, I have cases on both. Just some rubbery Otter Box for the Android and a nice, metal brass frame from Crimson for the Apple. The Crimson frame makes the phone feel better in the hand and has protected the phone from a few drops.

A high-end Android costs about the same as a basic Apple, and the Apple still wins overall. Sorry, Droid fans.