With new Gmail and Google Maps iOS apps, the iPhone 5 is clearly the best smartphone available

With new Gmail and Google Maps iOS apps, the iPhone 5 is clearly the best smartphone available

Summary: I use smartphones across the spectrum, but with new Google apps I find that the iPhone 5 now does everything I need and I may be able to lighten my pockets.

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With new Gmail and Google Maps iOS apps, the iPhone 5 is clearly the best smartphone available

Now that we have a good Google Maps solution on the iPhone that supports voice-guided navigation, along with a new Gmail client that rivals what you find on Android, the choice to go with an iPhone over an Android device becomes even clearer.

I use all mobile operating systems because I like to test them out and give them a chance to earn a spot in my pocket. While I am an Exchange user in my day job, I also use Gmail extensively and always found the Android experience best for Gmail. Even though I have tried lots of different GPS navigation solutions, I invariably go back to using Google Maps 99% of the time. These are both now excellent applications on the iPhone. In addition, I find that the iPhone beats Android in these areas:

  • Apps and services still come to iOS first in many cases and in some instances we still don't see Android apps (UP, Fuelband).
  • The iPhone's camera is among best of all smartphones, even without all the fancy features and options.
  • Updates come from Apple and seem to skirt carrier control. You can count on your iPhone getting updates for a couple of years, whereas your Android phone may never get updated even a single time.
  • It's a pleasure to visit a physical Apple store rather than a carrier store.
  • The damage warranty for the iPhone is actually worth it, IMHO.
  • The accessory market is vast, giving you broad choices at great prices.

I do like Android for widgets, large displays, NFC, and pushing the limits of technology, but if I had to pick just a single smartphone then the iPhone 5 would be my clear choice.

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Topics: Mobility, Apple, iPhone, Verizon

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140 comments
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  • :-D

    No, just the best icon board..... Nothing else :-)
    anywherehome
    • I can only agree

      ... maybe I'm biased but at least half of my mobile phone screen is alive and kicking... and that alone makes it hard for iPhone to even be considered as an alternative for me.
      AleMartin
    • True

      Yes, the UI is more than a little stale, but it does work well for just about everyone. I think iOS is very unexciting, but there's nothing really wrong with it, except the money Apple wants for it. I don't do carrier "subsidised" phones (can we please stop calling it a subsidy, it just means getting ripped each month; look up the word, it's a loan paid in installments at best.) so the difference in paying something like $800 vs a bit over half that is significant just about anywhere in the (real) world.

      But when money is not an issue, say when an employer (or fairies) let me get whatever I want, I might just go for the iPhone 5.
      Han CNX
      • Absolutely untrue

        At least in the US, carrier subsidy is NOT a loan. Your service cost is exactly identical each month whether you got a subsidized phone or bought one outright. You do not pay the subsidy back.

        Think about this. Your phone is going to need service regardless of how you paid for it. Let's say two years of that service costs $2000. If you buy a $200 subsidized phone, your total cost of ownership over two years is $2200. If you buy your phone outright and unlocked for $600 and then keep service for two years, your total cost of ownership is $2600. The subsidized phone is a better deal even in the long run.

        Buying unlocked may give you the freedom to jump ship to other carriers without paying an ETF, but it doesn't save you money. Hell, if you're in the US then it's extremely likely that you'll be forced to buy another $600 phone after you switch carriers anyway, since the technology is rarely interchangeable. When you consider the cost of buying two unlocked phones versus two subsidized phones and an ETF, you're pretty much looking at a wash even if you're a carrier hopper.
        chefgon
        • You are kidding, right?

          The monthly rates for unsubsidized phones are much lower. I'm thinking of going with Tmobile with a Nexus 4 off contract for $349. My monthly plan would be $50 with my Nexus 4 vs $75 and paying $199 for a subsidized nexus 4.

          Off contract is a much better deal.
          laequis
          • That's great if you want Tmobile

            but with their terrible coverage where I live and travel it would be $50/mo wasted.
            non-biased
        • I understand

          I absolutely understand your helplessness in this regard. There are indeed robbers (service providers). But believe me, nothing prevents your from deciding what is best for you. With an unsubsidized phone, you still have some options that will be a lot less than $2000 in service. When everybody refuses like the some of us already do, the extortion fee will certainly come down.

          About evidence, I have paid $300 in a year of service and purchased a decent phone in $325 (Motorola Triumph). It was at the time when not very good phones were offered in prepaid. But now, you get what you want and still prices are lot better than those extortionist. And with the experimentation like Republic Wireless, the market is going to free of these goons who do "hafta wasool". I think if companies like Republic Wireless make their business and service model more like Cyanogenmod, in no time all these giant service providers will either change to or will perish. However, some money will come back to the hardware industry and that is justifiable because that is where actual, not imagined, raw material and resources are.
          ashwinipn
        • Outside USA...

          ... such as here in Sweden, the phone "subsidy" is often a separate cost on the service, so it's almost always more expensive to buy a phone *with* service than to buy one without and get service separately.
          Natanael_L
        • ever use an unlocked phone?

          If you had, you probably wouldn't be spewing the bs you are polluting the internet with. Same goes for boutique laptops and desktops, you pay more but you get less. Less BS! It is worth the extra cost and wait for it... Wait for it... Freedom.
          focusandconcentrate@...
        • For contracted plans, this is true

          Although you are right about the price for an on-contract plan being the same whether you took the subsidy or not, you are neglecting contract-less plans. If you check T-Mobile's site right now, you can see that with a 2 year contract (which allows you to take the subsidy), you pay $70/month for unlimited Talk+Text+Data (2GB high speed data, $80 is you want "4G," which actually appears to be unlimited). Without a contract, you pay $60 for unlimited Talk+Text+Data (2GB "4G" data). You also have the choice to pay $30 for 100 min talk + Unlimited Text+Data (5GB "4G" data). There are considerable savings to be had
          Patrick Aupperle
  • Wot?

    RU Crazy? The droid isn't tied to Apple's My Way or The Highway vision. iPhone users just went through a period of several months without working maps and navigation that could put you into the Australian outback. That RIGHT THERE makes the droid the only reasonable choice.

    If updates are a concern to you just buy a phone from the Google mothership directly. They push out OS updates with almost alarming frequency. And guess what, these phones DON'T require a contract with some bloodsucking evil empire (i.e. phone company) that puts ownership of your firstborn in doubt.

    While Apple may have a booming accessory market the fact is that the design of Droids makes most of the accessories sold for iPhones irrelevant.
    Horace Klein
    • You realize...

      You realize they found just as deadly direction info in Google Maps on Android devices in Australia as well right?
      doh123
      • Thanks for the link

        @doh123 - thanks for the link
        john-whorfin
      • Agree,

        People's, I know most of you may never get to Aussie (shame really, best country in the world) but please, lets get this right, there are hundreds if not thousands of k's (or old fashioned miles if you prefer) of roads in outback and semi outback Australia with NO phone coverage. If you come to Aussie DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT rely on mobile phone GPS's. Crazy stuff!
        martin_js
        • Aussie ???

          You mean Aussie like Oz ??? Who need gps or map in oz, just follow the yellow line. And if you lucky, you will meet the kansas girl.
          Voltus
          • Apple issues Public Apology for it's ineptness!!

            LOL LOL LOL
            Apple maps. LOL
            LOL
            xuniL_z
    • Dont trust a phone to get you there.

      "iPhone users just went through a period of several months without working maps and navigation that could put you into the Australian outback. That RIGHT THERE makes the droid the only reasonable choice."

      This type of reliance on navigation from a cellphone scares me. And while iphone may have suffered from a few months of bad maps, i still have seen many android users have to restart their device while attempting to show me "how much better" it is than my iphone.
      keithwoodhall
      • i still have seen many android users have to restart their device

        What kind of a tool goes around arguing with people about who's phone is better? Probably the same kind that will make up stories about how bad the competition is to boost his ego.

        Troll hard my friend.
        mrefuman
        • i still have seen many apple users have to restart their device

          What kind of a tool goes around arguing with people about who's phone is better? Probably the same kind that will make up stories about how bad the competition is to boost his ego.

          Troll hard my friend.
          ePoch270
        • Not sure what kind of tool they are

          but you see tons of them on hear bashing the iPhone whenever possible.
          non-biased