I've been having a bit of a debate at work about Android vs. iPhone. It's easy to find people in both camps that think they are in possession of the greatest mobile device ever created, and stick to their guns about design philosophies for each.
I'm both an Apple fan and a Google fan. I have some experience with iPhone, and a bit more with Android -- however, I'm not married to one or the other, so I don't mind giving credit where it's due, and criticism where it's needed. As a designer, and someone who actually cares about how stuff looks, I am naturally attracted to iPhone -- both from an end user, and developer experience. As a developer, and Google blogger, I also appreciate everything Android has to offer.
In the eyes of an iPhone owner, Apple is very thorough, and never releases something that users don't need. It's all about quality, and nothing gets released until it's right. Some iPhone owners who haven't really used an Android device before think that it's filled with garbage features that should never have been put into production.
In reality though, Android does have a lot more features than iPhone -- most of which aren't as polished as you would hope. It's hardly a case of Google just throwing stuff in their operating system just because they can though. I can't think of a single feature in Android that actually made my user experience worse -- new features have generally been positive experiences, at least for me.
I would be more receptive to articles that claim Google adds nothing but garbage to Android if they would back it up with real examples that strengthen their case. Blanket statements like this about Android seem to be general opinions that people hear, then repeat.
In the eyes of an Android owner, it is extremely flexible, and gives them the power to do almost anything they want with their phone. Fragmentation isn't an issue for Android owners -- it's just something they have to accept, and embrace.
According to Android users, iPhone is over-simplified and doesn't have anything you need until you, and millions of others complain loud enough about it. You get what Steve Jobs says, and nothing but. You can't do real multi-tasking, you can't use Flash, you can't use your phone as a portable wi-fi hotspot, you are stuck with AT&T, and if you want to make apps for the device, you need a Mac.
As a developer, you have to learn the weird Objective C language and Interface Builder stuff -- something that does NOT come natural for a .NET or Java developer.
In the end, both platforms have their strengths and weaknesses.
iPhone "get's it right" almost all the time. They don't do anything they aren't 100% sure about. They think things through before they do things -- even stuff like Flash. Almost everyone wants Flash support, but Apple refuses to do it for performance/battery/security reasons -- it's good to have people like Apple looking out for you.
Android wants to give people what they want. It's actively being worked on, and the future looks bright in the user experience side of things too. If things go as planned, Android 3.0 is going to take the operating system to a level closer to the iPhone in the UI/UX department. For Google, design is an after-thought -- in some ways this sucks, in other ways I'm glad they listen to feature requests and implement them in a timely fashion.
Where do you stand? Are you in the iPhone camp, or the Android camp. If you are in one or the other, I challenge you to look at the other with unbiased eyes. Use the other for a month, and let's hear what you really think.