Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Steve Wozniak admits: 'I wish the iPhone did all the things my Android does'

Steve Wozniak may have co-founded Apple with the late Steve Jobs, but when it comes to Android, the two radically diverged opinion-wise. Jobs felt Android was a "stolen product," and Wozniak is always among the first to land a new Android version.

But now Wozniak has gone so far as to be labeled a heretic. He's said that "I wish it [the iPhone] did all the things my Android does, I really do."

This isn't to say Woz doesn't love the iPhone; he does. In fact, he said, "My primary phone is the iPhone. I love the beauty of it." However, Woz carries both iPhone and Android and appreciates the strengths of both.

His big gripe (right now) is Siri. It used to work, he said, a lot better than now. Let's not forget that Siri uses Apple's servers to generate its answers, and its still beta, so there could be a lot of improvements.

Wozniak said, "I used to ask Siri, 'What are the five biggest lakes in California?' and it would come back with the answer. Now it just misses. It gives me real estate listings. I used to ask, 'What are the prime numbers greater than 87?' and it would answer. Now instead of getting prime numbers, I get listings for prime rib, or prime real estate.

"I have a lower success rate with Siri than I do with the voice built into the Android, and that bothers me. I’ll be saying, over and over again in my car, ‘Call the Lark Creek Steak House,’ and I can’t get it done. Then I pick up my Android, say the same thing, and it’s done. Plus I get navigation. Android is way ahead on that.”

He's also seeing poor iPhone battery life, but that's something that quite a few end users have been complaining about since the iPhone 4S and iOS 5. So he's just seeing a general problem.

As you might have noted above, Woz also loves the GPS navigation on Android phones, which has always been a plus of those devices. As a techie, he's not dissuaded by the more technical aspects of Android.

While there are quite a few great things about Android, we would agree with many: iPhone is built so that Grandma could use it, and Android such that Grandma could use it only if she were programming language pioneer Grace Hopper (COBOL). There is great power there, but if you want something that just works (but also is restricted to only a few different designs) we'd recommend iPhone, ourself.

"The people I recommend the iPhone 4S for are the ones who are already in the Mac world, because it's so compatible, and people who are just scared of computers altogether and don't want to use them. The iPhone is the least frightening thing. For that kind of person who is scared of complexity, well, here's a phone that is simple to use and does what you need it to do."

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