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Woz Says iPhone Features Are 'Behind' 587

Posted by timothy
from the wonderful-wizard-of-woz dept.
redletterdave writes "The iPhone may be one of the bestselling smartphones on the planet, but Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak believes Apple's flagship smartphone has fallen behind its competitors, namely those built by Samsung, when it comes to smartphone features. Speaking at Businessweek's Best Brand Awards on Thursday evening, Wozniak said he was proud of how loyal Apple fans were to the iPhone, but also said 'this loyalty is not given,' shortly before denouncing his own company's smartphone. 'Currently we are, in my opinion, somewhat behind with features in the smartphone business,' Wozniak said. 'Others have caught up. Samsung is a big competitor. But precisely because they are currently making great products.'" I prefer Android, but it seems hard to find iPhone users who aren't enthusiastic about it. Whatever kind of phone you prefer, are there features you envy the users of some other variety?
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Woz Says iPhone Features Are 'Behind'

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  • Nexus 4 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by maxbash (1350115) on Saturday February 09, 2013 @11:47AM (#42843365)
    I have a Nexus 4, I envy nobody. I have a $30 a month plan and Wi-Fi almost everywhere I go, so lack of LTE is non-issue for me. I'm completely pleased with this phone, no disappointments.
  • Updates (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MCSEBear (907831) on Saturday February 09, 2013 @11:52AM (#42843409)
    Until the Android ecosystem can handle an issue as basic as providing it's users with OS and security updates, Android is not ahead at all.

    Over half of the Android devices out there are still running variants of version 2 of the OS and lower [bgr.com] while the last three Android releases are version 4 and higher.

    Android needs to be rearchitected so that carriers provide drivers for the hardware, while Google takes full responsibility for updates to the OS. This approach has been working with Windows for decades.
  • Side loading (Score:2, Interesting)

    by medcalf (68293) on Saturday February 09, 2013 @11:53AM (#42843419) Homepage
    I love my iPhone, but I do wish I could side load without having to pay Apple the developer fee. On the other hand, I also realize that the code signing requirement is one reason Android has malware and iPhone doesn't, so it's a mixed bag. But it would be nice to be able to opt out without jailbreaking.
  • Re:It's just a phone (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dzimas (547818) on Saturday February 09, 2013 @12:02PM (#42843479)
    Look, people have always liked to place themselves into heirarchies. The modern USA is no different; we fawn over the modern equivalent of wealthy nobility, grumble and whine about how they're not treated like common folk and ohh and ahh as the fancily dressed dandies parade around the film industry court. Periodically, there are popular rebellions as the raging masses rise up and install a new order. Sometimes the outcome is good - the birth of a republic, the creation of the Westminster parliamentary system, but sometimes you find yourself under the boot of raving mad Leninists, racist fascists or clueless but vicious oil sheiks. So enjoy your shiny telephone and breathe a quiet thanks that you're not in a 1920s Soviet Gulag or North Korea. (As for the root cause of trouble in the USA: full-bore capitalism doesn't work, especially when there's a strong religious and social push to consistently increase the population to build "the economy." The US has three times the population it did in 1913, but there aren't three times as many meaningful jobs and many traditional occupations have either been outsourced to legalized slave camps in China or replaced by technology. You just have 200 million extra people trying to figure out the purpose of their life.)
  • Re:As an iPhone user (Score:4, Interesting)

    by iamhassi (659463) on Saturday February 09, 2013 @12:03PM (#42843481) Journal
    Speaking of updates, nice to see iOS provides latest updates even to older phones like the 2009 3GS supports the latest iOS 6.1. Read an article about google patching a android vulnerability but only offered it for Andriod 4.2 Jelly Bean which came out November 2012. [washingtonpost.com] All older versions of android are still vulnerable. No one wants to offer android users updates to their phones, seems their mentality is "buy a new Android every 3 months when the new OS comes out". Who has time or money to buy new phones and tablets every 3 months? This problem is going to get worse before it gets better, google needs to offer a way to update all these older devices to the latest version of android.
  • by j-beda (85386) on Saturday February 09, 2013 @12:07PM (#42843509) Homepage

    Apple has manged to convince the "unwashed masses" that their eco-system and devices are easier to use than the alternatives, and in fact their systems are pretty well thought out and easy to use and their control of the whole eco-system has made interoperability of software and hardware pretty seamless. Non-Apple sellers have the difficult job of convincing most buyers that their possibly better features are more valuable than Apple's "ease of use", even if the "ease of use" of their devices are as good or better than Apple's. The perception of Apple being the one source for hardware, software and content (through the single iTunes channel), as well as info-syncing (iCloud) is comforting to many. The competition has a number of places the consumer might feel they need to go for hardware support (Samsung perhaps), software support (Samsung, Google, and others?), content (Amazon, iTunes, etc), and services (Google and others?). Even if there is one vastly dominant company in each of these areas, they are still going to be perceived as more complicated than getting it all from Apple - even if it is not more complicated.

    Tangentially, I think smart phones are approaching the same point that personal computers reached not that long ago - for the vast majority of customers the increased power and features of new devices are insufficient to justify upgrading their current device. When everyone in the world already has a decent smart phone the market for new phones is going to get much smaller.

  • by Thumper_SVX (239525) on Saturday February 09, 2013 @12:35PM (#42843713) Homepage
    Ironically, I think this is exactly what Apple lacks since Steve Jobs passed away. Say what you will about the guy; he was a showman extraordinaire. Though I didn't know him, I can imply from the stories I've read and heard that he also had that ability to recognize weakness and almost certainly never truly believed in private that Apple was untouchable and was the best. He drove Apple to create the best because he was absolutely convinced they weren't there yet.

    Since Jobs passed away that has been lacking at the top of Apple. Unfortunately the RDF has outlasted Jobs himself and is still endemic to the company and everyone who worked for him (I DO know a few Apple engineers, and they agree with my assessment). They really do believe they are the best at everything and unfortunately it's going to take quite a force of will to convince them to excel as they did under Jobs. Tim Cook is a good guy and a great CEO... but he's not really the man to break that philosophical trough that Apple has fallen into.
  • by mabhatter654 (561290) on Saturday February 09, 2013 @12:35PM (#42843717)

    Here we have a good answer.

    Apple's restrictions ban a lot of "service" apps that are used by IT techs (and by suspicious persons too) that is one good reason to use android because Apple just suddenly pulls stuff claiming its "used wrong". Apple has a clear "don't shop here" sign out for common OSS network tools and the like.

  • Have it, Hate it. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by wonkavader (605434) on Saturday February 09, 2013 @12:58PM (#42843923)

    People who love their iPhones usually bought them. There are two things going on there. Firstly, it's a self-selecting group. They bought into the idea of the ads they saw for the phone. Secondly, they spent money on it. When you make a purchase, you tend to self-justify. You think what you bought was the best, because otherwise you got suckered. No one likes that, so we tell ourselves we won. What we have is the best.

    I was handed an iPhone by my company. It's really nice to have a free phone and I appreciate it hugely. Yes, it's a ball and chain to the company, but if they hadn't given me the phone, they'd be calling me on my personal phone anyhow.

    But I hate the iPhone. Hate it. My antipathy for it was nonexistent when I got it. It was way better (in some ways) than the crappy blackberry it replaced. But over time, I've grown more and more frustrated with the potential of the thing which is squandered. Every little thing about it annoys me.

    My wife has an android phone. I am so envious. There's still much to hate there, but not nearly as much, and there seems to be progress on Android. Something which annoys you might actually get fixed. On the iPhone, you must learn to love it, for it will never change.

  • by Smurf (7981) on Saturday February 09, 2013 @01:31PM (#42844163)

    In other words - it's the phone you recommend to your parents so you don't have to do tech support for them.

    I don't think you realize the implications of that last thing you say.

    What you are saying is that if you are not extremely technically oriented (i.e., you are like the vast majority of people) then the iPhone is the best phone for you: It allows you to do almost everything that you can do with the "other" phones (and certainly pretty much everything that common people actually want to do with them), it gives you access to a library of 800,000 curated apps of all types, and, most importantly, it allows you to do all this without having to constantly resort to the help of your technically oriented son.

    You should work for Apple's publicity agents, man.

  • Re:As an iPhone user (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 09, 2013 @02:06PM (#42844427)

    I've just purchased a couple of of iPads, and frankly, the "walled garden" apple thing is FUCKING annoying.

    Jesus motherfucking CHRIST, but the inability to easily share documents among "apps" on a single device is fucking retarted. I don't care what the motivation was for this, but it's stupid and gets in the way.

    From "app" 1, save your document in the "iBooks" thing, the iCloud, "iTunes" (lol) - then it's, oh sorry, but "app" 2 can't open said document from any of those. oh, oh, wait, app2 saves it's documents in it's own little shit hole garden, where nothing else can access it...

    I wish I'd known before I bought these devices that there is no simple, easy to use, way of sharing documents among apps. Windows/linux/osx/* users will have no idea what the fuck I'm on about.

    I tried to upload a simple pdf doc to a website using safari... oh no, can't do that. The fucking document can't be found anywhere. It's in appN's walled garden. Solution? Pay for iCabSomething-or-other, which is really a hacked browser which "allows" you to upload any document you want to a simple html fucking form on a website... but only after you've downloaded the document using the SAME browser so you can access it from the same shit hole garden.

    It's no wonder the other executives in my team have had their fucking iPads for MONTHS but have yet to use them productively... oh wait, one of them uses it to browse and email. That's it.

    FUCK apple, I thought you were better than this.

  • by seebs (15766) on Saturday February 09, 2013 @02:10PM (#42844453) Homepage

    No, another user who is aware that other people are also real, and that there's an exchange between the app developer and the app writer.

    I have an app up which is free, but requests donations. It's on Apple's app store and also on Google Play. The Apple users sometimes donate. One Google user has. Now, in this particular case, I don't care much, because the app is intentionally pro bono work. But even so... The disparity is quite noticeable. If I were primarily acting to make money, there is no way I would bother with an Android port.

  • Re:iFirstPost (Score:3, Interesting)

    by weazel2006 (1005669) on Saturday February 09, 2013 @02:59PM (#42844829)

    I used to have the Palm Pre before getting the iPhone 4s. I heard how much better the battery life was with the iPhone than the Android phones and that was a big factor in my decision. That being said the Pre had WAY better battery life than either of them. It also had a flashing light on the device when a notification was present. (it was the first to have the notification center but not for long) The Pre was very slow and didn't work great as a smartphone but the battery made it a great phone. I use smartphone features to the fullest but I use it as a phone and that is very important to me.

    My friends with older Android phones have to reboot and I have never rebooted my iPhone in 16+ months.

    My battery lasts all day but the Pre lasted 3 or 4 days. I wouldn't want to go back to the dumb phone becasue I would have to print google maps again and lookup phone numbers manually or use directory assistance. Travel is made easier because I can lookup which parking ramps are full at the airport and which have spots open.

    Either platform is good. Samsung phones seem reliable and have good battery life. When I buy my next phone I will seriously consider them. (though they don't seem pocket size to me) I believe Apple will have to come up with a serious upgrade this time around if they want to keep their market share. (something amazing)

    I have spent $20 on apps and enjoy extremely inexpensive accessories for the iPhone. I paid only 199 for the phone and know people who spend more on Android devices just because they think the iPhone is more expensive. I used all of my iCloud storage due to 3 devices on the account and not managing it very well so I spent another 10 bucks on a years worth of storage. All said I have spent less than many Andoid users and have easy access to accessories. (example: backup external charging battery for 10 bucks and cases for 5 bucks)

    The biggest thing though is when I am done with it I will sell the phone for as much or more than I paid for it. Resale value of specific superior Android models may be good but I don't want to spend much time trying to figure out which is the best for that 3-6 month period.

    I have the skills to root an Andoid and spend 40 hours making something better but I choose to keep my free time for other things. Jailbreaking the iPhone is quick and easy but I choose not to. (just want it to work and 2 dollar apps are not big deal to me) I know I could be the first (insert carrier name) user to run vanilla ice cream surprise or whatever they have but if I want to hack on something it would be my linux box.

    I have had a ton of conversations with people who are convinced that one is better than the other. The best answer is that both are good. (now that Android is more reliable and has better battery life that is) Apple phones do not cost more in my opinion even though you may not get as much memory for the price or screen size if that is desirable to you. That seems to be a misconception. My inlaws told me they couldn't afford the iPhone so they spent $250 on Android phones. The all glass and aluminum case does add to manufacturing costs vs plastic and glass on Android and I dislike the fact that Apple doesn't allow external storage. I wouldn't watch movies on my phone anyway and have a tablet for stuff like that so I really don't need it but come on Apple, give us the things the competition has.

    The price differnce on apps is largely due to full screen advertising and other in game/app ads. I will pay the dollar or two. (I save it by buying my widely available accessories on the discount rack at TJ Maxx or Amazon)

    My advice is to discuss it calmly with open minded fair thinking people and when you run into someone who is passionate about the other platform agree with them that theirs is superior and tell them you will get theirs next time around. Don't encourage them to talk about it and change the topic to Dr Who or something.

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