I just made this switch.
Not surprisingly, there's a lot less polish on Android, though many of the glaring design missteps have been corrected in recent versions. Even as the Android OS gets better, the quality of the applications is still clearly behind.
The largest benefits over iPhone are the larger screen, the notifications, the voice recognition (way better than SIRI imo), the benefit of Google's integrated cloud stuff (vs the kind of nasty iCloud) and the cost (esp. if you're off contract like I am).
In addition to an iPhone-like "home" button at the bottom, Android has a "back" button and a button to switch applications which functions like double-pressing the iPhone home button. (These are software buttons, not physical buttons.) I was a little concerned about the extra complication, but I've found them to be really intuitive and I wouldn't want to go back to the way iOS does it.
hopefully not starting a flame war, but i don't think "a lot less polish on Android" still applies in a KitKat vs iOS7 world.
I definitely agree with this, which is why I think this article is so interesting. UI wise, I'd say Android and iOS are about on-par. Android's notifications certainly do run laps around what Apple offers, but other than that, I feel like it really comes down to personal preference and what apps/ecosystems you prefer.
For instance, I do a lot of editing of text files on Dropbox, so not having a decent Dropbox text editor (like iA Writer) is a big deal for me.
It's Christmas bonus time, which means I may end up with a new phone. Though I'm curious about Windows Phone I prefer and am more familiar with Android. At this point, I'm just trying to decide if it will be a Moto X or Nexus 5.
I decided to try Moto X a few days ago as a new to Android user, previously on iPhone. Moto X and Kitkat is a pretty good combination... Definitely agree that between the two, they both have strengths and weaknesses that are equally weighted in my opinion.
As said above about the polish. Android 4.0+ is polished all round completely, and really up to personal opinion as to which OS is more polished. IMO android is far better design system-wide than iOS ever will be. Don't put the blame on android simply because an app isn't polished. That's their fault for not following the guidelines set.
If you browse around the market there are some really beautiful apps out there. Especially within the last 2 years a lot more have come up with the release of 4.0+ design guidelines. Should google be more restrictive of apps that do not follow guidelines? Certainly.
The back button on Android is how a back button should operate. Unlike iOS where it just takes you to a top level item designated by the developer, and not back to the previous screen you were actually on.
I have to agree with Philip that Android looks great, but apps need more work.
Apple and Google need to combine as a single entity. The writer expressed that he thinks Apple is headed in the wrong direction, but I think both companies are headed in the right direction. But until* those two companies join- we only have a choice between two revolutionary devices.
- I use the word 'until' loosely
I really love the N5. I just switched over, which was a really easy transition. For the money, there is no way you can beat this thing, and I personally think its a very very pretty phone. I do wish the camera worked better, but when it does finally shoot, the camera takes a pretty decent photo. Couldn't be happier leaving the Apple ecosystem. This gives me a good perspective of another UI, one that is becoming more and more refined.
Switched from an iPhone 4 that I wrongly upgraded to iOS7, to a Nexus 5. Can’t say I really miss much from iOS, especially since most of my info is on the Google side.
However there still seems to be a gap in UI polish for apps that are on both systems, though it’s gotten a lot better in the last year (I had a Nexus 7 that I gave away because I found I had little use for a tablet). 1Password in particular doesn’t just look bad on Android but functions a lot more poorer too and hasn’t been updated in a while.
Funny, I recently switched myself, mainly for learning purposes as I've been designing more and more for Android lately. I wrote a short blog post on it yesterday as well; we make a lot of similar points. Namely that the OS is leagues better than what it used to be, but that one the main sticking points is still the sub-par third party apps (especially 2nd tier third-party apps, in my experience).
I am recently working with android which has been my main mobile os for years now, as a designer I think iOs still has a tiny margin on polishness, but it is more about third party apps than anything else. Overall working with android is more stimulating to me since doing good really is possible.
The real problem that is making android a late bloomer in those kind of things is fragmentation, while iOS7 has a 70+% of diffusion on its devices, KitKat -which offers many cool things to make better apps- is only installed on something like the 1% of them. Google did good backporting some of those features but it's still not enough.
Big kudos for the nexus 5!
I think Android is visually beautiful and even better than iOS in some ways like it's sharing system and Google Now. I always get tempted and buy an Android phone (Nexus 4 & Galaxy Nexus) but I always return to my iPhone after few months. So I've convinced myself to not spend any more money of new shiny Nexus phones because I always eventually stop using them. Even though the Nexus 5 is not the best phone out there, I think it's a great phone for it's price.
I bought a Nexus 5 and really liked it, but it is very big. I also thought, that Google is nice as a company, had done a very good job with the design of KitKat and overall KitKat is a better OS.
After a week or so I dropped it (not from a high point) and the screen cracked. After that I picked up my iPhone 4S and although it felt incredible tiny, I thought "Oh that's nice to use and fits in my pocket." So now here I am, spent 400€ on a phone I'm now selling on ebay and using my old iPhone.
The OS is really great, but both Apps and Hardware are not nearly as good as Apple products.
Nexus 5 doesn't fit in your pocket? Probably should work on loosening those jeans up a bit. I have a g2 with a 5.2" screen and it fits just fine.
I've been on a nexus 4 actually. I will switch to iOS for my next phone. What I've missed in the android world is the quality of the apps and the specialized ones for designers heart.