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back to article Ditch your boring iPhone for a hot Android piece, says Google's TOTALLY UNBIASED Eric Schmidt

Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt has shown that as a marketer, diplomat and technical writer, he makes a pretty good figurehead/roving-technology-talker-upper – by penning Eric’s Guide: Converting to Android from iPhone. That'll be the Android mobile operating system from Google. There's precious little in the guide you …

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To be fair...

Schmidt doesn't ruin his great renown as a writer. He just continues doing what he has been payed for all along.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: To be fair...

He's no visionary, he worked for Novell lol.

All of the real industry big names started their own company.

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Re: To be fair...

As well as Bell Labs, Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), Sun Microsystems and Zilog ..

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Re: To be fair...

..and he stayed at each of those companies until he was found out, perchance?

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"The latest high-end phones from Samsung (Galaxy S4), Motorola (Verizon Droid Ultra) and the Nexus 5 (for AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile) have better screens, are faster, and have a much more intuitive interface."

Better screens: matter of opinion. More intuitive interface. In my opinion, no way. More flexible, yes, but not more intuitive. There are advantages to the greater simplicity of the iPhone UI and intuitiveness is one of them. Faster ? Factually, no.

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You can't hold a balanced opinion here -

this is the INTERNET!

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Anonymous Coward

Guess you haven't looked at android for a few years. The nexus 4 and 5 are both more fluid than a 5s, half the price, the latter has a far better screen, and stock android is just as easy as to use as iOS. You don't need to use things like widgets. Android will however grow with you.

Keep on deluding yourself.

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Anonymous Coward

@SuccessCase

Everything can, at some point, be reduced to a matter of opinion, but in general, there are no inaccuracies in what was written. Most, if not all, high end Android phones now have larger AND higher resolution screens than the iPhone.

The single button on the iPhone (and how it forces every app developer to choose his/her own arbitrary method of back/forth navigation) is most certainly not intuitive. It's simple, sure, but simple does not necessarily equal intuitive.

And faster? You might be able to make the claim that the iOS UI is faster and more fluid to move around. It was certainly the case in years past, but the last two versions of Android have essentially negated that argument. Outside of UI fluidity, there's no legitimately justifiable claim that the iPhone has an overall faster processor or higher performance than current high-end Android phones.

I don't hate Apple, but I do despise their business practices. From resting on their laurels and selling the same essential device over and over in different shapes and colors, to suing others for doing *exactly* the same practices they build their company on, they are simply not what they'd like people to believe they are - an inherently innovative, technological leader.

They make a nice product, but then MILK---IT---TO---DEATH. It's why they've offered just 3 major features in the past 7 years of iPhones - 1- a larger screen, 2- a superficial re-skinning of iOS and 3- a fingerprint scanner. Even if I were an iPhone fan/user, I wouldn't defend Apple because it would simply enable them to continuing to offer the same tired features for the same exorbitant prices. For their feature set compared to the competition, there's no reason the iPhone should be priced above $250.

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Trollface

More fluid?

Sounds like audiophile talk to me

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" Outside of UI fluidity, there's no legitimately justifiable claim that the iPhone has an overall faster processor or higher performance than current high-end Android phones."

Sorry to contradict, but you seem not to have researched your central claim. The iPhone 5S has considerably greater performance than its' Android rivals. Multiple reviews and benchmark tests have shown this to be the case

The most comprehensive review of performance has probably been given by AnandTech. BGR have given a summary and link to the relevant AnandTech tests here:

http://bgr.com/2013/09/19/iphone-5s-benchmarks-performance-tests/

Of course this will change over the course of the year. New phones will be released and the performance yardstick will be moved on. However, for now, the statement you and Schmidt have made is simply incorrect. While its understandable to get these points wrong in a tech comment thread (the front runners change so often) I personally think it's actually pretty bad for someone like Schmidt to have got this wrong. He is a leading industry figure and we should expect more of him than making a false claims on such a key point when comparing with his greatest rival.

Additionally, on another subject, here is a link to an expert who gives the details on why - contrary to the many false reports circulating on the Internet (at least one by The Register) - the iPhone 5S 64 bit processor actually does provide a significant performance boost:

http://www.mikeash.com/pyblog/friday-qa-2013-09-27-arm64-and-you.html

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...or not...

........hahahahahahahahahahahaha......more fluid than an iPhone 5s - good one!......Just as easy to use as iOS - another one!.....hahahaha.......you're a comedian! I like that!

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I agree that UI "intuitiveness" or "ease-of-use" are somewhat subjective. But by all measurements that have been done over the years, iOS has always come out on top - no matter that you can come up with a couple cases where that may not hold (and that is not to say that I agree with your example).

Your statements about speed is just plain wrong. You really ought to do some reading before you say things like

"And faster?....there's no legitimately justifiable claim that the iPhone has an overall faster processor or higher performance than current high-end Android phones."

There have been many benchmarks of the 5s in recent months - all of which show the 5s running circles around the competition - especially in graphics-oriented benchmarks, where the iPhone 5s has been shown to be 2-3 times faster than the Galaxy S4. A sampling:

http://www.macworld.com/article/2049270/benchmarks-iphone-5s-lives-up-to-the-hype.html

or

http://www.trustedreviews.com/opinions/iphone-5s-vs-galaxy-s4 (scroll to bottom for benchmark results)

or

http://blog.laptopmag.com/iphone-5s-vs-galaxy-s4

When you follow your bogus claims about performance with a diatribe about Apple, its evil business practices, its lack of innovation (more B.S. there) and your opinion on the iPhone's feature/value proposition (more B.S.), your post doesn't carry much credence.

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Anonymous Coward

But you're ok with Google and Samsung's business practices? I guess that makes you a hypocrite then. What exactly the fuck "business practices" has to do with device performance or intuition is beyond me.

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A lot of this is matter of opinion, but that in itself is worth a point - to get attention of people who have never looked at Android.

On screens, well, by Apple's own metric of "PPI", the iphone now lags way behind. In 2010, according to Apple fans, screen resolution was the single most important factor in a phone, funny now that it's now.

(I would like a phone/tablet with a matte display though...)

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@Mark. The whole point of a retina display is individual pixels are smaller than they eye can see at normal viewing distance. So nothing is gained by going to a higher resolutions unless, that is, you are in the habit of using a magnifying glass with your phone or looking at the display really close to your face. Then sure, I'll grant you, higher resolution will help.

Higher resolutions do however drain the battery quicker. Faster battery drain for something I won't see doesn't sound like a good proposition to me.

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Anonymous Coward

"On screens, well, by Apple's own metric of "PPI", the iphone now lags way behind."

Wow. You fandroids really do believe in the "I can haz moar biggah numbers!" mantra.

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I have both, one for work where I don't have a choice and a personal phone that I bought for myself.

The work one is latest specs and version and is a nightmare fussy pita where the OS intrudes and makes a nuisance of itself. I constantly curse it's irritations, failures and needy tinkering requirement.

My personal phone barely makes itself known, it does it's job - as a platform for the apps and messaging without me thinking about the phone or OS.

I'm not interested in marketing specs or silly pissing contests, I really am not interested in the phone, I just want to get on with the jobs I use it for.

That's why my personal phone is an iPhone 5.

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If die-hard droid heads are struggling to reconcile this consider one thing you can get your head round:

Samsung are nowhere near the top of the Android tree, they are junk in comparison to many yet this guy is gushing over them. Something smells fishy, and I'm not talking the contents of Eric's apple crumble.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Samsung ... are junk"

And Microsoft keeps collecting the license fees.

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Eric Schmidt

Sounds like someone has a high opinion of themselves.

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Guide?

Step 1: Install Antivirus

Step 2: install CyanogenMod

Step 3: Get used to lags and inconsistencies

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Guide?

As installing CyanogenMod would overwrite your antivirus, you're either saying that antivirus isn't required or you just don't know what you're talking about. Or both. (Both).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Guide?

Step 4: enjoy fragmentation

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Re: Guide?

step 5 And Embrace the Dark Side ???

Waiver:

iStuff is undeniably well designed, well built and reliable (should be it's a closed system) plus loved by millions.

My problem is Steve Js "Dare to be different" philosophy, until of course it started to hurt his bottom line or worse his Ego. Then allegedly the guy turned into the typical psychopathic personality style CEO with control freak issues. i.e a spoiled brat That attitude still seems to infest the company and it's products.

We made it, We know best , no you can't have control over it unless you do it our way.

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Re: Guide?

I really don't get this common complaint expressed by:

"We made it, We know best , no you can't have control over it unless you do it our way."

Yes, Apple is a closed system - because Apple wants to control the "experience" that the user gets. Yes, that means you can't have full control over the hardware/software. So what? Why does that bug you? Every manufacturer in the world puts constraints on what you can do with THEIR PRODUCT! It's just a matter of degree, that's all! Why couldn't I upgrade my Samsung Galaxy S2 to Ice Cream Sandwich as soon as it came out? Because both Samsung and AT&T thought they "knew best" - I couldn't have it until they decided it was time. Why don't those vendors let me remove all the crapware they loaded onto my device? Because "We made it, we know best, no you can't have control over it unless you do it our way."

It's not just phone manufacturerers - everybody! Most car manufacturers will void your warranty if you get an engine failure and they see that you used a third-party oil filter!

So, I ask again: why does it bug you so much that Apple doesn't let you download apps from wherever you please. That Apple doesn't let you jailbreak without consequence?

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Re: Guide?

There's nothing wrong with it, just don't call it a smartphone. Mobiles with extra frills, but ultimately everything controlled like that, used to be called feature phones (and even then, you could install 3rd party Java apps). Just like an ipad is better seen as a handheld appliance, not a tablet PC (even Apple fans have made that argument).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Mark .

WTF are you whittering about? You fandroids are fucking ridiculous...

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Headmaster

American-centric?

Samsung: South Korean company, products manufactured in China.

LG (Nexus): South Korean company, products manufactured in China.

Motorola: Mercan Company, products manufactured in China.

Final Score: China 3, South Korea 2, Mercans 1.

Not really American-centric at all, then.

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Re: American-centric?

Not to mention he's writing a Christmas guide. Do they even celebrate Christmas over in China at anywhere near the scale they do in the USA?

That and you'd be hard pressed to switch someone in China from an iPhone to an Android, because the iPhone doesn't sell well in countries where people understand IT like India and China.

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Re: American-centric?

Actually, The Samsung phones are made in Korea and have been for a few generations.

when I say "made," of course I refer to "assembled"

nearly all of the notable and critical components of Samsung phones are made by Samsung..... notable exceptions include certain regional variant SoCs (such as Qualcomm SoCs for North America), the cellular DSPs (broadcom, motoroloa, and qualcomm make these, IIRC), and some of the sensors.

The batteries are usually made in Korea as well (Samsung is one of the largest Lithium Ion battery manufacturers in the world), but China does make a good number.

One of the primary reasons why Samsung explicitly does not use as much chinese manufacturing as other companies is that Samsung handsets are constructed using tons of highly proprietary hardware.

Chinese intellectual property "laws" make it either explicitly illegal to claim trade secrets and IP, or they make it extremely easy for competitors to access the information.

this is why OLED is still a domain of Samsung and no one else.... Samsung simply will not build an OLED fab in China because it would mean an end to their near monopoly on the technology.

BTW: the sticker on the battery tells you where the battery was made, not where the device was assembled.

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zb

Re: American-centric?

No, they don't celebrate Christmas in the USA. They do have something called the 'holiday season'

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Re: American-centric?

I also wouldn't be surprised if it was American-centric anyway. The problem faced by Google is that although worldwide Android has passed the 80% share point, leaving iphone and WP to fight for the remainder, the US seems to be split 50/50 between Android and IOS, so concentrating there makes sense. And it isn't just one country - the problem is that the US heavily influences media coverage, even in other countries like the UK, as well as leading decisions on things like apps.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: American-centric?

Oh, Poor 'ickle Google and Android. Man, you spout some shit. How many of the supposed (Google aren't clear about activations in the same way that Samsung don't post sales figures) android handset are actually being used? How many active android users actually buy apps? What proportion of the supposed 80% (let's be honest, that number is utter horseshit) are high end phones? We know that fragmentation is still a massive problem for the platform, irrespective of the protestations to the contrary from the group-think boorish (auto-corrected from borg-ish, but it works) fandroids such as yourself.

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Arrogant..

I like Android, I like Google but this prick is an arrogant fool. Saying Samsung can compete with Apple and leaving out HTC is stupid. Samsung may have a bigger marketing budget but their nearly blanket use of creaky plastic enclosures leaves a lot to be desired. Their attempt to show a different material with that awful faux leather on the back of the Note 3.. ugh...

I should note that I also like HTC but I'm not blind to their failings. Design, however, is not one of them and that is what Apple pride themselves on.

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Re: Arrogant..

"Saying Samsung can compete with Apple and leaving out HTC is stupid."

Uh... I'm guessing you haven't seen a sales/profit/marketshare datasheet in about 5 years.

Samsung sells 40% of all Android smartphones now. Every other vendor is in single digits. Android phones have 81% market share. That means 1 in every 3 smartphones sold is a Samsung. HTC is a bit player like Blackberry and Windows Phone.

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Re: Arrogant..

I take it you missed the part where I was clearly not talking about market share? Samsung may have the market in terms of sales but their products are very lacklustre in general. Samsung compete on pure numbers and volume of products with Apple, HTC compete on the design front. Even if you ignore that it makes little sense to single out some for praise and not others.

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Anonymous Coward

Sounds like a man trying to upwell the 2nd best and doing what he is paid to do. Wonder what phone his wife / kids have - i P h o n e s ??

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Anonymous Coward

He says Samsung as they currently sell the most - not necessarily that they are the best android handset maker. After all Google do not care as long as you become a Google customer.

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The only thing I can comment on is this:

it is objective measurable fact that Samsung devices feature the highest performance hardware and the best quality of components currently available.

a certain degree of this is unavoidable: Samsung is the largest IT company in the world (bigger than Apple now). They are the largest handset manufacturer in the world. They are either the #1 or #2 semiconductor manufacturer in the world (bigger or smaller than intel, and much larger than foundries like TSMC or Global Foundries).

because Samsung manufactures, as a simple example, more or less all of the non volatile flash memory that is intended for embedded/mobile devices like tablets and phones (pretty much every single smartphone or tablet made in the last 5 years uses samsung memory, including all of the new Apple phones)....

and at the same time, they are the largest handset maker....

they get the pick of the bins.

they are also currently the only company that understands how to manufacture OLED displays that feature high resolution and high performance in a commercially viable way.

Sony has been able to make them for almost a decade, but they never cracked the secret to making them cheap enough to sell them, seriously, commercially (Hint: every single XEL-1 was sold at a huge loss and it was still tremendously expensive). LG has been showcasing OLED displays at CES and the like for a few years now (ever since they purchased Kodak's lucrative organic opto electronics patent portfolio from their 1990s research), butt they still can't do it commercially. They have been soliciting start up money from customers in Korea by offering, IIRC 55" bent-forward, OLED TVs to Koreans (only), and they havent shipped a single display because their pilot plant is not yet complete.

Every single commercial device manufactured recently that isnt ridiculously expensive (like a $5,000 or $10,000 "professional" sony display) that uses OLED uses Samsung manufactured OLED.... this includes Nokia, LG, HTC, etc. (Even the PS Vita uses Samsung OLED).

Samsung has even struggled with demand, which is the primary reason why some of the versions of their Galaxy phones used IPS LCD as opposed to OLED (such as one of the North American versions of the S3).... they literally couldnt make them fast enough to cope with demand.

Samsung will not build a fab in China for OLED because it would mean that their IP and trade secrets would be dispersed to the wind.

they have ramped up the output of their Korean fabs and finally met the demand for their smartphones so that all versions now use OLED.

As far as software goes, the UI experience is the dominant consideration for most people.

UI is heavily dominated by patents and subjectivity, so its very difficult to judge. Apple, for example has notable patents related to its touch screen human interface, its keyboard, its thumb scrolling, etc. that are some of the primary reasons why people love iOS.

while that speaks more to good business sense than it does to good technical sense.... its nonetheless important for devices which are (unlike PCs) significantly more about a match of proprietary hardware and at least semi proprietary software.

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You say "it is objective measurable fact that Samsung devices feature the highest performance hardware and the best quality of components currently available."

While it is certainly objectiveLY measurable, it is certainly not true that Samsung's devices feature the highest performance hardware (all benchmarks show that the iPhone 5s has much higher performance than anything Samsung currently sells - for reference links see posts above). Nor is it true that Samsung's devices use the best quality components currently available (at least not if repair history is any indicator: Samsung devices have THREE TIMES more problems than iOS devices according to a survey of 700k repairs done by FixYa - google it if you wish). While it is certainly true that Samsung makes some of the best components in the world, you make the mistake of assuming that Samsung always puts all of them into every one of their devices. They don't.

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Anonymous Coward

Your claims are demonstrably false. It is now common knowledge that Samsung 'game' benchmarking test.

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Death to all Fanatics

What's the big deal here? Some people like Android, some people like Apple products and other like POTS lines .... really, in the general scheme of things who really cares?

As for marketing material by Google ... what did you expect? He probably googled it and cribbed the whole thing from some high school student paper.

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Lock-in

The trouble is most people probably already have a tidy investment in apps and content. If Google would offer a program where they will give you all free versions of the same apps you currently have on your iPhone, then they might have something. Until then, a lot of people are simply locked-in to their current platform.

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LG ignored?

Last time I checked LG where still manufacturing the nexus 5,so hardly ignored.

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Android?

Android wasn't intended for touchscreen device until Schmidt walked out of the first iPhone event in 2007. How did android look like back then? Well, look at Google phone in 2007 and you'd know. It's like Blackberry with physical keys. All the sudden, after iPhone, all android user interface is just like iOS. Yup. That's the fact.

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Re: Android?

This has been beaten to death.

Microsoft had Windows phones which were touchscreen. You mean your Jesus phone copied them too?

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Re: Android?

And the stock response is Newton, with a healthy dose of Microsoft didn't invent the smartphone Or small form factor touch screen devices. Actually, calling any of those devices 'touch' screen is a slight misnomer; whilst you could tap the screen, it wants particularly sensitive and the UI was designed to be used with a stylus. But you just keep on trotting out your answer.

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Re: Android?

OK, so the stock post, followed by the stock answer, followed by the stock response.

What we need is a 'stock argument' icon that can reduce these down to a simple click and save everyone a bunch of time

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Considering the very short official support period for smartphones (something like 18 months), I doubt I'll be buying another high-end device. There just is no justification on spending hundreds of dollars every couple of years replacing a perfectly functional and useful device.

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