Smartphones are generally considered smart because of all the different things they can do, and because they are the living embodiment of convergence being tiny devices that you can use to access your e-mails, play games and find your way around. However when you think about what really makes a phone ‘smart’ as such, then often you might focus on the productivity element – there’s not really anything ‘smart’ about Angry Birds, fun though it may be…
As such then, in order to decide which smartphone is truly ‘smartest’ – and to settle the old debate once and for all, it may make sense to compare the productivity apps that are unique to these devices. Here we will look at the productivity apps iPhone versus Android and which add up to provide the most functionality…
Productivity Apps iPhone Versus Android
When it comes to productivity, what many of us really mean is good old Word Processing. For writing there are many apps on both iPhone and Android though no single option here quite covers all bases. However when it comes to Word Processing, what the serious business men and women will want is a complete office suite so that they can insert tables and graphs and images.
For this kind of complete Office experience the best option in many ways is QuickOffice Pro. This gives you access to a word Processor, spreadsheet, presentation software and PDF viewer meaning you can do most of your office-based tasks on the go.
The good news is that QuickOffice Pro exists on both Android and iOS, but the bad news is that QuickOffice on Android doesn’t have a word count. It might seem like a small irritation, but if you need to write a set number of words for a specific task or work application even then this can actually be quite a problem.
When it comes to the other office applications on these devices, Apple generally have it covered with a wider range of more polished and complete apps. However where Android comes into its own is with all of the other smaller apps including for instance the Word Count app which only costs 60p and exits to serve that one function. This wider range of ‘throwaway’ and cheap apps on the Android store means that there are still ways around the various problems.
When it comes to Multitasking iOS is much better these days than it once was. No longer are iPhone users forced to use just one app at a time with a full screen – they can now easily access and switch to multiple running apps by bringing them up at the bottom of the screen.
Android has always been able to do this though, and these days can go much further with a range of other multitasking features. For instance while the iPhone has ‘Split Pea’ which splits the screen down the middle, Android has apps like ‘Multiscreen Multi-Tasking’ which enables users to run basic word processors and browsers in Windows that can be dragged, resized and titled much like Windows for a wealth of multitasking options. You can even send text messages while writing – though this is all quite fiddly on a smaller screen.
Meanwhile if you really wanted to go crazy with the multitasking, you could even install Linux onto your Android. Note though that you’d have to be quite technical to get this working.
iPhone has a lot of exclusive productivity apps such as Siri and iCloud that are just as polished and intuitive to use as you would expect from Apple. All of these have been designed expertly and you’ll find yourself becoming almost dependent on them.
However where Android apps excel is in their ability to access the guts of your device which are off limits on iPhone. For instance you can replace the stock keyboard with a wealth of other options to type faster, while there are some highly functional file explorers that make opening and manipulating files far easier. You can even get a variety of programming apps on Android for coders/
In short then you could conclude that iOS provides the more polished and complete apps that allow a lot of powerful productivity out of the box. If you’re willing to tinker though, or have more specific requirements, then Android is more likely to provide.