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Woz on smartphones: Wishes his iPhone could do all his Android can

Jan 16, 20125 mins
AndroidAppleData and Information Security

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak still loves his iPhone, but he's a big fan of smartphones running Google's mobile OS . . . and finds Android voice commands and GPS superior to mobile phones running iOS.

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is a big fan of smartphones running Google’s Android OS . . . and in some ways finds them superior to mobile phones running iOS. “My primary phone is the iPhone. I love the beauty of it. But I wish it did all the things my Android does, I really do,” Woz told Dan Lyons.

The both fascinating and amusing article on The Daily Beast quotes Woz as favoring Android in some ways over Apple smartphones, such as for voice commands and GPS. He even has a gripe with the shortened battery life of an iPhone. The change happened when Apple built the software into the iPhone 4S.

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.

With the iPhone 4 I could press a button and call my wife. Now on the 4S I can only do that when Siri can connect over the Internet. But many times it can’t connect. I’ve never had Android come back and say, ‘I can’t connect over the Internet.’

Android gives superior voice command results, more so than what Woz reports he gets when using Siri. “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.”

Naturally he’s not a fan of Microsoft, saying Windows was never a very good program, but Android is. In fact, Apple is up against a “stronger competitor” when it comes to Android. Unlike applications on Windows which took a long time to look as good as they did on a Mac, apps look so good on Android that it “might have an edge,” Woz said.

Sure, of course, he still recommends iPhone 4S for dummies . . . okay that’s not exactly what Woz said. All right! That’s not what he said, but I couldn’t resist teasing associates who favor proprietary Apple over open source. Woz claimed the iPhone was a better choice for people accustomed to Mac as well as for users who are “scared of computers” and of “complexity.” He uses both types of mobile phones, Apple and Android. Although Wozniak received the Galaxy Nexus from Google before most users, he says he still likes the Motorola Droid Razr better. It is a sweet smartphone.

Back in 2010, Woz was misquoted over an Android comment predicting that Google’s mobile OS would end up as the dominant smartphone platform. Switched jokingly stated at that time that Steve ‘Jobs stabbed his Woz voodoo doll’ over it. Woz told Engagdget the truthful quote should have been that he expected Android OS “to be a lot like Windows.” Woz added, “I’m not trying to put Android down, but I’m not suggesting it’s better than iOS by any stretch of the imagination. But it can get greater marketshare and still be crappy.” 

He’s not starting an Apple cult riot or saying to throw your iPhone in the trash in the interview with The Daily Beast. He does, however, definitely sound like an Android fanboy for some things and there’s nothing wrong with loving open source. One thing we can all agree on, he doesn’t like Microsoft. You should read the interview yourself, as the winner in Woz’s choice of Android vs. Apple smartphones may vary depending what flavor you favor or who you ask. Woz is a geek, and who among us doesn’t love to play with all types of gadgets?

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ms smith

Ms. Smith (not her real name) is a freelance writer and programmer with a special and somewhat personal interest in IT privacy and security issues. She focuses on the unique challenges of maintaining privacy and security, both for individuals and enterprises. She has worked as a journalist and has also penned many technical papers and guides covering various technologies. Smith is herself a self-described privacy and security freak.