What an iPhone User Expects From Ice Cream Sandwich

I know. Believe me, I know; you’re sick of reading about the iPhone. That’s cool with me. Trust me, I understand completely. Still, that’s what I’m going to write about, kind of. My expectations for Android 4.0, coming from a strong background with iOS.

If I haven’t already lost you, read on.

A Disclaimer

My first phone was the Motorola Droid. A week later I traded it in for the Droid Incredible. I’m familiar with Android as a whole, as I used it as my primary system for the better half of a year. I rooted my Incredible, flashed ROMs, et cetera. I’ve been around the block.

Eventually, though, issues with my Incredible drove me to the iPhone 4. Now I’m here, partly because I still desire that little bit of Android and partly because I feel that I should be familiar with all of the major, relevant ecosystems.

The Devices

Right now I’m using an Incredible, again. Not as my primary phone, but as an app machine and Android testing ground. In February I’m hoping to get the Galaxy Nexus, because I’m not holding my breath on the Incredible getting Ice Cream Sandwich any time soon.

3.5 inches? A little small. 4.3? Getting a little big. 4.65? Oh boy.

3.5 inches? A little small. 4.3? Getting a little big. 4.65? Oh boy.

I’m a bit worried about the Nexus. While I agree with a lot of you that the iPhone’s screen is a bit small, I’m worried that 4.65 inches will feel more like a mini-tablet and less like a pocketable phone. While our own Joe Casabona says that he can do everything on the phone with one hand, I’m not so sure that I’ll be able to do everything that I need to.

Enough about that, though. This is about Android.

Looking Forward To: Freedom

I never quite got used to the limitations that Apple places on the home screens. I understand that they want things to remain orderly, but I’m a bit bothered by the fact that organizing my apps the way that I like is a pain.

Not only can I add a widget, but I can resize it? Blasphemy.

Not only can I add a widget, but I can resize it? Blasphemy.

Not so with Android. I can do whatever I want; apps crawling up the side, forming a great big ‘F’, only filling the bottom of the screen; everything is an option. I may even add a widget or two (I know, I know; don’t tell my friends).

Looking Forward To: Look and Feel

I like the way iOS looks, don’t get me wrong. But it would be nice to get a taste of something different, much as I did with Windows Phone 7. Each operating system has a distinct look and feel, and I’m definitely looking forward to the changes in Ice Cream Sandwich.

The blue-on-black will probably be a breath of fresh air.

The blue-on-black will probably be a breath of fresh air.

While I enjoyed the way that Android looked before, anyone telling you that Android looked better pre-Honeycomb or Ice Cream Sandwich is either blind or lying to you. Transitions appear to be nicer, the blue is much better than the green, and Roboto isn’t nearly the “frankenfont” that other blogs claim.

Worried About: Ecosystem

Clearly Android has some good applications; it’s our job here at Android.AppStorm to review them, so we wouldn’t exist without some variety of class. I’m looking forward to experiencing the best that the Android Market has to offer, as I’m sure developers can create some excellent applications, especially with the extra freedom that they have compared to iOS apps.

Still, I find myself worried, due to my past experiences. A lot of the apps that I downloaded to my Incredible were poorly designed at best, downright unbearable at worst. Hopefully Ice Cream Sandwich will solve this issue that I had, as I’d love to see some excellent apps on the Android platform.

Worried About: Jankiness

iOS has taught me to expect a couple of things: buttery-smooth scrolling and excellent touch responsiveness. By all accounts Android still hasn’t caught up to iOS in terms of scrolling smoothness. While this is a small detail on paper, ultimately it’s a minor irritant that quickly grows overwhelming when considered in context.

From what I’ve read this issue hasn’t been resolved with Ice Cream Sandwich, but I’m hoping that when I get the actual device I’ll be able to experience the improved scrolling and judge for myself.

Conclusion

When all is said and done, I’m glad that I find myself in a position to test all of the major operating systems and write about my experiences with them. I’m fond of aspects of each OS, and Android is no exception. Until I get Ice Cream Sandwich, though, I’m not entirely comfortable with judging Android.

I’m excited, though. This is going to be fun.