Wozniak: iPhone Could Learn From Android

Apple co-founder says Google’s mobile platform outperforms iOS in key areas like battery life, navigation, and voice assistance.

Paul McDougall, Editor At Large, InformationWeek

January 17, 2012

3 Min Read

10 Top iOS 5 Apps

10 Top iOS 5 Apps

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Steve Wozniak may have co-founded Apple along with Steve Jobs, but the serial tech entrepreneur apparently isn’t letting that cloud his judgment when it comes to evaluating new smartphone technologies.

In a candid interview sure to ruffle Apple fanboys, "Woz"said Google’s Android OS in many ways outperforms the iPhone's iOS operating system.

"My primary phone is the iPhone," Wozniak told The Daily Beast's Dan Lyons. "I love the beauty of it. But I wish it did all the things my Android does, I really do."

[ Android or iOS? For more insight, read Why Developers Still Target iOS Ahead of Android. ]

Wozniak said he thinks Android outperforms the iPhone 4S in a number of areas, including GPS navigation, battery life, and, perhaps most surprisingly, in automated, voice-enabled assistance. He said Apple's much-ballyhooed Siri service has deteriorated since the company acquired it from an app maker and integrated it into the iPhone.

"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," said Wozniak, adding, "I have a lower success rate with Siri than I do with the voice built into the Android, and that bothers me."

Wozniak, however, did have some praise for the iPhone--sort of. He said it’s the best smartphone out there for technophobes. "For that kind of person that is scared of complexity, well, here's a phone that is simple to use and does what you need it to do," Wozniak said in his interview with Lyons, who used to impersonate, thinly, his late partner on the Fake Steve Jobs blog.

Beyond Wozniak's barbs, Apple's got good reason to be wary of Android. The latter, which already has almost twice the U.S. market share of iOS, continues to grow faster. According to the most recent numbers from market watcher Comscore, Android's share increased 3.1%, to 46.9%, from August 2011 to November 2011.

Apple's share increased just 1.4%, to 28.7%, over the same period.

Apple may also see renewed competition from Microsoft. A number of Windows Phone devices, like the Nokia Lumia 900 and the HTC Titan II, generated considerable buzz at last week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Microsoft's mobile operating systems, including Windows Phone, held a market share of 5.2% as of November.

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About the Author(s)

Paul McDougall

Editor At Large, InformationWeek

Paul McDougall is a former editor for InformationWeek.

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