Apple has just released their new iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C. However, despite their loyal following and impressive marketing muscle, you give up substantial usability factors when you bite on the Apple iPhone. Here are five serious drawbacks common to all iPhones, even the new ones.
1. Weak battery life remains a common complaint among iPhone users, while some comparably priced Android and Blackberry phones have batteries that can last two or three times longer. One example is the Motorola Droid Maxx HD, which not only offers superb battery longevity but also includes the Smart Actions app for automating certain tasks, including some that conserve battery juice.
2. No iPhone has a built-in physical keyboard. You can buy add-on keyboards, but they all seem to get lackluster user reviews on Amazon.com. While Android phones with integrated keyboards are admittedly few and far between, they do exist, such as the new LG Enact available from Verizon Wireless. Plus, Blackberry recently released a spectacular keyboarded phone, the Blackberry Q10.
3. The onscreen keyboard on iPhones lacks many of the user friendly features common in competing phones. An iPhone doesn't change the layout between upper and lower case letters - it just changes the look of the Shift key. IPhones also don't offer multi-function keys, for holding in a letter to get a number or symbol. Android phones change the keyboard layout when you press the Shift key, so you can easily tell if you're typing capital or lower case letters.
Plus, most current Android phones have multi-function keys, like the Droid DNA from Verizon. If you don't like your iPhone's onscreen keyboard, you have no other options, since Apple's iOS doesn't support third-party keyboards like you can download for Android phones.
4. If you want additional storage space on an iPhone, you'll need to spend $100 or more for extra internal storage, meaning you'll have to buy a 32 GB or 64 GB model rather than the 16 GB. Apple still doesn't offer an iPhone with a microSD card slot. It would be hard to find an Android phone that doesn't have a microSD slot. Most allow up to a 32 GB card, while some allow up to 64 GB. MicroSD card slots are standard on Android phones at all price levels and from both the contract mobile carriers and the no-commitment carriers, with phones like the Boost Mobile HTC One SV.
5. While iPhones offer attractive displays, they remain stuck at the 4" size. That's a great size for carrying in your pocket, but much smaller than competing phones that sport 5" displays. That extra one inch makes a world of difference in screen real estate for reading messages, playing games, watching videos and even looking at Kindle books. Huge screens like the one on Samsung's Galaxy S4 make typing on the virtual keyboard much easier than on a smaller screen, too.
Apple introduced an innovative product with the original iPhone several years ago, but they've since fallen way behind the competition. While many will still drink the Apple Kool-Aid without checking out other products, others have turned away from iPhones in favor of the greater options and variety available with Android devices.