We’re not sure what we’d do without our smartphones. Sure, we remember life without them, but now that we have kids, oh the things we can do! The two most popular smartphones on the market right now, hands down, are the Android and the iPhone. So how’s a mom to decide which one is best? We asked one on each side of the debate to tell us why her phone is the best. Decide for yourselves….
|1. One size fits all
Some moms need a smaller phone to carry in a pocket; others need a bigger screen for better Angry Birds tournaments. Some crave an 8-megapixel camera for frame-able vacation photos, while others never use their phone’s camera. And quite a few of us need slide-out keyboards to avoid all those mistyped messages that can happen with touch screens. Droid gives you these options.
|1. It reduces diaper bag clutter
Before I leave the house, I try to remember to fill my bag with the essentials, like diapers, wipes, a change of clothes, snacks, etc. Do I always remember to bring a camera? A video camera? A GPS? My bulky laptop? Of course not! Now that I have an iPhone, I have access to all that without the bulk. (Snacks are another story, though I’m sure eventually there will be an app for that.)
|2. My home screen tells me everything
Android widgets let me put so much information right on my home screen that I don’t even have to open an app to see my day at a glance. A calendar widget reminds me when I’m car-pooling, a to-do list widget reminds me to buy snacks for the Little League game, and a weather widget gives me the forecast — all on one screen. And I can customize my view based on my priorities and preferences. The home screen also integrates multiple notifications to keep me posted about any incoming messages.
|2. It’s a personal assistant
My iPhone wakes me up in the morning (if the kids don’t do it first). It tells me the weather, suggests fun things to do outside, orders a cab — all this can be done with apps like Siri. And if I really wanted it to, Siri could help me make dinner reservations and book a Broadway Show. A typical Tuesday could suddenly turn fabulous with my iPhone.
|3. Now when I talk, someone actually listens and obeys
It’s tough to type while I’m cooking, putting away groceries, and rescuing stray paper airplanes from a hot stove. But with Android’s Google Voice Actions, I don’t have to. I can ask for directions to my next destination, view a map, search Google, go to a website, listen to music, give myself reminder notes, make phone calls, or send complete emails or text messages, all hands-free. (From what I’ve heard, the iPhone has just a fraction of this voice functionality.)
|3. It’s a personal trainer
I used the RunKeeper app to train for two half-marathons. While I run, the app uses the iPhone’s GPS to record where I’m running and tell me my speed and distance, which is much cheaper than a personal trainer and gives me that alone time I crave. I can even set the app up to motivate me to run faster during certain intervals. I’m now looking forward to an app that discourages me from eating an entire chocolate bar after my run.
|4. My phone and computer can talk to each other without my help
When I got my Android phone, all I had to do was log on, and my email, contacts, and calendars were loaded right onto my phone from my existing Google accounts — no cords, no manual syncing, no downloading of third-party apps to make the magic happen. I can set up play dates on the run, add them to my calendar using my phone, and find them on my computer when I get home.
|4. It does the dishes for me
Well, most of the dishes. Apps like SeamlessWeb make ordering dinner and getting it delivered to my house easier than ever. I tap in my order and it securely saves my credit card info and address, then it lets me put in a tip. All I have to do is open the door thirty minutes later, and delicious food appears. Sure beats cold cereal!
|5.The apps keep growing
Although Apple’s App Store currently has more apps than the Android Market, the Android Market is rapidly growing, and it has the advantages of openness and competition. While Apple curates its App Store, the Android Market is basically a free-for-all. If one company develops an app that’s exactly what you happen to need, you’ll probably be able to find it, regardless of whether an expert curator agrees that it’s a good idea. Android already has some excellent apps that aren’t available on the iPhone, like the built-in Navigation app, which has gotten me to many a birthday party on time.
|5. It babysits my kids
In a perfect world, my kids would entertain themselves with beautiful, wooden building blocks when I do decide to cook dinner. But in reality? The iPhone gets the job done. My kids learn a few things on the PBSkids apps. The Read Me Stories app delivers a new book everyday. And, of course, Angry Birds! Is it a stretch to call Angry Birds a lesson in physics? I don’t know how moms managed their day without the invention of the iPhone.