Hang Up Your iPhone and Switch to Android

Google Apps integration: I use Google Voice for my primary phone for work and personal calls, and Gmail for e-mail. Those services are integrated into Android. On the other hand, Apple rejected the Google Voice application for the iPhone. Google countered by coming out with an HTML5 browser-based version of Voice; it works well, but I think a version integrated into the phone would be better.

Application compatibility: I'm figuring that'll be a wash. I figure every app I love in the iPhone has its equivalent on Android. I'm sure Android has lovely Twitter and Facebook clients.

The one application I'm most concerned about is Lose It, an application for tracking calories and exercise. I've lost 62 pounds since March 2009 using Lose It, I have 38 pounds to go. I'm sure I can find another weight loss app on Android -- heck, for 100 years people lost weight counting calories with pencil and paper -- but I'm used to Lose It and I don't want to mess with a system that works.

Wi-Fi tethering: The EVO is convertible to a portable Wi-Fi hotspot; you can use Wi-Fi to share your EVO wireless data connection with any Wi-Fi enabled device, including a notebook computer, iPod or iPad. This is suddenly a huge deal for me, because my wife and I both have Wi-Fi-enabled iPads, but not the more expensive Wi-Fi+3G models. The EVO would make our Wi-Fi-enabled iPads into go-anywhere wireless data devices.

The iPhone 4 will offer data tethering -- but not, for some baffling reason, with the iPad.

The iPad was a game-changer for me in my relationship to the iPhone, and not in a good way. Most of the things I used to do on the iPhone are now things I do in the iPad: Reading, Twitter, Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, Web browser. The iPad has made the iPhone a lot less important in my life.

I have three big questions:

Music and podcasts: How does the Android compare to the iPhone for listening to music and podcasts? I have a music collection and a long list of podcast subscriptions in iTunes, is that going to be a problem?

Web browsing: How does the Android Web browser compare with Mobile Safari?

Text entry: How do the two phones compare for text entry? Swype for Android looks like a great way of inputting text, is it as good as it sounds?

Wireless coverage: How reliable is the voice and data network for Sprint, particularly where I live in San Diego? I've been pretty satisfied with AT&T service, although I know I'm in a minority on this.

So what should I do, folks? Stick with the iPhone for another generation, or switch to Android?

Update: My colleague Preston Gralla has reasons why I should jump from the iPhone to Android. And colleague JR Raphael compares the iPhone to Android.

Mitch Wagner is a freelance technology journalist and social media strategist. Follow him on Twitter: @MitchWagner.

Product mentioned in this article

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  • HTC EVO 4G
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    The speedy HTC EVO 4G packs in some powerful specs and a variety of multimedia features into a stylish, minimalist design, but not everybody will get to enjoy one of its best features--4G connectivity.

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