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iphone or Android for Mac compatibility vs cost and other stuff

Ok, before the torrent of abuse starts... here's where I'm at.

Just out of contract on my of Sony Ericsson - semi smart phone, so looking at new handsets.

I'm not a fan of Apple for the sake of Apple but I am a fan of Apple Mac as I've used them for years and and they're good at what they do. I use PC at work and have done for 12+ years but choose Apple at home and for my freelance work.

This year I just invested in a new 27" iMac so I'm thinking to get the most out of it, ease of use, icloud etc. it makes sense to get an iphone (even if it's not the best phone) as it's currently a right pain getting photos off my Sony or putting music on... etc.

The Sony PC software is GREAT and IMO Sony's media go is way better than itunes.

I'm thinking Syncing - contacts, calendar, music, video ... all that stuff being super easy iphone to Mac.

I was waiting for the iphone 5 to come out just so the 4s would be offered cheaper, but now the 5 is out I'm thinking "that would be nice" but I can't justify the £900+ over a 2 year contract. But the 4(s) is still an option.

But before I sign up are there any Mac users out there that use Android phones and what are your opinions on compatibilty and ease of use or do you just keep your phone and Mac as seperate entities...

Thanks in advance :)


Staff member
mac to ios should be flawless - tim and others can cover the rest on this as they're likey more familiar

android basically revolves around gmail and everything it covers (ie contacts, tasks, calendar etc), so assuming thats all nicely synced up with your chosen mac programs then theres no issue there. I will say that on windows I need additional software to fully link (ie editable) my gmail and contacts with outlook but it's no different if I wanted to use an iphone in that regards.

Androids play store is basically fully online with it being able to send the app remotely to your phone (did apple add that to itunes, I vaguely remember something similar) so it's pretty much platform agnostic. It has videos, books, games, apps etc

As an alternative android phone you can get a Samsung galaxy nexus sim free for £300 from expansys, add in a sim free contract and you're good to go. This is stock android and has the latest and best performing android installed (or updates when you get it). It will do all the web, email, browsing, phone calls etc that the iphone will do, it it can do games but it's not as new as the latest iphone so the gpu isn't as powerful (not that it can't cover angry birds etc).

Also this is worth considering - apple maps seem to have some issues so if you rely on your phone for navigation then it may be better to look at an alternative phone such as a windows or android phone. Even a tuaw writer is getting a samsung s3 (arguably the best android, albeit skinned, phone currently available) for this reason

Android has some really good software too which could make your life easier when it comes to transferring files etc, you don't even need to use dropbox or similar you can just access the phone like a 'desktop' via wireless and a web browser (the video at the link uses a mac) - https://play.google....m.sand.airdroid - I use it (I didn't style it and to be fair I'm getting fed up with apple styled stuff which doesn't suit the styling of android...) and it works really well. Also allows you to type emails, sms etc from your pc. Airdroid is free iirc but to be honest I wouldn't mind paying for it, it's that good lol

Note: I've not covered the built in 'app store' on either platform as they both pretty much do the same thing just with different looks.
Thanks both, jury's still out - I think I need some more investigation - But what I really want is best value for money which might lead to compromises being made.

Either way I doubt it's going to be the latest technology as I just can't justify the cost so I guess now I'm comparing iPhone 4s against equally priced Android, which in theory would get me newer technology.


Staff member
as far as I know a 'droid' phone doesn't work over here in the UK, it was a verizon brand for a range of android based phones.
I'll keep it brief... I'm a mac user of 15 odd years, and as much as I love my MBP I don't think I'll be going to iPhone or iPad anytime soon; they are too restrictive for me in terms of apps, file sharing, etc. I like my MBP as I can do pretty much anything I need to on it, and any other Apple device is locked down.

I got a HTC Desire HD last year on a business tariff and it's been fantastic. The hardware is excellent, the Android OS is pretty damn good too. I use Apple's Address Book, and after some research figured out how to synchronise everything: My MBP (or iCloud) syncs with Google+, which then syncs with my phone. I do have some problems with contact duplication, but I can live with that.

Email - as simple as configuring the IMAP server and account info, easy.
Music - I use Easy Phone Tunes to sync my iTunes playlist with the phone's music player. It's free or v cheap, can't remember now. I can transfer any unprotected music files on my MBP using this software, or if I had to mount the SD card and drag'n'drop.
File sharing - Dropbox
GPS & mapping - Google maps built in, plus loads of GPS and mapping apps with drag'n'drop freedom.
Photos - when phone is connected iPhoto launches (just like with any other memory card) and presents all images not already imported.

I have tons of apps to do the everyday things I need, and I can do everything I need to. To be honest I don't think there's one thing I'm missing... In short, there's a way round most things.


Senior Member
iPhone 4S is cheaper now and is a great phone, if you're looking at saving some cash.

re: compatibility

it's clear how it works on a Mac. backing up, syncing, everything is pretty seamless with iTunes. super easy and familiar.

can't speak for Android devices but i know a few people at work with Macs and Android devices and they're not too bothered.

i haven't had any issues with restrictiveness of iOS as mentioned above. Android is getting better and better. just make sure you pick one of the top end phones from the Nexus line, the S2/3/Note 1/2, or top price end of HTCs for upgradeability down the line, and check software upgradability before buying as many android phones can't upgrade because of carriers or delays from manufacturers.


Staff member
Just a note regarding Tim's (and mine earlier) mention of the nexus phones (the best option if you want timely updates) - there are numerous rumours pointing to a new model (from lg) near the end of this month featuring quad core s4 snap dragon (very fast chip) etc.

There's also rumours of more than one new nexus phone too, a new samsung seems to be popular along with possible sony and htc models too. Not sure if any of this is true as there doesn't seem to be any real leaks at the moment... which is rare.


Well-Known Member
How easily can you resell an old Droid?
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as far as I know a 'droid' phone doesn't work over here in the UK, it was a verizon brand for a range of android based phones.
I was using shorthand. I didn't literally mean the Motorola Droid.
These aren't the droids you're looking for.
Thought I'd give a quick update, checked out the iphone 5 and wasn't that impressed, it just had a dated feel to it and is simply overpriced. Couldn't bring myself to sign up for an iphone 4 as I'd be buying into a 2 year contract for what's already old technology and will no doubt feel antique by the end of the 2 years.

I've been a fan of Sony (Erriccson) for quite some time and was taken with the Xperia S, however I was aware a newer model (T) was due out soon - at the time Sony website had - coming soon on the site. The guy in Carephone Warehouse wasn't sure about launch dates, O2 and Orange shops had no info, then in Phones 4u they actually had it on the shelf so I snapped it up there and then.

Bigger screen than iphone 5, better resolution and 13 megapixel camera - my old Sony (pre-smart phone) was 8 mp and I've always been happy with the pictures.

A little bit of effort setting everything up to start with but now I get all my emails (various accounts) my calander and contacts all synced wirelessly, including merging with Office on my works PC, and my Mac at home so now my phone has all my work meetings as well as my family stuff.

Had a bit of trouble connecting to the Mac via USB as the Mac just wouldn't see it, but have since discovered Sony have a software update. Had to unistall v.2 and manually install v.3 as auto update didn't work but now it'll even sync with itunes without the need for any additional 3rd party Apps.

And as long as I keep the insurance (which is very sensible with a high price touch screen) they gaurantee at least £100 trade-in at the end of the contract, just in case I couldn't sell it on ebay for that much then. And they offer 6 months early upgrade - so essentailly a 18 month contract.

So all in all, well happy right now.

Oh, and James Bond has one ;-)