Jan. 17, 2012 at 1:21 PM ET
That's Steve Wozniak you see in the photo, on his Segway with his iPhone 4S, when he got it last fall. Does he love it? Oh yes, he does. But Wozniak says he also wishes it would do "all the things my Android does, I really do."
Ouch. That hurts, coming from the co-founder of Apple, who is much beloved by those in the Apple kingdom, as well as those outside of it. Wozniak says his main phone is the iPhone and that he loves "the beauty of it" as well as its simplicity, compared to Android. But, he says, Android phones are not that much harder to deal with, and "if you're willing to do the work to understand it a little bit, well I hate to say it, but there’s more available in some ways."
He made the remarks to Dan Lyons of the Daily Beast, who noted the upset that resulted when Wozniak was photographed at Google with a pre-release version of the new Galaxy Nexus. Steve Jobs hated Android, basically calling it a ripoff of Apple, which makes Woz's words all the much harder to accept for Apple acolytes.
No one should be troubled by this, Lyons writes; Wozniak and Andy Rubin, the Google exec in charge of Android, are pals from way back: Rubin worked at Apple, then went on to co-found Danger, which made the popular Sidekick phone, and Wozniak was on the board of directors of Danger.
Wozniak thinks that voice commands do better on Android than the iPhone, and he told Lyons that Siri on the iPhone 4S is not as good as when it was a stand-alone app for the previous 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. I used to ask, ‘What are the prime numbers greater than 87?’ and it would answer. Now instead of getting prime numbers, I get listings for prime rib, or prime real estate,” Woz says.
Worse, a lot of the time Siri says it can’t make a connection to the back-end servers that power the system. “With the iPhone 4 I could press a button and call my wife. Now on the 4S I can only do that when Siri can connect over the Internet. But many times it can’t connect. I’ve never had Android come back and say, ‘I can’t connect over the Internet.’ ”
Heresy? No, it's Wozniak's engineering analysis, detached and unbiased. He says the iPhone is a great choice for many people, including those "who are just scared of computers altogether and don’t want to use them. The iPhone is the least frightening thing. For that kind of person who is scared of complexity, well, here’s a phone that is simple to use and does what you need it to do,” he told Lyons.