Google Apps & Android
The Google Apps for Business services are pretty amazing, all things considered. I have watched institutions and companies begin using Google's services over the last couple years, but only recently started installing them for NelsonWerks clients. Search prowess and information management is the bedrock that Google is built on. This focus on integration and organization is the future.
My friend, and ex-Googler, Kyle introduced me to Android and the amazing steps that it has gone through in the last couple years. Now, this is sacrilegious for a huge Apple fan like me to say, but he might have won a convert. . . at least as far as smartphones are concerned. Google Now, and it's way of silently organizing your information into a stream of useful data, was nothing short of amazing to me. Apple iOS has fallen way behind in this game. Notification center is ok, the rest of the apps are useful, but Apple still keeps everything so compartmentalized that nothing can work together.
Yes, both systems have their shortcomings. Android is buggy at times, the more open structure of it allows for greater chance of software mishap because their quality control is not as stringent as Apple. On the other hand, Apple's quality control is more comprehensive, but stifles innovation. The lack of the ability to change default programs and access more root functions of the iOS further hampers any innovation outside of Apple Inc. While this may provide a more predictable user experience, the lack of the ability to customize and adapt your interface to your liking is where iOS is falling woefully behind.
Apple and iOS have WWDC 2013 coming up. It is there they must convince me and others to stay in their ecosystem for another round. It's looking bleak at the moment. With Siri being much less helpful than Google search, the inability to change default apps, and the absence access for developers to core iOS functions, the time for my transition is nigh.
I have an iPad as well as an iPhone, and it's just the phone that is in danger :) No one can argue that the iTunes and the App Store absolutely demolish Google Play. They just do. But all my apps that I need for my work can run on the iPad too, so I can still use them whenever I want. The allure of Android and Google Apps is that it streamlines your information in ways that iCloud doesn't even come close. With Apple iOS I have to manage my travel, messages, weather, news, search, etc. in totally different Apps. Google Now puts all these things into one helpful stream. For example, it pulls travel info from your email, and lets you know when you need to leave to get to the airport on time and which route to take to avoid traffic. All this, it does in the background. How many minutes and taps and Apps would that take on my iPhone? For starters, at least 3 Apps.
I used to think it was a bit scary having something like Google have access to all my data. But the government can get into whatever it wants these days, and at least with Google your organization, information, and personal data work for you, instead of just being personal reference material. Apple has always had amazing hardware, beautiful graphics, and cutting edge design; but with the need to integrate and manage our data more in this complex world, they have lagged behind in recent years. Not saying all is lost, but if you really want an integrated mobile life, Google Apps and Android are looking like a much better bet these days!