In catching up on thousands of emails, I found one from a friend looking for my advice on her phone choices: iphone vs. android. at&t vs t-mobile. Here's most of what I wrote.

As for T-Mobile. They're fine. Best network in the U.S. is probably Verizon, but their network is US-only, and so are most of their phones. AT&T for iPhone is notoriously horrible to the point that many high profile iphone fans have dropped the device because they can't use it to make phone calls reliably. Sprint is... well, Sprint.

I've found T-Mobile's network to be ok. Nothing spectacular, but ok overall and great in most cities. The customer service has been good especially compared with my previous experience with Sprint.

I'm still in the midst of my iPhone/Android dance but lean strongly toward staying with Android at least until the iPhone leaves AT&T. I used an unlocked/jailbroken iphone 2G from Feb 2008 - November 2008. From November until yesterday, I used a G1. From November 2008 - June 2009, I used an iPod touch for my media and gaming (ipod touch broke in mid july, and i haven't yet fixed/replaced). I just switched to the MyTouch 3G, and am very happy so far.

here are iPhone advantages
- way better apps (especially twitter and facebook)
- way more apps
- one device to sync media via iTunes
- can play purchased content from iTunes like TV & movies
- very pretty
- everyone has one (making the apps even more useful cause there's a community)
- better design and smoother user interface in general
- 2.5mm headphone jack

here are Android advantages (in G1/MyTouch 3G)
- no authoritarian control over the app store with nonsensical reasons to block certain apps
- google voice works great
- t-mobile and not at&t (tmobile refused to spy on americans for the unlawful nsa wiretapping program. at&t did it with glee)
- superior over the air syncing of gmail, google contacts, and google calendar (probably the only android apps that beat iphone apps)
- easily replaceable battery

For me it comes down to a handful of key issues

1) politics. i find it hard to give money to at&t after they sold out our civil liberties when I know t-mobile faced the same choice and chose to defend the constitution. i find it hard to support apple when it arbitrarily blocks applications that it deems too competitive with itself or at&t. i really think apple has no idea what its doing with its app store

2) my media syncing is important to me, especially having my podcasts. the G1/MyTouch doesn't have a 2.5mm headphone jack and force me to use a dongle. however, there's some software called Sailing Media Sync which lets me do a decent job of syncing media from iTunes to MyTouch (except for purchased video content and some ipod-specific formatted podcasts)

3) my communications apps are way more important to me in a phone than media. i have and can always use an ipod touch for apple media. as such android's superior handling of gmail, contacts, gcal and google voice outweigh iphone's superior handling of media and even its superior handline of facebook/twitter. I'm hoping for a truly robust twitter app for android a la TwitterFon, Tweetie or Tweetdeck (the current android top apps, Twidroid and TwitterRide just don't cut it). I also want Facebook to stop messing around and make a native Android FB app (on Android I have to deal with outsider apps called Bloo and Babbler). A native FourSquare app would be great as well.

4) competition. i love the iphone, but i love a competitive market that will lead to improved iphones and other smartphones more. right now, i choose to support the competition. my decision is subject to change at any moment.

hope this helps


conscious comic & vigilante pundit
Co-Founder, Jack & Jill Politics
Web Editor, The Onion
Host, Popular Science's Future Of (Aug 10, 9p, Science Channel)