November 25, 2013, 10:25 AM — Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt just published a guide to help iPhone users switch to Google. If you're most interested in productivity on a smartphone is he right -- or would you be better off with an iPhone?
In his guide for switching to Android, Schmidt cites several Android phones as being superior to the iPhone, the Samsung Galaxy S4, the Motorola Verizon Droid Ultra, and the Nexus 5. Two of the three, unsurprisingly, are from Google, and the third from the biggest smartphone manufacturer in the world.
Schmidt lauds the Android phones' faster processors, larger screens, and what he calls a "more intuitive interface." But he doesn't say anything about productivity.
So will Android phones like the ones he cites be bigger productivity boosters than an iPhone? By and large, they are. One reason is something Schmidt cites: Their larger screens. They've all got five-inch screens. The iPhone has a four-incher. And it's this simple: When it comes to increased productivity on smartphones, bigger is better.
Android is also far more customizable than iOS. That means that you can get the phone and all its apps working exactly the way you want, which will save you time and boost productivity. However, Schmidt is as wrong as wrong can be when he says Android has a more intuitive interface than iOS. iOS is far simpler to use when you first pick it up. The problems come in when you want to customize it, because there's just not a lot you can do to the OS itself or iOS apps.
One final reason Android phones can be bigger productivity boosters: A richer app ecosystem when it comes to productivity. Both have plenty of third-party productivity apps, but the difference-maker is that Google's own ecosystem has far more productivity boosters than Apple's, such as Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Now and other services. Even though you can get many of them as iOS apps, on Android they're better. And Google will update the Android versions before it updates iOS versions.
If you're looking for some head-to-head comparisons of iOS versus the top Android phones, check out Google Nexus 5 versus the iPhone 5s: Which is better for productivity? and Which makes you more productive: The iPhone 5s or Samsung Galaxy S4?