How to make Android faster, more productive and more secure than iPhone

By Jeff Vance, Network World |  Consumerization of IT, Android, Apple

For years, one of the main reasons I've considered iPhone inferior is its hostility to apps like Swype. On Android, you have the ability to choose your own keyboard. (Well, iPhone users can jailbreak their phones to get Swype, but that fact reinforces my point.)

Many Android phones come with Swype pre-loaded, but it's not usually the default keyboard. Just press any text entry area for a few seconds and a menu will pop up. Select "Input method" and then choose "Swype." That's it.

I used to avoid texting like the plague because I hated entering data on my phone. That all changed with Swype, which lets you drag your finger across the screen from letter to letter. Its predictive engine figures out what word you are going for (it gets better the more you use it), and you just keep chugging along.

I can't Swype as fast as I type, but I'm a fast typist. Scroll around the Inter-webs a bit, and you'll find plenty of people claiming to achieve 40 or 50 words per minute with Swype. And now that Swype has been acquired by Nuance, you should have even more input options coming your way soon.

Make your phone more secure

7. Turn on screen lock, but don't use a pattern.

The easiest screen unlocking method is to trace a pattern on your screen. It's easier and more convenient than entering a PIN or password. However, if you lose your phone or it is stolen, you better hope you just cleaned your screen.

The oil on your finger will leave a distinct pattern on your screen. Unless you wipe it down religiously after each unlocking, the pattern lock will only deter the stupidest criminals.

8. Install anti-virus software.

Why have you not done this already? Malware writers are flocking to Android. We're seeing much of what happened in the desktop world being repeated with smartphones. Android is more open, has a larger market share and is a juicer target.

IPhone is a closed ecosystem and may eventually, like Mac, benefit from security through obscurity (though I doubt iPhone will ever shrink to Mac-like numbers). For iPhone users, this is good-news, bad-news scenario. Yes, Apple does more to lock down apps and prevent third-party software from exploiting key system resources, but you are trusting one company for your security. If Apple screws up, all iPhone users are in trouble. Exhibit A: the Path privacy fiasco.


Originally published on Network World |  Click here to read the original story.
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