Android & iPhone, Same Thing Only Different

I watched the Android coverage over the last couple of days and quite honestly, I don’t get it.

Mossberg comes out with a column that basically says, to paraphrase, “the Android is a real competitor to the iPhone, here’s all the things that are better on the iPhone.”

“Google’s new G1 phone announced today is the first real competitor to the iPhone. Like Apple’s product, it’s a serious handheld computer with a powerful new operating system (called Android) and a clever touch-based user interface. Like the iPhone, it’s likely to be a major new platform for third-party software. But it’s also very different, and may appeal to different buyers.”

But then he goes on to point out:

1. Tightly bound to Google Contacts, Calendar, and Gmail. No Exchange sync.

2. “The G1 won’t win any beauty contests with its Apple (AAPL) rival,” and “still, it feels pretty good in the hand when closed, although I found it more awkward when opened. ” So it feels good and awkward.

3. “The web browser is based on the same open-source technology as the iPhone’s, but works differently.” Same thing only different…

4. No street view in google maps… which is kind of ironic considering it’s, you know, GOOGLE maps.

5. “The G1’s multimedia capabilities are less polished and complete than the iPhone’s.”

6. No built in video player, gotta go download it. There is a Youtube player but no video player.

7. “And it lacks the iPhone’s ability to change the orientation of a web page or photo by just turning the phone” and no flicking through photos with your finger.

8. The G1 also has much less memory than the iPhone.

On the pro side, the Android does have copy/paste, which the iPhone desperately needs, and MMS, which nobody uses.

Gizmodo came out today with a review that is less generous than Mossberg’s, who typically plays it down the middle. Is Google spiking the packaging when they ship this handset out? Is there halo of sunshine that emanates from the box when it’s opened?