iPhone or Android: A Physician’s Perspective

iMedicalApps.com posted an interesting piece, “Physician’s 6 month perspective after switching from iPhone to Android” detailing the differences between the iPhone and the Android.  It is the third in a series about the the two devices. The first covers initial thoughts  and the second addresses hardware differences. This most recent post discusses the software differences between the two devices.

Michael Kerr assumed the iPhone would win this comparison hands down when it came to medical software availability.  However it wasn’t as quite of a landslide victory as originally expected.  Kerr compiled a list of daily “must have” apps and compared platform compatibility on a chart.  His chart demonstrated that many of his favorite medical apps were also available on Android and for approximately the same price.  Now, his favorite medical apps may not be your favorite medical apps, but I think it definitely shows that developers are not ignoring the Android.

Android fall short when it comes to very new apps and to what Kerr refers to as the ecosystem.  When Kerr compared platform compatibility with iMedicalApps.com’s 2012 most innovative medical apps list, he found that most of those apps were only available on the iPhone.  It would seem that developers are first creating for the iPhone then developing for the Android.  Regarding the ecosystem, Kerr noted, “people have already invested money in Apple and iOS. Some medical apps are bloody expensive. As well as this, many of these apps are able to be installed onto iPads for the same purchase fee. Android doesn’t currently offer a tablet experience that can match an iPad as yet.”  So people who have had choosing an Android might have to buy all new apps if they had an iPhone or currently have/want an iPad.

Kerr’s post is very informative for doctors who have a choice as to what phone & tablet they can carry.  Doctors in BYOD hospitals can easily weigh the pros and cons of Android and iOS.  Doctors working at institutions which have established a specific operating system like iOS will not have much of an option when it comes to work devices, but may find this useful for their own personal devices if they want to carry two phones.