Journalist Dan Lyons (aka Fake Steve Jobs) filed a report with The Daily Beast on Saturday that highlights Steve Wozniak’s thoughts on the iPhone 4S’s widely reported battery woes (that did not go away with iOS 5.1 Beta 3):
With the iPhone, something happened with the new OS or the new phone, and it just started running through the battery so fast. I’ve had a lot of issues with things I have to turn off just to save the battery life.
Wozniak, 61, who cofounded Apple with Jobs in 1976, also has gripes with Siri. The engineer thinks Siri is cool, but at times impractical compared to Android voice action. This is mostly due to Siri’s architectural reliance on network connectivity that is required to complete actions.
I have a lower success rate with Siri than I do with the voice built into the Android, and that bothers me. I’ll be saying, over and over again in my car, ‘Call the Lark Creek Steak House,’ and I can’t get it done. Then I pick up my Android, say the same thing, and it’s done. [...] On the 4S I can only do that when Siri can connect over the Internet. But many times it can’t connect. I’ve never had Android come back and say, ‘I can’t connect over the Internet. [...] Plus I get navigation. Android is way ahead on that.
Apple is thought to be creating its own navigation and mapping solution stemming from the company’s three mapping-related acquisitions: C3 Technologies and Poly9 in 2010 and Placebase a year earlier. Wozniak is also good friends with Andy Rubin who heads the Android project and thinks, “There’s more available [on Android] in some ways.”
Although Apple did not detail Siri, its voice recognition and artificial intelligence systems run on Apple’s servers rather than the phone itself. Siri may also infringe old Excite patents, said to be changing hands soon as a valuable asset to compete with Siri. In case you are wondering, the iPhone remains Wozniak’s primary phone. He loves “the beauty of it” and is first to recommend it to friends, but he sometimes wants the iPhone to do “all the things my Android does.”
The people I recommend the iPhone 4S for are the ones who are already in the Mac world, because it’s so compatible, and people who are just scared of computers altogether and don’t want to use them. The iPhone is the least frightening thing. For that kind of person who is scared of complexity, well, here’s a phone that is simple to use and does what you need it to do.
That being said, Wozniak never shied away from admitting that he uses Android phones on a daily basis, in addition to his iPhone. The famous geek even received his Galaxy Nexus before the rest of the United States (although he likes the Motorola Droid Razr better). Note that Wozniak is also a vocal critic of today’s smartphone design and is sometimes misquoted.
For more comments by Wozniak regarding the Apple vs. Google competition, read this post over at our sister blog 9to5Google. The Woz was previously quoted predicting Android will win smartphone wars; although, he hopes Google’s platform will never beat the iPad. He is currently chief scientist for storage startup Fusion-io, but he would consider a return to Apple, if asked.