UPDATE [Wednesday, January 18, 2012 at 7:35am ET]: Steve Wozniak commented on the original article on Facebook, saying he’s been misinterpreted (again). His full comment can be found at the bottom of this article.
Apple cofounder Steve 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 the Galaxy Nexus before the rest of the United States (although he likes the Motorola Droid Razr better). Given that Wozniak, a vocal critic of today’s smartphone design, has been misquoted in the past, you may want to take this one with a few pinches of salt. According to reporter Dan Lyons’s story published by The Daily Beast, Woz said Android beats Apple’s iPhone:
My primary phone is the iPhone. I love the beauty of it. But I wish it did all the things my Android does, I really do. […] If you’re willing to do the work to understand it a little bit, well I hate to say it, but there’s more available in some ways.
The Woz is a long-time friend of Andy Rubin, the head of the Android project and former board member of Danger, Rubin’s previous startup behind the Sidekick smartphone…
As many bloggers have repeatedly noted, Android has pretty much stopped Apple’s march in the smartphone market in ways similar to how Microsoft reduced the Mac platform to a niche market —by making the operating system available to as many vendors as possible. Woz shrugged off this notion that history repeats itself, but he does paint Android as a more serious challenger. This is because the Android system is now more refined and polished (he was probably referring to Ice Cream Sandwich) than Windows had been compared to the Mac OS in the early days:
There’s not as big a difference [between iOS and Android] as there was between Mac and Windows.
Wozniak also prefers Android’s voice commands to Apple’s digital personal secretary called Siri. An iPhone 4S exclusive, Siri requires network connectivity to complete functions. The Silicon Valley engineer also said “Android is way ahead” on navigation, and he said Apple has a big problem with battery life on the iPhone 4S. Wozniak, 61, previously predicted Android would 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.
UPDATE: Steve Wozniak commented on Facebook:
The original reporter exaggerated by leaving contextual parts out, and other reports exaggerated it further into deceitful headlines that were not true. To my, honesty comes first in life. Funny thing is, if you talk to people around me, they would hardly recall times I took a call on an Android, made a call on an Android, or did much with an Android other than navigation. But these articles make it sound like I’ve given up on my iPhone. Ha ha.
More coverage on this issue is available on our parent blog 9to5Mac.com
Steve Wozniak illustration by Charis Tsevis