Sunday, August 01, 2010

Captivate vs iPhone: Speed

I did not extensively test an iPhone 4, so I did not get a good feel for its multitasking. The iPhone 2G that I tested did not have multitasking. It was slow at times, but overall responsive.

Android's ability to multitask is great because you can have many apps open and running at once. Unfortunately, it doesn't work well on the Captivate due to memory issues. The good news is that turning off some of the widgets and using Advanced Task Killer to periodically kill lingering apps has helped. The downside of this is that it can cause the battery to drain more quickly. Reports are that the new firmware, available in Europe, solves the issue. This will hopefully be fixed with the Android 2.2 (Froyo) update due in September for the Captivate. The biggest place where this is a problem is that the onscreen buttons don't always respond. Once or twice I've caught myself trying to press a virtual button harder in an effort to get it to respond. The other solution is to periodically power down your phone and start it back up again.

If you don't mind managing your tasks either manually or with an automated schedule, Android's multitasking is a nice feature. Developers don't have to rewrite their apps to support it, like they do for the new iPhone OS. If you don't want to be thinking about phone performance, you're better off with an iPhone.

This is the fourth in a series of posts. You can find the first article here.

1 comment:

"Nick" said...

I used ATK for a little bit, but it drains the battery itself, and it doesn't actually kill enough of the background apps, the ones that aren't really doing anything but haven't fully closed.

I found TasKiller to be much better. I can kill things individually, put some on the ignore list, and if I really want to, kill every running app including TasKiller itself. It doesn't automatically run in the background, so it doesn't drain the battery at all (ATK pretty much required that you run it all the time).

I've never had my phone dip under 45% battery left, even with a decent amount of use. I am not a high data user, I'm sure, but I got it down to 45% after a long day at a baseball game where I was uploading pictures, downloading weather and news reports, on the phone a few times, and had a video wallpaper on.

I can't compare the Captivate to the latest iPhone speed wise, but it kills my wifes iPod Touch, and from playing with the iPhone 4 it seemed about as responsive to me. There is some lag once in a while on both, but it is usually caused, it seems to me, by the data connection still trying to download or upload information.

I can't wait for Froyo, it should up the available memory and allow for higher speeds.

I've also heard that if you jailbreak the phone it turns out to be MUCH faster.