Thursday, September 22, 2011

Planning for your next smartphone?

Recently, I've been speaking with medical professionals and students about their "next" smartphone. What will it be? Will they wait for the iPhone 5? Maybe they'll get a new Droid.

The discussion is generally limited to an iPhone vs. Android. The interest in other devices like BlackBerry or Windows Phone has certainly diminished. We're seeing the greatest innovation around iOS and Android and medical professionals are recognizing the need for a smartphone that will offer them clinically useful apps.

So, what about you? My wife who is a family physician tells me that she's waiting to get an iPhone. She currently uses an Android smartphone that's a few years old. I'm still using my HTC ThunderBolt which is a 4G Android smartphone. How will you choose if you're on Verizon or AT&T? Here are a few suggestions to consider:

Screen Size. the iPhone is smaller and that means that the on-screen keyboard is smaller. If you have large fingers, try typing on an iPhone and then try a larger Android smartphone. You'll immediately notice a significant difference.

Apps. When it comes to apps, we still see some medical apps that are only available for iOS, but that gap is closing rapidly. Soon, almost every major app will be available for iOS and Android. So, unless there's a critical app that you must have, you'll be fine with either an iPhone or Android.

Price. If you're a medical student or resident on a tight budget, consider the cost difference between some of the Android smartphones vs. the iPhone 4. If you can still get an older iPhone, you'll probably save. But who wants to get an older iPhone?

Are you making plans for your next smartphone. Unless you plan to buy one within the next few months, keep your eyes and ears open. We should be hearing about a number of new smartphones including the iPhone 5 very soon.

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