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iPhone Can't Match Android's Versatility, Says Steve Wozniak

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Two years ago, Apple (AAPL) co-founder Steve Wozniak had some kind words to say about Google's (GOOG) mobile OS, Android. Speaking with the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, Wozniak correctly predicted that Google would eventually nab the dominant smartphone market share from Nokia (NOK) and RIM (RIMM), and -- despite claiming that Apple's then-latest iPhone was a leader in quality -- he lamented that it just wasn't as versatile as Android devices.

"Android phones have more features," the Woz said.

Presumably, his comments garnered some PR flak because Wozniak later stressed to Engadget that every app he's used on iOS is better than Android. "I'm not trying to put Android down," he said, "but I'm not suggesting it's better than iOS by any stretch of the imagination. But it can get greater marketshare and still be crappy."

Well, two years later, Steve has another assessment of the smartphone world's two-horse race. And in his view, Android bests Apple's newest offering in a few key areas. Even voice commands.

"My primary phone is the iPhone," Wozniak tells the Daily Beast. "I love the beauty of it. But I wish it did all the things my Android does, I really do."

He champions Google Navigation over Apple's best turn-by-turn offerings -- which is hard to argue -- but the Apple co-founder goes on to describe the higher fail rate that Siri has in comparison to Android's tried-and-true Voice Commands.

"I have a lower success rate with Siri than I do with the voice built into the Android, and that bothers me." Wozniak describes how he'll repeatedly tell Siri to call the Lark Creek Steak House, but the acclaimed virtual assistant can't get it done. "Then I pick up my Android, say the same thing, and it's done."

Another Siri stumbling block for Wozniak is its mandatory internet connection, preventing voice commands he could easily accomplish in earlier models. "With the iPhone 4, I could press a button and call my wife. Now 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," he adds. "Android is way ahead on that."

Wozniak piles on another complaint, namely battery life. "With the iPhone, something happened with the new OS or the new phone, and it just started running through the battery so fast." Adding, "I've had a lot of issues with things I have to turn off just to save the battery life."

Of course, Android users -- specifically owners of 4G devices like HTC Thunderbolt and Motorola's (MMI) Droid Bionic -- can relate to a shortened battery life.

But while he commends Google for producing a solid Apple competitor, Wozniak still recommends the iPhone to those who "are already in the Mac world" and "people who are just scared of computers altogether and don't want to use them."

Not exactly the most ringing endorsement.

(See also: Minyanville at CES: Apple's Super-Secret Presence at CES and Minyanville at CES: Google Puts Positive Spin on Android's Fragmentation)

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