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5 Things the iPhone 5 Can Learn From the Droid Bionic



The iPhone is generally thought of as a leading smartphone, one the competition learns from and copies, but this time around, there are several features that I hope the iPhone 5 learns from the Droid Bionic.

The iPhone 5 is even more anticipated than the iPhone 4, but it is facing stiff competition from several sides.

It’s probably too late in the game to see a wide diversion from the leaked iPhone 5 looks and features, but that doesn’t mean I can’t add these Droid Bionic features to my iPhone 5 wishlist.

We expect an iPhone 5 release date in October on Verizon and AT&T with a chance of arriving on Sprint with unlimited data at the same time.


I know that you’re enamored with the looks and the flashy glass back on the iPhone 4, but honestly Apple lags behind when it comes to how the phone feels in your hand. Before you call me a fanboy for either side, go pick up the iPhone 4 and the Bionic at your local Verizon store.

Motorola Droid Bionic back

Note the tapered edges of the Droid Bionic's back.

Note how the Droid Bionic has a soft rubberized back with tapered edges, and compare this to the flat edges and back of the iPhone 4. I doubt Apple will add a rubberized back, but hopefully the rumored teardrop iPhone 5 back will be as easy to hold as the Droid Bionic is.

Screen Size

I know I’m not alone on this one since an overwhelming majority of readers said that you want a 4″ or larger screen open the iPhone 5.

iPhone 4 landscape small display

The iPhone display could stand to grow.

The Droid Bionic doesn’t have a retina display, but the 4.3″ qHD display is much nicer for watching videos and playing games on. Even with a larger display the Bionic remains trim and pocketable.

We’ve heard rumors of a larger edge to edge screen and of a similar size small screen on the iPhone 5, so I can only hope that Apple is growing in this area.


4G LTENow, there’s a very small chance that the iPhone 5 will have 4G LTE, especially if it is released in October, but this is still a Droid Bionic feature that the iPhone 5 needs to learn from.

The iPhone has the largest selection of apps that could take advantage of 4G LTE speeds with video streaming, video conferencing and more games than I can count.

It would be pretty amazing to see the iPhone 5 with 4G LTE connectivity being used for multiple Facetime calls at once or as the hub for a multiplayer game without lag.

Multiple Keyboards

Seriously, what’s up with the iPhone keyboard? After trying to use iPhone keyboard (on an iPhone touch mind you) I have had to put the device down and walk away on more than one occasion. Android keyboards like Swype, which comes with the Droid Bionic, and Swiftkey blow the iPhone keyboard out of the water in so many ways.

Instead of constantly hitting the “.?123” key on your iPhone, imagine that you could just long press one of your keys to get the symbol or number you want. How about if the keyboard actually knew what you wanted to type next so  you could just hit the spacebar. Both of these features are available on the Droid Bionic.

I could send you my address and a host of other commonly typed phrases by typing one character and hitting space a few times. Try doing that with the basic iPhone keyboard.

Webtop and Accessories

One of the Droid Bionic’s coolest features is Webtop. If you plug in a $30 adapter, you can connect it to a monitor or HDTv and use a full version of Firefox to extend your productivity on the road. There are also accessories like the Lapdock which turns your phone into a notebook.

Apple could do many cool things with a technology like this, and the install base would mean more third party accessories.

Here are a few ideas of how this would be used;

  • Plug in a VGA or HDMI adapter to use a full version of Safari on your HDTV or monitor
  • AirPlay For Wireless full safari through your Apple TV with your iPhone as the keyboard or with a Bluetooth keyboard.
  • $300 laptop docks that give you a larger display, keyboard and mouse.

You can’t tell me that you wouldn’t love this functionality, especially if third party apps and accessories came to market.


For extra credit the iPhone can bring an 8 MP camera with the ability to shoot in 1080P, but leave the buggy Droid Bionic camera app at home.

Do any of these lessons for the iPhone 5 resonate with you? Or should I just give it up and stay with Android for my phone and live in the Apple world on my iPad?



  1. Mmerc79

    09/17/2011 at 3:58 am

    R u even serious about writing a trashbag article like this ? Here is the answer to your 5 reasons.
    1 design. R u nuts? Another crappy plastic ugly flimsy droid and u say design. The iphone is The best looking sexiest device on the market and is made of quality materials not plastic crap like your crap droid. Also fits just fine in your hand 2 screen. Is the only thing you have a point but have u looked at the low rez on the droid screen it sucks. Ill stick with the retna. And when apple gives us a larger screen witch i do want. It will b a hi qual screen. 3 4g ha ha. Another technology out b4 its time. Eats an entire battery in 2 hrs lol. And really this touches on 2 and 3. Dont u people realize apple puts only proven tech in thier products. 4g does exist but it sucks cause it kills battery and other drawbacks. Just as they will put a larger screen when they can perfect one worth looking at .4 keyboard. Hello swype sux and hello ios 5 is comming with better key options. 5 hello again ios 5 is comming with real conectivity the will actually work. . I can go on for 6 more pages. So go buy a laggy crap droid packed with ahead of its time features that work like crap. And ill stick wit my good looking iphone in witch everything is tested and proven and all options hardware and software mesh perfectly to create a perfect product. Your article was the worst thought out crap i have ever read.

    • SensibleTroll

      11/06/2011 at 9:02 am

      I love fanboy vs fanboy posting. The article is not “trashbag”, its legitimate. Its also based on opinion, so rebuttal is going to happen, but you make yourself look bad when you trash talk a decent product. It doesn’t matter what phone you use, as long as it speaks to you. Mmerc79, stop making apple users like myself look bad, thanks.

  2. Calep825

    09/18/2011 at 4:21 am

    I agree with Mmerc79, android is trying so hard to stay ahead of the game where it is causing them too many mistakes than apple.

  3. Bionic Owner

    09/24/2011 at 12:07 am

    Sounds like the usual fanboy critique. It isn’t a I Phone so isn’t any good. Well if your poor English and piss poor spelling is due to the inferior I Phone keyboard or just lack of education, is the only real question. I have actually used the I Phone 4 and the Droid Bionic and I love the Bionic. The author doesn’t mention widgets, five home screens and very good free aps. I am sure the I Phone 5 will sell just mine but that doesn’t make it better. And don’t get on your high horse about how cheaply the Motorola is built the fact of the matter is they are all made in China. At least mine doesn’t drop a call anytime hold it the wrong way.

    • Fucker

      10/05/2011 at 3:03 am

      Fucking fanboy. Plain and simple. Your iPhone is a joke.

    • all moblie sucks

      07/28/2012 at 4:09 am

      You’re all biased.

      In iOS I’ve never ran out of home screens (since v3 came out what, 3 years ago) I had 8 until recently so I don’t know why five home screens is in any way worth mentioning.

      Android 4.1 is properly good. Looks great, is flexible, the stock keyboard is easy to use and has very intelligent predictive ability. Google now and their version of Siri are very impressive, but the new voice recognition really struggled with my accent (a
      mild UK west country accent)

      Widgets are useful and quite pretty, actions from notifications are great, as are quick access to switch things like WiFi on and off.

      Android 4 up are the first stock versions of Android that I prefer (overall) to iOS.

      Full disclosure:
      I own an iPhone 3GS and a Galaxy Tab on 4.0
      My iPhone is in a sorry state these days – the sound output keeps dropping out and I’ve been getting reboots lately. I think both are hardware-related. Not very Apple.

      iOS6 and iPhone 5 will both need to really blow me away to keep me on board the Apple ecosystem, as Google is doing a fantastic job at the moment.

      I just need to make sure I end up with solid hardware as I’m more of a 4 year new phone guy than a new 1 every year.

  4. Ajchann123

    11/22/2011 at 7:48 pm

    As a droid and apple owner I would like to say I agree and disagree on some points. Ever since I got my droid x last november I swore that if iphone got swype I would immediately switch over, best typing method I ever used. Other than that: 4g is a pipe dream, I think the iphone design is fine as is, and apple gets a real fat one with the idea of add-ons so they’ll probably utilize that as well. As far as your article as a whole, I think that iphone and droid could learn a lot from each other and integration of each others best qualities would be one hell of a phone

  5. jlove

    01/05/2012 at 12:54 pm

    @1d8ac78ecd11695c41e3b76a9e3f6d3b:disqus its funny because iOS 5 really didn’t change anything… or at least no one can notice the changes. and guess what, the one thing that a person does notice, which is the pulldown tray where all the notifications are held, have been included on android phones since the release. also to anyone saying that swype sucks, have you even used it? how do you know that? i have a droid bionic and i must say that they have finally gotten it right with the droid line… as for 4g, yes it does run down the battery quite a bit, but it is still a technology that is good to have and guess what, if you don’t ilke the run down battery, you can even turn it off… and also as for the rubberized backing, it is a lot better than the iPhone, my GF has the iPhone and i can’t stand to switch from my phone to hers… so you’re an idiot…

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