Android vs iPhone Button Review, Part 2

Believe it or not, I've found TWO whole blog posts' worth of usability nuances on the differences between iPhone and Android's buttons alone! Part 1 was here; now for part 2, focusing just on audio-related buttons:
  • Headset Inline Volume Buttons: Oh, how I miss these! It seems that Apple has a patent on them and doesn't feel like sharing. I'm hoping they have a change of heart and/or Android makers pony up the cash, but I'm not holding my breath - in the meantime, the main inline button (play/pause/answer/etc) does all its usual tricks, and Bluetooth headsets can change their volume just fine. Winner: iPhone.
  • Mute Switch: It's a feature that I loved even before the iPhone, and I miss this too. The ability to switch to and from silent mode without looking - without even removing the phone from your pocket - is a sneaky little convenience that's tough to leave behind. Winner: iPhone.
Of course, the overall tradeoff balance between Android and iPhone is huge, and different users will always care about different features. But it's remarkable how many differences pop up in just a handful of buttons, and what it says about the different design philosophies at work.

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