I’ve been out of the iPhone closet for awhile now, but I never did get a chance to fully explain my decision apart from a few tweets–and a lot of you have been wondering, so here it is: my decision to move from Android to iPhone.
I’d been an Android fanatic for a few years, ever since the OG Droid came out and Verizon users like me were forced to use it if we wanted a smartphone that wasn’t a BlackBerry. At the time, I was pretty stoked because it was supposed to have a ton of advantages over the iPhone, and in a lot of ways, it did. But, after a few years, I found that it also had some disadvantages that I didn’t want to deal with anymore. Here’s the breakdown of what made me switch:
- Android’s UI is a still little laggy and a lot inconsistent. I just couldn’t take it anymore. You can do a lot of things to speed up an Android phone, but every time I used my iPod touch, I’d just be amazed at how fast and smooth things are. There’s no jerkiness, no built-in back buttons that take you to the home screen instead of the main screen of the app, no apps that make your entire phone unusable because of one bug you can’t seem to figure out where it’s coming from. I was just so tired of it.
- Bad battery life makes me sad. Why did I even have an iPod touch, you ask? Because if I used my phone to listen to music more than just a little bit, it’d be dead before the day was even over. I shouldn’t have to explain anything beyond this.
- I’m still waiting for Ice Cream Sandwich. There’s an article floating around today about how Ice Cream Sandwich already has everything that iOS 6 will have. Technicalities aside (there are a few of them), this would be great if people actually had Ice Cream Sandwich. Seriously. I was using an HTC Thunderbolt, a very popular, heavily advertised phone, and it still isn’t running the latest version of Android. This fragmentation thing really is as bad as everyone says. Ice Cream Sandwich was announced and released in October. It is now May, and HTC is saying the Thunderbolt won’t have ICS until July or August. Ugh. Even if ICS did fix all of my other problems with Android, I don’t want to wait another year for it to happen–hell, I can’t even get a working ICS ROM on Android, because we need HTC to get cell data working. The Thunderbolt is barely a year old. I hate it, but I’d rather have a phone that I know will be current for at least the amount of time that my contract lasts. So far that hasn’t been true for any of the Android phones I’ve owned.
- Google integration is great, but no longer special. The main thing that made Android really, truly awesome was its seamless integration with Google services, like Gmail and Google Voice. That’s no longer really a problem on the iPhone. There are multiple ways to use Google Voice on iOS now, not to mention Sparrow, which works with Gmail beautifully (and, if we’re being honest, was probably the straw that broke the camel’s back for me and got me to seriously consider switching).
This all may sound a little Android hate-y, but I assure you there are still things I love about Android. The wounds are just a little raw, if you will. You know how when you break up with a significant other and you have so much pent up anger that you just hate them even though they’re actually not a bad person? That’s how I feel about Android right now. I know it isn’t bad, I’m just not ready to be friends again yet.
That said, there are still things I’ll miss a lot. Google’s navigation is still the best navigation around (sorry Waze), and the ability to set apps as the default for specific actions is something you don’t appreciate until you don’t have it anymore. I just feel like no one at Google is actually using these phones. If they were, I just know someone would be going “DAVE WHAT IS UP WITH THIS BACK BUTTON, YOU’RE FIRED AND LET’S RE-CODE THIS THING.” I hope that day happens soon.
Until then, I’m loving the selection of apps I have on iOS, not to mention the jailbreak community. Oh my God, I love jailbreaking on the iPhone…it’s a lot less stressful and time consuming than tweaking a rooted Android phone. I’ve already talked about that at length on Lifehacker (boy did that one get some people mad), so I won’t go through that again here. But it really is awesome. I still don’t like the way Apple does a lot of things, but in the end, I just think they make better products…at least in the areas I currently care about. So I gotta do what I gotta do.
This probably isn’t everything that influenced my decision, but it should give you a pretty good idea. Like I said, I’ll probably be back one day. I’m the kind of person that can’t stick with one thing for too long (after all, I’m also back on Windows after 4 years with OS X and about one with Linux). Until then, I’m just going to sit here and continue drooling over this retina display. Keep me up on what CyanogenMod is doing, won’t you?
In other news, I’m actually planning on doing some writing on this blog, maybe even doing a few YouTube videos on my currently half-existent personal channel. It’ll be stuff that doesn’t fit on Lifehacker, reviews of cool little products I like, and probably some fun hardware stuff concerning my rig, which I’ll be doing an update to this year. You know, just because I know you all like hardware porn as much as I do. So, stay tuned.