Why I’m thinking of ditching my precious iPhone for an Android

165 Comments

If you don’t like personal stories about infidelity, please read no further. After being in love with my iPhone (s aapl) for several years now, my attentions are increasingly being pulled elsewhere — and I’m not fighting it. I’ve been an iPhone fan ever since I first got my hands on one: it instantly made my BlackBerry(s rimm) feel like an ugly brick that was designed by orangutans. All I wanted to do was hold it forever, and that’s almost exactly what I’ve done since I first got one — until, that is, I switched to using an Android (s goog) phone over the holidays.

I didn’t decide to try an Android phone because I was dissatisfied with Apple or the iPhone — in fact, I still think the iPhone is one of the best-designed and most appealing products of any kind that I’ve ever used. I have a MacBook Air and an iPad that I also love using, and I recommend them whenever I get the chance. But I will confess that I have been looking enviously at Android phones for a little while, after seeing friends like my GigaOM colleague Kevin Tofel using them and then borrowing one last fall for a trip to Amsterdam for our Structure: Europe conference.

Part of what I was interested by was the larger screens on the Nexus and other phones — I like to read webpages and other documents and look at photos on my phone, so more screen real estate was appealing. But I was also interested in the openness of the Android ecosystem, and whether that would be a benefit compared to the walled garden that Apple runs for iOS.

Apple’s garden is beautiful — but the walls aren’t

There’s no question that Apple’s garden is beautiful, as walled gardens go, and it is extremely well-maintained; nasty or disturbing apps are kept out, and everything is checked to make sure it works properly, and that is definitely a big benefit. In other words, the bars are hard to see behind all those beautiful flowers. But in some cases, useful things are kept out as well, whether it’s content or applications — or ways of integrating with other networks and services that maybe don’t meet Apple’s standards (or aren’t willing to pay Apple for the privilege).

social media

Here’s one anecdote that sums up the differences between the two platforms for me: when I took a photo with the Android phone (a Motorola Razr HD), it suddenly occurred to me that maybe I could beam it to my TV somehow — I have a media hub from Western Digital that has all my photos on it, and usually I have to copy the pictures from the iPhone to a computer with iTunes and then share them with the WD hub. But I figured maybe I could beam them from the Android because the hub is a DLNA device (DLNA is kind of the open version of Apple’s AirPlay standard for wireless networking). Within five minutes, I had downloaded an app that beamed my photo to the WD hub, and we were looking at it on the TV. I did the same thing with a YouTube video.

Another light-bulb moment happened when I went to share a webpage from the Motorola: when you do this on the iPhone, you get to choose between Twitter, Facebook, email and printing — but on the Android, the sharing menu is longer than the screen. You can share just about anything with just about anything else, whether it’s a web service or an app, and for me that’s kind of a metaphor for the two platforms.

It’s probably possible to beam your photos to your television with an iPhone or iPad, but to do that you would need an Apple TV and AirPlay and to be hooked into other parts of the Apple ecosystem (like iTunes, which I confess I have always loathed using). If you have a motley crew of non-Apple technology the way I do — like the Western Digital hub and my desktop that runs Ubuntu — then you are a second-class citizen in some ways, since Apple often doesn’t play well with others.

Choice and openness or a nice garden?

For awhile now, I’ve also noticed the same thing I’ve seen others like Liz Gannes at All Things Digital mention: namely, that I’ve gradually been replacing many of Apple’s services and default applications with Google ones — like Maps, and Mail — or those made by others. The iPhone itself, the hardware, is still incredibly appealing because it is so well made and appealing to hold, but for services, Apple has never really been the best, and you can see that in things like iCloud.

crump_imessage_icon

There are things I miss about the iPhone: like Ralf Rottmann, who has written a great post about making a similar switch, I miss iMessage, because a lot of friends and family have iPhones. I also miss Photostream, which was a great way to have pictures I took automatically show up on my iPad and MacBook Air — but I have replicated much of that by using auto-upload with both Google and Facebook(s fb), as well as an open-source photo hosting service called OpenPhoto that uses Amazon’s(s amzn) S3 for hosting.

When I try to describe the difference between the two platforms to friends, I put it this way: with iOS, if you want to do something, there are may be one or two apps that will let you, and they work pretty well — but if you want a feature they don’t have, you are out of luck. With Android, if you want to do something with the phone, there are 15 or 20 apps that will help you, and many of them are free — but most of them won’t do everything you want, and only a couple will actually work the way you want them to.

For me it comes down to this: Apple has great design, but it restricts your choice in all kinds of ways. And I have been seeing those restrictive bars more and more, despite all the beautiful flowers. Android offers a kind of “tyranny of choice” — but in the end I think choice and openness are better, even if they seem less attractive at first glance. And that’s why I’m thinking of making the switch permanent. Forgive me, Steve.

Post and thumbnail images courtesy of Flickr user Afroboof and Shutterstock / nopporn

165 Comments

Hortron

@John said
“I think it’s good to remove from people the option of wasting time fiddling around with their phones endlessly.”

Personally, I would rather fiddle with my Windows desktop. I have 3 screens of real estate! That’s lots of room for me to tweak and manage. I think I would prefer my mobile device be optimized (by a professional) for mobile use.

My guess is that the people who have switched form iPhones -> Android are very heavy mobile users, who invest enough time on their phone to warrant fiddling around for optimization.

pjs_boston

“With Android, if you want to do something with the phone, there are 15 or 20 apps that will help you, and many of them are free — but most of them won’t do everything you want, and only a couple will actually work the way you want them to”

Huh? So much for the openness argument. What good is choice if all of the choices suck?

The tech echo chamber is on a pro Android kick and all the cool kids are going along for the ride.

Utterly unimpressed by any of the points made in this article…

Matthew D Lyons

He didn’t say ALL of the choices suck.That feels like selective reading. What’s the difference between the part you quoted, and the line just above?

“with iOS, if you want to do something, there are may be one or two apps that will let you, and they work pretty well — but if you want a feature they don’t have, you are out of luck.”

It seems to be six of one, half dozen of the other. You’ll get one or two apps on either platform that do what you want…how you want it. The difference seems to be that Apple will perform a few functions well, but lack wanted features; while Android may break those functions up into a couple different apps, a one or two that do that function well. Tomato…Tomahto.

Idon't Know

That doesn’t make any sense unless you know nothing about iOS and Android.

Idon't Know

The point of the article is linkbait to get page views and comments for more page views. Simply write something negative about Apple, put it in the headline, and sit back and watch the link bait/page views roll in. Lazy but effective.

Matthew D Lyons

It goes both ways, quite honestly. I think the only people that see it as bait are those who get personally offended when someone criticizes, or seems to criticize, their device or OS of choice. I guess that I could tangentially agree with you, in that it’s so predictable to see people come out of the woodwork to besmirch and denigrate an opinion that doesn’t jibe with their own. The practice really shouldn’t be surprising and disappointing, but yet I am always let down a bit by the lack of growth and maturity. Like what you like. Use what you use. It doesn’t have to be a right vs. wrong, either/or proposition.

Matthew D Lyons

Interesting piece. I recently made the switch to an iPhone 5, after three years with Android devices. Many of the differences you mention are some things that I miss about Android. The key thing is the ability to share content with various apps. I use Pocket and Springpad a lot, and sharing URLs and just about anything else, was a breeze on Android. With the iPhone, I either have to create special bookmarks as a work-around, or copy the URL and go into the app and paste. If I want to save a picture into Springpad, I have to go into the app and upload the picture, instead of using the robust sharing menu in Android. With that said, I enjoy the experience on the iPhone.I haven’t been on social media for almost a year, so the integration of Twitter and Facebook, as well as other social services, is a non-issue. My only sharing is with Pocket and Springpad. There’s no doubt that Apple needs to improve, or completely overhaul, iOS. The OS no longer matches the polish of the hardware.

As you stated, the hardware is fantastic. I had a Droid DNA for a couple of weeks before moving the iPhone 5. The DNA is a great device. I simply found it to be a touch too big for my taste. You can read about my 2012 phone odyssey here: http://goo.gl/zRSQQ Good luck with whatever works for you!

Will Smith

The last sentence “Forgive me, Steve” is symbolic of this entire ownership of all the slaves who buy apple stuff. You are a slave by choice to the stuff that apple puts out. If you have basic common sense basic sense of self esteem, you can choose whats best for you not based on what people think of you…

John Nemesh

Glad to see others are noticing (finally) what a difference an open platform makes, in real world examples, that real users can relate to! Great article!

Booboo

I’m still not seeing anyone who’s able to articulate the perils of a “walled garden” in any meaningful way. I challenge you to give one solid example where the App Store failed and the openness of the Android market saved the day. No geek tasks either. Lets talk about your average use case.

On the flip side, I can name one peril begotten by the open Android market and that’s malware.

Guest

I can run a full desktop OS (Linux) on my Android phone. I connect my phone to a HDTV & bluetooth keyboard/mouse, run Ubuntu, and work on a spreadsheet while still receiving calls on Android at the same time.

The Android phone is a general purpose PC. iOS can’t do that or anything remotely similar to that.

Dilip Andrade

having done the switch over a year ago, I found it liberating to not be restricted to the mobile experience that someone else envisioned for me.

I went from a situation where I had an Android phone for work, and an iPhone for my personal life, to one where I have Android devices for both parts of my life.

Interestingly enough though, like maybe taking me full circle as I am very tempted to look into the new BlackBerry as an upgrade path for my personal device.

At the end of the day, choice is good.

John Nemesh

I have to grin when you say you will be looking at a BlackBerry…as a PERSONAL phone :) talk about going full circle!

Noku Rukakikika

I love my iPhone, have no interest in Android or WP, but the new Blackberry does look very interesting!

Tal

Hi Mathew, if it interests you please allow me to give you a different point of view – from someone who recently tried moving from Android to iOS.

For the sake of clarity I specify personal services as tied to information that is just mine (mail, storage, map, pictures, social, etc.). In opposed to content that could be freely shared with my other family members (movies, tv, books, games, etc.).

I recently acquired an iPad mini and tried moving gradually to the iOS eco-system. As a Canadian I found iOS to be amazingly rich in content. Actually Apple is the only company who really respects Canadians regarding content. The wealth of iTune content that I have found was staggering and I must admit that it made me feel stupid for waiting for so long to get a taste of it. Moreover, it is very easy to use the iPad as a productivity platform for my work!

But as much as I liked the Apple content service, I found the Google personal services far superior even on iOS. Eventually all my personal services on the iPad mini were of Google’s. Moreover the closed garden is extremely silly in my opinion in several areas on the iOS. The straw that broke my camel’s back was not being able to launch Google’s services/apps from the stock iOS apps. E.g. using Chrome as at least an option from my mail. Or Drive as my launch in context storage.

What happened was that the family decided on moving into the Apple eco-system for content. We share it between us and we became heavy iTunes users with the addition of an Apple TV as well. On the personal side we concluded that we go only with an Android smartphone. I acquired the Note II and its simply amazing. Just my 2cp regarding the strength of the 2 eco-systems.

Matthew D Lyons

A quick note about iTunes and Android. There are plenty of apps that let you sync content between your iTunes library and Android devices. One thing that I liked was linking my iTunes library to Google Music. Whenever I added new music to my iTunes library, it showed up in my Google Music directory shortly thereafter. Add to that, all of that music could be played anywhere, even on a browser, as long as I was logged in.I still use Google Music on my iPhone, via a non-Google app. It works well. I also use Rdio quite a bit, and it also ties into my iTunes library and matches content that is available in its database.

My wife uses a Galaxy S3, an iPad, and a Windows laptop. She’s not as much into tech, but rarely does she have a problem moving content around the three different operating systems, primarily because she uses Google Apps and services on all three.

Noku Rukakikika

That’s great but you’ll find Google Music to be unavailable outside much of the US. You’ll be out of luck if you’re not there. One thing I enjoy about the iTunes store and its Match service is that it’s available everywhere. Access to your stuff is always available no matter what. Google check your IP and restrict access based on your location. Apple does not.

Anthony Reinhart

At the risk of baiting the haters, I suggest you reserve judgment for now and spend some time with the BlackBerry 10 when it debuts in a few weeks. I’ve seen the OS in action and it’s extremely intuitive and powerful, especially in the way it handles social feeds, messaging and multitasking. The hardware is also superior to anything else out there, especially the display (sharper than the iPhone’s; fantastic for photo viewing). Android apps are easily ported to BB10, as thousands have already been. It’s a completely new BB experience, free of both bricks and orangutans. Perhaps not as open a platform as you’d like, but the UX and quality are tops.

John Nemesh

I think they probably have a fantastic product on their hands with the new BB10 OS. Unfortunately, I was the owner of another phone with an outstanding OS (even by today’s standards!), the Palm Pre! I STILL think it beats Android when it comes to ease of use and intuitive design. However, we all know how that story went. Unless RIM can hang on for a good 2 years while it gains momentum AND developers actively support it as a primary development platform, I think the BB10 will suffer the same sad fate as my beloved Palm Pre.

Anthony Reinhart

That’s an understandable concern, John, but as some analysts have pointed out, comparisons between BlackBerry and Palm are flawed. BlackBerry still enjoys a substantial subscriber base (79 million) around the world, and strong relationships with carriers, neither of which Palm was able to build. Yes, it will be a long road for RIM in rebuilding market share, but they are starting from a position that Palm never really occupied. It will indeed be interesting to see how things unfold once BB10 is on the market, but I can personally attest from my Waterloo vantage point that RIM is a dramatically different company than it was even a year ago, and that its people are more focused on success and innovation than they’ve ever been. Anything could happen.

Jason

Android of two years ago, or even in the beginning of last year is nothing like Android is today. Jelly Bean totally changed the game.
And like any mobile OS, the quality is often perceived by the available apps. With Androids market share growing by the day, more and more developers are embracing the platform. And Android users will benefit big time when developers design for Android first and port to iOS after.

Jonathan Mergy

I think many others are too. I see more and more articles about stepping away from Apple and their products now. Appreciate the article. You will get the h8ers that can form a sentence or two around “who cares” etc. but I liked the article and am right there with you.

Booboo

Where is your evidence of customers stepping away from Apple products? Their sales have never been better. Their stores are packed. Changewave survey out today shows an extremely high demand for iPhone 5. Are you basing this observation by what you see in the blogosphere?

Booboo

You also have to wonder about these articles and what motivates someone to announce such a thing. Is it clicks? Is it sponsored by an Apple competitor? Is it simply for the attention? If you believe that a rash of “I’m switching” articles by tech bloggers is truly an indication that a sizable shift is underway and Apple is losing customers then you’re clearly not paying attention.

J Scott Anderson

You have to remember that the tech bloggers have rarely cared much for Apple. Every product announcement is greeted by comments of “disappointment” on the low end and “doom” on the high end – depending on how much of the fantasy rumors they bought into (or started depending on who you read).

Tech journalism and integrity don’t mix. You can’t get as many clicks that way.

ljwitch

I’m going to be doing the same in early March, for some of the same reasons, and some different ones.

I don’t like the “bars” as you put it. I’m tired of being penned into a certain motif simply because Apple doesn’t want to allow certain things, etc. I’m tired of no customization options.

Related to that, it doesn’t matter what wallpaper you use, iPhone’s app icons are clunky and hideous compared to the options available for Android.

Another thing that has really bothered me for awhile is that it seems like Apple is purposely behind the 8 ball on some of their tech, compared to Android phones. I can get a 12.5MP camera in an older Sony Xperia, but the iPhone 5 only ships with an 8MP?! I just don’t really find much excuse for that, personally.

I actually will NOT miss iMessage. It uses data and I just don’t see the purpose in using my data plan, which is already severely limited by AT&T, for texting when I can use my phone plan for that and not worry about how many texts I get in a day. iMessage was a useless option, in my opinion.

John Nemesh

I am waiting for them to quit worrying about the damn megapixels and start putting QUALITY optics on these things! (something like the new Samsung Galaxy camera, but a BIT smaller!)

Mike Wirthlin

Mathew,
If you want this kind of flexability with your I phone, have jail broken and you still have the Beautiful garden without bars!!!

Mike Wirthlin

J Scott Anderson

There are no jailbreaks for the latest iOS. And if you believe the jail breakers, there may not be any coming. Apparently Apple has made iOS 6.1+ very tough skinned.

If you want to run whatever you want, stick with an Android device. But be very, very careful. The malware and exploits are a huge and growing problem.

Chris T.

I do understand and sympathise with the gist if the atricle but the specifics seems off. The first software example – DLNA server – is also possible on the iPhone. A quick search for DLNA on the App Store revealed several DLNA server options, the walls are not as oppressive as the article makes it seem.

Mathew Ingram

Thanks for the comment, Chris — you and others here are right that there are DLNA apps, so that kind of thing is not impossible. But it isn’t as easy as Android devices make it, and that was just one example of what I’m talking about.

ryanpederson

Hi Matthew,

I see this “open” argument quite a bit. I’m not sure what it means exactly. That Android is an open license OS? I can see how that is great for companies like Amazon to create their own OS, but how does that help the end user?

Does “open” mean they don’t care what apps are uploaded into their app system? So you can download as many pirated / IP theft stolen apps (like Koal Kat’s Klear) no problem?

Or does “open” mean you can plug it in to your computer and pull files from it? Because you can do that with photos and videos on iOS.

The problem I see with Android is Google has basically destroyed the user’s expectations of ever having to pay for an app by giving away their own amazing apps. So if no one is going to buy apps on their ecosystem anymore, we are now stuck with ad-ridden garbage.

Google also seems like they have to create an app for everything so basically you’ll never need to download any other apps. While this might seem great, let’s look at your DNLA example. If Apple pre-integrated a great DNLA app for free into their OS, what incentive would there be for a 3rd party developers to make something great. So instead of just Google having just one DNLA app (which eventually they will get bored of supporting and stop maintaing), you now have multiple developers competing against each other, bringing fresh ideas to the table, with the cream rising to the crop.

That to me is the very essence of “open”.

Is Google that open? Why do no good apps originate from there? Only the most successful iOS apps are ported to it once the developer can financially justify it. Only this time they are filled with ugly ads.

Android is like that Hummer that is comes already blinged out, has a plamsa TV, a jaccuzi, video games, liquor cabinet, everything you’d ever need, but probably don’t.
iOS is that Audi that reliably gets you to wherever you want to go in style. If you want to add all the bling in the form of apps, you certainly can, but it’s not preloaded into to the OS.

Guest

@ryanpederson

Open means I can write an app about the Syrian civil war and not be shut out by Apple. There are plenty of apps that have been censored by Apple and that has been going on for years. Even a pulitzer prize winning author was denied distribution at Apple’s app store. It’s disgusting and it has nothing to do with piracy as you’ve alluded.

Open means I don’t have to distribute through an app store at all. If I so choose, I can distribute my app on my website as many shareware authors have done for years before the “post-pc” era.

Open means I can sudo on my hardware. I have root access on my device. I can load and run a desktop Ubuntu chrooted on top of Android. One device that can do everything.

Clearly, you don’t know what open means, as you stated very clearly at the beginning of your post.

Greg

My thoughts exactly! I bought an iphone5 just because I got sick of managing my space after running out with 16GB. I got my wife an HTC One X+. I’m so in love with her phone and it actually is able to make phone calls, talk to old bluetooth stacks like her car’s Sync and my Motorola headset. iCloud is kind of nice, but useless.

I’ll miss the Apple Store games, but most of the ones I (and my kids) play now are on both my Galaxy Tab and the iphone. iTunes for all my music is nice too, but I hardly ever listen to music on my phone anymore other than videos.

realjjj

Funny, it’s always funny to see Apple users wake up, when Apple has always been like this.
The bars are very visible, it starts with the lack of microSD slot, the use of proprietary connectors, access to only 1 app store and so on.And then they try to bleed you dry.
Android is still crippled by carriers,some device makers do cripple their devices for an extra buck (nexus devices have no microSD slot), so things can be even better and maybe we get there at some point.

John

You make good points about inter-app communication (Windows 8 does this the best imo) and DLNA.

Most “customizations” that people do with Android are superficial and not interesting to me, though some of the things that you can do with Tasker are pretty great. For example, I wish my phone would never lock when I’m on certain wifi networks; I think Tasker allows this? But anything that smacks of “skinning” should be avoided: I think it’s good to remove from people the option of wasting time fiddling around with their phones endlessly.

I am curious if you can use Google Drive or Dropbox as “filesystems” in Android. Through sharing you can jury-rig a file system in iOS, and the camera roll/photos work as a file system for photos of sorts, but the “data is trapped in an app” model is, I think, fundamentally broken.

I do have one nit to pick. People keep saying that they like Google’s iOS apps better. But Google’s iOS apps, maps aside, are “better” primarily in one respect: interacting with Google services. Is this surprising? (And the “superiority” of Google Maps is vastly overstated; I find errors and omissions in it all the time and frequently find, of all things, Bing maps to be superior.)

Gmail is not better than other email services–in fact, I think it’s worse in many ways, given how difficult it is to use third-party email clients with it. Google Drive isn’t good, Google+ isn’t good, Chrome isn’t better than Safari (unless you use it to sync bookmarks from desktop Chrome), etc etc.

There are a number of things that people tout as Android pluses that I think are a bad idea–setting third-party apps as defaults for email, etc. There needs to be a standard way to set up a phone with accounts and it shouldn’t depend on the vagaries of apps. Or at least, this is a good idea if and only if settings for email accounts and so forth continue to be system-wide and not per app.

On balance, areas where Google has gotten involved in web apps–from document editing to RSS–have stagnated. So the idea of integrating myself more deeply into a sub-par ecosystem–rather than picking and choosing the best services, like Dropbox and Twitter–is pretty unappealing to me. And it certainly feels like the purpose of Android is precisely to get you more hooked on Google.

John Nemesh

Android has a real filesystem. No jury-rigging needed. My Samsung Galaxy S3 comes with a file manager, so I can easily browse through the directories on both my internal storage (including system files) and on my SD card. If your phone doesn’t come with a file manager, there are plenty available in the Play store to choose from, no rooting/jailbreaking/unlocking required. Dropbox is fantastic on my phone! My S3 came with an extra 50GB of storage for a year on Dropbox, and since I have unlimited data with Sprint, I have it automatically upload all of my pictures and videos as they are taken. I have had to replace my phone recently (asphalt and smartphones dont mix!) and the only thing I had to do when activating the new phone was to redownload my apps. Since my music and photos are on my microSD card (and backed up with Dropbox), and my contacts were linked with my Google account, I barely missed a beat and was up and running on new hardware in a matter of minutes! (try that with an iPhone!)

J Scott Anderson

“try that with an iPhone”, so you are either joking or know nothing about iPhones/iOS. Trying doing a little reading about something called “iCloud” – and that is just for starts.

Look, the iPhone/iOS has issues, but try to stick with real ones and not ones you assume from ignorance.

As far as issues go, my Android devices have even more issues than my iOS ones. And a major issue that is growing exponentially is unauthorized malware (as opposed to authorized malware – the various Google services being prime examples of the latter).

Mathew Ingram

That’s a good point, John — Android’s ability to let you actually manage files in a normal way, along with the SD storage, is a big plus as well.

Paul

Great comments here. Gmail’s interface is just terrible, and Drive is close to it.

Don’t agree about setting third-party apps for default use. I love this feature, think Android handles it well.

As for Android trying to hook you on Google, is BlackBerry the only OS that doesn’t seem to do this? Certainly iOS tries to attach you more tightly to Apple, and I’d argue that Apple has the weakest suite of in-house apps.

Rann Xeroxx

” I think it’s good to remove from people the option of wasting time fiddling around with their phones endlessly.”

Wow, just wow. You actually think this like somehow you (or an entity like Apple) knows whats best for people and their time? Maybe we should ban video games as well while we are at it.

Sorry, I try to keep my replies civil but your comment just reeks of elitism.

g-dog

you don’t need apple tv to beam, check out Parrot. Many third party options to do most of what you claim the walls are keeping you away from. Just look around…

J Scott Anderson

g-dog, don’t ruin his story. It’s his and he’s sticking to it – facts be darned.

clickfiend

iPhone was/is popular and all the rage. Maybe not as much now. It pushed the envelope for what a phone could do. Then competition happened. This is good. Tides go in and out. First world problems. I prefer a phone that just works that I can hand to my Grandma. I want great customer service and a device that fits in my pocket. You want cutting edge excitement. You want the perception of freedom. Apple is like living in the castle. Google is like a whale in the ocean with a radio tracking device attached. It doesn’t matter. Have fun. Call your Mother or someone else that you love and laugh at something funny. We’re all on some band wagon.

jeroen

I understand why you are making the switch.
The thing with ugly apps on android is : there are a lot !
Because some are only meant for the usefulness : use it once, and let it run ‘forever’.
Second, because there are a lot of developers for android who didn’t care about the looks. Functionality first. But you can see the trend (since almost a year) that more and more apps are getting more and more beautiful.
Hence some site who highlight beautiful apps (like holoeverywhere.com) and the possibilies to set your phone to your needs (mycolorscreen.com/)

Ziltoid

Go ahead. You’ll probably be back. I switched back and forth a few times. Had enough of Android.

pjs_boston

@Ziltoid

I’m curious to hear about your experiences with iOS and Android. Care to elaborate?

Akonim

Did that, too. Tried Android, loved the flexibility, sharing, customisation. Than the new iPhone came, I got one and it felt like coming home! Half a year later, I start looking at Android devices again, but I am quite sure, after some time it will be “back home” to the iPhone.

Rann Xeroxx

As pjs_boston asked; what was better in iOS or iPhone 5 than on, say, HTC DNA or another high end Android phone?

Stephen Snares

As an early iPhone adopter I’m also starting to sway over to the dark side too, for some of the reason you mention. My iPhone is starting to feel stagnant, boring almost. But I think bigger changes are ahead for iOS with the departure of Scott Forstall. A walled garden it will still remain but I can see it being bigger and prettier in the near future. iOS7 will be the decider for me.

Shameer Mulji

I agree big changes are head for iOS, I’m just not convinced it’ll happen as soon as iOS 7. The management shake-up happened around 3 months ago and big changes to major platforms take a little time. I definitely expect to see those changes come iOS 8.

I would rather Apple use 2013 to clean up bugs in its software and lay a strong foundation for big changes the year after.

Bikas Vaibhav

It’s time they should change UI of phone now. Screen size is just fine. Also allow more customization like keyboard changing, string default apps, etc.

saidimu apale

Another canary in the coal mine?

First Apple lost market-share to Android, now it seems they are slowly losing mind-share.

I’m curious why Cupertino doesn’t seem to be doing anything to stem the tide.

I love Android to bits (“my precious” in Mathew’s parlance) but healthy competition (from iOS and others) will keep Google and Apple’s focus squarely on us (the consumers).

Wake up Tim Cook :)

pkadam

Use whatever you like no one cares but boasting about it is a new low and lame dude.

Frank A NYC

I hear you. I bought my wife a Nexus 4 for Christmas, yes i was one of the lucky 20 people it seems who was able to actually buy one. I love the screen size, perhaps it my older eyes, but I like not having to enlarge every screen to see things. I also love the customization that the phone offers. My iphone 4 is running great but my son will be inheriting it in a few months. I amy seriously considering a Nexus 4, assuming I can actually buy another one.

Adam Smith

Another great thing about the Nexus 4 (I got one in the initial launch, as was able to get 2 for my wife and son when they became available again towards the end of Nov) is that your carrier does not get to control anything.

No carrier bloat on the phone, and new Android versions get pushed out to the phone as soon as Google thinks it’s ready.

I’ve been using T-mobile’s $30 unlimited data with GrooveIP, but I’m getting tired some calling issues. My wife and son are on Straight Talk ($45 a month on the ATT network) I think I’ll change too, even though the data speed is a lot slower. I was getting 22MPS on Tmobile, I’ll likely get 1/4 of that on ATT. But even that’s enough, I’m usually on wifi for data.

Skipper Kagamaster

You can do Straight Talk with T-Mobile; you just have to cut down the SIM.

Kary

I switched from AT&T to Verizon when buying my current Android phone, because I didn’t the restrictions AT&T had at the time on what apps I could install. I couldn’t imagine also being shackled by Apple (not to mention other restricted choices, like a no physical keyboard, no removable battery, Bluetooth limitations, etc), so an iPhone was never even in the running.

Nicholas Paredes

People forget who was actually restrictive prior to the iPhone. Before this device the US was a wasteland. The dev tools blew. The process was horrible. The networks had to accept your app and it could take years.

Don’t get me wrong, Apple was instrumental in my start-up’s downfall. We wanted to embed media. But in 2009, I thought it would take Android 6 months to get solid media APIs. Here we are in 2013 and GigaOm recently had an article about how bad the technologies on Android actually are.

One hand giveth. One hand taketh away. Be aware. Be reasonable. But, the iPhone represents a milestone in usage and usability, which is why the market is thriving. Android will get there, but the question is when.

Mathew Ingram

That’s a good point, Nicholas — Apple did a lot to create the mobile smartphone market as we know it. But Android is catching up. Thanks for the comment.

Mathieu Gosbee

Wait– Windows Mobile dev tools are STILL better than iOS’s. Me thinketh you haveth no ideath whateth youith talketh abouteth.

Bikas Vaibhav

I’d you want to create apps without your custom hacks and all that goes beyond provided IDE, I don’t think any other platform is even close to Microsoft offering.

paul

Bluetooth limitations, ive had android for 4 years and not one iphone has ever come up in a search to exhange music or pictures, NOT 1 and yet every other bluetooth device known to man shows up! riddle me this batman, How big are those walls! i would never own this crap they over the top market from apple

Seth Weintraub

I carry both. Two networks too (Verizon and T-Mobile). Redundancy is important in mobile OSes as it is in servers and internet connections.

Tim Acheson

Please don’t refer to iPhone as “precious” because that’s ridiculous. Expensive (overpriced) but not precious. :)

Bikas Vaibhav

And right too. Personal stuffs are generally turn out to be precious.

Kary

I do, because it’s good to know some people are starting to think before making a purchase rather than accepting whatever already technologically outdated product Apple throws at them. ;-)

yt75

Clear, but our time is about machines fetishism and ultrautilitarianist dogmas of “all free all ads based” for contents …

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