I switched back to Android

Posted on Posted in Musings, Tech

 

No, I can’t believe I just said that either. But… it’s true.

Let me put things in perspective here. I’ve been an Apple fan since the mid-90’s and got to use my first Macintosh in kindergarten. I forget what model it was but it had a 5ΒΌ” floppy drive. Old school, I know. I was a huge fan of the iMac when that came out in 1998 and thought it was super cool (it wasn’t beige… that was huge back then!)

The first computer I bought with my own money was a Power Macintosh 5200 that was being surplussed by Detroit Lakes Middle School in 2002 for $100 and thought it was the coolest thing on earth (I still have it BTW, the monitor has issues but last time I tried to boot it up it still worked!). Once I got into High School and got a job the first major purchase I made was a MacBook. I sold that in 2009 and bought a MacBook Pro that I still have to this day.

My (mostly complete) collection of retired Apple products.

It was in those same Middle School/High School years the iPod became a reality. And it took me until 2005 but I finally bought my first iPod, the 1st gen iPod Nano 2GB in black. I upgraded that next summer to the 5th gen iPod (the video iPod) 30GB Black, and still to this day is my favorite iPod.

Shortly after that Apple came out with the iPhone, and I wanted one so bad. But even if I could have afforded it, the iPhone was originally on AT&T only, and AT&T didn’t come to Fargo until 2011. So I instead settled for an iPod Touch when that came out in September 2007. I was the first student at West Fargo High to have one… I pre-ordered it and ran home for lunch on launch day to open it up. I was THAT excited.

I later graduated to the 2nd gen iPod Touch, the 4th gen iPod Touch, and finally when Verizon got the iPhone in 2011 I got the iPhone 4S on launch day. I later upgraded to an iPhone 5S, then an iPhone 6S. Somewhere in there picked up an iPad 3 and an Apple Watch Sport. We’re talking avid Apple fan here.

In between all of that, in 2009 I think, I played with this thing called Android. I REALLY wanted a smart phone, but the iPhone was not yet an option for me. I thought about a Blackberry Tour, but ultimately settled on a Motorola Droid. It was supposed to be the iPhone killer, and for a while I think it was. But it ran Android, and Android was just a tiny little baby back then, and it was extremely buggy. iOS (which may have still been called iPhone OS back then) was worlds ahead of where Android was, and I wanted to get on the iPhone train as fast as I could.

But… it’s not 2009 anymore. And while in some regards I wish it was still 2009 (hey, I hadn’t totally screwed up my Computer Science career yet!), it’s 2017. Things have changed.

Which kinda brings me to the point of this blog post. Since I bought a iPhone 6S in 2015, I was due for a new phone recently. I wanted to see what Apple did with the iPhone 7S or iPhone 8 or iPhone X or whatever it was going to be called. And I ended up buying an Samsung Galaxy S8.

So why did I, the life-long Apple nut, go to Android?

Apple is not the same company it was 10 years ago. And while you hope people and companies change, you want them to change for the better. You see, when Steve Jobs unveiled the original iPhone in 2007, he said the technology in the device was 5 years ahead of what everyone else was doing at the time. And he was absolutely right.

The problem is Apple has (in my opinion) failed to innovate recently, and the iPhone is now 3-4 years behind what everyone else is doing.

“The iPhone 8 has wireless charging!” That’s cool, Qi charging has been around since 2010 and has been stock on the Samsung Galaxy line since 2015.

“But it has facial recognition!” Also been available in Android for some time.

“But… they had the courage to take away the headphone jack!” Courage? More like stupidity. (I hate Bluetooth headphones and require wired headphone for my job).

Now, Apple has always kinda been behind the eight-ball when it comes to new features. I remember being miffed the original iPhone didn’t have 3G. Apple at the time said they didn’t have the battery life perfect with 3G and it wasn’t ready. But when the iPhone 3G did come out, the battery life was stellar and kicked the ass of every other phone on the market.

And I really have no problem with doing it that way… if you’re going to be late to adopt something, your implementation has to be spectacular. And Apple was doing that. For awhile.

I don’t want to pin this whole thing on Steve Jobs, but every since he passed away I’ve felt like Apple has lost the sparkle it used to have. They way they built a product made you want it as soon as it was available, even if you had absolutely no reason to upgrade.

That very Apple vibe that existed in the late 90’s and the first decade of the 2000’s is gone. The Apple I grew up loving is gone.

When the iPhone 7 came out last year, I was hoping it was just a one-year setback while they prepped for the 10th anniversary iPhone this year. I hoped that because I didn’t want to be disappointed. I didn’t want to admit that Apple had moved on from the company it once was.

In the meantime, that other mobile OS that I thought was garbage had evolved. Android has really matured since I went away from it in 2011. And based on all the bugs that iOS 11 has had on release, I think Android is the winner right now. And ever since the Samsung Galaxy S8 came out, I thought it was an amazing phone. The phone that the iPhone X should have been and fell short. I’m also not an avid Mac user like I used to be. Everything at work is PC based and I’ve kinda switched over. And my iPad never gets used anymore. My iPhone 6s was my only iDevice that I used. I decided that now was the time to take a chance and make the switch.

I’ve had my Galaxy S8 for six days. How do I like it? So far so good. There are some Android quirks I’m still trying to get used to, but overall I am loving the phone. The only real downside is not being able to use my Apple Watch, which unlike the iPhone is on top of its game in the wearables world. I’ve gone back to my analog Fossil watch for now, but I may try a Samsung Gear S3 at some point soon.

I should point out that what I did is not for everyone. If you’re very much ingrained in the Apple eco-system, or really don’t want to learn a new smartphone OS, then I wouldn’t recommend switching like I did. It’s not that iOS and Apple is bad, I’ve just decided that it’s not for me right now.

And that’s a very important point I want to close with. I haven’t gone to hating Apple or becoming anti-Apple; I still very much love the company and love what they do. I just don’t think they have the better product right now. If you know me you know I like having the latest and greatest, and right now Apple is way behind the eight-ball. Maybe they’ll get it together and my next phone will be an iPhone 11 or iPhone 12 or something. But if Apple stays their current path, I may be on Android for the foreseeable future.

 

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