Since the release of the Google Pixel and even the Microsoft Surface Duo, I have been very intrigued by the devices coming from Android OEMs. From the phone designs to even being forward with new technology features, Android devices are calling me to come back.
If you know me well, you know that technology is an integral part of my life; I live and breathe it all. My first iPhone was the iPhone 5, and I recall being hesitant about getting it because it was so small, and the Lumia 1520 was right there with a big beautiful bold screen. Yes, I loved Windows Phone OS and wish it was still around. Android has been the perfect medium for me since the death of Windows Phones, but the ecosystem has not done a great job of keeping me connected to it.
Over the last few years, I have made the jump between iPhone and Android, but Apple has continued to pressure me into committing to their ecosystem, and I still do not know how. The walled garden that Apple has developed is impressive, but every time there is an Android announcement, I see the Android users frolicking around all carefree and being themselves. My relationship with Apple is a love-hate relationship; I love their hardware, but their software bores me, but it is so cohesive and works well across their family of devices that I forget about my complaints instantly.
Why I want to switch
As mentioned before, Apple’s ecosystem is like a beautiful walled garden, and the devices work so well, but that garden lacks the freedom to do what you want with your devices. One of my biggest gripes about iOS is the lack of truly customizable options; yes, there are widgets, but to customize icons and fonts can take ages to do, and it still lacks that feeling of being connected to the device.
The last Android phone I had allowed me to customize my phone to my liking, and yes, I customized my phone to look like Windows 10 mobile, and when I got tired of that, I just opted for either the stock launcher and Microsoft Launcher. (If you are still reading this, yes, I use most Microsoft applications for my productivity.) Android is more like a computer, which I prefer, than iOS; I absolutely hate moving applications around on my iPhone, and the file system is improving but still lacks the vastness found on Android.
iPhone is strictly made by Apple, which is understandable, which has been Apple’s business model since its inception. Over on the Android side of things, and I like wild things. With so many phone manufacturers, the options are almost limitless. There are devices dedicated to gaming, productivity, and more; to see devices with two screens is intriguing or a flip phone in 2021 is impressive. The only issue here is the software side of things; with multiple manufacturers, bloatware is attached to some devices. For instance, Samsung loads their devices with their launcher, plus some Samsung apps and more. To experience Android at its core, it is best to opt for Google devices because they are pure Android devices without the extra apps.
Having these options are excellent though if you prefer to use Samsung apps for productivity, you can stick with their mobile devices. From device sizes and more, Android’s wild garden has something for everyone.
I know we have heard this from Twitter users a million times, “Android had it first,” which is true. But, unfortunately, Apple has the tendency to drag when it comes to implementing new features that Android users have had for a couple of years. As a techie, I love trying new things as soon as they are released and then looking at the progression made the next year or so. But, unfortunately, when Apple implements a new feature that has been seen on an Android device, it is typically released in a near-perfect state but many years behind. This has bothered me and pleases me, but it is understandable why this happens this way.
Android devices having in-screen fingerprint scanners is one feature that I appreciate a lot. Many Android phones implemented unlocking devices with face detection years before Apple did it, though Apple claims to have a more secure unlocking feature. When these features are out for iOS devices, I am ready to see what is next from Android.
Over the last couple of years, the partnership between Windows and Android is becoming something magical. This is Microsoft’s vision for the Windows Phone OS, but that didn’t pan out too well for them. However, with Android being the saving grace and fleshing out the ecosystem for both OS, it better competes with the near-seamless integration that Apple presents in its ecosystem.
Texting from my Windows machine, utilizing Android apps, playing and stream games have been enticing lately. This partnership keeps growing and expanding, and with me being a huge gamer, the Apple ecosystem looks less enticing more and more.
What’s keeping me from switching
I live in the country, and Verizon is my carrier, so my signal at home is pretty bad, so texting my friends, mainly iPhone users, is a smooth process. We can send video messages without worrying about them being low quality and create cohesive group messages. iMessage is such a great experience that it is almost enough to keep me from switching to Android. That experience is top-notch; however, if Apple ever decides to adopt RCS messaging, this will become easier for me.
My other Apple products
I own an iPad Pro and Macbook Pro, and they all work so well together. I know I mentioned previously that the Android and Windows partnership is trying to become what Apple already has, but some kinks still need to be worked out. Apple has the perfect garden, and I keep getting pulled in more and more for some reason. This cross-device compatibility is not found anywhere else, which is something that Apple should be proud of.
Yes, I can get rid of my iPhone and still use my iPad and Macbook, but why would I want to not have the phone tied in since it is my most used device? Then there is Airdrop to other Apple users and my other Apple devices. For example, being a videographer, I typically go to my cousin to share videos of our most recent project via Airdrop when we are around each other. Furthermore, sending files from one device to the other for social media posting makes things so easy. Fewer cables, less hassle, is my moniker, and Apple understands that.
Apple does a better job at supporting older phones with the latest updates, whereas with Android, you may or may not get the update depending on the manufacturer of that device. This can be a nuisance in the long run because I am almost “phoned out,” and I am over-purchasing phones yearly or even every two years. So to know that my device can be supported years down the road is fantastic; I have an iPhone 7 Plus as a backup.
Apple does a great job of ensuring that creatives have a fantastic experience with their devices and great software to complement it. Being a videographer and even utilizing my phone’s camera, Apple does a great job ensuring that people like me have a slew of features that will make the experience great. For instance, I love to quickly edit videos in Luma Fusion which is only available on iOS devices, and Android does not have anything even remotely as extraordinary as that app for video creation.
Will I make the switch
I am still hesitant about making the switch again; granted, this would not be the first time doing this, but I want to ensure that this does not interrupt my workflow drastically. I’ve been thinking about this for the last couple of weeks since the announcement of the Google Pixel 6, and the phone has genuinely been calling my name. However, the plan may be to add a line on my Verizon account and just have two phones to get the best of both worlds.