The Twitter Hashtag #firstworldproblems is very apt here. My two year contract with my mobile operator O2 ran out in the summer. I of course waited for the iPhone 5 to be launched to upgrade, like I have done for the last two times. However, something then threw a spanner in the works; I started to like Android.
When we got the Google Nexus 7, I was interested to see what Android OS was like, having never used it. After playing with it for a couple of weeks, I started to see the system for what it was: integrated, open and fast.
Having used iOS for the last four years, which in comparison is quite a closed system, I loved the freedom. But it wasn’t going to stop me from upgrading to the iPhone 5, as Apple have tended to make a big upgrade every two years (which is why I was always happy to sign a 2 year contract).
I was excited when Apple introduced their Keynote for the iPhone 5. I stayed away from twitter, the news and anything that would remotely tell me about the upgrade to the iPhone. I watched it the next day in the train on the way to Crewe for a friends wedding (looking very business like with my bluetooth headset and posh phone). I have to say, I wasn’t blown away, as I usually am. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a nice update, but nothing amazing (like the change from iPhone 3G to iPhone 4 was). Obviously the half inch of extra screen real-estate will make a nice difference, the addition (for me) of Siri will be a nice touch and there is a nice improvement to the camera, but that is really it. If my contract wasn’t up, or my phone wasn’t slow and had a sticky button, I wouldn’t really be bothered about upgrading.
I downloaded iOS this week, and again, I’m not amazed. The main feature I like is the “Don’t disturb” feature, which will stop all calls from ringing at night, unless it’s called back within 3 minutes. Passbooks won’t be much of addition to me, I don’t really go to concerts much, I don’t go to sports events or get on a plane all that often (that is if any company in UK/Europe decides to integrate it). The less said about Apple’s complete cock-up with their new maps app, the better. Yes, you can report errors, which is just as well, and every new major software has it’s hiccups, but to me this shows the loss of Steve Jobs. I can’t imagine Mr Jobs would let iOS maps see the light of day with satellite images of heavy cloud, directions that will take you off a bridge or locations of shops in the middle of a river. If this is how Apple is going to be with the loss of Steve Jobs, I’m not interested. Fingers crossed it’s just a blip.
So my geek-mind turned to alternatives. Windows phone? Stupid question. Next up was Android. There are so many phones out there with Android it’s no wonder they have the highest market share. But I still had issues with switching to Android. Other than the Nexus 7, I’d never tried Android. Sure it works on a tablet, but what about a phone? There was only one way to find out. I went in to the local shops and tried them out. I had my eye on the Samsung Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note II. One because it was the most popular and therefore most recommended. The other because I like the idea of the S-Pen and big screen. With my aching hands and possibility of the CRPS spreading, a bigger screen with big keyboard seemed like a good idea. Plus they are both ready for 4G.
I spoke to a previous colleague who had recently made the same jump from Apple to Android. Did he have any concerns, regrets, things he missed?
-“Best thing I’ve done!” came the answer. Promising, but only one friend’s answer.
My biggest concern is that I have everything tied up in my iMac like Photos, contacts, Music, Videos, Calendars. When we got the Nexus, I made an effort to swap from iCal to Google Cal. A couple of hiccups on the Mac, but they eventually played nice. But I never moved any music (other than one MP3 to test the speaker). Would I have to go back to phone and iPod situation? Another quick Google search and playing with a demo in the shop showed not. Samsung use an app called Easy Phone Sync which will transfer contacts, music, movies, photo’s and messages between Mac and Phone. I was quite happy to see this.
Pros for iPhone:
Already have everything set up (Apps, Music, Photos, Podcasts, Contacts).
Know how the OS works.
Lot’s of apps.
Nothing major improved other than screen.
Maps broken (albeit at the moment).
Popular and a long wait.
Brand new connector making all accessories obsolete.
Pros for Android:
Rough idea how it works.
Feature rich and open.
Good apps, many free.
Still works with iMac.
Charges with Micro USB.
Expandable memory for reasonable prices with MicroSD.
Completely different system.
Very strange way of releasing new OS updates.
Can be more susceptible to bugs
Hmm, the maths speaks for itself.