My Android experiment is over, back to the iPhone

3 months in and I am done in by hardware failure — I dropped the LG G2, not very much of a drop, and got a nice transverse screen crack that completely disabled touch detection. The device is basically useless. Faced with a need to upgrade, I reverted back to iOS-land and got an iphone 5s.

my net impressions on my return:

  • Again, if an Android phone is your first smartphone, you will be happy. Nice big screen, good battery life, lots of apps.
  • The iphone screen seems positively puny now and I really wish the iphone was a little bigger. and the battery is correspondingly smaller, pretty sure I will struggle with battery life again. I would be a fan of a bigger iphone.
  • however I have dropped iphones a kajillion times, and they have come away with a lot of corner dings but nothing worse. one drop of my lg and it is trash. 🙁
  • the wideopen nature of android is appealing and I really liked getting widgetized content right on the screen. however the android community is not using this wideopen nature to best effect — the oems and carriers jam all kinds of redundant garbage on the phone, and the launchers and customizing apps can leave your phone a mess, as can app installs.
  • the iphone homescreen and shell seems old and static by comparison.
  • software fit and finish on the iphone is just SO much better. better touch detection. higher typing accuracy. nicer looking dialogs. fewer clicks to do almost everything.
  • and of course the iphone retail experience at an apple store is 10000x better than buying android at retail. I was in and out of apple store in 5 minutes despite a huge crowd. I did go to the att store first to look at possibly an android replacement and despite a much smaller crowd, had to wait 20 minutes. the att staff (or customers) insist on walking through activation there, and of course the att reps also insist on explaining the fractal set of voice/data plans that att offers. the rep tried to convince me that my best option was to add a second line to my account for $30 more a month, so for just a minimum $720 2 year total commitment they would give me some device for free! That sounds great! Give me the undercoating too!

basically my advice is — if you can afford an iphone, you will probably be happier in the long run. tho the android experience is still a good experience.

4 thoughts to “My Android experiment is over, back to the iPhone”

  1. Unlike you, I think the “widgets” in Android are actually a bad idea. I have never been a fan of “over customization”. The widgets and over customization of Android makes it feel cheap and low quality. I actually like the Apple experience of closing the ecosystem and the control they have over the home screen and other parts of the experience.

  2. I am awaiting the arrival of a Nexus 5 with latest OS. I look forward to putting it through its paces.

  3. The problem is that apple is too closed to really useful ideas. For instance, I would like to have a phone that makes it super easy to text or call my spouse and children. Android, via a Widget, and Windows Phone both let me put my favorite contacts right on the home screen and I have fast access to calling or texting them. iOS treats them like every other contact, they are no easier to text than the electrician who worked on my house 5 years ago. I might also like to have right on my home screen college football scores since I use my phone for that a lot. iOS uses up all that valuable homescreen for an array of generic app icons, not a lot of design leadership here from Apple. I certainly agree that the wild west approach of Android results in some crappy experiences, but that wild west approach also encourages experimentation and sometimes really good ideas arise.

  4. I also like the Swype-like keyboard entry on my Moto X. And the bigger screen. The iPhone 5s feels quaint and overly restricted. But also more polished overall. Still too many loose ends and seams in Android.

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