I was an Android user since October 22nd 2009 and as of April 12th 2013, this all changed. Apple has slowly worked its way into my life, to the point where now nearly every gadget I own is Apple branded. I love it, but I didn’t always feel this way. I was a Windows using, Apple hating, Android Fanboy and I was proud of it.But it all changed when I took a job in Graphic design and began using a Mac and bought a used white Macbook for my personal use to get familiar with OS X. I fell In love and soon after bought a brand new Macbook Pro and later after that, sold my Android tablet and purchased an iPad. There was just one more piece of the Apple puzzle I was missing….the iPhone.
This all changed when T-Mobile finally announced they would begin selling it. I love T-Mobile’s service in Cincinnati and couldn’t leave it and also found myself pretty aligned with the Android ecosystem and operating system. For almost 5 years, I resisted the urge of iPhone and purchased well over 15 Android devices, on my search for the perfect one. As it turns out, the perfect device was the one I never considered: The iPhone 5.
I’ve been using it for about a week now and many rabid Android fanboys told me I’d be back to my Nexus 4 in a week. But thats just not the case, in Fact, Just 2 days after owning the iPhone, I sold my Nexus 4 and my wife’s Galaxy Nexus in one fell swoop. I was sad that I was selling an Android device with out replacing it with a newer device like I did so many times in the last 5 years. I’m not sad because I’ll miss the greatness of Android but rather just because I believed in the platform far longer than a lot of people did. I remember trying to convince everyone that the T-Mobile G1 wasn’t ugly and that Android was functionally better than iOS, but looking back, the iPhone 3G was a far superior device.
So what made me change? Well its not about what Android lacks but rather what iOS has gained that really pushed me towards the platform. It doesn’t hurt that I use a Mac at both home and work and my wife uses an iPad as her only computing device (outside of iPhone). iOS has always been more appealing to my eyes than Android and while Android has continually gotten faster and smoother over time, it still lacks the polish of iOS. 3 or 4 years ago, I couldn’t even consider the iPhone. The Notification system was horrible. The Gmail experience was sub par. The maps app lacked turn by turn and early on it lacked any type of copy and paste. Fast forward to 2013 and Apple has implemented all of these key elements to its iOS feature set.
I believe iOS and Android are very much on par feature wise. There is very little you can’t do on either platform. So when 2 competing platforms reach feature maturity, the choice is now between execution and ecosystem. In terms of ecosystem, Android is still trailing behind iOS even though it has more overall sales. Developers still target iOS first and not only that, but they seem to make their apps more beautiful and reliable on iOS (a huge benefit of high competition and a curated app store). Also in terms of 3rd party hardware, because Apple makes just 1 phone a year, the iPhone has much larger selection of cases and accessories than any single Android phone. Stats show that while Android leads in terms of sales, iOS leads in usage and iOS are more likely to spend money on apps than Android users. For those reasons alone, iOS will remain the top choice of developers.
But most of all, choosing iPhone and iOS over Android has been made easy because of the other technology I use thats not a phone. Things like Photo Stream and Airplay, are all huge benefits of going with the iPhone because I already owns Mac’s and Apple TVs. So its not always about the phone itself, but rather how it works with world around you. And with that said, I still am very much a Google products user. I use Gmail exclusively (minus work mail) and Google holds all my contacts and calendar events as well as my photos and important files. But the thing is, with iPhone, I get the benefits of an All Apple ecosystem AND I still get the software benefits of being a Gmail user. Sure I miss Google Now but Siri has been just fine. And while the Gmail App is not as good on iOS, I happen to love managing my mail with Mailbox now. And Google Maps for iOS is very much feature complete and I have no complaints.
iOS gives me the power of google services and the beauty, simplicity and cohesiveness of Apple hardware. So good bye Android… it was fun while it lasted, but its me not you. :)