I have been the owner or user of various Apple hardware for around 8 or so years now. The first one was an iPod nano. Sure, it was small (4GB), but it was an introduction into the world of Apple hardware.
When the iPhone first came out, I wasn’t sure about it, but oddly, there was a feature that I loved about it, how it would make the numbers look correct when you entered an international number. But it wasn’t until it was mentioned to me that the iPhone was a thing of awesome that I decided to jump ahead in Apple technology. To the iPod Touch, which I still have and it still works.
Moving ahead to July, 2010 and I decided that it was time to get a proper mobile phone after 5-1/2 years of using various flip phones, so I bought the iPhone 3GS (a decision made on the merits of cost, since it was half the price of the iPhone 4 at that time, plus I had to pay a $125 deposit to the mobile phone company). I put tons of miles on that phone – it went with me to Michigan, almost to Canada, Australia, Hawaii and at least once down to Illinois.
I also picked up an iPad 2 in 2012 for free (thanks to my work’s rewards program!), which has been passed along to my mom for her to use. The reason? I bought myself an iPad Air earlier this year (thanks to a combination of Costco rewards and gift cards from work).
In 2013, I had to give up on the phone (despite it having lost the ability to make noise some months earlier and the vibration function had totally given up!). Why did I give up on the phone? There was an incident…
I think that’s a good enough reason 😉
Well, that and the offer I got from Best Buy just about the same time – buy a new iPhone 5 online and get $50 back. I’ll just leave it here to say that the ordering of the phone and the actual retrieving of said phone were two different things. The email said that it shouldn’t take more than 45 minutes. It took more like 2 days, and two different trips to Mayfair Mall to get the new phone.
I was so shocked at how fast the phone was right out of the box! Not only was it an improvement of three generations of phones (having skipped over the 4 and 4S), I had access to the LTE Network for AT&T, which gave a speed test result of something like 2x as fast as my home wifi!
Now that my iPhone 5 (well the new iPhone 5 that I just got a couple of weekends ago due to another incident not related to dropping it on concrete…check this one out –
Yeah, that doesn’t look right, so I googled and found out that this is related to a battery bulging problem, and Apple are replacing the phones if it’s confirmed to be the case. So, a trip to the Apple Store later and a visit to the Genius bar (which they didn’t seem too much like geniuses considering that they were having issues removing covers from iPhone 6S Plusses ;)), they told me that I would get a new phone, but I’d have to wait…on the Saturday it was ready and I picked it up.
The other side
So, let’s go on a parallel track; let’s say a parallel world where there were no Apple products. Such a world exists and I’ve dabbled in that world a couple of times. The first was when I was in Australia…it was a gift for my trip back to the ‘States, and the expectation was set that there were some issues with it – Wifi didn’t work, and it was very wonky, especially when it came to powering on and off. The latter was certainly true, but to all of our surprise, the wifi did work on it You can check out this tablet (prior to it having been upgraded to a proper version of Android) –
Unfortunately, the wonkiness of the tablet led to it falling into disuse after a short while since it would stop holding a charge, which was disappointing, because it was quite handy to me for reading at night. Its only downsides were that it was not terribly portable (mostly due to not being able to hold the charge) and that the screen wasn’t very responsive to my touching at all.
So that led me to actually go out and buy a Nextbook 7S tablet from Big Lots. This was a small improvement over the original tablet in that it did work…at first, but I still had issues with the tablet. Namely, the fact that since the touchscreen was resistive, you had to press really hard on the screen for it to respond. That is, when the screen actually would recognise your inputs as it would constantly lose its calibration, and even when pressing the calibration targets, you would have to do it numerous times to work correctly.
That was a major component of the decision to pick up the iPad since I had already had my iPhone for 2 years at that time and was accustomed to the ease of use of the Apple Products.
Where to from here?
If you read this far, you’d think that I am completely against Android products due to poor experiences with previous products. For a while, that was right, but as time has moved along, I’ve seen how things are going with Android – especially with the products from Samsung.
No doubt this is influenced by the fact that I have heard nothing but good things about Samsung phones and tablets from Snoskred (since it was her who told me about the awesomeness of the iPhone in the first place), who came to me as a surprise having bought a Galaxy phone about 2 years ago. I will note here that I was at first disappointed because of losing some communication functionality, but that was quickly resolved with a link to KakaoTalk and Google Hangouts.
So, it led me to thinking – what services or apps are there that I use which are iPhone only, and I came up with only two so far –
- Overcast – This has become my podcast player of choice since hearing about it on the Hello Internet podcast. The major reason that I use if is its feature called “Smart Speed” – where it will cut out the silences in a podcast. Since installation, it’s saved me somewhere over 15 hours of time in listening to podcasts. As far as I know, there isn’t anything similar on Android (though this can be compensated for by going with a faster playback, like 1.25x speed)
- Solebon Solitaire – This is one of the few games that I play on my iPhone right now, and it’s not available on Android. However, there are plenty of other solitaire options available on Google Play, so I’m sure that I could find one to suit me 😉
There was a third one, the OlloClip, but as it turns out, they are making units for the Galaxy range as well – at least for the S4 and the S5
Yes, I did just get a “new” iPhone, but let’s face it…this is a phone that is using three-year-old technology. I’ve found it being quite finicky in its use lately (e.g. when I’m swiping pages, it will stick sometimes, plus I have quite a few crashes…not to mention the issues that I have with Chrome). For me, it’s about time for an upgrade…so I looked more at the options.
In comparing the iPhone 6S ($199.00 on contract–don’t get me started on these “pay as you go” plans like AT&T’s Next), the Samsung Galaxy S5 ($0) and Galaxy S6 ($129.99) objectively (i.e. not looking at the software), I get this list of advantages for the iPhone (even if you look at the 6S plus which is $100 more) –
None, really. Consider this – the base model of the S6, despite being $70 cheaper (just the same off contract…$649 for the iPhone vs $584 for the S6) has twice the storage, 1.5x the RAM, better display (1440p vs just over 720p in a similar sized frame, 1080p for the 6S plus), better camera…oh, and it’s lighter (it’s almost lighter than air! I checked one out at my local Best Buy the other day…it was quite an amazing feeling!).
There’s also the OnePlus X that’s being released this month at $249 unlocked without contract, which I like since it’s a one-and-done transaction–just buy it, activate it on the AT&T Network (even just plug the SIM card and MicroSD in and go). Bizarrely, this phone actually has an FM radio included in it which piques my interest
So, the real question is, with the variety of phones out there that have better specs than the iPhone, why not switch? I already use Google Music for my music, have Dropbox, Box, and multiple Google Drive accounts where I can store my photos (I don’t use iCloud’s photo stream…there was a small incident where I wound up using my data when it was uploading through my mobile hotspot) and with the exception of the two apps above (and the Olloclip), everything else that I use is available on Android…
All I’ll say is I’m watching for deals, and watch this space.. 😉