Heretofore Apple-oriented tech pundit Andy Ihnatko reports that about a month and a half ago he walked into an AT&T Store, handed over his iPhone 4S, and traded up to a Samsung Galaxy.
He’s been an iPhone user since the first-generation iPhone, but says he wanted more than the ability to stream Netflix 24/7… something that hadn’t existed during his five years as an iPhone owner.
What changed? “Android got great,” says Ihnatko. “The OS got great, and the hardware got great…. Time after time last year, I’d pack up and send back another flagship Android phone, switch back to my iPhone exclusively, and spend the following few weeks missing a great feature of the Android phone’s hardware or OS that I’d come to rely on during my testing.
“And so, by the end of the year, the idea of continuing to use an iPhone exclusively, or even as my primary phone, was no longer appealing. That’s why I willingly parted with my unlimited data plan. On my new LTE plan, I can swap my iPhone’s SIM with other phones and get the high speeds all of the other digital features of the AT&T network.
“In 2007, I switched to the iPhone because it was way better than the Windows Mobile device I was using at the time,” he says, “I would say: ‘If someday in the future somebody makes a phone and an OS that’s a better fit for me and my peculiar needs than the iPhone, I’ll make the exact same choice.’
“That day has come….”
What’s better? Notable examples:
• Better keyboards – “I find that typing on an Android device is faster and much less annoying than typing on my iPhone. It’s not even close.”
• A large screen, for real
In Android, he explains, apps hand off to one another. In Apple’s iOS, they struggle to escape their sandboxes. He notes that getting stuff done with a phone is muchly about moving information between multiple apps, and most of the things he does with a phone involve using one app to obtain a scrap of data, and then pushing it into another app to work on it a bit, and then sending or sharing it using a third app [Note: ditto for many of us using iPads. CM], and almost anything that involves one app working with another app is much, much easier on an Android device than on an iOS device.
Ihnatko says his heart breaks a little whenever he tries to do these sorts of things on his iPad, finding himself wishing he had encountered that page while on his Android device, where this task is simple, instead of the iPad, where it’s needlessly difficult, and he doesn’t want to contemplate that phrase. Ever.
He notes that an iPhone (or iPad) would be so much easier to use, so much more valuable, and so much less clumsy to me if their apps could work together instead of working in strict isolation. Every time he wants to move a bit of data outside of its original sandbox, its a pain point.
Thjen there’s customization. If he doesn’t like the way Android works he can look online for solutions, and usually find a way to change it. With iOS devices it’s Apple’s way or the doorway, and while often the iPhone and iOS feel like the clothing styles available at Walmart – good, or even just acceptable for a very wide range of consumers, but he wants something thats going to be excellent, for him, and Android has a consistent core philosophy that he finds instinctively compelling.
Android offers choice, choice, choice, the backside of Apple’s control, control, control.