You might have guessed that I’m a huge fan of Apple products (but not a fanboy, mind you), and I’ve always admired the Apple ecosystem. I cannot get tired of appreciating Apple products’ hardware for the superb build quality and looks. On the other hand, Apple’s OS has also been a pleasure to work with, whether it’s Mac OS X or i0S. Overall, I’ve always been satisfied with every Apple product I’ve ever used.
I’ve been using the iPhone for a long time, and it makes sense because it was love at first sight. Even when Android phones started appearing in the market, I stuck with the iPhone because they simply weren’t worth it (in my opinion). It was funny to see that even the first iPhone (iPhone 2G) outperformed the newer Android phones. But things started changing.
The folks at Google refined Android and made it even better by improving the user interface as well as the user experience. And when Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) came out, it struck my fancy. It was pretty cool, I had to admit. I wanted a change in the ecosystem, and Google did just that. For Apple, probably the focus was on keeping user interface and hardware consistent throughout, while adding more and more features to improve the user experience. I know there’s a valid reason why Apple has done that, but I needed change… Quite recently, I felt I was finally left with two options — to make the big switch to Android, or to get the iPhone 5 for a slight change. And since there were a lot of good Android phones available, I decided to go for it.
I loved the look and feel of stock Android, so I got a Nexus phone. More specifically, it’s a Samsung Galaxy Nexus. The special thing about Nexus devices is that they run Android in its pure form, unlike the skinned (and rather crippled and bloated) version that manufacturers ship on their phones (for example, Sense in HTC, TouchWiz in Samsung, etc). I must say I’m quite impressed by stock Android. It feels good to change, but since I’m new to it, there are some woes alongside the wows. Although I’ve used Android phones for reviewing particular features of the OS, I’ve never owned one. So I knew I had to get used to it for the sake of properly using it.
First things first: it took me a long time to get used to something non-iPhonish. More specifically, I’ve used the same 3.5-inch iPhone for such a long time, and now this 4.65-inch phone feels like an alien object. Soon, I realized that it’s what Android users boast about – now when I pick up my iPhone, it feels like a very small phone. Perfect indication that I have gotten accustomed to the bigger screen. But then I was diagnosed with iPhone button syndrome. What that means is that I subconsciously hit the top of the phone and the bottom of the screen of my new phone (there are no buttons on the top or on the bottom of the screen as in the iPhone). Just like everything else, it took a while to recover from that.
Next, I don’t know if this is my fault or what, but I was so used to the unified Settings interface in iPhone that I couldn’t understand why every single app on Android has its own settings. It gets quite confusing at times. There are so many minor things that feel odd, and now I feel that those were the real valuable features of iOS that I simply didn’t care about. As I always say, Apple pays a lot of attention to detail in everything it makes, and the same can be felt for iOS after switching to Android.
But there aren’t just problems with my transition to a different OS. There were pleasing surprises as well, like things that I didn’t find in iOS. I found something that impressed me the most — Google Play. I already knew how it worked: I reviewed it as soon as it was released. But when I used it in person, it was a totally different experience. Imagine never having to pick up your phone for degree of customization is unbelievable. I can totally change the look of my phone based on my liking. Or if I get bored of the OS, or if the phone becomes too obsolete for the latest version of Android, I can simply flash a new ROM. Possibilities are unlimited here!
So far, so good. I’m starting to like it for the flexibility and the openness. At the same time, I’m missing the perfection and intuitive interface of iPhone and iOS. Don’t get me wrong. I was an Apple fan, and I’ve switched to Android: loving it though, but that doesn’t make me a fandroid (or an Apple hater) either. Each platform has its own pros and cons, no single product can be the best. As a tech geek, I love every piece of technology that manages to impress me. Let’s see how long I manage to stick to it, and when my next phone upgrade will take place. Will it be a Windows Phone, a BlackBerry, or an iPhone? Only time will tell.