In one of my recent posts I wrote that I really dislike Android. That is not really true and I felt after writing that post that I need to clarify my statement a bit further. Hopefully this won’t be a really long 2000 word post, but I can’t promise anything here. Ok, here we go!
I’ve been an android user since 2010 or so. After having an iPhone 3GS I sort of left and never looked back and I’ve been a happy android user for many years. While that might not be the case as of now, it has been a fun ride and I am sad that I feel the way I do about android these days. I wish I could just ignore these feelings and continue being a happy customer, but I can’t. Not any more, and all of my readers that actually care about my posts know all about it by now.
To sum it up, I like (or rather love) Android for what it is in itself. It’s a mobile Operating System that is open source, flexible and very customisable. With Android you can go naked, or Vanilla (aka pure Android) or with a bazillion other features if you go with Samsung for example. Or just Android with the double amounts of apps for the same thing. No matter what, you have a lot of choices and that’s a good thing. There’s a phone for every wallet. Maybe even a perfect phone for everybody? Android as an OS is awesome and I’d probably prefer to keep using it, but here’s the catch:
From all of you who’ve read all my posts about Apple, privacy concerns, Google I/O and also all the fuckups from Google that’s been done for the past years etc. you know what I mean. Android is not what it used to be and I think that’s sad. Although, even though it was not mentioned at all in the Keynote for Google I/O, Android P will enhance many features regarding security and privacy, but from what I’ve learned – I do not trust Google anymore, and therefor I can’t trust Android either. Yeah, Android P might enhance your privacy, and that’s great, but Google as a company still thrives and lives off of your personal data and with all the AI and Machine Learning (ML) they’ve started focusing on, I do not believe that the Android experience will be a lot better, probably only worse. However, if iOS does this better than Android is for me hard to tell, because I haven’t used my iPhone SE for that long. I use a mac mini (late 2012 version) as of now and I play around with a 5+ year old iPad mini 2, and that alone has not taught me the differences regarding privacy and AI/ML stuff. All I know from that is that I really like macOS and that iOS might be limiting, but it’s reliable and have a bunch of nifty features I wish Android would have. The only thing that feels weird when it comes to iOS vs Android is I now have to use the home button and the apps are not placed like they were in my last Android phones, so that makes it a tiny bit harder to find the apps faster, but I’ll get used to that! There are also a lot of hacks and workarounds to get iOS more pleasant, but I’ve figured out most of them for my personal use. Most of them have to do with custom ringtones.
There is also the whole thing about stability that also makes me wanna sway away from Android. The Nexus line from Google is no more. The Pixel phones do not sell officially in Sweden. Samsung puts mainly garbage on their phones and other have their skin on top of Android. If I would have stayed an Android user I’d firstly try out the One Plus 6, since that seem to be the closest reliable phone you could get in the Android world. It would be awesome to have the best of both worlds, a reliable Android phone that lasts like it’s new for like 3+ years, instead of me feeling like the phone needs an upgrade after like a year. The reason why I say that is because of experience. And because I love technology 😉.
Android phones lag, stutters, slows down, crashes, become unresponsive etc and that’s something that usually happens within the first year of purchase. Usually as well, there are no updates to fix the issues. No, its better to just buy a new phone! Not all customers might experience this, but it’s really common. Or they do, but learn to live with it and accept it, or do not realise that it’s a problem. From what I’ve come to learn about iOS devices, that does not really happen, until many years more and then Apple slows down the devices in order to save the batteries. With iOS 12, they’ll probably fix that problem as well and older devices will become a lot snappier again. Also my iPhone SE works a whole lot better than my Lenovo P2, but the battery life sucks when I use it. It’s great on stand-by, but otherwise I’d probably have to charge it twice a day with my usage. That’s also due to me normally starting to panic when I get closer to 50% battery during the day and there’s like 6+ hours until bedtime. I know I don’t have to charge the phone, probably but I most likely do that anyways since I really don’t like it when the battery status is too low.
That brings us to updates and manufacturers of Android devices care of their consumers. Only 6% of android devices have the latest upgraded version of the OS, which is Android Oreo 8. That version was released last fall. That’s mind boggling and I find it absurd that it’s like that low if you go with a more open platform. For iOS devices, it’s basically always been at least 75% of all users within a few months of the release. As of may 31st, 81% of devices run iOS 11. That’s amazing!
And now for the main part – customisation. iOS is known for being limited, hard to customise, but I see it a bit differently from what I’ve learned and tried out for the past week or so. Yes, some things with iOS is really limiting, like how hard it is to change ringtones for certain apps, but in general I have come to believe that the way you customise iOS are in many ways a lot more cooler than the way you can do it with Android. Yes, in Android, you can put the icons where ever you want on the home screen, put them in folders etc. You choose backgrounds and it’s easy to get a custom ringtone for basically every app on your phone. But, where it could matter more is how your phone looks on the outside. Now, unless you have a Samsung phone, your phone is most likely black and boring and looks like every other android device out there. For Samsung phones, it’s easy to get great looking accessories to make your phone shine and look cool. My last android was a “never-even-heard-of” Lenovo P2 phone, so finding a case I liked was really hard. I had to buy one on eBay and wait for weeks to get it and it was not even available in the colour I wanted. That’s because I live in Sweden, and eBay is not available here officially. I also haven’t found a single website online where I could safely create a custom case with a photo or image of my own choice. No, you need a way more popular android phone for that. At least d-brand offers skins for the OP6, but that’s not enough, at least not for me. However, I’m fully aware that there were so called wallet cases for my Lenovo P2, but my sister in law bought one for her phone (she has the same android as my last one). I tried to put that gigantic wallet case in my pocket and found it to be very uncomfortable. Also I am not that interested of replacing a real wallet with a wallet case that also contains my phone. If I’d drop it, I’d also lose my phone in the process. That would not be a good thing.
There’s also the learning curve. iOS is really simple and intuitive, and I’m blown away by the ecosystem. It’s absolutely amazing how seamless everything is! Before I started to play around with the iPad during the fall of 2017, I thought that the simplicity made iOS also way more complicated than it needs to be. From what I’ve learned and now know, I’ve almost come to prefer iOS over Android, because no matter what device – I know where to find all the settings. For every Android device, it’s always different. I feel sorry for all those non-techy people that have no clue on where to handle their phones. With iOS it’s a simple process and switching to a new iPhone is almost too easy. Especially if you keep a backup in iCloud, because then you could get the exact same setup on the new device as you had on your old one. That’s cool! Not to mention useful. That’s why I prefer to use the Google Now launcher, even though I’ve been using the Evie Launcher for a month or so. when I was still using Android, that is. I prefer Google Now, over Evie, but it’s a little bit better for privacy at least. It was also extremely easy to switch from Android to iOS with the special app, that Apple provides for Android users.
All and all, I like Android for what it is, but I am now an iOS user and I have no plans whatsoever to ever go back willingly. I hope that my iPhone SE will last me at least two years as well.
Also, you should know that I wrote this post several days before posting it, and then I saw this video on YouTube, which basically sums up all my current thoughts about Android in a few minutes. Please watch!
What are your thoughts on Android vs iOS? Leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts!