Readers of this site are well versed in my rants and raves about all things Apple—namely the iPhone and its iOS software, but all things come to an end at some point. For me, that point has arrived. I’ve been using an iPhone ever since it came out in 2007 for two reasons. One, because I’ve always been an AT&T customer and two, because it was the only phone at the time that really blurred the lines between computer functions and telephone features. And much like other Apple users (you may call them fanboys or fangirls), I kept using the device. New and faster phones came and went, 3G was added, new features “invented”, competitors failed.
At the time, I was not interested in anything but Apple. I can’t be blamed though…it’s a fact that for a few years there, nothing could touch the iPhone. But today, all that’s changed. While iPhone users will tout that their phone is the greatest in all the land, Android users have fun at pinpointing exactly what it is that their phones can do that iPhones can’t. For the longest time, I was one of the fanboys bitterly defending iPhone to the last breath, but then something just snapped one day… (Continue to my blog)
10 Reasons to switch to Android
Whenever I speak to people about the “switch”, the first thing they say is how much they love iPhone and how they don’t need to switch because iPhone does everything. I expect this because I was once in that camp. However, I’ve come up with 10 reasons that made me want to switch.
- Hardware – iOS has one device (counting phones only). You get what they have and that’s it. If you don’t like the look or the specs, too bad. However, Android is on many different devices, so you get to choose what phone you want based on your real life preferences (and your wallet). Just on AT&T alone, there are 21 phones that run Android!
- Customizations – With iOS, you’re completely stuck with the general layout of the phone. Of course you can change your background image and some other visuals, but with Android you can have fully functional widgets that are actually useful. You can change fonts and sizes, colors, etc.
- Functionality – Both operating systems are great, but Android excels at functionality with things like automation (tell your phone what to do and when to do it), custom app launchers (used to change how the home screens look and operate), remote control (use your phone through your computer) and let’s not forget that Android can play Flash videos. See more things that iPhone can’t do at LifeHacker.
- Multitasking – While both systems offer it, Android manages apps much better. On iOS, you have to double-click the home button and close each app one by one, whereas on Android, there’s a full-featured task manager. You can exit all apps with the click of one button.
- Screen size – This is more of a comparison between devices, but almost all Android devices have a larger screen than iPhone. You don’t even notice how small iPhone is until you’ve used an Android device for about 2 days. It’s actually hard to go back!
- 4G – Although iPhone 4S appears to be on par with HSPA+ (still not 4G) speeds, it’s not a 4G phone and this is one area where Android devices can really excel. Of course there are 3G Androids available as well, but there aren’t any 4G iPhones as of yet!
- Photos – This comparison isn’t between cameras since all devices are relatively equal. However, where Android excels in this area is with image controls. On an Android device, you can find many camera settings that rival those of high-end SLR cameras. These settings can be used before or after taking a photo.
- Apps – There was a time where Apple was king of the hill in the app world, but Android has certainly caught up with both quantity and quality of apps and games available. You’d be hardpressed to find an app on Apple that doesn’t have an Android counterpart. That is unless you’re using Instagram.
- Storage – With iPhone, you have 3 storage options and must pay dearly for the larger upgrades. On Android devices, you can easily add a microSD card to increase your storage for relatively cheap.
- File System – There’s no usable file system on iOS. You can’t create folders to save documents in. You can’t go into the system and make changes to things. In fact, to get anything off your iOS device, you need iTunes and even then, the task can be annoying. On Android, all you need is a USB cable. You can use your Android device as external storage. When combined with software like Dropbox, you don’t even need that USB cable!
Just for fun, check out which types of people use iOS and Android!
My two cents
In addition to the above list, I’ll say that the main motivating factor for me to switch was seeing how awesome the Android 4.0 software is. Another great feature of Android devices is the ability to install custom ROMs and software that utilize many features that aren’t always available on stock phones. You can customize to the hilt and when you’re done, you will no longer have a cookie-cutter device that looks like everyone else’s. For the first time, the word “customized” won’t mean that you just re-arranged your home screen.
There are naysayers of course who feel that Android was ripped off of iOS in its early days and Steve Jobs was one of them when he said this to biographer Walter Isaacson:
“I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong. I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.”
So far, I’m about a week into my new Android phone which happens to be a Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket (say that three times fast) and I love everything about it! This will likely get sold as soon as the Galaxy S III is released, but for now it is an amazing little device and super fast. And while iPhone is also a really nice phone, I couldn’t see myself going back to it unless Apple starts releasing 4G iPhones that allow more Android-like features.