Size doesn't matter: how the iPhone won me back through a lag-free keyboard


8 months ago, I upgraded from an iPod touch and Palm Pre combo (get some fries with that) to a Samsung Galaxy S3. It was white, shiny, beautiful and fast. For the first month.

I went into Android super excited. Lag wasn't a problem, surely.

After that first month, Android became some sort of Windows Vista hell, where it was fast for the first few weeks, then the keyboard would start to grind to a halt. The keyboard! And none of the third-party alternative keyboards fixed something as simple as a keyboard. Apps were slow too, the browser, 'Internet', as Samsung so subtly calls it, and Chrome ran like garbage. The camera app was slow and couldn't compare to the speed of my webOS camera. Sounds like a joke, or a troll, but it wasn't for me. The Falcon Pro Twitter app was my only always fast Android experience, but even it was plauged by a slow keyboard. And I'm not talking about milliseconds of lag, but a core experience of a phone, the bloody keyboard, working like something from 2005.

It was probably TouchWiz, but it has left a bad taste in my mouth for Android in general. How can a flagship phone, with such positive reviews, be this, to be frank, shit. People can argue with me until the cows come home that Android works for them, or even that Samsung makes nice phones, but their software experience isn't just ugly, or dumb, but just plain horrible. A brand new, top of the line, device was slower than my old iPod touch. Everytime I'd reset it, only a few weeks of rest would come out of it. Then sluggish everything all over again.

So I just wanted to write this because I downgraded my screen-size, and 'downgraded' to iOS. But in reality, the top of the line (at the time) Android device was a piece of garbage, and my new iPhone 5, while having horrible notifications, horrible integration and a closed-ecosystem, still has better apps, better UX and a keyboard that works. And the app ecosystem, which many will tell you isn't important to them, really makes the world of difference.

I miss certain things from Android, but TouchWiz was all kinds of slow. And it's a real shame that Nexus devices aren't as widespread. Then I might have given that a go. The problem is that, in my mind, TouchWiz now just blends into Android. I can't imagine how one skin could really slow down a phone that much. And maybe it wasn't just that one skin.