UPDATED Losing My Religion: Leaving Android, 3 wks & a Japan trip later!
* JUL 18 UPDATE *
Well, it's been nearly 3 weeks since I got the iPhone 5c. It's been my 24/7 device, including during our week long vacation in Tokyo last week. Beyond the initial adjustment of how things work (and getting used to the size versus my old trusty GS3), I got to say, it's been, for the most part, a good experience.
Some of you mentioned wanting a progress report and had a little down time at work on this lovely Friday afternoon so here we are.... I'll probably do a final update in October for the 2 of you interested when it's time to re-up my contract, but for now here's where we are at:
Dat Camera, Yo! - The speed, ease, and quality has been nothing but a photographer's dream. Push the home button as you pull the camera out of your pocket, flick up with your thumb, and boom, photo captured! Import into VSCOcam for editing to my liking and done. Smooth, fast, and really good quality. Zero complaints. In fact, for our trip, I ended up ONLY using the iphone for photos, saving my Oly Pen (my favourite travel camera) for video duties!
iMessage - This was the best for traveling. We were able to keep up with my family via iMessage over wifi. I used 0 text messages traveling and didn't need people to use any special messaging apps. iMessage back here at home has been fantastic too. Fast, simple, reliable.
Lock Screen Notifications - Yeah, I miss my LED, but lockscreen notifcations are just awesome. Glance over and decide how/if to react. Really nice touch. I don't really use the homescreen notification shade because of it.
Battery - Has been good, no complaints. Even on the heavier days, no problems making it through the day.
Smooth - This ain't news. While the GS3 was fast for it's time, fluidity it never really had. The iPhone is like butter.
No Widgets - I dearly miss my a) Keep app and b) my Keep & Calendar Widgets. I used them alot. Shoots, shoot ideas, well, pretty much everything! Apple's upcoming widgets won't fix this. I went back to Evernote for now and sticking with Apple's default Calendar for the moment. I'll see how it goes, but it may change. Seriously though.... Google, were is Keep for iOS?
Size - Holy Shit this thing is tiny!!! While that's fine for some apps and the easier "one-handed use" is nice, viewing & editing photos, watching video, and well, pretty much anything super visual related on this little thing is kind of silly. I shoot a lot in landscape, editing it in a profile-oriented app is just squinty teeny-tiny! Also, two-handed typing takes a hit... you literally become 'all thumbs' (but that could just be an adjustment issue). If I do stick with iPhone, I really hope the bigger rumors & leaks are accurate.
Boring UI - Yeah, iOS ain't the most exciting. Burying undeletable apps in folders, trying to find spots to put all your apps (no drawer) and not have a "screen full of apps" took lots of fiddling. I'm okay with where it's at now (3 screens and a couple of folders), but a bit of a snooze-ville.
Settings - I spend way more time in this "app" than I should, tweaking the settings, turning off bells & whistle & swoosh & tippy-tappy sounds, turning off default things, etc. It's a bit of a mess in there. Sometimes you go though the app name, sometimes it's under General, sometimes you spend a year finding where the little switch is hidden, I hope in iOS8 they clean it up a bit. Android ain't much better, but at least I knew that if I wanted to change a specific app's settings, I'd go to the app in question and make the adjustment.
Not too shabby dabby! I ain't hating it and I'm definitely loving some aspects of it! I'll tell ya, if the bigger iPhone came out today and I was ready to upgrade, I'd totally stick with it. C'mon Android!!! Time to wow us or I'll officially be joining the cult for good.
* JUN 29 ORIGINAL POST *
That's me in the corner, that's me with an Android, losing my religion...
Like many of you in the Googleplex, the story of my mobile history is long & winding. From beepers back in the 90s, to flip & candy bar phones (and a palm pilot in my bag), to slide-out keyboard feature phones, until I finally landed on my first smart phone, the Palm Pre.
And while the OS was lovely, the overall experience & the hardware was pretty much a pile of crap. And after a slew of malfunctioning devices and an epic battle with Sprint, I found myself in a giant bowl of Froyo (or was it Eclair? Can't remember) with the Samsung Moment.
It was a clunky, slow, & bulky device and while most of my friends were either embracing iPhones or clinging on to their Blackberries, even with this hideous beast, I found myself learning to love what Google was offering.
Just like many of you, I had long been a Google person using them for search, gmail, calendar, contacts, maps, my rss reader, and pretty much every other service they threw at as (and eventually killed), I was quick to get invites and embrace all the fun little things they were trying out.
So when time came to renew my contract, of course I stuck with Android and got my first "flagship" device... The HTC EVO 4G.
Almost everything about this phone was amazing. It seemed fast, handled apps like a champ, had great build quality, the works. But it had one major flaw... the battery was absolutely atrocious (well and Sprint sucked). We found ourselves developing a serious case of battery paranoia, making sure we had plugs, back-up batteries, just to make it through the day. We kept 4G off, not that there was much coverage anyway) unless we truly needed the slight bump in speed. Heaven forbid we went out after work and ended up somewhere with poor Sprint service (a sadly likely scenario), airplane mode became our friend.
After 2 years of managing the device (because that's what you did... you didn't use the device, you managed it), it was time for an upgrade from what was now a relatively slow brick of a device with low resolution, crappy battery life, and stuck on Android Gingerbread compared to all the new gadgets walking around on the scene.
We left Sprint for Verizon because of work discounts and fast & great coverage and I ended up with another flagship device, the Samsung Galaxy S3, my partner didn't want a large phone (the 4.3" EVO was about the limit she wanted), so she went with the iPhone 5.
She's been happy. Except for a super cold winter battery issue, the phone has been good. I was happy too! I got a sweet ass fast phone with a great camera, high resolution, running the latest Android OS!
I even liked the design of the phone and with it being so popular, there were plenty of cases to choose from to help make it feel less "slimy" and give it a little bit more body. Touchwiz was immediately replaced with Nova launcher and everything named S-something was frozen, disabled, or hidden, so outside of the settings menu we were looking pretty good!
Overall, I've been pretty happy. Sure, the microUSB quit working and there are issues with it overheating & killing my battery due to runaway apps (damn Google services). And yes, the device likes to randomly reboot when things get a little memory-intensive, but you know, you make due because you have a customizable device that you are in control of! I can make my device look & act like whatever I want, and I got most every app I desired (even if I had to wait longer than I liked for a few faves).
The device has even good with updates (and on Verizon nonetheless).... well, kinda. Yes, it's up to 4.4 now (even on Verizon), but in the land of Touchwiz that meant going from this.
to this, then this:
Not the most exciting thing in the world, but hey, there were phones released after mine that barely got an update for even serious bugs & issues. These updates came later than other carriers and they also came with locked bootloaders and knox and some bugs, but no big deal, it's Android, my OS number doesn't dictate most of my abilities. So I sat tight on 4.1.2, rooted it, and kept doing my thing.
All & all, doesn't sound too bad, right? So, why the dramatic title? Why, as we approach upgrade time, am I leaving Android?
Because as I'm quickly approaching upgrade time, I look at at the sea of Android devices and I think "meh". All I see are more devices with one compromise or another.
GS5: Possibly one of the "best phones" out, but it's also just the same phone, same touchwiz, same samsung as before. I don't need a "newer GS3", you know?
Z2: Sure, but where is it? By the time it gets to Verizon, it will be 6 mos old.
M8: The camera. The gyot-dayum camera.
Nexus: Probably not coming to Verizon, also.... the camera.
MotoX2?: Doesn't exist yet, but maybe! (X is too old now)
G3: Probably the best one. It may be coming to Verizon too! If this was the end of the discussion, I'd probably be looking at going here, but I'm not because, like many of you, I just watched Google I/O and saw this:
I watched I/O and my heart fluttered but then I looked at the list of phones available and I'm reminded that with all the cool things Google is working on, at the end of the day, we still end up with compromises: crappy cameras, questionable hardware designs & quality, bad battery life, and late, butchered, and bloated OS versions, it's always something. Like.... seriously always.
What do you do? Either accept one of the compromises and stay with Android, go to a tertiary OS (been there, no thanks), or change religions.
So in route is a lightly used iPhone 5c.
For the next 3 months, I will try out this new religion as my "daily driver" (don't you just hate that phrase), the religion of my partner and my kids, as well as many of my friends. I will have facetime, iMessages, I will have the latest OS, a great camera, a good (albeit small) build, and decent battery life. I'll even have emoji without worrying about what OS version or app I'm on. Nuts, right?
Then come October I'll sell it and my old GS3 and probably get an iPhone 6 or maybe, just maybe a new Android device will rise up and finally be the device this OS deserves. But for some reason or another.... I'm guessing there won't.