After using Android my entire life, I decided to switch to iOS
This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
I might be one of the younger writers here with Phone Arena, but that doesn't mean my love for smartphones is lesser than anyone else's here on the team. The very first smartphone that I owned was the original Palm Pre back in 2010, but my journey with that phone was short-lived. I owned it for about a week or so, but was forced to return it for the LG Env3 as the monthly bill for the phone was more than what my parents were expecting. I then carried the Env3 as my daily driver for about a year or so, and then after that phone inevitably fell to its demise, I went on to own the Samsung Fascinate. The Fascinate was Verizon's version of the original Galaxy S, and it was the first smartphone that I ever owned for a prolonged period of time. I remember trying to decided between it and the original Motorola Droid, and inevitably opting for the Fascinate because of its "high res" 800 x 480 AMOLED display.
The Samsung Fascinate continued to be my primary handset for quite a while, and it was my first introduction into the world of Google's Android operating system. The phone initially came equipped with Android 2.1 Eclair, and later received updates for 2.2 Froyo and 2.3 Gingerbread. I remember being absolutely smitten with the phone, and although webOS blew my mind during my week or so with the Palm Pre, the capabilities and power that Android possessed simply blew me away at the time.
From the Samsung Fascinate, my journey with Android continued through a plethora of other devices - including the the Nexus 5, Nexus 6, all three versions of the Moto X, BLU Life Play, OnePlus One, LG G4, Samsung Galaxy S6, Moto G3, and others. My love and affinity for Android started with 2.1 Eclair, and continued all the way through 6.0 Marshmallow on the Moto X Pure Edition. Android is essentially all I've known when it comes to mobile operating systems, but I recently decided to shake things up.
My girlfriend was the former owner of the Moto X Pure Edition as well, but she wasn't in love with the larger size of the device. She has quite small hands, and was looking for a phone that would be easier for her to use on a daily basis. Her and I took a trip to my local Best Buy, and I showed her phones such as the Honor 8, Google Pixel, Samsung Galaxy S7, etc. However, no matter how many Android phones I showed her, she was continually drawn to the iPhone SE. While she was playing around with the demo unit of the phone, I decided to pick up the iPhone 7 just for the hell of it. I've never owned an iPhone or been particular keen of what iOS has to offer, but with her getting the SE, I decided to do something that I never thought would happen - I purchased an iPhone for myself. I figured it was time for me to get familiar with iOS seeing as how my occupation now has me covering the world of mobile tech on a daily basis, and if I ended up hating the phone during the return period, determined I'd just take it back to Best Buy and continue on with my Moto X.
I figured it was time to get to know iOS.
It has now been more than two weeks since I bought the iPhone 7, and I currently don't have any intentions of going back to my Moto X or any Android device for the foreseeable future. Why is this though? What caused me to abandon the only mobile OS I've ever known?
Reliable and consistent software updates
One of the biggest issues that's faced the Android platform since its initial release has been the matter of software fragmentation. New Android devices seem to be kicked out on a daily basis, and while this creates for a lot of choice when it comes to hardware, it creates for a lot of issues with the software that those handsets are running. Android 7.0 Nougat has been out in the wild since August 22nd, and although Motorola has confirmed that the Moto X Pure Edition will be receiving the new software update at some point in the future, there's still no official date as to when this will actually happen.
The iPhone 5 is four years old and still running the latest software available.
This is the case for pretty much all Android handsets out there (save for the Nexus and Pixel line), and it really gets to be a major pain point when you want to be running the latest and greatest version of the OS that powers your phone. With the iPhone, new updates to iOS are immediately available once Apple releases them. Even the iPhone 5, a phone that came out back in September 2012, is running the very latest version of iOS. That right there is extremely impressive, and not having to worry about whether or not my iPhone 7 will get future software updates is something of a dream come true.
Although Android has played a fantastic game of catch-up when it comes to app selection compared to iOS, I find that a lot of the apps that I use on a daily basis run better and are more fully-featured than their Android counterparts. On Android, Snapchat is a laggy mess. On iOS, it runs as fluidly as possible without a hitch. The PNC Android app takes an unbearably long time to access my bank account information, but I have instant access to that info on iOS after signing in with Touch ID. Although iOS may not have as many customization features as Android, I'd rather have all of my apps work as quickly and smoothly as possible than have to worry about a force close every few minutes like I used to do with certain Android applications.
It just works
This is something that my colleague Alan pointed out in a similar article that he published earlier this year, but it's a point that I couldn't agree with more. The saying that iOS is such a joy to use because it "just works" seems to be a bit of a cliche at this point, but after using an iPhone 7 as my daily driver for more than two weeks, it's a point that I completely and wholeheartedly agree with. Never have I experienced even the slightest bit of lag when navigating the UI, never have I encountered a performance issue, the camera takes excellent photos in Auto mode, the battery drain is ridiculously minimal when not using the phone, etc. You do make some trade-offs with iOS, such as its lack of customization, for its closed-source nature, but this method of running an OS allows for an experience of hardware and software to seamlessly mold together for a phone that is truly unlike anything else out there.
As much as I've been loving my time with iOS, I will admit that there are some things about Android that I genuinely miss. For starters, there's no getting around the lesser customization options that are present within iOS. I've found this to be somewhat of an advantage as I'm no longer wasting time organizing my phone to no end like I used to do, but I still find it a bit infuriating at times that I cannot place app icons wherever I'd like to on the home screen.
The limited customization options keep me on-task.
The overall aesthetics for iOS are also incredibly different from what I'm used to with Android and Material Design, so I still find myself occasionally stumbling around apps and menus trying to locate certain buttons or actions. It can prove to be quite annoying and confusing at times, but then again, what else can I really expect after having used one mobile OS for the past 6+ years?
Looking to the future
That's really where I keep coming back to whenever I do encounter something I don't like about iOS. Yes, menus and general navigation might be confusing at times, but it isn't anything that makes using an iPhone unbearable. All it is is a matter of learning the ins and outs of how iOS works, and once I've had my iPhone for a month or two, I feel like the majority of my issues will subside.
I still can't get over the fact that I did finally make this switch, but the more I think about it, the more pleased I am that I did. It's been a great joy getting to play around with an operating system that was quite alien to me up until this point in time, and while I'm sure some of that magic will disappear after I get more comfortable with the OS, I don't see my joy in using iOS going away anytime soon at all.
I plan on sticking with iOS for quite some time.
I'm going to be holding onto my iPhone 7, and at the time of writing this editorial, I don't have any intention of switching back to Android at any point in the foreseeable future. If this does change though, and I find myself getting tired of the acclaimed Apple, I'll be sure to write an additional piece explaining why I switched back.
Until that time comes though, I'm going to keep on using my iPhone and learn everything there is to learn about iOS. This operating system and I sure do have a lot of catching up to do.