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I switched to Android yesterday

If you visit my Soundcloud channel you can hear why I switched to Android: http://soundcloud.com/scobleizer -- basically I switched because of Google Glass, which I expect to arrive soon, right +Steve Lee? :-)

Some other influences? +Vic Gundotra who has been taunting me with Android's advantages for years and +Guy Kawasaki who sent me a Motorola RAZR Maxx HD (I will be trying several other Android devices over next few months).

Overall I like it a lot more than I was expecting, mostly because of the keyboard and audio features.

The problem with being a fan boy: switching costs.

It really is frustrating to switch phone platforms. This is why Apple isn't going to turn unprofitable tomorrow, even if it never ships another innovation as big as the original iPhone.

We used to call this "lock in." So, what are the costs?

1. Apps that aren't on the new platform. I'm already missing several apps now that I've switched to Android, like Moves or Tempo that are only on iPhone. On the other hand, I have a far superior keyboard. I can't imagine having to switch to a platform like Windows Phone or Blackberry that simply doesn't have either the quantity or quality of apps that Android or iOS has. 

2. Airplay and other ecosystem lockins. I guess if I were coming from Windows, I'd miss Office. But since I have been an Apple fanboy for so long I have Apple TV's everywhere and even our video switcher has AirPlay built in (which lets me push video from my phone onto my TV). I really miss this, and I've already reached for my iPad a couple of times because of this.

3. Notifications are different. I like Apple's notifications better, but Android has one big advantage: I can delete them all with one click. I imagine I won't care so much about these once I get my Google Glass, which is where I hope to see most of my notifications soon. Apple's notifications are all set from one place, too, where on Android I have to go to each app's notifications setting to change them. Much harder and, even worse, most notifications come in and say "Droid" when they arrive, so I had to turn off audio one-by-one. Really annoying.

4. "Coolness factor." Let's be honest. My Motorola is hardly "cool." It simply doesn't look or feel as nice in my hands as an Apple device. Will the new Samsung be as cool as Apple? The device looks competent, but it is plastic. Sorry, plastic will never feel as cool as aluminum. Plus, the launch event that Samsung did proved to me that Samsung just isn't a cool company. Does this matter to you? Well, a Porsche goes the same place as my Toyota Prius. For many this does matter. For me? When I decided to go the Google Glass route I decided the phone doesn't really matter as much anymore so the "cool" argument will dramatically shift. At Verizon store last night the clerk already said he wants to try the Google Glass but is afraid of looking like a dork. In other words, he's looking to look cool and is unsure of whether Glass will ever get there.

5. Relearning bad habits. The keyboard is frustrating. Where's the "quotes?" Or where's the "@" symbol? I've used an iPhone for so long now that my fingers "know" where those things are and on Android I have to relearn. Huge switching cost.

6. The cost of driving to the store and getting a new SIM. For me the closest Verizon store is 40 minutes from my house. So, I had to invest about 1.5 hours just to get to the store and another 30 minutes in the store waiting for help to get a new SIM card and get my account moved over. That added to the cost of my new device.

There are other ways that these things lock you in, too. How about the carrier subsidy? I'm in a very fortunate position where I can afford to buy whatever damn gadget I want whenever I want it. Most in my family are NOT in that position. They have to wait the two years so they can afford to buy a new device. Once that's done they are locked into a new device and ecosystem for two more years.

So, Scoble, are you happy with your choice? So far there are pros and cons to moving to Android. Some extraordinarily good, like the keyboard (SwiftKey). Some bad, like Twitter's notifications totally suck.

Anyway, put this all together and if I were an Apple investor I wouldn't worry all that much about Apple's future. Truth is Apple won't lose a lot of customers to Android UNLESS Google Glass catches on. That is hardly assured since there is so much resistance to that idea.
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117 comments
 
Looking forward to seeing what else you miss in about a week +Robert Scoble ... if anything.
 
Happy to hear it! :-) It feels like a learning curve, but honestly you'll find Android to be much more intuitive in the long run.
 
Isn't Google Glass like $1300 dollars a pop?
Andy P
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I have an iPhone, an iPad and a Nexus 7. Honestly, I use my Android device far more. Give it time, you'll get used to it eventually.
 
Be interesting to see how you get on with a Nexus device.
 
+Raja Doddala Early adopters tend to spend a little more to be on the bleeding edge, especially when the tech seems as promising as Glass does. Besides, prices tend to get driven down by competition and scaling up production driven by demand (so people like me hope, anyway!)
 
We'll have to see what Google iOS features will be available with Glass, if any. I have a Nexus 4 and an iPhone 4s and agree with most of your observations about the platforms.
 
Nice piece writeup +Robert Scoble  I would like a writeup as well after extensive use, the things that make you want to switch back or the lack thereof (are most of the apps we are using really useful or do they just add more noise to our lives?).
 
I think it's interesting to switch back to Apple for a while after using Android.  It's an interesting experience.
 
After seeing more Android hype I spoke to some tech savvy Android users. The one guy told me "It takes a minute to switch on my phone, because Android is memory hog. I'm switching to Apple" 
 
Btw don't use Twitter's own Twitter app...
 
+Simon Whight it won't replace phones (it requires them, for one) but it will replace a LOT of usage of phones.
 
another keyboard to give a try is swype. I actually prefer it over swiftkey. I gave swiftkey a try for a while. I am a gesture typer most times though, so maybe that's why.
 
+Raja Doddala sorry, we do NOT know the price of Google Glass yet. The first 4,000 users had to pay $1,500, but that's for a pre-release test and development version. I expect the price for normal users to be MUCH lower than that.
 
Don't know much about that RAZR Maxx +Robert Scoble as Motorola doesn't sell much phones over here anymore. Is it still running Ice cream sandwich or does it already have Jelly Bean so you can fully enjoy the Google Now experience? 
 
Surprised you didn't start with the Nexus 4. I'll be more surprised if that isn't the device you settle on.
 
+James Power I have a Samsung and I have had my hands on a Nexus 4. All have their advantages. I will try a ton of phones.
 
I switched from iPhone to Android years ago and ran into a couple of these as well. However, overtime I don't really regret the decision. Every now and then i want to go back to iPhone, not because of anything it specifically offers, but rather I like to use all technology rather than to stick to a single platform.

That being said, I still have an iPad and I don't see myself switching to an Android tablet anytime soon, and definitely not exclusively. I don't think Android is "there" yet on tablets. The Nexus 7 does entice me though.
 
An interesting read, and at the end of the day both platforms have their plus points and minus points. But I've never understood why point number 4 is even relevant when talking about technology. I'll take function over form any day of the week.
 
As far as pushing video to your TV, there are currently some Google TV devices now, but personally I am waiting for Google I/O to see if there is a Nexus equivalent (hoping) so I can get rid of my Roku device.
 
+Matthew Books I hate wearing watches. I already have a Basis device and can't remember to put that on. I'd rather have a Google Glass than an Apple Watch.
 
+Robert Scoble 
yes I re-tried it again after watching your interview actually....

Here are what I like more about swype:
1. It has a lot more shortcut actions. You can swype from the swype key up to A,C, or V and this acts like CTRL+A, CTRL+C, and CTRL+V on the PC. (Select all, copy, paste).... Which I love.
2. I also much prefer swype's retroactive correction ability. With swiftkey if I realize after typing a whole bunch that a word is wrong, I can click on it to fix it, but the suggestions are all based to the word they suggested, and not on what I originally gestured/typed. Swype on the other hand must retain my gesture because all of its correction options are always far superior. They seem to be based on my original swype. This makes much more sense to me. If you guess my word wrong why would you base suggested corrections on your wrong prediction?.....

As far as I can tell, Swype's word predictions/corrections are just as good as swiftkey's. I am not sure if they use location data like was mentioned in your video.... But swype has been utilizing my SMS and Gmail/Facebook messages to build a personal prediction dictionary for me before swiftkey 5 ever came out (as far as I know, could be wrong).

As a side note, I would really like to try google's new keyboard on the Nexus 4. It looks really good too.
 
If you went Nexus 4 you could just put your iphone sim right in there, and the experience beats out droid in my opinion.
 
I don't understand why you don't just go with a nexus 4. Much easier transition I would say from an iPhone phone then to go to a RAZR. Also you can order Sim cards online. And you don't have to wait every 2 years for a phone. The nexus 4 costs 300 $ off contract. That coupled with a tmobile prepaid plan and you are saving tons of money a year. 
 
+Michael Koby I don't understand the argument of "android is not 'there' yet." Where is there? You mean exactly like Apple does it? Price wise you can't beat a N7 or galaxy tab 2 7". It has a lot of function an iPad has at a better cost point. Fit and finish on an iPad might be better, but that's also subjective. I just hate hearing that argument.
 
+Thom Miller I'm using SwiftKey. It BLOWS AWAY the iPhone keyboard. I'm already 40% faster with it and I've only been using it a few hours.
 
+Mike Cosmi I bet Google Glass will work better with Android. Already I'm seeing tons of apps on Android that aren't available on iOS (like Ingress, which I'll definitely be playing now).
 
Google Glass actually looks pretty cool on the people I've seen wearing it.
 
Really glad to see you join the modern age, Scoble. ;)
 
( or you almost joined the modern age.... Nexus 4!!! )
 
+David Horvath Nexus 4 is an embarrassing piece of crud. Go home, fanboy. The RAZR HD MAXX is a really nice choice.
 
+Mike Cosmi Do you follow +Android Police's lists of new apps? They do a pretty good job listing all the really nifty apps released every two or three weeks. It's why I started following them over other Android blogs in the first place.
 
I'll be waiting for your impression of Google Now. I got a feeling you will be seriously impressed at the first moment you found it to be useful. It definitely blew my mind back then.
 
+Jake Weisz You're holding it wrong. =)

Really, not cruddy. You may have received a dud? 
 
+Robert Scoble I'm curious how long until you switch back – my bet: with the next iPhone release :)
BTW, Google Glass will not have android only API. In fact, it will provide open REST – so no matter what device you'll be using. Any HTTP capable device will be able to talk to it.
 
whats your take on expandable notifications? If I were to switch to iphone, the lack of expandable notifications would have driven me mad!  

and about notification sound, they all use the default sound. But you can change the default notification sound, so you dont have to change them individually. 

I would love to try out an iphone, but I will never use my own money for that. Because I know what I will miss from Android. And I cant see how any iphone stuff is worth the sacrifices
 
+David Horvath I don't buy devices with Glass backs. It was stupid when Apple did it, it's just moronic that a couple years later, Google and LG haven't learned.

+Konstantin Gonikman Very few people ever switch back. You see that Apple market share? Rapidly dwindling away?
 
+Jake Weisz You do know that someone having a different opinion than you do doesn't make them a fanboy, right? I think the Nexus 4 is a great device; it's likely to be my next phone.
 
+DeAno Jackson It's a fanboy when someone says they haven't joined the modern age because they don't have that one guy's personal favorite phone. That runs the same software as all the other phones.
 
+Jake Weisz Don't you mean a previous version of the same software as all the other phones?
 
+DeAno Jackson RAZR HD MAXX runs Jelly Bean. There's some minor barely noticeable differences between the two versions.

And my Gingerbread phone still does 95% of everything a Jelly Bean device does. So meh.
 
So feel left out by this, met +Guy Kawasaki in an elevator, then a lobby, and he didn't try to get me to use Android at all. We just talked bikes.
 
+Ryan Lestage Read his comments in this very post. He has before. Obviously he didn't, as he doesn't use one.
 
+Robert Scoble you can change the sound of your notifications globally in settings under Sound.  Also, I tried out an iPhone 4S last year and notifications were the main reason I couldn't switch.  iPhone has 4 broken systems imo (blue pop up, red bubble, drop down, and lock screen) and none are that great.  Android has one unified system that seems to work well and you can always see what you have in the top bar.  Also, if you customize your LED notification light, you don't even have to switch on your phone to know what came in as you can have a different color for each app.
 
Do you think you will feel "odd" wearing Google Glass +Robert Scoble  ? I'm seeing lots of articles like this one ... "If You Wear Google’s New Glasses You Are An A**hole"
http://gawker.com/5990395/if-you-wear-googles-new-glasses-you-
I fear Google Glass has some huge hurdles to get over if it's going to gain widespread adoption... price, nerd-ish, a**hole-ish etc. Not to mention some places are talking about banning them due to privacy issues! I still wish I had a pair though lol. 
 
Most apps use the default notification config, which is in Settings -> Sound, System category. The fun is when you configure the sounds per-app in their respective settings.
 
I'm on an iphone 5. But I really like how Google is trying to break down barriers and democratise. They are trying hard to eliminate carrier subsidies by releasing affordable devices that you can buy without a contract. And they've been pushing and stating for years now that they envision everything (apps) to run in a browser (html 5) one day.

So: No carrier lock in, and no proprietary apps (if they run in a browser, you only develop once) is very good for consumers.

Thank you, Google. 
 
Most people in the last few decades have been doing everything they possibly can to get away from using glasses. Contacts and Lasik have seen to that. And now we are expecting people to go back to using glasses, even for people that do not have bad vision?

I just personally see Google Glass as a tool that most (normal) people may use a couple times a week, but definitely not something they will use all the time.

Now, build that tech into a contact lens and we are talking a whole different monster.
 
+Jake Weisz Most of the apps I use wouldn't work on GB.  But whatever does it for you!  My only point was that calling someone a fanboy for an arbitrary reason is stupid.  You either take that point or you don't; I get paid either way.
 
+DeAno Jackson I miss Chrome. Everything else that requires ICS and up is from terrible developers who insist on using the Holo UI and not supporting older versions. Most of the apps worth using support Holo on ICS and up, and also work well on Gingerbread.

I don't think the reason I called him a fanboy is arbitrary. He very much earned it. Thinking only one niche device barely anyone actually has is the only way to be in the modern age? I'm sorry, that's just retarded.
 
Let me know when u get the MessageMe app? My PIN is QZ 649 HBC on it.
 
+Jake Weisz Oh no don't get me wrong I am a huge fanboy of the Nexus 4, no doubt, I love it.
I do agree about the glass back, so I bought two:
one for back up.... Now that's a fanboy. =) 
 
I find Apple's notification center super frustrating compared to Android.  You can't clear all, but worse than that, clearing an individual item requires clicking on a tiny X and then clearing "Clear". 2 clicks, vs a fat-finger swipe on Android.
 
+Robert Scoble If you haven't done, this please consider it. Add the email and calendar widget to your home page. They update in real-time-multi-apps in multi-windows. Phil Schiller can't do that. :

I love this feature of Android.
 
+Guy Kawasaki Careful, watch your use of dashes. ;) Google+ reads them as strikethrough!
 
The RAZR Maxx HD doesnt use plastic...it uses metal and Kevlar
 
Maybe a plastic coating or something over the metal..but its not like the s3
 
Welcome to the club, and be sure to try a Nexus4 ... :)
 
Thankfully we have 2 great operating systems. I prefer android for my phone but iPad mini as my tablet. The only thing I miss from my iPhone is the camera. But it means I use my dedicated digital camera more now so overall I get better pictures. 
 
+Jake Weisz - Ah, sorry - I missed the one comment were he said he has "had his hands on a Nexus4" - but with no further details.  Note: "Having your hands on one" is not the same as evaluating it.  So, allow me to expand my comment for your benefit - "I would like to see what +Robert Scoble thinks about the Nexus4."  Better?  Anyway, thanks. 

I did see your opinions of the N4, however, which I disagree with ... But, eh, to each their own.
 
+Robert Scoble As for #3, you can thanks Verizon Wireless for that. They are set on beating the 'Droid' brand into consumers.
 
+Konstantin Gonikman where do you get information about Glass APIs? If recent history (Plus, Reader, ..) is any indication, Google is moving toward more closed systems API-wise.
 
If Android, then Nexus. And if you have some curiosity left just buy another two Nexus 4 and check out Ubuntu Phone and Firefox OS.
 
+Mark Mayhew ...there isnt really a point in rooting the Razr Maxx HD. For one it is a very slim skin as it is and for two, there isnt a very big development community for it.
 
Why would you have them mail you one switch it over online and save time? Patience.....
 
+Robert Scoble you should try the Swype keyboard - it is much better than the SwiftKey (even with Flow). Congratulations and welcome to the family!
 
+Michael Delpach the beauty of android is it is about personal preference, I've used swiftkey and swype and prefer swiftkey :)
 
Are you atleast keeping your thunderbolt displays? or are you going all in on the chromeook?
 
If you want coolness factor, get a Nexus 4. And an external battery :(
 
It doesn't matter why you switched, only that you switched.
 
Nice to have you over on the android side of the tracks +Robert Scoble now, if we could just ween you off of farcebook we'll have converted you fully.
:)
 
Glad that you've come over to the Dark Side (we have cookies!). 

But if you really want to experience the best Android has to offer, consider using a Nexus device as your main phone. Stock Android is much better than most skinned versions, particularly because of its intuitive UI and straight updates from Google. 

For the meantime, you can try sprucing up your homescreen by downloading replacement home launchers such as Nova and Apex, then place widgets that provide realtime information. These could range from the Gmail and Messaging widget to Flipboard, DashClock, and Minimal Reader. Really helps with productivity by putting information at a glance.
 
Nexus Phone is cheap (relatively) and you can pick any prepaid carrier.  The lock-in problem only exists if you have to have LTE.  Which if you are really budget conscious... you dont.
 
Apps, data and Glass!  Oh and more users on Android than IOS.
 
I think your android handset would be unveiled at Google i/o, because if we go by logic, one would expect tightest Google Glass integration to be between a Nexus device and Glass or maybe an X device
 
+Robert Scoble But how far away is the day when your Google Glass (or whatever) is your smartphone? If all you want is a device to consume information on (and make phone calls) why carry another device?
 
Switching to Android for Google Glass ? You're mad. Read my lips: Google Glass will be a fail.
 
That and quite frankly it's a richer ecosphere than ios. I've changed so many Android phones, but my data and look and feel follow me. Microsoft may be the only challenger to Android but they are far behind.
Also Google glasses seems to be as good a reason :-)
 
It is good that you switched.better than living in the past.
 
Hey +Robert Scoble , it would been interesting if you'd shared how was the phone set up in Android. I personally found Android devises are easier to set up and start...
 
Glad you joined us, although knowing you I bet you're carrying both phones on you at all times.
 
Reading the comments it is very amusing seeing the Apple fans desperately trying to justify their choice with "my friend who is technical and owns an Android hates it" barrel scraping comments. Android has quite clearly overtaken iOS in the majority of areas. Maybe Apple should start innovating instead of litigating. 
 
Oh, with regard to SwiftKey.... a brilliant choice. It is the best smartphone/tablet keyboard I have used. There is a fun game you can play with it. After you have used it for a while try just hitting the space repetitively and see what it writes. It can be quite revealing. Also try starting with a seed word to see what sentence that initiates. 
 
Better get going with the contacts! lol
 
Galaxy note 2 on att. By far the best tech I have purchased in awhile. Att is the best Carrier for multitasking. talk and internet at the Same time. I just Swapped MY iphone am not looking back. I use Bluetooth and dont have to worry about the ridiculous factor Of a Monster phone beside my head. quad Core stylus phone I just wrote this whole message with My stylus. Love it.
 
I'm new to the Android world myself, and you've summed the conversion costs up very nicely here...
 
+Robert Best so with you on swype. +Robert Scoble would love to have verbal conversation about many of points you raised that would be remedied with user education - but don't want to write long reply on mobile.

Welcome to the fold though!

My ironic situation a few minutes ago: at this upscale coffee joint where nobody had a micro usb charger due to: being Apple fanbois. Lol!
 
Great news that +Robert Scoble  .  Never thought I'd see the day :-)
Two comments.  Your issue with the keyboard: find a keyboard that has the iPhone layout.  Or at least try a couple.

Second about the plastic.  You might find (like I did) that once you get hooked on how good the Samsung's are, the whole 'un-cool' plastic thing will disappear.  They are that good. 

Current phone is the Note 2, upgraded two weeks ago from the S3.  I can almost guarantee my next phone will be the Note 3. (Before the S3 it was the flagship HTC, never again)
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