The Final Cut: Experiment End
I know I said I would do this for 30 days. But I just can't continue this experiment with the iPhone 5s and have gone the way of my friend and colleague +Armando Ferreira
and cut this short. This has more to do with how I interact with my devices on a day-to-day basis and less to do with the iPhone or iOS. For those that have been following me for some time, I actually conducted a 30-day experiment for +The Droid Effect
with two test subjects +Andreas Bousdoukos
an Android Power User and +Micah Komp
a longtime iOS user. During the experiment I had each of them step out of their comfort zone and use the competing OS and device. Andreas actually purchased an iPhone 5s and has kept it to this day. I gave Micah a Nexus 4 for the 30-day test and he went back to iOS after the experiment concluded with thoughts of picking up a Nexus 7 tablet. During this time I learned a lot from each of them about human nature and our resistance to change once we are invested in something.
A quote from my interview with Micah Komp about his final thoughts on switching from iOS to Android still sticks with me to this day. “No. I will not be switching. But I feel like if I started with Android I would be the same way about iOS. It’s not that I love iOS, it’s that iOS is what I’m used to. I have a lot invested in Apple and iOS my Home and infrastructure is Apple. There is nothing that is so cool or unique about Android that would cause me to have to redo all of that. Android is a nice product but not enough for me to have to redo all of that. Wow, now that I’m saying this, it makes me feel like I’ve been trapped and cornered by Apple. I feel like they got me, like unless there is something miraculous that comes along, I won’t switch and can’t afford to switch. I don’t know how much my iTunes account is worth and it scares me to think about that”.
I think this statement encompasses the very fabric of why people are so passionate about this topic. It’s why people lash out without every really trying another device. It’s because we are invested into these ecosystems and we simply like what we like. I’m getting sidetracked a bit; I can go into all of that in another article someday. Ok, why did I return the iPhone in just under 72 hours?The Verdict
So if you read my previous post (http://bit.ly/1fAwu8G
) I went into some details about what I liked and disliked and what had or had not changed about the iPhone and iOS generally. But the reason I returned the iPhone was actually a lot deeper than just the iPhone. Let me start with how I use my device. I typically wake up around 6am (or whenever my wife forces me out of bed). Sometime within the first 10 minutes of scrambling around the house my wife asks me three questions. What time is it? What’s traffic like? And the always-fun Honey can you do (insert task here) so I’ll start with these.
On Android namely my Moto X or Nexus 5 I can literally perform all these tasks hands free through using an integrated Google Now and Google ecosystem. With my Moto X I simply say “Ok, Google Now” and ask away, the phone does it all while I can continue brushing my teeth or whatever. On my Nexus 5 all I need to do is unlock to the homescreen and I can fire away. Google Now knows my behavior so it will automatically tell me if traffic is heavy, it will tell me if my commute will be longer than usual through my notifications shade automatically. I can dictate my “Honey Do” list and say when “I’m at location X or at time Y remind me to do this” and Google Keep handles the rest. When I walk out of my home I have an app SkipLock that activates my Lockscreen pin code when I’m not on my home Wi-Fi or on my cars Bluetooth, so I never have to worry about security. When I get to work I use PC’s (though my home is swimming in Macs) and I may have to send a message to my wife or friends so I can use Hangouts or even Mightytext while my phone is locked in my desk to receive and respond to messages from any computer.
My phone is my primary social media device. I share a lot of content to various services. Being able to share information from any service to any other service installed on my phone is a major thing for me and being limited to only certain services on the iPhone was soul crushingly frustrating when I knew that Android just did this better. Simple things like receiving emails on my iPhone and knowing I couldn’t delete them from the notifications shade was maddening. The final straw for me was the keyboard. Some people love the iOS keyboard; I think it’s terrible. This is because I have used alternatives like Swiftkey, Swype, Fleksy and others that simply allow me to type 50x faster and more accurate than the Apple keyboard does. This is how I spend my day on my device; this is how I use my phone. For someone that doesn’t have these needs the iPhone may be a great device, but I need the flexibility to access and manipulate my Google accounts and phone from various computers. I need apps that allow me to automate certain tasks or even serve as a remote for my new DSLR. I like the ability to theme my device and make it look and feel different from week to week. The iPhone just doesn't offer these things and there is NO WAY to get them and that is the deal-breaker.
I go back to what Micah said, Unless Apple (or in his case Google) comes out with something that wows me or is game changing I won’t switch. I am invested in the Google ecosystem and though iOS has shades of Google the lack of integration between applications and Google’s services do not provide me the experience I get on an Android device. In the past when iOS was light-years ahead of Android (Pre ICS), it was easy for me to justify going back because the ecosystems and OS’s were worlds apart. Today that is not true, it’s false, it’s so categorically false that if somebody says that iOS is superior to Android I would only ask him or her what device they experienced Android on and then promptly hand them a Nexus device. As someone said in my last post, most people who experience Android experience it on a Pay-Go phone with Gingerbread.
This is one of the most accurate statements I’ve heard in a long while. This is why there is a false perception that Android is inferior to iOS and I will be the first to admit that until that changes it will continue. I for one think this perception should continue because until Google gets their arms around their ecosystem and enforces their own damn guidelines Android will never be as polished as iOS. I am not saying Android is better than iOS or iOS is better than Android. They are both equally flawed; but the question is which is better for you? For me it’s Android and it took me just under 72 hours to remind myself of that.