Transition of an iOS Fanboy to the Android Space

By Jean-Bernard Yung

I was first introduced to the world of smartphones 5 years ago. I still remember the day I unpacked my iPhone 4 and started setting it up. It was obvious at the time that the iPhone was the best phone:

  • The ecosystem for iOS was substantially bigger than any other player out there. As a consumer, I would have a wide variety of apps available to me.
  • The iOS app store was clearly going to be the first place for new exciting applications, due to a dedicated user and developer base.
  • The cool factor of owning an iPhone. Apple did a great job marketing their device.
  • The phone and its operating system was doing most of what I wanted: email, text, calls, social media, taking pictures, latest news, productivity tools such as Google Docs, and schedule meetings. In addition, the phone always ran “smoothly”. Years went by and it was not until recently that I realised I needed an upgrade, as the iPhone 4 could not keep up with new high quality apps. I decided to upgrade my phone to a Samsung Note 3 (running on the Android Lollipop operating system) and give Android a try. Why Android? Knowing that I’m a huge Apple fanboy, why not stick with Apple and with their new iPhone 6, 6s or 6+ phones? Well sometimes you just have to go outside of your comfort zone and get to know what the other side looks like and what all the praise is about for the other platform. It’s been almost 3 months since I’ve started using the Android platform and here are my thoughts so far:

  • While there are some similarities in the hardware specs-wise, some of the hardware on Android phones are better than their iOS counterparts: better graphics display, better camera, more RAM memory (this allows the user to run more apps at a time without lagging in performance)
  • Android has come a long way with regards to its ecosystem, quickly closing the gap compared to iOS. Most — if not all — apps on the iOS platform are also available on Android, and they are of the same quality from a delivery standpoint.
  • The platform has matured a lot on the user experience side.
  • Android phones use the standard SIM size while iPhones use micro SIM size. Using a standard size makes it easy to transfer to a different Android/Blackberry/Windows phone.
  • Apps can have custom widgets on the Android homescreen. This means that developers can expose the most commonly used features through those widgets. This means that the user has to perform less swipes or taps in order to achieve their goal.
  • Google Now is more accurate than Siri. Google Now also supports integration for some applications whereas developers cannot leverage Siri for their apps.
  • The battery drains faster than on an iPhone 6 (comparing a Note 3 and an iPhone 6).
  • There is better app integration between the Nexus player (Google TV) with Android phones than iOS phones and the Apple TV.
  • There is better interaction between the Android platform and the user. For instance, if there has been a pattern regarding your daily habits (for example, taking transit at a specific time, or going to a location at a specific time on a daily basis), the Android platform will notify you about factors related to your daily habits (for example, the weather condition, the amount of time it will take to reach your destination) without you having to manually inquire about those factors. Or if you are getting into a new Wifi spot, the Android phone will notify you that you are entering a new Wifi spot.
  • That said, will I go back to being an iPhone user? Probably not. The high-end Android phones are cheaper than the high-end iPhones (example, Nexus 6P costs $699 while the iPhone 6+ costs $899) and they have more features. iPhone users, give it a try. The grass might be greener on the other side.

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