The prodigal son has returned. After two years of dabbling in the dark arts on Android, and fortunate circumstances with T-Mobile supporting the iPhone 5, I have finally returned to the Apple camp. But why? I like Android, I still have a Nexus 7, and if I hadn’t gotten an unlocked iPhone right when they went on sale I probably wouldn’t be here right now. Well, here’s what’s convinced me I made the right move.
The iPhone games are just better.
The Android gaming scene is getting better. The iOS scene is still streets ahead. I always felt like I struggled to find a fun game to just have sitting around on my phone because the good ones I usually already had played on iOS! No longer do I have that problem! I don’t have to carry two devices around in order to play games on the go!
Interoperability between Mac and iPad
Tweetbot’s iCloud synchronization between devices works beautifully. Being able to get my photos from my iPhone to my Mac with Photo Stream is extremely handy. I can seamlessly transfer documents with Byword. I can respond to iMessages from my iPad or Mac as well as my iPhone, and it provides a single point of contact for me. Friends that had to figure out which number or email would actually reach me in this past year – I apologize! It’s better now! The interconnectivity just feels great.
Things just work
Android’s Linux roots definitely show. It is getting more stylish, but the nature of the platform always means there’s a few metaphorical exposed wires. There’s a lot less of that on iOS, and sometimes when I want to just pick up my phone and do something, it’s nice to have to worry. And the experience of using most any app is just undeniably smoother. Using Twitter with an app like Tweetbot is streets ahead of any other app for tweeting on Android. Oh, and I can actually expect updates for my phone when they come out, instead of waiting and hoping they arrive at some point.
The size is just right
I like big phones and I cannot lie. The Galaxy S III’s bigger screen was great for video or the games I did play on there. But it is nice to be able to tweet or reply to a text while walking down the street or while standing and hanging on for dear life on an L train. However, the 16:9 aspect ratio still adds a lot to games, makes video-watching great, and shows more info in portrait-orientation apps.
Google services are getting better on iOS
I use several Google-powered email accounts. The Gmail app on Android has been just about perfect for me. The Apple email app’s lack of push email and different langauge for some features still annoy me. But the email app situation has improved: Sparrow lacks native notifications but is fantastic for tackling unread email, and the Gmail app’s 2.0 update is fantastic. Plus, for the rare times I do check Google+, the iOS app is definitely on par with the Android one, and Google Voice, which I still use, is perfectly usable as well. Just because I left Google’s OS doesn’t mean I have to leave my Google services.
I still don’t regret having left iPhone two years ago – and I hope the Android Rundown readers don’t either! But iPhone has definitely improved in the past two years and while I could have stayed with Android and been happy, I love my iPhone purchase. It just feels right.