5 reasons why you should switch (back) to iOS-devices. And 5 reasons why you shouldn’t.
I bought my first iPhone in 2009. Back then the iPhone 3GS was the first iPhone you could buy without a contract in Germany (although I got it from Italy where it was a few bucks cheaper). I loved that thing to death (not literally — I actually sold it in a fully-working state). I loved it so much that I kept it for 3 years. That’s much longer than I kept any other mobile phone before … and after, for that matter.
When the iPhone 5 came out in 2012 I pre-ordered it immediately, waited for a few weeks and was honestly disappointed. It was fast, it looked great but other than that my 3GS was basically the same. Okay, the camera was far better of course.
I like to try out stuff and with Android 4 the Google system finally got interesting for me. Around that time they introduced the Nexus 4 and I decided to ditch the iPhone and preorder a Nexus 4. And I was honestly surprised by the device and the Android-universe. It looked far better than anything before version 4, all the apps where there and it also was kind of exciting to learn another system. It also wasn’t hard at all to integrate the Android-device into my otherwise all-Apple environment. I was honestly happy with it.
I couldn’t tell you what changed exactly, but the little perks of Googles mobile-OS finally got to me. At the end I gave in and ordered an iPhone 6 Plus.
So here are 5 reasons why you should switch (back) to iOS — and 5 reasons why you shouldn’t.
1. The better camera
I once owned a Sony-Ericsson phone that had a pretty cool built-in camera-lens and that was focussed on mobile-photography. Of course it only had a 3MP-sensor, but it also came with a dedicated shutter-button which made it a pretty solid point-and-shoot-phone-cam-thingie.
Since then we came a long way and seriously: I guess nobody would argue that the majority of Android-cameras are just inferior to an iPhone. Samsung always came close, but the complete package of the iPhone with it’s great lenses and the app-environment is hard to beat.
I’ll ever be a DSLR-guy for “serious” photography, but I’m probably going to ditch my point-and-shoot and use my iPhone for snapshots in the future.
Some might argue that they are thrown off by the closed ecosystem Apple developed with iOS. And after owning and using a few Android-devices I have to admit, that some of Androids “Openness” is absolutely great.
Said “Openness” comes with a cost though. Android still often feels a bit clunky and — depending on the app — ugly although I really love the direction, Google took in the last few years (Material Design is the bomb!).
iOS feels easy — it’s that simple.
3. The Apple eco-system
The number one reason Android-users dispise iOS and the number one reason Apple-fanboys love it.
To put simply: If you’re a mac-user your phone will feel more integrated in your workflow with your stationary iMac or your Macbook. You just can’t recreate the whole experience with Google Chrome and Chrome-Apps.
No. 4 actually kinda belongs to the former point. On Android, backups are a PITA. I’m a tech-nerd and I still haven’t figured out how to make a full backup of your device. Of course there are apps like Titanium Backup, but they are extremely hard to use, not at all user-friendly.
With the iCloud-Backups on Apple-devices and the iCloud-keychain restoring an iPhone is a breeze. I was even able to restore a backup of my iPad Air 2 onto my iPhone so setting up the new device was extremely easy.
Because it’s directly related to the Backup-issue I also want to quickly mention that it’s far easier as an end-user to jailbreak an iPhone than it is to root an Android-device. At least in my experience and opinion.
5. The Apps
Probably the most important reason of all. Apple-approved Apps are mostly beautifully designed and feel like a part of iOS.
While Android gets better and better the open eco-system results in lots of useful but not-that-gorgeous third-party-applications.
5 reasons why you shouldn’t switch (back) to iOS
The open system of Android
Android is awesome for people who love to tweak their devices and streamline their workflows.
Automatically unlocking your device in a trusted WiFi-network, enabling and disabling connectivity networks depending on your location without even touching your device, sharing practically any kind of information between apps. iOS-users can still only dream about the possibilities, Androids openness leaves to the user.
While the freedom Google leaves to you also increases the complexity of the OS, it also makes great ideas possible in the first place.
I could rave about it for hours, but if you are an Android-user you already know what I’m talking about and if you are an iOS-user you’re definitely missing out.
The sheer mass of available devices
As a gadget-geek I’m only talking about the flagship-phones here. But even in this upper-priced region you have the agony of choice.
Be it Samsung, Motorola, HTC or Sony. Or “smaller” firms like One Plus, Huawei (I know, it’s ridiculous to call them small — but you know what I mean), Xiaomi etc. You can choose from a wide variety of phones with extraordinary features and within a wide pricerange.
With iOS you are — naturally — limited to the iPhone which of course is a “dignified opponent” to all the Android-flagships. But it isn’t for everyone.
This point is directly related to the one before. Of course Samsungs flagship, the S6 is priced similarly to the iPhone — but on paper it comes with a bigger memory, a faster CPU (in theory) and other stuff the average customer doesn’t care about.
But there are also extremely capable devices that are priced well below the iPhone 6 or the other Android-flagships.
Take my One Plus One for example. At only 299€ for the basic model One Plus advertised it as the “flagship killer”. And in my opinion it really deserves that tagline. You should really read the mostly raving reviews it’s got in various publications.
So … 299€ (or 349€ for the 64GB-model) sounds better than 699€, doesn’t it?
You can find an app for almost everything in Googles Playstore and a lot of them are free. Granted, they are often ugly and bloated with Ads. But, well, they’re still free.
And while, when I first moved to Android, developers where always a little bit behind when it came to update the Android-pendents of “major” multi-platform apps like Instagram I think they take the platform more seriously now. I even see more and more features rolling out first for Android nowadays.
It hurts me to say this, but I have the feeling that the people at Apple are resting on their laurels.
The Apple Watch is the first new product in years and I still think that the Moto 360 is the more thought out product. Of course that might change over time when developers make use of the new platform, but for now I’m kind of underwhelmed.
These days Apple seems to focus more on conservatively refining the iOS/Mac-platform instead of defining new trends. Thats not a bad thing and might be even wise from a marketing-standpoint (“let’s first see, what others do wrong so we can do it better”), but one might think, that the “think different”-times are over.
In retrospect I think that I praised and bashed both platforms equally, but what do I personally think about my recent switch back to iOS?
I totally miss the Yatse-App which is — hands down — the perfect remote-control-app for your XBMC Mediacenter at home.
I also miss the possibility to lock and unlock my device based on my location or trusted WiFi- and Bluetooth-connections. It’s not a big deal. Especially with Apples awesome fingerprint-scanner that hasn’t failed me yet. But it’s a cool feature to have.
But of course I’m happy about my new iPhone 6 Plus. It’s a gorgeous device, it’s easy to use and to setup and I love how the whole OS feels “connected”. Syncing Podcasts, Audiobooks and Music is just so much simpler on iOS (if you’re an iTunes-user).
The pictures I take with it are so much better than the ones I took on my One Plus One (or my Nexus 4 for that matter).
All in all I think I’m an iOS-guy — yet I still haven’t decided if I should keep my One Plus One or if I should sell it. You could probably say that I’m a “double-agent”.