Why I finally retired my iPhone

— the rise of the green robot

Image Credit: “1984” by Apple Inc.

I love Apple. I remember when my dad brought home his Macintosh computer with that dazzling rainbow Apple logo in 1985. I used the first iMac in advertising school and I bought the second, third… I have owned every manner of iPod and every generation of iPhone, until now.

Quite suddenly I procured myself a OnePlus 2 (on a friend’s recommendation). It’s beautiful, it excites me — but what contributed to that whimsical moment of purchase?

Apple blew my (and everyone else’s) socks off when they unveiled all the aforementioned devices. They destroyed the status quo, questioned what we do and answered with why. Who could ever forget “1000 songs in your pocket”? Their ability to innovate and simplify was unmatched. And even now, the iPhone’s 3D Touch is an amazing idea that could lay the foundation for a new depth of experience. So why does the iPhone feel so safe? Let’s be honest — grannies love iPhones. Generation Z and early adopters carry Androids. Sure, 100% of our developers (I work at a digital agency) sport Androids, that’s ubiquitous. But, with me making the switch, now all our designers have Androids too. Yes, designers! Apple’s most loyal audience. Why?

Whilst the incremental evolution of the iPhone has been taking place, the folks over at Nexus, Samsung and OnePlus have been designing phones that are faster, have more space, more memory, better and bigger screens — all for way less money. Now, I know what you are thinking: “I love the way everything syncs, I could never move away from Apple.” Ever heard of Google? Sure, Apple Photos is great for your mum, but professionals use Google: Drive, Photos, Gmail, Calendar—all kick the Apple equivalents ass and, guess what, they are even better on Android.

Which takes us to software. There is no doubt that Mac OS still makes Windows look like the corporate 90s. But on mobile they are competing against Android — a worthy adversary built on Material Design. A set of design principles, but deeper than that, an ideology committed to designing interactive components that behave in the way we expect them to. It uses terms like meaningful transitions and authentic motion, taking cues from physical objects. Its evolution is documented and, like all things Android, open source. One can’t help but think this collaborative approach is a huge part of Google’s success across the board. It is certainly why Android OS’s are so usable today.

Notifications are better,

the pattern screenlock quicker

and the time-input brilliant.

Oxygen by OnePlus has the sweetest booting-up animation I have seen. It also features a couple of Material Design-inspired shortcuts, activated from sleep mode, for your most commonly used actions: drawing an “O” opens your camera, a “V” flips your flashlight on and off. What could be quicker?

A strong case for sticking with the iPhone: the apps are better. Indeed there are some iOS apps I love that don’t have an Android counterpart. But the numbers are changing fast as folks savvy-up to what’s going on:

Google Play destroys the App Store with nearly double the downloads. Sure, Android users don’t seem to pay as much for apps. But if you were a big brand (whose app is free anyway), where would you put your development dollars? The evidence is growing with the likes of Spotify, Medium, Airbnb, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram already dedicated to building slick and wonderful Android apps, on par with the Apple versions.

I do have one gripe though: Android Emoji’s are ugly, and I hate them. Beyond that, I am yet to see the longevity of the hardware, but at half the price it could last half as long.

Go on, what have you got to lose? The hardware is shiny and fast, the software is inventive and intuitive. Healthy competition is good for everyone, so help Apple take it to the next level and start rocking an Android.