Upcoming Phones —Why This Converted Android User Will be Sticking With The iPhone.
AAAAAH Fall is upon us! The time for beautiful scenery, ugly boots, pumpkin spice everything, and crisp, cool sweater weather. It is a magical time. However, if you are a geek who is extremely into the latest and greatest technology, the Fall can also be a confusing and anxious time as you wait for companies to announce their latest flagship devices. This year, in particular, the three players in my personal struggle are Samsung (note 8, already announced) Google, and Apple.
For those of you who cringed at Apple, I will explain. For the better part of the last 4 years or so, I have been an Android guy. I used to Love my iPhone but I couldn’t resist the excitement of new features that Apple just wasn’t keeping up with. I had tested or owned just about every major flagship that was released over that span of time. Last year, I was completely geared up for the release of the Note 7! It was the chosen one! It was supposed to bring balance to the competition, not explode on it… I was so excited and couldn’t wait to get my hands on one. I even had one on order and one morning, I woke up to a message that I wouldn’t be receiving it right away. Disappointed, but still optimistic, I hung in there waiting for a shipping date and then bad news upon bad news lead to my ultimate realization that it wasn’t going to happen. I then realized that my funds that I had spent on ordering that phone to me were released and I could have any phone that I wanted. I have always been a fan of stock android (or vanilla android for you cool kids) and had used the Nexus 6P as a daily driver for a long time. So naturally, I was drawn to the Pixel XL. (I have bigger hands and I love screen real estate so the regular pixel just will not suffice.) So now accepting that the Note 7 was dead to me, I decided to go with the Pixel XL and was more than happy to do so because it looked like an amazing device. Only one problem… I could not get my hands on one with the upped storage capacity for under a thousand dollars to save my life. Google must have greatly underestimated demand on this device. So.. here we are in the Fall, going into winter and I don’t have a new phone. I felt like a disgrace among all fellow geeks. Especially since I had sold off my S7 to cover part of the cost of a new phone and was rocking a temporary Moto X 2014 edition… Then the following words were said to me by Bob at the Verizon store, “Why don’t you just get an iPhone?”
The words hit my ears like nails on a chalk board. I admittedly hadn’t kept up with the past couple iPhone releases. I had read the “Spark Notes” on the new features and had set a couple up for some users but nothing in depth as it wasn’t even a consideration. After the ringing in my ears stopped, I looked at Bob and said, “Excuse me?” In the same exact tone as before, he asked, “Why don’t you just get an iPhone?” He went on to say, “The new 7 Plus is big, it has amazing speakers, a great battery, and is water resistant, blah blah blah”. This time I realized that I wasn’t in the twilight zone and I was truly being asked to consider using an iPhone as a daily driver… After brief consideration, I decided to give in and at least take a look. After all, Bob has always been very good to me and I didn’t want to come off as a jerk. I went over to the display of doom and picked up the 7 plus like a new parent picks up a blown out diaper… I looked at it with disgust and then finally thought, I’m here… might as well make the best of it. After playing with it and realizing that many of google’s services that I have grown to love were also available on the iPhone, I decided to try it. If I didn’t like it, I was allowed to bring it back and get something else so I decided to give it a shot. After a couple days of hatred towards the OS and multiple password requests for simple tasks, I became kinda used to and even somewhat intrigued by the simplicity of the interface. Bob had not lied, The speakers were amazing, the battery life was excellent, so on and so forth. The only thing I wasn’t too impressed by was the display, but only in outdoor lighting situations. I grew to love the hardware and didn’t realize all that I had been missing out on in iMessage as most of my family and close friends are iPhone people. I was even able to change my keyboard to Gboard by Google. So here I was with excellent hardware with water resistance, all of my Google services still work, Carplay is running better on my head unit than Android Auto ever did, I have Garage Band and iMovie in my pocket, and I can still Chromecast? It was like a dream come true. I have been in love with the 7 plus every day since. It runs like Forest Gump and I never have stability issues or random force closing of apps that several of the Android phones I used did. Now let’s fast forward to the good stuff… Fall 2017… The here and now…
As the Note 8 was announced the other day, I found myself experiencing extreme FOMO. So naturally, the geek in me read the articles, watched all of the videos and all of the first impressions by the YouTube greats. (Shoutout to MKBHD who is my favorite) I found myself getting extremely anxious to get my hands on one so the next day, I rushed down to my local Best Buy in hopes that they had one on display. As I walked in, EUREKA! There it was. I walked slowly up to the display with victory music playing in my head. The moment was here… redemption from last year… time to ditch this iPhone and get back to the good stuff. As I picked it up, the Samsung rep came over and bombarded me with all of the new features and told me how incredible each of them are. As I rummaged through Samsung’s awkward android skin (I’ve always despised Touchwiz but tolerated it for the great hardware) I realized that many of these features that I was so uncontrollably excited for, reminded me of a weird neighbor that I only talk to once every few months. You know he’s there, but you don’t really want anything to do with him. Sometimes he gets in the way. All the time he is awkward… This is what I found in playing with the new features. They weren’t very useful, practical, or something that would really matter to me on a daily use basis. Some of these features even got in the way as I was using the phone the way I would and opening random things, such as side menus, that felt clunky and weird. Now please remember that this is strictly going off of the way that I use the phone phone and are only my opinions based on my usage. Some people may find these features to be perfect and more power to them. I was instantly reminded of the many times I made fun of Apple for being late to the party or leaving off certain features and suddenly it clicked… Yes, Apple does lack many of these “groundbreaking” features in their iPhone releases, but the ones that they do release, I actually use.
So here we are, a year later. My tune has completely changed. Out of rebellion, I decided to look up the leaks for Google’s upcoming Pixel 2 and saw nothing about water resistance which may not be big to some people, but after having it, I wouldn’t go without it given the option. Especially when traveling. The iPhone 8 is rumored to be ditching the home button, having a bigger OLED edge to edge display, wireless charging (which I’m sure will be some annoying proprietary technology), and iOS11 (which I’ve already grown to thoroughly enjoy in the beta). It may not have a million new features, but it does have new features that I will enjoy every single day and actually use. It will keep the things I don’t want out of my way and continue to provide fast and intuitive ways to the things I do want. I will take it out of the box, possibly update it, restore an iTunes backup and be up and running in a few minutes. No hours spent uninstalling terrible bloatware, installing different launchers, different keyboards, etc. I guess you can say, I’ve become a little bit of an iPhone guy… I did not choose it… it chose me
— Written by a 31 year old grandpa