Goodbye, Android. Hey, Siri.
After more than a decade of dedication to Google’s mobile operating system, I’m leaving for Apple.
I don’t have a problem with Android. But I’m ready to try a new mobile experience — and for my iPhone buddies to stop berating me for being the “green bubble” guy in group chats.
My smartphone journey began in 2008 with the HTC Dream, also known as the T-Mobile G1. It remains one of my favorite devices; the sliding keyboard was epic. From there I went through various Samsung Note and Galaxy devices, most recently with the S8 Plus.
I stayed with Android because it had a better camera; deeper Google/Gmail integration; and more customization options with home screen widgets, folders, etc. It also became familiar and comfortable; switching to a new operating system became more daunting as time went on.
But the iPhone’s camera is arguably now supreme. Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Maps, and other Google apps I rely on are solid on iOS. Home screen widgets finally came to the iPhone in September. And as a MacBook user and new owner of AirPods, more seamless integration between my devices is appealing.
My transition comes as Apple continues to gain market share in the U.S. This year iOS took over the No. 1 spot after gaining 20% share over the past eight years, according to Statista. Android still holds a dominating lead for worldwide market share.
The latest iPhone 12 release is “expected to further strengthen iOS position in the market,” IDC reported in September. Earlier this year Apple CEO Tim Cook said the company’s cheapest iPhone offering, the $399 iPhone SE, was helping convince consumers to switch from Android to Apple.
“It’s the engine of our top phones, in a very affordable package, and it’s faster than the fastest Android phones,” he said in May. “It’s an exceptional value.”
It’s been a fun few days with my new iPhone 12 Pro. Learning new gestures and navigation mechanisms — where’s my back button?! — is surely an adjustment. But it isn’t as arduous of a switch as I thought. (Apple also offers an app to make switching easier)
In some ways, there are more similarities and fewer differences between iOS and Android compared to years past. Most popular apps are on both platforms. Top-notch cameras are on iPhone and various Android devices. And with so much of our data storage and processing happening in the cloud, the memory capacity and storage space on the devices themselves seem less important. But I must say — all new smartphones are fast, but the iPhone 12 feels super fast thus far.
Regardless, it’s going to be fun to try out a new smartphone platform. I’m excited to immerse myself fully into Apple’s world with my laptop, headphones, and now smartphone firmly entrenched in Tim Cook’s grasp.
One early complaint: it was annoying to purchase a $20 power adapter since Apple decided to remove those from the iPhone box for apparent environmental reasons.
My initial exposure to Apple device ownership was the first generation iPod, which my late grandfather — an Apple fanboy — bought for me back in 2001. That thing was freakin’ awesome — especially the spinning wheel and the game Brick.
I know he’d be happy with my latest tech purchase. It’s exciting to have another just-released Apple product in my hands. I’m not ruling out a return to Android. But for now, I’m blue bubblin’ it and ready for the ride.