An iOS Confession from an Android Lover

An iOS Confession from an Android Lover

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I’m just going to go ahead and say it. iOS devices are not bad. To be honest, as a huge Android fan, it’s something of a secret I’ve carried for the past few years. I had an iPhone 4S after recoiling from the utterly horrible experience that was the Xperia X10 Mini. I’d be back in the Android scene a year later – but my time with an iOS device was not bad, and that was before the huge improvements Apple have made over the years since. Many of the biggest complaints and reasons to not choose an Apple device have been mitigated, or completely diminished nowadays.

One of the biggest issues that the community and customers have put forth has been the lack of choice. The first way they remedied this was the introduction of the iPhone 5C along with the 5S; an option to go with a cheaper device, with (at least almost) reasonable trade-offs. Then the devices were too small, to which the 6 and 6 Plus were a direct response. Last years’ iteration of the 6S Plus was, in all honesty, a great phone. Reliable battery life, extremely solid build quality, great screen; you name it. Sure, there certainly are things with the hardware itself you could improve (most notably the decision to start at 16GB of memory), but it hits damn near every sweet spot spec-wise, especially when their closed ecosystem can cram out every ounce of performance of the hardware. I know many of you agree with me as well, as there’s been a change in how open we are about our iOS use or thoughts.

Image 032It used to be that, when in conversation with fellow Android enthusiasts, I’d actively hide my history of owning Apple devices. For years there’s been a clear divide and rivalry between the two largest camps, and fraternizing with the enemy was just something you did not do. You either owned an Android or you hated freedom. Alternatively, you either had an iPhone, or a phone that was unreliable, shoddily built and did not “just work”.There’s a spot of truth in these hyperboles, but it’s been largely argued on principle rather than facts; especially so nowadays. The one exception has been the iPad. It’s no secret that it is widely considered the tablet experience, and both sides have always been forthcoming on that front. For many Android users, it has been their first experience with iOS. Personally, I own an iPad 3. Having just turned 4 years old, it still receives updates (currently running iOS 9.3) and battery life has barely been affected by the years, though it does occasionally get slightly sluggish. In the tech world, however, it’s practically ancient by now.

There are still things I don’t like with iOS. As previously mentioned, there’s the closed ecosystem that, while it does have its perks in terms of performance, limits what you can do with the device. Customization is near non-existent aside from wallpapers, and as someone who likes to tinker and change up the layout every other week, that’s simply unacceptable. I love being able to swap out even the default apps for texting and calling, the launcher itself, and many things under the hood with XDA’s help… and for me, the freedom to do that is why I’m using an Android phone. But that doesn’t mean that iOS devices are bad; far from it.

What it does mean, however, is that by choosing Android there is a trade-off. Many apps are developed primarily for (or are exclusive to) iOS, and may not get the best experience because of it. In the iOS camp, the iPhone 4S is still receiving the latest updates despite the nearly 5 years since release, while the Nexus 5 from 2013 is the earliest Android to receive (official) updates. Granted, the 4S is highly unlikely to be performing at its best with the latest OTA’s; but credit where credit is due. We should make our choices based on the merits, not as a knee-jerk reaction and dress it up as principle. It would be better for all of us.