As a fan of Android, it annoys me to see so many disingenuous writers who smear Google and its software, Android. I’ve been on the other side, I have used iOS and Windows mobile, albeit years ago when it first came out, but I have used them all. Why did I try them all? Because I am genuinely interested in mobile technology and I truly want the best for myself.
In 2007, I was using a Samsung flip phone, on Verizon. I had switched over from AT&T about 8 months beforehand because I was tired of AT&T’s shady billing practices in combination with poor service. I was a happy camper with my slick Samsung flip phone because I could play a couple of games on it. And then Steve Jobs announced the iPhone. I remember it like it was yesterday. It was a smartphone worth owning, not only was it gorgeous, but the OS looked absolutely incredible. It could play songs from iTunes, and the coolest part: it was all screen! There was no keyboard like the Windows or Blackberrys. It was my iPod, phone, portable internet device, as well as my emailing tool. I was in heaven, but the biggest downside was I needed to cancel my contract with Verizon to get that iPhone.
Well, my desire to have the iPhone had me cancel my contract with Verizon, I had to pay the cancellation fee and I was going back to AT&T, the wireless provider I hated. On top of it all, the phone was not subsidized.
Back then, and even now, it was absurd to think of paying 599 for an 8GB model. But that is exactly what I did, and this launch was not like all of the subsequent launches – the lines were not as long as people thought they would be. In fact many people who waited in line just wanted to see the new iPhone rather than to purchase it.
After using the iPhone for a week I knew it was going to change the world. Others around me, friends, family and co-workers, told me I was wasting my money and asking “Why do you need a device to email?” None of that mattered to me. I told them all they will all have iPhones soon enough, and not one of them agreed.
The battery life was nothing to write home about. There was no App Store. There was only a calculator, contacts app, email, music, video, Safari, and a few other apps but it was far more capable than any flip phone I had owned. When I would work out in the gym, people would stop me to say,”Hey, is that the new Apple phone?” It truly was the biggest invention of 2007, and I dare any of you to try to convince me otherwise.
It was 2007, Android did not even exist except as the Android Open Handset Alliance.
The last of my iPhones. I had every iteration of the iPhone and the 5 would be my last. Sure the screen grew from 3.5” to 4”, but that is all it did differently. Everything still worked the same. At this time I started to hear about some Samsung phone called the Galaxy S3. It was supposedly the best Android phone at the time and there were just so many things you could do with it. I was still scared of Android because all I heard was how it was fragmented, most devices would not get software updates, and most importantly I heard grumblings of malware.
But my interest in Android was now peaked. To top it all off, I saw the iPhone 5 as Steve Jobs’ last creation. He died in 2011, and I knew a man of his genius could not be replaced with anyone at Apple. Steve Jobs was my hero. He gave me a device that changed how I viewed technology.
Sadly though, with his death I could see the writing on the wall. Apple went from creating the iPhone, App Store, Apple TV, and iPad to being a company driven purely by money. Steve Jobs wanted to change the world. I prefer someone who makes devices that would change my world over someone who wants to maximize profits from me.
In 2012, Android was really picking up the pace.
My first true experimentation with Android. I had dabbled with the Motorola Atrix prior to this, but Android wasn’t ready then. I remember the ads so vividly. The Samsung Galaxy S4 could track my eyes! It could also preview things like news articles just by hovering my finger over the screen! All of those features the S4 could do were the things I wanted my iPhone to do. And the iPhone died along with Steve Jobs. Not one innovation since he has passed.
So I tried the S4 for 3 months. I hated it. The AMOLED screen, although vivid, looked like a cartoon to me. It was super glossy and attracted fingerprints like no other. So I sold it on Craigslist, but my experimentation was not over. And those features I thought I would love…well, not so much. They were not refined.
HTC One (M7)
My second Android phone. I fell in love instantly. Maybe it was a reminder to me how much I missed my aluminum iPhone, but I truly loved those Boom Speakers. If you have listened to Boom Speakers then you know what I am talking about. The One was incredibly faster than the S4, mainly because it was not loaded up with so much useless bloatware
I still wanted more.
Why I believe Android is superior to iOS
The beauty of Android is that you have choices. Not one phone is identical to the other. You have the purest Android software on Google’s Nexus line. LG and Samsung heavily customize Android. HTC and Sony focus on good hardware. From top to bottom, you have choices of beautiful design, replaceable batteries, expandable memory, different screen sizes, budget handsets, premium handsets, and the list goes on and on. With Apple these days, you get the choice of a small iPhone 6 (4.7”), and the higher spec’d iPhone 6 Plus which is a beast of a phone for something with only a 5.5” screen. The point is, you have one choice, iOS. There is no competition within iOS which means Apple has a monopoly on their hardware and software. They will not allow companies like Sony, Samsung, and LG to make hardware for them. With no competition, there is no reason for the hardware to improve. That is why Apple waited 2 years too long to make phones with bigger screens. It is also why Apple doesn’t have expandable memory, instead offering their customers 100 dollar upgrades for additional memory when we all know 100 dollars is 3 times too expensive.
Apple also has made up terms like “Retina Display” which is another term for less than HD, but good enough for you to spend lots of money. Or “ion-hardened” glass, after all of that confusion as to whether or not the iPhone 6 was going to have sapphire screens. That ion-hardened glass is just Gorilla Glass 3, and we already have Android devices using Gorilla Glass 4, which is much better than that “ion-hardened” Apple display.
Apple will tell you “our phones just work.” Well of course they do. They still do the same things as the iPhone 4S with LTE. They still take pictures, allow you to text, email and browse the web. Any phone can do these things whether it be Android, Microsoft, Blackberry or Apple. Apple tells you that you’re getting “optimized” software, but what you’re really getting is nothing new. iPhones still run on dual core-processors while Android phones are running on eight-cores! iPhones have 1GB of RAM while Android devices now have 3GB. Sure Apple fanboys can sit back and say, “well that is because iOS is efficient.” In reality, the iPhone gives you simple features established across all mobile platforms and nothing more.
Last year I forced myself to go back and use the iPhone 5S. I set it up exactly the way I wanted. First things first, I needed to download my Spotify music to my phone. I set it up to download and then I started to browse the internet, and guess what? The music stopped downloading in the background! Why? Because Apple’s hardware cannot handle doing two things at one time, while Android phones have been able to download in the background for years. Something I assumed would be an easy task for any phone, was an absolute chore on the iPhone.
Earlier this year Tim Cook took a jab at Google making claims they own your information while Apple only cares about hardware and its iOS. Apple certainly didn’t seem to care how you backup your data as evidenced by the iCloud incident last year, when their customers got hacked and we saw naked selfies of movie stars. Apple added two-factor authentication after that blunder, but guess what Android has already had for awhile? Two-factor authentication, which is why we haven’t seen Android users get hacked. Android is just as safe, if not safer than iOS on every level. Writers who are fans of iOS, not all of them, tend to exaggerate and make things up. If you want malware on your phone you have to go looking for it, and if you’re looking for it you can infect your iPhone or Android phone just the same.
From top to bottom, you have choices of beautiful design, replaceable batteries, expandable memory, different screen sizes, budget handsets, premium handsets, and the list goes on and on.
Much of the slander against Android comes from Apple writers who are ignorant. They have never given Android a fair shot, or they write articles for troll bait. The more viewers they get, the more advertising money they get paid. As a true fan of mobile technology, this infuriates me as it misguides the readers and they will make misinformed decisions. Not many people have the luxury of trying as many devices as I do considering its cost. You, the readers, rely on us writers to help you make the best decisions for yourself.
I am here to tell you I believe Android is superior. I have beat up on Apple devices enough. The phones do work. Apple stores are incredibly helpful. But iPhone users sure do pay a premium. If there was a similar spec’d Android, you would pay 200 dollars for a device with a dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM, whereas the entry level iPhone 6 is $649.
I have used almost every flagship Android device over the last two years. What I can tell you is the beauty of Android is choice. Be together. Not the same. Not only do you have the choice of a wide range of hardware, but you have the choice to customize your Android experience. I am not referring to “hacking” your phone, where expert Android users root their phones to give them 100% control over their device, but that option is there if you are that kind of user. I am not that kind of user. In-fact, I am too scared to root my phone as I am not technical enough to understand what that does.
You can download launchers. Launchers give you the ability to change the way your software looks and acts. I use the Nova launcher on my Nexus 6. I can customize gestures, like swiping up on the home screen will open Gmail. Pinching my screen(pinch as zoom) opens Boom beach. Instead of only having 4 columns and 6 rows of apps, I can have 6 columns by 8 rows of apps just by switching launchers. When I am using Samsung devices, which I am a huge fan of now, I can multitask by having two windows open, one on top of the other. I can email and view the web without having to switch between both apps.
Hardware wise, I have the choice to go with the incredibly designed HTC One, or the very functional Sony Xperia Z3 which is water resistant and dust-proof, or the super functional Samsung galaxy Note 4 which comes with a stylus, or I could go with Google’s pure Android Nexus 6. The take home message is Android can do everything iOS can, and more. If you’re only concerned about emailing, texting, maps, Facebook, Instagram, pictures and surfing the web, Android can do all of those things just like iOS can. Do you need a 650 dollar device to do those things? Absolutely not. If that’s all you want to do, save yourself some money and buy a Moto G for 180 dollars. If you want to do those things and more then go get a flagship Android device.
You still do not need to spend an arm and a leg to get a flagship device. If you are patient, and you can wait 6 months, all Android phones drop in price over time due to competition. Electronics, like cars, have the worst depreciation in comparison to other products. 2013’s LG G2 can be had for less than 240 dollars. The LG G3, which is still LG’s latest flagship released less than a year ago, can be had for less than $450. In stark contrast, Apple devices defy the laws of economics, through a monopoly. An iPhone 6 will cost you 649 dollars the day it is released. It will cost you 649 dollars until the day it is discontinued when the 6S is released.
If you are interested in switching to Android like I was, you don’t have to stay with Apple just because you have already invested in apps. In most cases, the apps you use are free anyways. If you’re worried about your music collection, Android has tools to migrate them over. Or, stop buying individual music altogether and move to a subscription service like Spotify or Google Play Music.
Android phones are paving the way for all other devices. Most of you, whatever mobile software you use, have a Gmail account. Android takes advantage of Gmail best. It also integrates better with Google Drive, because they are the ones who created the software. Android phones can always listen for you to say “Ok Google” to give it a command or to ask it a question. The Google Play Store regularly offers free books, movies, magazines, apps, and music. Android is far superior when it comes to notifications, in-fact it might be one of Android’s best strengths. Many of the latest features in iOS 8 originally were developed by Google and on Android first. The advantages go on and on, and maybe I will follow up this article with others highlighting each one of those benefits.
I do not get paid by Google, or even AndroidGuys for that matter. I use phones like the general majority of users do: I email, text, take pictures, watch movies, listen to music, play games, use GPS, read news, and take notes. If you don’t want to take my word for it and trust that Android is far superior to iOS, then go try a few Android devices for yourself. I just beg you not to believe everything that Apple fan-boys put out about Android.