I have this love/hate relationship with the technology I carry day to day. Since both the iPhone and Android launched, I have carried both phones, both active on a wireless plan. I just can’t choose because something has always been better on one while I still long to use the other.
The problem is convenience vs features. The iPhone has always been more convenient and various Android phones have always had more interesting features. On occasion, I have put down my iPhone altogether in favor of an Android phone. There are few phones that have caused me to do this. I think the earliest I remember being the Nexus 5. When the Nexus 5 came out, I loved it. It was lightweight, had a decent camera, great battery life, and a beautiful display. It was a fantastic phone. Another phone that captured me early on was the LG G4. It had a leather back plate and some buttons on the back. It felt great in the hand and the leather gave it a premium feel. I really liked that phone. It also had a removable battery which meant I could carry an extra battery and swap it out when I needed extra power. I never did that though.
A few other Android phones that made me switch for a while were the Nexus 6, HTC One X, and just about every Galaxy S series after the S6 and every Galaxy Note after the Note 6. Yes, I have had all of them for a period of time. Over the last couple of years I have spent a lot of time on Windows PCs which has made it easier to be an Android user. Without AirDrop and iMessage, the convenience of the Apple ecosystem kind of falls apart.
Today, I am back on the iPhone as my daily carry and main phone. When Apple added dual SIM support, I took advantage of that because my main excuse for having two phones was the need for two different phone lines. I tried the Second Line apps that give you the ability to make and receive calls on another line, but didn’t like them. I tried Google Voice, but it would sometimes send callers to the wrong voicemail. Other dual SIM Android phones at the time were limiting. The second SIM on most Android phones only supported 2G or 3G connectivity, which I didn’t like. Plus, AT&T dropped support for 2G altogether a few years back.
I do currently have more phones than I usually have at one time because of certain features I just can’t go without. I have my iPhone XS Max, which is my daily driver. I use it with the Apple Watch, which I’ll get into in a moment. I also have the Galaxy S10 Plus and Google Pixel 3 XL. I love how fast and snappy the Galaxy S10 Plus is. It is so fast. Nothing slows that phone down. I also really like the wide angle camera. I love the cameras on the Pixel 3 XL. If I had to choose one phone on camera only, it would be the Pixel 3 XL, but the Pixel has been slowing down lately. It is sluggish and things do not load as fast as they did when I first had the phone. This is kind of common on Android phones but I have reset the phone to factory settings and once I get a few apps installed and use the phone for a week, it slows again. It’s kind of annoying.
The Apple Watch is another reason I keep running back to the iPhone. I don’t know why. It’s not like I am an Apple Watch power user. I love that you can make and receive calls on it even if my iPhone is not near because it is the LTE version. That doesn’t stop me from taking my phone everywhere anyway. I have tried many, and I mean many, Wear OS by Google devices. They all pretty much suck, and that is sad. There is so much more that they could do, but Apple has such a lead it would take a lot for Google to catch up. The manufactures of Android devices don’t even seem to care. Many of them stopped producing wearables altogether leaving only a few who are trying to hold on for dear life such as Fossil and the Ticwatch by Mobvoi. Samsung has their own platform for their wearables, but they have lacked features for so long. The latest release from Samsung, the Watch Active 2 adds a few modern features, but it’s kind of too late. They need to treat their wearables like they do the Note 10. Pack all of the features in until they find a winning combination.
Tablets are another consideration. The iPad is leaps and bounds better than the nearest competitor which is Samsung with the Galaxy Tab S6. The Galaxy Tab S line is another example of a device they make because they need to but don’t give it the attention it deserves. I love the Tab S line and even made the Tab S4 my main tablet for a while. However, Samsung tablets don’t get hardly any feature updates. You are stuck unless you want to purchase the next model. Nothing exciting has happened with their tablets in ages and Apple has pulled ahead so far with the iPad. Samsung was a leader in stylus technology with the S Pen, now the Apple Pencil is better and it’s only in its second generation.
This is what happens when you focus in too many areas. Apple has a core focus that makes it easy for the entire company to not only get behind but continue to follow. Samsung has so much going on that it is hard to maintain a core focus like that. You can see it in their products and I saw it in their Unpacked event earlier this week for the Note 10. Samsung has the finances and strength to take over, but they don’t listen to the main complaints of the users, which is that they don’t have a strong ecosystem across their products. If they did, I would go all in on Samsung. Google could also fix this, but they don’t.
Google could easily create cross platform software that could make for an Apple like ecosystem, but they don’t. The closest thing to iMessage that Android has is Android Messenger for the web, which only lets you be connected to one device at a time. You have to use a web browser, and it’s not the best experience. It is better than nothing, but it’s not a winner for sure. Google needs an AirDrop like connection between devices. This would be easy to achieve by adding it as a feature to Google Drive, but they don’t. I use Sendanywhere when I need to send files between my devices, but it’s not a perfect solution either. It is as close to AirDrop as you can get and even though it is free, I pay for the service to help them keep the lights on.
How important is strong connectivity between devices you ask? Pretty important to me. If we are ever going to use our smaller smart devices in place of a laptop or desktop computer, we need them to work together. Apple has this, Android doesn’t. It needs to be simple like Apple makes it. Microsoft is slowly trying. They recently announced updated to the Your Phone App for Windows 10 that will allow you to do more between your Android phone and Windows 10 computer, but that doesn’t solve the tablet problem. It does get us a lot closer though. I will be trying it next month when the update comes to the Your Phone App.
So what do you think? I know that this conversation is almost as old as time at this point, but it’s still a conversation and a major consideration when choosing devices. When I talk to someone who is not an Apple user, their main complaint is that they just don’t like Apple. They can’t say anything bad about the product lineup, they just don’t like the company. To me, that means they are willing to be inconvenienced just to avoid using a companies products. Kind of lame if you ask me. There are plenty of reasons to dislike all of the companies I have mentioned in this article, but they control our technology.
What devices are you currently using and what feature or features would it take to get you to jump ship to the other platform? Share that with me in the comments section below.