Hi I’m Raj and I’m an iPhone user…have been since the first “Jesus phone” landed in NZ. As with a lot of people I have owned many other phones in the past (feature phones, Palms, Blackberrys etc – I guess I get bored easily). The biggest problem I had back then was syncing phones to my Mac without using third party apps that would eventually screw up my data. The iPhone along with iTunes fixed that. Friends and colleagues raved about Android and I’ve always wondered what it was like. Even though the iPhone is now a great business tool and a fun toy, I thought it would be great to have a different form factor for a change. My approach was from a day to day end users perspective rather than thinking about the “geekery” behind the devices (I hope that makes sense).
Moving to the “Dark side”
Back in 2011 I checked out the LG P500 (http://www.lg.com/hk/mobile-phone/all-phones/LG-P500.jsp)
(while comparing it to an iPhone 3 & 4). Fanboys called that “moving to the dark side” At first I loved it. I had all the features the iPhone didn’t – actual buttons for calls/navigation, the swipe functionality and better Google Apps integration. After using the LG for work purposes I realised the user interface and OS just didn’t cut it. Trying to write an email or tweet was hard work (I spent most of the time hitting back space). Even playing basic games wasn’t fun, the experience was very “laggy”. I thought “hey lets give this thing a chance, maybe I just need to get used to it”. Wait a minute why should I “have to get used to it”, shouldn’t this device be as intuitive as the other phones out there? Anyway, after a month or so of testing games, business apps, social apps etc. I have come to the conclusion that it doesn’t matter what hardware you use (iPhone 3-4 or the many Android or Blackberry handsets), its the OS that either makes day to day usage either easier or harder. At this point I was no fandroid at all.
Fast forward to 2012/13. I had an iPad mini and an iPhone. I just wanted one device that did all the things I wanted to do. I had a chance to check out the Galaxy S3 and later the Galaxy Note 2 “Fablet” (love that word). I thought “yep this is it, this is what I have been looking for”. I didn’t mind the size and the stylus (on the Note 2) with the drawing apps were useful for concepts and design work or note taking on the run. It also ticked many of the hardware boxes – great screens, replaceable batteries and that stylus was handy. However the cameras were average and using the thing with one hand was a hassle. The software was much better than my past experiences with Android. The navigation was much more fluid however some of the apps didn’t seam as polished as on IOS. Doing some of the basic things I took for granted on IOS was very frustrating.
Its the little things
I found that IOS still worked better in terms of sharing, task management, email integration outside the google-plex, messaging, podcasts, photography and syncing with my Mac apps. The deeper integration with Twitter and Facebook was awesome. The Google integration was also great (not as good as Android off course), but its those little things you do on the fly that help make the experience using the device enjoyable. One thing I did notice was the amount of “Bloatware” in the Samsung devices, but having said that, even on IOS I have a folder of “Crap I don’t use”. The pure “vanilla” Androids might be a better choice. So, as the platforms evolve, it will be interesting to see how the users experiences change over time.
Maybe these are not the droids I’m looking for
So I tried twice to move to “the open platform”, both times the experience was good but it highlighted how intuitive IOS really is. I really did want Android to win as I’m really bored with iDevices, but it just didn’t measure up for me. I know there will be some strong opinions on both sides of this – “Haters gonna hate”. However, every user is different and should be open minded enough to find something that works for them.
“There’s no such thing as the perfect phone mate…”
“…still, no hurry eh”.
Oh, and one more thing
My attention span is such that I’m now looking at the Windows phone…looks cool, I might have to check it out…