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Bouncing Between iPhone and Android

Bouncing Between iPhone and Android
by mbriggs on 10-07-2014 at 6:00 pm

 I’ve now been the proud owner of a Motorola Droid, HTC Incredible, iPhone 5, Samsung S4 and iPhone 6. I just can’t decide if I’m in the iPhone or Android camp!

If you don’t feel like reading the entire article, the iPhone 6 is a superior phone experience (judgement made on my 3 weeks of ownership). If you are on the fence, buy one. You might even get sucked in by the Verizon Edge plan, so it becomes moderately cost effective to upgrade every 12-18 mo, vs 2 years.

Verizon Edge is a way to purchase a device. The full retail price is broken down into 20 easy monthly payments, which appear on your bill. After 30 days, you are then able to upgrade to a new device once 60% of your current Edge device is paid off.

Also Read: Samsung Profits Fall 60%

The iPhone 6 hasn’t been perfect. The second time I used the Starbucks app it wouldn’t let me hit Pay. The people behind me in line were getting very annoyed as I fumbled with my phone. Maybe phones, circa 2020 will be glitch free, but I don’t think we are there, yet.

Everything else works great. It’s fast, responsive and intuitive. The camera takes good low light pictures as advertised. I miss the Aviate launcher, but I’ll get over it.

I switched from the HTC Incredible (which I liked far better than my Droid and Samsung S4) to the iPhone 5. This transition was difficult and motivated me to write the article 8 Reasons Why I Hate My iPhone 5 in October of 2012. I came to like the iPhone 5, but didn’t love it, which is why I bounced back to the S4. Let’s see if the 8 reasons are still valid:

Why I Initially Hated My iPhone 5

1. Voice recognition. Siri is much better now. When Dan and I have our “ask the phone a question” contest while dog walking, even his iPhone 5s is roughly equivalent to the Samsung S4.

2. Camera. The camera is startlingly good in the iPhone 6, enough so that my Nikon D70 is gathering dust.

3. Data Plan. I still hate Verizon, but what can I say? I threaten to move to T-Mobile on a monthly basis, but don’t want to hear the squawking from my wife if the transition doesn’t go smoothly.

4. Photo Sharing. I’ve become an avid Dropbox user. Did you know that Dropbox will automatically upload your photos to the cloud, for free, from Android or iPhone?

5. Maps. Google maps is available on the iPhone. It’s a constant companion of mine. I don’t know how I found my way, anywhere, before it was available. It’s a little bothersome that I can’t tell Siri to navigate somewhere via google maps, but c’est la vie.

6. Cost. See #3. Verizon successfully squeezes the maximum dollars out of me per month.

7. App Installation: Works fine, and I appreciate the vetting that Apple does with the App store. Most of the apps work well. The apps in the Google Play store are more of a crap shoot. I find I need to find the apps with a Google Search because search in the app store is lame.

8. Password: I’ve gotten used to typing my “secure” password. Does everyone agree that the Ukranians probably have ALL our information, including bank accounts, passwords, and SSNs? Just make sure your bank won’t do a transfer to a new location without your approval.

In the large, I’d say the 8 reasons are no longer valid. Phew!

Is it Android or Samsung that breaks?
I don’t know if my usage patterns tend to confuse Android, or I’ve been unlucky and ran into strange hardware errors. You’d think that podcasts, music via iTunes, google maps, and lots of email would be a fairly common use case. On the Samsung S4 my GPS hiking app, as well as some Wifi hotspots would really mess things up, and more often than not, require a restart. Google maps seemed to work well 2 out of 3 times. It seemed to get worse the longer I had the phone. One time I did a factory reset and reloaded all the apps, but it didn’t seem to help much.

My 20 year old son had a similar experience with his Samsung S3. For the first couple of months it was a joy. After that, lots of restarts.

The Earpods Make a Difference
I listen to podcasts while walking and I like the Apple earpods, vs in ear, buds. The Samsung phones only support the in ear buds, which I really dislike. The earpods kinda/sorta work on the Samsung phone, but only enough to keep you using them, albeit with annoyance. Having podcasts pause and start again properly is a relief. Having a decent microphone as part of the earpods is welcome.

So far, so good with the iPhone 6. The only Android features I miss are Google Now and the ability to have a custom home screen. I hope I don’t decide I want an iPhone 6+ as I don’t think it will fit easily in my pocket.

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