Leaving iOS For The First Time In 7 Years

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I made one of the biggest decisions in probably the last 7 years today…leaving the iPhone and all its shortcomings (aside from the camera) behind. I’ve had just about every single iPhone model since they were released in 2007 and I just switched carriers to Google Fi and picked up the Nexus 5x.

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This may not seem like a big decision but taking into account the extent that phones are intertwined with our daily lives – especially mine – it’s huge. I’ll talk a bit about my reason for being reluctant to stay on iOS.

My argument for the longest time was that leaving the App Store and whole Apple ecosystem would be too much to bare. I know, how many times have you heard that argument? What a first world problem. I took stock of all the apps I use heavily on a daily basis and could only find 2 that weren’t on Android. These are in no particular order:

Evernote / Instagram / Messenger / Google Maps / Gmail / Google Calendar / Swarm / Instagram / Todoist / Lyft / Facebook / Twitter / Babbel / Eventbrite / Spotify / Paper / Slack / Google Chrome / Reddit / Gyroscope / Calculator / 1Password / Venmo /Bank of America / Capital One / VSCO / YouTube / Yelp / WhatsApp / IFTTT / Instacart / Google Hangouts / Kayak / Airbnb / Google Translate / Moves / Strava / Tinder / Bumble / Camera / Messages / Phone

The 2 that aren’t on Android right now are Gyroscope and Paper. This isn’t really a big deal for me. I’ll get into that in a moment.

Another big reason I never wanted to make the switch is because usually when a team or company wants to build an app they usually go iOS first. This is still true and will probably give me fits of FOMO in the years to come. I’ll probably end up just buying an iPod to counter this. I think that making the switch will give me a better opportunity to focus on mobile design in my everyday projects like I never have before. More on this in a bit too.

As for the workaround, I’m thinking of selling my iPhone 6S and buying an iPod. This way I’ll still get to download those apps that are iOS exclusive to test them, use them, and enjoy them (hopefully). This includes the 2 apps I mentioned earlier which are Gyroscope and Paper.


 The Reasons I’m Switching to Android

All those years ago in 2007, Steve made an amazing introduction to a tool that would change the smartphone industry and the way people communicate. It was the most progressive thing to happen for internet devices in a long time. A huge leap forward. OK, you get it.

01. One of the biggest reasons I’m switching has to do with how many Google apps and services I use every single day. It would be impossible for me to use a phone and not have a need for mail, calendar, or search at the very least. It just makes sense to use these on a device where I’ll get the latest updates and best experience.


02. Second, Siri isn’t the brightest crayon in the box. She’s downright stupid when compared to Google Now. The just-in-time and context rich prompts and notifications just aren’t there yet on iOS and I can’t imagine they will be for at least the next 3 years. Every time I have an experience with Google Now it blows my mind that it can have the context that it does. It surprises me and that’s something Siri has never been able to do (aside from the witty responses to bogus questions like “how much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?”

I also do a lot of traveling and sometimes it stresses me out what with making gate times because TSA is a nightmare or just a standard commute to work. Having contextual notifications about travel is a dream.

Online shopping is one of my weaknesses and the tracking info and order history integration on Google Now is amazing. Enough said.

There’s a ton of Google Now features. Those are just some of the ones that are my favorites.

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03. This third one won’t apply to most people if they are thinking of making the switch themselves. I do a lot of web development for side projects and I don’t have a lot of experience with Android and the various device sizes. I oftentimes forget just how many resolutions there are and I think having one will be a constant reminder to test my designs and develop for those different breakpoints.

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I also have a strong feeling with the introduction and success of React Native, more of these frameworks will start emerging and growing so that it’s easier to build and design for the different platforms. That should reduce the lag time between a new app’s launch on iOS and the time it takes to show up on Android. I’m hoping anyway. There are some great strides being made.


04. Price of devices + Google Fi plan.


That’s pretty much it. That’s all it took. When I really started to think about switching and entertaining the idea of living back in the Google world it just made sense. The things that matter to me are better on Android by a long shot. I’ll probably end up doing an in-depth retrospective post in about 3 months on my switch so look forward to that.

Do you have stories about your switch to either Android or iOS? Let me know your thoughts. Want to buy my White 64GB iPhone 6S? Send a message to yo [at] chriscastillo [dot] me and I’ll send you some info.

 
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