From iOS to Android, part 1

You read that right.  I’ve made the switch.  Got rid of my iPhone(s) and careened over into Android territory.  And so far, the grass is still pretty green over here.

This post won’t be a hands-on comparison (though I will do a bit of comparing feature sets), or a tech review, or an anti-Apple/anti-Google tirade.  It’s really a look at two key concepts within the software and hardware spheres of consumer electronics:

  • UX (user experience)
  • brand ecosystem

The more this post gestates in my head, the more it will spawn other posts on these two topics.

Backstory

I’ve been an Apple guy for a fairly long time.  My first Apple computer was a PowerMac G3.  I loved that machine.  It was all milky silver with black highlights.  The case was so well designed, way before computer vendors were even caring about how functional yet beautiful their cases were.  The hardware was impressive.  I then moved to an iMac that I’ve been nursing along for the past 9 years.  My wife has a MacBook Air, which I’m using to type this post now.  It’s a stunning little machine that I’m totally in love with.  The new OS X Yosemite release is just breathtaking.  The new iOS-borrowed “flat” design esthetic is refreshing and uniform.

Likewise, she and I have only ever had iOS-based smartphones.  We had iPhones back when the OS was called “iPhone OS.”  Naturally, this would put us in one biased camp, not having used other phones.

visorphoneHowever, I will add that I am at least familiar with the Palm product line; I was a Handspring Visor enthusiast back in the 90s with the little VisorPhone module.  At the time, it was the silliest giant phone in a small-phone world; now, it would have been no bigger than our standard iPhone sizes.

The UX that Apple has crafted is bar none.  It’s a work of art.  It’s lean, yet powerful.  It’s mostly consistent and logical.  There’s very little hunting and searching.  A user can just pick it up and “it just works.”

But I’m no fanboy.  I use PCs for my day job; I’ve worked with Linux machines as well.  And I can tell you: computers are computers.  They all suck.  At some point they crash.  Eventually, some software will let you down, it will freeze and eat your data.  And then you cuss at it.

Macs are not immune to these accidents.  They — in my opinion — are a little less immune than any flavor of Windows.  And that brings me to the point of this post:

Up until now, I had assumed the same was true about my iPhone vs. any Android-based phone.

I know now that I was wrong.

(to be continued…)

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