My first smart phone was an Nexus device that I came to love, and I stuck with Nexus line of devices up until a few weeks ago. I switched to an iPhone 5S, but I still love and will continue to use Android. My switch came for numerous reasons, and some had to do with the adoption rate of Google services like Google Wallet. Apple has this distortion field that allows them to get not only consumers to use a service or product but also get business on board. Apple recently announced Apple Pay which will use NFC to make payments in stores like McDonalds, Walgreens, and other big retailers. Google hadn’t been able to get this adoption or similar reaction that Apple was able to garner in just announcing the service. I want my phone to just work, because I don’t want to sit there having to worry about whether an app or service that I use will be supported on my handset. Another prime example would be Google Hangouts, which is meant to directly compete with Apple’s iMessage. However, Google Hangouts is buggy, not widely used, and overall a huge let down. Hangouts may be cross platform, but a majority of my friends, co-workers, and classmates all use iPhones. Now don’t get me wrong I loved Google’s open platform, easy ability to share, and the interactive notifications they have worked so hard on.
As I said before it comes down to support. iOS still manages to grab exclusive apps that are not only useful but interesting and helpful. Android still doesn’t get apps first, and whether that’s a its harder to code for Android or iOS is easier to test on is the big question. On my Nexus device I would always have issues with apps crashing or features missing compared to the iOS version. This was a large disappointment to me because I was using the Android phone as my main driver. The app Facebook messenger which I use a lot to group message fellow writers and my group of friends would constantly give me issues. Another problem with the app is features like voice messaging was built into the Android app but when you tried to use it nothing would happen. It was a constant problem for me and a huge deal breaker in the end. I like my apps to work when I’m on the go and out with friends.
Another thing that I enjoy about Apple is their high quality phone build, along with the beautifully designed UI. Everything on the phone seems to flow together, and even apps have a certain design that match the phones overall look. Android although still has a lot of different designs, and Android can be skinned with ugly UI’s from different manufacturers that cause more issues than need. Though I used a Nexus 5 as my main phone I still used other Android devices often enough to get a distaste for the archaic designs they have – cough Samsung. Now I know Apple has its own set of problems from getting your apps into the iTunes store to having some old designs from iOS 6 still floating around.
The big downside for me in this switch is how locked in I was to the Google Play ecosystem, and now Apple will start to lock me in a little too. All of the apps, music, and movies I have bought on the Play store are more or less stuck on my Android devices. I have to start over on my iPhone, which isn’t all that bad. The reasons we have fandoms for either side is because once a user buys their phone and starts buying music, movies, tv shows, or apps they become locked into that platform like it or not. Then it becomes a question of whether they want to leave there 1,000 song library with iTunes to jump to an Android phone. I know that Google Music is on the iTunes App store but the app is clunky and hard to use. Google is also working to integrate Android with Chrome OS even more so they can lock you into their platform for good, and Apple is working to lock you into iOS and OSx at the same time. Soon you’ll have to pick between Apple, Google, or Microsoft to run all your devices. It’s becoming increasingly harder to have a iPhone, Windows laptop, and Android tablet.
My switch may not mean the downfall of Google, nor will it affect my use of their services. I will continue to be a loyal Gmail user that also uses my Chromebook often. I will start to use Apple’s products more often and will start to become more locked in as time goes on. I know with the iOS 8 update I cannot wait for OS Yosemite to come out of beta in order for me to use the new features that closely integrate the mobile and desktop OS together. While I’ll mainly use a iPhone I will still use Android phones not only when I review them but to keep up with latest improvements and to test the upcoming Android L update.