Switching To Android

from the iPhone.

I’ve never been an Apple fan, partly because it seems like a cult, and partly because I’ve never liked their closed business model. It may finally be starting to bite them, for all but the True Believers. And perhaps their faith has been shaken by the loss of the cult leader.

14 thoughts on “Switching To Android

  1. Thales

    I’m not a huge droid fan since Google is also evil, but at least with a droid I can write my own apps.

  2. CaptainNerd

    Can I enjoy using my Mac and my iPhone and my iPad without being tagged a “True Believer”? I have used over half a dozen operating systems and computer platforms in my career, and for the combination of features and capabilities I find the Apple versions work best for me. I don’t hate with a burning passion any other operating system or platform, nor do I automatically love every aspect of Apple’s products and immediately purchase The Latest iThing. I’ve been a software developer for nearly 30 years now, and as I’ve gotten older I find my time is better spent as a user and consumer of technology rather than a tinkerer. This makes me less of a PC person and more of a Mac person by default, because I don’t care about how “closed” their business model is, as long as their products work for me. I don’t need to spend hours trying to figure out how to make a computer do something new, I have people who pay me for that, when I get home I want to spend time with my photography and my blog, not trying to learn more details about the intricacies of CSS 2 vs 3. My life is much shorter now than it was, and so each hour becomes more valuable, and I have no time to waste being a partisan in a fight for or against a particular computer platform.

  3. Rand Simberg Post author

    Can I enjoy using my Mac and my iPhone and my iPad without being tagged a “True Believer”?

    Yes. But that doesn’t mean that the acolytes and evangelists don’t exist.

  4. Michael Kent

    Apple products weren’t always as closed as they now are. My first Apple came with a fold-out schematic diagram of the main motherboard and a byte-for-byte listing of the ROM.

  5. Godzilla

    It was bound to happen. I still have an iPhone because I do not like switching hardware very often. It is usually a waste of money and Moore’s law only works on 18 month cycles anyway. If you want the real change you usually need to wait at least 2 years. However if I had to pick a new phone now I would select an Android device. Probably the Samsung Galaxy SIII or the Galaxy Note.
    With Android you actually get a file browser and can manipulate the filesystem at will. You can use sd-cards for removable storage. The application development toolkit is available for free unlike Apple’s where you need to pay an annuity. You are not forced to distribute your application using Google Play if you do not want to. The software platform itself is a lot more advanced. Because software runs on the Dalvik virtual machine the CPU architecture does not need to be ARM it can easily be x86 or MIPS or whatever comes forward.
    And you have choice. Lots of it. Hardware form factors, price levels, etc.

  6. Pro Libertate

    We have an iPad 2–like that, though I think it’s quite overpriced.

    We also have both Android phones and iPhones in the house. Much prefer the Androids, which seems to have generally surpassed the Apple product.

  7. wodun

    XDA Developers is a great place to go for tweaking your androids. I guess most of the people here are alpha nerds and do your own tweaking but for the rest of us, its a great resource :)

  8. Matt B

    When I switched to the Nexus after spending a couple years with my 3GS, it was like seeing the doors to the world open up before my eyes. The 3GS was my first smartphone, and I didn’t know any better until I got the Nexus; it was like being able to breathe when I didn’t even know I was holding my breath.

    Apple’s mobile strategy is largely “Baby’s First Smartphone”; the system is deliberately closed so that they can create the perfect, idiotproof computing utopia, to push the technology out to people who do not typically work with technology and may not be familiar with it.

  9. CaptainNerd

    Those of you who are singing from the Android hymnal (^_^) have you found anything at all that iOS does better, or anything that you don’t like about the non-iOS smartphones?

  10. cthulhu

    (Long post ahead: for the TL;DR skip to the bottom)

    Oh jeebus, here’s another otherwise sensible-seeming person (Rand) signing on to the tired old trope about the “cult” of Apple. Sure there are some Apple fans that, to quote William Shatner, need to “get a life.” And there are some Android fans that do the same thing – just look at the comment sections of Gizmodo, Wired, BGR, CNET, and you can find plenty of folks who worship at the altar of “open” and would be happy to lick Richard Stallman’s feet (or Eric Schmidt’s, which may be even creepier). Hell, you can probably find a few die-hards out there who pray to Waterloo, Canada every day while their BlackBerry is downloading the latest email. There are always nutjobs – but it’s silly to think they are representative of the vast majority.

    That smug article you linked to is a particularly odious species of click-whoring where a so-called “journalist” pens a “Dear Apple” letter about said “journalist’s” impending common-law divorce from the iPhone or iPad or Mac or whatever. It’s another tired trope that is neither informative, amusing, or creative. Check out the Macalope columns at Macworld for a far better takedown of this kind of crap than I can do (and be prepared to laugh – the Macalope is funny).

    Look, competition in pretty much any market is good. iOS, Android, Windows Phone, even BlackBerry all help drive each other to be better. People should use what they want to use. But they shouldn’t pretend that the devices they happen to not prefer are only liked by “True Believers”.

    I personally like Apple’s philosophy that the device should Just Work with a minimum of fuss, and I grew up on a Berkeley Unix command line running on a DEC PDP-11, first programmed GUIs using Xlib and Iris GL, ran OS/2 instead of Windows to try to stick it to M$, subverted my company-issued PC with Slackware Linux, contributed code to several open-source projects including Gnuplot, etc., etc., so I think my computer geek street cred can keep up with just about anybody. The Apple design philosophy meshes pretty well with mine; I consider most of what they have out there right now pretty elegant (both HW and SW). If I want to write code for my desktop machine, I can download all of the tools for free; I only have to pay the $99 fee if I want to digitally sign my apps as a registered Apple developer and/or distribute them on the Mac App Store. If I want to develop for my iPhone or iPad, I can download all of the tools for free, and again only have to pay the $99 fee if I want to distribute my apps via the iOS App Store. I consider the tradeoffs regarding “open” to be mostly overblown and acceptable for my use cases anyway.

    And take a look at, for example, Verizon’s 4th quarter activation numbers to see who’s “winning” in the mobile phone space. Also, Apple rakes in about 75% of the profit in the mobile space. It appears by real-world metrics that, similar to Mark Twain, the impending death of Apple in the mobile space has been greatly exaggerated…

    Summary: cults are bad; neither Apple nor Android is a cult; competition is good; use what you like – but stop bad-mouthing the other guys to convince yourself that you made the “right” choice: if you like it, by definition you did!

  11. MfK

    “It may finally be starting to bite them, for all but the True Believers.”

    Watch what you accuse us of being, Rand. That kind of talk can get a person burned at the stake…

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