Friday, February 13, 2015

Switch from Android to iPhone: First Impressions

I'm a real Google fan when it comes to phones. I like the pure Google Android experience and so I've owned a series of Nexus phones over the years - and been very happy with them.

Which is why I was waiting last year for the Nexus 6 to come out to upgrade from my ageing Nexus 4. But two things happened: First, it was too big, and second it was too costly.

The price was so high in fact that it took it to the same price range as an iPhone. I'm sure it's a great phone and I'm sure Google intended to go head-to-head with an iPhone and so it bumped up all specs, making it pricier. But for me, the result was the opposite: I decided that if I was going to pay so much, I might as well get an iPhone and see what all the fuss is about. The fact that Apple finally had a decent sized screen on its latest device didn't hurt either. For me 4.5 inches or so is the sweet spot.

So anyway, I got an iPhone 6 which I've been using for a couple of weeks now. Here's my take so far:

Things I love:

  • Touch ID. I don't use it for purchases, but I absolutely love the convenience of unlocking my phone with it. It feels natural and efficient - and works every time.
  • Camera: I'd heard great things and I was not disappointed. After years of putting up with mediocre cameras on my Nexus phones, the iPhone camera is an absolute delight: fast, efficient, and great results.
  • iCloud integration: I moved to a Macbook a couple of years ago and use Keynote and Numbers and IAWrite. The ability to stop a document on the laptop and seamlessly pick it up on the phone is great.
  • Battery Life: Battery life is generally good and definitely better then anything Ive experienced on the Android Nexus devices I've owned.
  • Industrial design: I liked the Nexus 4 also, but one has to admit that the iPhone 6 is a handsome looking device.
Things I miss from Android
  • Google Now. I loved the cards from Google Now always popping up with interesting, useful, and timely content. Whether it was flight reminders, or reading recommendations, or sports updates. Nothing on the iPhone side comes close.
  • Openness. On Android almost any application can add itself to the sharing menu. So I could be looking at a picture and share it to WhatsApp in one simple natural action. This doesn't work on the iPhone and instead I have to be in WhatsApp and then choose the picture to send. Definitely less convenient if you are looking thru your pictures and suddenly have the impulse to share.
  • Notifications handling: Apple's notifications are not bad, but since Lollipop, the Android notification handling system is much more useful and sophisticated. You can have much finer control and do more actions from the lock screen itself for instance. Hopefully the next version of iOS will improve on this.
  • Customisation: The ability to arrange the icons in any way on the home screens and to also have widgets on any screen was priceless on the Android side. Much less flexibility on the iPhone front.

Overall, quite happy with the iPhone and enjoying using it. Will I go back to Android ? Let's see !

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