The Great Experiment: When a Long Time iPhoner Switches to the Galaxy

If you know me personally, you probably know I’ve always been an iPhone guy.  I’ve had four different iPhones, going all the way back to the first model.  For the longest time, I was the only guy around with an iPhone.

I loved my iPhone like it was my first born.  I always told people to hop on the Apple train and I loved it when everyone suddenly had an iPhone[1].

I defended it like it was my own product.  I was ecstatic when the iPhone 5 was announced last year and thought the prospect of a bigger screen was more than enough to keep me satisfied.  And it was…for a while at least.

I started to get pretty bored with my iPhone in the last few months.  When you think about it, the phone has hardly changed at all since its first iteration.  We’ve had a couple of redesigns, a slightly bigger screen, added 4G LTE support…but really nothing big.  Apple has added the things they’ve needed to add to stay relevant in the world of smart phones, but the new features always feel like they should have been there all along.  In other words, there’s been a general lack of innovation from what was once the most innovative phone out there.

iOS has been equally unimaginative[2] over the years.  It’s had the same old look and lacks the customization that Android offers.  It’s gotten to be pretty boring.

My boredom with the iPhone, combined with several issues (broken lock button, constant crashes) with my 5, made me question the phone I once held so dear.  I started to look towards other phones.  I was enamored with the giant screens and better features of the Galaxy S3/S4 and the HTC One.

So I decided to try a little experiment a few weeks ago.  I bought a Galaxy S3 on eBay.

It’s not as crazy as it sounds.  My plan was simple; try it out for a while and if I liked it, I’d sell both my iPhone 5 and GS3 and get the new GS4. [3]

I instantly fell in love with it.  I loved the bigger, higher resolution screen, widgets[4], the better notification center, control center[5], swype texting….all the things Apple so stubbornly will not add to the iPhone.  Why, Apple, why?!

The customization on Android was exactly what I was yearning for in my phone.  I can have easy access Spotify and Twitter widgets on any of my seven homepages, make ringtones in a blink of an eye[6], and jump right into an app from my lockscreen.  I could make Google Chrome my default browser.  I had true multitasking, with the ability to watch a video while I texted.

I loved the feel of it in my hands too.  A lot of people don’t like that the Galaxy is plastic, but I don’t really mind it. I’m not sure if I’m a fan of the aluminum on the iPhone; I feel like I have to have a case on it to protect it. Didn’t feel that way with the Galaxy.

I was very high on the Galaxy that first week.  I felt like I was leaning towards it.  And then the honey moon phase ended.

After just a week!!!! Can you imagine if I had done something crazy like sold my iPhone and gotten the GS4 instead of just playing it safe and just dropping $300 on a second phone?![7]  Crisis averted!

So, in week 2, I started to notice things.  My biggest issue was how slowly it felt like I was doing things on my phone.  I wouldn’t say that Android Jelly Bean is slow…it’s just not as fluid as iOS.  It was constantly a step behind when typing and it’s very frustrating.

The WiFi and LTE didn’t feel as snappy as it did on my iPhone either.  Everything just seemed a step behind.

Other issues:

  • Games SUCK on Android. Seriously. Playing Scramble with Friends on iPhone is 1000x better than on Android.  There are also far fewer games available.
  • The email app is atrocious.  Its sluggish and never stays on the combined view.  Granted, I know there are better apps like Gmail, but I like having all of my emails in one place.  A lot of people hate the iPhone email app but I think it’s perfect.
  • S voice ain’t got nothin’ on Siri. Not that I really use either, but hey, it should at least be acknowledged.
  • I wasn’t able to receive MMS messages from some people and when I did, it took forever for them to download.
  • I had an annoying INPUT KEYBOARD METHOD alert that would not go away.  I found a solution to the problem, but it required switching to a single keyboard, which I didn’t want to do.  Annoying.
  • The camera app is nice, but the camera itself is weak sauce.

Granted, I was using a phone that’s now a year old.  The GS4 is no doubt snappier, better camera, etc…but my main issues were with the OS and those aren’t changing with a newer phone.

I started to miss iOS features, like iMessage, emoji, a decent email app, games…I started to miss my ol’ iPhone.

I got excited when iOS 7 was announced.  Apple is finally adding things like a control center and better multitasking, which are some of the things I enjoyed on Android.  So, I put the iOS 7 beta on my iPhone and switched my sim card back over to Old Bear.

I had some problems with it (it is a beta after all!) so I had to switch back to iOS 6.  I haven’t switched back to the Galaxy since then, however.

You win, Apple. I’m a slave to your phone and your fluid iOS.  I just wish you’d make some changes.

iOS 7 is a good start, but I want more.  I want a bigger screen, better resolution, NFC[8].  I want widgets and a blinking LED for notifications, dammit.

The Galaxy is a fine phone, but it just didn’t work for a long time iPhoner.  And alas, I am back on the iPhone train.  Oh, and if anyone is interested in buying a Galaxy S3, let me know![9]

[1] I’m trying to figure out when this happened…it seems like it was around the 4S that the iPhone became so ubiquitous.  Suddenly, even my mother had an iPhone.

[2] How did it take FOUR YEARS to give us a notification center?!

[3] It’s really hard to justify buying a second phone. I was just bored, okay? I don’t have a better answer. It doesn’t matter how much it cost!!!

[4] Seriously, widgets are the greatest. I don’t understand why Apple won’t give us widgets.

[5] I realize Apple has implemented this in iOS 7. Maybe I should have just waited a week to hear about iOS 7 before I went out and bought a whole new phone.  I DON’T CURR.

[6] Could Apple have made it more of a pain in the ass to make a ringtone? It’s a project every single time.

[7] I wasn’t going to tell you the price, but I did. I am not a smart man.

[8] You know Apple is saying we screwed the pooch by not adding NFC to the 5 when they add AirDrop to iOS 7.

[9] Crickets.

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