Monolith149 Daily

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Getting an iPhone?

I’m thinking about getting an iPhone. I know this is a shocking thought. I’ve never had an iPhone before. The only smart phones I’ve ever owned were the Android phones, starting with the G1. I currently have a Samsung Galaxy Nexus with (get out the phone, tap settings, about phone, ah…) 4.2.2. I’d been planning to get a Samsung S4 or S3. I think the HTC One is currently the best Android phone hardware out there.

It has to be Google

I’ve come to one critical conclusion about Android phones. I’ll only accept a “pure Google” phone. Currently that would be the Moto X for the newest. I’ve heard that Verizon’s add-ons for the S4 are unbearable.

My thinking had been that I’d just download one of the ROMs and flash an S4 into a more pure-Google experience, but that’s looking like more bother and annoyance than I’m interested in. In fact, the Android experience seems to come with a growing amount of annoyance, in spite of the great things about it. The signal to noise ratio is getting worse. That’s one reason I’m thinking about changing.

There’s probably a new, pure Google phone soon to come, maybe under the Nexus name. It might be worth waiting for, but I’m inclined not to wait.

The S3 doesn’t seem significantly different from my current, two-year-old Galaxy Nexus.

It’s true that I’m completely ensconced in the Google system of apps, especially on my phone with Gmail Google Voice. However, the web experiences and apps on the iPhone seem acceptable. The Google apps on IOS may lag the Android world, but I’m not looking for the latest and greatest. Lately I fear the continuous feature roll-outs from Google. I don’t find that much delight in what’s coming out lately. If IOS as a platform slows that down some, I may just count that as a huge advantage.

Iphone looks interesting and sufficient

The iPhone seems both interesting and sufficient. The new interface looks pleasant. It promises to bring some consistency and it has the new, thin fonts (that Android recently brought) that I like. Google destroyed the nice clock the Android used to have with the stupid, bold-face hour display. If the IOS 7 UI is consistent and performs well, that will meet my needs.

Best Cameras

The iPhones undoubtedly make the best pictures. My family all have iPhones now and their pictures are consistently better than those I make with my phone.

Reliable behaviour

Android has been multitasking, in what I would consider a pure way, since the beginning and I’ve always appreciated that. However, these days, for whatever reason, I find myself constantly tapping things where nothing happens. Or the delay is so long I’m not sure whether a tap registered or not. I’ll take reliable behaviour over pure multitasking and whatever else is going on there.

That said, I completely admit that this could be a false difference. Finding out will be part of this “experiment.”

Apps and Widgets

As far as I can tell, all of the apps that I consider essential to my daily phone life are available. I’ll really miss the widgets, particularly my analog clock and the weather widget. I’ll also miss the little app that shows the time in various time zones with a little globe, showing the day-night part of the earth, that I can spin around with my finger. I expect there’s surely some similar IOS app there. I’ll find out.

I think the GPS navigation may not be as good, and that may be a huge loss. I’ll have to see if that’s the case and if I can live with that.

The smaller screen

How will the smaller screen be? This might be my biggest question. Whenever I look at one of the family’s phones, I never think, Wow, that screen is really small. I can barely look at it. Generally I don’t even notice. Apparent screen size has to do with viewing distance. If holding the screen closer enough to cancel any difference isn’t noticeable, it shouldn’t matter. This is something I’ll find out. Update: Actually, I’ve now held my Galaxy Nexus and an iPhone 5c side by side and I barely had to move the screen a phone thickness to match apparent sizes, actually solid angles.

It’s an experiment

This will be an experiment. I know the grass always looks greener on the other side and I don’t doubt that’s true here. I have complaints and things annoy me. My live snow fall wall paper is starting to crash and it’s starting to misbehave in other ways. Still, I can always return back to that phone, and a future pure Android phone, if I can’t stand the iPhone world.

If I do make this leap (I haven’t committed yet), I’ll write some update on what I think about the progress.

In summary

My reasons for changing.

  • I’ll only accept a pure Google phone for Android.
  • The current options really don’t outshine my two-year-old 32-GB Galaxy Nexus.
  • Android signal-to-noise (delight vs. annoyance) is getting progressively worse.
  • IOS has Google apps.
  • IOS also has all of my other essential apps.
  • The iPhone has better cameras.
  • I’m convinced the UI behaviour is more reliable and stable.

Some possible down sides.

  • I’ll miss the widgets.
  • GPS navigation may not be good enough.
  • The smaller screen.
  • Something I haven’t thought of.