Why I'm going back to iOS

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by pmontanarella, Nov 18, 2012.

  1. pmontanarella macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2012
    Vancouver, Canada
    I bought my first smartphone back in September of 2010, I got a 32GB iPhone 4 and I thought that I would never, ever, change phone (at least for something other than another iPhone); however, last January, after much thought, I decided to make the jump and try out Android. I got the Galaxy Nexus, which I believed was the best option out there since it was the only phone running Ice Cream Sandwich at the time and I really liked the stock Android UI. Well about a year later, I’m thinking of going back to the simpler, yet more refined, iOS. In my opinion the overall UI seems a lot better and much more intuitive.

    There are many things to love about iOS but surely there’s nothing in it that is still as ahead of the competition as the App Store. The app selection on iOS is insanely great and, with it being a controlled community, all the apps are guaranteed to work and offer good UIs. I think we can see for many apps that they are just better for iOS than they are for Android. An example would be the Facebook app that is sometimes really laggy on my Galaxy Nexus while on iOS it is as smooth as butter. The great advantage iOS had over its competitors is the fact that it only has 1 device (2 if you count different screen sizes with the iPhone 5) and therefore all the apps are designed specifically for a certain screen size and a certain hardware, and not like on Android where there are hundreds of different devices, with different screen sizes. Also, we’ve noticed with many apps, such as Instagram, that apps are often released on the App Store before being recoded for Android and the Play Store.

    While Apple’s closed system may seem limiting, once you’re in it, it’s really nice and everything works pretty much seamlessly. One great feature about iOS, since iOS 5, is iMessage and while many may say that there are many, cross-platform, alternatives such as WhatsApp, none of them integrate with the OS as well as iMessage does on iOS; the fact that the service is integrated directly into the Messaging app means that you don’t even have to think about using the service – as Steve used to say “it just does the right thing”. Another service Apple provides to all iOS users is iCloud that allows users to keep everything in sync with all their devices. iCloud works perfectly, however, also Android has its type of iCloud that uses Google’s Gmail, Contacts and Calendars, and, with all honesty, Gmail is much better than iCloud mail. Thankfully Google Sync can be set-up on iOS as well.

    Build quality and performance:
    When it comes to build quality nothing really even comes close to the outstanding build quality of Apple products. Many Android phones are still made with plastic backs that, while less prone to damage and, if they do damage, a lot less expensive to replace, give the phone a sense of cheapness and short lifespan. Another thing I don’t like about Android phones is that, while they often run on more powerful chipsets, the phone itself doesn’t give the sense of high performance due to the fact that the Android OS itself is often laggy (this was partially fixed with Project Butter in Jelly Bean 4.1). The battery life, on many Android phones, is quite bad as well (an example is my Galaxy Nexus) and I often struggle getting through a day with regular usage (data on with emails going in and out and syncing occurring in the background, regular Facebook and Twitter refreshes, about 30 minutes of calling plus browsing and texting both on WhatsApp and through standard SMS). I really didn’t notice any such issue with my iPhone 4 and I also used it to listen to music while commuting (2+ hours a day) and sometimes also watching movies.

    “One More Thing”:
    A last thing I love about iOS is the fact that “it just works”, and, after reading Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson, I think that is really what Steve was going for. By controlling the user experience and by building the software and the hardware together, we end up with a product that just works, and I think that really is reflected in all Apple products, not just the iPhone.

    In conclusion I think I might be switching back to iOS quite soon, unless Google surprises me with a major Android overhaul (which is unlikely due to the recent release of Jelly Bean 4.2). The choice you make comes down to personal preference and, while Android has many great features such as great notifications, the ability to customize the phone how you’d like and quick settings in the Notification Bar, I think iOS will satisfy my needs better than Android.

    What do you guys think? Do you think these are good reasons? What do you use? Why? Do you think I missed an important point for or against iOS?
    Please let me know!

  2. nuckinfutz macrumors 603


    Jul 3, 2002
    Middle Earth
    We don't want you back.

    kidding ...kidding :D

    I'll try an Android eventually when it won't cost me 40 a month on my plan. I just like my Apple ecosystem a bit too much.
  3. daveathall macrumors 68000


    Aug 6, 2010
    North Yorkshire
    Looks like you gave Android a try and prefer iOS, I went the other way.:)
  4. OceanView macrumors 65816

    Sep 16, 2005
    if you prefer iOS, go back. No need to get other peoples approval.

    I think Android phones have made the biggest improvements with the intro of the Samsung S3 and Note series.
    For people in the market now, Android may be a more satisfying experience compared to when you bought in.
  5. michaeljohn macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2012
    Good points and I completely agree with you on things like apps and performance. I have had 7 Android phones over the past 3 years. While I really like the OS, fragmentation on phones and carriers where the new phone I just bought was already running an outdated OS (and sometimes 2 updates behind) led me to make the switch to the iphone 5.

    Apps like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are not only much faster but are way smoother with more features than the Android versions. Then there is the overall speed. Everything you do on the 5 is just super fast and smooth. Safari is lightning fast too, much faster than the stock browsers on any Android phone I owned including the S3. Not to mention the way the 5 integrates with my ATV and other Apple products and the way it works with my Pioneer head unit in my car. Just too many pros to avoid it any longer.
  6. gotzero macrumors 68040

    Jan 6, 2007
    Mid-Atlantic, US
    Apps and service you are correct, build quality and performance I could not disagree with you more.

    Apple has had a ton of problems getting their phones to work correctly as phones. Even when they do work (do not drop calls) voice quality is not the best, speakerphone is not loud enough, etc. After a little more than a week of switching from the iPhone, I am noticing that I no longer have to walk to open areas to not drop calls, and I am getting told regularly that I now sound much clearer on the phone.

    We all made a lot of excuses for Apple while they forced the smartphone market into the 21st century. I am glad they did, and I am glad I supported them while they did it, but at this point, the competition has caught up.

    Take a look at the laptop market. I did my annual laptop shop this fall desperately wanting a PC and I ended up with a Macbook Pro because the competition is just not there at any pricepoint. The same can no longer be said about the iphone.

    I am mostly dependent on e-mail, phone calls, and editing office documents on a phone during the times I am away from the office. For me leaving iOS was a no-brainer. I am actually glad iOS is no longer the best platform for business, because it was not very good for business. I personally am not interested in the gaming/media consumer market that Apple is choosing to dominate in the mobile space.
  7. OceanView macrumors 65816

    Sep 16, 2005
    Which phone did you get?
  8. pmontanarella thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2012
    Vancouver, Canada
    Sure Apple has had quite a few problems with dropped calls (Antennagate) however, i think the build quality of the devices is still years ahead (metal and glass vs. plastic. I agree that the competition has caught up, however, I think now, since they are pretty much equal in levels it really comes down to personal choice.
  9. michaeljohn macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2012
    Interesting. I am getting told this after switching to the iPhone 5, go figure. Calls also sound better and more clear on my end thru the ear piece. The reason the speakerphone sounds "low" is because Apple knows what they are doing. I blew the speakerphone on my Droid Razr Maxx in less than 2 weeks and so did many other who own the phone. Meaning you are left with a crackling muffled sound and the speakerphone becomes useless. Being able to crank up the sound doesnt mean you should.
  10. gotzero macrumors 68040

    Jan 6, 2007
    Mid-Atlantic, US
    Right now I am using a Lumia 920.

    I agree it comes down to choice, and I am sure that for a wide segment of the media consuming population iOS is a great choice, but I think Apple is going to lose the professional space, and I do not know about all of you, but I only want to carry one phone. As far as metal and glass vs. plastic, for a phone, how it looks is not nearly as important as how tough it is. If you are on your phone a lot, odds are you put your nice metal and glass phone in a plastic case anyway...

    If they improved the voice quality that is great! My 4/4S experience was not so good. I am not after ear deafening speakerphones, I just want to have a normal two-way conversation with no screaming. I understand why Apple works so hard to have thin devices, but I think at the end of the day that means sacrifices in audio quality.

    I hope that iOS, or Android, or Windows Phone, or Blackberry, or anyone else continues innovating in the mobile space. At least now we have some legit competition so things are going to get better!
  11. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    I disagree. I find apps much more powerful on Android vs there iOS counterpart. It was only a few days ago when the updated the iOS Facebook app to tag names mid sentence, share post, and delete comments/post. Aside from that you can have apps like tasker that are very useful but iOS restrictions are to tight to allow anything like that to happen in iOS. There is little to no integration with other apps, from iOS's camera roll I can not access Google Drive or Dropbox however a friend messages me a picture I have MORE options.....integration is a cluster f....

    Check it out.....

    Camera Roll

    A picture that was texted to be and still in the message app.
  12. greenchiliman macrumors 6502

    Jul 29, 2010
    Interesting point. I was an original droid user and felt like I was a beta tester. Got a 4S when I was up for renewal and felt like I had an actual product. I have heard many good things about the S3, but still feel burned by my previous experience
  13. michaeljohn macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2012
    Fine by me. I dont need to share pics with dropbox, bluetooth or any of the other things my S3 could. I use FB, Twitter, messages and email...so Im good :)
  14. webslinger85 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 8, 2010
    I'm thinking of going the same way right now. I picked up an HTC Raider/Vivid a few weeks back for cheap, and haven't touched my iPhone 4 since. Before i got the HTC i considered picking up a Nexus 7, but now i'm thinking of selling my iPhone 4 and picking up a iPad mini or 4th gen. I'm due for an phone upgrade next Spring, and depending on what Apple has in store next year, i might jump ship.

    Nothing against iOS, i still love it, but i've really grown to love Android

    One thing though, this forum is for Android/WP/etc, so why do people feel the need to say "Good for you" whenever somebody says bad things about one OS over another? All they're doing is giving their opinion, no need to troll. Just my 2 cents
  15. inhalewaste macrumors member

    Nov 5, 2012
    My thoughts:

    Apps: The App Store is better, but the unification of apps comes at a price. Apple is limited to certain screen sizes (and more specifically, small screen sizes), certain resolutions, sometimes only priced options, and despite all these apps, you can't make any of your favorite ones the default app in iOS or sometimes you can't share directly to certain apps (Dropbox comes to mind; you can only upload via the Dropbox app itself). Many of the most popular apps, games, etc. are available or eventually will be available on Android anyway. There are some specific ones that aren't, but to me, they aren't deal breakers (likewise, there are plenty that the App Store doesn't offer. Widgets, keyboards, launchers, different browsers, etc.). I'm not knocking the App Store, just pointing out that there are caveats. If it's worth the tradeoffs, that's all good. Personally, I've found everything I need from the Play Store (and them some). Plus, I get to enjoy a larger screen, make apps default, etc. One last thing: as the marketshare changes, as popularity shifts, as the Nexus branding grows, the developer-playing-field will shift too. It is only a matter of time, and some argue, already happening. This will be less and less of an advantage for iOS, I predict, in the coming year.

    Service: Google services are spectacular. iMessage is a definite win for iOS users, though. If you want to talk about another kind of "service" that Apple has above the competition hands down, it's their customer service. That's one thing no one can or will ever beat Apple in. It's a very good reason to go back to them for.

    Build Quality/Performance: This is easily debatable. Build quality isn't always rosy with Apple (look at the myriad of threads in the iPhone forums about scuffs, scratches, screen issues, color tinting issues (primarily with iPads), loose batteries, etc. There are probably way more if anyone cares to look. Performance is debatable too. It's gotten to a point where it's leveled out quite a bit. Anything you hear about lag or touch response issues usually have to deal with year old devices. Android indeed had performance and battery issues, but those problems have been resolved.

    One MOre Thing: iOS does not "just work." The keyboard does not just work. Safari does not just work (my 4S is limited to 8 tabs which gets frustrating). Apple Maps does not just work. Mail often doesn't just work (it loads awfully slow). Notifications doesn't always just work. There are probably more examples.

    Conclusion: Don't expect anything major from Google for another 8-12 months. As you said, 4.2 just came out (it's an incredible update). If the simpler OS of iOS is more for you, sounds like your'e making the right choice to go back.
  16. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    90% of the time that fine by me too. But I'll use dropbox for work and thats when I realize its more of a toy for social networking then a tool for productivity. Or emailing multiple PDF's, I don't think its even possible. That's why I got an Android tablet, just to do trivial task.....then I fell in love with it....not literally. :)
  17. Markyboy81 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 30, 2011
    I've gone from an iphone 4S to a galaxy s3. It wasn't an easy switch, and has taken a long time to get things how I like them, but I don't think I'll be moving back anytime soon.

    I agree that in general the app store is better than Google play. However due to the more open nature of android, there are some apps that are not available on iPhone, such as bit torrent.
    Also, I love the fact that I can change the keyboard or download a different mail app. Also, I like the way you can try out an app for 15 minutes, and if you don't like it you can get a refund.

    As for build quality, sure the iPhone feels more premium, but the s3 feels pretty solid. As for the comment about plastic backs having a shorter lifespan, i'm not really sure I get this?
  18. michaeljohn macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2012
    ummm yea. Thats why I have a laptop. I dont need my PHONE to work with PDFs and other documents. I think people who expect their PHONES to be some amazing all in one business device are a bit unrealistic.
  19. dalbir4444 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 30, 2012
    OK. I think by now it's quite obvious that you are very biased. Going by your logic, you could just get a flip phone since your laptop will do everything else.
  20. kamalds macrumors regular

    Dec 16, 2010
    Email client in Android just dances around iOS email app. That was enough to convince me to get Note 2 instead of iphone 5.


    I had a GS3 before Note 2 and you can replace the back cover by buying a new one for just 10 dollars from Ebay.
  21. michaeljohn macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2012
    Nope. A flip phone wont do any multi media things like movies, games, quality web browsing etc..its when people feel the need to edit work documents and edit and render HD movies on their phones I look at them like REALLY? They need laptops.
  22. dalbir4444 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 30, 2012
    High-end Android phones usually have a big screen, so it's not a big deal to edit/view documents. You can say the same about movies and web browsing too. Watching movies and web browsing is FAR better on a laptop than a small phone screen.
  23. Zwhaler macrumors 604


    Jun 10, 2006
    This. If the OP isn't satisfied with the performance of the Galaxy Nexus, that doesn't speak for the performance of Android at its very best which can be had for less than an iPhone, actually. I waited for the Note 2 because I wouldn't own an Android before they got it together, which they really have as of today. Good to hear a user's experience of Android, it's too bad you couldn't get a better phone that addresses some of the cons you mentioned in the post.
  24. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012

    Yeah because emailing 2 pdf's in the same email is unrealistic expectation that usually reserved to high end business machines. But hey, why have an all in one device when I can spend thousands on Apple products to lug around all day so I can "email".

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