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matthewlswanson

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 22, 2021
3
25
I got my first smart phone my senior year of high school back in 2009. It was some cheapo Virgin Mobile hunk of junk with a slide out keyboard. And I absolutely loved it. I loved the variety of apps. I loved that it was open-source. I loved the interface and customizations. But most of all, I loved that it wasn’t an iPhone.

After only a few years since its release, the iPhone was already a sign of snobbery and pretentiousness. Everyone that could afford one of these(in the middle of the housing crisis) seemed to constantly flaunt their overly-expensive devices. I was on the other end. I had a 512MB mp3 player and later a Zune instead of an iPod and an iPod touch. So when I got my hands on my first Android, I instantly felt like I belonged.

Throughout the years, Android(and Android devices) kept getting better and better, and there were so many options! Want a keyboard that pulls out? Here you go! Want 10 extra batteries and a phone that’s half the price of an iPhone? No problem! This was definitely the sweet spot in Android history. I had many different phones on each subsequent OS version, and had lots of fun bricking and un-bricking them with custom ROMs and recoveries.

My favorite phone by far was my LG V20. In my opinion this was the last great Android. It had everything: a fingerprint sensor on the back(not under the friggin screen that never works SAMSUNG!), a removable battery so I could have 10,000Mah in my pocket, headphone jack with a quad DAC, SD card slot, infrared blaster(this was fun in doctor offices), and much more. Sure it was missing some desirable LTE bands and the screen was meh, but this phone really was all I had ever wanted. It was a very sad day when it had to be retired and I upgraded to what I am using now, a Samsung Galaxy S10+. All in all, it’s a pretty good phone. Great storage and RAM, fast, awesome camera, headphone jack and SD card slot. The only thing I really wish it had were a removable battery.

There are so many things about iPhones I made fun of back then(and often still can).

Storage was a big one. So many people were stuck with 16GB or 32GB of storage, and would have to delete their entire photo album just to install a security update. Apple is finally increasing the amount of storage you can upgrade to, but it is absurdly expensive. To this day, tons of friends of mine are still walking around with 32 or 64GB and deleting photos(which are memories) because they are out of space. And here I am laughing in 1TB(plus a 512 SD card). This is really my biggest requirement in a modern phone. Sure I don’t use all of it, but I have all my photos going back to my first phone, shows and movies for offline viewing, my full music library, and countless files that have built up over the years.

Another was the lightning port. Talk about slow data transfer rates. Devices have been taking advantage of USB-C for years now and Apple is STILL making phones with lightning. Besides being very slow, it’s also not very expandable. With my S10+, I can use an adapter to connect monitors, many USB devices, a standard SD card, an ethernet port. a headset, AND charge my phone at the same time. Not to mention it actually scales to a monitor unlike an iPhone.

The most notable, of course, was the headphone jack. I relished the endless ridicule I could unleash upon relatives and friends when they could not plug in to cars, audio equipment, or even just normal speakers without carrying around a stupid adapter. And even then, they could not charge their phone and plug in audio at the same time. We all remember Samsung’s brutal commercial mocking Apple’s decision to remove the port.

But in the last few years some things have changed. Suddenly, other phone manufacturers began following Apple’s mistakes.

The first thing to go was the removable battery. I guess I can understand some rationales for this decision. Water resistance, thinness, blah blah blah. Personally I couldn’t care less. I’ve never had any encounter with my phone and water. This is a device that I carry with me every day and is not cheap, so I am going to always be careful with it. But there are a plethora of ways to make it water resistant or even proof without needing to take away removable batteries. And as far as thinness, I will take the thickest phone/tablet/laptop any day. Bigger means you can fit more inside(including cooling).

Another quite disappointing trend is the ditching of the SD card slot. Want to double the amount of storage on your phone? Well you’re now out of luck as only a few very lame budget phones still have one. This would be fine if new phones had massive amounts of storage, but looking at the newest Pixels, OnePlus, Samsungs, etc, it’s extremely hard to even find 512GB, let alone 1TB like in my S10+. Like Apple, storage just doesn’t seem to be a priority anymore. To me this makes no sense, as we go to 2K, 4K, and even 8K, files just keep getting bigger. With these new phones, I would massively have to cut down on the amount of several hundred gigabyte movies I could store on my phone, the humanity!

Probably the saddest was the headphone jack. Each year that goes by I see more and more phones dropping this essential plug. I had been hard-pressed to actually find a phone that had one, which was why I chose the S10+. But alas, the S20 did away with it. I can’t say I’m surprised, just very disappointed. Samsung even quietly removed their ad mocking Apple which, in all honesty, was shameful and a middle finger to Android users everywhere. As Obi-Wan would say, they have become the very thing they swore to destroy.

If it were just hardware things like those, I might have still been convinced to stick with Android. I am very comfortable with them and know how to use them very well. But of course there are some very important, and arguably more important, issues to take into account apart from the physical parts.

The first and foremost are security and privacy. It’s true, Android has made some improvements over the years. But Apple is making these a priority. When I am doing banking, signing important documents, or just talking with a friend, I want to be protected. I never really got a great feeling of protection with any Android I’ve used. Sure there are lots of updates to apps and the occasional security patch to the OS, but there’s always a sense that what you are doing isn’t quite secure. App permissions still aren’t very transparent and it’s often difficult and frustrating trying to revoke permissions of apps that aren’t actually needed. Apple is definitely going in the right direction locking down their OS more and really puts emphasis on protecting their end users, while Google and manufacturers exploit and track them.

Next in line are bloatware and carrier versions of phones. These have been a massive blight to Android since the earliest days. Almost every phone besides the Pixel(which has pretty trash hardware) comes absolutely loaded with garbage apps that never get used but can’t be removed and run in the background. This is akin to Microsoft loading Candy Crush on your new laptop. At least Microsoft lets you remove it. With Android you are lucky if you can even disable the app, many of them do not let you do even that. This is a massive abuse and always drove me crazy but I overlooked it because I liked the hardware. Then there are the absurd carrier-branded versions of each phone. With 20 different versions of each model, no wonder manufacturers and carriers can’t support them! Not to mention even more carrier-related bloatware that comes shipped. Apple ditched this years ago and I commend them for that. The pinnacle of my frustration with this came when I tried to use T-Mobile on a phone that was branded AT&T. It technically had all the LTE bands required but when the T-Mobile SIM was inserted, some of the bands were locked down. Apple includes all the bands and lets you use all of them when the phone is paid off, this is how it should have always been.

The last non-hardware point is related to updates and longevity. As hinted a few times in previous paragraphs, Android manufacturers(and even Google themselves) have not prioritized supporting their phones with OS updates and upgrades AT ALL. You are lucky if you get 3 years of updates if any. Again, I’m sure this goes back to the pure amount of phones and versions that are made, but to me that is no excuse. I can maybe understand this on a cheap $300 phone like in the early days of Android, but on a flagship that is even more expensive than an iPhone, this is(and should be) a massive deal breaker for many, including myself. If I’m going to buy a phone that costs more than most laptops, I want it to last a very long time and have faith that there will be consistent updates and upgrades.

All the different hardware distinctions that made Androids cool and desirable to me were all slowly phased out as manufacturers tried harder and harder to follow in Apple’s footsteps. I want to stay on Android, I really really do. If they were a lot more secure and supported I could easily justify staying. If they brought back more storage, ports, and things that used to make them great, I could easily get past their other flaws. I’m no Apple fanboy as anyone that knows me will attest. I have put this off as long as I possibly could. But as Androids have now ditched literally everything that I care about in a phone, there is no reason for me to stay with them when I can get the same level of hardware(which is much too low in my opinion) but gain security and peace of mind. I’m sad to go, but Samsung and all the others have done this to themselves by their own negligence and extremely poor design decisions. And this is why my next phone will be an iPhone.
 

aKansasKid

macrumors regular
Apr 27, 2015
199
99
Yep. Android early on for me. Cost/benefit ratio and all that. Once my regional bank implemented full mobile banking a few years ago, I immediately switched to iOS. Security reigns supreme when my money’s at stake.

Then, too, I don’t use many apps, preferring the security and privacy of accessing news, entertainment, social media, etc., using Safari. And Android inherently runs JavaScript slower than iOS by its very design (and how it incorporates the Java Virtual Machine and garbage collection.) So Android browsing is always slower than iOS browsing. (Looking at you, ESPN and CNN.)
 
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psxp

macrumors 6502
Jan 8, 2008
252
208
welcome to the club. I had the first few iphones to the iPhone4, then went Samsung/Android for years.. Pixel 3 was my favourite model, until I finally decided to come back to iPhone (to an iPhone 12). iOS had matured a lot and apps were supported etc. Oh. and I came back to a mac with the M1 MacBook Air. You can't beat FCP on a Mac!
 
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Fatus_Asticus

macrumors member
Oct 24, 2021
54
52
I just switched. My first iPhone was the 2g and 3g. Prior to that was Windows mobile and after entirely Android. I've owned dozens of android devices over the years and have been very active on XDA and other places supporting the platform.

What did me in was the constant advertising by google, its everywhere; in notifications, maps, etc
They killed hangouts and have half assed messaging, google voice (yet another thing I moved on from) integration
Google screwing me out of $100 in gift cards
The Pixel 6 pro wasn't to my satisfaction
Tired of Samsung and their bloatware
Oneplus, don't trust them with my data
Motorola is a shell of its former self
Android 12 really irritated me in small ways
Wife was fed up that her devices seemed to want to die after 18 months or so
3 Nexus 6p with the dreaded 40% battery then shuts off
Pixel 4a with bad GPS
Pixel 4a5g with poor signal
Pixel 5 display gap
I'm tired of constantly having to settle

Figured we'd try the iPhones. I got her 13 mini and my 13 PM, sold my windows laptop for a Mb air, I'll be updating my desktop to a iMac when the new 27 inchers get released soon-ish and deleting all my history, drive files etc with google and they can go off with Facebook and cry about the missing data and ad revenue.

I'm on an iCloud family plan with other Redditors and its $5 per month for 2tb (split), music, news, fitness and arcade. Show me where you can get that from Google.

My device has been rock solid. Wife loves her. I'm enjoying the easy sharing on the ecosystem and the products are of higher quality. Love the App Store, higher quality apps and everything being mostly awesome, smooth and just working well.

I don't like the IOS keyboard not having long press options. Third party options do. I also don't like the snap to grid on the Home Screen or the lack of YouTube Vance (but I'm using the adguard safari extension which works very well for me).

Overall I am very pleased with IOS and will likely be staying.
 
Last edited:

ikir

macrumors 68000
Sep 26, 2007
1,693
1,460
I got my first smart phone my senior year of high school back in 2009. It was some cheapo Virgin Mobile hunk of junk with a slide out keyboard. And I absolutely loved it. I loved the variety of apps. I loved that it was open-source. I loved the interface and customizations. But most of all, I loved that it wasn’t an iPhone.

After only a few years since its release, the iPhone was already a sign of snobbery and pretentiousness. Everyone that could afford one of these(in the middle of the housing crisis) seemed to constantly flaunt their overly-expensive devices. I was on the other end. I had a 512MB mp3 player and later a Zune instead of an iPod and an iPod touch. So when I got my hands on my first Android, I instantly felt like I belonged.

Throughout the years, Android(and Android devices) kept getting better and better, and there were so many options! Want a keyboard that pulls out? Here you go! Want 10 extra batteries and a phone that’s half the price of an iPhone? No problem! This was definitely the sweet spot in Android history. I had many different phones on each subsequent OS version, and had lots of fun bricking and un-bricking them with custom ROMs and recoveries.

My favorite phone by far was my LG V20. In my opinion this was the last great Android. It had everything: a fingerprint sensor on the back(not under the friggin screen that never works SAMSUNG!), a removable battery so I could have 10,000Mah in my pocket, headphone jack with a quad DAC, SD card slot, infrared blaster(this was fun in doctor offices), and much more. Sure it was missing some desirable LTE bands and the screen was meh, but this phone really was all I had ever wanted. It was a very sad day when it had to be retired and I upgraded to what I am using now, a Samsung Galaxy S10+. All in all, it’s a pretty good phone. Great storage and RAM, fast, awesome camera, headphone jack and SD card slot. The only thing I really wish it had were a removable battery.

There are so many things about iPhones I made fun of back then(and often still can).

Storage was a big one. So many people were stuck with 16GB or 32GB of storage, and would have to delete their entire photo album just to install a security update. Apple is finally increasing the amount of storage you can upgrade to, but it is absurdly expensive. To this day, tons of friends of mine are still walking around with 32 or 64GB and deleting photos(which are memories) because they are out of space. And here I am laughing in 1TB(plus a 512 SD card). This is really my biggest requirement in a modern phone. Sure I don’t use all of it, but I have all my photos going back to my first phone, shows and movies for offline viewing, my full music library, and countless files that have built up over the years.

Another was the lightning port. Talk about slow data transfer rates. Devices have been taking advantage of USB-C for years now and Apple is STILL making phones with lightning. Besides being very slow, it’s also not very expandable. With my S10+, I can use an adapter to connect monitors, many USB devices, a standard SD card, an ethernet port. a headset, AND charge my phone at the same time. Not to mention it actually scales to a monitor unlike an iPhone.

The most notable, of course, was the headphone jack. I relished the endless ridicule I could unleash upon relatives and friends when they could not plug in to cars, audio equipment, or even just normal speakers without carrying around a stupid adapter. And even then, they could not charge their phone and plug in audio at the same time. We all remember Samsung’s brutal commercial mocking Apple’s decision to remove the port.

But in the last few years some things have changed. Suddenly, other phone manufacturers began following Apple’s mistakes.

The first thing to go was the removable battery. I guess I can understand some rationales for this decision. Water resistance, thinness, blah blah blah. Personally I couldn’t care less. I’ve never had any encounter with my phone and water. This is a device that I carry with me every day and is not cheap, so I am going to always be careful with it. But there are a plethora of ways to make it water resistant or even proof without needing to take away removable batteries. And as far as thinness, I will take the thickest phone/tablet/laptop any day. Bigger means you can fit more inside(including cooling).

Another quite disappointing trend is the ditching of the SD card slot. Want to double the amount of storage on your phone? Well you’re now out of luck as only a few very lame budget phones still have one. This would be fine if new phones had massive amounts of storage, but looking at the newest Pixels, OnePlus, Samsungs, etc, it’s extremely hard to even find 512GB, let alone 1TB like in my S10+. Like Apple, storage just doesn’t seem to be a priority anymore. To me this makes no sense, as we go to 2K, 4K, and even 8K, files just keep getting bigger. With these new phones, I would massively have to cut down on the amount of several hundred gigabyte movies I could store on my phone, the humanity!

Probably the saddest was the headphone jack. Each year that goes by I see more and more phones dropping this essential plug. I had been hard-pressed to actually find a phone that had one, which was why I chose the S10+. But alas, the S20 did away with it. I can’t say I’m surprised, just very disappointed. Samsung even quietly removed their ad mocking Apple which, in all honesty, was shameful and a middle finger to Android users everywhere. As Obi-Wan would say, they have become the very thing they swore to destroy.

If it were just hardware things like those, I might have still been convinced to stick with Android. I am very comfortable with them and know how to use them very well. But of course there are some very important, and arguably more important, issues to take into account apart from the physical parts.

The first and foremost are security and privacy. It’s true, Android has made some improvements over the years. But Apple is making these a priority. When I am doing banking, signing important documents, or just talking with a friend, I want to be protected. I never really got a great feeling of protection with any Android I’ve used. Sure there are lots of updates to apps and the occasional security patch to the OS, but there’s always a sense that what you are doing isn’t quite secure. App permissions still aren’t very transparent and it’s often difficult and frustrating trying to revoke permissions of apps that aren’t actually needed. Apple is definitely going in the right direction locking down their OS more and really puts emphasis on protecting their end users, while Google and manufacturers exploit and track them.

Next in line are bloatware and carrier versions of phones. These have been a massive blight to Android since the earliest days. Almost every phone besides the Pixel(which has pretty trash hardware) comes absolutely loaded with garbage apps that never get used but can’t be removed and run in the background. This is akin to Microsoft loading Candy Crush on your new laptop. At least Microsoft lets you remove it. With Android you are lucky if you can even disable the app, many of them do not let you do even that. This is a massive abuse and always drove me crazy but I overlooked it because I liked the hardware. Then there are the absurd carrier-branded versions of each phone. With 20 different versions of each model, no wonder manufacturers and carriers can’t support them! Not to mention even more carrier-related bloatware that comes shipped. Apple ditched this years ago and I commend them for that. The pinnacle of my frustration with this came when I tried to use T-Mobile on a phone that was branded AT&T. It technically had all the LTE bands required but when the T-Mobile SIM was inserted, some of the bands were locked down. Apple includes all the bands and lets you use all of them when the phone is paid off, this is how it should have always been.

The last non-hardware point is related to updates and longevity. As hinted a few times in previous paragraphs, Android manufacturers(and even Google themselves) have not prioritized supporting their phones with OS updates and upgrades AT ALL. You are lucky if you get 3 years of updates if any. Again, I’m sure this goes back to the pure amount of phones and versions that are made, but to me that is no excuse. I can maybe understand this on a cheap $300 phone like in the early days of Android, but on a flagship that is even more expensive than an iPhone, this is(and should be) a massive deal breaker for many, including myself. If I’m going to buy a phone that costs more than most laptops, I want it to last a very long time and have faith that there will be consistent updates and upgrades.

All the different hardware distinctions that made Androids cool and desirable to me were all slowly phased out as manufacturers tried harder and harder to follow in Apple’s footsteps. I want to stay on Android, I really really do. If they were a lot more secure and supported I could easily justify staying. If they brought back more storage, ports, and things that used to make them great, I could easily get past their other flaws. I’m no Apple fanboy as anyone that knows me will attest. I have put this off as long as I possibly could. But as Androids have now ditched literally everything that I care about in a phone, there is no reason for me to stay with them when I can get the same level of hardware(which is much too low in my opinion) but gain security and peace of mind. I’m sad to go, but Samsung and all the others have done this to themselves by their own negligence and extremely poor design decisions. And this is why my next phone will be an iPhone.
Bravo! Welcome to the right side 😀
 

rb24

macrumors member
Jun 20, 2017
70
23
Thanks for thoughtful critical piece. Perhaps leads to discussion of how improved cellular network speeds/cost deprecate storage; how improved batteries/power efficiency enable a more wireless life (including headphones)? Maybe that's why others - having taken their eyes of the puck - are now following apple?
 

TechRunner

macrumors regular
Oct 28, 2016
191
242
I've been an Android user since moving on from an iPhone 3GS, and I'm considering returning to iPhone for a much shorter list: Integration. I've been a Mac user since '06, and enjoy my iPad 7th gen. I had been using Pixels for their superior computational photography, but their lead in that area has now evaporated, in my opinion. So my reasoning for staying with Pixels is pretty much gone. And the integration across all my devices would be nice.
 
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Ceed

macrumors member
Nov 6, 2021
88
75
Because this is a place to discuss things like this. Crazy, huh?

In the interest of fairness and consistency, we need to make sure we always say "nobody cares" to all forms of switching, be it to or from Apple. We're good people, and we believe in shutting down voices equally.

 
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