Donnerstag, 24. Januar 2013

Why I am leaving Android in favor of iOS

This time it is a non technical post, I just ordered an iPhone and will leave the Android world after roughly 4-5 years of having used various Android phones.

The reason for this simply is that while the operating system is better on the Android side (I also use an iPad so I know what to expect), the vendors including Google need to get their act together support wise and quality wise.

Having gone through three Android phones in the past I personally think that there are two categories of weak points on Android, the weak points can be summarized into vendor specific weak points and Nexus specific weak points.

Lets go to the Nexus specific weak points first. There has not been s single Nexus phone which did not annoy me in the past with a hardware weakness.

First the Nexus one, close to perfect, good phone, good gps, good camera good phone, but then HTC/Google basically ruined the phone by using a weak touch display which had multitouch bugs.

I skipped the Nexus S but I heard the GPS was close to being unusable.

I then jumped onto the Galaxy Nexus phone after two years of Nexus 1 only to find out, that the GPS was way worse than my N1 and the camera as well, while the overall phone quality was ok.

The updates from Google rolled in reliably which was always the strong point on the Nexus side, with 18 months updates which is ok given the contract times.

Now to the vendor weaknesses: It is a sell a phone and forget scheme. I have run through one HTC phone which did only get one update and swore to myself althought it had a good hardware never to buy such a phone again given that I rely on updates at least for contract times to get security fixes and new features in. 

So why now iOS. Simply I am so fed up with the weaknesses of my Galaxy Nexus, that I have been looking for a new phone which I am buying unsubsidized so it has to be close to perfect for my needs. The first choice would have been the Nexus 4. Well Google screwed up here again, it is not buyable in my country for a decent price (no play store here, and the only vendor selling it adds 200 Euros to the google price)  and given the state of affairs, it has a camera which probably will annoy me again, the GPS however seems to be ok.

Galaxy S3, I am not interested in a phone with almost no software updates, been there done that I am not buying it although the hardware would come close to my needs good cam, a gps which is slightly better than the one in the iPhone overall reliable build quality. If you are not keen on getting the latest Android software updates in time, this phone definitely is for you. 

Nokia: I hate Windows phone, period there is no discussion about it, the tiles UI simply is not my thing, the Google connecitivity definitely is lacking given Microsoft has not adopted the open DAV standards but relied on the Exchange protocol. Nokia you have a tough sell with me although your cameras usually are unquestionably the best in the mobile world.

HTC,LG and Sony: The golden Android rule applies here as well, as long as they have a shoddy software update policy I am not buying, no matter how good the hardware is. And I am probably not the only one given the recent success of the Nexus hardware.

Blackberry: Out of date, could make a turn with BB10, but this will come to late for my purchase needs.

So what is left: iOS and iPhone 5 with its compared to Android not as advanced as could be - operating system, but reliable good software updates, good GPS and very good camera for a mobile phone. Downside, it is very expensive unsubsidized.

What I will miss: Definitely the widgets and the Swype keyboard, those two are things I have been using a lot on the Android side, Apple definitely has nothing comparable and there Android is superior in any way. Desktop widgets are a nice thing, and most iOS users don´t even know what they are missing. Also probably the better multitasking and the better notification bar.

What I am looking forward to: Reliable software updates for at least two years, Apple definitely has gotten its act together regarding this point. The better build quality on the hardware side with no annoyances compared to the Nexus phones. There does not seem a single hardware issue on the iPhone 5 which is annoying to me. Good phone good camera, sturdily built, good GPS, exactly what I am looking for.

Am I going to return to Android, well that depends, first there needs to be a Nexus phone which fullfills my needs and does not annoy me hardware wise or the other vendors which provide good hardware finally have to start to support their hardware for a longer period of time. Also the recent trend to bigger phones is questionable to me. I don´t need full hd on a mobile phone which sucks battery, I cannot see pixels in the current resolutions anymore.

Secondly the Galaxy Nexus has a size which is close to beaing unbearable it still is usable after a getting used to, the phones are now getting even bigger, I don´t need a 5 inch phone. So I personally still think Android is superior to iOS in any way, but the phone vendors simply make the overall situation worse than it could be.






  1. Windows Phone has actually a pretty decent Google sync functionality. Mails, contacts, calendars etc. are all taken care of out of the box. Most notably, whenever I add new contacts or appointments using my mobile phone, it will be stored on Google servers by default (i.e. I don't have to mess with Hotmail whatsoever).

    Furthermore, if you install the Facebook app, the LinkedIn app or the XING app it also cross-references your contacts automatically, includes the respective calendars (e.g. Facebook events), and so on.

    Whilst having to admit that I am a bit biased myself, I don't see how iPhones or Android phones provide a better integration. ;)

  2. Actually this is true as of now, but at the time of writing it looked like there will be no future Google support for Windows phone. Google wanted to axe the Exchange support and Microsoft did not have any Dav protocol support in. Google now has extended the Exchange support for another half a year to give Microsoft time to implement the missing Dav support components needed.