Here’s the story. You’re a dyed-in-the-wool iPhone user. You get a new iPhone every couple of years. You have plenty of apps on your iPhone. And you’re a Mac and iPad user so you’re invested in Apple’s ecosystem.
What would get you to switch from your iPhone to an Android smartphone? Price? A bad experience with your iPhone or Mac or iPad that is so bad that even the geniuses at the Genius Bar couldn’t fix it and told you to leave and never return because of bad mojo? I thought about this, and came up with some reasons why I would switch.
Android Is So Google
What would make a switch from iPhone to Android easy is if you’re invested in the Google ecosystem instead of Apple’s own applications; Gmail, Google Maps, Google Calendar, and more help to make a somewhat rich app environment that moves easily from one phone to another. But there must be more to it than that for me to switch. Here’s my list.
Hardware – Yes, nice Android smartphones abound, and Samsung makes some of the best, but with all those Note 7 battery fires and exploding Samsung washing machines, I would need to be convinced that an Android smartphone had better components at every level to switch from my iPhone.
Support – Where would I go to get support for an LG G6 smartphone? Or, a new Samsung Galaxy 8s? Or, any other smartphone with hardware to match or exceed Apple’s iPhone? The Apple Store provides the best support and service a customer can get almost anywhere on planet earth. What does the Android world have that is comparable?
Messages – No offense to SMS text messaging, but iPhone’s Messages is a platform by itself and boring green text bubbles are so 1999. Does Android have messaging apps that rival Messages on my iPhone (and, work perfectly with my Mac and iPad?)?
Battery – I have plenty of Android-toting friends and family members who complain about battery life on their devices. Mine is an iPhone 7 Plus so battery life is, well, pretty good; it lasts all day, even with heavy use. I know Android smartphones have bigger batteries but do they last all day? My friends say no.
Usability – There is a difference between Mac and Windows. macOS Sierra is elegant relative to the complexity and complicated interface of Windows 10, and I use both (and various Linux distros, so I know my way around an interface). While I’m curious about all the tweaks Android OS users have at their disposal, in the end my iPhone is a tool and I don’t want to waste time doing that which, well, wastes time on configuring something that isn’t worth the time to configure.
Continuity and Handoff – Apple’s ecosystem makes using apps on the iPhone a multi-device process as documents can be shared easily between Mac, iPhone, and iPad. Android? Not so much, despite Google’s predominance among smartphones. I show Continuity and Handoff to my Android toting friends or even Windows 10 friends and co-workers and they’re impressed. What does Android have to compare?
Watch – Yes, there are Android smartwatches, but don’t they remind you more of a bracelet you have to wear so your parole officer knows your whereabouts? My, those things are big and heavy. Isn’t there one that is somewhat more elegant like Watch? Apple owns the smartwatch segment for a reason. Is there anything better that uses Android OS?
Updates – This is the killer app for iPhones and iPads and one that few Android smartphones can compare to. Apple’s update and upgrade program is next to none. Already, 80-percent of Apple’s mobile device customers run iOS 10 which came out just after Android’s latest, Nougat, which trails at 2-percent. There are many, many Android smartphones which will never see an upgrade, and few which get updates and upgrades the way Apple’s iPhone customers do. Which one works that way on Android?
You see what’s happening, right? Apple’s walled garden, curated ecosystem protects customers and gives them an integrated platform that works for their benefit as computer users. Android is much like Windows. You’re on your own. From what I can see, the Android customer base is divided into a few basic groups. The technology geeks who love to tweak. The customer who simply wants a basic phone at the lowest price ever, but prefers Google’s apps (free is good). And everyone else in the world who doesn’t know better.
I would consider a switch if Google and Android could address all the issues above.