darryl gibbs

thoughts and ramblings

I might buy and iPhone, and I feel dirty…

I might buy an iPhone and I feel dirty for thinking it

My first smartphone descended upon me from the heavens above (via my then cell carrier, Vodacom) in August 2011. I finally got my head around paying the exorbitant monthly fees (the phone was carrier subsidized as most contracts are in South Africa) and the newfound responsibility of managing data usage.

The iPhone 4 was with me. And I with it. Daily I gazed upon its beauty. The glass shimmering in the light, as it constantly reminded me that one day that shimmer could be the result of a shattered screen. Caressing its lovely curves and headphone jack (cough cough)… I was now an elitist. And it was a fantastic device to boot. But the software…

Oh, the software. iOS. Great design and function, brought down by Apples unrelenting need to play God. It was around mid-July 2012 that a friend of mine introduced me to Android for the first time. I was slightly forced into trying it out as I needed an Android phone to show off some product compatibility features at a forthcoming camera expo (I worked for Sony South Africa at the time), and I wasn’t super impressed off the bat.

The phone was running Jelly Bean at the time, and beauty wasn’t a primary focus in those days. However one of the first things that drew me to the platform was choice. I could insert an SD card. I could easily select an MP3 as a ringtone (iPhone needed an app to make ringtones at the time). I could side-load apps. I could set my own launcher, and the list went on. Sure the interface looked like it fell out the ugly tree and hit every bloody branch on the way down, but it was very compelling.

Getting a free Xperia P series didn’t hurt either.

Anywho, I’ve since had multiple Xperias (mostly due to the free or low-cost factor) and enjoyed the aforementioned choice. Not to mention my foray into rooting and romming which aided my curiosity for a pure experience and aided battery life, not to mention maximizing storage. I even listen to a weekly Android podcast for Pete’s sake. But…

I think I want to get an iPhone.

Why though? Well, one reason is just for change sake. Although there are 3 other key reasons:

1. Battery life

iPhone just has the best battery life. Period. This is probably because of the kind of hardware-to-software integration only Apple can achieve. But as our phones are responsible for more and more tasks, and spend more time streaming content over wifi, Bluetooth etc, they need lengthier battery life.

2. Software updates and security

I much prefer the openness of Android, and that feeling will never change. However the tighter control Apple keeps over security updates, and a smaller stable of devices, along seemingly infinite resources, means that they can push security updates out as necessary.

3. UI is fixed

However more important to me is that iPhone receives major software updates 3-4 years after a device is released. This is at least twice that of the major flagships from Samsung or LG. Hell, even more than Google’s own Nexus line. I could do with some device longevity.

Now, I may have just said that I liked the customization of Android, but I’ve also come to realize that the static nature of iOS’s UI may be what I need. I often change things for change’s sake, to the point that it actually causes me grief. Basically, the boring design may be what I need. But for the love of God Apple, please make an app drawer and don’t force all the apps to the home screen. Seriously, it’s not 2007 anymore.

So, back to the post title and why I feel dirty. I’ve been dead against Apple and it’s closed system for ages, and largely I still am, and I let the world know it. I’ve even sadly been involved in a bit too much fanboyism in my day. Not proud of that. However, despite my belief in Open Source technology and software, freedom of choice etc. that Android and it’s partners bring, I can’t help but feel that iPhone is the right choice for me right now.

I sure as hell hope it is, otherwise I’m going to make a VERY expensive mistake.

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