I’ve never had an iPhone, but I will soon.
Let me take you back. Ever since I heard the first rumors about the Galaxy S IV, it was the only phone I wanted. The two smartphones I’ve used – the Motorola Droid and Droid 3 – both ran on Android, and while I’ve had tons of issues with the hardware (random restarts, GPS failings, weird camera glitches and more), Android always treated me pretty well.
But that’s not really true; “pretty well” is sort of overstating it. Android’s a notoriously fickle OS, and the Android update process is slow, bloated and overly complicated. Even though my Droid 3 came with Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) and it was super smooth at the time, within 9 months I was told that was my last OS upgrade.
“Pretty well” is also sort of overstating my relative happiness with the apps available. I live on social media, and that’s tough to do when you’re on Android. Vine hit the iOS marketplace on January 24, yet an Android version still isn’t out yet. (Though its creators say that an Android version is “coming soon.”) The same thing happened with Instagram – it hit iOS first, then ultimately made its way over to Android. The same thing is true of Twitter Music, which led to a great TechCrunch article about why developers go to iOS first (or exclusively).
Help Me, Galaxy S IV; You’re My Only Hope!
The Galaxy S IV would solve one of my two problems – all signs pointed to amazing, top-tier hardware. Samsung always makes great products, so I knew I probably wouldn’t have the same issues I had with my Motorola phones.
But other issues would still persist. I’d still have access to a second-rate OS (though, to be fair, one that I could mod and root far easier, but that’s not something I have any interest in), and I’d still be at Google’s whim as to when new Android versions (like the upcoming Key Lime Pie) would be available on my phone. Samsung is so unhappy about its lack of control in this situation that it’s reportedly going to leave Android and develop its own OS.
As we got closer to the launch date of the Galaxy S IV, more writing on the wall appeared:
- The Wall Street Journal said that the S IV is a good, not great, step up from the S III.
- It’s more fragile than both the iPhone 5 and S III.
- Preloaded apps take up half of the phone’s storage, which is what I hate most about Android phones – all the pre-loaded crap you don’t use. (And yes, I know the phone’s storage is expandable, but that’s just an additional cost I don’t want to spend.)
By being on Verizon, I’m also not able to get what is, arguably, the best Android phone this year: the HTC One. (In its review of the Galaxy S IV, Gizmodo said you should only buy the S IV instead of the One if you’re on Verizon, or want expandable storage. Great. Thanks for the options, Verizon!)
It All Comes Back to iOS
I love my iPad. I really like my iPod (when it’s not freaking out). iOS has always been there for me. Apple has the best support in the business, both hardware and software. Have a hardware problem with your phone in the first year? Get it swapped out at an Apple store with no problem and no cost. Want the latest OS? No problem: you’ll get iOS 7 (and 8, and 9…) when everyone else gets it. You’re not at the whim of Google.
Also, speaking of Google, one of the main reasons to get an Android was the awesome Google Now. But, as of Monday, Google Now is also on iOS. It was only a matter of time, but now it’s here. Its arrival led Gizmodo to write that the iPhone 5 is one of the best Android phones you can buy. Sure, there are advantages to Android, but the iPhone does just about everything that all non-top-tier Androids (the One, S IV and Nexus 4) can do. And it probably does it better.
Yes, I know that the S IV crushes the iPhone 5 in terms of power, but that’s fine. I’m not doing crazy work on there. I want to Vine and play Super Hexagon.
The only thing holding me back from running out right now and getting an iPhone 5 is my fear that I’ll regret it when the 5S comes out in three, six or eight months. But I’ve never been impressed by an iPhone upgrade – from 4 to 4S, 4S to 5 – so I don’t know what they could add that would make me completely regret buying a 5.
Farewell, Android. You’ve treated me okay (more or less) these past four years, but it’s time to move on. The iPhone 5 may not be the best phone on the market, but it’s the right one for me.