Sunday, November 26, 2017

iPhone vs Android - a tipping point

I've been seeing a trend in the group of lot of long time Android users switching to the iphone recently either with the 8/8 plus or the iphone X. While Android still holds an insurmountable lead, it has been mainly in the low end whereas both platforms were fairly equal at the high end. Now, I wonder if the iphone is firmly moving to take control of the higher end market.

Consider my situation, I've been a primary Android user since 2010, started with the Nexus One and then moved through various phones (mainly Nexus phones, but a few Samsung, LG and Motorola). Over the years, I've had a few iphones but they never had my primary sim for more than a few days.

There were a few reasons why I preferred the Android over the iphone

- Google maps location history : I have this saved since 2010 and its great to go back through the years and see all the places I have been. I have no concerns about privacy really, I trust Google and my life is fairly mundane
- Keyboard with swipe : Though I can get it on the iphone, gboard on Android is just such a complete experience. The stock iphone keyboard still makes you peck like its 2007
- Google Launcher with Google now cards : I love being able to swipe to the left of my main screen and get this information so easily
- Whatsapp : My main communicator of choice, while the features are common across both platforms, I feel that it is an android first app

But why did I shift? First my story
- My main phone was the nexus 6p which has a bad reputation for reliability. While mine still works, it seems to be just be a matter of time before it dies. My backup was an iphone 6
- So, I decided to move to a new phone for my main one. At that time, my choice was to go for a higher end iphone (7 or 7 plus) or a more recent android (pixel or LG G6)
- I usually buy second hand and was negotiating with a few people. I ended up buying a LG G6 through a good deal (4 month old at 26K compared to the launch price of 41K)
- I thought I was set for quite a few months. I had a fairly good flagship in the G6 plus a great backup in the iphone 6
- Then disaster, I went on a trip to Europe where I used the G6 to hold a local sim. The iphone held my India sim. When I got back to India, I wanted to swap the sims but the sim tray would not come out.
- I took the LG to an authorized service centre. He got the sim tray out but then found that the SIM slot was damaged and required a motherboard change (15K). To add insult to the injury, he didn't have a spare tray and asked me to wait a few days. So, I was basically left with a wifi device
- As I used the iphone 6, I realized that some of the points that drove me to Android each time didn't trouble me as much. Maybe it was genuine improvements with ios11 or my frustration with Android, I decided I could live with the iphone as primaty if I could get a more recent model
- So I decided to resume my search for an iphone. Last time, I was looking at an iphone 7 at around 40K, but prices have come down since then. I found a good iphone 7 plus and got it down to 38K
- I couldn't justify 2 iphones so placed an ad for the iphone 6 and managed to sell it within a day. I lost just 2K for the 6 months I owned it for (second hand phones rock!)
- I now have 2 android phones, the G6 and the Nexus 6p. I got the replacement sim tray, luckily the primary sim slot works but the secondary and SD card don't.
- I need to give away one of the androids. I like both phones equally but prefer the Nexus 6p. However, the uncertain reliability and the heavier depreciation I will take with the LG means that it is the 6p that has to go.

Coming to the iphone, why did I make the switch
- Google Maps Location history : I found that the iphone support for this has been moved to the Google Maps app rather than the Google app. Though it is not as good as Android (less granular info), its still enough for me
- Google Now cards : with Google deemphasizing the development of Google Now cards, I realize I only use one of the cards which gives me the time for my commute. I get that on the iphone widgets or the Google app. Not as convenient but it is there
- Swipe keyboard is something I sorely miss and hope Apple brings it. However, I find Apple's word prediction to be quite decent
- In addition, I get several advantages with the iphone. The smoothness is unbelievable, I need to get to the pixel for similar levels with Android and I am not paying that kind of money. Plus I think iphones last longer, so hoping my luck holds out with the iphone 7 plus I got (it is out of warranty)

No comments: