Posts with tag iPhone
Oh, this is gonna be big
Apple is a company of patterns. If you look at the release schedule of every major release of nearly every product line, things go off like clockwork. The Calendar strikes June; it’s time to announce the latest operating systems, while September has traditionally brought us new iPhones (and, as of last year, the Apple Watch), and October brings along new Macs and iPads. Take a break for the Christmas season, rinse, repeat.
And yet, if the rumors hold up, this year will go just a tiny bit different – instead of having two separate September and October events, Apple appears to be combining aspects of both into one mega event where they are set to introduce both iPhones and iPads, and even Apple Watch accessories. This “mega-event,” as I’m calling it, is currently scheduled for September 9th – Next Wednesday – and could very well shape up to be one of the most important days in the history of Modern Apple.
But a large event brings about a large amount of FUD, so it’s more important than ever to set expectations well, especially if you’re in the market for some new tech. So to that end, let’s make some sense of the madness and figure out what you can realistically expect.
1) A new iPhone has made its introduction every September since the iPhone 4S in 2011, and all signs are pointing to this year being no different. Apple has been on a tick-tock cycle with their iPhone lineup for years now, a tick being major design changes and a tock being major internal changes, and this year we’re scheduled for a tock release – something that most people have, for good reason, taken to calling the iPhone 6s.
So, what’s that entail? First, like the iPhone 6 last year, the iPhone 6s will not be one phone, instead actually being two phones of two radically different sizes. It’s safe to expect that both of these phones will come in the same sizes as last year’s phones – the 4.7 inch iPhone 6s, and the 5.5 inch iPhone 6s Plus (or whatever they decide to call it). Both of these phones will likely share incredibly similar, or exactly the same, internals with screen size and resolution being the primary differentiator. Last year’s iPhone 6 Plus did have a slightly better camera than the smaller iPhone 6 due to the inclusion of OIS (optical image stabilization), but it’s unclear if the iPhone 6s lineup will follow suit.
Since the iPhone 6s family is expected to share the same design as the iPhone 6 family, Apple has other tricks up its sleeves to help differentiate this year’s iPhone from last year’s. The most outwardly apparent change will likely come from a new color option – Rose Gold. Though we haven’t seen any parts leak from the supply chain with this color, a Rose Gold iPhone does make sense for two pretty simple reasons. Apple’s M.O. has been to keep their iOS device color options in relative sync, and since Apple this year introduced a Rose Gold Apple Watch, it would make sense to bring this color option to the rest of the lineup. Secondly, Apple used the iPhone 5s to introduce two new color options to help differentiate it from the prior year’s iPhone 5 – Space Gray and Gold. It stands to reason Apple would do the same this year.
But if upgraded internals and new color options are all you’re expecting, you’re underprepared. Apple is heavily rumored to be introducing one of the biggest changes to the iOS paradigm since the original iPhone in 2007 – Force Touch.
Every iPhone since the original 2007 model has had two primary touch methods: taps, and long taps. A long tap on a button may do one thing, such as open an application, while a long tap on an application will initiate the shaky-mode that lets you delete applications. With Force Touch on the iPhone 6s, you’ll be able to actually touch and apply pressure on a button to initiate a third function, whatever that may be.
Rumors on how iOS 9 will make use of Force Touch have been sparse, but I think the best guess may be that a Force Touch will bring up a context menu of sorts, similar to how Force Touch works on the Apple Watch. Force Touching on the Phone app on the home screen, for example, may bring up a menu that lets you immediately call a favorite contact, saving you valuable time by not even requiring you to open the application and navigate the UX to initiate a call. I could see Force Touch on the iPhone being the ultimate implementation of the feature, far surpassing its use case on either the Apple Watch or the Mac – done right, it could someday soon feel as fundamental to the core iPhone experience as third party applications do today.
Quick aside – you may notice that I’ve made no mention of the mythical iPhone 6c, a much rumored third model with iPhone 6 or 6s internals but a 4.0-inch display. It seems likely that the iPhone 6c did exist in some capacity at some point, but it also seems likely that it’s dead, Jim.
2) Again, it certainly seems that Apple is preparing to break from tradition and introduce not just the iPhone 6s, but also the new iPad lineup on Wednesday. My theory for this is thus – smartphones are boring. Last year, Apple used the iPhone 6 event to introduce the Apple Watch, an admission that the iPhone on its own is no longer a big enough deal to warrant its own event. With no major revision to the core Apple Watch hardware on the docket for this year, Apple is likewise using the iPad to pad out the iPhone 6s event this year.
While the iPad line has been faltering lately, Apple is going to give it a much needed kick in the ass with the first major shakeup to the iPad line since the original iPad mini in 2012 – the introduction of the oft rumored iPad Pro. While the iPad has always been accused of being a consumption device, with the iPad Pro Apple is looking to flip that stereotype on its head by making the iPad Pro a content creator’s dream.
As for how it’s going to do that, well, I have one word – one dirty word that Steve Jobs would have cringed at, laughed at, mocked, but this isn’t Steve Jobs’s Apple anymore and life goes on – a stylus. Yup, all signs have been pointing to the iPad Pro making extensive use of a presumably bundled “Apple Stylus” for quite some time now, in a move that has already been and will continue to draw parallels to Microsoft’s Surface Pro line of tablets. Of course, styli for iOS devices are nothing new, and many-a premium styli have existed for quite some time now. The defining feature of Apple’s contribution will be, of course, extensive integration into the core of iOS 9 itself. Expect most of Apple’s bundled application to make use of the stylus in some way, from pressure sensitivity to handwriting recognition, and more.
The iPad Pro will supposedly have numerous other benefits/changes from Apple’s existing iPad line. For one, the iPad Pro will be big – likely around 13-inches, up from the little under 10-inches that the iPad Air 2 sits at. A larger screen, of course, will require a larger resolution, and code found tucked away in current beta versions of iOS 9 point to a 2732 x 2048 resolution with a 265 ppi being a likely candidate. Given the supposed focus on productivity, I would also expect significant updates to all of Apple’s “iLife” and “iWork” apps for the iPad, including iMovie and Garageband. If all of this works out, I could also easily see Apple bringing Final Cut Pro X and Logic X to the iPad Pro.
Aside from the iPad Pro, Apple will likely look to upgrade the most neglected part of their iPad lineup, the iPad mini. A fourth-generation iPad mini will likely be announced, bringing it in line with the iPad Air 2 spec wise with the A8 processor, more RAM, and full multitasking support on iOS 9.
On top of the internal changes, supply chain leaks have indicated that the iPad mini 4 will also have a slightly thinner, redesigned aluminum shell. Still, this will be relatively minor and will mostly just ape what Apple introduced alongside the iPad Air 2 last year. All in all, don’t expect anything huge – the iPad mini 4 will, essentially, be what the totally lackluster iPad mini 3 should have been last year.
3) While the iPad mini is certainly one of the most neglected products on Apple’s lineup, absolutely nothing can rival the level of neglect that the Apple TV has gotten since its introduction in 2007. We’re nearing a decade since the release of that original version, and the Apple TV we all know and kind-of-tolerate-at-best is only the third major revision in the entire history of the product line – and honestly really only the second, considering how minor an upgrade the 3rd Generation was.
All of that is about to change. Apple has often dubbed the Apple TV a “hobby,” but come next Wednesday it will officially be a hobby no longer. The Apple TV is due for a massive upgrade, both internally and externally, and will mark a complete change in the way that Apple views the television.
According to rumor, Apple has completely rethought the very underpinnings of the device, bringing it in line with Apple’s modern iOS devices. And as a modern iOS device, the Apple TV will be transformed into a full blown platform – complete with a software development kit. While Apple had provided partners with a private, extremely limited SDK for the existing Apple TV, developers were hand picked by Apple and were extremely limited in what their applications could do and how they could look. No more: if you believe the little birdies’ chirps, we’re talking a full blown SDK that will make developing complex applications and highly advanced games a real possibility.
That’s right – I said games. While Apple isn’t focusing on rivaling the Xbox and the PlayStation any time soon (sorry, Cult of Mac), rumors suggest that Apple will be incorporating complex gaming support into the core of the Apple TV, taking advantage of the latest version of Metal (roughly equivalent to DirectX on Windows) found on iOS 9. Developers should be able to take full advantage of the Apple TV’s new remote, which will feature a small trackpad, two dedicated buttons, and motion control support, enabling games that could capture the hearts and minds of the “softcore” gaming crowd in the same way that the Nintendo Wii did back in 2006, and that the iPhone and iPad have today.
One of the best features of the Amazon Fire TV has to be the built in microphone support, and Apple will apparently be “borrowing” this fantastic idea for use in the next generation Apple TV. If reports are to be believed, Siri is about to get a huge boost in the form of extensive knowledge about movie, television, and game content. Simply activate Siri on the Apple TV, say “I want to watch Boy Meets Girl” (because who wouldn’t want to watch Boy Meets Girl?), and Apple TV will automagically figure out where you can watch – whether that be on the iTunes Store, Netflix, Disney, whatever.
It’s hard to overstate how fundamental this change is. Back when there were only a handful of television channels on the air it was a lot easier to keep track of what station was home to what programming. But in today’s world with literally hundreds to thousands of sources of quality entertainment, the old “channel” model – which the current generation Apple TV so heavily relies on – is completely broken.
For example, I’ve watched “Mr. Robot” weekly since the show (which is fantastic, by the way) started earlier this summer, but not once have I paid any mind as to what channel that show is actually on. Why would I? To me, Mr. Robot is a show that I can play on Xfinity On Demand. To watch Mr. Robot on the Apple TV today, I would need to go find what channel Mr. Robot actually plays on (USA Network, apparently), find the USA Network app on the home screen if there even is one, and if not wade through the other Apple TV apps to figure out if it may be anywhere else. All of that will soon be solved with a simple “Hey Siri, watch Mr. Robot.”
In the eyes of the modern television viewer, the “channel” has been relegated to the technological dustbin of the twenty-first century, and Siri on the Apple TV will make this all the more obvious.
4) Don’t worry Apple Watch, we didn’t forget about you! Even though the Apple Watch is by far the freshest mobile product in Apple’s lineup, it too will get just a little bit of love next week in the form of some new configurations and accessories. Trustworthy little birdies suggest that Apple will be releasing a new Apple Watch Sport model featuring the Watch’s signature 7000 series aluminum anodized gold, just like the iPhone and the iPad (not to be confused with the 17-carot gold found in the $10,000+ Apple Watch Edition).
Coming along for the ride will also likely include new color options for the Sport Bands, which are said to be deeper and richer in color than the current neon offerings, including a Product (RED) Sport Band. While this will be welcome news to many, this won’t be the first time we’ve seen such bands – Apple showed off new sport band color options during a private event earlier this year. Also in the cards – a price cut, likely to jumpstart Apple Watch sales heading into the Christmas season.
5) This may be a given, but new iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watch devices and configurations all suggest that new software is right around the corner. I would highly suspect that Apple will be releasing iOS 9 around the same time that they release the iPhone 6s, with watchOS 2 also making its official final debut that day as well. We know pretty much all there is to know about iOS 9 and watchOS 2 given their prominence at WWDC 2015, but if you need a refresher on that, I wrote some detail hands on impressions of the beta versions of both iOS 9 and watchOS 2 throughout the summer over on DotUnderscore.
Phones, Macs, and Watches - oh my
I’m a procrastinator. I have a tendency to wait until the very last minute to do anything, including publish these sort of What to Realistically Expect stories. Finally, my infliction has paid off – if I had written this even just last week, I would have jotted down new Apple TV hardware and software as a stone cold sure thing. Yet according to the ever reliable Brian X. Chen, Apple threw away plans to announce new Apple TV hardware and a cohesive developer ecosystem at WWDC at the very last minute because “the product was not ready for prime time”.
Given that I’m an avid user of the current iteration of Apple TV (I stream all my nightly television from there), I’m bummed to see this cut. I was hoping this would be when the Apple TV truly grew up and became a major player in the Apple line-up. Alas.
Time is short and things run behind schedule, and so it goes. There’s always September.
And in the spirit of that, we’re still on the verge of an entire week’s worth of new Apple products, platforms, and goodies. The Apple TV may not be there, but there’s still plenty left to cover. Here’s what you can realistically expect at WWDC 2015, starting tomorrow, June 8th.
Some good news and some bad news
In the never ending patent battle between Apple and Samsung, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has handed down some good news and some bad news for both sides. According to the folks in high places, Samsung is indeed guilty of infringing certain, specific design patents in a previous (remember, this case is a couple of years old, now) version of Apple’s iPhone – a win for Apple. However, those same folks also decreed that Samsung wasn’t wholly copying the overall look and feel of the iPhone, instead creating an overwhelmingly original design.
This means exactly what it sounds like – Samsung will still owe Apple some money for those infringing design patents, but it’ll owe less – and likely considerably less – than before. Truthfully, this seems like a decent compromise. Apple’s claim that Samsung copied the overall look and feel of the iPhone years ago, an accusation which many claimed ridiculous. Many opponents to Apple’s accusation claim that Apple doesn’t own the concept of a rounded rectangle with a big screen in the middle of it, and today’s decision validates those doubts.
Source: The Verge
Let’s, just this once, take some wild guesses.
Given the imminent release of the Apple Watch – come on, that can’t be a spoiler at this point – it’s all too appropriate to compare Apple to the clock. Like the clock we all live by day in and day out, Apple observes a fairly strict set of cycles and patterns. Springtime is quiet time, with all the cooks busy in the kitchen preparing the second half of the year’s goodies. With June comes WWDC, Apple’s first big event, alongside Mac notebook hardware and new major versions of iOS and OS X. Then September – iPhone time – and finally late October, the iPad.
This year had to be different. When Apple announced the Apple Watch at last September’s media event, it was also announcing its first new product category since the iPad in 2010. It was announcing a product unlike one ever to come out of Apple; intimately customizable, from watch face to watch band to watch price. Are you in the market for the potentially five figure Apple Watch Edition, by any chance?
The Apple Watch makes predicting Monday’s event impossible. Traditionally, anybody who knew how to read Apple’s product release cycle and what type of product they traditionally released could make fairly accurate predictions on what to expect – it’s why we’ve been correct in all but one of our nearly twenty predictions thus far. This time, the only thing we can know for sure is that the Apple Watch is coming. Everything else?
Let’s, just this once, take some wild guesses.
What to realistically expect…” is a series of posts which we use to temper expectations concerning upcoming industry events. This Monday’s event promises to be one of the largest Apple events in recent memory, making this one of the most difficult – and interesting – events to predict. Read more to hear what we think.
Well, Apple does have a reputation
Taking a break from CES coverage for a moment to highlight people’s perception of Apple in 2015 – namely, Apple’s reputation for high prices. Two out of four of the contestants in an episode of ‘Price is Right’ were asked how much they thought a 16GB iPhone 6 and a year’s worth of 4GB of data and unlimited talk/text were worth.
Two of the four contestants thought all of that would cost the average consumer $7,500, whilst the latter two guessed $850 and $930 respectively. The actual cost? $1,969.
This isn’t the first time we’ve got the impression that consumer sentiment is that Apple is over priced; in fact, the company is continuously accused of price gouging and over pricing their electronics, and have been practically since the company’s inception. This is often bologna, as the Price Is Right just showed; when comparing actual specifications of Apple products with competitor’s products, Apple often is within earshot and almost always competitive.
‘Price Is Right’ host Drew Carrey at the time commented that he hoped ‘the marketing people at Apple are watching this.’ Me too, Drew. Me too.
Interested in seeing this mess for yourself? We’ve embedded a YouTube video of the recording after the break.
Bigger than better?
The iPhone 6 Plus is a jumbo, comically huge smartphone. If Apple’s product portfolio were a clown outfit, the iPhone 6 Plus would be the bright red, obnoxious oversized shoes. It doesn’t fit in some front pockets, it sticks out of nearly everyone’s back pockets, and people will notice it and it will illicit reactions, at least while it’s still new and kind of foreign looking.
In fact, I would say that the iPhone 6 Plus is larger than I expected. I’m even one of those guys who went ahead and made scale paper cutouts of each size iPhone 6. It’s certainly a larger smartphone than I ever expected to own, and the size did come as a bit of a shock at first. But once you get past the sheer largeness of the 6 Plus, you can begin to evaluate it on better merits- ones not impeded by the initial “oh my God this is ridiculously large”. After a couple of weeks with the iPhone 6 Plus, I think I have enough familiarity to say some things with certainty. This is the official Haverzine iPhone 6 Plus review.
Read more to hear my take on Apple’s ginormous, huge iPhone 6 Plus.
Just say no!
Well, this isn’t good. Hopefully you caught our update to today’s iOS 8.0.1 announcement post, but if you haven’t, we’ll say it again to save you and your precious iDevice any pain and suffering. Reports are flooding in that iOS 8.0.1 basically destroys your iPhone, completely breaking cellular connectivity as well as Touch ID on compatible devices.
Apple has yet to pull the update on affected devices, so you’re still free to update if you so choose – but don’t. Seriously, you really shouldn’t. Apple will likely upload a fixed version shortly, and until then it’s better to sit this one out and wait. If it’s too late, you might want to look into downgrading to iOS 8.0.0 or iOS 7.1.2 while you still can.
Update 09/24/14 @ 2:10 PM EST: It appears that these issues are limited to iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models, however it would still be wise to hold out updating no matter what model you have until Apple clears this mess up.
Bug fixes ahoy!
Mere days after releasing the initial build of iOS 8.0 to the public, Apple has already released a minor update aimed squarely at squashing some pesky bugs. Dubbed iOS 8.0.1, the new version’s build number is 12A402 and is currently propagating through Apple’s servers and will shortly be available to all compatible devices.
iOS 8.0.1 features bug fixes for HealthKit, third party keyboards, the built in Photo application, Reachability, SMS/MMS messages, In-App purchases, iCloud, and Safari. It weighs in at under 100 MB for seemingly all devices. It is compatible with the iPhone 4s and up (including the newly release iPhone 6 series), the iPad 2 and up, the latest generation iPod touch, and the first generation iPad mini and up.
Update 09/24/14 @ 1:35 PM EST: You might want to hold off on pressing the “Update” button, iOS users, for it appears that a not small group of people are reporting some pretty serious issues with the update, including completely broken Touch ID functionality and an issue connecting to cellular networks. Abort! Abort!
iCloud lacked brute force detection
By now, you probably know that a number of celebrities have been the target of a nude photo leak that has said to have lead to the leak of potentially hundreds of photos and videos. Of course, this vehement violation of human privacy is a despicable act in and of itself – the thought that there are individuals out there who would go to any length to obtain such photos and violate women (and men) is nauseating. But where there’s a will, there’s a way – and unfortunately, Apple seems to be at the center of that way.
According to new reports, the leak stem from a security issue that was previously present in Apple’s iCloud cloud storage system. iCloud automatically backs up a user’s photos (among other data) into the cloud, which can then be downloaded to any authorized computer capable of logging into the iCloud account. Hackers claim that Apple had failed to implement any sort of brute force detection software into iCloud’s login authorization, a loophole that enterprising hackers worked around using software called iBrute, which “guessed” at password combinations at a dizzying speed.
Essentially, in layman’s terms, that means that anybody with the knowledge of a celebrity’s iCloud email address would be able to keep guessing at their password until they hit on the correct password by chance, forever. A simple loophole, which Apple has reportedly now implemented, stops users from trying passwords after a couple of incorrect guesses. The new protection is similar to how Apple’s iOS software locks users out of devices after a number of incorrect passcode guesses.
While there’s yet to be any confirmation from either Apple or the supposed hacker that this method was the one used to illegally obtain the celebrity’s passwords, Apple has confirmed that they are investigating their role in the issue, if any. Still, the fact that this loophole existed and had been easily exploitable up until just today indirectly implies it could have been the root cause.
iPhone 6, iWatch, oh my
Where there’s smoke, there’s fire – and there sure is a lot of smoke to wade through while talking about Apple’s still-yet-to-be-confirmed September 9th Special Event. Re/code was the first to peg that date as the long awaited iPhone 6 reveal event, but as the days have gotten shorter and the calendar has gotten closer, we’ve been learning more and more about what it is Apple will actually be announcing. Yes, of course the iPhone 6 is still happening, but that’s just the beginning of the story.
For one, Re/code today has another breaking exclusive claiming that Apple will use their September 9th event not only as the iPhone 6’s coming out party, but also as the long awaited “iWatch” reveal. According to Re/code, Apple had originally planned to announce the device – which is not expected to hit stores until early 2015, narrowly missing the holiday rush – during the company’s rumored October Special Event, however decided to bump up the schedule for reasons uncited. Apple is reportedly still planning on holding a Special Event in October, where the company may reveal the sixth generation iPad, the third generation iPad mini, and a new 12″ MacBook with a Retina Display.
According to today’s new iWatch report – which, while unconfirmed, come from some rock solid sources – Apple’s wearable will be all about health and automation. The iWatch will act as a fitness tracker, syncing information about today’s activity and general health data with your iPhone and iPad using iOS 8’s new built in HealthKit framework. HomeKit, Apple’s automation functionality, will also be put to good use. Early reports indicate that the iWatch could be used to – say – automatically unlock your frontdoor when you step within a couple of feet of it while wearing your iWatch, or automatically turn on the lights when you enter a room.
Separately, we expect the iPhone 6 to be revealed in two sizes – one with a 4.7″ screen, and another larger model with a 5.5″. We expect both iPhone 6 sizes to be available simultaneously, however with the 4.7″ model available in much larger quantities in initial shipments. The game plan could be set up similarly to how Apple dealt with the rollout of the 5s and 5c models last year; the 4.7″ iPhone, like the 5c, will be available for pre-order immediately while the 5.5″ iPhone, like the 5s did, will launch on a first come, first serve basis without a reservation program in place. Apple did this last year to give everyone a fair shot at nabbing an iPhone 5s on launch day, which was similarly restrained.
As far as pricing, a good guess is that the base configuration 4.7″ iPhone 6 to sell for $199 with 16GB of included storage. The 5.5″ iPhone 6, meanwhile, could launch with 16GB of storage for $299. Apple will continue to offer both the iPhone 5s as well as the iPhone 5c, with the iPhone 5s selling for $99 with 16GB of storage and the iPhone 5c selling for free with 8GB of storage. However, it is important to note that these plans are far from confirmed at this time.
Its got a bigger screen and it's coming
Good news, smartphone fans – the iPhone 6 is coming. I mean you knew that, of course, but it’s really coming really soon. According to industry insiders with Grade A, spotless records, Apple will be announcing the iPhone 6 in a special event on September 9th, with a release date tentatively scheduled for a little over a week later, on September 19th.
That means that yes, around September 9th, you’ll be able to get your hands on one of Apple’s smartphones with a screen larger than 4″ for the first time. Apple famously bumped up the size of the iPhone’s screen with the launch of the iPhone 5 just two years ago, but in that time large screen “phablet” Android devices have taken over, pushed by the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Note and the LG Nexus 5. Apple is rumored to be preparing two new iPhone 6 models for release, a 4.8″ iPhone 6 and a 5.5″ model for those with a preference towards said phablet devices. While many assumed that both devices would ship with Apple’s next generation A8 processor, 2GB of RAM, and an upgraded 13MP camera with digital image stabilization, a recent rumor coming out of AppleInsider suggests that the 5.5″ model iPhone 6 may ship with more powerful internals.
That said, there’s no telling whether Apple is planning on releasing both iPhone 6 models at the same time, though to do otherwise would drastically differ than how Apple has upgraded its iPhone lineup in the past. Each and every year since 2007, Apple has upgraded the entire line of iPhone models all at once, famously bringing the iPhone 5c into the fray to replace the iPhone 5 last September. With the 4.8″ iPhone 6 slated to be perhaps the middle of the road model, the fate of the iPhone 5c – which is the second best selling smartphone model in the world – remains unclear.
But not for the reasons you may think
You’re reading the headline right now and I bet I know what you’re thinking – this guy, he’s an Apple fanboy. He’s gotta be. I’m sitting here writing an article about why my switch to Android didn’t work out, after all. You’re probably betting that I’m sitting here with an iPhone next to me right now – and guess what, you’re absolutely right. But before I even start the meat of this article, I want to clear the air – I’m not back on my iPhone because I dislike Android. I didn’t even particularly dislike the Nexus 5 I was switching to. On the contrary, I quite liked both Android and the Nexus 5. So why am I back on my iPhone?
It turns out, the reason I went back is because at the end of the day – iPhone, Android, whatever – switching to Android just didn’t matter. It made nearly no tangible difference to my daily routines. Sure, there were some minor inconveniences – I missed iMessage terribly, and I couldn’t find an official version of the just fantastic TwoDots game on the Google Play Store. But really, for the most part, I couldn’t find a single tangible difference in the way I used iOS and Android.
Using Android was, to be honest, entirely enjoyable. Android is no longer the poorly designed mess that it was back when I last tried out the platform for real back in the Gingerbread days (over two years ago, for you non-geeky types). There’s an app for just about everything I wanted – Google Chrome is an excellent mobile browser, easily just as good as Safari on iOS 7. The camera on my Nexus 5 was fine – not iPhone 5s good, as I’m accustomed to, but certainly not bad in any sense of the world. Integration with Google Hangouts was beneficial, and I actually really liked the way that Facebook Chat Heads worked on Android – in fact, I wish Apple would let Chat Heads float above running applications and the home screen on iOS as they work on Android. While switching to Android, literally everything was fine or even great.
So why did I switch back to my iPhone? If I found my experience using Android just as good as my iPhone, why switching back? For me, it just turned out to make slightly more sense given my personal situation. The vast majority of my contacts use iPhones, so everyone I’m talking to just about is through iMessage when on my iMessage. Not a huge benefit over SMS in and of itself, but when you factor in the ability to chat with people via Mac and iPad – both of which I have and use regularly – that’s a huge plus on behalf of the iPhone. Then there’s the fact that the iPhone has a slightly better camera, I’ve put a ton of money into purchasing apps on the App Store, most of my music has been bought through iTunes, and even my iCloud calendars.
So that’s why I went back to my iPhone. Not because Android is bad – on the contrary, I enjoyed my time on Android. But just because it didn’t offer me anything significantly good enough to pull me away from my years of iPhone use. Proponents of Android will say that customization and extensibility of Android is a huge plus, but to be honest, I tried a bunch of different keyboards, launchers, etc. etc – and I went back to the stock Android setup every single time.
Oh, but lest I forget – I am super pumped about the thought of a Swype-like keyboard being available on iOS 8.