I’m back on Android. There’s simply nothing better than a rooted Android phone. Although I admit, I still miss iMessage on my laptop.
This is not a review nor a professional android/iOS fan-site. I’m just a regular dude who switched from Android to iOS. With that said…
I love Android.
My first smartphone was the Android G1 back in 2008. While all of my friends were purchasing the iPhone, I was rocking my google G1; and damn-it, I was proud!
The dev community
New phones were coming out but I refused to upgrade. I didn’t want to let go of my G1 but the G1 stopped getting Android OS updates. I turned to the forums and learned that a dev group called Cyanogen was rolling out custom updates. I investigated on the forums and learned about the dev community behind it. I was in heaven. I had my G1 for 3 years before I moved to my samsung galaxy 1. I think I tried some other phone for a minute but I ended up hating it. Fast forward to 2015. I figured it’s time I traded in my (favorite phone to date, the) Galaxy S4. Since its release, I unlocked the bootloader, rooted and ran custom software on it. Xposed framework was my best friend. My phone was [email protected] …but now I wanted the Moto X 2nd gen. It looks perfect, but it was a far cry from what I want.
Moto X 2nd gen (2014)
While I think that the Moto X is everything an Android phone should be, I ended up hating the phone because of the lack of community behind it. There are no custom kernels or roms. Lollipops switch from dalvik to art broke Xposed framework. I wanted to love my phone so much, but I don’t. I would experiment with custom roms again, but I have different responsibilites now. I need my phone to work. I can’t fiddle around with such a dependancy and my daily phone driver. I need stability; thus, I decided to give my first iPhone a try.
I gotta say, I love what apple has done with the iPhone 6. I didn’t think I’d like it, but I do. It’s everything I need in a phone. It’s not my modded galaxy S4, but it’s stable and reliable. But alas, it’s not perfect. I’ve been on the fence for a week now battling myself if I should keep it or return it. Here they are:
- Screen size: Why are screens getting so big!? I was waiting for the Nexus 6, got it on release and HATED IT! It was supposed to be the holy grail, the answer to all the Android fan boys and girls everywhere. To some people it is; to me, it’s a big disappointment. I don’t like this whole fad of phones getting larger. I think 4.7” to 5” is perfect. The original Moto X 2013 was 4.7”, the Galaxy S4 was 5”. The Moto X 2014 was 5.2” and was barely unacceptable, but I delt with it because I felt I deserved a phone upgrade that my Nexus 6 failed to deliver. Instead, it left me with a big hole in my heart. Coming from the Nexus 6, I feel more than satisfied with my 4.7” iPhone 6 screen.
- Notes: this really peeves me. I really love Google keep. It’s simplicity, features and cloud syncing make it my favorite note taking application. It’s a shame there is no optimized keep applications on iOS. Evernote is a very verbose note taking application but reminds me of all the bells and whistles of Microsoft Word.
- Gmail: again, Gmail on iOS is miles away from its android counterpart. Gmail on Android is an absolute joy to use. On iOS however… It’s garbage. Deleting an email is 3 clicks away while on Android it’s a simple swipe. Luckily I got an invite for Googles new inbox app which I like very much. Outlook is a good alternative.
- Google calendar: I still use Google calendar. I find google calendar is both beautiful and pragmatic. Paired with gmail, I feel all my calendar events are handled for me. iOS has a good calendar too but I guess this is probably because I’m so invested in the Google market. I haven’t done enough planning on iOS calendar to really love or hate it.
- Google translate: noticing a pattern here? Translate has an sms translate function within its app that goes through your sms and translates it for you. Now I have to copy and paste my conversations into the app. I suppose this isn’t a big deal but since I’m learning a second language, this is something I miss.
- Keyboards: I’m not crazy about the iOS keyboard but I don’t hate it either. Thankfully SwiftKey is available in iOS now. I guess I can’t complain, but if I’m gonna nit pick, I miss holding qwerty keys for numbers.
- Spotlight: Ok time for some good feedback, I love spotlight. It’s my favorite thing about OSX and now iOS. Apple killed it with its ease of access, speed and stability.
- iOS Shortcuts: also a big win here. They’re hidden but they’re there. The status bar tap to scroll to top is useful. I like the headphone double click to skip track, bravo! I love the swipe from the left edge to go back and the double tap of the home button to bring the screen within thumbs reach. I mentally scream every time I see all that wasted space though. They need to put some shortcuts in there or something.
- iBooks: Wow. Just wow… I read software development PDFs daily. The way iBooks translates pdf files and creates a table of contents is insanely convenient. This is something I really wish android would pick up on.
- iMessage & SMS: iMessage is really convenient. It’s nice to see my phone function like a phone. I keep waiting for hangouts to integrate into native SMS and while that kinda happened, it still isn’t as polished as apples iMessage. Find friends: my family has iPhone and I can’t express how convenient this is for us. I don’t mind my mom and sister knowing my location at all times so this gives us all piece of mind.
- Battery: standby battery is impressive. I still only get 5-7 hours of mild to heavy use but 24+ hours of standby. I charged my phone to 100% the other day, fell asleep and woke up to find my battery at 99%. On my android it would have been around 70%.
- Touch id: I didn’t think this was something I needed, nor did I think I’d like this as much as I do. Now that I have it, I can’t imagine security without it. I love non invasive applications like this. On that note, I miss the Moto X’s screen activation on pick up a lot… :(
All things considered, I enjoy my iPhone 6 and dare I say? I’ll probably keep it. I am tempted to wait for the Galaxy S6, but TouchWiz overlay is disgusting. I could root it, but I don’t want to tinker with my primary phone anymore. Is it so much to ask for a stock Android experience with Samsung hardware and motorola (lenovo) features? Apparently, it is. Till then, I’ll stick with iPhone. I can trust the resell value will always be excellent for apple devices anyway ;-)