How Android has Come to Overtake iOS: Zimbabwe
A lot of Day One Apple users who switched to Android will agree on this article and some might urge saying android is still a creepy operating system. Personally, I love Apple products and Mac computers for as long as I can remember, and even as l am writing this piece l am using a MacBook Pro, crazy right.
When the first iPhone came out in 2007, I was dazzled. Throughout the years, I’ve upgraded with semi-regularity every other year. Each time, I toyed with the idea of trying Google’s Android operating system.
I played with the top-of-the-line Android phones at the local stores, read a bit about how much more “open” the ecosystem was and then ultimately stuck with the iPhone.
On this past cycle, though, I held out for as long as possible. The 6S+ was still intact after three years, operating with adequate speed for what I needed. Even the size of the smartphone was ok with my small hands and the iPhone 6S+ would fit well in them.
The new features and whistles on the newest generations of iPhones were rarely that astounding like the 3D Touch, Face ID, a missing headphone jack so why bother upgrading? I am not a fan of missing headphone jack; those make me inhuman.
Then the problem started when my battery stopped holding anything resembling a reasonable charge, even after I used Apple’s battery-replacement program. Calls and service started dropping regularly for seemingly no reason.
I had to admit, it was time for a new phone. As I looked at Apple’s options, I had the creeping feeling that there just wasn’t a lot of value I was going to get from the iOS family. The top-of-the-line options the iPhone X and its successor, the XS felt ridiculously priced in the streets of Zimbabwe.
Though smartphones these days are more akin to mini-computers with cameras attached, $900 or $1,000 for a phone seemed absurd particularly when it feels as if they rarely last more than two years.
Apple’s cheaper option at $400 real united dollars, the iPhone 7, was more or less a marginal improvement over the 6S. The XR, the option right below the XS, costs at least, which is still a lot of money.
My choices seemed to be to pay an arm and a leg for a great phone or pay that much with the current cash crisis in Zimbabwe where the dollar has lost its value.
I felt as though Apple had forced my hand. I can’t be the only one. I started looking at other options from gasp. Android phone manufacturers. In my mind was an of the Samsung products, but l heard my friends crying because of its battery and the overheating of their gadgets.
At first, I looked at the budget options and settled on a Huawei P10, which many say is the top budget phone right now.
I had been using Google Photos for backup for the past year or so, my email runs through Gmail, and just about every other major app I use operates in the cloud (Adobe Lightroom, Instagram, WeChat, WhatsApp, Spotify). All I had to do was download/re-install my apps and log in.
Shockingly the Huawei was way faster than my 6S and could handle every app I threw at it. The reality is that unless you’re trying to run graphics-intensive games, just about any smartphone you pick these days will run just fine.
I opened the camera app is a game-changer for me as someone who likes takes photos more often; it makes getting elusive shots that much more possible.
The operating system’s app launcher (the home screen) is changeable into any configuration you choose, with the ability to drop in widgets for the weather or multiple time zones, as well as a Google search bar.
Any Android user will laugh at this, but for an iPhone user who’s used to the endless grids of apps, it’s a huge improvement. Apple hasn’t really updated the look of iOS in years. You could say it’s a case of “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it,” but there’s something to be said for trying new ideas.
Notifications feel more customizable and artificial-intelligence-powered if you keep dismissing a notification, Google picks up on that and will give you the option to stop showing it. That saves me the time of going into my settings and individually configuring each app’s notifications.
I’m sure iOS users can sympathize. At a certain point in my iPhone use, I stopped looking at the notification screen because it was so cluttered with information I didn’t need and never asked for.
After about three weeks of using the phone, I have to agree with the reviewers: The Android OS is that good. It’s fast, has most of the premium features as pricier phones like the iPhone X, and even carries some spiffy new tech, like its in-display fingerprint sensor.
At the same time, I was worried about was how the Android camera would perform. Around the time I bought the Huawei, a friend of mine was given the iPhone XR from his work. As we’ve been traveling over the past month, we’ve been comparing shots as we go.
Most of the time, it’s a matter of taste. The Huawei’s images tend to be more saturated and have deeper blacks, whereas the XR’s shots tend to have more detail.
But then I discovered one of the joys of using Android: the openness of the platform and its community of super fans. I’ve found that the biggest hurdle for an iOS user switching over is iMessage. Apple did a sneaky, smart thing by embedding its locked-in messaging system in the default SMS app.
As most of my friends and family are on iOS and everyone is seemingly allergic to the “green bubbles” I suddenly found myself in the unenviable position of trying to persuade my immediate circle to use WhatsApp.
The more I use Android, the more I am convinced that iMessage is the only major difference between the operating systems. Of course, there are others, ranging from Apple’s iCloud service to the generally better security of Apple’s OS, but the most visible barrier for most iOS users is giving up iMessage.
And I won’t lie: It’s a pain. While I don’t mind WhatsApp, iMessage definitely feels like a smoother and cleaner messaging service. At this point, if there’s something that’s going to drag me back to iOS in a few years, it will probably be that.
But for right now, I have no regrets about switching. It’s been delightful.