An iPhone Lover’s Three Months Exile With Android

An iPhone Lover’s Three Months Exile With Android

You never meant for this to happen. In your rush to dive into the ocean, you forgot to take your iPhone out of your pocket, and didn’t realize it till you came out of the water. It’s a disaster. You leave your drowned iPhone 4S in a bag of rice for three days, praying to God, Allah, Jehovah, Moses, Shiva, and Oprah Winfrey that some magical power will make it work again. It doesn’t. You blow-dry it. Nada. Every conceivable way to resurrect your iPhone is met with failure and a blank screen.

Because you know the iPhone 5 is coming out in three months you decide not to waste your money and upgrade eligibility. Once you get home you rummage through your desk and find the Galaxy Nexus Samsung sent you three months ago. You sit in your chair staring at it almost hesitant to turn it on. You run your hands along the contours of its plastic grey body, pop in your new SIM card, take a deep breath, and then you dive in. This is it – your new digital home and the beginning of a three month exile into Android.

“The first thing that you try to make yourself believe is that this is going to be fun”

Just thinking about not having an iPhone anymore bums you out. You and your iPhones have been together since 2007. While all your friends were still T-9 texting, you were jailbreaking and downloading apps like crazy. So when your exile to Android starts it’s painful and disorienting.

The first thing that you try to make yourself believe is that this is going to be fun. “Android can’t be as bad as all the Apple fanboys say it is,” you think to yourself. You start thinking of this exile period as a three month research project to help you understand how Android lovers live, and it starts off great. You’re infatuated and curious.

Within your first month you decide to move your calendars, email, cloud storage, everything, over to Google’s services so you can feel the full torrential power of Google syncing. It works better than iCloud, which surprises you at first. Then you try Voice Text and are blown away that it actually gets 97% of your words right, unlike Siri. Features like turn-by-turn navigation in Google Maps even gets you excited.

You think you’re going to make it. You think that Android isn’t that bad and that there’s some cool stuff here. But then the little things start creeping up on you. On a Friday night you discover that you’ve been left out of your friend’s group iMessage conversations because you’re stuck on Android. You read about an amazing new app that was just released and go to download it on the Google Play Store only to find that they haven’t come to Android yet.

You start missing stuff about iOS that you never knew you loved. Stuff like the ridiculous emjoi icons you’d  grafiti your texts with. Or the fact that Rdio never crashed five times a day on your iPhone 4S. Even the annoying alarm sounds of iOS start sounding fantastic after you fail to wake up on time because your Nexus only has lovely futuristic robotic ringtones.

It’s fine. It’s only temporary. Only for three months. But then you know shit is about to get real once you discover that the best Twitter app for Android is The Twitter app. To top it all off you start carrying your nice camera with you so your Instagram pictures don’t look like crap.

You think it’s not all that bad, like seriously, it’s just a phone, right? You decided to embrace it even more. You research how to flash your Nexus and dualboot Linux, or Unix, or whatever it’s called. Humbled by this new foreign operating system, you ask your Android user friends what apps and hacks they enjoy the most, and if they can help you figure out how to turn off the annoying tactile feedback of the keyboard.

You just want this to work out. To be fun. You download five bucks of “live wallpapers” thinking that will change everything. Now your phone will feel cool. But your five dollar live wallpaper investment turns into ten bucks, then twenty bucks, before you realize that silly background animations can’t transform the way you interact with your phone.

“You want to love Android more than you wanted to love your amazingly beautiful ex-girlfriend whose one flaw was a serious case of the bitch-fits.

Once you embark on your exile to Android you start reading a lot more tech news. Each morning you wake up and scan Gizmodo, The Verge, TechCrunch, and all the Android blogs hoping for a glimmer of news or rumor that Samsung or Motorola or HTC is about to launch their newest flagship Android phone in two weeks and that it will be your salvation. Maybe, just maybe, they’ll get some things right this time.

You read every site’s guide to “50 Essential Android Apps” and find like five cool apps that you actually use longer than four weeks. It’s going to be ok, you tell yourself, but then you see your friend’s iPhones and ask them if you can just hold it. You swear you won’t read their texts, you just want to get lost in Apple’s iOS wonderland for a bit.

When friends ask, “Why don’t you have an iPhone? Aren’t you an Apple blogger?” you try to wax intellectual about how it’s a great idea to try new things, and that your Galaxy Nexus does a lot of cool stuff your iPhone didn’t. “Like, it’s got a little LED that lets me know each time I have a text or missed call or new email. It’s sweet!” you explain. You even show off NFC even though you’ve never had the chance to use it yet.

The craziest thing that happens is you actually sit through the entire Google I/O keynote completely enthralled with the announcement that Android 4.1 Jelly Bean will be released soon. You stay up all night pressing the software update button waiting for Google to fill your Nexus full of delicious Jelly Bean goodness. The update finally comes three days later, and it’s good, and the new Google Now feature can almost read your mind. It makes you excited to use your phone again and discover new things.

You want to love your Android phone. You want to love it more than you wanted to love your amazingly beautiful ex-girlfriend whose one flaw was a serious case of the bitch-fits. You want to love this phone because the thought that Apple might be the only tech company in the world able to make a completely great phone just depresses the living hell out of you.

You want someone else to make a phone that you love because you’re afraid that your love affair with Apple has transformed you into critical asshole that can’t appreciate variety or alternative view points. You worry that you’ve morphed into a monstrous troll when you see your friend’s new Galaxy S3 and ask if they actually bought it or if it was forced on them by their company.

You start thinking about allegiances. You start thinking about how much you just don’t want to care anymore. You start thinking about how when you were a kid you just wanted to play with really cool gadgets and technology like you were James Bond. Back then you didn’t care which famed designer or company created gadgets and phones, or which of your friends had one. You just loved them. You start to worry that your inability to truly love or even enjoy Android and other gadgets means you’ve lost that magical power. You think you’re an idiot.

“Everything is finally good enough and you really don’t care that a new iPhone is coming out in two weeks.”

Three months into your exile you finally realize that all of this nonsense is stupid to worry about, so you stop. You reach that moment of total satisfaction that you can call your niece 800 miles away and have a conversation about her first day of school; that you can organize a hangout with all your friends in like two minutes no matter what brand of phone is in your pocket. Everything is finally good enough and you really don’t care that a new iPhone is coming out in two weeks. For the first time in years you are fine.

You decide not to pre-order. You made it this long, why not see how long you can go on Android? Why not try Windows Phone 8 next? You sleep in on launch day and smile at the pictures of everyone waiting in line for their iPhone 5. Everyone at work is busy chatting about when they think their pre-order will be delivered and you’re happy that you’re not anxious. Happy that you feel like you can finally wait.

During your lunch hour you decide to stop by the Apple Store and see how long the lines are. It’s swarmed. You drive down the road a few miles and walk into an empty AT&T Store. The employee tells you that a guy bought the last iPhone 5 about 10 minutes ago, but then the manager interjects and says they have one last iPhone 5 remaining.

You pause. You open up your wallet. You buy it.

  • Arron Hunt

    Happy Ending

  • NHowell14

    lmao!!! Whats funny is remember feeling like a caged animal with my 4S then having it burn my hand after playing infinity blade 2.

    I can’t say I miss the iphone at all. The GS3 does pretty darn good.

  • SupaMac

    You should’ve bought AppleCare+

    Problem solved.

  • Christian Skjetne

    This was an awesome read!

  • Cortney Sauk

    lmao!!! Whats funny is remember feeling like a caged animal with my 4S then having it burn my hand after playing infinity blade 2.

    I can’t say I miss the iphone at all. The GS3 does pretty darn good.

    If your phone ‘burned’ your hand you have more issues to worry about than what type of phone it was… Otherwise it got a little warm and you’re just a whimp when it comes to warm electronics. Oh and I’m pretty sure IB2 would do the same to an Android phone, but then again I guess it would have to be on one first…

  • daftpaolo

    Really a nice reading! Thanks for sharing!! 

  • Lee Scott

    thank god this story has a happy ending!

  • Buster

    You should’ve bought AppleCare+

    Problem solved.

    Yep. I totally should have and regretted that decision. Bought it for my iPhone 5.

  • hanhothi

    Great blog buster, enjoyed reading it.
    So in the end, Android not so bad? Miss it now you have iPhone5 and iOS6?

  • alilocko

    Brillant, I loved this article, I thought you’d stick with Android or something else but once an Apple fanboy always an Apple fanboy! Loved the last line, it had me in stitches

  • ex_spy_guy

    i love happy endings…..

  • musiq_loveHer

    Buster,

    Thank you. Thank you for that enthralling piece. Thank you for carefully orchestrating that perfectly pitched composition of words that allowed the reader to empathize with your strife. Thank you for taking what could have been yet another bleek iPhone 5 piece into a compelling short story. Thank you for making this post magical. Thank you for being you!

  • Buster

    Great blog buster, enjoyed reading it.
    So in the end, Android not so bad? Miss it now you have iPhone5 and iOS6?

    There are some aspects that I miss. I plan on trying other phone too just because I really love technology and trying new stuff. I’m really excited about the Nokia Lumia 920. I have a Galaxy S3 and it’s pretty cool too. I still like the iPhone 5 and iOS more than Android, but more than anything, the experience really helped me to stop caring so much about my phone and any loyalties towards Apple or Google and just enjoy what’s out there and have fun. No matter which phone you have, it’s just a phone, and it seems so silly to have ridiculously emotional feelings about an inanimate object that can easily be replaced by another option.

  • Czech_Boy

    Loved it! Very relatable article. Except when I finally ended up at the virgin store eyeing the last 32gb iPhone 5, I actually walked away tucking my wallet back into my pocket. I’m going to stick with my current Galaxy nexus until the next nexus arrives. I do miss iOS though.

  • Harold Kelly

    Awesome article. I’ve never used anything since my iPhone when I first got it in my hands. I’ve picked up the other devices when in Best Buy or the Windows Store and I remember when Windows was fun to explore and when I didn’t know the difference between that and anything else. Now I’m the biggest fanboy my friends know. I really appreciate the article. I will tell you that it really touched me with that last line. Thank you.

  • Justin H. Furr

    I had a very similar experience recently Buster. Except my exile only lasted for 5 days. I tried out the Samsung Galaxy Note and stopped using my 4S. I was set on selling my 4S online and moving over to Android. Ultimately, and to make a long story short, I switched back and returned my Galaxy Note. I really should’ve tried the GSIII. However, I discovered that as much as I wanted to be, I was not a fAndroid and never felt comfortable with it. The OS felt buggy, choppy, laggy & slow, overloaded with RAM-hogging bulky widgets that I didn’t really care about, and most of all just less graceful and smooth. The phone felt cheap in my hands. Some of my Android-using coworkers said I never gave it a fair chance, perhaps they were correct and I should’ve tried the GSIII but it boiled down to the OS and the overall quality of the device itself. I wasn’t happy with it at all. AT&T was awesome about my return. Furthermore, I’m waiting for my iPhone 5 and I feel a lot better now.

  • snarfblat

    I had an Android phone once.. a Droid X I bought on its launch day. Loved it for about 90 days, then it started having all kinds of issues. By the end of the first year, Verizon replaced it due to the issues. Thirty days later, the same issues returned. Then when the iPhone 4S came out and they let me upgrade, I did and never looked back. Never again will I have one of those Android pieces of garbage. Or a Windows machine.

  • volodoscope

    HAHA, awesome story. Almost exactly same thing happened to me. I love how much of keep lying to yourself and BS you go through just to realize that it’s not doing anything better.

  • Mirage299

    HAHAHA the end was awesome :D

  • RadTech5000

    Great article and wonderful ending, it just proves how no other phone comes close to the iPhone. :)

  • Silellak

    Within your first month you decide to move your calendars, email, cloud storage, everything, over to Google’s services so you can feel the full torrential power of Google syncing. It works better than iCloud, which surprises you at first.

    …why would anyone be surprised that Google’s cloud services are better than Apple’s? Cloud services are what Google does.

    But then you know shit is about to get real once you discover that the best Twitter app for Android is The Twitter app.

    Incorrect. See: Tweet Lanes, Boid.

    On a Friday night you discover that you’ve been left out of your friend’s group iMessage conversations because you’re stuck on Android.

    If only there were platform-agnostic messaging solutions…

    Once you embark on your exile to Android you start reading a lot more tech news. Each morning you wake up and scan Gizmodo, The Verge, TechCrunch, and all the Android blogs hoping for a glimmer of news or rumor that Samsung or Motorola or HTC is about to launch their newest flagship Android phone in two weeks and that it will be your salvation. Maybe, just maybe, they’ll get some things right this time.

    You want someone else to make a phone that you love because you’re afraid that your love affair with Apple has transformed you into critical asshole that can’t appreciate variety or alternative view points. You worry that you’ve morphed into a monstrous troll when you see your friend’s new Galaxy S3 and ask if they actually bought it or if it was forced on them by their company.

    Spoiler alert: It has.

    Look, snark aside, I don’t think you gave Android a fair shake. If you couldn’t find a better Twitter client than the official app, and if you couldn’t figure out how to turn off tactile feedback on the keyboard without asking someone, then I have my serious doubts. I made my own transition from iOS to Android and didn’t find things nearly as difficult – it’s almost like you wanted to fail.

    That said, I think iOS is awesome and I think iPhones are awesome, and I think you’ll be very happy with the iPhone 5. It’s a great piece of hardware from a great company. I just don’t think this post is really coming from someone who approached Android with an open mind.

  • mr_bee

    Great article Buster. Funny, interesting, personal … the whole nine yards.

  • tonydsm

    Good read starting out until the part about missing Emoji (yes, that’s how it’s spelled). A quick search in the Play Store for emoji would come up with amazing messaging apps with Emoji: Handcent SMS, GO SMS. I have owned both iPhone and Android phone. I like both. There are aspects of iOS that are better, and there are things that Android just rise above iOS. This is after all Cult of Mac, the bias and brainwashing are expected.

  • kukumugu

    check out the NEO FREERUNNER phone from openmoko!! first and last freesource phone ever….they just havent got the budget to advertise it….

  • skfalco

    Nice reading even for an Apple fanboy Android can do the Job, sadly not the other way around

  • Overthe Wires

    I enjoyed reading that. Especially since I once owned the Galaxy nexus and other android phones. Though I did not find the experience to be pleasant.

  • laytoncy

    You should’ve bought AppleCare+

    Problem solved.

    Check out squaretrade. Got that for my iPad.

  • Bill Salzmann

    Terrible article, I love apple, and my iPhone, but this article says how good android is, and says that it’s only flaw is that you like iPhone. Was hoping for thoughts on how the device was used for three months, and how it compared to the iPhone, but this article had more “you can do it” “it’s only 3 months” then anything else.

  • Matthew David Gold

    “You want to love it more than you wanted to love your amazingly beautiful ex-girlfriend whose one flaw was a serious case of the bitch-fits.” nice misogyny, bro.

  • gonerized

    the next story will be how the Galaxy Nexus (1 year-old phone) still beats the new iPhone 5. Good luck with Apple Maps.

  • HausnerPL

    So you basically say that on Android all most everything that Google provides works better… I think the fact that everyone have to jailbreak their iphone is already a ultimate evidence that coming from the box iOS is broken… If you have to choose iPhone without jailbreak and pure Jelly Bean would you still decide on the iphone???

  • 3Dsign

    The fact that this guy couldnt figure out how to change the alarm tone on Android apart from a few “lovely futuristic robotic tones” says a lot about the credibility of this article and the author.

    Tha fact that this guy is all crazy about jail braking and yet finds the flashing roms cumbersome, shows how biased this article is.

    The fact that this guy can only think of a ‘live wallpaper’ to make his Nexus look ‘cool’ and worse, spends 5 bucks on stupid wallpapers smells of uber noobism. I dont blame him though. The only thing he could think of to make his iPhone look cool was to change the wallpaper. :D

    But then hey..this is ‘cult of Mac’. What else do you expect? :D

  • Andrew Agwae

    This story talked about me, everything on there is what happened to me, but I ended up not getting it because they only had the 16Gb white in stock and I wanted the 64Gb. And one more thing I waited on line for 6hrs, but I walked out because I realised that the lines were not moving as fast as I thought they would.

  • Interesting stuff

    LOL!

  • os2baba

    There is no way, I can ever go back to an iPhone now. But if you went from 3 months on Jelly Bean on the Galaxy Nexus (admittedly not the best hardware even when it came out) to the iPhone, then the iPhone is truly the best phone for you.

  • Haku

    Enjoy your Maps app ;-P

  • Michael Kleinpaste

    You should’ve bought AppleCare+

    Problem solved.

    AppleCare doesn’t cover stupid decisions, like swimming with your phone. :|

  • Michael Kleinpaste
    You want to love Android then you woke up and realized your a sheep like the others

    Nope. Read the article again. He never really wanted it to work out in the first place.

  • Josh Harper

    This article sounds like it was written by someone experiencing severe drug withdrawal symptoms..

  • Walkop

    I’m a die-hard Android lover, myself. I’m even typing this comment on my ASUS Transformer TF300, with they keyboard dock. But I’m glad to hear that you just tried out Android for a bit, found some things you like, and some things you didn’t, then went back to what you preferred.

    I know Jelly Bean has made some absolutely marvelous improvments to the overall stability and smoothness of Android (it’s on my Transformer and rooted GSI), and I’m loving it. But there are still advantages to iOS – complete and utter touchscreen responsiveness, for one. Its just so FAST at times. But Android is catching up, and finally they can compete in that area where iOS has always dominated. Android finally LOOKS good, while still performing good.

    I myself will always stick with Android. It definitely lacks a lot of the polish of iOS, even with Jelly Bean. Just look at the comments of Android UX Cheif, Andy Rubin: http://forums.macrumors.com/archive/index.php/t-1445529.html

    He thinks Android is only 1/3 of where he wants it to be, even with Jelly Bean. I reccommend you read the forums comments and the original Android Police article, there’s a lot of critisism on Android witth some great points and some good arguments as well.

  • egoattack

    LMAO… Awesome article! I hope this is true story. Happy Ending XD

  • rhebbar

    lol apple fanboys. i guess it IS cooler to have a nice looking phone than it is to have a phone that works properly.

  • joe_dorn

    Hah. This happened to me. My microphone died in my iPhone 4 after it was dropped. Instead of an Android I had a Pre 3 as my substitute phone for the last 90 days. Barely any apps, terrible battery life etc… I ended up carrying both phones. I used the iPhone 4 normally, minus calls, and forwarded the calls to the Pre 3. I like webOS, especially on the Touchpad, but in my case, I’m so glad to back in iOS land.

  • Steffen Jobbs

    Then you tried the Map app, got lost and started wishing you stayed with the Android smartphone with the huge display and Google maps. You thought to yourself, “This would never have happened if Steve Jobs were alive.”

    /s

  • Steffen Jobbs

    Then you tried the Map app, got lost and started wishing you stayed with the Android smartphone with the huge display and Google maps. You thought to yourself, “This would never have happened if Steve Jobs were alive.”

    /s

  • hogarth

    Drugs are bad for you. Apple products are crack, and you know it.

  • _trendspotter

    At least you gave Android a chance. This is not a one sides biased comment, please read to the end.

    I started my smartphone life with an HTC Desire. Then I had to buy an iPhone, because all cool apps are only available for iOS.

    The first three weeks owning an iPhone I wanted to throw it against a wall. Because I could not do shit with it, in comparison to Android, without jailbreaking it:

    – There are no widgets on iOS. You can’t put an widget of an calendar, like Business Calendar (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=mikado.bizcalpro) with the next infos in your face, every time you start your phone. You can not put weather widgets in your face, that would help you know it is going to rain, without having to go into an app or setup notifications for that.

    – You can not change the software keyboard on an iPhone. As Buster Heine wrote, he did not test one of the best keyboard apps for Android, that is Swiftkey (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.touchtype.swiftkey). My life is too short to deal with the stupid text prediction of iOS where I have have to manually change the language between German and English, because the native iOS keyboard is not even smart enough to know when I’m typing German words or English words. And even the text normal prediction of iOS is lightyears behind Swiftkey.

    – You can not share stuff between apps on iOS. It is a joke that some news app (yes news apps), don’t even allow you to send an email with the news, just because the app developer did not add that option to his app. Some iOS news apps allow you to send a tweet, some don’t. Some allow you to bookmark them via an app, some don’t. With Android you can use every app with every app. Share stuff from X to Y. If you have just one bookmarking app installed, you can use it with every app. On iOS I had to buy Instapaper. There was no way around it, because every stupid news app just allowed me to use Instapaper. Even weirder you have to add in your user/password to allow those apps to use Instapaper. It is insane, compared to Android. Where sharing is just a touch.

    – You can not choose which browser to use when opening an website on iOS. You can have the best browsers of the world installed on your iPhone. But. No, you are forced to use Safari, Safari, Safari. Every time you open an link, it will always be first opened with Safari. Hey but you can manually copy the URL and then open the browser you want and paste the URL there. What fun… just as time wasting as the lack of sharing and the lack of an fast really predictive keyboard.

    Those are the main painful negative sides of owning an iPhone. The good parts of an iPhone

    – Battery. My HTC Desire never lasted as long as my iPhone does. I can control when my phone battery is going to die down on iOS. On Android I even installed apps to control the apps. Still on iOS when I’m at 9% battery I know what I can do and that helps to stay at 7-8% battery when using the phone. I can even go to sleep and I had it multiple times that the iPhone still worked the next morning with 3-4% battery. With my HTC Desire it always suddenly turned off, between 9-15% battery.

    – Caching. I don’t know how to describe this function of iOS. But I LOVE that all apps on iOS are cached. Even on my old iPhone 3GS that I own. Everything is always still there, when I open the apps later.

    – Updates: I love that even a very old smartphone, like my iPhone 3GS (from 2009) still gets updates for the newest version of the OS (iOS 6 from 2012). Even many or most Android smartphones that were released AFTER my HTC Desire are not supported with new Android versions. Like the Desire HD (from 2010) that is stuck on Android 2.3.5, the HTC Desire S (from 2011) that is OTA stuck on Android 2.3.5, at least manually you get Android 4.0.4. But still you have to wait forever for official OS updates on Android.

    The verdict:

    I don’t want to buy a new smartphone every year. Therefore may next smartphone is with 80% chance going to be an iPhone 5. Just because there are much more apps available, all new apps are still first available for iOS and I can expect future OS updates even in 3 years in the future.

About the author

Buster HeinBuster Hein is Cult of Mac's Senior News Editor and lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Twitter: @bst3r.

(sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address)| Read more posts by .

Posted in Featured stories, News, Opinions, Top stories | Tagged: , , , , |