Two years ago I decided to make the big switch from Apple to Android, two weeks ago, I made the switch back
I remember the day I got my Galaxy S8. I was sick of my iPhone dying every four hours after a full charge and I wasn’t going to shell out more than a thousand dollars for a new one. After getting my first Android device at the AT&T store, I was convinced I had made the right decision.
I was wrong.
After getting the Galaxy, I posted on Instagram, “Made the switch to the dark side,” which was greeted with a plethora of polarizing reactions. All of my friends with Android devices of their own were very excited and said things like, “We’re glad to have you here,” or “You made the right choice.” My friends with iPhones criticized me and said I’d regret it.
They were right.
Here’s the thing: I loved my Galaxy. It was phenomenally better than my previous phone, the iPhone SE (a special edition iPhone which was the size of an iPhone 5 with the processor of a 6S). My galaxy’s screen was much larger; the battery lasted more than 10 hours longer; it was faster; it took photos that made me look like a good photographer (I’m not); I could customize it much more; the list goes on.
So why did I switch back?
Honestly, the novelty of the Galaxy wore off pretty quickly. All the things I had never been able to do on an iPhone, like swiping to form words faster or downloading a bunch of Pokemon and other Gameboy games from my childhood onto the phone, were pretty great. But they soon became second nature and stopped being special. Customizing the home screen with widgets and putting apps wherever I felt like was empowering, but it also became normal.
However, what also became normal was the endless stream of things I disliked about the Android system. Almost every app is less user friendly. My most used app, Spotify, didn’t have one of my favorite features, swiping right on a song to queue it. Instead, you had to hold it down and hit add to queue. It sounds dumb, but it took five seconds longer with each song and grew annoying. Some of my other most used apps – Facebook, Instagram, MLB At Bat – had more complicated interfaces that made them much more tedious to use.
There were also a bunch of apps that I took for granted on my iPhone, mostly Notes, Voice Memos, Podcasts, Maps and Messages.
The first two I use all the time in my job as a journalist. There are similar versions of the apps on the Google Play store, but they usually come with ads which makes them annoying to use and they don’t work as well. Apple’s Notes and Voice Memos apps are very simple, nothing superfluous, no ads. I missed that right away.
The Apple Podcasts app is also simple, but the biggest perk is that it has a huge number of podcasts on it that are not available on Spotify, Stitcher or any of the other podcast apps.
Every Android phone comes preloaded with Google Maps, which is always a bit ahead of Apple Maps, offering features that Apple usually gets a few years later, which is nice. However, it’s less user friendly and Siri doesn’t talk back to you (more on Siri in a bit).
Perhaps the biggest difference of any app was in Messages. Apple’s iMessaging uses data (or wi-fi) instead of SMS texting, which allows it to tell you when a message is delivered and if the recipient has read it (contingent upon them having read receipts on); it lets you text on your laptop (if you have a MacBook); and it turns your messages with other iPhones blue.
This might not seem like much, but people love iMessage. They love it. They hate anyone who has an Android with green messages. In fact, the first thing my girlfriend said to me when I got my new phone was, “Yay! You’ll finally have blue messages!” People with Androids “mess up” every group chat, meaning you can’t name the group chat and you get annoying texts of “John laughed at [the text].” I was that person who messed up the group chat for two years.
Now I’m not.
After two weeks with my new iPhone, I can definitely say I made the right choice to switch back. I only have to charge my iPhone 11 once every two days, instead of twice a day. My pictures look even better, a lot better with portrait mode, than on my Galaxy. The phone, especially the face unlock feature, is much faster.
More than all of that, all of my friends and family members with iPhones, approximately 90 percent of everyone I know, like me again. Okay, they didn’t stop liking me because I got a Galaxy, they just liked me less. This was the first text I got from my dad on my new iPhone: “Welcome back to the (iPhone) family, Nathan. You ventured off the reservation, learned the error of your ways, and came home.” Was he joking? I’ll leave that up to you.
There are lots of arguments not to switch to an iPhone. iOS doesn’t let you customize as much. Some Android phones have better cameras (even with the iPhone 11 Pro’s weird/fancy camera setup). Some Android phones have better battery lives.
Then there’s the most common argument – iPhones are too expensive. No, they’re not. It’s one of my biggest pet peeves when people complain about how expensive new iPhones are every time they come out. Yes, if you want the top of the line iPhone 11 Pro Max with 512 GB of storage, it will set you back nearly $1,500. However, for most everyone, the regular iPhone 11 is good enough for nearly everyone and starts at just $700 (though I would recommend the 128 GB version which is $50 more expensive).
That’s just $700 for a device that you will use for many (probably too many) hours each day. Every day I use my phone for dozens of things like listening to music, watching shows, sharing on social media, texting friends, reading books, to emailing professors, taking beautiful pictures, navigating to new places, calling my family, checking game scores, looking random things up online and countless other activities I forgot to mention. Spending a few hundred bucks on a device that will entertain you for many hours every day for years is not a bad investment. Stop complaining about it.
Okay, I’m done ranting.
There are a million little reasons why you should switch to an iPhone, or get a new one. However, the biggest reason is simple. Having an iPhone is incredibly inclusive.
I remember sophomore year in one of my classes, we did a focus group for the APU Mobile app. The developer stood in front of the 25-person class and asked who had an Android phone to talk about the Android version of the app. I was one of three people that raised my hands.
When I said I was switching to the dark side originally, I didn’t know how right I was. I got shunned by friends and family and was shut out of several group chats. I struggled to use some of my favorite apps because the android versions weren’t nearly as user friendly as their iPhone counterparts. I was unable to get the AirPods I wanted for two years (I now have them). I could go on, but it boils down to this – when you have an iPhone, you’re a part of the Apple family.
As my dad said, I’m part of the family again, and it feels good to be back.