My sister had an Android. Every time I saw her use her swype keyboard I got green with envy. So I decided to put aside my pretty iPhone and give an Android phone a fair go. I was able to get my hands on the newest Nexus phone so that it was a fair battle – iPhone 5s vs the Nexus that was most recommended by people who I trust. Here’s my experience setting up the phone and using it for a couple weeks.
(experiment took place in the fall of 2013)
Making the initial switch from iPhone to Android
First things first – get my sim card into the new phone. I had some difficulties opening the sim card door because there were two holes and apparently I’m too dense to figure out which one is right. :/ I swear the holes on the Nexus phone smaller than iPhones because neither would open when I tried with a pin just like I would on an iPhone. Thank god for the Goog! This was the only online tutorial I used because I had to get started with the Android phone, but thought it was unfair to compare Android+help vs Apple+no help.
Sim card in – onwards to actually using this pretty little gadget… After the slick onboarding of Apple devices, I wasn’t thrilled by jumping to Nexus. It was very hard to find the phone’s settings and to know how to make changes. Actually, it was pretty hard to find anything – specific apps, how to import contacts, how to check voicemail – you know, the basics.
What was super cool was when I signed in to my Google account and all sorts of things started syncing. All of a sudden my email worked, my drive docs, my maps and bookmarks – anything I log into with Google. That part I loved.
End of day one – frustrated, but guess what? I now have swype!!! #happydays
Android phone – the good
- Not to sound like a broken record, but the swype keyboard is so ridiculously cool that it’s almost enough to make me love the Android phone. I mean, texts, emails and notes took me a fraction of time to write than they do on the iPhone.
- Autocorrect is also far superior than on iPhone, in my opinion. It also feels like it’s intelligent. That is, once I correct something once, it’s smart enough to know it the second time. Is that a feature or did I just get lucky? Cuz if it’s a feature, then I love it.
- The bigger screen (compared to the iPhone) is amazing. Screen sizes vary on different Android phones so I’m speaking to the Nexus specifically. My dad has a Samsung Galaxy, for example, and I can barely hold that thing in my hand. So what if the screen is better for video if I can’t physically hold it?
- I loved the feature that zooms in on the part of a page where there are multiple links. It makes it easier to click on the right thing and I definitely appreciate it (fat fingers…).
- The “sync all that is Google” feature is pretty sweet. Well, for someone who uses many Google services, like me, at least. It’s a little thing, but anything that makes my life a bit easier, I’m a fan of that.
- The Android tells me exactly what my battery is being used for so if you want to save some juice, you know what to turn off.
- Google Now is awesome. That is all.
Android phone – the bad
- The battery life is not spectacular. Actually, that’s an understatement. The battery drained super quickly. It was good that the phone told me how it was using the battery, but it’s impractical to always check and consistently close apps or risk the phone dying.
- I used the phone for two weeks and I couldn’t figure out how to select text to copy it. I refused to search for instructions because, frankly, you shouldn’t have to! It should be intuitive enough to just do it.
- Navigation in general is not great. I couldn’t find how to check voicemail and it’s hard to find apps as well.
- When you click on a phone number (in contacts, on a web page, etc.) the only options are “call with Skype” or “call with phone.” What about text? That’s kind of a basic missing feature.
- All the updates contributed to even more battery drama and there was no way to stop the damn updates. I tried everything. Again, I refused to search for instructions because this stuff shouldn’t be so hard that you need someone to hold your hand.
- Apps that are available on the web and on app didn’t always sync with their online versions or across other devices. I had this problem with Candy Crush and Evernote, among others. I know, #firstworldproblems… 🙂
- General lack of intuitiveness. Most things weren’t simple. It took time and effort to figure them out and some things I still haven’t been able to do. Not cool.
- This last one’s very subjective, but the Android experience just isn’t as beautiful as the iPhone. The user interface is fine and I can see why people love it if that’s all they’ve ever used, but if you’ve used an iPhone it just doesn’t compare.
The verdict – iPhone is just so… easy
Swype, I love you. And I’ll miss the large screen, but good riddance to the rest of it. I’m back to my iPhone 5s where everything is easy, intuitive and fast. I love that I don’t have to think about anything with the iPhone. If I don’t immediately know how to do something, I know that it’ll take me a few seconds to figure it out. I’m sticking to being an iPhone fangirl.