Wednesday, September 11, 2013

iOS vs Android: Go away and leave me alone

Every week or two, I'll be at the corner bar with my iPad, and some random person will come up and want to debate me about my choice of iOS versus Android. I really am tired of debating, not primarily because the other person is typically slurring and incoherent (that's just an added bonus), but more so because the other person is usually implying that I'm stupid to "fall for the hype" by having chosen iOS. Except, here's the thing: I'm not stupid for choosing iOS, and you're not stupid for choosing Android. Use whatever you want. I could care less. Because you've asked, I'm going to tell you that, for a variety of reasons, iOS is the smartphone platform I want to use. I'm not trying to convert you or convince you that you've made a bad choice, and you need to stop doing the same thing to me.

Here's what people tend to say in these discussions.
  • Ohhh, you use Apple stuff because you like paying more? No, I like it because I find that it breaks less, and I found iOS super easy to use. Just like how I've used every computer operating system out there, from *BSD to Linux to Windows, and I've since moved to Mac because it does exactly what I need, it just works, and I don't have to mess around with drivers or viruses. Same with iOS. A friend of mine went from iOS to Android last year because she didn't want to shell out for the latest and greatest iPhone. She ended up going back to her old iPhone after a week. Too much like a computer, she said about Android. Very powerful, but not easy. I agree.
  • Ohhh, you use iOS because you like being forced into a walled garden? Look, unless you've rooted your phone and you're currently side-loading apps, then you don't know what you're talking about. Most Android phones are locked down, and the Google Play store just ain't that different than the Apple App Store. You're pushing a button to download Angry Birds, I'm pushing a button to download Angry Birds. I don't know what walls you think I have that you don't have, but unless you're truly a master hax0r, you don't actually know either. Go away.
  • Well, I've rooted my phone and installed this and this and this and I'm an elite hax0r and you're dumb. Good for you! We have something in common. I ran a jailbroken iPhone on T-Mobile for quite a long time, and I had a lot of fun hacking my various Android phones prior to that. But now, my day job focuses on designing software, so I get my "make it do what I want" fix there. I just want a cool phone that just works nowadays. Good for you're that you're still in the hacking phase. I've already moved on from it.
  • Ohhh, you use iOS because you like being locked into iTunes? Oh, you're so young. Back when I was running Android, it didn't have a music store and it didn't have a way to rent and download movies and it didn't have slick stuff like the ability to buy the new Elvis Costello album from my phone and have it automatically download to my tablet and computer. Hell, even the Netflix app came out a year earlier for iOS than for Android. It sounds like Android has caught up and now you can rent a movie to watch on the plane just like you can on iOS. I think. If so, great! Good for you! But when I was on Android, that stuff didn't exist, so I moved on -- and I'm not really seeing some compelling reason to change back.
  • Ohhh, you must hate open source, huh? Uh, no, I've been running Linux longer than you have, and that phrase "open source" doesn't apply here, not the way you think it does. Android is an ecosystem being driven very specifically by Google, and Google's not just in this for their health. Try go building an Android phone and see if you can include the Google Play store without Google's signoff. Sure, some aspects of it are more open, but mostly in that they're configurable by the carrier, which is not the same as community freedom and end user freedom. And all of these different Android phones having different front-end user interfaces, depending on the carrier or the manufacturer. I find that fragmentation of the user experience to be a pain in the ass when trying to explain to my mom how to turn on wifi or whatever. I'm happy to avoid this issue.
  • Google "does no evil" and Apple is a relentless money-grubbing monster who would kill us all if it would make their stock rise. If you believe this, you need a brain transplant. They're both huge profit-driven companies, and I don't think you can honestly say that one of them cares more about saving kittens than the other. But if you really want to push me on the social justice angle, I will point out that Apple's CEO is gay and every time some anti-LBGT fratboy calls somebody a F----T in a text message from their iPhone, they're doing it on a device from a company run by the most powerful gay man in America. (That's almost as good as Eric Allman's quote about hate speech sent via email.)
  • If you just actually tried an Android phone, you'd love it. Hey, I was using an Android phone before you even heard of it. I bought one of the first T-Mobile G1s and later I went all out and ordered a Google Nexus One. It didn't help that my Nexus One was a lemon, with an intermittent microphone issue that made the microphone stop working periodically. That made it hard to use the phone for work calls, and I couldn't get any help from Google. Compare that to when the home button stopped working out on my iPhone 5, and I walked into an Apple Store and was able to talk to a real human who was able to hand me a free replacement phone.
Again, I'm not dissing you if you want to run an Android phone. It works for you! Good on you! But stop trying to crap over my choice, just because it's different than yours. I am tired of this debate.

1 comment:

David Gerard said...

http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/science-technology/nokia-with-broken-screen-is-best-phone-of-all-time-2013040464681