A Little iEnvy
I <3 Android
I really do enjoy Android as a mobile OS. Android offers a world of choice and customization that is painful to implement (at best) on the iOS platform. I started my affair with Android almost two years ago with the Nexus One, and have recently upgraded to a Nexus S. I had an iPod Touch (2nd Gen) when I used a BlackBerry Bold as my phone, but have since gone to just my Android phone and gave the Touch to my son. I am running Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) on my Nexus S, and think that it is a great upgrade from Gingerbread. I also picked up a HP TouchPad during the “fire sale” and have it running ICS as well. ICS made that $150 tablet feel as nice to me as my wife’s 1st generation iPad.
I respect iOS
I enjoyed iOS when I used it on the iPod Touch and when I borrow my wife’s iPad. The app ecosystem that Apple offers is truly unmatched. Not only are the apps on iOS more plentiful for the types of use cases I am concerned with, but they are certainly more beautiful as well. Reeder on the iPad is probably the app I miss most when using my Android tablet, but there are several examples on the phone. I should mention here that I run an iMac as my primary home computer and am in no way an exclusive “fanboy” for any one company or platform. I use what I feel best fits my situation and my preferences. Several factors can play into those criteria. Cost (I wouldn’t have an iPad of my own if I hadn’t gotten the TouchPad for such a steal), workplace restrictions (I am not able to place my work issues SIM card into an iPhone due to carrier billing differences) and variety all play into my choices. My wife uses an iPhone 4 and the 1st generation iPad, so anytime I’d like to play around with a new app or sync my Jawbone UP band, I borrow her devices.
My Current iEnvy
My current “iEnvy” is fueled by two primary factors. First, my wife never worries about her phone’s battery life. I constantly worry about mine. This is the same case with our tablets, however, I don’t use my TouchPad nearly as much as I do my phone. Battery life should be Android’s number one focus with it’s next Nexus device and future operating system decisions. I haven’t talked to any Android lovers who are not taking steps to conserve battery life with apps like Tasker or JuiceDefender. My wife is not as heavy a user of her phone as I am, but she leaves Wifi on always, and her screen timeout is set to some ridiculous value on the high end. I’d have to actually carry an iPhone 4 or 4S for a few days to know if I would be in a better position with it vs. my Nexus S, but I’m 99% sure that I would be based on talking to others that use those devices.
The second driver of my iEnvy is that both the iPhone and iPad now sport Retina displays. Simply put, no one has better mobile device displays than Apple. I read a lot of text on my phone and tablet and know just from helping my wife with things on her iPhone 4 that the experience of a Retina display is unmatched to anything else. I’m in a position now where I question whether I need to have two Android mobile devices, or if I would be getting the best of both worlds by having either an iPhone and my TouchPad or my Nexus S and an iPad. This brings back the criteria limitations I brought up above, but I’m working to determine if either move would be feasible. I think it would change my use patterns a bit. I’d read less on my phone and more on my tablet if I had an iPad. I’d still enjoy the customization and freedom that comes with Android on my more heavily used device… but I’d still have shitty battery life.
Envy is a Deadly Sin
I’m not really thinking along the lines of Ten Commandments… but more the “geek law” variety. So many people are in one camp or the other when it comes to Android vs. iOS (both hardware and software). I find myself looking over the fence and saying, “I should really tear down this fence and eat any colored grass I like.”
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