Abandoning Apple

29Oct13

I’ve been a happy iPhone and iPad user for a couple of years, but the time has come to move on. It’s not that I dislike Apple stuff, I just don’t think it’s the best for my needs, and certainly isn’t worth the premium. That said, I’m not very convinced by iOS7, or OS X Mavericks for that matter.

Desktop

The new Mac Pro looks awesome – an object of pure techlust the likes of which I’ve hardly seen since the NeXT cube days. But I last bought a new desktop somewhere in the middle of the last decade.

Laptop

If Apple made an MacBook Air that took 16GB of RAM I’d have bought one already. The 8GB limitation pushed me to getting a Lenovo X230, which I’m very happy with (and was about $500 less than the equivalent MBA – and doesn’t make me carry a little bag of video adaptors).

Phone

I ended up choosing the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini over an iPhone 5 – the dual SIM version was just the icing on the cake. Cost wasn’t a significant factor in the decision, but £335 is a whole lot better than £709 for a 64GB 5s.

Tablet

My iPad hasn’t seen much use since I got a Nexus 7 LTE, and I left it at home when I was on holiday last week, and again for a business trip this week. I think cost was more of a factor here – the Nexus 7 LTE is $349 whilst an equivalent iPad mini is $629.

What I’m missing

I bought the TomTom apps for iOS some time ago, and it’s been great to get free upgrades over the years. I’ve yet to buy a new offline GPS app (like TomTom or maybe Sygic) for Android, so I’m still taking my old iPhone4 with me on trips where I need a GPS.

I had the HDMI adaptor for my iPad (that also worked with my iPhone 4), which was useful for watching shows on hotel room and holiday rental TVs (though I’d note that the HDMI adaptor for newer iPads that use the Lightning connector aren’t really adaptors, but rather mini network attached streaming devices – that actually reduce the quality of the output). I’ve yet to get a Slimport adaptor for the Nexus 7, and I probably won’t bother getting the slightly different sort of adaptor the S4 mini needs.

What I’m not missing

A whole bunch of crappy games that my kids downloaded.

A whole bunch more games that I downloaded.

How my world is better

Swype – probably the best 69p I ever spent. It totally baffles me that Apple blocks this kind of awesome UI improvement from its environment.

I don’t have to use iTunes any more (e.g. to get videos onto my tablet before a trip).

I have enough storage on my phone for all of my MP3s and everything else.

I can share links to stuff on pinboard.in without having to jump through hoops (because of an open plugin architecture for such things).

Conclusion

Leaving behind the iOS world for Android has involved little pain, and a good amount of joy. Maybe I’d be just as happy with newer Apple gear, but I’d be somewhat poorer and I’d be missing out on a bunch of stuff.

Lastly, I should answer Fred Wilson’s question ‘What Are People Doing On All Those Cheap Tablets?‘ – for me it’s exactly the same as what I was doing with my expensive tablet – Feed.ly, Twitter, watching videos, Kindle, Facebook and some casual gaming. Perhaps more on that in another post – I think people who do a lot with their tablets are willing to spend more on them, but if a heavy user like me can be happy with a cheaper device then the landscape is changing.



2 Responses to “Abandoning Apple”

  1. 1 Simon

    Good article. Ive also recently moved away from Apple and am pleaseantly suprised at how little gap if any there is between ios and android. I actually find many tasks easier and quicker to perform using android..

    Its also nice to have a choice of hardware, having a waterproof phone (sony z1) in Singapore with kids is a real benefit..

    I do like the windows UI but then os is still a little premature for the more demanding user…..


  1. 1 Classes of tablet | Chris Swan's Weblog

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