I am an iPhone owner and while there are limitations in how exactly you can customize all the little bits of iOS I’m happy. I am not rushing out to get the iPhone 5. It is true I’m on a 3 year contract (standard in Canada) but the iPhone 5 only feels like a small iteration to me. That’s not a bad thing, really there isn’t all that much one can add to a mature platform. Despite the minor update to the iPhone 5, my next purchase will still be an iPhone.
But wait you say there is Android and even Windows Phone. Well here’s why I don’t think Android is a viable option and I’d choose Windows Phone before it.
Why Not Android?
Android is a totally robust operating system with a large ecosystem of apps and services that are available. I have no doubt that I could find a great (not just acceptable but awesome) replacement for every one of the iOS apps I rely on. I still wouldn’t switch to Android though.
The biggest thing that holds me back is the crappy upgrade support from carriers. Cell carriers are notoriously hostile to their customers. They nickle and dime you and change you contract length with every call you make to customer service if you’re not careful. That’s not the person I want to trust with updates to my phone.
After that cases are a draw back. Having an iPhone 4 I’ve got literally hundreds if cases to choose from. Right now I use a LifeProof case daily and when I’m travelling I have a Mophie Juice Pack Air. When you switch to Andriod with its plethora of phone sizes and shapes you loose a bunch of choice in accessories. No 3rd party can support every device so choosing the iPhone offers a significantly higher return on investment for a single case design.
But You Can Tinker
One of the big selling points for an Android phone is that you can customize it to your heart’s content. This is not a feature I’m looking for. My phone takes enough of my time already. I have no desire to tweak everything to be ‘just so’. I want my phone to work without me playing with it. Some people love that you can tinker which makes Android a great option.
What About Windows Phone
Really before I’d even consider Android I’d choose a Windows Phone device. To me (and you can disagree) Windows Phone is the first smart phone OS that is doing something different than iOS. It’s actually exciting. Yes you’re still dealing with the carriers on OS upgrades but Microsoft has been fairly pointed when it comes to saying where the software updates are stuck (with the cell carriers for months typically). This public shaming seems to push the carriers in to doing right by their customers.
Sure Windows Phone doesn’t have the mega numbers of apps that you see on iOS and Android, but you really only need the core apps. As long as I can get:
- a Dropbox enabled markdown support writing app
- decent Twitter client
- App.net client
- Google Apps email
- RSS reader
- Instapaper client
That’s all I really need to make a phone useful. Yes I’d give up some things like Path and Dayone, at least from my phone, but their loss would t actually make my phone less useful to me really. It would move it to a bit more of a business device but that simply means I’d be less tempted to pick it up when I should be playing with my daughter. That is not a bad thing.
So that’s about it, until carriers get their act together and start supporting customers properly Android isn’t a viable choice in my opinion.