I love Android—I really do. From my HTC EVO 4G to my Nexus 4, through rooting, modding and waiting patiently for the platform to find its feet, Android has never done me wrong. But my mounting frustrations with what I want out of a smartphone are leading me back to Apple’s green pastures yet again.
1. iOS 7
Plenty of tech pundits would dismiss Jony Ive’s iOS 7 revolution as an iterative, superficial update, one with candy colors and a few tricks to make us go ooh. Me? I’ll be leaping into its flat, bubblegum design with arms outstretched. Ever since Mathias Duarte got involved with Android (circa Honeycomb), I’ve been reeling in its design-geek friendly visual siren song. Now that Ive has lured iOS out of its visual dark age, I’m all ears. If I ever see the word skeuomorph again it’ll be too soon.
2. Google Voice Is Broken
For the past three years, since I moved away from New York, I’ve relied on Google Voice for 100% of my texts and calls. Ask any Voice user: that’s quite a risk. And as much as I love clinging to the free VoIP platform and its mobile operating system agnosticism, the app just gets buggier and buggier. Sure, the Google Hangouts roll-in is on the way, but it’s too little too late from my absolute favorite yet wholly stagnant app. iMessage, group texts and MMS, here I come!
When I shoot photos on my phone, I intend to share them on Instagram, my favorite app in the known universe. But Instagram on Android has a serious image compression problem. Using a Nexus 4, I can take my brightest, most crisp shot into Instagram to share with the world… and see it butchered into pixelated oblivion. I do not make a habit of mincing pixels, but there’s a systemic, unresolved brokenness to the Instagram for Android app that renders it nigh unusable.
Sure, a non-iPhone camera may have more megapixels and spec sheet bells and whistles on paper. But at the end of the day it’s all about how your mobile hardware’s image processing plays nice with apps—or if it doesn’t. Apple’s built-in image signal processor (ISP) is largely to thank for the iPhone’s qualitative image superiority , and it should be better than ever on the A7—which I assume doesn’t hold a grudge against Instagram.
4. To 5C Or Not To 5C…
From the get go, I was drawn to the 5C, and part of me is still genuinely intrigued about the device in spite of the fact that its guts are very familiar. The iPhone 5C’s unibody polycarbonate casing is like owning a Lumia without having to deal with a Lumia—or Windows Phone. Awesome, right?
Well, as much as my tactile reptile brain wants the 5C (Ooh colors! Smooooth!) I realize that the 5S, with its A7 chip, and sophisticated camera processing are way more the speed for any proper early adopter crazy person like myself. But this doesn’t mean I’m not buying a Connect 4 case, okay?
5. Size—Simple As That
Every time I scratch my head wondering why everyone and their literal mom has an iPhone, I remember one simple anatomical fact: we ladies, on the whole, have smaller paws. I love Android to death—I’ve been modding my Android phones into unrecognizability for years now—but I can’t hack the hardware to suit my medium-sized lady hands hand any better.
At the end of the day, if I can’t reach all of my apps with a swift one-handed gesture, it’s all for naught. My eyes prefer to drink in a wide 4.7-inch display like that of the Nexus 4 or the HTC One X (my last, last Android phone)… but my hands constantly fumble—and my phone teeters perpetually toward taking a nosedive.
It’s often overlooked because it’s just that simple, but the iPhone anatomically agnostic appeal is a huge part of its ubiquity. There are no flagship devices from Android that I can wrap my hand around comfortably. And that’s a major nail in its coffin from this Android lover. Women aren’t just a marketing segment—we’re half of the population.