I made the switch.

So I finally made the switch to Android. I picked up the Galaxy Nexus today. To be honest, it’s a bit jarring after being an iPhone user for so long. I’ve lived in the Apple ecosystem for nearly eight years (my first Apple product was an iMac G5 back in 2005). My first smartphone was the iPhone, and I got it just a couple weeks after it came out. I even went to seeRatatouille in the theater the night I bought the iPhone. Since then I’ve owned the iPhone 3G and the iPhone 4.

So now that you know my background, here’s where I stand.

There’s some love, and there’s some hate. My main motivator right now is the fact that my life has become so intertwined with Google (my calendar, contacts, email, documents, and yes, even my wallet, are all in Google). So it stands to reason that I get a Google phone.

My secondary motivator is complete and utter boredom with iOS. There’s been nothing but negligible changes from Apple since iPhone OS first showed up. Meanwhile, Android has taken leaps and bounds in upgrading it’s OS.

Here’s a list of what I like and don’t like. I’ll start with “don’t like” so I can end on a positive note.

I don’t like. . .

  • The fact that it doesn’t feel like a sturdy phone. I know, this is a matter of personal preference, but I do like a little more weight to my devices.
  • The loose volume rocker. I don’t know if it’s just my device or if it’s across the board, but the volume rocker doesn’t feel like a very solid set of buttons.
  • The lack of a mute switch. It was a luxury on iPhone that I took for granted. If I was going into a meeting or just wanted my phone to stay quiet for some reason, I could just flip a switch. Not so on this phone.
  • The lack of a devoted messaging client. I know, it’s not really feasible for Android phones, but I really miss iMessages. I have a ton of friends with iPhones, and it just kills me that my texts are now going to show up in snot green on their phones instead of cool blue. ;-P Actually, I really just miss how fast iMessages were and the fact that you could see when the other person was typing.

I love. . .

  • The customization options. Big deal for me. I’m sick of staring at a grid of apps and folders that I can’t really customize.
  • 4G LTE speed. Okay, so it’s probably only a matter of time before an iPhone iteration gets LTE capability, but I’m really enjoying how fast this phone goes.
  • Different security options. I know that iOS had the option for a multi-character passcode, but something about pattern locks makes me feel more secure. And the whole face unlock is cool, but I won’t really rely on it as a security option. It’s neat when I’m at work or with my friends at church (I work for a church), but when I go out to restaurants, pubs, and shopping, I’m mostly using the pattern lock.
  • The ability to side-load apps. Sure I could jailbreak an iOS device, but I’m not a fan of voiding my warranty. With an Android device, I can get apps from wherever I want. I just installed Google Wallet onto my Verizon GNexus, and I can’t wait to try it out (though admittedly not tomorrow as a snowstorm is in the forecast :-/).

I’m sure the adjustment period is going to be difficult. I’ll keep you posted on my progress. For now though, I’m done with the iPhone.

It feels oddly liberating.

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The long farewell.

Addendum: Apparently I went through many of these thoughts almost three years ago. You can read them here.

Well, I think this might finally be goodbye.

In the summer of 2007 I jumped on the bandwagon that was the iPhone. No, it wasn’t the best phone out there. It had a weak camera that didn’t record video. It supported only SMS in a world where MMS was becoming nearly commonplace (and why would you put a camera on your phone and not support MMS?). It also didn’t take advantage of AT&T’s then blazingly fast 3G service.

But it was so cool.

Since then, I’ve adopted two iterations of the iPhone at their respective launches: the iPhone 3G and the iPhone 4. I was a loyal iPhone user. And since I lived deep inside the Apple ecosystem, it made sense for me to be loyal to iPhone.

There was a time that my loyalty to iPhone was tested. In 2008 I began getting excited about the direction that Google was moving. I received an invite to Gmail, started using Google Calendar, and even had the opportunity to beta test the now-defunct Google Wave.

During all of that, I became intrigued with Google’s new mobile operating system: Android.

I watched with envy as feature after feature that I had been longing for on the iPhone OS (now iOS) leaped its way into Google’s mobile OS. But my hunger was satiated by my discovery of the iPhone Dev Team and their jailbreaking ways. And for a short while I was content with my jailbroken iPhone 3G.

But then there it was. Google’s first multi-touch phone. The HTC Nexus One was a sight to behold. Like the spark of rebellion against a dominant empire, the Nexus One openly defied Apple’s threats to sue anyone who dared make a multi-touch device. And I was growing more ready to join this new rebellion.

But alas, my heart was turned once again to the shiny black and silver object that resided in my pocket. On June 7, 2010, Steve Jobs announced the latest and greatest iDevice to go into my iPocket: the iPhone 4.

It was new. It was shiny. It boasted an amazing Retina display that made all other phones’ panels look like grids of incomprehensible pixel junk. And just when I was about to join the Rebel Alliance, Emperor Jobs beckoned me back. (The creepy foreshadowing of this video clip isn’t lost on me.)

The new iPhone was beautiful. FaceTime, the Retina display. . . other cool. um. stuff. Glass!

It was elegant. It was classy. It made me feel good about the iPhone again. I quickly forgot about Android.

But here I am, over a year and a half later, bored by the “same-old, same-old” found in iOS. Nothing fun in the UI. Micro-managing developers. The arrogant “we know what you want better than you do” attitude. I’m tired of it all.

While I’m certainly grateful for the iPhone’s pioneering of the smartphone world, and I thoroughly enjoyed the years that I spent with my iPhones, I daresay it’s time for me to leave.

And this time, I do believe I will follow through on my plans to leave the iPhone behind.

I mean, just look at what awaits me!

Check out this review from The Verge.