A conclusion on having switched

This is a follow-on to: Nexus 5 and Android 4.4.

In a nutshell, I’m switching back in the next few months. I like the Nexus 5, I like Android, but it’s just not as mature or polished as the iOS experience. There are too many little frustrations. The hardware aspect was definitely a factor in switching; the iPhone 5s, while a good phone, just couldn’t justify the price tag. It was very well-made and well-designed and fast and had a good camera, but was also relatively small. However, the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are a match, even though they cost twice as much as the Nexus 5 did. The camera on these new iPhones is a real draw for me. I’m still impressed with the iPhone 4s camera, and the iPhone 6 camera seems to be a big leap in quality (the camera on the iPhone 6 Plus has optical image stabilisation, which is quite something.). I mean, I love taking photos with my DSLR camera, but I would probably take more with my phone if I thought I was guaranteed of getting good results, which I’m not with my Nexus 5. By all accounts, they are very, very good devices, and I know that I’ll have no regrets about switching to one of those (although at those prices, it’s not something I’ll be doing again for a long time).

That’s something else that’s become apparent to me; the lifespan of an iPhone is generally longer than that of an Android device. People are more likely to change their Android devices more frequently, but then again, they cost less. I think it actually balances out. The OS on Nexus devices is updated all the time, while for branded devices, they’re often stuck with the OS that came with the device. iPhones are, up to a point, updated regularly but not terribly frequently.

On the other hand, Apple still does some bone-headed stuff, such as still releasing devices with 8 Gb of storage. This isn’t enough to update the system ‘over the air’, and that’s stupid. There is also the shenanigans with changing the connector, which on the one hand was done for a good reason, but on the other hand they charge an arm and a leg for the cables, which is terrible. Well, none of these companies is in it for charity (mind you, the Nexus 5 was subsidised and that it why it cost half the price of an iPhone – it wasn’t being sold to assist with Google’s bottom line, just to get them out there.) so selling things to you and I by fair means or foul is ultimately the aim.

By the way, the whole episode is a good demonstration of why it is some important to have a number of players in the market, none being dominant. Apple, Samsung, Google, LG, HTC, Micronokia, Blackberry; when all of these players are trying to stay in the game and hold their own, then that’s when some real advances happen. When there are only a few, then there’s no need to push boundaries. The iPhone was a game-changer when it arrived, but having competition is what’s forcing Apple and all the others to keep moving forward and find new capabilities, push the technology. What’s a really exciting thought is, what will come along and eat Apple and Samsung and Google’s lunch? What’s the next big thing?