Switching Between Arch-rivals: iPhones & Droids

The iPhone 5S has been out for only a few days now. The design is as attractive and flawless as the last iPhone 5. The features are definitely improved from its predecessor. The new A7 chip, improved camera lens and fingerprint scanner are the ones that grab the most attention. While many may have said the 5S was an unnecessary upgrade for iPhone 5 users, the numbers are there to prove them wrong. Both the iPhone 5C and 5S sold a record nine million units on its opening weekend; the biggest debut ever for Apple. However, the launch of these devices still manages to keep the fire burning in Apple and Google’s smartphone rivalry.

Google bought Android, an open source operating system developer, back in 2005. It wasn’t until 2008 that its first smartphone was introduced in the market. By that time, Apple had already launched its own smartphone the previous year. The first iPhone was very well received, while Android’s HTC Dream left a lot to be desired. Both tech giants managed to reinvent themselves since their firstborn, to the point that they have together taken over more than half of the smartphone market share. Android has been praised for its customization, the ability to not depend on any given manufacturer and the wide range of prices of its devices. On the other hand, Apple has been praised for its friendliness, its functionality and the beauty of its hardware and software. Despite all of this, its users have as nasty a fights as Directioners and Beliebers.

Before Android and Apple took over the smartphone market, Blackberry was the go-to phone for everyone wanting a “cool” phone. This phone could do things normal ones couldn’t. I used Blackberry (RIM) phones from 2009 until mid 2012. I look back and I don’t regret my time with RIM, it fit my needs perfectly for those three years. Nevertheless, as technology advanced, the needs of mobile phone users also became more exigent. Blackberry couldn’t keep up with those needs and it eventually lost its huge market share to Apple and Android. I eventually went for my first Android phone, the Samsung Galaxy S3. For a full year, my phone was flawless, it did everything I wanted and more. However, it failed me for the 1st time this summer, when the screen went completely black, but all buttons and sound were still working. I managed to fix it by removing the SIM card and restarting the phone. A little over a month later, it failed me the exact same way, but this time I couldn’t fix it. To my luck, I was due for an upgrade with my carrier.

Before I made my upgrade final last Friday, I considered, reviewed, researched and debated which phone to get and which operating system to go with. I have always been a Google guy, I use Blogger, YouTube, Gmail, Google Drive, Chrome and Google Search. Android, as a Google company, does an amazing job of integrating all of its services into their phone and they always perform flawlessly. However, Android does have some issues with malware and the lack of consistent software updates. I considered this, but also understood that Android gave me the option to choose from different manufacturers with different unique features and affordable prices.

I finally used my upgrade on September 13th and went for an Android-powered Motorola X. Google bought Motorola last year and this marked their firstborn device as partners. The device worked very well with everything that Google has to offer, but it had one of the worst cameras I’ve ever seen on a smartphone. The software was significantly more appealing than the hardware in my opinion. Despite all of this, I decided that the smartphone that I own needs to be a perfect balance between hardware and software. On top of that, I also considered that I am a Macbook user and I use iTunes as frequently as I do Google services.

I had the chance to remain with the Moto X for a week and then had the opportunity to exchange it for the new iPhone 5S. It wasn’t an easy choice, but I don’t regret my decision. Four days with this device and I have found the perfect combination of a great design, an excellent operating system and the ability to still remain connected to Google’s ecosystem.

Switching between two major ideas isn’t easy, it takes time, guts and heavy consideration. With a little help from your friends, you can manage to decide what’s best for you. If you’re stuck in the middle, follow this simple list of things to have in mind.

– Analyze the types of applications you use and for which operating systems they are available and optimized for.

– Are you a PC or Mac person? Android works perfectly with PC, but not as fluid and intuitive with Macs.

– Do you love good specs or good software? Maybe both?

– Are you a careful smartphone user?

– How much are you willing to invest?

– How frequently do you like to upgrade?

– Can you live without an application if you choose an arch-rival? (Picking Android, but living without iTunes)

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