An Apple fanboy jumps ship…
Lovingly crafted by Eric
The Kool-aid is warming ladies and gentlemen. For 12 years I have been sipping at the sugary-sweet unibody construction of Apple products, but the time has come: I’m jumping ship.
I’m not going to get all dramatic on you, or claim the company is in the crapper because Steve Jobs died (Though iOS Chief Scott Forstall leaving is not a good sign), because we know Steve Jobs had his hands all over the products we see today, but to buy Apple products you have to be OK with paying a premium. I don’t think I am anymore.
So what was most responsible for steering me out of Apple’s arms and into Google’s tentacles?
- iOS 6 - This is not to say iOS is bad, it’s not. It’s all kinds of good. But it also hasn’t changed much. If you look at Android, Google Now, baked-in Google Maps, native access to Google Docs, the Chrome browser, and you can actually, ya know, store files on your phone, it's a pretty compelling package. Look, iOS is a brilliant platform, and there are things I will miss for sure, but Android keeps moving forward while iOS feels like it is spinning it's wheels in it's own bureaucracy.
- Maps - OK, I'm going to try not to beat a dead horse, so I will just say it: Apple Maps is close to useless. Trying to find a business where I live (Albany, NY area) is like pulling teeth. No street view. Apple Maps is just not ready for prime-time and honestly, why would Google rush to create a iOS Google Maps app? It's one of the first pieces of rock-solid software that just became exclusive to it's platform.
- Video - Guess what... I don't want to use Apple's iTunes video format. I just don't. Converting to an iTunes friendly format is an extra step in the process. VLC player was/is pretty awesome on iOS but Apple promptly removed it from the App Store for violating some term or other. I just want to play a file encoded in an incredibly popular, accessible codec not created by Apple. Is that so much to ask?
- The power-user factor - Graphic designers, like myself, love Apple. And OSX and iOS are fantastic products so it's easy to see why. But for all of the reasons we, the "pro's" love it, a lot of the "ease of use" items of OSX and iOS lend themselves more to, say my parents, than someone who really knows how to install printer drivers, etc. For a "power-user" the benefits of an Apple are a wash. I don't truly believe Android is an "open-platform", as it's only as open as the hardware designer seems to allow it to be, but it's a step in the right direction.
- Google Play - Last time I had an Android device was the original Motorola Droid. I liked it. The keyboard stunk but it was a powerful little phone. My biggest problem? The Android Marketplace was like a Turkish Bazaar. You never knew what you were going to get. Search for something very common and you would get foreign apps, Apps that looked to be rip-offs of major franchises, anything went. Google Play has reeled in some of the unruly nature of the marketplace, replacing it with a more succinct, curated feel. It no longer looks like the Wild, Wild West.
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