Android versus iPhone - First world problems alert

Published October 22, 2011

For the last eighteen months, I’ve been using the HTC Desire as my mobile method of contacting the outside world, but my contract is due to expire soon and that leaves me with something of a dilemma. These mobile phone contracts are so long that choosing the next device is quite an important decision. At the moment, it leaves me scratching my head.

Just a hunch

The iPhone has never really done it for me and I’ve never been able to explain why. I’m a happy iPod and iPad user, never really taking it for granted how much they brighten up my day, but the iPhone doesn’t grab my attention the way I might have imagined. Recent updates to the camera, and the great stuff that iOS 5 brings to the table make it a much more interesting prospect, but I’m still not 100% convinced.

Since the dawn of smartphone time, I have been an Android user. I cherished my G1, even though it was a bit clunky and terribly outdated by the time I gave it up. Replaced with an HTC Desire, I gawped at the amazing screen and enjoyed the increased customisation and Google integration. However, as time wears on, I am not really investing as much in the phone as I would like. I’m sure I could, if I made the effort, find a Posterous app and start sharing more pictures. I could investigate the app market and find out what kind of productivity tools could save time in my day. But I haven’t done that, and again, I can’t really explain why.

Part of it could be the royal battle I went through to get music on the phone. I don’t know if it’s got any easier since I tried, but after trying a lot of things, I opted for the iSyncr app, and even that is a hideously slow process. Taking and sharing photos was always hard work as well. For a long time I couldn’t work out why the emailing process was so slow, until it became obvious the photographs were massive. Unfortunately, shrinking the size a little didn’t proportionally affect the send time, so these days I rarely bother taking photos. If I do, I do it with the mindset of plugging the phone into the Mac and letting iPhoto do the hard work for me.

Unleash the potential

More recently, I’ve been trying to open up my mind to apps again, and have installed ones for all the social networks, plus Google Reader. These intrigue me, but I’m still a bit reticent to get too involved. I know I’m missing out on stuff though. I only recently learnt you can get third party browsers on the phone. It had never really occurred to me before. Everything with Android seems to be a fight, and I’m not sure I have the patience anymore.

Looking at the phone market, in preparation for a new contract term, there are so many Androids to choose from. That’s good, choice is good, but I don’t know which is better, I don’t know which I’d like. I really, really want to stick with Android, I like it and I want to support the concept. I like that we have an Android in our house so we have a spread of technologies. It’s a lot of hard work, though. I know the iPhone is easier, and I think I’d get more use out of it, but I really don’t want to make the jump.

I suspect I’m just being stubborn, the same way I was when I had to give up handcoding my website and opt for Wordpress instead. It took a lot of handwringing before eventually I realised that my time was worth more than the angst, and I could do far more productive things with the right tools supporting me. Perhaps I should just get over myself and accept an iPhone is in my future.

Then the only headache left is how to pay for the darn thing!

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