Like millions of other tech nerds, I watched Apple’s iPhone keynote to get a glimpse into the future of the device. I’m a hardcore Android fan, and in my mind I’d never actually make the switch to iPhone, but I still had a healthy curiosity about the new iPhone Xs and Xs Max. I’d started to get bored with my Pixel 2 XL and was craving change. I began to initially explore my options within the Android space, as I wasn’t sure if I was ready to move away from it completely. The new Samsung Galaxy Note 9 had just dropped, along with a plethora of other high-end Android phones that would’ve served as an excellent replacement for my Pixel. I still couldn’t shake the feeling of curiosity towards the iPhone no matter how hard I tried. So, with slight hesitation I hit my carriers website and preordered an iPhone. I jumped off into the deep end, and I had immediate anxiety about it.
The day my iPhone was delivered, it legit took me about 5 hours before I finally cracked open the box and began to set it up. I set up a new iCloud account and began to use the phone. Within minutes I was reminded of one of the biggest downsides of moving away from Android phones: the unapologetic proprietary nature of using an Apple product. Doing something as simple as sending my sister-in-law a short video clip, caused a hassle. She’s a happy Samsung Galaxy S8 user, and on her end my video of a small, yet oddly beautiful looking bug looked great when recorded on my iPhone, but when I sent it to her it transformed into a garbled blurry mess. Sending video clips had never been an issue before, but now it was. The only change was me having moved into an iPhone.
The second issue I ran into was when it came to sharing things across apps and sharing with my most frequently contacted people. On Android, whenever I hit the share icon, I’d immediately be greeted by a grid of five people who I’d be most likely to share that item with. Directly underneath that grid, would be a secondary grid of five apps I’d share it to. In short, my phone would learn how and who I communicated with and make a conscious effort to make it effortless for me to continue to do so in the future. My iPhone merely gave me a blanket list of apps across which I could share things, and most of which I had to manually enable. It began to feel like I made the wrong choice in moving into an iPhone, until I started to actually use the proprietary apps and features.
So far, my little experiment in curiosity had blown up in my face. I was about two weeks into using the iPhone at this point, and I simply was not impressed. Then came a time when I needed to move some files off my phone and into my Macbook Pro. Normally, I would’ve just uploaded them to Google Drive, then pulled them down to my Mac from there, but once again, for whatever reason, my iPhone would not cooperate. It was then that I discovered the magic of Airdrop, and my life was forever changed. It was literally as simple as clicking two prompts, and boom! File. Transferred. Mind. Blown. Secondly, I have to admit, iMessage is absolutely fantastic when it comes to an all in one messaging solution. With iMessage you can send money to your friends, toss in an Animoji for added fun, or share your favorite tracks from iTunes. Before using an iPhone, I swore by Google Allo, but afterwards I have no shame in admitting iMessage is where it’s at.
Having used a Pixel device exclusively for the last two years, I’d been a little spoiled when it came to the camera on my phone. My Pixel always took fantastic photos, in any type of condition, no matter what. I made the decision to take my iPhone Xs with me to New York Comic Con, as I figured that’d be the single best way to test out the camera. I’m super glad I did, because I learned a couple very important things as a result. The first thing was that the Pixel would still be the better still camera between the two, as the iPhone took great pictures, but it took a little effort to get them that way. This was especially true when taking pics in ‘Portrait mode.’ I’d have to be the perfect distance away from my subject before it’d be ready to apply the bokeh effect, whereas with the Pixel, all I’d need to do was point and shoot, and Google’s smart camera software would take care of the rest. The second thing I learned, was that the iPhone was LEAPS ahead of the Pixel when it came to video quality. I shot a short video in Times Square and the quality of it blew my mind. There’s no doubt about it, the iPhone is the best phone you can use to capture video on.
Despite the incredible strengths of the video camera, and the greatness of iMessage, I still found myself itching to get back into an Android device. The integration between hardware and software is very tight, and seemingly gets better every year. I love the fact that with Android (the Pixel specifically) my phone learns how I use it, and applies that to scenarios in the future to give me a seamless experience the next time I need to interact with it. Using the iPhone for as long as I did helped me to understand just why so many people absolutely love theirs. It’s powerful, it’s simple, and it just flat-out works. It also helped me to realize why I am not one of those people. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go back to setting up my brand new Pixel 3 XL.