Should I Try an Android Phone?

Posted on February 4, 2017


Growing up the first computer I fell in love with was when we got an Apple IIgs. I bought my first computer, the PowerBook 5300, in 1995. Since then I have always owned an Apple computer. I bought the iPod, the iPad, the AppleTV, and I continually update my iPhone. I’ve been immersed in the Apple ecosystem so long that the last time I used a Windows machine I found it horribly confusing.

When shareholders decided the Apple Watch wasn't a good use of K5M funds I started to question my reliance on Apple. I have the opportunity to try out one of the best Android devices, the OnePlus 3 and I'm curious how the other half lives.

Should I try out Android?

If this proposal passes I’ll switch to Android for no less than 30 days and I’ll share the pros and cons I find while using it. Should it become clear, or even arguable, that the Android is better for me than the iPhone I’ll put up a vote to permanently switch.

I’m concerned that being so fully “Appled Up” that I’ll be missing some basic syncing functionality and that my longtime reliance on Apple calendars and contacts will cause the switch to be difficult. But maybe this is a good “Apple Detox” diet even if I decide to return to my wonderful iPhone 6+.

Past Discussion

egli (6.0 shares, voted yes)
How many group iMessage threads are you in? While Apple has ostensibly fixed the iMessage lock-in issue, it's really only fixed for one on one messages, not group messages.
Jona Bechtolt ☕️💯 (184.0 shares, voted yes)
I think it's great to have a good understanding about as many platforms as possible. While the OnePlus 3 is a great phone (and just recently got the latest Android update, Nougat), what if a well-off shareholder got you a Google Pixel Phone so you could have the most pure experience available? I'm not nominating myself, someone else buy Mike a phone!
Mike Merrill
I appreciate the enthusiasm but let's ease into this... I'll try things out, kick the tires with an open mind, and report back. Or, if the shareholders agree, just abandon this whole idea and keep running my pure iOS life.
aaronpk 💯☕️ (727.0043 shares)
I must say, I'm curious about the idea of switching to Android myself, but there are two big things keeping me from doing so. 1) I've definitely got some of the Apple lock-in going on, everything works so nicely between my Macbook and iPhone (my new favorite feature is sharing a clipboard between the two devices automatically). 2) I trust Apple to protect my privacy and security of the device more than I trust Google. When downloading shady apps from the iOS app store, I can be 99.9999% sure of two things. One, if I delete the app, I know it's completely gone and there is no trace of it left on my phone. Two, I can download and use an app, and if it prompts for access to my camera/photos/contacts/location, I can click "deny" and selectively disable access to certain things. Contrast with Android where the only permissions you grant are when you first install the app, and you have to decide before you've used it whether you want to grant all the permissions or none. That said, I am open to kmikeym trying out an Android phone and reporting back, if only to have more information to work with when deciding ultimately to stick with iOS.
egli (6.0 shares, voted yes)
For point 2, Android has gotten slightly better about permissions, but only for apps built against newer versions of the Android SDK
spy1d (25.0 shares, voted yes)
Jona is right Google Pixel is the pure test...
csdavis08 (25.0 shares, voted no)
I understand trying new perspectives but if something isn't broken then why fix it? If youre used to the software/syncing/user interface etc of Apple then what's the point to jump ship and put time into understanding the other side which at best may be only marginally better? Until or if it starts blowing iOS out of the water, I'd rather have you pursue other voting No.
Pat Castaldo (25.0 shares, voted no)
This feels like a huge waste of time and money with no clear gain. This area is well trodden in the press and other places. It borders on a holy war in others. Just doesn't seem like you'd actually gain anything — either personally, or developmentally for others providing your opinion/perspective. Voting no.
GeneM 💯☕️ (115.0 shares, voted yes)
Google Pixel or the Nexus line, don't go Samsung and judge Android based on that jumbled mess of a UI. Plus you will get access to the latest/greatest updates and patches, and be able to participate in beta programs if desired. I think it's important as a technologist and product designer to know both of the main mobile platforms. Huge waste of time? Maybe an afternoon or two of futzing with settings? Huge waste of money? He might actually come out ahead vs buying the next iPhone.
Mia Nolting (20.0 shares, voted yes)
I'd be more likely to trust your opinion than the internet in general. Tell me how it is!
freddy (6.0 shares, voted no)
You've failed to make any case that this will increase your productivity or share price. Big no.
GeneM 💯☕️ (115.0 shares, voted yes)
I would point out to freddy that the whole point is to explore another mobile platform to see IF it makes him more productive. How can he ever innovate/improve if every move must be tied directly to productivity increases? Innovation is different from optimization, both can result in ROI but come from very different places. The former requires a freedom to fail and willingness to embrace calculated risk.
Claire L. Evans (11.0 shares, voted yes)
Beyond productivity, I think it would be a useful exercise in identifying everyday patterns and habits! Rgardless of whether or not the trial is a success, Mike may well return to his iPhone with a renewed awareness of his "digital proprioception," to invent a concept. And it will certainly improve his ability to understand and work with Android-leaning colleagues, clients, and friends. Walk a mile in another man's smartphone...
aaronpk 💯☕️ (727.0043 shares)
I am on the fence about this vote still. I hear some good arguments from both sides!
xakxrusx (32.0 shares, voted yes)
Aaronpk - vote yes. Let's try something new and something more open than Apple. If it doesn't work out, he can always go back.
GeneM 💯☕️ (115.0 shares, voted yes)
Another point for the Yes side; VR is an important emerging technology and Apple is not an innovator in this space. Google, Microsoft, Steam and Facebook on the other hand are all doing interesting things in this area.