iOS has established itself as one of the most robust and functional operating systems on the market, offering an unparalleled user experience. However, there are many of us who, after more than 5 years of being loyal to Apple’s flagship, have decided to give the competition a chance, trying to find an ecosystem that provides us with the breath of fresh air that we have been waiting to see on the iPhone for some time. I will now explain to you why, for the moment, I cannot conceive of going back on it.
Since being dubbed iPhone OS back in 2007, Apple’s mobile operating system has achieved a meteoric rise that has put it in a privileged position, not only in the United States but also globally. The impact of the iPhone-iOS binomial has been such that it has transcended beyond the industry to which it was originally intended.
However, despite having 6 software revisions behind it that have helped it establish itself as one of the most robust and functional operating systems, iOS has begun to limp in several respects. It is true that such ailments, inherent to the passage of time, can be very subjective but there are not few users -among which I include- who have chosen to set their eyes on the competition, perhaps trying to find that plus they would like to find on their iPhone.
Go ahead, comment that until the departure of the iPhone 5 I have remained faithful to the flagship of Apple, through my hands have passed from the iPhone edge, which to make the jalbreak to get to release it was a real odyssey, until its predecessor. I have to admit that I have enjoyed and squeezed the most out of each and every one of them but after the keynote of September, I decided it was time to end the relationship.
Today, I am still a happy user of OS X and iOS, since I consider that the iPad is still at the top of the segment of tablets , but also of Android; a system that, in my view, has experienced a much greater evolution in recent years. That’s why I’ll try to explain below why it would be impossible for me to return to the iPhone.
Application Interface and Integration
This is the first – and obvious – major difference that we can find between one and the other. I’m not saying that the springboard concept proposed by Apple is bad, far from it; iOS moves beautifully without any lag providing us with an enviable user experience. So what’s the problem? Precisely, its simplicity. Five years of daily use of the same interface composed of only folders and icons, has come to wear me out.
On the other hand, Google’s proposal with Android is quite different, proposing a desktop-based system where we can do and undo as we please. One point of differentiation is the use of widgets , small desktop applications that allow us, in a very visual way, to control our applications, check our mail or simply check the weather. We also have a wide range of launchers , which allow us to modify the interface as much as we want.
It goes without saying that this technological free will can entail certain risks, such as the fact that we find ourselves with an overloaded desktop that ends up having a negative impact on both the autonomy and the general performance of our smartphone . However, it is already up to each user to decide how to use their phone and that decision making capacity, which is precisely what I would like to highlight as, for me, it was a breath of fresh air.
What do I mean by application integration? Let me explain. In my opinion, the design of apps developed in iOS is generally much more careful than in Android and is probably one of the aspects I miss the most. However, being able to make use of options like Share and, for example, being able to send a text document to Dropbox or a photo by mail, without having to leave the active application , is incredibly useful.
Independence of the jailbreak: updates vs scene
Another common argument used by proponents of both ecosystems is related to upgrades and the better or worse treatment of users by manufacturers. It is undeniable Apple’s good work when releasing new iOS versions and that the frequency of these in Android -obvious to the Nexus family- is usually burdened by third party customization layers, but as an iOS user in favor of the jailbreak I have found that I have not missed it when landing in Android.
Most tweaks and apps that led me to get my hands on software on the iPhone, had an equivalent in the operating system of the browser company and not only that, but many of them were already implemented in it natively. Obviously, by obtaining permissions root it is possible to enhance it even more but for the moment, I have not found reasons to do so; I simply have everything I need.
In iOS I was at the expense of the jailbreak to optimize my iPhone, ergo, I could not update it until a new tool compatible with that version was released, what advantages did I have then to receive them, if I was not going to be able to exploit it? Interestingly, the opposite is true for Android, but with one exception: the scene , a huge community with vast knowledge, capable of lighting up updated roms even before the manufacturers themselves do.
Range of hardware possibilities
No, I’m not going to get into the discussion of kernels, RAM, screen sizes or the I have it bigger , but something much simpler, as it is the possibility to choose based on my preferences. The performance level changes from iPhone 3G and iPhone 4 to their respective successors were more than noticeable of course, but aesthetically they were still a carbon copy of the phones they had retired from, contributing to the feeling of being more of the same.
Of course, it’s something very personal and there will be those who give priority to a phone that oozes quality from all four sides like the iPhone, but that everyone has the option to choose, whether it’s plastic, aluminum or just because it has entered through the eyes, is something priceless that, in that sense, I doubt it will change in the future Cupertino.
Will I come back someday? It is possible. I have high expectations for what iOS 7 with Jony Ive at the helm will bring so I wouldn’t dare deny it. In the meantime, and leaving useless talibanisms aside, I will continue to enjoy that phone that best meets my needs at every moment.
And what would you like to see in future iOS reviews?
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