Recently, you took a break from your iPhone and took an “Android vacation.” Why did you do this? Which phone did you choose for this vacation and why did you choose it?
I chose to take a foray into the Android world because I’ve used an iPhone since the first generation of iPhones! Before this, I wasn’t as familiar with Android as I would’ve liked and my previous excursion across the aisle had been mediocre. However, with Android being a major player now and with the OS having gone through so many major changes, I decided it was time to see how things had changed and whether or not I’d be impressed (I also spent a week with a Windows Phone, but that’s a story for another day). The phone I selected was the HTC 1X, which was brand new and completely up to date. I chose this one because, being able to run Jellybean, it would be a great test device to have around the office for the Rocksauce team to use and experiment with.
What was your kneejerk reaction to the Android? What were the first few hours like?
Finding things was a little different, for sure. One of the odd things for me was dealing with the hardware “back” button. Hitting back on the first page of an app would cause me to go back to the desktop (for lack of a better word), which was pretty annoying. There were a few times where I misjudged how many times I needed to hit “back” while navigating an app and had that happen to me. Overall, it was very similar to my iPhone — there weren’t too many huge differences in how they functioned. Obviously, things looked very different, though. I did enjoy how the Android keyboard would allow for vibration and that’s the biggest thing I miss now that I’m back on my iPhone. However, I had a lot more trouble using the keyboard on the 1X than I do with my iPhone, particularly the stock HTC keyboard. The button placement was significantly different than what I was used to and I ended up hitting a lot of the wrong buttons. However, one of the benefits of Android helped me out here and I was able to download the third party Jellybean keyboard from Google Play and everything became much easier. Overall, I didn’t find my Android experience quite as nice as iOS because things weren’t quite as consistent and I was happy to go home to my iPhone after awhile.
What will it take to bring you back to Android?
I missed a lot of the polish I see in Apple. I’m pretty locked into the Apple ecosystem, so I don’t know if I could ever go back to Android full-time. I’d have to change a lot of the software I use, for sure. I like how the iPhone and iTunes are interconnected and I like how fast I can tweet from the iPhone and all of the iOS exclusive games that I play…which means that Android would have to emulate or directly run Apple software if I was to go back and that’s not going to happen. The Android platform is maleable enough that, if I spent enough time, I could get it to feel and function like an iPhone, but what would be the point after that? I’ll just stick with my iPhone.