Back in August 2010 I’d fucking had it with AT&T in San Francisco. My iPhone 3G didn’t work at my house located in the middle of the city, I always lost calls on 101, download speeds were dirt slow almost all the time, the list goes on. I felt as though I had an iPod touch most of the time, yet I was paying close to $100 a month for this supposed “service.” Enough was enough, so despite hearing Verizon iPhone rumors I switched to the phone that most resembled an iPhone available on Verizon, the Droid Incredible. After almost a year on Android I’ve switched to an iPhone 4. I’ll try to explain my reasoning in this post.
I chose Verizon because I had used a friend’s Verizon smart phone in the city. My experience trumped any other experience with any other carrier. Sprint and T-Mobile are supposedly pretty good in SF, but I wanted the best. And I got the best. Verizon is absolutely amazing. It’s wicked, wicked fast, available almost everywhere, and I have yet to find a single spot that consistently drops calls. Since the switch I’ve never once found myself limited by not being able to use 3G while on the phone. And I’m utterly happy to be paying $100 a month for stellar mobile performance. Though like all carriers Verizon’s service isn’t all that great, and they hit with you with a bunch of hidden fees wherever they can.
iPhone vs. Android
I know exactly what you’re thinking. You’re thinking I can’t compare the iPhone to Android because each handset is different and the software each handset provider and carrier puts on these devices is different. Google deliberately lets carriers and handset providers change and add software, which gives the consumer–me in this case–the right to compare Android to iPhone. So for better or worse, I’ll comparing iOS to the Sense Android interface running on Froyo (2.1).
The Droid Incredible’s downfall is it’s battery life. A charge won’t last a day, not even close. Sometimes I’d be at 25% battery at 10am after a full overnight charge. Other than the batter, though, the hardware and specs are pretty comparable. The real difference is in software.
Android vs. iOS really comes down to polish and detail. Android can be very clunky and often only slightly inconvenient. Android gets a lot of small things wrong, and unfortunately the small things often frustrated me. I don’t want to bore you with detailed examples of what I’m talking about, but for argument’s sake I’ll include one example. Take adding a new phone number received via a SMS to a contact already in my contact list. When I’d hold-click the new number to add a it, I’d start typing the name of the person that already existed in my contact list. I’d see several seemingly duplicate entries for the same person. I’d click one arbitrarily, and be prompted with another list of several seemingly duplicate contacts. I eventually gave up trying to add phone numbers from SMS, instead adding phone numbers by hand.
Android does beat iOS in a few ways. First, the Gmail app is totally awesome, way better than Apple’s Gmail integration. And I do really like the gadgets that can be placed on the home screen. But frankly I can’t think of anything else I like more about Android.
The iPhone is a far better product, and a far better experience. I’m significantly less frustrated using my iPhone, and now that it’s on Verizon the service is exquisite. I gladly signed a 2-year contract with Verizon, and I’ll likely buy a second iPhone before two years comes up. Having first struggled with bad service, followed by frustrating software, I’m totally stoked to have found the best of both worlds: excellent service and a phenomenal user experience. Go Apple, and go Verizon. They may both be closed/evil in their own ways, but I choose the better products.