Back in 2005, I got my first smart phone. The i-mate JASJAR. It was amazing. It did everything I could ever want. This was two years before the first iPhone came out and it was more powerful than said iPhone. Phones have come a long way since that fabled phoneputer (as my friends would call it). I got my first iPhone in early 2009. This was the start of my love for iOS.
Since that first iPhone, I have tried to be impartial when it comes to mobile operating systems. I would never consider myself a fangirl, instead just using the best tools for the intended purpose. Last month, I got myself a Samsung Galaxy S5. I thought I’d give Android a try again (I tried it back with the Nexus S). After a little under a month, I have decided it’s time to bite the bullet and put my SIM card back into my beloved iPhone 5S.
The problems started as soon as I started using the phone. First up, notifications just didn’t come in. I’d get messages on Facebook, mentions on Twitter, yet my phone did nothing. I had to tweak settings all over the place just to get this basic feature to work. This is something you shouldn’t have to do on a brand new phone. After finally getting notifications working, it was time to get my watch to work. People who pay attention will know I own a MetaWatch. While not the best smart watch out there, it gets me by. That is until I started using it with my new phone.
The entire notification system on Android just annoys me. Apps add and remove notification icons constantly. This makes things like my watch really annoying. The watch vibrates for every single notification, meaning these useless “notifications” constantly get my attention when they have absolutely no need to. There are two more things I love on iOS in regards to notifications: listing on the lock screen and icon badges. Both of these things are possible with third party tools. I had installed both Nova Launcher Prime and NILS to get these two features. While they worked well, they just didn’t match the feel you get from a built-in system handling them.
Then there’s the speed. My Samsung Galaxy S5 was slow. Very slow. For a 2.5GHz, quad core processor with 2GB RAM, there’s something seriously wrong here. And it’s not just the hardware. Apps just aren’t designed with the user in mind. Apps should always respond instantly to user input. This is something iOS excels at and something Android completely fails at. A lot of the time, you’re not sure if your tap worked or not.
Topping off all of this is the crap that Samsung put on the device. The Australian version restricts the lock screen from opening the camera app. Because that totally makes sense. The email app didn’t even use the standard system notifications, so no emails I got appeared on my watch. The contacts app crashed when a CardDAV server was selected for synchronisation. The messages app was horrid (luckily I was able to replace this with the awesome Cyanogenmod messaging app). Then there’s decisions like on the default Samsung launcher to stop you using the top half of the screen for icons or stopping the user from placing widgets on the lock screen. I really don’t get why manufacturers like preventing their users from fully utilising their device in a manner they wish.
Because of every one of these issues, and many more that I’m sure I’m forgetting, I have switched back to iOS. Everything just works. I don’t need to fiddle with everything to get the most basic things to work. I don’t need to use custom ROMs just so my device works the way I want. Sorry Android community, but it’s just not there yet.