Ditching Android – 6 Weeks On

De-Googling Smartphone Privacy

Around 6 weeks ago I decided I was ditching Android in favour of iOS. I bought myself a cheap iPhone SE and set about migrating from Android. I don’t really want to drag this out, but I did promise in the last article that I would provide an update, so here it is.

Long story short, I’m really enjoying iOS. It works really well and I’ve been able to replace every app I used on Android. Overall, I actually prefer the workflow of iOS.

Which is better?

The question of which is better is moot in my opinion. Both Android and iOS are good and bad in different ways. Some people like the fact that you can tinker with Android, whereas others see that as a negative. Some people like the build quality of Apple devices, others think they’re overpriced.

It’s all personal opinion.

Personally, I prefer iOS because I don’t need something I can tinker with (as I have no inclination to tinker with mobile devices), and in my opinion, iOS is more private than Android.

The Comments

My last article hit the front page of Hacker News and received a lot of traffic. That also spawned a lot of comments; most of which were constructive, which I appreciated. However, I wanted to answer a couple of the recurring themes that came up in the comments:

“This is clearly an advert for Apple.” If that was the case, do you think I would have chosen a 2 year old device? Also, there isn’t a single link to Apple in the article. There are no adverts on this site.

“If you’re not using Google anymore, why did this appear in my Google news feed?” Just because I have de-Googled doesn’t mean that the Google crawlers will stop hitting this site. Google’s tending analysis has nothing to do with site.

“Why don’t you just root your Android and install name ROM?” Like I said above, I have no time or inclination to be playing around with my mobile device in this way. I just want to pick it up, use it, then put it down.

“So what if Google are spying on you. What do you have to hide?” This one came up a lot, and it really surprised me. Everyone has something to hide. Whether that’s the fact that you’re really a serial killer, or the fact that you don’t want anyone (or anything) looking at the private emails between you and your significant other, or your bank statements, or your credit history, or a number of other things. If you truly have nothing to hide, please feel free to post your email and Facebook credentials in the comments below. 🙂

Annoyances

There are actually very few annoyances that I’ve experienced since ditching Android. The main one is typing, but I think that a combination of the smaller screen and having to flip between multiple keyboard layouts for punctuation and numbers. I’m getting used to it though.

The touch screen also feels less responsive, requiring a number of taps to get a touch to register sometimes. That could be because it’s an older device and a smaller screen as I don’t recall having this issue on my iPad.

I’ve heard horror stories that the battery life is awful on iPhones. It’s actually the opposite for me. I can use my phone all day and still have well over 50% of the battery remaining. That may be because I don’t have any social media accounts, so my phone isn’t checking in every few seconds. Either way, the battery life is great.

Conclusion

The process of ditching Android was painless and my iPhone is still getting the latest iOS updates – something that my Android device was severely lacking, despite being a 2017 model.

I love the form factor of the little SE – it’s refreshing to have a phone in my pocket that doesn’t feel like a house brick. I also sold my Android device for more than I bought the iPhone SE for, so I’m in profit!

Overall, I’m very happy that I decided to move over to the iPhone. Will I ever move back? I doubt it. I’m more likely to move to a 3rd option, should a decent alternative hit the market. But I really can’t see that happening any time soon.

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