Andy Ihnatko, a respected technology writer, just posted several thousand words on why he switched to Android. Here are several hundred on why I would almost never recommended anyone purchase an Android phone.
If I get a call or text from someone asking what phone they should buy, I immediately know a few things:
- They have good taste.
- They’re not a power user. None of my geek friends need to ask.
- They have limited knowledge of phones and don’t care to do intensive research.
- They’re probably going to call me for tech support at some point.
- They don’t care about what’s coolest, or the question might have been, “What do you think of the Galaxy SIII?”
This leads me to believe they want something that will just work. They don’t want to think about battery life or choosing the right [insert category here] app. This is Apple’s strong suit. By controlling nearly everything, they’re able to get the highest quality components and feel confident their phones will be reliable. They also have a clear, if waning, edge when it comes to apps.
While Apple certainly makes choices that aren’t right for everyone, accepting their point of view is less stressful than trying to uncover a solution. This is the opposite of Ihnatko’s take:
If I don’t like the way my iPhone works, I don’t hesitate: I search online. I can count on finding an answer. Not a way to make my iPhone work the way I’d like it to; rather, a Perfectly Reasonable Explanation of why Apple believes that the iPhone should work that way, and why it refuses to let me override the default behavior.
If I don’t like the way my Android works and I look online for solutions, I can usually find a way to change it.
In my experience, most people—at least the ones who ask for my advice—don’t bother to dig deep for solutions. They try the first search result or call a friend or Verizon or just go back to playing Fruit Ninja. If they were expert Googlers, they wouldn’t have come to me with such a broad question.
We are now past the novelty stage of smartphones. The average user wants to get technology out of the way and start seeing friends’ photos. Saving a couple hundred bucks or picking the phone that’s in stock isn’t worth it. Buy the one that’s going to work for another 3-4 years, is easy to set up, and is used by most of your friends. For Ihnatko, Android fits the bill and he’s probably ahead of the curve here. Today, for the people in my circle, the right phone is made by Apple.