It’s that time where I start to wonder if I should consider Android again, but this time it feels a little different.
Time was that I had a selection of apps that I simply must have installed to consider my phone worthy and there was an eco-system behind it that made it extremely difficult to move. iTunes and the content available was a hook that no-one else could compete with and the best apps were either only on iOS or the iOS versions were far superior. All of that has changed.
iTunes is no longer an attraction that stands above the rest. The films, music and TV shows are all available elsewhere and the pricing is no better than on Google Play. Backups are handled by iCloud for most people anyway and Google does a good job of keeping Android data intact no matter how often you change devices. iTunes has become an option for those who prefer physical methods and the fact that the software seems to be getting worse over time does not help.
My crucial apps have stayed the same on iOS, but there are now solutions available on Android that compete, or surpass, their iOS counterparts. PocketMoney has ceased development and is not even listed in the iTunes store anymore. anMoney is way better than PocketMoney and is only available on Android, and extensive searching in iTunes shows that there is nothing comparable on iOS. TomTom is still marginally better on iOS, but the gap has closed quite a lot and I have also been experimenting with Waze which is proving to be a worthy, and fun, solution.
I have spent some time looking at all of the apps I use and I can now cover them all. At a push I could argue that the Android app situation is potentially equal to iOS which some caveats that are not as important as they used to me.
It is easy for me to say all of this from the safety of iOS, and to theoretically say that Android looks more flexible, more economical and potentially better in the long run, but there remains the issue of having to use the system every day. Would I quickly start to get annoyed with the options available, the perceived lack of smoothness and a myriad of other unimportant things that should not matter?
Probably, but the gap feels less than before and I don’t perceive that Apple has an obvious advantage anymore, at least not any that the others have not come up with sporting comparative features that can easily replace them.
This is not one of those ‘I am moving mobile platforms, how interesting is that?’ articles, but more documenting the sense that iOS no longer feels like the default option to me because the alternatives are matching it in many key areas. Slim aluminium and a buttery smooth operating system are great, and I believe that iOS still has many advantages, but for my personal needs I sense that Android is more viable than ever before.