(yes, I am very obsessive about keeping all my apps neatly in folders.)
Recently Thomas commented that he had re-read my “Farewell, Android” post, and he wanted to know if I felt the same way since buying my 4s back in October. At the risk of ruining the surprise, the short answer is “Heck yea!” But that would make this a rather short follow-up, so read on for how life on iOS has treated me and whether I miss anything from my robot-loving days!
The impetus for my initial decision to move to iOS was frustration with Android’s fragmentation and how poorly my Droid aged. Nothing from Android in the last few months has made me regret that decision. The Galaxy Nexus is nice, but huge, and Motorola’s DROID offerings have the shelf life of a carton of milk. Plus nothing HTC has pumped out on the Android side has been particularly intriguing. However, the iPhone hardware still feels solid, and I don’t feel like the 3.5in screen is a limitation. So I don’t feel like toting an iPhone has left me out in the cold as far as anything exciting!
More importantly, and universally, let’s talk software. Yes, I complained I missed the back button, but I’ve adjusted. I do find the homescreen-centric UI to be a bit limiting sometimes, but I get around it by using the home button double click and flipping through my most used apps. Most importantly, the apps I’ve encountered on iOS just seem more well-developed and fully baked than their Android counterparts. I feel more productive on iOS than on Android, and that says a lot. I did everything on my Droid, from email to calendar to writing Gear Diary posts and editing photos, but all of it is so much easier on iOS that it just blows me away. In some cases comes down to app quality while in other cases it is a matter of stability. Either way it makes me happy!
It’s not all roses. There are a few things I miss from Android, though not enough for me to consider switching back. For example, I do miss the GMail app from Android. The iOS version is ok, but it can’t serve as my daily email program. Instead I use the native mail.app program for most emails, and the GMail app when I need to look for archived items, sent items, etc. Honestly, it’s still not as good as Android’s GMail app, which has multiple account support and other bells and whistles integrated into it. The other big thing I miss is Google Maps navigation that comes with Android. I don’t need a full GPS app on my phone (I have a Garmin) but Android’s Google Maps came in handy when Sarah borrowed my GPS or I was in a different car. Unfortunately, because I don’t need GPS regularly, I can’t justify the storage space sacrifice or expense for iOS, and make due with the built-in Google Maps. Neither of these are dealbreakers, but they are the big things I miss from Android.
Here are a few of my go-to apps that have helped with the transition and made iOS more fun for me. If there are any key apps you think i am missing please let me know in the comments!
BeejiveIM For GTalk: Coming from Android, I needed a good GTalk client, and this isn’t just good, it’s great. I gave it a full review right after I bought my iPhone, and I stand by it 100%.
CNBC Real-Time: I’m a huge news junkie, and a big part of that is following the business news. I tried this on Android, and it was a joke. On iOS it is an entirely different story. I get notifications of important news pushed to me, along with a raft of video and multimedia features. It’s beyond fantastic.
WordPress: Like I said, I do a great deal of writing for Gear Diary on the go. In fact, the first third of this post was written in WordPress for iOS. I was a big fan of the Android version, but it was buggy and slow at times. So far, the iOS version is everything I liked about Android, but more polished, less buggy, and just simpler to use.
Accounts: I used money trackers like Easy Money on Android, but none of them were terribly simple. I’ve been using Accounts for a while now, and it’s worth significantly more than the $0.99 I paid for it! The interface is clean, it’s easy to track your spending, and while it doesn’t generate complex reports it does give graphs and other budget charts.
Sonic 1, 2, and CD: All work and no play makes Carly very cranky. I am a child of the ’80s, and I love me some Sonic the Hedgehog.
Pulse: I’ve tried Flipboard and Google Currents as well, and Pulse is my hands-down favorite. It’s perfect for checking in on my top websites without having to sift through all my Google Reader subscriptions.
Plants vs Zombies: Just because. 😉