The Tech Holy Wars Need to Stop

Unless you were buried under a rock you know there was an Apple event this week and the debates about who is better have reared their head yet again. Who did this first. Who did what first. I won’t ever buy a phone without X. Most of them are complete crap. The tech holy wars need to stop.

apple_vs_android

Now this started like many posts do in the Gear Diary back channel. It mostly was a conversation between myself and fellow writer, Greg Alston. He was lamenting on why Android users were saying things about the iPhone launch. Some valid points are being made by the Android fans. Some not so much. So I typed a long response and now most of that (with quite a bit of editing) is below.

Criticizing Apple for eliminating the headphone jack is valid Greggie. Apple likes to make you think: they do everything first when they are RARELY the ones that do anything first. They typically will do it better….although that’s not always the case. Siri blows chunks.  Invariably I will use it to call my phone bridge for work and it says do you want…blah thing that sounds like the word Bridge. I even see it detecting the right WORD and it telling me that. Google Now is better and so is Cortana and the Echo. Siri was one of the few things that Apple actually did first. Kind of. Plus Apple DOES suck at delivering services and don’t get me started on the bloatware called iTunes.  How you deal with it says more about you than about them.

I come from a position not many are in. I use both. I see both for what they are and there are things Android does better and things that iOS does better. I came from there. I used to only use Android. Now I use both. I have to say: NEITHER of them are perfect. Period. The Apple Fanboys are often gloriously wrong JUST as the Android fan boys are stupendously wrong sometimes. When someone insists on saying X is better than Y I often say now…well have you tried Y?  What don’t you like about it?  Don’t get me wrong…my usual choice IS Android as there are many things I cannot stand in iOS. The amount of clicks to do simple things…lack of a back button…no access to the file-system on the device, and more. However it’s not so bad I can’t use it. It’s actually pretty good.

Now for Android, it has some issues inherent with how it’s been released. For example, anyone can use it to make a device. You can download the source and build your own device…this is one place where people will incorrectly look at Google when their Samsung device has yet to get Android 7. The Android environment is completely different…and iOS people often don’t get that. Google CAN’T solve the update issues. They can try to, but at the end of the day it’s much more complex. They can’t force people to do things. So that’s a negative that even I see, even though I understand it.

One WONDERFUL thing about Android is if the original manufacturer has stopped supporting a device, you can usually fix it on your own if you have the skills. Namely, my Nexus 7 (2013) tablet. Last night I loaded Android 7 on it. There’s no official build by Google but the community built a ROM image for it and made it work and BOY is it good. I BET you if iOS was open that they could likely make iOS 10 work on an iPhone 4. Would it run well? Quite possibly. Will it be a crashfest? Maybe, it could be done. However Apple will never do this and so Apple gets to make all the decisions. Some good. Some bad.

So at the end of the day: Use what you want and try to be the better person and don’t slam the opposite. Because at the end of the day it is ALWAYS possible you may be forced to use it before too long.

Conclusion

There have been tech debates and holy wars for as long as there has been tech. From Apple’s humble beginnings in a garage taking aim at big ole IBM to Apple now eclipsing EVERY company on the planet there’s always been competition. Competition itself IS good. It drives innovation. It drives Apple and Google to become better than they are today. This is something that companies SHOULD engage in. It is what drives innovation.

Some believe that your choice between Android and Apple, Mac and PC, Word and Pages say something about you and they’d be right, but when someone criticizes your choice what benefit is there in just saying: Android Sucks! None. None whatsoever.

I use BOTH Android and iOS. I like both with Android being my personal choice now. Everyone doesn’t have that luxury. Like I said above, I see them for what they are: mobile operating systems. Is one better than the other? Well that is subjective based on wants and needs. I also use Linux, but have recently been using Windows more than I did in the past. Let me tell you there are Linux people that think that I just commuted a sin! To that I say: Phhhhtt!

Linux people want free as in speech software. There’s nothing wrong with that until you try to cram your way on to someone and then it becomes just as bad as what Microsoft has done. People SHOULD have choice and they shouldn’t be made to feel inferior because of the choice that they made. That doesn’t mean people who back the other camp can’t criticize. They can. Users on both sides can. They should learn how to not take it personal. I know that’s hard to do. I used to be an unabashed Android-only kind of person but now that I’ve incorporated both into my life I see the benefits to each.

I as a tech enthusiast WANT strong companies. I want Google, Apple, Samsung, Lenovo, Huawei, ZTE, and HTC to all be strong competitors. This will drive innovation. I don’t EVER wish Apple ill will, as without Apple and other companies competing things will become very stagnant. I remember not so long ago when Microsoft had PocketPC and there was Palm’s PalmOS. At the time, they were the strongest competitors and they had both become complacent but then came Blackberry, Apple, Google and a whole host of others and now Palm and Microsoft are also-rans in the mobile OS environment.

Now for users, you can debate tech. You can even criticize Apple and Google but in the end you should leave it at that. Plus when your choice is being criticized, don’t take it personally. If the other person is wrong, present evidence why. If a comment thread on a post devolves into Android Sucks/iOS Sucks, well that does nothing for no one so it’s best to back away. Maybe even do something outside and relax and enjoy your tech passion no matter what others think. Because ultimately if it works for you, that’s all that is important.

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About the Author

Joel McLaughlin
Joel is a consultant in the IT field and is located in Columbus, OH. While he loves Linux and tends to use it more than anything else, he will stoop to running closed source if it is the best tool for the job. His techno passions are Linux, Android, netbooks, GPS, podcasting and Amateur Radio.