120 hours on iPhone after 12 years on Android

I’ve been an avid fan of technology ever since I was a teenager. I would also try the latest gadgets and even experiment using unpopular options like Nokia’s Maemo powered N900 back in 2007.

I was “technology-aware” during the early days of both Android and iOS and witnessed the birth of both and their own growth to scale. I tried both during the early days with the HTC Dream (the first android device) and the iPhone 3G and fell in love with the simpler learning curve. This led me to my first Samsung product – the Galaxy SII.

Back then, Android phones were competing against each other with innovation after innovation and the thinnest form factors and it made tech lovers excited each time a new model was released. I tried to go back to iOS sometime in 2011 with the iPhone 4S but the screen was rather limiting at 3.5” (fueled by Steve Job’s famous “No one is going to use a big phone”) in an era where Android phones were hitting past 5” form factors.

It was in August of 2012 where I really fell in love with Samsung, though, with their release of the Galaxy Note II. This is what cemented their status as one of the leading innovators and catapulted the rise of bigger form factors. Since 2012, I’ve been a Samsung Note series die hard and have owned every iteration including the controversial Note7. The only time i did stop being a Note user was during the release of the Galaxy Fold 2, which is technically the spiritual successor of the Note series which ended after the Note 20 variant in 2020.

I’ve also had the chance to try various other phones alongside my daily driver Samsungs though- like the Moto Razr 2020, some Asus Zenfones, HTC phones, Even the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ and more.

It’s also not that I’ve closed myself off Apple products. I’ve owned versions of Apple’s iPad Mini, iPad Air and even the last M1 powered Ipad Pro. I do think that tablet wise, Apple had the upper hand as apps are more seamless with the tablet variation of iOS whereas apps on Android just feel like a huge phone.

For 10 years, though, on the phone side of things – I’ve strongly felt the advantage of being an Android user (more so a samsung user). The cameras were one of the best there is, alongside the iPhone of course. The speed was top notch, and so was the build quality. The user interface adapted to my use and all the functionality really made things easier for me to do work on the go, especially with the ability to do so on a large almost tablet like form factor.

Samsung Galaxy Fold 3

In short, I’ve always felt like the Android Os was the SUPERIOR operating system. I’ve always felt like iOs was very limiting for power users and had very limited user customization (still true to date, but more on that later).

Here are some things I love on Android that just aren’t available on iOS:

  • Multiple Accounts
  • Heavy customizeable home screen
  • Multiple App copies
  • Internal storage access via USB
  • External storage access
  • Expandable storage
  • Default system apps
  • Clipboards (Samsung)
  • Pen functionality (Samsung)
  • More diverse 3rd party accessories
  • Power user apps
  • Torrent downloading!!!
  • Custom Roms and Root access
  • MultiWindows / MultiTasking
  • Closing All Apps
  • Better shortcuts and menus
  • Better Widgets

Fast forward to 2022, however. I felt a little disappointed at Samsung. The Galaxy Fold 4 was an unworthy upgrade to the Fold 3. If you owned the 3, it didnt make sense to move to the 4. With folding phones, however, longevity was an uncertain thing so upgrading yearly seemed to make sense to ensure continuity. But I still decided not to upgrade.

One day, though, the pre-installed screen protector on the massive 7.6” folding display started to bubble. 3 days after, it was a huge gap right down the middle and it became uncomfortable to use. The screen would also crackle every time I would fold or unfold the device. I started to get worried. It made me want to change phones all the more as it made me worry about how long before it wasn’t just the protector that gave out. Sooner or later, I knew I’d have problems with the main screen so I knew I had to change my device before I get to that point. I was still convinced that the Fold4 wasn’t a worthy upgrade though so I thought about trying the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra.

I thought about it one night before going to bed but I ended up convincing myself that I’d terribly miss the massive 7.6” screen so I eventually decided against. Then one night, it was October 13th 2022 – my google news feed was flooded with phone reviews – Iphone 14 reviews. I had read so much about iOS 16 and was able to try the iPhone 12 Pro Max and 13 Pro Max here and there as my wife was an avid iPhone user that it dawned on me – “Hey, It’s been 10years since my last iPhone and the platform has grown so much and caught up so much to Android in terms of functionality so how about trying it out again?”.

I still wasn’t convinced because I really disliked the idea of Apple’s walled garden ecosystem but waking up the next morning – I found myself buying the iPhone 14 Pro Max. Yeah, i took the plunge. It was either be picky and have a phone die on me or stay true to my love for tech and innovation and go ahead and give it a try! I went for the latter. And 5 days in, oh boy – I definitely do not regret my decision.

Here are my thoughts and initial impressions of Apple’s latest and greatest:

  • It was an easy transfer from Android to iOs using “Move to iOS”. I was able to move out much of my stuff and apps except for social messenger backups from apps like Viber which relied on the OS’ cloud so could’t move from one or the other.
  • The adjustment to the form factor is one of the hardest ones from me but only cause i came from a folding phone. They say once you go fold you could never go back, but 5 days in and I think I’ll make it just fine.
  • I hate that I have so many TypeC cables and I hate it even more that now I have to bring an extra cable for my phone. I used to love knowing all my devices charge via Type C (Phone, Tablet, Laptop, Earbuds etc)
  • The iPhone feels more delicate in hand than any of the phones I’ve used in the past
  • The customization on iOS 16 is definitely a huge boost to the OS but still not on par with Android. But hey, atleast Apple is trying.
  • I had a hard time re-organizing my Google Home connected devices as iPhones do not natively support even though the app works just fine. I just had to re-assign an Android tablet at home to be the main device for controlling my Google home ecosystem which to date is over 20 devices now including lights and appliances.
  • I miss being able to download shows (via torrent) which don’t officially stream in the PH.
  • The camera is definitely one of the best there is in the market, if not the best over-all.
  • Apps are more fluid and you can really keep all of them open at one time (despite having only half the ram of the devices I’m used to).
  • It’s quite a hassle to have left so many apps open though and you have to close them one by one if you feel a little OC about it
  • Navigation is quite disorienting. I miss the back button of the Android OS.
  • Apple Carplay is definitely much superior to Android Auto. As soon as i enter the car, it loads up on my car’s display. The Ui is also much more easy on the eyes and makes the Android Auto platform look and feel like a cheap knock off.
  • There are definitely more apps on the App store than there are on Google’s play store. And much mote quality ones, at that.
  • The dynamic island is nothing more than a gimmick with a “shiny name”. There’s been no instance where it’s given me any benefit. It’s still better than the huge notch, though.
  • Apple’s dark mode is still not system wide and doesn’t apply to many apps. Android definitely has the advantage on this
  • Battery wise, I feel like gone are the days where owning an iPhone meant needing your charger often or needing to carry a powerbank with you. The power management is really great on the new chip and OS.
  • Over-all performance feels smooth and like running on a turbo engine. I have never experienced a single lag or hiccup in the last 5 days.
  • Notifications are annoying. They’re much simpler and more organized over at the Android side of stuff and iOS notifications just feels messy and scattered all over.
  • Chrome is definitely still better than Safari.
  • I hate the fact that I cant use my earbuds and galaxy watch on the iPhone 14 Pro Max. damn you, walled garden.

So yeah, there’s a lot of “Oh yeah” with the iPhone but also quite a bit of “Oh Noes”. Nevertheless, the longer i use the phone, the more I’m loving it.

Things I’m looking forward to from Apple:

  • I wish that the next iteration really make the move to TypeC as it would really open up a lot of possibilities like more accessories including external storages
  • Project CHIP (aka MATTER). Apple has pledged commitment to this alliance and this will make interoperability between Alexa, Google and Siri connected devices much easier.

I’ll continue testing the iPhone and discovering new stuff about it and I’ll post a full review soon here! Stay tuned.