In the end, the competition still made it: Google of all people convinced me to swear off the iPhone.
It takes a lot for a long-time Apple fanboy to decide to use an Android device. Apple’s tactics are ingenious, but they don’t hold up against the competition in the long run. Or is it?
I’ve accumulated quite a few Apple products over the years. I appreciate and love every single device of it. In my opinion, there is no alternative when it comes to tablets or computers. No competing product even comes close to an iPad Pro with M1 or Macbook with M1 Ultra, which I currently use. When it comes to smartphones, however, I have a different opinion.
Large selection and many alternatives
As a technology editor, you have the privilege of testing your way through the various smartphone models from different manufacturers in all conceivable shapes and colors without having to pay a cent for it. We can test dozens of smartphones a year and find out what advantages and disadvantages each individual manufacturer has, and over time you come to a realization: the seemingly never-ending competition “Apple vs. Android” is only fought by those who don’t accept that both sides have their advantages and disadvantages. From a purely objective point of view, you can’t really determine which operating system is better or worse, iOS and Android are too different for that. It seems hopeless that the answer to the hotly debated question on the internet, which OS is better, will eventually be found. Unless you have the opportunity to deal with it in detail.
So I did, and I’ve come to the conclusion: it’s time to say goodbye to Apple, put the iPhone aside and start a new chapter. Apple didn’t do anything wrong, on the contrary. Apple’s tactic of keeping its customers close is ingenious. But in the end, another tech company was able to convince me to swear off Apple: Google.
Why I Curse Apple
Some time ago I explained why I curse Apple. You can read in detail here why I have such feelings against the iPhone manufacturer. The short version is: Apple’s tactic of locking me in the Apple universe (walled garden) and not even thinking about trying the forbidden fruit (how ironic) called Android is as ingenious as it is frustrating.
I explained that a year ago, when I was testing the OnePlus 9 Pro for work, I had no problem trading in my iPhone for an Android smartphone. I understand anyone who says, “Why should I pay almost twice as much for an iPhone when I can get more features at half the price from the competition?”
And it’s true: under-display fingerprint sensor, no notch, 120Hz display, different design, new UI, new user experiences. You can get all of this for well under 1,000 euros, but the engraved apple is missing on the back of the device.
So what was stopping me? Of course, I knew that for new experiences that Android would give me, I would have to give up a lot of useful Apple features: Family Sharing, Airdrop, smart home features, not least the beautiful iOS emojis (because we are let’s be honest: the Android emojis are ugly as night!). A restart always means compromises. But in the end it was the Apple Watch that stopped me from switching.
Why am I switching to Android now?
The Apple Watch is the best smartwatch out there. I’ve tested enough other smartwatches that this claim isn’t just a gut feeling, it’s based on experience. No other smartwatch – with the exception of the Withings Scanwatch, which is strictly speaking a hybrid watch – runs so smoothly, has so many features and also comes in a beautiful design. Sure, the Apple Watch has its price. But in the end it’s worth it to me.
The Apple Watch can also be used with Android, but not exactly in the way you might imagine. With the family configuration, I can set up an Apple Watch so that I can use an Android device at the same time. In the end, the Apple Watch is anything but smart and you even have to pay on top of that. Not an attractive alternative for me.
However, a few weeks ago, Google introduced its own smart watch: the Google Pixel Watch. And damn, does she look good!
It has a round design, is minimalist to the max and will probably come with a lot of fitness functions. Anything else would be ridiculous after Google’s acquisition of Fitbit. WearOS runs on the watch, according to Google “redesigned for flexible and intuitive operation. Specially developed for the distinctive domed design”. The bracelets can probably be changed just as easily as with the Apple Watch and even if you don’t know too much about the price, the Pixel Watch looks like an attractive alternative. So attractive that I would even trade my Apple Watch for a Pixel Watch – provided the watch can keep up with Apple’s Watch.
Wait: the time is ticking…
Much remains uncertain, Google has not yet given all the information about the price of the Pixel Watch, except that it will be released in the fall. A lot can still happen before then: In two weeks, Apple will be presenting iOS 16 and watchOS 9 at WWDC. It’s quite possible that Apple will surprise me and come up with a few features that will bind me to Apple.
There is also talk of Apple wanting to launch a square Apple Watch this year after all. Can the Pixel Watch hold its ground against it? Wait! Maybe Apple will open the Worldwide Developers Conference with the happy news that Android users will also be able to pair their smartphones with an Apple Watch from autumn – admittedly: unrealistic, but one can still dream. In any case, if Google does not disappoint, then with a good smartwatch they could ensure that some users who are similar to mine consider switching to the other camp.