19 votes

I have used Android my entire life. Then I acquired 4 Apple devices in a week

Hi Tilderinos!

As the title says, I have used Android almost my entire life. Many parts of the internet (especially reddit) really look down on Apple for many reasons (may of them valid). Starting about 3 weeks ago, I started to wonder if the grass really was greener on the other side. I would like to share my experience.

My first smart device was an iPod tough 4th generation. Back then, iOS was really bad. Notifications took over the screen. If you didn't want to deal with a notification right then, you had to dismiss it permanently. Multitasking did not exist (until a few updates later) Android was miles better then. Switching was the obvious choice. Flash forward to now, through many different android devices. I had a Samsung Galaxy S10e, Galaxy Watch LTE, and Galaxy Buds. I had the best ecosystem of devices that Android has to offer (Tizen vs WearOS is arguable, but I have not used WearOS).

I wanted to get back into mountain biking, and I wanted to bring only my buds and watch. This should be an obvious use case for an LTE watch and bluetooth earbuds. Unfortunately, transferring music to the watch is a difficult prospect. You must have the files downloaded onto your phone, but I use Spotify or Google Play Music. Spotify does have a Tizen app, but it is pretty terrible. Also, I wanted to have audiobooks and podcasts downloaded to listen to. I could not find any apps for audiobooks or podcasts for my Galaxy Watch. All my google-fu got me to the answer: Just transfer the files and play them in the watch music app. This was a pretty bad solution for a few reasons. First, listening times did not sync with the phone. Second, I don't think that the watch music app would save the timestamp when you closed it. Finally, the Galaxy Watch has 4gb storage, and only leaves around 2gb usable. Game of Thrones book 5 weighs in at about 1.3gb. If I wanted my book and even a single episode from most of my podcasts, that would not be enough storage.

Because of this experience, I started looking into the Apple Watch. My grandfather gave me his old iPhone 6s+ and I got an Apple Watch series 3 LTE for a great deal on craigslist. I thought the phone would be a downgrade from an s10e. In a few ways it is, such as the screen, battery life, and camera. But for everything else about this phone, it is just as good as my s10e, which is 4 years newer. I still have my s10e, and I keep it charged. There are very few times where I want to use my s10e over my 6s+. This was not what I was expecting when I switched. I expected to use the 6s+ to see if I could handle a new iPhone, just so I could use an Apple Watch. Since then, I borrowed my dad's old MacBook Pro mid 2012 non-retina, to see if I liked OS X. I am currently typing this in that MacBook. I also bought the AirPods Pro.

Almost every single interaction between these devices is quick, intuitive, and seamless. OS X is way better than windows. Parallels makes running windows software a dream. When I bought parallels, I was able to pay with my watch through Apple Pay. I have not heard of any software doing anything like that with google/samsung pay and windows. Overcast is able to automatically sync podcasts and playback times to the watch, and easily switch which device is playing. Audible is a bit more clunky (and I am still looking for an alternative for books), but it is possible to get books on the watch, and the playback time syncs without issue. The AirPods Pro seamlessly switch between the phone and watch. They are already paired with the MBP through iCloud, although they do not seamlessly switch. I think this is because the bluetooth chip in the computer is too old. CarPlay is miles better than android auto. Siri is just as good for most thing as google assistant, and is more consistent.

This is a pretty long post already, but the bottom line is every single apple device I am trying out is better than the corresponding android/windows device that is 2-4 years newer. After many years of shunning apple, I am back on the apple bandwagon. I am currently planning on replacing all of my devices with something from apple (except my gaming desktop, unfortunately). I would like to hear about your experiences with switching to or from either ecosystem.

(Mods: I wasn't sure if this should be in ~talk or ~tech. Please move it if necessary)

27 comments

  1. [14]
    vaddi
    (edited )
    Link
    Apple is good, if you can afford it and don't mind the walled garden. Once you start using their services and the integration between devices it becomes really hard to stop. That means that you...

    Apple is good, if you can afford it and don't mind the walled garden. Once you start using their services and the integration between devices it becomes really hard to stop. That means that you need to be conscious of it from the very start because it is a lifetime investment.

    Imagine that you have an iPhone, a Mac and a Apple Watch. Some years from now, when they start to become old, you most likely wont consider other brands and will buy their then new editions. So, you will at +- 5 year cycles be buying the most expensive hardware in the market.

    If you have for example a Samsung smartphone, a Dell laptop and a Huawei watch, 5 years from now there is nothing stopping you from buying a Xiaomi smartphone.

    With that said, Apple is really good.

    18 votes
    1. [10]
      stu2b50
      Link Parent
      At the same time, I feel, while not true for everyone certainly, esp. the demographics that go on internet forums, when you really chart out your annual expenditures, the actual amount that...

      So, you will, at +- 5 year cycles be buying the most expensive hardware in the market.

      At the same time, I feel, while not true for everyone certainly, esp. the demographics that go on internet forums, when you really chart out your annual expenditures, the actual amount that devices take up in there is dwarfed by everything else.

      Let's say you cut a bargain and save $500 on your phone, upgrading every 2 years (which is already a little extreme; can easily push that to 3 or 4 or longer). What is the weekly amortized cost? $4.8 per week you saved.

      So if you get tempted to eat take out when you didn't have to once, that's the equivalent to have a better phone for two weeks. My personal "I'm feeling lazy, let's eat out" cost is waay, waaay more than the cost of my phone.

      Phones are things you quite literally look at for several hours of every day of your life. You wake up to it, check the news to it, commute with it, do business with it, etc.

      Sometimes it's worth it for the little things.

      8 votes
      1. [9]
        vaddi
        Link Parent
        Smartphones are overrated in general. What does a 1000$ smartphone do that a 200$ doesn't? The answer in most case is take better photographs. For me that is not worth the price. For browsing the...

        Smartphones are overrated in general. What does a 1000$ smartphone do that a 200$ doesn't? The answer in most case is take better photographs. For me that is not worth the price. For browsing the internet I still take a PC/laptop any day. I even dare to say that in most cases, having the web in your pocket is bad for your health. So for me, saving money for when I'm old, spend money to have a really comfortable house, buying a good monitor and chair if you work from home, and eating healthy will always take priority over a smartphone. I can't imagine buying, for example, an Iphone for those reasons, there is always a better way to spend the extra 800$ (relative to the ones I'm buying now).

        9 votes
        1. [5]
          seizethegoddamngap
          Link Parent
          Don't get me wrong, smart phones are wayyyyyyyy overpriced right now, but definitely don't discount the importance of software updates and especially security patches. With how fast...

          What does a 1000$ smartphone do that a 200$ doesn't? The answer in most case is take better photographs.

          Don't get me wrong, smart phones are wayyyyyyyy overpriced right now, but definitely don't discount the importance of software updates and especially security patches. With how fast vulnerabilities are found nowadays, having a phone that is even months behind could have serious consequences.

          4 votes
          1. [3]
            AVo
            Link Parent
            I see your point and I definitely see the value in updates and especially security updates but these are not new. The iPhone 5s still receives security updates source as of March of this year. And...

            I see your point and I definitely see the value in updates and especially security updates but these are not new. The iPhone 5s still receives security updates source as of March of this year. And looking at the starting prices of each phones, they have only risen each year. source It’s interesting that security updates are being pointed to for the price increase when Apple has been good with security updates for a long time now.

            Now for Apple’s competition like Samsung. It’s crazy they are charging $1000+ for their S devices and are only provided 2 years of software support. It’s like they saw apples pricing and wanted to jump on without understanding why Apple is able to charge like this. (Brand recognition, physical presence, renowned customer services, and yes, updates)

            7 votes
            1. [2]
              seizethegoddamngap
              Link Parent
              Agreed on all fronts. It's a fucking shame Qualcomm is allowed to hold a virtual Monopoly on the non-Apple mobile SoC front. Based on everything I've read, they are the ones to blame (mostly) for...

              Agreed on all fronts. It's a fucking shame Qualcomm is allowed to hold a virtual Monopoly on the non-Apple mobile SoC front. Based on everything I've read, they are the ones to blame (mostly) for the 2-3 year update "limit" on Android.

              2 votes
              1. Weldawadyathink
                Link Parent
                Can you provide some sources on the Qualcomm update issues? I have not heard that before. It sounds like an interesting read.

                Can you provide some sources on the Qualcomm update issues? I have not heard that before. It sounds like an interesting read.

                3 votes
        2. [3]
          babypuncher
          Link Parent
          Better LCD's/OLEDs, laminated touch panels, water resistance, continued software support, durability and longevity. These can all pretty important things in a smartphone, if you use it a lot. You...

          Better LCD's/OLEDs, laminated touch panels, water resistance, continued software support, durability and longevity. These can all pretty important things in a smartphone, if you use it a lot.

          You could have made the same argument about keyboards. What does my $150+ mechanical keyboard I use for work do that a $15 piece of crap from Walmart doesn't? They both put letters on my screen when I push the right buttons, so clearly the former is a waste of money. Sometimes the value offered by a tool is more than just the basic utility it provides.

          1 vote
          1. [2]
            vaddi
            Link Parent
            Which doesn't matter because you need to apply a screen protector. If it falls it will break, and I would rather break a cheap one. My argument could be applied to almost anything. What does a...

            laminated touch panels

            Which doesn't matter because you need to apply a screen protector.

            durability and longevity.

            If it falls it will break, and I would rather break a cheap one.

            You could have made the same argument about keyboards. What does my $150+ mechanical keyboard I use for work do that a $15 piece of crap from Walmart doesn't? They both put letters on my screen when I push the right buttons, so clearly the former is a waste of money. Sometimes the value offered by a tool is more than just the basic utility it provides.

            My argument could be applied to almost anything. What does a Porche do that a Honda doesn't?
            Of course that people have personal priorities. For me, buying a piece of hardware that becomes outdated in 2 years and obsolete in 6 or 7, and in most cases serves as a glorified web browser and a not very good but convenient photograph camera is not worth the money.

            2 votes
            1. babypuncher
              Link Parent
              A good screen doesn't need a protector unless you beat the shit out of your phone. Laminate screens are already way more durable than cheaper alternatives because they don't have that air gap. But...

              Which doesn't matter because you need to apply a screen protector.

              A good screen doesn't need a protector unless you beat the shit out of your phone. Laminate screens are already way more durable than cheaper alternatives because they don't have that air gap.

              But my point isn't that this is right for you, it's that there are legitimate reasons for these features to be right for some people. They aren't objectively worthless.

              1 vote
    2. [3]
      babypuncher
      Link Parent
      The pricing isn't even that bad, unless you are used to low end budget Android phones. Apple fills out the mid-range space by continuing to sell older models. They are still selling the iPhone 8...

      if you can afford it

      The pricing isn't even that bad, unless you are used to low end budget Android phones. Apple fills out the mid-range space by continuing to sell older models. They are still selling the iPhone 8 and Watch Series 3.

      1 vote
      1. [2]
        vaddi
        Link Parent
        Depends on where you live. In my country an iPhone costs more than the national average salary...

        Depends on where you live. In my country an iPhone costs more than the national average salary...

        1 vote
        1. babypuncher
          Link Parent
          Well at that level we're playing an entirely different game. A $250 budget Android phone is still going to be a major purchase in a country where the average salary is $500/year.

          Well at that level we're playing an entirely different game. A $250 budget Android phone is still going to be a major purchase in a country where the average salary is $500/year.

          5 votes
  2. [4]
    emdash
    Link
    Yeah, this mirrors my experience, and it's why reviews of Apple devices in a vacuum are rarely valuable—it's the integration of the products with each other that produces the best results....

    Yeah, this mirrors my experience, and it's why reviews of Apple devices in a vacuum are rarely valuable—it's the integration of the products with each other that produces the best results. Unlocking my Mac with my Watch, paying for something on my Watch, automatic pairing with AirPods over iCloud, iCloud Drive sync, shared Safari tabs, Apple Watch handing off GPS tracking to the iPhone during workouts, the list honestly goes on and on.

    There are great Android and Windows devices that attempt to replicate this experience. But it's never to the same level of polish or fit and finish. One downside is you have to pay for this, but if you can afford it, it's definitely worth it. The other is you have to put up with Apple's "my way or the high way" approach to device management—and they don't always get it right.

    9 votes
    1. [3]
      Weldawadyathink
      Link Parent
      Wow, that list is pretty awesome. I did not know about the safari shared tabs, but it is awesome. With features like that from other manufacturers, such as chrome tab sync and other hidden android...

      Wow, that list is pretty awesome. I did not know about the safari shared tabs, but it is awesome. With features like that from other manufacturers, such as chrome tab sync and other hidden android features, I would have to spend some time setting it up, some more time figuring out the ins and outs, and ultimately stop using it. I just enabled it on my phone and it immediately started working flawlessly. I never have got chrome tab sync working reliably.

      It looks like my MBP is too old to turn on with my watch, but it does look like a cool feature. I am considering buying the new MacBook Air soon.

      The "my way or the highway" is off putting (its one of the reasons I originally left apple), but it isn't terrible. I think that the idea of having options, but sensible defaults, is the best way to go. Android has made many strides to achieve that over the past few years. Apple, as I remember it from Jobs' era, was sensible defaults, but with little customization. Apple, as I experience then now in the Cook era, is sensible defaults with a decent chunk of customization. No one could say that iOS is more customizable than android, but it isn't far behind.

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        tildez
        Link Parent
        I don't know if it's turned on by default, but handoff is really convenient for picking up tasks between devices. A surprising number off non-first party apps support it too....

        I don't know if it's turned on by default, but handoff is really convenient for picking up tasks between devices. A surprising number off non-first party apps support it too.

        https://support.apple.com/guide/mac-help/hand-off-between-devices-mchl732d3c0a/mac

        1 vote
        1. Weldawadyathink
          Link Parent
          Thanks for the advice. It looks like it was turned on by default. Unfortunately, this MacBook Pro doesn't support a few of those features. Oh well.

          Thanks for the advice. It looks like it was turned on by default. Unfortunately, this MacBook Pro doesn't support a few of those features. Oh well.

          1 vote
  3. [2]
    reese
    Link
    I experimented in college—with Apple. An Apple-worshiping coworker gave an old Mac mini to me in an attempt to get me hooked; I was impressed with the usability and utility of the device. A short...

    I experimented in college—with Apple.

    An Apple-worshiping coworker gave an old Mac mini to me in an attempt to get me hooked; I was impressed with the usability and utility of the device. A short while later I found a new, 13" MacBook Air at a significant discount with components that wouldn't need replacing for a long time. And arguably, machined aluminum with rounded corners is important when you're lugging it around school and frequently traveling. The durability and mobility of the Air I had was superb, and I feature that the current model is more of the same. That laptop lasted YEARS—my wife used it to finish her BSc after I used it to finish mine. While I did have to replace the battery at one point, I have no idea how long the laptop would have lasted because, erm, my wife left it in a rental car—in downtown San Francisco—where it was stolen.

    Anyway... anyone who knows me also knows that I'm highly critical of Apple. At the same time, I'm also cognizant of what they did for UX as a whole (I did an internship in UX one time, and I've taken a human-computer interaction class for my MSc). There's a reason why pretty much all successful personal computing technologies are imitations of Apple's innovative designs. I know that.

    But with my heavy background in IT and programming, knowing my way around the shell, I can't justify the cost of maximizing convenience. I don't need much convenience. I get why many devs prefer having a Mac on a corporate job, and it's because they want to spend their time working, not troubleshooting random shit that one inevitably experiences with Windows and especially Linux. I'm not going to pretend that, even with Apple's recent drop in software quality control, that Linux is somehow comparable in terms of usability. It's closer each day, but we're not there yet. Not sure that we ever will be.

    Right now I have a Linux desktop, Linux (System76) laptop, and a Pixel 3a. They work great... for me personally! I know what my needs are, and if they ever change I'll reevaluate. I'm not for or against anything on an ideological basis, I prefer to have evidence-based reasons for my choices. For example, I would shy away from an iPhone unless it was really inexpensive, because the majority of them I see have broken screens. And every time I see someone drop one: broken screen. Just like I won't pretend that Linux is usable for the general population, I also won't pretend that Apple isn't fucking people on screen repairs. Other than that, the phones seem really nice and usually secure. Ultimately when we choose our tools, it can come down to what we're personally willing to deal with. You can spend more money to offload most of the work on the tool itself, or you can spend more time to make up for where it lacks.

    8 votes
    1. mars
      Link Parent
      I'm very much the same. My tech setup is a Windows 10 desktop custom built for gaming and video processing, a 13" MacBook Pro for programming and portability, and a Pixel 3 for keeping in contact...

      I'm not for or against anything on an ideological basis, I prefer to have evidence-based reasons for my choices.

      I'm very much the same. My tech setup is a Windows 10 desktop custom built for gaming and video processing, a 13" MacBook Pro for programming and portability, and a Pixel 3 for keeping in contact like any smartphone, but I mostly use it for taking photos. I had an iPhone for years. Every time I was going to upgrade I would look at what's out there and only last year I decided that the overall benefits of the Pixel for what I needed (camera + unlimited full resolution backups) meant the jump over. In 3-4 years time I'll probably do the same cost-benefit analysis.

      1 vote
  4. Pistos
    Link
    I get that there are many headaches managing your own Linux installation, including dealing with finnicky or missing device drivers, selecting between many distros, and sorting out development...

    I get that there are many headaches managing your own Linux installation, including dealing with finnicky or missing device drivers, selecting between many distros, and sorting out development dependencies. That said, given that you eventually get your system generally stable, I personally find KDE a significantly superior UX for day-to-day GUI tasks, with features such as: single hotkey access to each of multiple desktops; app-specific or window-specific window manipulation and settings, such as size, position, borderlessness, desktop, screen (monitor), z-index. Given that I open, close, and switch to apps, windows and tabs dozens, probably hundreds of times a day, when I work on the $employer's Macbook, I feel the UX inferiority every day. Plus the matter of FLOSS vs. closed-source.

    4 votes
  5. tomf
    Link
    I moved away from a Galaxy S3 into iPhones and haven't looked back. I do miss modifying ro.sf.lcd_density with Android... but other than that, I don't miss a thing. IOS is great -- and jailbroken...

    I moved away from a Galaxy S3 into iPhones and haven't looked back. I do miss modifying ro.sf.lcd_density with Android... but other than that, I don't miss a thing.

    IOS is great -- and jailbroken IOS is even better.

    For MacOS, once you add in brew, yabai (a tiling window manager, and some other things, there's little reason to look elsewhere. With MacOS, everything just works.

    I'm in a late 2013 15" MacBook Pro. I've had the battery replaced once, but that's the only fix its needed.

    Now, all of this said (re: MacOS), if hardware support were better AND I could properly run the Adobe suite through Linux, it'd be a toss up for me. I spend a good portion of my day in a terminal as it is, but I also need the design stuff. My second laptop runs Xubuntu with i3 and I looooove it.

    The other thing I absolutely adore with MacOS is the fact that we can use iMessage. Where I am, everybody is still texting -- so having that as a native client is as good as it gets.

    For the overall experience, MacOS is the perfect middle ground between usability / 'it just works' and actual technical power.

    4 votes
  6. [3]
    weystrom
    Link
    I've been using Mac and iPhone last year, and honestly, after you play a little bit with Handoff, i've never used it after. Airdrop is useful, but it's a "created" problem, because it's so hard to...

    I've been using Mac and iPhone last year, and honestly, after you play a little bit with Handoff, i've never used it after. Airdrop is useful, but it's a "created" problem, because it's so hard to push files to iPhone in any other way.

    I honestly think that most inconveniences in Apple eco-system are created to sell more products on purpose. I still like iOS though, but mostly for the well-done 3rd party apps, like Reeder and Apollo. iCloud is kind of cheap, but again, locks you in hard.

    Anyway, have fun with your devices! If you feel they solve your tech needs well, then it's worth the price of admission.

    2 votes
    1. [2]
      JXM
      Link Parent
      I disagree. It is extremely easy to take a file off of of or add a file to an iOS device via iTunes or finder if an app properly implements support. AirDrop just removed the wires. I’ve tried a...

      Airdrop is useful, but it's a "created" problem, because it's so hard to push files to iPhone in any other way.

      I disagree. It is extremely easy to take a file off of of or add a file to an iOS device via iTunes or finder if an app properly implements support. AirDrop just removed the wires. I’ve tried a million different Android clones and none of them are as simple and easy to use as AirDrop.

      3 votes
      1. mrbig
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        I have an iPhone because it was free but my computers run Linux. A subpar experience to say the least. Even on Macs I don’t like the idea of having to go through the “oficial portal” just to...

        I have an iPhone because it was free but my computers run Linux. A subpar experience to say the least.

        Even on Macs I don’t like the idea of having to go through the “oficial portal” just to transfer some files to what is basically a glorified flash drive. The fact that we need to rely on particular apps implementations for that is IMHO unacceptable. I prefer a device that “talks” with any device, not just those of a particular brand.

        And unlike OP, I don’t have the means to purchase 4 Apple products in a week. I’d rather buy a car anyway.

        My next smartphone is gonna be an Android.

        2 votes
  7. [2]
    Rocket_Man
    Link
    I've had pretty much the exact opposite experience with apple. It's very frustrating to see a post with so much hyperbole.

    I've had pretty much the exact opposite experience with apple. It's very frustrating to see a post with so much hyperbole.

    2 votes
    1. Weldawadyathink
      Link Parent
      I am sorry you have had bad experiences with Apple devices. My post did not include any intentional hyperbole. I just read through it again, and I think I represented my experiences with these...

      I am sorry you have had bad experiences with Apple devices. My post did not include any intentional hyperbole. I just read through it again, and I think I represented my experiences with these devices accurately. If you have any questions about my experiences, let me know.

      2 votes