One of the criticisms I regularly hear from my iFan friends is that I don’t know what it’s like in “their world”. I think some of them work under the pretence that, because I write for an Android website, I hate all things Apple.
In reality, I write much of the content I produce for Ausdroid on a Macbook, I’ve had an iPhone — first generation — in the past but honestly, didn’t adjust well to it at all. I’ve had an iPad in the past and had a great time of it, so great in fact I’m leaning towards an iPad when I next buy a tablet.
So when my friends challenged me to spend a month with an iPhone, it didn’t bother me too much so we swapped devices ending with an iPhone XR in my pocket.
First impressions of the current hardware
I’ve never denied that Apple makes outstanding hardware, in fact, I honestly believe they’re among the best in the world for quality hardware. Part of the problem with this is that they’re also amongst the most expensive in the world, creating a barrier to purchase for a lot of potential buyers.
Looking past the cost, one of the immediate things I noted about the iPhone is the balance of the device. It’s not super light making it feel like a toy, it’s not particularly heavy making it feel cumbersome to carry and it’s physically well balanced. It feels solid and feels good in the hand and I’m not unhappy about the change from my Find X2 Pro.
I’m also really happy to see that I don’t need to carry a specific charger to charge the phone, just the proprietary cable. So close to a standard, but yet so far but it is progress and I would love to see Apple onboard with the whole “standard” cables idea, but we’re getting there…
Software, shortcuts and muscle memory
With any phone, there’s an adjustment period to accept and something we’re used to at Ausdroid with the need to regularly change phones due to reviews. The physical dimensions of the phone are rarely the same, meaning the screen shortcuts aren’t quite in the same spot.
This was — for me at least — akin to switching a phone I’ve used regularly with a launcher I really like, over to one of the “less stock” versions of Android. Not as I like or want it, but not unfamiliar or unmanageable.
The hidden costs of switching platforms
I’ve already alluded to the fact that cables can be a problem because, well… I have one lightning cable in my house for my son’s iPad and that’s it. So to end up with the same plethora of cables ready to charge on a whim would literally cost me hundreds of dollars. Luckily I have a couple of wireless charging pads which are compatible with the iPhone.
But there’s another hidden cost I hadn’t thought about before agreeing to take on this challenge… my apps!
Week 1: How do I feel about the change?
It’s a big change to make to a different operating system and I’m seeing the barriers in moving either way. That being said, I’m not unhappy with the experience so far with the screen being really nice, a decent camera and it’s really responsive to touch.
My first and clear criticism is that the battery life is not great, even on a relatively “slow” day of phone use, I didn’t have much battery to spare by 11 pm. If I have a bigger day on the phone, I’m absolutely certain I’ll need a top-up before the day is out.
I know this won’t surprise the Apple faithful, but I’m really impressed by the integration that Apple delivers to users. The first I really knew of this across my hardware was SMS and call alerts appearing on my Macbook without any setup required. I’ll explore this further in the coming week though.
Obviously, as I’m only a handful of days into the adventure, I’m still learning what iOS and the iPhone hardware can offer me. There’s a lot of learning to do, still more setting up (linking smart devices etc) to do and I’m taking on the challenge with a really open mind, so far enjoying the experience.
Across the next few weekends, I’ll be publishing a wrap up of my experience through the week. Hit me up in the comments, or on Twitter if you’ve got any questions you’d like answered.