Saturday, January 15, 2011

to iPad or not to iPad

Differences between Android and OSxx phones.

I’d never bought an Apple product before I waited in line for the release of the first ever iPhone. In fact, I’d never paid a purchase price for a contract cell phone before. I was beginning to think that in my late 30s I needed a smartphone, when they announced the release of the iPhone. My contract was up in a few months and I could be eligible at the time of the release, so I was READY. I got my iPhone, $599 later, and brought it home. After all the activation stuff was over, I started using, and loving it. It was everything it said. I’d wished it was louder, supported Bluetooth stereo, and was not strapped to iTunes, but, all I’d ever had was free handsets before, so this was huge. I also had my investment to motivate me to love it, but I think I would have, anyway.
By now, everyone knows why Apple’s reputation is what it is. Their products are modern art and craftsmanship exemplified. That’s half the love affair right there. It FEELS good. It LOOKS good. It’s satisfying on a number of sensory levels. Fit and finish are beautiful. It’s smooth and sleek, and has just the right amount of heft. The new uses and functions were just what I needed. It was like having a micro-laptop in my possession all the time.

Jump to 3 years later. My now reasonably obsolete 8GB handheld device was starting to slow down a little. (not bad for 3 relatively unsupervised years). I was watching the emergence of Android devices with detached interest and skepticism. My neighbor brought over his Droid that he got for free from Sam’s Club, and I was intrigued. I started an earnest campaign to research all the alternative platforms and devices and ended up pursuing the acquisition of an HTC EVO.
I’d NEVER had any other provider than ATT or it’s previous iterations, (CellularOne, Cingular, etc) so the switch to Sprint could have been traumatic. They worked very hard at the store to switch over my contacts and activate the phone and make me happy. (Nice)
The OS was difficult and frustrating to navigate at first, but has become second nature.
The handset I received came pre-loaded with Android 2.2 (Froyo) and unlike Apple, all of it’s firmware and software updates come over the air. (YAY!)
I wanted the EVO over the iPhone 4 because it wasn’t restricted by controlling forces that prevented the exploitation of currently available technology. It played FLASH media. It supported HDMI output. It allowed for DRM and non-DRM content. I can edit Office documents, not just read them. I can have a flash and a front facing camera. I can upload HD video straight from the phone. I won’t do these things often, but I would sure like to be able to!
Don’t get me wrong , if I had to be told what, where, and when, to do something, maybe Steve Jobs would be just the guy to tell me. At least I know the device would work, and beautifully. But, alas, I HATE being told what, where, and when to do stuff, so I pay a price. The Android device is a little choppy, like my home computer. (Never owned an Apple computer before either) It hangs and needs restarting sometimes. Sometimes the touchscreen doesn’t respond when it’s charging. (Which is ALL the time, battery life is a deal killer!) Some apps make other stuff not work. But this is a little like Democracy.
It’s risky. It’s damaging, but, it’s FREEDOM. I might even ROOT my device, but I’m still a little afraid I’ll mess it up or do it wrong and brick my phone. Apple is like Mussolini. The trains run on time. 3 years later, I still occasionally use my iPhone as an iPod and WiFi browser. It still feels like comfort food. Now I forget how to use it’s UI.
I remember how much I HATE iTUNES. Did I mention that I hate iTunes?
I think I’m getting to the stage where I need a tablet for my Realtor work. I’m torn. I really believe an iPad is just a big iPhone without the phone. Or the cameras.
I would like an Android tablet, but I’m a little afraid my inattention will booger up the OS and I’ll download something without the hyper-regulations that Apple imposes, and then what? After using and love/hating my EVO, I’m thinking about saving up for an iMac (or whatever they’re called,) just to add stability to my home computing experience. I’ve never really had that before, I just thought it was the way it had to be. I guess I’m no fanboy of anything. I LOVE toys. I LOVE technology. I also love freedom. But function is sometimes even better. Beauty is nice too. (Though I can be trained to live without it) I’m trying to decide. It’s just like computers. Do I want a $200 desktop for cheap function and access, or do I wait and pay over $1000 and have stability and longevity? (ostensibly.....) I haven’t ever made the Mac leap. I won’t know until I do, but for now, my Android experience makes me think the ‘known is better than the unknown’. I can put up with hiccupy apps, less beauty when it accompanies cutting edge access and affordability. I can replace an Android platform handset twice before I can afford another Apple. (That is, if I buy an iPhone 4 with the same amount of storage ability {32GB})
I guess I’ll remain a PC girl. I’ll wait until the tablets are big enough and affordable enough. (a few more months, really) and then I’ll tether them to my EVO at open houses and listing presentations. They won’t be as beautiful as an iPad, but I can replace it and hand it down when new technology emerges.
The funny thing is, I can hear my own hesitation in my arguments. It’s like breaking up with ex because they weren’t quite perfect. You trade some flaws for some other new flaws. The grass always seems a little greener. I really think the assessments can be swayed by the amount of $$ invested. If I shelled out $1000 for a 32GB over the air iPad, I probably couldn’t be convinced that a GalaxyS Tab would be better, ever.
I guess I’ll have to see how impulsive I’ll be.
Ahh, technology.

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