The majority of my life on computers – from about the age of five, have been relatively device agnostic. There was always a “PC” at home, running Microsoft or DOS and then an Apple Macintosh at school. With regards to Mac’s, the first I ever used was in elementary school and must have been the 1987 Macintosh II, while at home, we had an IBM.
My Junior or Senior year in High School I finally received my very OWN computer (not shared with my parents) and it was a desktop Packard Bell. I remember missing attending one of the best parties of the year to stay at home and customise all my sounds and preferences, ensuring the perfect setup and functionality.
About four or so years later, I decided to make the plunge and buy a used iBook G4. I was studying Photography/Advertising/Design and the University had the most up to date machines, so I always had access to a Power Mac G5, but I wanted something to use at home, as well as getting Adobe with my student discount. This move brought Apple into my home, a place it hadn’t previously lived, but has ever since. (You can see a handy reference to the life of Apple computers here.)
For a good while, while freelancing I wouldn’t touch a PC for a significant amount of time. This meant that as Windows grew up, I knew less & less how to use it – meaning, I wasn’t able to be the family IT person as easily and could start responding with “I don’t know.” rather than fixing everyone’s (regularly occurring) issues.
Apart from the price (which to an extent can be justified), why wouldn’t I keep using mac’s or Apple products. They are well designed, user friendly, connect well in their closed off circle and make my life and projects more pleasant. Apple entered my life before it became ‘cool’ or the object to be seen with. Before teenagers could somehow afford them (or parents were willing to spend the money on them), before it was an image thing – when they were actually about manipulating images.
So yes, a lot has changed. There is a lot of “you are one or the other” chat going on. Your a fanboy or a freak, you’re cool or uncool, it has to be one or the other and then you have to stay there. Well, I kinda disagree with that. At home I use a MacBook Pro, and iPhone 4, Apple TV, an iPad and we have a few other Apple computers, an Airport Express etc. I use a Dell laptop, running Windows 7 at work. I’m happy to do that, because all of our office systems are Microsoft based and it just makes life easier.
So up until this point, my only smart phone experience has been an iPhone. Previous to that I had a Motorola where the numbers were letters, predictive text etc. I ventured into the iPhone at the 3G stage (I don’t buy first generation products) and have been on the 4 for the past two years. So that’s roughly 4-5 years using an iPhone. Do I have any complaints? Not really. The screen is great, the camera is great, it runs well, thought two years in, it’s definitely starting to slow down. The UI is smooth and it syncs all the information I need from work emails & calendars to my own Gmail and Google calendar.
To bring this massive piece of writing to it’s main point – yesterday I decided to give in and get a separate phone for work, and I thought, to have some fun and to get away from stifling progression and competition, I would get myself an Android. I chose the Samsung Galaxy III and it arrived on my desk shiny and big! So, over the next while I shall be learning how to use the phone, how to use Android, about the Google OS, Google Play and a completely different user experience.
The reason I’m not writing today about the difference is because I don’t think it’s fair to judge until I’ve spent a good amount of time using the tool. I’ll try out as many of the same apps and try to use it for all the same activities and we’ll see how it fares. Will it turn me from Apple? Who knows. But there needs to be people who use both in the world, because if there wasn’t, we would see a strong loss in the amount of innovation companies are currently producing to stay ahead of their competitors, and actually, I’m kinda glad there is an Android out there that made me want to try the switch.
Watch this space for what I find. Image source for a spec comparison of the iPhone 4S and the Galaxy III via TechnoBuffolo.
Click here to read Part 2.