Six reasons for the change of…

A final blog post for the end of the past year 2011 which unfor­tu­n­a­te­ly saw too many deaths of beloved peop­le and only a few posts on this blog — also due to the Pos­te­rous / Face­book / Twit­ter com­pe­ti­ti­on and not many actual­ly wil­ling to read lon­ger blog posts as a result of the infor­ma­ti­on overflow.

It’s not that I am only into tech stuff, but I am pas­sio­na­te about the­se gad­gets and tha­t’s also rea­son enough to note down the fol­lowing motivation.

iphone4-Defy

The Apple iPho­ne 4 vs. The Moto­ro­la Defy

The­re are three four five six rea­sons why I’m pla­ning to skip the free­dom that comes with Android and switch (back) to an iPho­ne 4 (not 4S) in 2012:

1. The­re may be gre­at Android pho­nes and my Moto­ro­la Defy (“Jor­dan, MB525”) is a lot of  pho­ne for the money, but it’s a few mil­li­me­ters too small for my fin­gers which means that typ­ing on the screen is easier and quicker on the iPhone.

2. Both came­ras on both pho­nes have 5mpx sen­sors, but the­re’s some magic to the iPho­ne 4 came­ra that the Defy came­ra just does not have. And I’ve tried all came­ras on the Android mar­ket, am using MIUI on the Defy which also inclu­des the CyanogenMod7 came­ra app and…well, I just don’t like the results. It always takes several attempts to get a decent, not blur­ry pic­tu­re and if the flash is acti­va­ted, then it’s even worse. It could also be the soft­ware pro­ces­sing, less the hardware.

Defy camera test, outside

A somehow blur­ry snapshot, shot on a cloudy/rainy day in Octo­ber. Not real­ly what I expec­ted to recei­ve from the camera.

I take a lot of pic­tures with the pho­ne, I knew that the came­ra on the Defy would­n’t be that gre­at and I’ve lear­ned my les­son. If a decent came­ra on the pho­ne is important to you, then go for an iPho­ne. Also com­pa­red to what Nokia used to pro­du­ce — it’s imo bet­ter to use a 50–60% came­ra that “just works” than one that only deli­vers blur­ry images or blinds peop­le with an aggres­si­ve flash (hel­lo, Nokia N95!).

3. The dock con­nec­tor. I am using a docking sta­ti­on on my desk and next to my bed. When I fall asleep, I just want to drop the pho­ne into the docking sta­ti­on whe­re it’s being rech­ar­ged etc. — and not manu­al­ly open a flap on the side of the pho­ne and plug in a mini USB cable. I’m used to this pro­ce­du­re now, but I also know that the­se things are easier with the iPho­ne and a bit more com­pli­ca­ted with the Defy (which is why I sold/gave away both docking sta­ti­ons I had for the Defy).

4. I got a very generous offer from a friend that I just have to accept and which enab­les me to make the swap to the other pho­ne. The iro­ny is that the iPho­ne is cur­r­ent­ly locked to ze Gör­män Ter­ror­kom (T‑Mobile) net­work and will only be unlo­cked in the midd­le of 2012, but all of the­se limi­ta­ti­ons don’t mat­ter to me for the abo­ve men­tio­ned rea­sons. Ano­t­her moti­va­ti­on pro­bab­ly also is that iOS 5 final­ly brought the chan­ges that I reques­ted iOS to have (and which I pre­fer­red on Android).

5. Not a real rea­son, but still: my sis­ter, who always refu­sed iPho­nes (“I don’t need them…”), sud­den­ly sur­pri­sed me in mid 2011 with the purcha­se of an iPho­ne 4 32GB. Which comes with Face­Time! All the­se years of intro­du­cing Sky­pe wit­hin the fami­ly were rather unsuc­cess­ful, but this (stu­pid) Face­Time app now sud­den­ly intro­du­ced video tele­pho­ny wit­hin the fami­ly. Yeah, well.… whatever.

6. Pay­ment opti­ons on the mar­ket. I real­ly like Android but the­re’s this one thing whe­re the iTu­nes store is just more advan­ced: pay­ment opti­ons on the iTu­nes store inclu­de the use of vou­chers. Now, this may not be an issue in the US, but in Ger­ma­ny, a) you only get a credit card when you’­re 18 (so many con­su­mers do not have one, or use someo­ne else’s card, or use a pre­paid one) and b) with many banks (who issue the­se cards), you have to pay an extra char­ge of 1,85% of the com­ple­te tran­sac­tion fee for for­eign apps. Which means that app purcha­ses cost extra and more than expec­ted. Sure, we’­re tal­king about Euro cents here, but still it’s more — and the purcha­se / avai­la­bi­li­ty of pre­paid vou­chers, avail­ab­le at local super­mar­kets like they are for iTu­nes, would imo be the per­fect solu­ti­on for the Android mar­ket. So until this issue is sol­ved, the iTu­nes store is a bit more sophisti­ca­ted to me. This is imo also why the “for free”-culture is much more ali­ve on the Android and Nokia eco­sys­tems than it is with the Apple eco­sys­tem (whe­re hard­ware is alrea­dy expen­si­ve enough). Pay­ment opti­ons are key!

Android: What I will cer­tain­ly miss is the remova­ble bat­te­ry (haha, just kid­ding — the only rea­son to remo­ve it is to reset the pho­ne — serious­ly) and the microSD card which — and I dif­fer here with experts like Eldar Mur­ta­zin — I think is very gre­at becau­se it enab­les you to keep your user data in one place. Water dama­ge with the iPho­ne? You’­re doo­med! But not so with pho­nes whe­re microSD-cards keep most of your data. I think tha­t’s pret­ty con­ve­ni­ent and a valid argu­ment pro microSD-cards. Also becau­se not ever­yo­ne trusts iCloud, though it’s a step in the right direc­tion. In 2011/12, hard- and soft­ware should be inde­pen­dent from each other. If a device (phone/laptop/car, etc.) fails, I’d like to exchan­ge the hard­ware, type in my creden­ti­als and con­ti­nue on a new device whe­re I left the old one. Ano­t­her gre­at con­ve­ni­en­ce of cour­se is that you just type in your gmail address and it will auto­ma­ti­cal­ly set­up your pho­ne. Total­ly awe­so­me. Or alter­na­ti­ve app stores like App­Brain - so many more opti­ons (except pay­ment) than the iTu­nes store. The best part about Android cer­tain­ly is how apps are con­nec­ted wit­hin the OS and how they offer a level of con­nec­ti­vi­ty I am yet to find on iOS (e.g. saving a page to ReadItLater).

As I said, Android is good, attrac­ti­ve and my pre­fer­red OS of choice. The Defy is a very nice pho­ne but I’ve rea­li­zed that for my own dai­ly needs, the iPho­ne just does a slight­ly bet­ter job.

Half of my geek friends are from the “the­re’s-no-other-smart­pho­ne-than-the-iPho­ne” group, and the other group is more like “Android-is-bet­ter-becau­se-iOS-is-worse”.

So the bot­tom line pro­bab­ly is that it takes a lon­ger test of all avail­ab­le sys­tems and a small set of important apps that just need to work in order to see which pho­ne suits the user.

Oh, and in case you’­re won­de­ring about the rede­sign on this blog here: I’ve updated Wor­d­Press to 3.3 and that somehow des­troy­ed my blog tem­pla­te — which I had been mea­ning to chan­ge sin­ce 2006! Again, it pro­bab­ly takes some inter­ac­tion from the out­side to make the switch. Thx, @alipasha!

Ever­yo­ne, plea­se have a peace­ful and hap­py New Year 2012!

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