Windows to iPhone to Android

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14 April 2016

Earlier this year I embarked on an “adventure”. I was frustrated with the lack of apps on Windows Phone (Windows 10) and I keep hearing how magical the iPhone is for people. After a couple weeks with the iPhone I wrote a comparison blog post: Windows Phone vs iPhone comparison

More recently I wrote about my ongoing frustrating with the iPhone, justifying why I was going to try an Android device: iPhone frustration

I’m trying to give each platform a fair try, but after a few short days with Android (I have a OnePlus 2 – so very “vanilla” Android) I’m already finding that of the three operating systems Android is the worst. It is kind of like desktop Linux – cobbled together by a lot of people who don’t share a common vision, so everything sort of works, but nothing feels consistent and most things don’t seem professional or polished. Kind of the diametric opposite of the iPhone.

I’ve always thought that you get what you pay for, and I think Android reinforces that worldview. It is cheap, the devices are cheap, the apps are free or cheap. And they all feel cheap when compared to Windows 10 or iOS. But if your phone isn’t a budgetary priority in your life, yet you need a smartphone, then Android is probably the right choice – which explains why it is the most popular OS globally. Clearly the majority of the world’s population either can’t afford a professional phone/experience (which is largely true of course), or they don’t value their own time as much as money, so they are willing to invest that time dealing with Android instead of spending the extra money up front to get an iPhone or Windows Phone.

Notice that I’m still putting Windows Phone in this discussion, even though it has a low US market share, and only a slightly better global market share. In my experience with the three platforms thus far, my conclusion is that the operating systems rank like this:

  1. Windows 10
  2. iOS
  3. Android

The physical devices I’ve been using rank like this:

  1. iPhone 6s
  2. Lumia 950xl
  3. OnePlus 2

The availability and quality of apps rank like this:

  1. iOS
  2. Android
  3. Windows 10

If you assign numeric scores to each category, you end up with the following overall ratings:

  • iPhone (8)
  • Windows 10 (6)
  • Android (4)

So at least in my opinion – based on how I use my phone and what I expect out of it – I probably should keep using my iPhone, and keep grumbling about how dumb Siri is compared to Cortana. Or I should go back to Windows 10 and deal with the sad reality that it doesn’t have workable Waze, Swarm, or banking apps.

A lot of people I know do carry two phones (personal and work). I’m sort of considering carrying 2 devices – a Windows phone with a SIM as my primary (so I have Cortana and all the other stuff I love about Win10) and an iPhone without a SIM to run the apps that don’t exist on Win10, because they all run over WiFi. Just a little twist on the work/personal dual phone scenario – but in my case I’ll have one phone that’s fun to use (Win10), and one phone that runs apps that are fun to use (iPhone).