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14 July 2017

After 10 years, I’m breaking up with Android

Image: Ambar Del Moral / mashable

The iPhone turned 10 years old this year, which makes it a full 10 years that I’ve never owned one — but I’m finally ready to take the leap. 

As a millennial and internet addict, I’ve been asked so many times why I don’t use an iPhone. I’d usually say it was the price or that I preferred Android — and both are true — but there’s more to it.

I grew up in India, so something about buying an iPhone always felt indulgent to me. Contract phone plans aren’t quite as popular there as they are in the U.S., and so I’m used to buying phones at full price.

So to me, the iPhone was always an $800 luxury, even though most people in the U.S. pay about $200 up front and the rest in installments. But even beyond price, the iPhone has felt like an indulgence that just wasn’t right for me. 

But I’m ready to leave Android for one reason: performance. Even though the OS has supposedly gotten better, I’ve found that my experience with Android has gotten worse over time. It could certainly be that I have higher standards now, but using my phone has never been more agonizing.

The system crashes, the battery life sucks, everything about it makes me mad. 

The apps that I use most often — Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram — crash all the time. Android itself crashes often, the battery life sucks, everything about it makes me mad. My most recent phone even had to be replaced because smoke started spitting out of it while it was charging. A million small things that are inconsistent about Android have been nagging at me for years. Google’s Android Emoji have long been awful, and I hate the recent update even more.

Plus the iPhone has better apps, and the good ones always seem to come out on iOS first. Even Google’s apps are better on the iPhone, and some of them were even launched on the iPhone first. It’s given me few reasons to stay on Android. I can’t keep making excuses for a crappy experience.

If the iPhone is anything like my 2013 MacBook Air, it’ll be worth the extra cost. I bought my laptop at the beginning of college, and it still works great. I’ve been sold on Apple’s quality since. It’s also where I was finally able to use iMessage with my friends, but having it on my laptop isn’t nearly as useful as it would be on my phone. iMessage is the biggest source of my iPhone FOMO, and being the green bubble is my secret shame. 

Even still, in a way, buying an iPhone feels like betraying my roots. At some point, not having an iPhone became a core part of my personality.  This may sound silly or dramatic, but it feels like a big step away from being frugal, being made fun of, and being the only person in my group of friends who knows things about Android. 

Maybe my reasons are valid, or maybe I’m just giving in to peer pressure after a decade, but I’m finally, reluctantly, on the bandwagon now — and I can’t wait for that sweet, sweet, iPhone 8.

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