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Why I Use an iPhone [Opinion]

iOS and Android

Last week in my opinion piece about why I think Android users should consider the Moto X I opened up the article with an admission: I currently use an iPhone 4S and I plan on getting the next iPhone. This wasn’t supposed to be a secret (if you follow me on Twitter then you would have noticed that I use iOS most of the time). On the Droid Life Show I have shown my iPhone and discussed using my iPad. That said, I know that a lot of readers did not know, and more importantly, were surprised or upset to read that I use an iPhone. Below you’ll read my responses to questions I have received about why I use iOS, when I made the transition, and why it matters. If you have follow up questions or comments then feel free to leave a comment or reach out to me on Twitter.

You said that there are specific reasons why you use iOS over Android. What are they?

iMessage has become the main way I communicate. I use iMessage daily with my wife, my closest friends, and family. It’s simple, works well, and it’s seamlessly integrated with Messages. This might seem like an odd item to put at the top of a list about why I use iOS, but between read receipts, deep OS-level integration, iOS still has vastly superior apps in every category that matters to me. Apps like Tweetbot, Fantastical, Yahoo! Weather, Swipes, Mailbox, Vesper, Day One, and Safari provide a vastly better experience than their counterparts or peers on Android. There are admittedly some apps that have counterparts on Android that are better (Path and Hangouts come to mind), but that has been the exception, not the rule, in my experience. There are definitely apps on Android that let you do things that you can’t do on iOS, but the apps on iOS are better for the things I want to do than they are on Android.

Performance on iOS is more consistent than on Android, especially with the passage of time. I’ve owned and used a lot of Android phones, and most of them slow down over time. Android 4.3 might finally solve that problem for the phones that will actually get it, but time will tell. My iPhone 4S is finally now starting to lag once in a while with returning to the home page or swiping between home screens. It appears to be a bug in iOS that creeps up every so often. Outside of that, however, this is the first phone I’ve had that has lasted me two years without having major performance issues. Maybe that can be explained away by inferior hardware on my previous Android phones or OEM skins or the lack of complexity in iOS, but the reality is that I, and plenty of other people, have recognized that Android seems to become more janky with time.

I really like Apple’s hardware. Yes, it is more prone to breaking from a fall than many other Android phones, but mine has held up well despite a few falls. In fact, the most recent fall was from about 4 feet on its face and the screen did not shatter (it did take a chip out of the left side of the plastic chin). More to the point, I like the size and feel of Apple’s hardware. The 4S is beginning to feel a little cramped for me, but the 5 feels perfect. I’ve always preferred smaller phones and bigger tablets. The camera on my 4S continues to impress me, the screen is crisp, and the hardware definitely looks and feels high end.

iOS is really simple. Your apps are on the home screens and that’s about it. You can customize their location, add folders, and slightly customize the notifications shade, but other than that the experience is dirt simple. I know that a lot of Android users don’t like that, but I love it. While I enjoy customizing my Android phone with different icon packs, widgets, and transition effects, it is more important for me to have my phone work simply and quickly. The idea of simplifying the interface on Android was what brought me to write my first guest post for Droid Life about Launcher 7. So while I like that Android’s interface can be simplified and tweaked like crazy, I enjoy working with a limited palette.

When did this happen?

I first bought an iPhone 4S about a year and a half ago. My decision to switch to iOS came after spending two years of my contract going from the HTC Touch Pro2, to the Droid Eris, to the Droid, to the Droid 2, to the Droid Incredible. Every one of those devices had hardware or software issues despite being considered top of the line when I had them and most of them had to be replaced multiple times by Verizon due to software and hardware issues.

The first time I bought an iPhone actually happened some time before that. MIUI had just come out for the Droid 2 and I was experimenting with it and some other ROMs. At some point late at night I bricked my phone. I was out of ideas for what to do to fix it, so the next afternoon I went down to my Verizon store. I knew what to expect, but I still looked down the shelves of Android phones. Not one of them appealed to me. I was facing phones like the Droid Charge, the Droid 3, and the Thunderbolt. Within a few minutes I wandered over the the iPhone 4 and told the Verizon clerk I wanted one.

My then-girlfriend-now-wife was shocked and a little upset. I had bad mouthed iOS for so long, but now I was willing to impulse buy an iPhone? That night I played around the the iPhone some more. I had trouble with the simplicity of the interface compared to Android, but I liked it. I didn’t like that the phone had to be tethered to iTunes (iCloud didn’t exist yet) for a lot of things, but it was a really neat device with a lot of things going for it (especially the app selection and quality).

That night I had an idea. I hooked up my Droid 2 that had been sitting dead on my desk and brought it back to life with some combination of SBF and adjusting how the phone connected to the computer via USB. With a working Android phone I had no reason to keep the iPhone, so I returned it. Shortly after the iPhone 4S came out that fall I decided that I would upgrade to the 4S from my Droid Incredible (which I had switched to from the D2) permanently. It wasn’t that I didn’t like Android anymore; it was that I liked iOS for more reasons than I liked Android.

Why do you still write for Droid Life if your main phone is an iPhone?

I still have plenty of thoughts and opinions about Android, so I still write about Android. I love my iPhone and iOS, but that doesn’t mean I don’t still love Android (and webOS for that matter).

I joined Droid Life to write opinion pieces about Android and Google. In fact, I originally intended on trying to become something like what John Gruber, Marco Arment, and MG Siegler are for the Apple community. When I started writing at Droid Life I was completely dedicated to Android as a platform and completely opposed to Apple. I wanted to evangelize Android and Google.

It was Android and Windows enthusiasts’ vehement, unmitigated hatred towards all things Apple that pushed me to play devil’s advocate for some time. Eventually I found myself convinced that iOS was a much better fit for what I wanted in a phone. I didn’t stop being a “power user” or enjoying customizing my phone. Instead, I found that while using iOS I became more productive and enjoyed using my phone a lot more. It isn’t the only way, but Apple’s design and execution philosophies make much more sense to me personally than do Google’s.

Having an iPhone just means that I know more about the other side of the fence. If that offends you, then you may as well know that I also own a HTC Touch Pro2, a HTC Trophy, and a Palm Pre 2. While at one point I was hyper-loyal to Android, I see myself as more of a lover of technology in general now. I prefer Apple personally, but I understand why people choose the alternatives: everyone has different needs and desires for the technology they use.

Why should I care?

That’s completely up to you. If you think owning an iPhones makes me inept at commenting on Android then you should probably just skip my articles. Like I’ve stated many times before, I’m more of a technology enthusiast than an Android enthusiast.

If I’m critical of Android or Google, it isn’t because I think the iPhone is better and Android users are stupid; it just means that I don’t like something Google did. If I’m critical towards an Android manufacturer that doesn’t mean that Apple paid me to bash them. In the same way, if I say something nice about Android or an Android manufacturer, that doesn’t mean I’m paid by that manufacturer; it just means I like what they did. I don’t write inflammatory articles to generate more page views or generate more comments. I like interacting with commenters, but I don’t get paid any more or less based on comments and I have no idea how many views my articles get.

I understand that some people are upset that I use an iPhone as my main phone instead of an Android phone. I know that my reasons may not make sense to you or jibe with your experience, but remember that objectivity doesn’t exist. We can have different opinions and still discuss Android.

Conclusions

So, yes, I use an iPhone and an iPad to write for Droid Life. I also have a drawer full of Android, webOS, Windows Mobile, and Windows Phone phones. I think that makes me less biased towards Android and the competition. Obviously my goal is no longer to become an Android evangelist, but I still love Android and the community around it. I still recommend Android phones to friends and family when I think it fits them best. Having an iPhone doesn’t change that I love Android and love interacting with you, the reader. Thanks for reading and participating in the community!

  • Eddie Ramirez

    @Ron I have nothing against your choice of OS but as a Sales Manager working for At&t for about 7 yrs I have to disagree with your comments on your performance section. I have had hundreds of thousands of customers that complain about I phone issues how they’re so slow and not to mention the horrible dropped calls and the consistent issue of “no sim” or “my mic isn’t working”. Whats a phone if you can’t even connect to the network. Even in our corporate meetings we’ve had this discussions on how bad the Iphone is on dropping calls and how it affect At&ts reputation as a reliable network. And I won’t lie I’ve also had customers tell me its the best phone ever. My point is your one Iphone user against millions. And you may just be one of the lucky persons that will not experience any issues. But for you to say that Iphone performs better than these android phones is completely incorrect and biased. I have had customer that had to have their Iphones swapped up to 5-6 times in a year for stupid issues in IOS that Apple can’t seem to figure out. While most of my returns for android phones have only been stupid excuses such “its too big” or “its different and every one has an Iphone”. And I’m not trying to say which phone is the best. What I’m trying to say is that there is no perfect phone. Their will always be performance issues in any phone no matter what. Some users may experience issues and some may not at all. But I will agree that IOS is a much more simple and basic platform.

    • http://ronoffringa.me/ Ron Offringa

      1. My experience is not just based on my phone, but on the phones of the vast majority of my friends and family members.
      2. I did not say that the iPhone performs better than all Android phones, but rather that the performance is more consistent. I think 4.3 will alleviate a lot of this on Android.
      3. I had a friend who had issues with disconnecting on AT&T, but he’s the only one. Everyone else that I know has not had that issue. Also, remember that as an AT&T rep you’re going to see a lot more complaining than I will, but both of our experiences are anecdotal.
      4. Of course I’m biased. Everyone is about everything. Objectivity doesn’t exist.

  • Dave4321

    Android has some things, I can’t live without like Swype and word wrap in a browser. I could never go back to tapping each letter or only have double tap as an option for word wrap on a browser.

  • John Friend

    Omfg this was a big ass long winded article. Jesus Christmas I don’t give a damn how you began writing for droid life or what your primary phone is. Talk about being defensive.

    Go write about something productive that others care about.

    Waste of time!

    • http://ronoffringa.me/ Ron Offringa

      This article was written because numerous readers asked why I use an iPhone. If you don’t care, that’s fine, you can decide not to read it and move on. Your choice.

  • Robert Mark

    For me the choice comes to one thing — privacy. I’m not willing to let Google track, catalog, and sell my personal data. Their corporate attorney’s recent comment that Google customers should have “no expectation of privacy” is too much for me.

  • Kt Miller

    Point blank…kill yourself kellex!!!

  • usthAdh007

    I am considered as Die Hard Apple Fan among my friends and if they have any question about it, they come to me. The interesting thing is that even if its a person who is using Android, he also comes to me to fix it. So even though I am not familiar with the system, I spend time and try to fix their problems. Same like using my friend’s Nikon, I’ve changed my opinion about Nikon but still remain a Canon fan… I do recommend Android phones to some and iPhone to the rest depending on their needs. I was able to relate to Ron’s article because I also was kind of like an Evangelist for Google and was waiting for G1 to come out. It came out but the way it worked was very poor compared to an iPhone. I had to buy an iPhone for the way it works and I’m glad iCloud came out making me untether my iPhone. I like Samsung S4 and HTC One… but I’ll always stick with iPhone for the way the iOS looks and works. Thanks a lot Ron for the wonderful article.

  • Essex Kitten

    Yep. I’m also tied of every app or there having billions of themes but no unthemed mode. I just wanted to an SMS reader damn it, not a circus!

  • Rob Delaney

    Before this comment. This post was stuck on 666 comments. Yep. Not going to talk about that anymore. Just going to leave this right here…

  • Leathernuts

    I agree with this totally. I switched to galaxy s4, and that was an excellent device. But my iPhone 5 just works better for ME. Its nice to read a an opinion like this without all. The bashing. It really depends on the user. Enough said

  • Guest

    Went back and read many of Ron’s articles that have been posted here on Droid Life. . .

    One thing is true, he is a consistent apple fan bashing Android, Google, and other Android OEMs (especially Samsung) whenever possible.

    Sad that his posts were not marked with “an apple fan’s opinion.”

    That really brings up some questions as to why DL has him here.

    • sfasljkas

      i did too, he even blames samsung for the demise of other android OEMs and says that samsung is causing harm to android lol

      • Guest

        Checked out his wordpress.com site, “Ron Offringa.” He likes to write a lot of “opinion” pieces — he sounds like an apple fan trying to disguise himself as an all-around techy so he can point the masses in the right direction. Why do apple fans do that? Reminds me of bible thumpers coming to my door that really are totally clueless as to what they are talking about, but they make it sound good to those who are also clueless.

        I think the reality is, he was on Verizon and they didn’t get the iPhone thus he got an Android, and when his upgrade cycle matched to the first iPhone he could get, he jumped on board — enough said.

  • jarofclay77

    All he needed to say was Plants and Zombies 2…. I mean c’mon Popcap! :)

  • Dave

    Never read Ron’s posts. Got it.

  • haluska

    Respect to this guy for being honest! I would trust him more than Apple/Android/WP evangelist, because he is not biased. Thank you Ron for this great article!

    • Guest

      He really hasn’t been very honest. He has been using an iPhone for some time now while writing on DL as if he were a full time Android user. That’s a mole, IMHO.

  • Scott Gerber

    As a technology enthusiast myself, I appreciate your honesty. And coming from a graphic designer, I spend almost all of my time on Apple hardware. But as you alluded to in your post, you should use the tools that are right for you. In my case, those are made by Apple.

    There are a couple of factors that I think are important to remember when choosing an iPhone (or other iOS device) over an Android product. If these matter to you, they will be important to your decision-making. If they don’t, then decide on the factors that are important to you.

    1. Accessory Market – Because Apple only sells 3 models of iPhones (2 being past models sold at a reduced cost), accessory makers are more likely to make a wider variety of cases, docks, stands, speakers, etc for an iPhone. Bluetooth has overcome that barrier somewhat in speakers and docks, but the rule still applies. Apple buyers are also proven to spend more on Apps and high-end products, so developers and businesses target them first. Many of the best, highest quality accessories are only available for iOS devices.

    2. Apple Ecosystem – All content purchased on iTunes or the App Store is available to use on up to 5 Macs and an unlimited number of iOS devices. Even though Apple isn’t trying to lock you in (Jobs pushed for the DRM-free music that you all enjoy today), the strong ecosystem makes it a big draw for users with multiple iOS devices. My family currently has an iPhone 4, iPhone 5, iPad Retina, iPod Touch and 3 other iPods connected to the same iTunes account. Being able to buy content once and use it on multiple devices lowers the cost. In addition, I buy iTunes gift cards when they go on sale for 20% off, reducing ALL iTunes purchases, including Apps, by 20%. And yes, I prefer paid Apps over freemium Apps whenever they’re available.

    3. iCloud – Another feature that is never mentioned. iCloud is FREE and is far better than the multitude of options you’d have to use by the competition to get the same results. iCloud keeps my Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Safari bookmarks, Notes and Reminders on my home and work iMacs (remember I’m a designer), iPhone 5 and iPad all in sync without any effort on my part. Photostream instantly copies my photos to every device I want. If I make any change to anything, it instantly updates on every connected Apple device. It’s the one feature I can’t live without. I gladly paid $99/year when Apple sold these features as .Mac (dotMac) and then MobileMe before making them free with iCloud. I can log into iCloud on the web from any computer, even a PC, and get the same look and feel to all of my iCloud Apps as I do on the desktop versions, including features like drag and drop. Mail is simply fantastic, and unlike Google, Apple doesn’t serve up any ads, nor sell your info to advertisers. Want to set up a new iDevice? Log into iCloud and within minutes all of your info is downloaded to the device. No third-party Apps to worry about. It just works.

    4. Resale Value – Apple items may cost a little more, but they hold their value like nothing else. And in phones, I’d argue you don’t see the extra cost compared to high-end Android phones like the HTC One or Samsung Galaxy S4 because of the high subsidies paid by the carriers. When I upgraded from my two year old iPhone 4 to an iPhone 5, I paid $10 out of pocket. And that was taking a trade-in offer from RadioShack. Had I wanted to sell my iPhone on eBay I could have actually profited from the upgrade. The same goes for computers. I upgrade my Mac approximately every 3-years. I always get between 40-50% of the original purchase price, so every upgrade after the first purchase is at a huge discount. Note that I keep all of my equipment in mint condition and retain all of the original packaging and boxes.

    5. Quality – Apple makes the hardware AND software, as well as many of the Apps on their iOS and OS devices. This vertical integration ensures that everything works together seamlessly. At the same time, Apple is able to optimize their hardware and software unlike the competition. Features like Timer Coalescing, Compressed Memory and App Nap in addition to building custom chips for their A6-line of processors and continued research into advanced battery technologies, etc are hard to match. Apple spends heavily on R&D and uses only the highest quality parts. This shows in the look and feel, and operation of their devices.

    6. Service – Apple has some of the best customer service I’ve experienced. If you call AppleCare you get domestic service. Apple doesn’t outsource call centers to save money. I’ve very rarely had any issues with Apple hardware, but when I have, I’ve been taken care of, sometimes even when the hardware was beyond the warranty period. Here’s three examples. Back in the day, I had a PowerMac G4 tower that was approximately 3-1/2 years old and more than 2-years past the warranty. I didn’t have an extended AppleCare warranty and even if I did it would have expired at 3 years. I took my PowerMac to an Apple store when it started making a clicking noise. They diagnosed it for free (a broken fan). Then to my surprise, they ordered the part, had it overnighted to the store and installed it the next day all at no charge. The second encounter. My new iMac and Airport Extreme (wireless router)were killed by a lightning strike only 6 weeks after purchase, despite being plugged into a surge protector. These normally wouldn’t be covered under “acts of god”, but Apple replaced my Airport and repaired my iMac at no charge. I didn’t have to ask, beg, plead or lie. It’s just how they have aways treated me and is a main reason why I am a loyal customer. The third. I bought my iPhone 4 from RadioShack because they were running a special. The speaker was dead on arrival and I took it back the next day to the store. RadioShack was out of stock and I’d have to wait almost a week, so I walked down the mall to the Apple Store. I showed them my receipt and they swapped it out on the spot.

    So, for me these are the main reasons why I choose Apple over the competition. I’m not bashing Android, but I am praising Apple for things the average person may not even consider.

    • Guest

      This the junk NO one here wants to read. We’ve all heard it a thousand times by apple fans, that’s why we are on a pro Android site, so we don’t have to hear how great apple is. WE DON’T CARE!

      • JP

        Trust me, it goes both ways. But it only matters when it happens to you, right? Fanboys are funny, and they exist for everything, not just Apple.

        • Guest

          The problem is, we go out of our way and go to sites that are specifically oriented on a specific topic so we don’t have to be preached to by apple fanbois. . . but they insert themselves constantly — like Ron has done on DL and this comment above. I’m not on a single site dedicated to anything about apple, for good reasons! And I don’t come here to get this BS!

          Sure, there are some Android fanboys going to apple related sites spewing that same type of BS, but do you know why? Because apple fans started this crap from day one, and never let it go unless apple is near bankruptcy, thus those who have been constantly “abused” the iFan crowd feel a need to retaliate.

          Apple fans need to just stop and be OK with the reality that others choose something else, and things will die down but they don’t stop.

          This article should NEVER have been written on DL. We don’t care why he uses an iPhone — that’s his opinion and choice, and we don’t come here to hear why ios and the iphone is better to him or anyone else. We come here for Android related news and information, not apple. If we wanted the other, there are plenty of sites for that.

          Sorry if you think “Droid-Life” should be about ios products.

          • JP

            Your point, while understandable, goes both ways. It will never stop. This is the reality of the internet. If we just ignored it or passed the article or comment up, less time would be wasted being angry and writing responses. But let’s face it, we like safe confrontation, isn’t that what this is after all? Ultimately, you or I complaining isn’t going to change a damn thing here.

          • Guest

            I agree with you. I think my frustration is mostly with “Droid Life” for letting this stuff go on, thus I’ll be visiting DL much less often.

            Probably all just click bate anyways.

    • CAC1031

      I’ll just focus on #3–You obviously have no experience with Google’s cloud service integration by way of Gmail, Calendar, Drive, the Chrome browser and many other services that have always been free. To suggest Apple has the advantage or innovation in this area shows that you personally have no basis for comparison.

  • sfasljkas

    can you imagine a writer for apple insider admitting he has an s4 and will soon get a note 3? lol. i seldom comment here as i visit here for android news,,. but i agree with the majority here. this “article” shouldn’t have been posted at all…

  • Lawrence Hitchens

    I really don’t care what kind of phone you use, personally (my wife uses an iPhone and I’m a fanboy-free enthusiast.) But writing at a highly opinion driven blog based on Android is kind of fraud.

  • john

    I don’t think anyone wants to hear your justification of why you should still write about androids. go write in iPhone forums. And Path? You’re kidding me right? you sound like all the teenage girls who want an iPhone so they can have emojis on Twitter. I also will not be reading anything you write.

  • sranger

    I make the wife use an iPhone because she asks a billion questions about Android…

  • James

    How refreshingly reasonable an article. The battle lines drawn over phone operating systems do nobody any favours.

  • JeffColorado

    The article sounded very defensive. It’s ok dude…you’re allowed to like the iPhone.

  • John

    Translation: I’m not a dev really, but I still like to have a website where I can make lots of ad revenue from Android users even though I use an iPhone.

    • http://ronoffringa.me/ Ron Offringa

      I never said I was a developer and this isn’t my website, so I don’t many any ad revenue from Android users.

  • Mike Even

    I’m pretty much going to say what most are saying….”Why in the heck is contributing writer for this website, that pushes, blows, spams, and promotes Android OS and the hardware running Android publishing a PRO and biased article on this site.” I plan on skipping any future articles written by the writer. To each his own, and we have the freedom to use which ever device as we see fit, but, this is stupid having a pro-iOS, biased opinion writer writing about Android. The author even states, he thinks it’s better. Then what in the heck are you doing writing for a pro-Android website and community if you think you have the superior device. Discredits this website and everything said writer publishes. Droid Life just went down another peg, you guys need to boot him. You guys are selling advertising, so this is a business. Bad form guys.

    • http://ronoffringa.me/ Ron Offringa

      I did not state that I think iOS is better. I said I prefer iOS personally, but I regularly recommend Android devices to friends and family when appropriate. Android and iOS are both good a different things. iOS meets my needs, but I still love and use Android.

      • Guest

        Thus, to you, iOS is “better.”

        • http://ronoffringa.me/ Ron Offringa

          It’s better for me, not empirically better. There’s a giant difference.

          • JP

            People don’t get that part of it AT ALL. It’s not a personal attack people. You are not less than if you pick Android. No one is less than if you Pick iOS. Your phone is not the sum of who you are. It’s just what works for people in that moment of your life. There was a time when cell phones didn’t exist!!! and people survived!!

          • Guest

            If you prop yourself up as an “authority on Android” and then turn around and say “ios is better for me” you are making the statement that iOS is better than Android. Why? Because you are an “authority on Android” and have deemed ios your go to ecosystem/device which, therefore implies that if an authority on Android finds iOS better then it must be empirically better because it was so deemed by an *authority* of a competing product. The “better for me” part is semantic nonsense. If an “Android authority” uses iOS then why wouldn’t everyone? And that’s how the apple fan is now peddling this article around the web — “Why a respected Android blogger uses an iPhone.”

            Ron is just using semantics to justify his constant putting down of Android and raising up of iOS throughout his articles here on DL and elsewhere via his faux “Android authority” derived from writing for DL — most of which have never had much to do with Android.

          • JP

            It’s not semantics, it’s plain english. Saying that something works better in your situation or how it pertains to your own life in no way has any bearing on the value of the other product in general for how other people might use the product. I for one have owned every iPhone, owned multiple Android phones, Palm web OS phones, and Windows phones. I probably have owned more phones than most reviewers. Maybe that’s why I get his point and see the tiredness of this whole war that really doesn’t exist but in people’s minds. I probably know more about Android than most people out there, and while I currently am using the HTC one, if I decide to go back and use iPhone, it makes me no less an authority the minute I buy it. That’s just pure fanboyism. But I will say, if that is what you guys want and expect, then maybe this isn’t the right place for Ron.

  • hackthis02

    I’m sorry, is this iphone-life.com?

  • Ian Dunn

    Way back then the best android device was the thunderbolt I could see people jumping ship to and going to the iPhone. But the one and the S4 (even the S3) are leaps and bounds over any previous android device. My problem with the iPhone is that they tie you to their services and products. And I’ve had like 4 friends get the iPhone 5 after the 4S and say that it is almost exactly the same and a waste of money. Plus the charging ports have issues.

  • Brian Winning Jr.

    So what is being said is that he never bought a good Android Phone. If he had he might not even be writing this article. My Gnex will be out any iphone any day.