Its new phone day!

I’m taking a break from work to do something that is only defined as quote fun on quote in my sick little vernacular: I’m setting up a brand new phone. I do that all the time, what with all the devices that I review. This one is special, because it’s a personal phone that I bought during the Black Friday sale last week: a Nexus 5X.

I bought it because, yes, I’m definitely trending towards switching back to Android. The switch to the iPhone 6 was never intended to be permanent, it was just a necessity of getting to know the Apple watch. But it was certainly possible that I was going to stay with iOS. Most of the decision was going to hang on what Google released in September or October.

These new Nexus phones really scored big. I only really cared about three things, hardware – wise: I wanted an iPhone-class camera, I wanted fingerprint security, and I wanted to finally have a battery that didn’t make me want to scream every four and a half hours, which is when I would need to find a new source of power for my previous Android phone, a Nexus 5.

And, well, what do you know: the new Nexus phones delivered all that stuff. The smaller of the two is a better fit for my needs, and the price is absolutely one that I’m comfortable spending on a phone.

I’m not officially back on Android yet. My SIM card is still inside my iPhone. But, yeah, that’s where I’m leaning.

I’ve been setting it up for the past hour or two. This isn’t a reflection of how difficult Android is; it’s a statement about how much of it you can actually customize. As you can imagine, I’m having a ball. It’s great to be able to configure something for my needs, specifically. It gives me the opportunity to think about how I use my phone, and how I can make things easier on myself.


I’m giving a lot of thought to widgets, for instance. I’ve been setting up this new phone so that all of the features I need are always right in front of me, and that I rarely have to launch an actual app. The new iPhone does a good job of this with 3D Touch. Android has always had a version of this solution, in the form of allowing apps to put their most useful features and content right on the desktop.

Mostly, I’m getting my head back in the game of relying on Android as my full time phone, if it comes to that. I’ve been using Android phones all summer, but always just in a casual capacity. Its reminding me of all the things that I like about Android.

One of those things is Android’s Material Design UI. It’s just much more in tune with how I think, and how I want a phone interface to look. Even after three years, the new iPhone user interface still seems so very stark, and isn’t as intuitive to me as the Android design language.

Another thing: I did actually pay for an Apple Watch, to make sure that I would have one in my hardware library forever and ever. I’m a little surprised that I don’t like it so much that it’s encouraging me to stick with the iPhone.

In the end, I think this speaks well of the diversity of the mobile market. The biggest reason why I’m leaning towards Android is simply because I prefer the looks of the interface, and it’s a better fit overall for me. This is maybe the first year when the software libraries are pretty much equal, and the level of hardware is also pretty much equal, and The level of polish and innovation in the underlying operating systems are 100% equal.

We are now free to make a choice based solely on personal preference. And that’s sort of perfect, isn’t it?

(Written completely on the Nexus 5X, using speech to text.)

10 thoughts on “Its new phone day!

  1. Jim

    I just took the plunge and switched over to the Nexus 6p. I’ve been without an iPhone since the release of the 3GS and wanted a change. I’m really loving android and it’s design. My only difficulty is that I feel like I’m standing in front of the cereal aisle at the supermarket. So so much choice on how my phone can look and function. It will take awhile to sift through the options. It’s a task I’m humbly looking forward too.

  2. Maggie McFee

    Interesting read, and I love the “Palmolive, you’re soaking in it” moment at the end re: text to speech. :)

    This reminds me to thank you again for the Moto X recommendation when I jumped ship. I’ve since moved to a Nexus 6, but I too am very, very happy with Android and don’t miss my iPhone at all. All my music is at Amazon and the Prime Music is nice and cleanly delineated from ‘my’ music if I wish it to be.

    To be honest, I originally worried there would be iOS things I would desperately miss, but it now turns out the opposite is true; There are several things in Android I’d dearly miss that would keep me from going back to iOS.

    Looking forward to hearing about your 5x experience. It looks like an awesome device on paper.

  3. andrej

    I also purchased a nexus 5X during the promotion :) I’m less kind to iOS — I feel like it is behind android 2-3 years in terms of functionality/capabilities (read: stuff apple doesn’t think it should do).

    As someone who has carried and actively used both (personal/business) mobile OS’s since the nexus 4 / iphone 5 days I’m constantly frustrated by the limitation of iOS 9 (and 6-8 before it).

    I’ve been using an LG G4 for the past 6 months and man, google’s pure android is fantastic.

  4. Mitch

    I use an iPhone because I don’t want my identity stolen, I don’t want malware on my phone, because security is important to me, and because I like that I can use the same application on my iPhone as I do on my Mac.

    I also need to know that the phone will updated in the future, and there’s just no way to know that with Android. Google doesn’t make money on it, and the phone manufacturers lose money on their phones, as Apple makes virtually all the profit in smartphones. It’s simply a matter of time before Google is the only company making phones that run Android, and as the company acts like a bunch of fifteen year-old boys with ADD (Google Goggles, Google Buzz, Google Reader, Google Smart Contact Lens, Google Health, Google+, Google Wave, etc.) who knows how long it will be before they lose interest and Android users are marooned with obsolete technology?

  5. Ihnatko Post author

    Welllll…Apple is taking the lion’s share of the profits. But that doesn’t mean that other makers are unprofitable. It also doesn’t mean that Apple would be just as successful if their current iPhones weren’t the only devices that run iOS, so I don’t agree that it’s only a matter of time before Google is the only manufacturer of Android phones. They aren’t even the manufacturer of the current Nexus phones; they’re being made by LG and Huawei.

    Further, there’s some protection against hardware obsolescence in that Android is an open OS. Google releases the source, and Cyanogen starts making versions of the latest Android for most of the phones that are technically capable of running it.

    Even when I was using iPhones, I’d replace them every couple of years. I don’t think anyone expects, or even wants, to keep the same phone running for five years.

    As for the fears about Android security and privacy — nobody can hold a candle to what Apple is doing in both of those categories. A modern Android phone (like the Nexus 5X) running a modern version of Android (like Marshmallow) is safe and secure enough that these concerns shouldn’t be an obstacle for anyone.

    All it comes down to is “Am I OK with letting Google see so much of my life?” I’m OK with it. I feel as though Google services, as a total package, are more than a fair trade, given my belief that Google is the only company that will ever see and profit from it.

    It’s all about choices. Many of your points about the iPhone are valid. They just aren’t enough to make me use an OS that isn’t in sync with how I like to use my phone.

  6. Ihnatko Post author

    Apple has a valid point of view. Every idea that the company expresses through their phones and software is carefully and thoroughly considered. The lone serious drawback of the iPhone is that the user doesn’t have the freedom to steer his or her bike off of the smooth, well-lit sidewalk and explore some dirt roads on their own. For many users, this isn’t even a drawback.

  7. Ihnatko Post author

    Just one day with Android on a device that I know is “mine” and whoosh! All of the love came rushing right back to my head. :)

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