I Heart Apple…There, I Said It!

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Ok ladies and gentlemen, it’s been a while since my last blog post. Mainly because I’ve been too caught up with life as a newlywed(it’s been great!), but honestly I’ve been too lazy and slightly discouraged to blog. Nonetheless, I’m here to say it’s official, I Love Apple! Yup, Android’s former poster child, Phil Culver is in love with the hipster’s best friend.

How Did I End Up Here?

Well about two months ago, I got curious one day while using my HTC One M8. After being tantalized by iOS 8 during WWDC this year I began to ask myself a question, “Is iOS really superior to Android?” I looked at Apple’s polished design and inherent attention to detail and could not help but wonder if life would be better with iOS. Soon thereafter I purchased an iPad Mini w/ Retina display from T-Mobile. For those who don’t know (which is probably every person who reads this) I search reviews for months before finally pulling the trigger. Not this time! I was so ready to jump ship from Android since owning my iPad for about a month. Honestly, besides enjoying the smoothness and uniformity that came with iOS, I really just wanted a phone that played well with my tablet. I mean don’t get me wrong, it was bearable but living between Apple services and Google can be kind of taxing.

My New Bundle of Joy

So after running out to the T-Mobile store and discovering that I was eligible for another jump upgrade, I went ahead and purchased my first iPhone. The switch was actually quite painless and setting up iCloud was way more convenient than I thought it was going to be. Heck, I honestly thought I wasn’t going to be able to set up my phone without a desktop or laptop to plug into (yeah my stereotypes for Apple were that bad). Even setting up my google apps was not much of a hassle, especially since all the apps I used before were carried by the App Store.
Now my past few months have been a great joy! Using my iPhone and iPad has been a simple and seamless experience. For all the Android fanboys out there, no I have not been able to customize and download as I freely did before. But those have been only minor caveats in my conversion to iWorld.

Beauty is Vain and Fleeting (expect in iOS)

Now let me tell you this. I am a sucker for beautifully designed mobile apps. As expected I love to use a beautiful mobile OS. With iOS apps I feel like most (some developers are still lagging in the update of their apps) just melt right into the OS. Apps feel like they were designed by Apple themselves because they tend to adhere to the guidelines of iOS design. This is something I rarely experienced with Android. In terms of design, Android always felt like this hodge-podge of what Google, the OEM (i.e. Samsung, LG, HTC, etc), and the app developer had in mind for apps. For example, it was annoying how the notification bar at the top of the screen just stood out as a stupid black bar from the app I was using. That lead me to realize what iOS has that Android doesn’t, Polish.

The Dark Side

Ok so my switch to iOS hasn’t been perfect. Yes, iOS has been simple to use. But sometimes it’s so simple that it holds itself back from being powerful. With my Android phone I felt like I had a desktop PC in my pocket. I could do anything! Besides FaceTime anyone… The internet was mine to be controlled however I wanted. But not so much with my iDevices. Downloading files from the web can be a pain and downloading legally free music is impossible without connecting to a computer with iTunes. I’ve learned to live with these limitations, but I hope Apple changes them in the future. But so far so good. I’ll just have to live with what Apple gives me, because what they have going for their mobile ecosystem is just too good to let go.

Thanks for listening to my Apple rant. Feel free to comment below if you think I’m still crazy for switching or if you have any other tech related questions. Oh, and if you just can’t get enough make sure you hit me with a follow.

Did I Really Just Buy an iPad

Welcome back guys. I know it’s been a minute since my last post, but I’ve been super busy finishing up school (I’m a school teacher) and planning for my wedding (8 more days, June 20th).
However, what’s really grabbed my attention lately has been my brand spanking new iPad Mini with retina display. Yes, you heard me right, I said iPad Mini!

Now, for those who don’t know, I have abhorred iOS since it hit the seen in 2007. I’ve always seen iOS as an overly-dictating and constraining mobile operating system. From it’s old skeuomorphic design, to it’s mind numbingly boring app drawer interface, I couldn’t stand iOS. I decided to embark on a loyal journey with Google’s Android platform, which to me seemed open and ready to be tinkered with by a tech geek like myself.

It’s now been been six years as an avid Android. That includes 6 different smartphones and two tablets. It’s been a long and faithful ride with Android, and don’t get me wrong this is not my farewell letter to Android…yet.

Curiosity Doesn’t Always Kill

Every year would go by and I would see a new iPhone released and I would see every so-called “hipster” or celebrity rocking an iPhone and I couldn’t help but wonder “What makes these things so great?” Then one day I stumbled across iOS 7 . It looked so beautiful yet simple that it was hard to not become intrigued by Apple’s latest iOS offering. This led to hours of researching reviews to see what iOS 7 had in store. Well to make a long story short, I went ahead and pulled the trigger last week and purchased an iPad Mini from T-Mobile. Only cost me an extra $17 a month to my bill. So it seemed like an easy choice, besides I’ve never owned a tablet with a LTE radio inside.

To put this simply, I love this thing and its by far the best tablet I’ve ever owned. I went ahead and picked up a Zagg Folio keyboard case from Best Buy to protect my new toy. It has made my new iPad the most powerful and practicle piece of tech that I own. I’ve used it to play games, pay bills, blog (using the WordPress app right now), browse the web, and even make and receive phone calls using Google Hangouts.

I’ve been quite suprised in how polished iOS 7 is compared to Android. Even more surprising is the fact that Google’s own apps have worked with more beauty and efficiency than they ever did on Android. I’m highly vested in Google’s ecosystem and my greatest fear was losing these if I every made the switch to iOS. But boy was I wrong!! The vast majority of Google apps I have used have worked great if not better than they ever did on any Android phone or tablet. For instance, the Google search app is a complete joy to use. From the way search results slide in from the right from a built in browser, which can be swiped away at any time. To the fact that the “Ok Google” hotword still works. It’s been so great knowing that I don’t have to subjected to the novelty personal assistant which is Siri.

Highly satisfied with my purchase, I am now seriously contemplating if I should take the full leap and completely jump ship from Android. I’ve even been on craiglist looking for a cheap iPhone I could pick up just to experiment with life with an iPhone. So if you read this post and you would like to contribute to my cause hit me up in the comments and let me know.

WWDC ’14 I Love Android, So Why Do I Care?

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So as some of you may know, today is one of the biggest and most influential days in all of tech.  Today is Apples Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). A day that the majority of iPhone users could care less about. I say this because I’ve seen way too many old ladies with iPhones. But seriously, today is the day Apple unveils its upcoming plans for iOS and OS X. Now if you read my last post you would see that I’ve never owned an iPhone. Since using android, I’ve become what you call an “Android fanboy”. I’m not ashamed of it either. I’ve been blasting family, friends, and heck even strangers for their foolish decision to buy an i*hone (yes I was one of those guys that censored it like a trashy episode of Jerry Springer).

However, lately I’ve been intrigued by Apple, particularly iOS 7. I know it steals a ton of ideas from Android, but I think that’s a good thing. It’s gigantic leap from the boring iOS designs of the past truly sparked my attention. What’s really tempted me into checking out iOS is Apples attention to detail in its design. Like always, Apple knocks it out of the park with design for iOS 7. Compared to Android, which feels more like it was engineered than designed. Don’t get me wrong Android has come a long way since the days of Eclair and Froyo. Sadly, fragmentation has crippled android. There are so many devices from a bazillion different OEMs. Even if Google does design a decently good looking OS, like it has with Kit Kat, it usually gets smothered by some company’s disgusting skin, i.e. Samsung’s Touchwiz.

I Love Android So Why Do I Care?

Android has been great to me over the years, and the idea of jumping ship for Apple has been never seemed like a real possibility, until now. Over the past few weeks I have seen the iPhone 6 dummy model leaked over the internet. Once, I saw the big 4.7 and 5.5 inch screen offerings I immediately saw that Apple is looking to compete with other big Android phones out there. Now one of the biggest reservations I had about using iOS was that tiny screen. Seriously, size does matter when it comes to a phones screen. I shouldn’t need a magnifying glass to browse the web.

Coupled with Apple’s decision to increase the screen size for the iPhone 6 is iOS 8. With only a few hours before we know all there is to know about it, I can guess that Apple has added some features that will make iOS even more competitive with Android.

So does this mean I’ll be getting an iPhone in September? We’ll see, but let’s stay tuned as we see Apple unveil, in my opinion, what could be one of the most significant leaps forward for iOS.

 

 

The BIG Switch

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Let’s get this out of the way. I have NEVER owned an iPhone, and maybe never will (we’ll see what happens at WWDC ’14). I’ve been an android user since the Motorola Droid. Since then I’ve bounced around from android phone to android phone. On average I get a new phone every 10 months or so. However, thanks to T-Mobile and their new JUMP! upgrade program, I will be getting a new phone every six months.

A month ago I had my first opportunity to take advantage of this program. I was a little bit hesitant at first since I only had my Samsung Galaxy Note 3 since last October. But after seeing review after review telling me how amazing the HTC One M8 was I couldn’t help but take the plunge. Now it was a frightening idea to give up my huge 5.7″ screen, amazing stylus input, USB 3.0 and 3gb ram multitasking beast. But getting rid of Samsung’s cluttered and overly jam-packed TouchWiz UI was the greatest factor into making the switch to the M8. I tried to do everything I could to stomach TouchWiz, from rooting and flashing custom roms to installing third party launchers. Seeing videos of HTC’s Sense 6 OS made me realize that OEM Android skins can be elegant as they are useful.

For the sake of not turning this into a full blown M8 review I can tell you that I have truly enjoyed the crap out this phone! It’s been fast, smooth, reliable, and overall a great smartphone. But unfortunately, after a month of use I have realized the biggest thing I have been missing is the Note 3’s huge battery. Seriously, I could use my phone all day at work, playing clash of clans, checking Twitter Facebook and Instagram, get home and watch YouTube videos, and do some web browsing. By the time I went to charge it before bed I’d still have about 20% left, with about 4 hours of screen on time. Now, with the M8 I’ve been averaging about 2 hours of screen time before I’m scrambling for a charger by around 9pm.

As we all know battery life is the biggest issue plaguing modern smartphones today. I just found it amazing that (arguably) the “latest and greatest” smartphone out there had just “decent” battery life. Now don’t get me wrong, the M8’s battery isn’t terrible by any stretch of the imangination. But I find it annoying that all day I spend most of my time trying to conserve battery. It’s turned me into this OCD smartphone powersaver. So I have about 5 months or so until I can get my note 4, which will allow me to revert back to using my phone without hearing my battery ticking down like a time-bomb in the back of my head.

Is this something we should still be dealing with in 2014 or should phones be supercharged with batteries that actually let us use our phones the way we want. Chime in in the comments and let me know. Thanks.