Longtime columnist/iPhone user Andy Inhatko switches to Android

It’s like Coca-cola users suddenly drinking Pepsi! Chevrolet owners switching to Ford! Budweiser drinkers guzzling Miller beer! Michigan fans now cheering for Ohio State!

Well, something like that.

One of the things that I’ve noted about iOS (Apple) users versus Android (Samsung, HTC to name a few) users is that while neither side likes the other, I suspect that each side secretly fears that the other one–just might be better. Thus, the war of words.

And, there’s some ignorance and hatred mixed in as well, outright contempt. It’s like the Communist/gay/liberal hate mongers of years ago (the last two, from far too recently)–“What do you mean? I’M not (a)_______! Wait a minute…why, I’ll bet it’s YOU! YOU are (a)__________!” Just insert the same word in both blanks to see what I mean.

So, word came down Tuesday that Chicago Sun-Times tech columnist and longtime Apple supporter Andy Inhatko switched from the iPhone brand he’s had for years…to Android!

THE HORROR!

So, how did we find out about this dire deed? Did someone spy him at an AT&T store buying a Samsung Galaxy S III? Was he seen using his computer to download apps from the Android Store? Was he seen actually USING an Android phone?

Nope. Simpler than that. He told us.

In a three-installment TechHive story appearing online today, Inhatko says there’s nothing wrong with his iPhone…and no, he doesn’t think Apple is failing to innovate and that Android has passed them by (hint: he says he still loves his iPad)–far from it, he says.

He says after using the Galaxy S III for several months, he just likes it…better.

And he’s always been an APPLE guy!

I can just hear the screams and moans of Apple fanboys and supporters everywhere. It’s like the three words I mentioned before. “We listened to the same music…wore the same clothes, ate the same food, had the same ideas…GEEZ, MAYBE I’M ALSO (A )______!” (Except–now insert the words “Android user” in there.)

STOP IT! IT’S A CHOICE! All of those words are CHOICES–that any of us can make…if we think that any of them are about us. You can’t catch it, it’s not like Cooties!

Anyway, Inhatko chose. And he chose Android. And, I gotta say…I read the article, and I agree with a lot of it. I’ve said for some time that if I found something I liked better, I also wouldn’t hesitate to switch. I’ve looked at Windows Phones for some time…but they’re not quite there yet. I said before that I’ve had access to an Android phone and was able to try it out…and while I wasn’t overly impressed, that was a few years ago, maybe today I’d feel differently. I will say that Android’s Swipe-style keyboard feature easily trumps the iPhone one. That alone would not be enough to make me switch, but it is something to think about. Like him, maybe given the choice I’d consider it.

An excerpt from Part One is below; Parts Two and Three are linked from the article–I’ve got links for them below as well.

Parts One and Two cover the good points of his Android phone, and why he prefers it. Part Three talks about the problems that many say exist with Android, and Inhatko explains why he doesn’t agree. He also describes the very real problems with the platform, and tells how to handle them. He’s also careful to point out not to read too much into this switch, he still uses and enjoys Apple products. Simply:

I’ve switched from the iPhone to the Samsung Galaxy S III because it’s the best there is at the kind of things I need my phone to do. And as soon as something comes along that’s better, I’ll switch again.

Here’s an excerpt from Part One of his article on why he switched:

About a month and a half ago, I walked into an AT&T Store, handed over my iPhone 4S, and asked to be switched from my unlimited iPhone data plan to a new LTE data plan.

I bought the first-generation iPhone and I bought it early, during a brief and wonderful window before AT&T realized that offering an unlimited data plan on what would prove to be the greatest mobile Internet device ever created was aterrible idea. Those of us who still had Unlimited iPhone data could keep it, so long as we didn’t make any changes to our service.

The LTE Data Plan, in contrast, includes a monthly cap of 5 GB.

Any mathematician will confirm that 5 GB is indeed lower than infinite GB. I’d hung on to that unlimited data plan like it was a rent-controlled apartment in midtown Manhattan. I kept it even when unlimited data meant that I couldn’t sign up for tethering and Wi-Fi hotspot features.

I’m telling you all of this to make an impression. I wouldn’t have given up unlimited data unless I could swap it for something I wanted even more than the ability to stream Netflix 24/7… something that hadn’t existed during my previous five years as an iPhone owner.

A great Android phone.

Things have changed

Here’s what changed: Android got great. The OS got great, and the hardware got great. One of the sweet benefits of being a tech columnist is that I get to try out every significant new phone for a month or so. Time after time last year, I’d pack up and send back another flagship Android phone, switch back to my iPhone exclusively, and spend the following few weeks missing a great feature of the Android phone’s hardware or OS that I’d come to rely on during my testing.

And so, by the end of the year, the idea of continuing to use an iPhone exclusively, or even as my primary phone, was no longer appealing. That’s why I willingly parted with my unlimited data plan. On my new LTE plan, I can swap my iPhone’s SIM with other phones and get the high speeds all of the other digital features of the AT&T network.

My positive reviews of new iPhones and new editions of iOS have always been sincere. Wait, “sincere?” Sometimes, they’ve been downright florid. I’ve been so enthusiastic that I’ve often been accused of saying those things because I’m an Apple fanboy.

I’ve always had a standard response. “In 2007, I switched to the iPhone because it was way better than the Windows Mobile device I was using at the time,” I would say. “If someday in the future somebody makes a phone and an OS that’s a better fit for me and my peculiar needs than the iPhone, I’ll make the exact same choice.”

Yep: that day has come. I’ve had a Samsung Galaxy S III since the summer. Throughout 2012, I kept its SIM slot empty and I used it as a WiFi device, but that wasn’t good enough. When I switched my data plan in January, I imagined that I’d be shuttling my SIM between my iPhone 4S and the S3 several times a month.

Nope. There’s a SIM extraction tool in my wallet (tip: it’s the only way you can findthe damned thing when you need it) but the card stays in the S3.

Why would I put it back in the iPhone? My Galaxy S3 is working great, and with only one exception, I only notice improvements, not drawbacks. I made a slow, cautious, and careful examination of what I want and need from my phone, and at the end of this mobile warrior’s pilgrimage, I couldn’t escape the conclusion that the best phone for me is no longer an iPhone.

In this three-part epic, I’m going to walk you my decision. It’s the story of why Android 4.1 and the S3 got me to switch. No way is it an argument about why anybody else should drop their iPhones and switch to a flagship Android phone.

This isn’t the story about how Apple has lost its way and no longer innovates. It hasn’t and it still does. This is merely the story of one dude who got a new phone. Nonetheless, my tale presents a picture of the strengths of modern Android.

Follow the rest of the article here.

Here’s the link for Part Two.

Here’s the link for Part Three.

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