The Last Two Weeks with iOS

For the past two weeks, I’ve spent all of my time using an iPhone 12 running the latest iOS 17 developer betas. I decided to give this a trial run after having thought about it previously. Well… I have thoughts, and to make it easier, I’ve split it up into multiple sections. Here goes.

Apps

Apps on iOS are just better, quite frankly. Apple’s SDK is one of the strongest in the industry and unless you have a Google Pixel (and use very specific apps) you’re not getting a similar experience on Android. Since Apple controls everything from the hardware to the software to the silicon, developers can use their SDK to tap into everything all at once with very little compromise. iOS is stronger because of it.

That’s not to say some apps aren’t horrible on iOS right now. Reddit is a shining example of an app that really needs some TLC. It’s rough.

Mastodon and Fediverse Apps

A little side note here: Simply put, since the SDK on iOS is better, the apps for various things on the fediverse are also just better. Ivory is probably the best Mastodon client out there — and it’s iOS only. That should tell you all you need to know.

Software Stability

Despite running the developer betas, I’ve had more stability on an iPhone than my Google Pixel 6 running “stable” Android 13. Seriously! Better battery life, better cell service, and even faster performance. Updates to apps are more frequent on iOS, even with Apple’s App Review as a mediation step, and everything from texting to watching a video to playing a game is fast and stable.

There are hiccups, but they are few and far between compared to Google’s mobile OS. And how Google hasn’t addressed any of the underlying connectivity issues with the Pixel 6 lineup in software is beyond me… it’s particularly bad with Verizon!

Update Confidence

Unlike Android, I’m confident that I’ll get an update to the system immediately, and not weeks or months or even years after everyone else did. Apple has had the advantage here for a long time, and I’m glad this has continued. Google has had a horrible fragmentation problem, and until they embrace Project Mainline and/or start being aggressive with updates, they’re going to continue having this problem… and letting Apple take the win. (Can’t help but notice that iOS 16 still supports phones that released six years ago, and iOS 17 is even still going to support phones from five years ago. That’s just embarrassing, Google.)

Cell Service

All of that brings us perfectly to the cell service problems, the entire reason I had my Pixel 6 sent in for an RMA in the first place.

I’m happy to report that service with Verizon is much, much better using an iPhone than it is using the Pixel 6. That’s absolutely embarrassing for Google and they should really be ashamed. It’s very clear to me now that there’s a hardware flaw or something, or the Verizon-specific software updates they push are doing something to make the experience worse. I don’t know. But what I do know is that they’re shooting themselves in the foot by not fixing it.

In Conclusion

I do miss Android a lot actually, I miss the Google software quirks that make it special, and I miss the deep level of personalization you get using it. iOS just doesn’t have that sort of thing. Sure, you can tailor your lock screen with some limited options (actually, less limited than Android’s new lock screen feature) and maybe do a couple things here and there to make it more “you,” but there’s just… way less here to do in the way of customization. On Android, you can change the launcher you use, the size of your icons, you can remove icons altogether, and even more that I’m failing to mention.

So, for all those reasons, I might move my personal SIM card back to my Pixel 6. Android is what I’m used to, and it’s probably where I belong anyways given what I use my phone for.

But make no mistake: I’ll miss using an iPhone as my primary device, too. There’s a lot of good here… and maybe I’ll revisit it again soon once iOS 17 hits stable!

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