After two weeks of living with my iPhone, I’ve got to say that I really love it. The user experience is great. It works with my other stuff, my MacBook, my iPad… it seems to be the cohesive ecosystem I’ve been wanting from Google and Android for years, the kind of coherency I’ve sampled at times, but that I can’t trust to stick around.
Now that I’m in one ecosystem, I don’t have to worry about whether apps are cross-platform, and I don’t have to buy them twice. That could be true no matter which platform I chose, except that the Android ecosystem is so fractured that choosing the Android platform as the One Platform for Me is an exercise in frustration, for reasons I detailed previously. Want a tablet? They’re not great. Want a watch? They’re even worse. Apple, on the other hand, has built, maintained, and developed a more consistent platform experience.
Plus, I can’t help noticing that the App Store experience just feels better to me. There are more apps to choose from, and largely, they seem to be of a better quality. There do seem to be fewer free apps, but I’m in favor of paying developers for their time.
And the integrated apps seem better in general, too. The Health Kit stuff is just off the charts better than Google Fit in terms of the data available and the user experience.
And the stuff. This stuff is nice. Like, really nice. My new phone is a thing of beauty, a pleasure to use, and not as hard to adjust to as I thought it might be.
I picked up AirPod Pros as well, and they fit me better than my second-gen Pixel Buds, and the little button on the earpiece works more smoothly for fast-forwarding or rewinding than the touch system on the Pixel Buds — although Pixel Buds let you control volume with a swipe forward or back, and these don’t, and I do miss that.
And the Apple Watch — oh yes, I fell all the way down in a week-long bender I can only assume represents some kind of midlife crisis — is lovely. I feel like it’s everything I loved about my Moto 360 and all the potential of a smartwatch realized.
Anyway, I thought that it would be hard to send in my Pixel for trade-in, but by the time I got my trade-in kit from Apple, I cheerfully reset my Pixel and packed it up. Even the trade-in kit was better designed than Google’s: you basically strap the phone to a stable cardboard platform inside a box so that the phone won’t bang around or get crunched during shipping. Google sends a padded envelope.
Obviously I’m not just delighted with my new iPhone (et al)—I’m also cross with Google. I’ve heard that the way to get ahead at Google is to develop new projects and initiatives, whereas maintaining existing products isn’t valued and can kill your career. I haven’t worked at Google, so I can’t say whether this is true. What I can say is that as a longtime user of Google products, this sounds completely plausible to me. God help you if you love something Google has made, because they are going to abandon it.