I’m trapped in an interesting quandary these days: Apple is taking all of my money, albeit in .99 cent increments at times, and I don’t find myself terribly concerned.
You see, I moved over to an iPhone 4 from a Motorola Droid X several weeks ago. While I have a few Apple devices that i truly enjoy–my iPad, an Apple TV–I wasn’t fully assimilated into the cult of Apple. There was one lone hold out that kept me pure: my phone. In fact, when Verizon got the original Droid I was in heaven. Verizon FINALLY had a “smart” phone that put me on par with all of those Apple fanboys. Take THAT, iPhreaks! I now had a phone that could easily compete, and in many ways surpass, your beloved device. When I came to SmarterTools last year they even opened a Verizon business account solely to accommodate my desire to keep my Android device. Everyone else here uses iPhones, so I saw my commitment to Android as my one display of solidarity for “openness” and as a way to display my disdain for the heavy handedness and closed infrastructure of Apple.
Then, in October 2010 I was given a MacBook Pro as my work laptop. From there the lure of Apple became too powerful. With my MacBook and with the iPad I found that things just worked: no headaches, no learning curve, no hiccups or power issues or BSoD. I found myself looking at my beloved Droid X with something akin to disdain. It just wasn’t as easy, it didn’t “just work.” So, I made the switch when an iPhone 4 became available. (I even left Verizon for AT&T, which was absolutely the LAST thing I figured I’d do.)
All of this brings me back to my original point: with the move, I find myself actually buying apps–and not just for the iPhone, but for the iPad and even in the Mac App Store. I’m actually buying more software than I ever have in the past. With the Droid, I bought maybe two apps–one for viewing and editing Microsoft docs and a game. With my conversion to Apple, I’m buying things alarmingly quickly and without much second thought. When I brought this up to the CEO of SmarterTools, his first question was: “Why?”
At the time I didn’t have a good answer, but given some distance I think I DO know why. As I said before, it’s all so easy. Devices flow together nicely. I can go from OS X to iOS and don’t feel like I lose anything. It’s easy to modify a document on my iPad, then open it and continue to modify it on the MacBook Pro (seamlessly using Dropbox). In addition, things just work like you expect them to. Apps look like they should.
With Android, interfaces were sort of hit-and-miss. (This blog really hits the nail on the head when it comes to this phenomenon: Android Gripes.) And while I could move from my Droid to my PC, that transition was a bit more jarring. There was a difference in how things looked and how they performed when moving from Android to Windows. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I recognize it now. It’s even more apparent now that I go back and look at Android devices (my wife uses a Droid and a few of the developers at work have Xooms).
Easy… That’s about the best word for it. With Apple, things just seem to be so easy. It’s especially easy to spend all of your money on apps. If Android ever gets to this point in terms of reach and ubiquity–and to be fair, I think Microsoft is moving quickly in this direction with the way they’re integrating their hot properties (Office, Windows Live, etc.) into Windows Phone–all bets are off.
Will they ever get me to switch back? Maybe, but for now, I’m living the life of a fanboy and loving it.