This is going to be a page about mobile phones, and mostly smartphones, because I don’t really have much to say about other types of phones (just that landline phones are so beset by robodialling spam callers that I don’t own one, and almost everyone I talk to has either got rid of theirs or never answer it any more, figuring a real caller will leave a voicemail to be called back).
In the smartphone era, I’ve owned three Android phones (an LG one on Android 2, and the Samsung Galaxy S3 and S4 running Android 4). In 2017 I bought my first iPhone – an iPhone SE – and over time it won me over to the point that I don’t think I’d ever go back to Android. Apple’s phones have a number of advantages for me:
- They’re supported with security and feature updates for years longer than Androids, and those updates come directly from Apple rather than having to wind their way gradually through the labyrinthine processes of OEMs and telcos. (I gather that Google Pixel phones are better on this front than the ones I had, but still aren’t supported as long as iPhones are.)
- The general level of the app ecosystem seems higher-quality than on Android – not that there aren’t high-quality Android apps, but those that exist mostly have iOS versions too, and there are countless excellent iOS apps that don’t have Android counterparts. I feel like there’s a lot less adware on iOS too, and instead there are more paid apps. Personally I do prefer paying for an ad-free experience, depending on the cost (and if it’s a subscription I’m waaaay less likely to take it up, too).
- When you have more than one Apple device (as I now do), the integration is really nice. Being able to answer text messages on my computer is really nice (although this can be done on Linux with an Android phone through a utility called KDE Connect). iCloud is also really reliable in my experience, although it doesn’t support Linux so I can’t go all-in on it 🤷🏻♀️
- Anecdotally it seems like iPhone hardware lasts longer before it becomes unable to keep up with modern software demands, or just outright breaks. This has been my experience, although I don’t think that’s all that generalisable because I haven’t had an Android phone released more recently than 2013. But this seems to be what other people tend to say, as well.
I now own an iPhone 12 mini. One of my favourite things about the mini is its relatively slender width – it’s 64mm wide – which means I can type on it one-handed (very important to me because I have a disability which makes my right hand unsuitable to type with). My Samsung Galaxies were about 70mm wide instead, meaning I spent years straining to reach across the screen and half the time hitting “O” every time I meant to hit “P”. I also love that the 12 mini has all the modern features you’d expect from a top-tier phone (great camera, etc.) – the few Android “mini” phones in existence (which are still generally larger than my old Galaxies 🤔) seem to be ultra-budget devices with terrible cameras and abysmal longevity. Imploring phone manufacturers here: please make small-sized yet decent phones.