Why I’m Switching to Android

I wrote about renew­ing my iPhone vows about a month ago. I’m chang­ing my mind. Why? A com­bi­na­tion of curios­i­ty and convenience.

I’m not going to dis­count the num­ber of posts from influ­encers like Matthew Ingram, Guy Kawasa­ki and Robert Scoble, but the tip­ping point was real­ly friends who’ve adopt­ed Android with their lat­est phones. Whether they were entrenched Apple users or smart­phone new­bies, their move to Android was inspir­ing. It made it seem less intim­i­dat­ing to ditch the famil­iar for some­thing a lit­tle more chal­leng­ing. I mean, I haven’t thought seri­ous­ly about a smart­phone pur­chase since I first bought a smart­phone near­ly five years ago. I was­n’t going to make this deci­sion with­out help.

Why now? It’s eas­i­er. Android apps have grown up. Most of my most used apps are avail­able and those that aren’t can be replaced with com­pa­ra­ble apps. More impor­tant­ly, I’ve come to real­ize that my depen­dence on basics like Gmail and cal­en­dar are bet­ter solved with a native plat­form. I’m also unrea­son­ably excit­ed to try some of the UI tweaks, like Ubun­tu-style app launch­ers and the like. Being able to rein­vent the expe­ri­ence is some­thing that will keep me inter­est­ed as well.

Facebook Places or Foursquare?

Face­book Places. Game, set, match. Why? Because even though every last des­ti­na­tion I vis­it has­n’t been loaded into Face­book, it means acti­vat­ing one less wonky app that crash­es unex­pect­ed­ly and then scolds me if I try check­ing in again. Anoth­er plus? Peo­ple I know actu­al­ly use Face­book. Foursquare? Not so much.

Face­book Places does to Foursquare what Twit­ter’s acqui­si­tion of Tweet­ie did for every­one else in the mobile Twit­ter app mar­ket: killed ’em dead, at least on the iPhone. I know Foursquare’s try­ing to put on a brave face, but if Face­book want­ed to intro­duce badges and oth­er rewards, it would­n’t be hard and it gives peo­ple the all-in-one con­ve­nience they want in a mobile experience.

I used Foursquare off and on for months, some­times delet­ing it from the phone, then rein­stalling it if a friend con­vinced me to do so. It was point­less. The loca­tions are sil­ly, as are the tips and rewards. I know how it feels to be a reg­u­lar at my local bar. It’s great. I don’t need an app to dri­ve that point home. As I tweet­ed after Face­book Places was launched, “we don’t need no stinkin’ badges!” At the same time, I like to let friends know that I’m out if they’d like to join me some­place. Revive the drop-in vis­it! How fun!

Do your­self a favor and delete Foursquare already. You’re wor­ried about pri­va­cy con­cerns? Here’s a thought: don’t both­er check­ing in! I’ll go a step fur­ther and say that you should real­ly cat­e­go­rize all of your Face­book con­tacts in a way that pro­tects you from weirdos. That should be a no-brain­er at this point in the game. As in so many things, be care­ful and have fun!

My iPhone Home Screen

Lat­est iPhone Home­screen, orig­i­nal­ly uploaded by J T. Ram­say.

What a mess!

I start­ed fol­low­ing First & 20 dur­ing our trip to Out­er Banks this year. Their iPhone home screen series has been very inter­est­ing. As I’ve men­tioned before, my iPhone became some­thing of a life­line while I was in the hos­pi­tal with Helen when Char­lie was born. I scoured the app store in a sleep-deprived haze for any­thing to keep me alert and occu­pied dur­ing those 3 a.m. feed­ings. Let me put it to you straight: there are a ton of apps and most of them are garbage. First & 20’s series then seemed like the answer to my prayers. I will final­ly com­plete­ly opti­mize my iPhone home screen! How pos­i­tive­ly geeky!Con­tin­ue read­ing “My iPhone Home Screen”

Why I Love My iPhone

Want to know a secret? The iPhone is the future of com­put­ing. I know there’s a lot of talk about tablets, but I think it’s sil­ly. Why? Because the iPhone can meet most peo­ple’s com­put­ing needs already.

How did I reach this con­clu­sion? I found myself in a hos­pi­tal for four days after Char­lie was born. My iPhone became indis­pens­able imme­di­ate­ly. I tweet­ed Char­lie’s birth, took pho­tos, texted friends and fam­i­ly the good news and kept folks in the loop on Face­book. I can almost guar­an­tee that most peo­ple don’t do much more with their com­put­er.Con­tin­ue read­ing “Why I Love My iPhone”