From iPhone to Android: My smartphone odyssey

Or: why I’m launching Life of Android.

Goodbye iPhone, hello Android. Actually, do you mind if I keep both?

I’ve been a technology journalist for over a decade. Which means I’ve tested a lot of phones. For the first six years, I had a new phone in my pocket every two or three months. And it was usually  a phone so ‘smart’ that it required a degree in engineering to use it. Stuff readers loved them, the world at large just shrugged.

Then the iPhone came along and every other phone seemed like an afterthought. Steve Jobs is prone to hyperbole, but when he announced in 2007 that the iPhone was 18 months ahead of the competition he was being cautious. In fact, it’s taken over three years for proper rivals to arrive. And every time it looks like there’s an iPhone killer in the works, Apple unveils a new generation of wonder.

My iPhone addiction was so strong that when I tested rivals, I rarely switched my SIM for more than 24 hours. Once iPhone withdrawal started kicking in, I simply couldn’t resist the iPhone’s slick, comfortable allure.

So it was with some trepidation that I decided to make the switch to Android. I’m going cold turkey.

Why? Well, I’ve been a Mac fan for longer than I’ve been a technology journalist, and I still love my Macs, my iPad and my iPhone. Hell, I even love my Apple TV. But just as I baulked at the idea of a Sony-only world in the 90s, so I fear the impact of Apple totality in my life now.

But I’m also amazed at Android’s phenomenal growth – with 300,000 activations a day, Android phones are now neck-and-neck with iOS products in terms of sales, and growing faster (though it’s worth remembering that those figures compare a heap of different smartphones from  a crowd of manufacturers with just a handful of products from one company).

Despite the growth of Android, media coverage is piffling compared to Apple. As I’m setting up my own publishing business, it seemed logical to start with a product that filled a gap in the market. Which is where we came up with the idea for Life Of Android, which launches in the new year (although you can already see a preview of the, which is dedicated to reviewing the best Android apps)

Of course, I’m not ditching my Apple products. Life Of Android is the first tentative step on my journey to global media domination. Or something like that. On the way, I’ll continue to use, love and write about my Macs, iPad and iPhone.

But there’s plenty to love about Android, too: the flexibility, the free navigation, the Wi-Fi tethering – and, of course, the excuse to upgrade my handset every 3 months.

So for now my SIM will stay firmly gaffer-taped inside an Android. Now, if only I could work out how to use it with all my iPod docks…

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