Why I'll Upgrade to the Newest iPhone 5

Why I'll Upgrade to the Newest iPhone 5

Jason Yang
Sep 26, 2011

Readers may recall my iPhone went suicidal a few months ago. Apple at that point had been releasing a new iPhone each July, so I patched up my screen for $7 and decided to wait it out. 4 months later I'm still waiting, and may have another month to go if rumors prove true. Despite flirting with the idea of switching to Android or a Windows phone, here's why I'm doing the opposite of my fellow Unplggd team member and sticking with the iPhone...

When the new iPhone comes out (hopefully) in October, I'll be upgrading my iPhone 3gs and sticking it out with Apple.

No need to rush to judgement and call me an Apple fanboy or bash on Unplggd's supposed Apple love. I'm a Windows guy through and through for all of my home and work computers. I love the open nature of doing whatever I want and not always being forced to certain approaches and methods. Even still, when the new iPhone comes out (hopefully) in October, I'll be upgrading my iPhone 3gs and sticking it out with Apple.

My experience with Android phones has been hit or miss. The early Droid phones my brother-in-law and sister bought were painfully laggy in performance and response. Some of the newer ones were so massive that my small hands could barely grasp the phone (although that's less of a knock on the phone). I tried several that were fairly good, but the user interface and experience just seemed to be lacking the polish of iOS.

I consider myself a savvy and advanced computer user, running a web design company and all) but even still I had a hard time getting used to where and how programs were accessed and how clunky it was to get anywhere to do anything. So when the new iPhone comes out (hopefully) in October, I'll be upgrading my iPhone 3gs and sticking it out with Apple.

A few weekends ago a dozen guys packed into a van and drove from Washington, D.C. to party it up in Montreal for a bachelor party. Sounds horrible (the commute), I know. The 20 hour round-trip drive was made easier with the amount of technology in the van. There were several tablets and everyone had a smartphone. The group was fairly evenly split between iOS and Android devices. The tablets on hand were the Apple iPad2, Motorola Xoom, and Asus Transformer. My brother previously had an iPad and had recently upgraded to an iPad2 (he won a drawing for the iPad2 and his lucky girlfriend got his original iPad) so I had plenty of experience playing around with the device. Not to mention the operating system is essentially identical to that from my iPhone 3gs, so I was quite familiar.

The Android tablets however were a completely new experience and I spent several hours playing around with them (much to their owners' chagrin) as I prepped for and participated in a fantasy football draft during the drive. The Motorola Xoom was extremely laggy and really hurt my impression of Android devices. But then I tried the Transformer and was very pleasantly surprised by how much I liked the experience.

[Here's an incredibly cheesy video on the Transformer that I couldn't stop watching.]

With utter ease I researched player statistics and news in several tabs while also participating in multiple mock drafts (which required Flash too!). During the live draft I easily toggled between applications in a seamless experience. The ease which I actually got something done on the Android tablet brought to mind painful memories of when I tried to find an HP Touchpad when it went on fire sale. I was literally juggling two iPhones running web searches, looking up phone numbers, and making calls in a painfully frustrating inefficient and slow experience.

The Asus Transformer was snappy in its performance and excellent in its user interface and usability. I truly loved the experience and will probably be buying an Android tablet in the near future when previously I strongly urged my girlfriend not to be me an iPad2 for my birthday a few months ago. Even still, when the new iPhone comes out (hopefully) in October, I'll be upgrading my iPhone 3gs and sticking it out with Apple.

Why? After such a positive Android experience? Android as a tablet experience is much different than Android as a smartphone. The tablet helps bridge the gap between a real computer and a device that's both truly portable as well as instantly on (which goes quite a long way in actually using said device). In using a tablet to try to accomplish more complex tasks than would be attempted on a smartphone, the Android's powerful (more) open nature shines in creating a work environment that's helpful to the task at hand.

The smartphone, as powerful as it is, is still such a limited device. Limited in its screen size and ability to actually get something done on it. I cannot happily use my smartphone to do any real work that might require extended typing, properly multitask between different applications, compare/utilize results between two tabbed browser windows, and a bevy of more heavy use types of things that one might need a tablet (or even a laptop) for.

But I am perfectly happy using a smartphone to pull up a map of where I'm going right now, look up a quick answer on the internet, play with an app or game to keep me distracted when I'm otherwise bored, or perhaps even make a phone call now and again. The smartphone is on my body and I can easily whip it out to send a text or perform a fairly simple and straightforward task. Apple's iPhone and iOS excel at doing one task and doing it well (aside from being an actually good "phone" to make "telephone calls" on, but most smartphones kind of suck at that). Sure, I'm constantly frustrated by my inability to do certain things that would seem easy (like a one-click way to toggle Bluetooth on and off), but the user experience is extremely smooth and what it lacks in customization it makes up for in intuitive design. The iPhone is a good smartphone and iOS is a good smartphone operating system.

And this is why when the new iPhone comes out (hopefully) in October, I'll be upgrading my iPhone 3gs and sticking it out with Apple.

Oh, and I'll be jailbreaking it because then I can at least pretend to be a little bit free.

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(Images: Flickr member Azrobbo, Patrick H. Lauke, incredibleguy, jon.bell, ijafri licensed for use under Creative Commons)

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