Thursday, 27 June 2013

I'm not Anti-Apple, but that doesn't mean Apple must be good

I have been asked many times regarding my stances whenever there's a conversation about tech, for example: "Why so anti-Apple?", "Why all the negativity about Apple?", "You’ve always been an Android fan,” and many more. All these questions and statements come from my family, relatives, friends and even on social media. I wanna take this opportunity on this post and said, “NO, I am not anti-Apple.”

I think the assumption was made probably because when people asked my tips on what smartphone I would recommend to them, I recommend them go for Android smartphones rather than the iPhone. There’re reasons to that, I would love to go through that.

On why people ask why I always recommend them Android phones, it is because they tend to start with “what phones have good specifications that you think is good?” This will gives me an impression that you want a phone with a good camera, speakers, top of the line processors and memory. In that case, I choose Android 10 out of 10 times, because it’s what they asked for. Apple isn’t and won’t be in contender for best performance, what they offer is software, the system inside it. If you ask me on which phone I would recommend if you want the ease of use and smoothness, or unified softwares across the iOS platform, iPhone is the choice.

I am not an anti-Apple, anti-Android, anti-Windows Phone kind of guy. Yes, I do prefer Android, but I would recommend any good phones to anyone, based on their preferences. I understand there are always people with different needs and wants in their life, smartphone is no exception.

Apple is a great brand, I admit. They have been building great software with a decent hardware. The iOS of iPhones and iPads have been great, with great smoothness, almost lag-free experience and easy to pick up and use. With the closed system of the OS, it’s really easy to transfer content from device to device in Apple’s ecosystem. I was impressed and like the iPhone 3GS and 4 and even the the lastest iPod Touch. Not to mention that the Mac line-up is incredible as well, the great looks of Mac OS and ease of integration between iOS and Mac is useful as well (Microsoft, learn from this!).

But iPhone won’t be good for those who are after specifications. The processor is not the fastest, not enough memory to stack up against the big boys. Heck, I won’t recommend iPhone for camera until iPhone 5. The closed system of iOS is one of the big flaws as well, the use of App Store or iTunes is a must by default, there’s no other option for the users, no competition, and it’s hard to get apps at an affordable price for iOS.

Another problem with Apple is that they overhype things too much. Sure, it works, but ever since the late Steve Jobs left the company, many of the news seems meh for now. The iPhone 5 lacks the 'WoW' factor of iPhones, the 4th iteration is just pure milking of the iPad brand. The decision to dump Google Map as the go-to map application for iOS for the disastrous Apple Maps didn’t help the cause either. The recently iOS 7 unveiling is more like a been there, done that from other companies.

You could say that Android is my go-to OS. I admit that, I love Android. Why? Because in Android, is all about flexibility, and I love that. You could use Android phones as everyday phone, to power user where you can manage a whole lot of tiny details inside the phone. Android is open source software, means that phone makers can use it with their own customisation, and it’s competitive too. Vendors like Samsung, HTC, Sony, Huawei, Motorola and others to keep competing to get the most out of the software and make a good hardware. With an open system, you can get content anywhere you like, don’t like Google Play Store, get it from Amazon or any similar stores.

The worst thing of Android could also be the best thing of Android, the open source. This leads to uncontrollable fragmentations of the Android ecosystem, I could say that there are hundreds of thousands of cheap phones and cheap knockoffs of famous brands available in China right now, running Android. There’s so many customisations done to different phones on the market, so updates and after sales services are poor on phones with lower price point. With those big vendors keep slapping their own skin on top of the OS, the experience can be ruined as well. Only phones with Nexus brand and Google Play Edition (the recently relaunched HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4) can be considered as pure Android experience.

Lastly, it’s the Windows Phone. Now in the new iteration of Windows Phone 8, Microsoft is looking more and more serious as a contender for mobile market. Windows Phone is more between Android and iOS, with customisation and some closed system security. Windows Phone have been set up a range of specs developers can work on, this means even the lower spec-ed Windows Phone can run smoothly on many of the apps. And the sleek and flat UI is extremely attractive too. I only have test drives of Windows Phone devices, and I can say the Windows Phone has the potential to be a big player.

The partnership between Nokia and Microsoft for Windows Phone seems to have paid off too. I previously doubted it, but I was wrong. With Nokia, Windows Phone have a brand new opportunity to break into new market faster, particularly Asia, where Nokia has a strong brand presence. And Nokia has the best camera for phone without a doubt, the camera quality of Nokia Lumia 920 is top notch!

Flaws? Well, right now the apps ecosystem of Windows Phone is still lacking, so apps and games is less than what Android and Apple offered. It's a short experience of the Windows Phone for me, so not much to criticise yet.

In the end, Apple is great! But that doesn't mean I like it, and I won't totally shun Apple because they still offer great stuffs and advantages over its rivals, but I admit that there are obvious flaws from all three systems. So, don't call me Anti-Apple, I'm open to everything.

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