Why I’m Sticking With iOS and The iPhone 5S (And a note to Android users)

Recently, a lot of my Android friends have been hassling me over my decision to stick with iOS. Being the day that I ordered my iPhone 5S (64 GB in Space Grey), I thought now is the perfect time to explain why I’m sticking with the iPhone, and iOS 7. If you agree, or have something to say, share this post on a social network, or leave a comment, and put your thoughts within. I’ll be reading.


The Phone itself

Does the iPhone have the best hardware? No. But it is, as WSJ’s Walt Mossberg (who we interviewed here) called it “the best smartphone on the market”, and as The New York Times’s David Pogue pointed out, “The iPhone is no longer the only smartphone that will keep you delighted for the length of your two-year contract — but it’s still among the few that will”.

The camera was the biggest selling point for me. As a hobbyist photographer I was extremely attracted to the improved low-light performance, and other improvements. Is it the only phone with dual flashes? No. Does it have the highest resolution camera? No. But it does have the best camera and image editing software, 120 FPS HD video, and some of the best stabilization out there. Where each feature may not be the best, the combination still produces the best photos and videos out there, and the camera is still cumulatively the best smartphone camera out there.

To those of you who’d like to argue that the Lumia 1020 has the best smartphone camera, I’d ask you to recall the issues that it’s had serious white balance issues, among others.

Another selling point for me was the fingerprint scanner. It seems a bit trivial, and “gee whiz”, but supposedly (I won’t be able to test this until later today), it’s quite useful.

I’m one of the 50% of users that don’t use a passcode, because it’s just too much work. The idea that I can keep my phone secure, and quickly access my phone is very exciting. I’m also thrilled about the 3rd-party possibilities for this feature. The iPhone 5S is going to become a payment powerhouse.

Design and Screen Size

People often point to the 5S’s screen size as its biggest disadvantage. As the owner of a phablet and an iPhone, I can tell you that it doesn’t bother me personally. 90% of the time when I need a larger screen for something, I have a tablet or laptop available where I am.

I’m just a casual mobile gamer, and I write mostly from my laptop, so the screen size issue, really isn’t an issue.

The iPhone 5S’s design also played into my decision, though rather minorly. It’s one of the thinnest phones on the market, and the lightest by weight and density. It’s durable, and (I hate using this next word) “elegant”. Some ideas, like the integration of the fingerprint scanner into the home button, are really brilliant, and innovative. Others, like the lack of buttons (I hate physical buttons), are old news, but still suit me well.

Technologically, the gap between smartphones has been closed (almost). Nearly every modern smartphone has 2 gigabytes of RAM, a fast quad core processor, and 4G LTE.

Finally, design and camera have become the deciding factor in smartphones, and in this category the iPhone excels, at least for me.

The Operating System

iOS 7 is like coconut. You either love it or hate it, but it can grow on you. When I first tried iOS 7, I wasn’t pleased, but after really digging in, i’ve grown to love it (although I still detest a few things).

I’ll get into what I love about it soon, but first:

But Michael, Didn’t iOS 7 just take everything from Android?

Yep. 90%. But you have to remember that Android stole first. iOS was first to market, and google played off of Apple’s success to build an operating system of their own. This game of cat and mouse (or cat and cat), where one OS comes up with a feature, and the next soon has it, means that both operating systems will always be extremely similar.

Remember that Apple reinvigorated voice assistance with SIRI, and that Google Now, and even Google Glass would not exist without Apple’s initial innovation. iOS 7 wouldn’t be what it is without Android, but Android 4.3 wouldn’t be what it is without iOS.

Now, What I Love about iOS 7

iOS  is familiar, with a layout I personally enjoy, but it also has quite a few new features that I really enjoy: You can read all about why I love each of these features here.

  • Greatly improved Multitasking

  • The New and improved Siri is faster and wittier

  • Control Center

  • the newly improved notification center

  • Air Drop

  • iTunes Radio

  • Improved Safari

  • Improved Photos and Camera apps

The Apps

Because of its’ size, and the habits of customers, iOS is a more lucrative operating system for developers than Android. That’s why the best apps tend to make it to iOS well before Android. Consider just a few here:

  • Snapchat

  • instagram

  • Angry Birds

  • Words With Friends

  • DrawSomething

  • SIRI (started as an app)

Conclusion: the iPhone 5S is the Better Phone For ME

The iPhone 5S isn’t for everyone. Some people prefer Android or Windows Phone 8. Some people really want a bigger screen. Some people don’t care about weight, design, or quality. I’m not saying that you have to buy an iPhone.

My point here is that the iPhone 5S was the right phone for me, and many other people, and that you have no right to criticize me for purchasing it. Your perfect phone is different than mine. What you require is different than mine. I respect your opinion that Android is a better platform, if you believe so, but I respectfully disagree, and I ask that you show me, and all of the other apple “sheep” (as Samsung marketers like to call use) that same respect.

 If you agree, or have something to say, share this post on a social network, or leave a comment, and put your thoughts within. I’ll be reading.

How Does the iPhone 5S fit into your life? Leave a comment with your opinion.

Michael Sitver

Michael Sitver is a technology insider who has been blogging about technology since 2011. Along the way, he's interviewed founders of innovative startups, and executives from fortune 500 companies, and he's tried dozens or hundreds of gadgets. Michael has also contributed to works featured in Newsday, The San Francisco Chronicle, and the associated press. Michael also occasionally consults, and writes for Seeking Alpha and Yahoo News.

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23 Responses

  1. Josh says:

    Kudos. The only review/wrap up that says “________ phone is better for ME”. Bravo. Nice write up. I switched from iOS to Android and have regretted it for more or less the same reasons you have noted.

    Take away, it doesn’t matter what phone is faster, better, etc. It’s what feels better for ME. Good post.

  2. garg654 says:

    I’ll probably be getting an iphone 5s as well but I don’t think it’s true that google now, and google glass would not have existed without siri. Also, iphone 5s has 1 GB of RAM. Not 2.

    • appstorechronicle says:

      They may have existed, but at a later date, and with less-developed voice technologies. Voice assistance certainly existed before, but Apple/SIRI brought voice assistance into the mainstream. Just as the Chromebook Pixel was made to show hardware manufacturers what’s possible with Chrome technology, SIRI showed manufacturers what was possible with voice command. It wasn’t necessarily a cause, but it was a major catalyst.

  3. noodle says:

    “My point here is that the iPhone 5C was the right phone for me, and many other people, and that you have no right to criticize me for purchasing it.”

    I think you mean 5S? 🙂

  4. Jim says:

    Sorry, but I disagree with “and that you have no right to criticize me for purchasing it.”. No, I have every right to criticize anything I wish. That doesn’t mean I would be correct in doing so and it would absolutely be a real prick move to criticize you for it, but to say that we have no right is absolutely incorrect.

    With that bit o’ rant out of the way, yes, I am one of the ones that prefer android to any of the others. This is not based on the quality of the hardware, software, or anything else like that. Ever since before smartphones in general were even beginning to exist, I have been against Apple and it’s business practices. For me, that was the deciding factor. I have never tried using an iPhone. I never will. Am I missing out? Maybe. But only if I want to support something I don’t believe in.

    I guess what I’m getting at is: Congrats on your phone. Glad you like it. I wish you would reconsider, but if their business practices don’t bother you, that’s your choice. Enjoy.

    • appstorechronicle says:

      I agree. Maybe I phrased that a bit extremely. My point was against blind criticism, not all criticism whatsoever. I’ll admit that Apple doesn’t have the kindest business practices (I’ve been by their factories in China). I don’t buy products politically because I personally believe that corporations are not responsible for morality, so it doesn’t play into my decision too much. I do understand where you’re coming from, and I respect your choice.

      • Eli says:

        “I don’t buy products politically because I personally believe that corporations are not responsible for morality”

        By you going ahead and buying the product without regard for their business practices you are saying to them it is ok. So you then hold part of the responsibility.

        The fact that you say you’ve been to their factories and agree that “Apple doesn’t have the kindest business practices” adds even more of that on to you.

    • Will Harris says:

      I’d be curious to know which “business practices” you are referring to, and why you think Apple is worse than any other.

      • Michael says:

        During time crunches, workers are forced to work nearly 24/7. Factory conditions have led to dozens of suicides. Also: Patent wars

  5. Bob Neumann says:

    I’m glad you’re happy, and I think everyone should get the phone that they, personally, can afford and are pleased with. And your new Iphone is undoubtedly superior in hardware to my Nexus 4. But I really like my Nexus 4. It’s quick and smooth and stable, and capable enough for me. And it costs $250, which is $400 less than your 5S. And I got to thinking, “Hey, I just bought a whole car for $400, which I’m driving to work every day.” (A great deal, I admit. But true nonetheless…) So.. is your 5S “better and more useful” than my Nexus 4? Yes? Ok.
    But how about my Nexus 4 plus my Volvo? It has seatbelts for 5 and enough room in the trunk for half-court basketball. How much head and leg room does your new IPhone have?

    Just Saying.

    • appstorechronicle says:

      $700 is unsubsidized. I may be stuck with Verizon, but it cost me $400, for 64 GB. Not $700. I see your point though, and the Nexus 4 is a great phone ( a lot of my friends have it)

  6. Bala says:

    Well, in my case, I like the actionable notifications in android, the ability to share almost anything from one app to the other, the ability to customize my phone in countless ways (launchers, messaging apps, keyboards or even ROMs). Of course, being from India, price is obviously a big factor and the ability to get a more than decent smartphone (and one that I wouldn’t be scared of dropping) at an affordable price is obviously great

  7. TheSouljaKCR says:

    Doesn’t the lack of hardware choice bother you? Doesn’t the cost vs build quality/spec ratio bother you? Doesn’t the complete lack of customisation bother you? Doesn’t the lack of a proper file system bother you? Doesn’t the inability to easily share from one app to another bother you? Doesn’t the inability of using a native PC interface to move, add, delete, edit files (as opposed to iTunes) bother you? Doesn’t it bother you that your app choice is directly tied to what Apple do and do not allow, with no way to sideload apps? Doesn’t the inability to set default apps bother you? If iOS users could use Chrome as the default browser, I’m sure most would. Even though you can install Google Maps, when you click an address it will still open up the god-awful Apple Maps as default.

    The trouble with Apple is that you are making a long term bet on a single company that has already faltered many times. By investing in Apple’s platform you are saying “This hardware company will -always- be the right company for me.”

    And that’s a very strange commitment to make, when you look at it from a logical perspective. I would never commit to a hardware company, because people’s needs change. In 5 years of using Android (I was there from day 1 with the G1), I’ve purchased devices from HTC, Motorola, Samsung, Asus, LG and Sony. Because at each point, one of those OEM’s was innovating the most. Whichever OEM innovates the most will get my money at the time I make a purchase and that’s a fair system that doesn’t leave me invested in the fortunes of an OEM or vulnerable to their mis-steps.

    I’m certainly not disparaging your decision to purchase a phone that is right for you at this moment in time. But will it always be? I know plenty of people that have switched from iOS to Android – both with and without my influence. They all wish they had done it sooner.

    What i admire at Google is that they when they make a killer product, they generally have no qualms about making it available for competing platforms such as iOS. At one stage Apple were more like this (the iPod/iTunes would NEVER have been successful had it not been Windows-compatible, this much is obvious) but you cannot say the same about them now. And the truth is, it’s because their software is sub-par. Imagine if they had tried to release something as terrible as Apple Maps on Android, they would have been an absolute laughing stock. Safari is not even in the same league as Chrome. iMessage/Facetime pale in comparison to Hangouts (a truly integrated cross-platform chat/video experience).

    • appstorechronicle says:

      I’ll address this generally, and then each choice individually. First of all, this isn’t a lifetime commitment. I’m making a 2-3 year commitment on a platform which I’m confident in for at least the next 5 years. You’re making that same commitment to Android. With hardware you’re more diversified, but with software, you’re still vulnerable. Android is just as likely to fail as iOS. Now, to your individual questions.

      “Doesn’t the lack of hardware choice bother you?”
      The 5S was the right phone for me. If it wasn’t, I wouldn’t have bought it. I’m only buying one phone, so any further choices wouldn’t be to my benefit. Plus, smartphones aren’t PCs: We’ve already sacrificed configurability for convenience.

      ” Doesn’t the cost vs build quality/spec ratio bother you?”
      No. Value is in the eye (and the wallet) of the beholder. The time-savings and benefits of this phone are easily worth more than I’ve paid for it, so it is a good enough value for me. And considering that iPhones also have dramatically higher resale values than other phones (look it up), if I resold it, I could end up saving money, versus if I had gone with a droid.

      “Doesn’t the complete lack of customisation bother you?”
      In what way does it lack customization? Boots? I can live without them. How often do you really change the interface of your phone? I might change the background, or the lock screen, but I rarely feel like changing how the phone functions. Beyond that, the iPhone is just as configurable as an Android phone (minus 3rd party keyboards). I had it on my Galaxy note, but it really wasn’t a concerning thing to lose.

      “Doesn’t the lack of a proper file system bother you?”
      What is this? Windows 98? File system? I use my iPhone precisely so I can avoid a file system. All of my documents and photos on both my laptops and my tablet and my phone are synced up to the cloud, so it’s never really challenging to find something. If I wanted a file system, I’d be using a Windows tablet, but I don’t. My phone is about fast access, which is not exactly related to a file system. On my laptop, it’s a necessity, but on my phone, not so much.

      “Doesn’t the inability to easily share from one app to another bother you? Doesn’t the inability of using a native PC interface to move, add, delete, edit files (as opposed to iTunes) bother you?”
      Once again, if I wanted a native PC interface, I’d use windows. I can edit any file on my iPhone that you can edit on your Android phone (minus root files). Word documents, spreadsheets, presentations, photos, video. What exactly am I missing out on editing? And I can delete just about anything.

      ” Doesn’t it bother you that your app choice is directly tied to what Apple does and does not allow, with no way to sideload apps? Doesn’t the inability to set default apps bother you?”

      A little bit. I’ll admit that sideloading is valuable. Still, sideloading brings quality issues into account. I don’t ever want to worry about my phone crashing or bugging out. It doesn’t happen often on Android, but installing 3rd party software always does carry risks. I’m happy with the hundreds of thousands of apps available to me, and with not ever having to worry about any of them stealing my data.

      And that’s about that,


  8. Menachem Began says:

    Geesus H. Stupid fanbois, like children.

  9. Idon't Know says:

    And the android kiddies, who know nothing but are jealous of the iPhone let loose with their uninformed and ignorant rants.

  10. Mido says:

    4s then galaxy note 2 then iphone 5s , after a year full of bugs and bad android functionality , iphone forever , i am an isheep again , and beleive me all android users are jalous from the very elegant look of the iphone in comparison with theit cheap plastic android toys

  11. mac says:

    And you forgot to mention that the iphone and Android took some best from the BB Playbook and BB 10 OS.

  12. Write more, thats alll I have to say. Literally, it
    seeks as though you relied on the video to make your point.
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  1. September 22

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