My first Apple device

CosmicCruncher

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Some of you may be aware, I’ve been weighing up moving to an iPhone for a number of months. I’m a long time Android user having started with a HTC Desire Z with Android 2.2 over a decade ago, then a couple of LG devices ending with my LG G6.

I’ve never been a fan of Apple or their products having found them to be very restrictive from the days of the iPod and early iPhones. Same goes for Macs. This experience and view of Apple has led me to disregard their products on the whole and never really consider them when shopping for phones or any of the other types of device they offer. I am aware that I’m likely not the target market for their products but can see why people choose them.

As of last Friday I own my first ever Apple product, an iPhone 13 mini. You may be wondering what has led me to this. Well, while I’ve been mostly happy with my Android phones over the years, one thing that has frustrated my is the speed in which the devices receive updates and security patches or lack of speed I should say. A lot of this is due to the way manufactures roll their own Android builds and updates for each device. LG was notoriously bad for this, my G6 for example sitting on Android 9 with the latest security patch dated May 2019. I know there have been improvements to this of late and the situation is better for some vendors, I think Samsung is pretty good these days. Also Google’s first party Pixel phones are guaranteed 3 years of updates, about the length of time I usually keep a mobile.

The Pixel phones were actually my first port of call when looking at what I would replace my G6 with. The upstream Android and regular updates being the attraction. What didn’t attract me was the devices themselves, firstly I didn’t want a device any larger than my G6. The Pixel 4a was the only one that wasn’t bigger. It was very good value for money though, I even saw it on offer recently for £279. This is where one of the other big features I look for these days in a phone suffered though, a good camera that offers a range of focal lengths. My G6 has an ultra wide lens I now couldn’t live without. The Pixel 4a lacked this. They also just didn’t have that wow factor for me.

There are lots of other Android phones of course but none of the mainstream ones such as Samsung for example really attracted me. This is where I started seriously considering an iPhone, when I saw the iPhone 12 mini it ticked a lot of boxes and I really wanted to go back to a slightly smaller device. Handily the chassis dimensions of the normal iPhone 12 / 13 are nearly identical to my G6 which was a good point of reference. I was also able to get a look at the 12 and 12 mini side by side in Costco. With this I knew I was happy with the form factor of the mini. One of the complaints of the 12 mini was poor battery life which put me off a bit and there were rumours that the mini would be refreshed with the iPhone 13 launch. So I decided to wait it out for a few months.

Fast forward to September and the 13 mini was announced with a larger battery and upgraded camera sensors. This seemed a winning formula so I finally made my decision.

Having received the phone on Friday and still in the process of setting it up I’m happy with my choice so far. I’m finding iOS intuitive and easy to use. I’m not really a tinkerer when it comes to phones. I just need something that is snappy and will run my apps. One thing with the G6 it was getting really sluggish by the time all my apps were installed and running. I’m also finding the form factor of the iPhone spot on and not at all too small for me.

Will see how I get on as I use the phone and might do a report back in a month or so. There are a couple of features that I miss from my LG. I was already aware of these prior to my purchase decision.

  • Always on screen - I was surprised when I read this wasn’t a standard feature of iPhones. It’s so useful to see the time and notifications without picking up the phone.
  • Fingerprint sensor - Face ID serves a similar function but it’s nice to have the option.
  • USB C - Would have been nice to reuse my existing cables.
  • Headphone Jack - It is what it is 😒. I picked up the lighting to 3.5mm adapter for the odd time I do need to use traditional headphones.
One particular nice to have would have been the 120Hz screen that is now in the iPhone 13 Pro models. The rest of the Pro features seemed a bit overkill for me and weren't worth the extra cost on balance. All my phones have been 60Hz displays so I’m not really missing it on the 13 mini and very happy with the display.

So overall a positive first experience after avoiding Apple for all these years. Watch this space 😀
 

Retro

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In summary, you're not going to regret it.

I too was a die hard Android user and the one thing that made me switch were the lack of updates, just like yourself.

I eventually switched in late 2019 to the iPhone 8 Plus and haven't looked back. I'd had an iPad Pro 2017 for some time already, so knew how Apple products worked... and that 120Hz display is sublime.

After many iOS updates it still works as fast and smooth as the day that I got it and even the battery still has 94% capacity. Also, it still looks like new. Can't say the same for my top end Android phone that I upgraded from. It was the Motorola Moto X Style and it ran slow and stuttery by the time I gave up on it and was stuck on Android 7.0 too, which was ancient even then. The apps weren't too stable either, especially Facebook. No such problems on the iPhone.

And of course, the minute some security hole is found, Apple jump on top of it with an update, which is my whole reason for switching. It feels good to have a smartphone which feels solid and secure. No wonder Apple are doing so well. I have the confidence to run things like finance apps on it which I didn't on the Motorola. It's still better not to if it's not needed though, so I only do so on a temporary basis when I need to do something specific.

I do miss the extended featureset of Android, especially the developer mode where one could fiddle with all sorts of goodies, but one can't have it all, I guess.

I'm not one for rooting my smartphone either, regardless of brand, so this is a non-issue for me.

I've heard in the tech news that the iPhone 14 range will have the 120Hz display as standard, so you may want to upgrade then. I would for that alone. It makes a real difference with all that scrolling.
 

CosmicCruncher

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Yes it was a shame the 120Hz display didn’t make it down to the iPhone 13 non Pro models. I’m not sure if the mini will be updated for the next generation, rumours suggest Apple might do away with it but guess we’ll see.

Good to know your iPhone 8 Plus is still running well today.
 

Tiffany

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Dropping in a bit late, but saw this on Android vs Apple. I started out with an Android, went to Apple and back to Android. I have been an Android user for years now. I use the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, the bigger screen. The best part about the Android is the calendar. For me, the calendar layout is visually better then the Apple. On the other hand, I believe mobile apps tend to work better on Apple rather then Android.

Both my daughter and I got the same phone about the same time. My phone has had issues, her phone has been fine. I have no idea what the deal is, but I will be doing more research before I upgrade again. I may have more to say once I read your posts in more detail. Just wanted to fly in really quick, because your info is very helpful to others.
 
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Tiffany

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CosmicCruncher, are you still pleased with your switch to Apple? I miss the headphone jack on my Android. Call me out-dated but I did like that option to be able to hook up with the wired earphones, in case I couldn't find my Aftershokz.

I do have an iPhone 6S Plus, that has been working, which I've used for testing apps in IOS, but I think it's about to bite the dust. 😞
 

Retro

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I think removing the headphone Jack was really bloody minded of Apple and likely done to boost sales of wireless headphones and accessories. It so happens that I just don't need to use headphones with my smartphone so it doesn't affect me, but I still don't like having my options limited.
 

Tiffany

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I think removing the headphone Jack was really bloody minded of Apple and likely done to boost sales of wireless headphones and accessories. It so happens that I just don't need to use headphones with my smartphone so it doesn't affect me, but I still don't like having my options limited.
With emphasis on the "really bloody minded Apple"....agreed. Miss my headphone jack...miss having the choice. For my husband, it's useful to have wired earbuds when you fly because people are less likely to chit-chat with you if you look busy.:LOL:
 

Arantor

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I'm not sure I'd go with 'bloody minded' on the removal of the headphone jack. I genuinely think that was a casualty of the designer folks who wanted it ever thinner, ever lighter, ever more room for battery etc. - the physical space taken up by the socket is surprising when you actually look at it, but also it's a decent hole into an otherwise more waterproofed finish. (Yes, there are solutions to this but Apple's core demographic will prioritise aesthetics and the whole aspirational angle for the 'luxury brand'. The kinds of alternatives other brands might sport would cut into that.)

It's been funny to me to watch the Apple vs Android debates over the years. I was never a Mac user historically, I only went MacBook for a while to do iOS dev - but I don't *like* the way MacOS works. As for iOS devices, I found it interesting that all the features my Android-owning friends would rave about were a) things I never cared about and b) weren't even positives in my mind even if Apple could notionally support them.

I don't, for example, care about sideloading. Nor do I care about the kinds of customisations on Android. I want to treat my iDevices like appliances - I pick them up, I do my thing on them, I put them down again. I don't want or need any further customisation than that. But don't lock down my desktop, that's a different proposition entirely.
 

Retro

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I was an Android user for a long time, but what got me were the OS updates, or lack of them. This left my phone a Swiss cheese of security vulnerabilities that I wasn't happy with. I liked the features and flexibility of Android though, but I didn't root my phone.

In 2016 I got an iPad (the big 12.9 inch one, second gen with the 120Hz display) and love how it works, despite Apple's restrictive practices. I especially liked how Apple quickly jumps on security vulnerabilities.

An iPad is basically a big iPhone without the calling features and works the same way, so in late 2019 I decided to replace my ageing Android phone with a shiny new iPhone and haven't looked back since.

The operation is so slick and solid and build quality superb. It shows hardly any signs of wear even now. And of course, still gets those timely iOS updates.

It was hella expensive, but worth it. Apple even offer interest free credit for the whole price, so drinking their koolaid goes down easy. ;)

I agree that Apple on the desktop is a different story. I don't like the way Microsoft is trying to go down the road of restricting apps to their app store only, especially.
 

Arantor

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Microsoft has been watching Apple for some years with much envy: how to have an ecosystem where you as the vendor are the arbiter not only of the software but the hardware (as Microsoft subsequently tried with the acquisition of Nokia and then the production of the Surface), with stores that people *enjoy* going to for a premium experience (Microsoft stores exist), and to have a store where developers can list things and Microsoft can take quite a premium for the privilege of hosting.

The problem is, Microsoft have no idea how to execute any of this. Windows 8 was a case in point; you can clearly see that the writing was on the wall in macOS land for a gradual hybridising of the ecosystem with 10.6 and 10.7 (like in 2012) with Launchpad being a full screen app launcher like the iDevice home screen. Apple's unified strategy to bring everything under one roof was solidly underway for a while but I think the roadmap Steve left them has run dry and no-one quite knows where he was going with it.

But in any case, the unified platform, vertically integrated was always where Apple was at - and where Microsoft wants to be. It then tried to push the jump to the logical next step (the Windows 8 tile interface) without realising that this is a decade's worth of user education and handholding to get to without serious backlash. And so Windows 8 was roundly dismissed as nonsense even if it's clearly where the next step-change is going. (Think the Chromebook vs Pixel model, just more unified. If you look at any of the Windows engineering teams' output with WinRT and then UWP it's clear this is where Microsoft wants to go.)

Microsoft also realised that the age of simply selling a product is over; you *can* get a personal Word licence but when you can just rent for £5.99 a month, why bother? It's only £5.99 a month... etc.

This might be a kinder, gentler Microsoft in Nadella's hands - VS Code would *never* have been allowed to come to market in the Ballmer era - but it's not *kind*. It's merely less unkind than of old, and worth fearing as a market force.
 
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