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Published on March 12th, 2013 | by Gizmodo

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Why I Ditched the iPhone: My Very Own Protocol Droid

I’ve been a die-hard “Apple evangelist” for over twenty years – first an avid Mac user, then an early adopter of both iPod and iPhone. In the 90s, when everyone I knew used Windows, I tried to switch them to Mac.

Why I Ditched the iPhone: My Very Own Protocol DroidI’ve been a die-hard “Apple evangelist” for over twenty years – first an avid Mac user, then an early adopter of both iPod and iPhone. In the 90s, when everyone I knew used Windows, I tried to switch them to Mac. In the 2000s, when everyone had Creative-brand MP3 players, I tried to switch them to iPod and iTunes. A few months ago I switched from iPhone to Android. Now the running joke is that I’ve become an Android evangelist.

Why I Ditched the iPhone: My Very Own Protocol Droid

Google’s cloud music offering also seems to work better than iTunes Match. There’s less start-up lag. Google will even allow you to add up to 20,000 songs from your iTunes library for free. For example, I pre-ordered the new David Bowie album exclusive to iTunes a few months ago. It was downloaded this morning on iTunes. In less than a minute I’m listening to it on Android. Between Google Music and Spotify I’m pretty well covered.

Why I Ditched the iPhone: My Very Own Protocol Droid Every image and video I take with Android gets privately uploaded to Google’s servers into my Google + account. It’s instant backup of all the photos and videos I’ve taken with Android. All of these photos and videos are browsable from the Gallery app. I can safely delete all my camera roll images to free up device storage. The best part is that the images and videos are browsable from all my devices and they take up zero storage. If I want I can download a high res version any time.

Why I Ditched the iPhone: My Very Own Protocol Droid

But the Android assistant is also proactive. It doesn’t wait for you to ask for something. Android will somehow tell you what you want to know without you needing to ask. Here’s a concrete example:
I was in the Chicago suburbs having my car serviced. It was getting close to afternoon rush hour. Traffic in Chicago during afternoon rush hour can be fairly unpredictable. At 2-3:00pm roads can be jammed, or they might be fine. As I left the mechanic Android notified me: 30 minutes to Home. Take this route → Sure enough, Android told me what route to take to avoid traffic and I got home in 30 minutes. I didn’t have to ask. Android knew.

Android proactively tells me about my friends birthdays, if packages from Amazon have shipped, when to leave to get to an appointment on time. I haven’t had to ask Android anything. The Android assistant knows what I want to know, and when I want to know it. Skynet becomes sentient when?

I’ve told you the 4 reasons why I switched. I’d like you to switch too – or at least give Android a real try. I run in some heavy iOS-user social circles. You might too. As makers and builders we need to stretch out a little. We need to get some alternative stimulation. Apple has had a lock on us for a good while. The other side isn’t as scary as Phil Schiller, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing at Apple, would like you to believe. It’s actually quite nice.

I hardly used my old iPhone as a phone. I use my Android even less so. A few months ago Jony Ive, Senior Vice President Industrial Design at Apple, said something that resonated with me:

Could it be that the word “phone” in iPhone limits the future of that device? On the other hand, the word “android” is more versatile. “Android” is a wonderfully geeky word. It conjures up visions of C-3PO from the movie Star Wars. He is a protocol droid designed to serve human beings, fluent in over six million forms of communication. I wonder what 3PO’s fate would have been if he was named C-3P-phOne…

Jamie Dihiansan is a designer for 37signals. This post has been republished with permission from Signal vs Noise, 37signals’ publication about the web.

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