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From iPhone to Droid: A Reluctant Journey

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I am an unabashed Apple aficionado. I have a MacBook Pro and a Retina iPad Mini (which replaced my full-sized iPad several months ago). Until last week, I also sported a beautiful white iPhone 5, which I housed in a lovely leather BookBook case. Now I am Droid. Again. I am generally an early adopter. I’ve always been first in line for Palm Pilots, new Blackberry Phones, iPods. I confess, I’m a gadget whore.

So, how did I get here–a journey of several years, from my state of perpetual envy in those days when my friends had access to iPhone and I (being on Verizon) did not, to this day, when I voluntarily gave up my iPhone and traded it in for a bulkier, but better, Android (Droid Maxx)?

I loved my iPhone 5. I really did. But then something happened to fracture my love affair, to turn me away from my Apple device and into the arms of Android. Two issues: call quality and note taking. Perhaps call quality had always been an issue, but now, on the phone more than ever for business, it began to matter in a way it had not before. My sleek, pretty iPhone just did not measure up. Then little things like battery life that seemed to wane mid-afternoon began to bug me more than they had. And then I witnessed the ease with which my Android-toting friends could input text, and my lust for the newest iDevice turned into a desire for being able to swiftly reply to emails, write texts, jot notes and to-dos.Gesture-Typing Slide finger

I’d gone from stylus to stylus in a quest to find the perfect input device for my phone, and none did better than my fingertip (which was not great). I’d never liked typing on Android devices. I don’t like the slightly buzzy feel of the keys when I touch them to type. I flirted with the idea of buying a Galaxy Note 7.0 just for note-taking, but I felt the stylus was too unresponsive and the interface too sensitive (it kept kicking me out of writing mode). So that wasn’t an answer.

Then my daughter came to visit from Seattle packing her brand new phone (her first smartphone, a Nexus 5). She showed me how by a simple slide of her finger from one letter to the other (even with terrible accuracy), she easily “typed” out an email. Astonished, I asked her how long it took to train the keyboard; she responded by regarding me quizzically. “Trained?” No training at all.

I tried it for myself, sliding my index finger from letter to letter along the glass surface, lifting it when I came to the next word until I had spelled out “The quick brown fox…” (You know the rest of the sentence!). I was sold. More than that, I was enamored. Did the App store carry such a magnificent add on? “Not an add on,” my daughter told me. All Droids do that.”

Ah. Well, thought I, if Android can do it, so must my iPhone. Except it doesn’t. Yes, there are app for cruising the keyboard, sliding letter to letter, but not integrated into email, notes, texts or anything else.

Motorola Droid MaxxIt dawned on me as all the warts, flaws and irritations of my beloved iPhone came into glaringly high relief. Call quality, battery life, and the inability to glide and slide to input text. Alas, poor iPhone, it was time to bid you adieu.

So what did I get? I got a Motorola Droid Maxx. It has excellent battery life (a day’s use only drains about half the battery), great call quality (almost indistinguishable from my landline), and a brilliant writing interface that is faster than typing or writing with a stylus.

Do i miss my iPhone? Yes, I do. The Maxx is bigger and not quite as sleek and elegant looking as my Apple device. The Android interface isn’t quite as intuitive–and I do miss my BookBook case. In fact, I’ve yet to find the perfect case for my Droid, but I will (any ideas, readers?). As for iDevices, I still have (and love) my iPad mini and have no thoughts of throwing it over for a new tablet.

What are your criteria for a good mobile phone? Let me know in the comments!

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About Barbara Barnett

Barbara Barnett is publisher and executive editor of Blogcritics, as well as a noted entertainment writer. Author of Chasing Zebras: The Unofficial Guide to House, M.D., her primary beat is primetime television. But Barbara writes on an everything from film to politics to technology to all things pop culture and spirituality. She is a contributor to the book called Spiritual Pregnancy (Llewellyn Worldwide, January 2014) and has a story in Riverdale Ave Press' new anthology of zombie romance, Still Hungry for your Love. She is hard at work on what she hopes will be her first published novel.
  • Viet Hoang-Tran

    You just reminded me why I can’t part with my QWERTY Droid 4. Cheers!

    • http://blogcritics.org/writers/barbara-barnett Barbara Barnett

      I really like the way the keyboard works. Much improved!

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