In a nutshell, here’s the chronology of events as they happened to me:
June 2010 – bought first iPhone 3 on eBay. It came to me in Ireland via the United Kingdom. I was mostly using this to access the Internet, and of course to play games from the Apps store.
December 2010 – landed in Australia, got married. Started taking photos with my iPhone 3. Discovered Lomographic Apps, ventured further afield and discovered a whole new world of mobile photography Apps. Started Apping like mad, and searching for fellow likeminded crazies. Started styling myself an iPhoneographer.
June 2011 – joined MobiTog to get connected with other iPhoneographers around the world. Was invited to become an Admin Moderator. I resigned from this position in June 2012 to concentrate on my own creative endeavours, but still keep in touch with MobiToggers on Facebook.
July 2011 – initiated and organised Perth Apple Store’s and Western Australia’s first iPhoneography exhibition/demonstration. Discovered that Western Australia has a looong way to go before they catch up with the rest of the world! My style had evolved by then, and I was calling myself an iPhone Artist rather than an iPhoneographer.
September 2012 – bought an iPad 2 on eBay, as I wanted to create bigger prints. Now of course I realise I didn’t really need an iPad to do all that, but it seemed a good idea at the time, and besides, the bigger screen meant less of an eyestrain to me! Briefly toyed with DSLR photography, by way of an Olympus E-PM1.
December 2012 – bought a Samsung Galaxy S3 smartphone. Wasn’t impressed by the iPhone 5, as was hoping for a bigger screen and a higher MP camera, but Apple disappointed on both. A Longer screen won’t help photographers, a Bigger one will!
May 2013 – traded in my beloved Samsung Galaxy S3 for the new Galaxy S4. Did a lot of research first before becoming an early adopter. No regrets, and I absolutely adore my S4! I can’t wait for the S5 to come out this year! Being an early adopter has its advantages – you only need to spend a couple hundred dollars on getting the newest model device, as you would be trading in your old one while it’s still in great demand. Last year, I sold my S3 on eBay for $350, and used the money to offset buying the S4. I only paid another $200 to get the S4.
Friends keep asking me why I made the switch from iOS to Android. I must make it clear that I still very much like and respect iOS, and that I still use iOS on occasion on my trusty iPad 2, however the iPhone 5S just doesn’t cut the mustard for me, in terms of being my go-to device for everyday use. I love the Apps that iOS has and Android hasn’t, which is why it’s brilliant that I still have my iPad 2 so when I need to call upon an iOS only App, I simply transfer my image over from my S4 to my iPad2 for processing. Yes, luckily there’s a universal App for doing that, that you can get on both iOS and Android, and it’s called Photo Transfer. I also love Android photo editing apps that aren’t on iOS, so I’m a happy bunny to be able to call on both platforms.
So, why did I switch?
1) for a bigger screen to work with. The S4’s screen is nearly double that of the current iPhone. My eyes were starting to feel the strain from hours of peering closely at pixels. My fingers were finding it hard to use the iPhone’s minuscule keypad.
2) for a better built-in camera. The S4’s camera is 13MP, the current iPhone’s is 8MP, and has been 8MP for the last 3 generations of iPhones. Bigger MPs means I don’t have to work as hard to get bigger prints. The S4’s camera is like a real camera, with multiple functions, flash, zoom, scenes, panorama, even the ability to erase photo bombers. (There’s also the Nokia Lumia with a 41MP camera, however it’s on Windows which hasn’t the photo editing Apps that I need, so I don’t see the point in that…yet!)
3) for a better user interface. I just love the S4’s “soft” buttons, for Home and Back, and I couldn’t do without it now. When I use my son’s iPhone 4 (my old phone), I find it frustrating not to have those “soft” buttons, and also that floating thing that’s to help with stuck Home buttons, that’s just plain annoying! Why not just make your Home button less fallible, Apple? Customers are paying top dollar for your device, why not reciprocate and give them top dollar hardware in return?
4) Android may still be playing catch-up in the Apps department, but a great number of developers have also launched their Apps on Android. I have on my S4 the likes of Snapseed, PicsArt, Pixlr Express, Phonto, Footer, Magic Hour, Photoshop Touch, etc just to name a few off the top of my head. This makes it easier for me to process my images on the go, instead of having to transfer images between my S4 and iPad2.
5) I love the fact that I can use the same charger for my S4 as I do for my Kindle Fire, my Plox external battery, my Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 edition). AND, the same charger lasts a hell of a lot longer than my iPhone’s chargers ever did! So okay, the iPhone now uses a lightning cable, which is still a proprietary cable and costs a bomb to buy. Whereas I can easily get a charger for my S4 for about $5 from my local supermarket. Most mobile phones these days have agreed to use the same universal charger, but Apple still refuses to play ball.
6) for a better battery life and expandable storage space. My S4 will last me a whole day of use, but I know if the battery’s nearly dead, I can simply open the back, remove it and replace it with a charged battery, that I can easily obtain online. My S4 has only 16GB of built-in memory, but I have an SD card with a whopping 64GB of memory storage on it. And if that ever gets full, I can simply swap that SD card for an empty one. Many smartphones, not just the S4, have this facility. The iPhone’s battery is non-replaceable, and it does not offer an SD card slot.
And what did I find difficult when I first switched phones?
1) the Android platform is a treacherous minefield, full of booby traps in the form of Apps that are really spambots. If an App asks for too many permissions before you click on the Download button, chances are it’s one that’s loaded with pop-ups and ads, and may even change your phone’s settings without you being aware of it.
2) don’t download any Apps that change your settings, unless you really want to change your settings! I accidentally downloaded a “GO” App and my icons changed to farm animals suddenly, and my fonts became really large. Some people actually like being able to fully customise their mobile phone screens and settings, but I don’t.
3) you must remember to stop Picasa from syncing with your Android device, otherwise it will duplicate every image you have on your phone! A friend of mine had a similar problem recently, on his Facebook account, where he’d inadvertently synced all his iPhone’s photos to his Facebook page, much to his embarrassment!
4) to protect yourself from malware, much like you’d protect a Windows computer, simply download any of a number of Free anti-spyware/anti-malware apps from the Google Play Store. I use Avast! and it does the job. No more pop-ups for me!
Apart from these small niggling glitches, which are controllable, I love having the best of both iOS and Android worlds. Some detractors think I’m mad and that I’ve “deserted” my iPhone. Some even call me a traitor for “leaving” the Kingdom of Apple. I’ve even been told to “go and play with the Android people and leave us iPhoneographers alone”! Tsk tsk…some people like eating sour grapes.
Let’s not forget that I cut my teeth on an iPhone, and I still use iOS Apps, it’s just that my chosen platform for taking photos and processing them is currently Android.