I needed a November update, but this is certainly worth a more substantial discussion. Except I lack the time to do so. However, I have a blog post I'd left as a draft on my computer from a few months ago that does just that. Thanks, past me! Always nice to take credit from your work.
Here's what I wrote but haven't published, unedited for transparency purposesn:
Contemplating Apple - OLD VERSION
This title is not misleading. I am indeed exploring the possibility of purchasing an iPhone instead of a Samsung Galaxy or any other Android smartphone once my contract elapses. This might come as a shock from someone who has devoted so much time and effort to assist others in their journey to make their smartphone obey to their commands, but it is true.
| Why? Let Samsung and Google answer that for me…
It’s just that Samsung kept making bad decisions, acting as hypocrites by mocking-then-adopting Apple’s worst, consumer-antagonizing choices, while avoiding Apple’s best moves, such as using high quality materials like stainless steel or offering privacy options that actually help preserve one’s privacy, instead of what both Samsung and Google do, conjointly, which is nothing more than presenting mundane or inconsequential features as privacy revolutions in a bid to elude the question, a process referred to as “gaslighting”.
Also, I have to address the software side a bit further. Other than the privacy hypocrisy from the ad giant’s popular operating system, Android has been regressing at an absurd pace. I have been vehemently and publicly against the introduction of Scoped Storage, which makes any interaction with the storage file system a mess. Customisation has been difficult for some time without rooting, and this was made worse for non-superficial modifications. You know you can’t change your system font on stock Android, right? To make matters worse, Google patched multiple, safe techniques by which you could have before. Samsung offers precious few, mostly paid options. It’s only by miracle that one loophole is available to load custom TrueType .ttf fonts. Tailoring the operating system’s appearance has never been so difficult on Android, and Material You is not a proper replacement for this.
Android has attempted to resemble iOS since the advent of Android 9 Pie and it has been much worse ever since Android 10 Q (no, no desert for you hungry lot. Android is a “mature” OS now, so we don’t have time for appetising personality.), yet it could never reach its standards in elegance or whatever they were pursuing in that self-destructive errand. Android has morphed into the poor man’s iOS, so why don’t I go ahead and sample the real flavour of restrictive OSes?
I would have to pay a price, though, in which I forfeit the precious few remnants of liberty on Android. Some people have been working very hard to tweak OneUI, making it a bit nicer. I’ll also miss personalDNSfilter, which I hear has no true equivalent on iOS due to software restrictions.
| Composite alternatives
I can see you jumping already, telling me to consider that stock Android isn’t the only edition of Android. Yes, your OEM of choice has poured a lot of effort into tweaking Android. Unfortunately, OEMs all aspire to emulate iOS as well, stick dangerously close to stock Android or simply don’t back their UI with the promise of decent software updates. I’ve seen some intriguing alternatives, such as Sony Xperia 1 or 5 IV (the roman numbers indicate the revision, like their line of cameras) but alas, they aren’t sold locally and lack long-term update commitment.
High quality devices are rare here, so apart from Samsung, Google and Apple, you’re done. Motorola’s Edge line is disappointing, to say the least, boasting plastic (!!!) for what poses as a “Premium” device. Nobody else sells 700$+ smartphones locally, or otherwise with a good build quality and an acceptable software update policy.
I must stress the “good build quality” aspect of this situation further. There are too many corners cut on Android smartphones, even on ostentatious models like the Galaxy Z. Did you know Apple uses metal SIM trays? Android OEMs use plastic almost uniformly by comparison. Your SIM card won’t free itself from its tray when you try to insert it back in your smartphone if its tray is made from solid metal. On Android smartphones, your OEM of choice has no qualms saving a whopping 0.10$ on it. This is indeed a very minor detail, but this is where conscientious companies distinguish themselves. Moreover, iPhones are as repair-hostile as your “premium” Android smartphone of choice are now, following years of regressions.
| And here comes the silver lining
I’ve searched that elusive Android saviour but there was none. But I have some good news! This research shall come in handy if I can find the time to complete my extensive list of Canadian smartphones for autumn/winter 2022. This won’t be one of those awful and useless lists, riddled with affiliate links. This would be a list to help you pick between the options offered to you for your contract renewal. I hope to have it published well before Black Friday but, you know, my schedule has been extremely busy and should continue to be so.
Moreover, this situation should not affect my normal content production. I still have a lot of diverse Android-related content to tackle that I promise will be made and released. And this is merely an exploration. I might conclude that an iPhone would be even more infuriating to use.
--- Fast forward a few months...
Bahaha, I did miss that Black Friday deadline, painfully so. I'm still debating whether or not releasing what I already have is a good idea. I might have to postpone that content until 2023, if I value quality - which I do - and if I value my readership and hope to bring them what they expect from me. One thing is clear, I mustn't offer deadlines when I'm not 100% dedicated to a task.
What I can promise, however, is the release of a brand-new guide this week. Look forward to its release this Sunday! Its French equivalent is coming the week after. And I assure you it will, as its content is already written.
Afterwards, I'll spend my time* writing the Z Flip4 review properly and exploring the iPhone 13 I now own. I couldn't secure a 13 Pro (miss that frosted back, glossy feels dirty and even a bit sacrilegious after all this time using my Note20 Ultra and its amazing diffuse, matte back panel) but that's fine, because thus far, I'm not exactly set to have it replace my trusty bronze Note20 Ultra as my daily communication assistant. iOS has lived up to my expectations thus far... which is not a compliment. I'll have to report on it, including the migration process. One thing is certain, that iPhone shall be a very fine muse for this blog. At least, the speakers are great and the display is very nice (Dolby Vision! Curse Samsung's HDR10+ obsession.)
*Of course, I'll do many other things, including passing finals and relaxing with plethora of multimedia content I've put aside for when I can finally allocate enough time to sample them.