AboutIn my library people are invited to leave messages in the margins.
Three days ago, my phone took a bath. We’ve all been there – that gut wrenching moment we realise it’s gone. In a flash, or rather more accurately, a splash - my world got a whole lot smaller.
The phone that drowned was an iPhone 4, so I went looking to replace it. Could I bear to go back to a ‘dumb’ phone? Apple had announced the release of their updated version the 4S in November 2011, just one day before the inimitable Steve Jobs passed away. Some have suggested that 4S means ‘4Steve’. Could I afford to replace it? And what was on offer?
The 4S has faster download speeds, greatly improved camera, slightly better battery life and a voice activated personal assistant called ‘Siri’. It sounded brilliant – so brilliant, in fact - it was sold out. So I reluctantly took a look at what else was on the shelf, where every phone worth considering used Android.
Android is an operating system that allows the handset to actually work. It is led by Google, and championed by over 80 different manufacturers, including handset makers HTC, Samsung and a bit confusingly, Google themselves. Every Android phone will get their apps from the Android Market, while Apple devices shop in the App Store.
The tech world is watching the mobile battle between Apple and Google with bated breath. Apple released the iPhone 4S and Google brought out Galaxy Nexus in partnership with Samsung. Apple used iOS5, and Google brought Android 4 bang up to date with an operating system called ‘Ice Cream Sandwich’, following on from ‘Gingerbread’ and ‘FroYo’ (Frozen Yoghurt). Both phones impress.
When I tried to dig into the differences between the two operating systems two things became very clear. iPhone users felt they had by far the best user experience, with top quality, Apple tested and approved apps and a phone so simple that even a four year old could use it instantly. Android fans felt that Apple’s controls were restrictive and revelled in the innovative, mind bogglingly clever apps, based on an ‘open to all’ source code. Coders and the Facebook generation s lean towards the more affordable Android phones, while Mac and iPod fans naturally falling in love with the iPhone.
It seems that for now iPhones still have the market sewn up but Android uptake is growing fast and they are odds on to leave iPhones behind with ever more innovative apps, unbelievable camera function and photo editing, and a conglomerate of handset makers all pushing the development of smart, affordable handsets.
And then.. a familiar beep. Three days in the hot press and my iPhone4 magically stuttered back to life. My wonderful iPhone, how could I have considered switching sides. Sorry Steve! I backed everything up. You should too.
Now I have my phone back, I’ll have to wait months for a 4S upgrade. While I wait I’m getting through the biography of Steve Jobs, via the iPhone Kindle App. So it seems, my heart belongs to Apple. (That is, until next time..)
At 6.40am I got a call from my absent husband. Was it an early Valentine’s greeting?
He woke me an hour earlier than necessary and told me to go outside. In the freezing cold, misty morning he then directed me to trot down the drive in my PJ’s to leave a note for the bin-men. And if I didn’t I’d have a mountain of garbage to deal with.