It’s not you Android, it’s your OEM’s

So given the post history of this blog, it should be pretty clear that I’m both a Max OS X nerd, and an Android nerd. I prefer OS X for my day-to-day productivity, but I’ve been an Android user since the G1 was released. I have followed both mobile OS’s evolution over the years though, and surprisingly (even to me!) I very much expect my next phone to be an iPhone, for the first time since the original model. Specifically, I’m guessing I’ll be buying whatever the next “Plus” model is, e.g. iPhone 6s Plus or whatever name they give it.

Why am I thinking of switching back to iOS? Like everything in life, it’s complicated.

In part, my usage has significantly shifted back to media consumption (e.g. podcasts, twitch, youtube, kindle/ebooks, etc.) and there’s no real advantage to either platform anymore in this regard.

Another part is battery life; no android phone I’ve ever owned, even my nexus 5, has been able to last through a full day of heavy use. My nexus 5, with stock 5.1, no “rogue apps” etc. will drain 4-10% battery overnight. Every single review I’ve seen for the iPhone 6 Plus praises it for battery life, even under heavy use.

Mostly though, I just want convenience and reliability again; flagship hardware, a killer camera, timely software updates, and no carrier/oem bloatware.

I’m beyond frustrated with OEM skins on top of stock Android, and Nexus devices just don’t “wow” anymore, certainly not at the Nexus 6 price point. And for some inexplicable reason, no Android OEM is willing to make a true flagship quality phone, with a killer camera but otherwise unmolested/stock Android. Motorola the past few years has been by far the best when it comes to maintaining the spirit/cleanliness of Android, but they tend to use older/outdated hardware, and they never really “Wow” with their camera’s.

I’ve also finally grown tired of needing to root (and risk voiding warranties) just to flash custom recoveries, custom roms, etc. just to remove bloatware on Android. And when community ROM’s are finally released for the latest phones, they inevitably sacrifice the advanced camera features and custom/OEM camera interfaces, which were the only desirable OEM changes in the first place.

So Android, I’m sorry, I still love you (especially post 5.1!) but I just don’t love your OEM’s.

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