Fuel for the Everlasting Flame War…

…that is iOS vs. Android. I wrote a long Google+ post on the topic.


Side note: always tricky to decide where to post my thoughts, what with multiple facebook, twitter, G+ accounts and this blog, and also whether to push posts in one venue to the others. Not a unique problem by any means but neither is there a one-size-fits-all solution.

EDIT 2018-05-07: since G+ is soon to be gone for good, I’ve rescued the text:

I’m about to enter in the Microsoft vs. Apple fray, subject of roughly 1 quintillion flame wars since the earliest days of the Net. It’s on my mind more than usual, probably because I just finished reading In The Beginning was the Command Line, as well as Wired’s reporting on the Microsoft anti-trust case from the same time period.
I’m an Android user. My best friend says I’m crazy to own anything but an iPhone. He’s not an uber-techno-geek like I am but he works in the technology industry, has cool gadgets in his house, etc.
I used to be an Apple hater. Working at the public library, beginning computer users often asked me whether they should get a Mac or Windows machine. My standard answer was that, if you’re starting from square one with both, Macs may be easier to learn to use, and definitely are more reliable, but they are much harder to fix when they break.
I now use an iMac, iPad, and carry an iPod Touch. I also have my android phone, a Windows 7 desktop at home,  and use a Windows VM at work more frequently than my iMac. NCSU Libraries is close to 50/50 PC and Mac across patron and staff computing, so I forced myself to start using OS X regularly, since I needed to both support it and understand it’s ecosystem. Things about OS X and iOS frequently frustrate me; other things about them delight me. I’ve certainly mellowed in my stance towards Apple: in the laptop arena, I can’t imagine wanting to use anything but a MacBook, at least until the alternatives make a leap forward with their touchpad/gesture combos.
Back to the phone debate. Rather than trumpeting one over another, the thing to realize is that both iOS and Android are good but very different experiences. I’m not claiming this is an original thought, but I have an extended anology that perhaps is. The thought that started rolling around my head yesterday is “dining in a restaurant versus cooking at home.”
iOS is an upscale restaurant, probably of the modernist variety. It’s sleek (maybe even antiseptic), clean, tasteful. The service is impeccable. You choose from a carefully constructed menu of options, or maybe just accept whatever the chef decides to serve that night. There’s almost no chance of food poisoning.
Android is a meal prepared at home. The decor is customized to your personality. It’s probably a little messy, unless you just moved in or went on a top-to-bottom cleaning spree. The service is non-existent–it’s just you, plus all the recipes and techniques you gather from one source or another–and the menu is entirely up to you. Sometimes you can make something that’s better than any restaurant can achieve  more often you’ll fail abjectly, but pick yourself up and learn not to do that again. Sometimes the sink will clog, or the produce will have gone bad, or you’ll burn the whole fucking thing and end up going out to eat after all.
The point is, I like eating out and I like cooking. I would hate to be stuck doing just one all the time. Day in, day out, though, I want to cook. I like knowing and controlling what I eat, I like being able to customize and improvise. More than anything, I hate not having options. It helps that it’s cheaper, too. And that’s why I’m still primarily an Android, and Windows, user.

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