One Week With an iPhone 7

Posted October 10, 2016

It happened, I finally got an iPhone. Thanks to my awesome new job I’m the proud owner of a shiny new matte black iPhone 7. Ever since smartphones became a thing I’ve been an Android guy. I’ve gone through a handful of HTCs, a Samsung, some OnePlusses and a couple Nexus’. I’ve still got my Nexus 6P (and plan to get the Google Pixel) but I’m attempting to go iPhone-only for a little while to see how it goes.

After a week I’m ready to jot down some initial impressions and comparisons to my life as an Android user. The only iPhone experiences I’ve had have been at the Apple store and borrowing my friends phones over the years.

Like

  • I’ve always felt that the iPhone 6s was the perfect size, and the 7 is equally great. I love how compact it is. I even forget it’s in my pocket sometimes. Holding my Nexus feels like a huge phablet now.
  • I’m down with the new home button and how it doesn’t actually click, but instead gives haptic feedback. iOS 10 involves haptic feedback nicely in other small ways while navigating the phone, which is a cool touch.
  • The camera is awesome, and is really really good at just snapping quick pictures. My Nexus takes great pics too, but it always took a bit to focus and was overall a longer process to take shots. I feel like I’m much more inclined to take pictures now with the 7, plus they look amazing on the new IPS screen.
  • Obviously, Google integration isn’t as deep, but I was able to get my essential apps on iOS to keep my ecosystem going (Google Keep/Photos/Inbox/Drive), as well as contacts and calendar sync.
  • It’s apparent that some apps got much more love when developing for iOS vs. Android. Specifically, social apps like Twitter/Snapchat/Instagram were pretty much made for iPhones and Android was an afterthought. It’s a weird feeling being on the other side of that for the first time, but a good one!
  • Overall hardware is simply beautiful, no complaints there (aside from the lack of headphone jack).
  • Charging is equally as fast as the quickcharging on my Nexus.
  • Various gestures are all intuitive and quick to adapt.

Meh

  • iMessage is… well… iMessage. I was finally able to join the exclusive club that is iMessage, including joining a group text that my friends have had for years now. It’s fine, and the new iOS 10 message effects are fun, but being on Android for so long and being agnostic to messaging apps, it’s nothing special to me.
  • In regards to the headphone jack - I honestly don’t care that much. I rarely listen to music from the headphone jack on my phone, and if I do, small earbuds are fine (the phone comes with a pair). The majority of music I listen to with my phone comes through bluetooth in my car, or at home, so it really doesn’t bother me.
  • I like the swipe-to-the-left home screen with customizable info, but one thing I know for sure is that I will be missing Google Now.

Dislike

  • Why can’t I dismiss notifications on my lock screen with a single swipe? Having notifications just sitting there drives me nuts, and the only way to dismiss is to unlock the phone, or to force touch and then hit the close icon. I’m missing being able to just swipe them away like on Android.
  • Siri is just awful. I could Google things so much easier with Google’s voice commands, and so far Siri is about 0/5 with me trying to get her to do things.
  • The camera bump makes it so if you’re tapping on the phone while it’s on a table, it rocks back and forth. A small detail but really annoying to me.

Conclusion

At the time of writing this, I’ve set up call-forwarding from my old phone and signed into Hangouts with my Fi number, leaving my Nexus completely phased out. It’s feeling like the iPhone is just my normal phone now, and I’m finding myself utilizing it a ton, by listening to music, snapping pictures etc. The few gripes I have about it are outweighed greatly by the huge ecosystem and practically universal integrations with everything. There’s never a doubt that something may or may not be available on an iPhone, something I was used to experiencing with Android.

I’m good for a while, and I’m really enjoying it.

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