I switched! Yes indeed, I dropped AT&T and the iPhone 3GS in favor of the Google Nexus One and T-Mobile. I’d made many excuses as to why I put up with the painful AT&T network, from having apps that I needed to do my work to simply the daily habit of using the iPhone. When Google announced the Nexus One last week I wasn’t even overly excited; I knew I wouldn’t be switching until I could rely on it for my day-to-day tasks.
My essentials – such as VPN, an SSH Client with Public Key support and task management that works with our Kerio Mail Server – were not available (or at least not working properly) either as a core feature or a third-party app when Android was back at v1.5 (VPN support was added in v1.6). However things have changed since: VPN (PPTP) support is now available, ConnectBot (the SSH client) has matured, and Moxier Mail works with our Exchange-alternative mail/contacts/calendar setup. While the virtual keyboard is not as good as that on the iPhone, I’m satisfied with what it can do.
On top of my everyday needs, Android gave me what the iPhone could not: native notifications. I know the iPhone has the Push notifications, but I don’t like the idea of relying on third-party servers to notify me to important alerts; I especially don’t like that I have to send out my login credentials in order to get push-notifications (such as with GPush).
As for the hardware, the Nexus One is the fastest Android phone on the market, no doubt about it, paired with great screen with high resolution; it makes other Android phones look cheap. Bear in mind, Google put the Nexus One into the market not to join the ranks of phone manufacturers but to push the envelope in Android adoption, forcing other manufacturers of Android smartphones to create better, faster, and more interesting handsets.
Android’s development cycle is much faster than that of the iPhone, and the open nature of the platform allows for a sneak peek into what new things or fixes can be expected from later Android releases. I like knowing and being able to expect what things are coming down the line; hence why Android matches my own working philosophy.
Don’t get me wrong, the iPhone 3GS is a great phone. I’ve been using one since it was launched last year, but AT&T’s dreadful network pushed me to the edge and what Android has to offer in term of flexibility tipped me over.
I don’t believe everyone has the same requirements as me when it comes to picking up a phone or a carrier; there’s no one single, perfect phone out there for everyone. Once in a while, though, there will be a device that comes close to what you see as a perfect handset. So ignore the hype and FUD, give that phone – any phone – a try and see if it is a good fit for you.