I read a Hacker News thread on a story about Android users moving to iOS. The thread revealed many takes, albeit generally pro-Apple in comparison to Android. One commenter, Mr. Brandon Smith, reported that he knew multiple people who switched from Android to iOS in recent years. He explained that the holdouts he knew were, by their own accounts, sticking with Android because they were disinclined to learn something new (here being iOS) (see full context).

I do not use Apple at all, and I am of an anti-Apple persuasion for my own use (jokingly noted in a humorous post arguing that an anime character should use Linux instead of Windows). I use a Pixel 3a XL running LineageOS as my daily driver phone (LineageOS is a fork of the Android Open Source Project), which follows my having used a Teracube 2e running /e/ OS. I thought I would note why I personally use open source Android forks instead of iOS (and stock Android):

  • I prefer open source operating systems to proprietary operating systems
  • While I understand that Apple is solid on security and privacy (from non-Apple eyes), I would prefer to not become an Apple person
  • I like being able to sideload apps instead of being locked to Apple-approved apps in Apple’s locked down app store
  • Android offers much more freedom in some other areas as well. For example, my favorite app, Syncthing, actually works on Android (and derivatives). It does not work on iOS. I use Syncthing to sync files, photos, passwords, contacts/calendars/tasks, backups, and even game save data across all of my devices without a server.
  • That iPhones generally have better hardware (certainly on the high end) than Android devices is of little interest to me. I used a BlackBerry Classic until early 2021. My Pixel 3a XL is the strongest phone I have used as a daily driver (we are on Pixel 7 at the moment). My ideal phone would have an e-ink display and QWERTY keyboard. So long as my phone is open source and supports Syncthing and a good feed reader/read-it-later solution, all is well (I could even do without the feeds if my ideal phone came in a tablet-package).

Of course, I am only speaking for my use-cases. Apple offers a robust ecosystem, fairly long-term support, and good hardware. Although I do not want its ecosystem and its hardware is locked down and too expensive, I see the appeal for others. Most of my own friends are on iOS, and their iMessage dependence is part of why I met them half-way and became a customer of JMP Chat. While I go with AOSP forks, stock Android with a ton of vendor bloat vs iOS is another matter. In that case I would have to seek out one of the good old dumb phones.

(PS… Additional point in AOSP’s favor: I also enjoy not going to Mac Stores. I think they look weird. But that is neither here nor there.)