When is the last time you tried out a new platform?Anna Scantlin - Contributing Editor
Smartphones are great products. If you're reading this page, it's probably safe to assume that you like smartphones and probably already have one. Although smartphones only first boomed in 2007 with the introduction of the iPhone, it's easy to see just how far our smartphones have come in just 6 short years. We've seen Windows Mobile turn to Windows Phone, we've seen Android progress rapidly from being second-rate to being the most used platform in the world, and recently BlackBerry revamped its entire OS. Between all of these changes in the industry and more, how many times have you found yourself giving other platforms a try?
For me, I normally tinker and switch between platforms quite often. I'm not exactly partial to just one platform because there are different things that I like about each one. For example, while Android has always given me the most control over the customization of my phone, rooted or not, iOS was able to provide me the most stable experience I've had in a smartphone. At first it was difficult to grasp the concept that I wasn't really able to customize all that much, but the longer I used iOS the more I was able to see why people liked it so much. I liked webOS because it made good use of the cards, and Palm's hardware was some of the best in the business in my opinion. Those gel keyboards were the bomb diggity, if I do say so myself.
Generally when I do switch platforms it's because I feel like I have a good reason to do so. As many of you know, I recently switched from my iPhone 4S to an HTC One. Towards the end of using my iPhone 4S I knew that I would be switching platforms, even after having the chance to try out iOS 7. And, whenever I did switch, it wasn't really because I disliked iOS 7 (although I do prefer the look of iOS 6, but iOS 7 is still the redesign that Apple needed in order to keep it fresh - and they did keep functionality the same). I mostly switched because Android had improved so greatly over the course of the year and a half that I was using iOS, and sometimes you just need that change to keep things fresh.
I think that's an important aspect of this industry. Not only for the manufacturers to keep things fresh for us, but for us to keep things fresh for ourselves. This job would be a lot harder if I only stuck to one platform, and by switching to others every once in a while it gives a fresher and better perspective on how it actually works. You can definitely get a lot of info just from reading information, but you can also get a lot of info from taking the time to get to know the product. Of course, more than likely you're not going to be able to get your hands on every product like you want because it can be an expensive hobby, but I highly encourage people to switch it up every once in a while if they're feeling bored with a platform or phone. Odds are by the time you switch back something will be different about your old platform.
Even if you're the type of person who loves a platform so much that you would never want to use any other platform ever, I still think it's a good idea to try other platforms out once in a while just to get a feel for it. When I worked at Sprint and people asked about phones we offered, all too often did I get cut off mid-sentence talking about one platform or another to people saying they have just heard terrible things about the platform, they never want to try it, they don't even want to look at it. Now, I can understand being concerned about a platform because you heard bad things about, but at least take the time to kind of play around with a device yourself - you are your own best sense of judgment. And you never know, you might like it!
I like to call it "Platform Tolerance".
Readers, when's the last time you tried out a new platform? Did you end up liking it so much you switched, or did it just end up giving you more reason to stick with the platform you already know and love? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Images via Vision Mobile, Digital Trends