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There are good and bad parts to just about everything. Nothing's perfect. We may love our devices for as long as we own them, but not everything about them will make us happy. Sometimes that's a physical design element, or a piece of software-turned-feature. In the latter case we can usually just turn it off and forget about it, but when a piece of the hardware doesn't quite match up to our expectations over time, it can ultimately lead to a switch. I'm sure we can all relate to one device, or maybe more, just not working out after we've pulled the trigger on a purchase.
When I switch, and I switch a lot, there are usually quite a few reasons why I do it. When it comes to my personal device, I tend to be really picky, and sometimes I'll switch between handsets more than a few times in a week. Back-and-forth, back-and-forth. I don't have a favorite Android manufacturer anymore, and I don't have a favorite when it comes to any one company in general. It means that I'm more than willing to give any platform, any device, a real shot at becoming my daily driver over what I may be using at the time. That tends to mean I go through phones a lot, but I'm always looking for that one device that will really surprise me, from start to finish.
I used to joke that I didn't want to have to "settle," and that's still technically the case. I won't make compromises for devices anymore. My most recent example would be Motorola's Moto X, and just how close that handset came to being my favorite this year. If it weren't for the camera, there's no doubt in my mind that Motorola's hero device for 2013 would be my daily driver well into 2014. But, I'm not going to compromise on something as important as the camera, so I go back to the Moto X from time to time, but never for long.
Right now, my personal device is the iPhone 5s. And, as we take our first steps into 2014, I want to talk about what I want to see change in platforms across the board.
It's the little things. And yet, even if they are small in the great scheme of things, they keep me on iOS, and make me frustrated in their absence from other mobile operating systems. As I detail this, please keep in mind that these are just my personal observations, and needs. I know that many of you will relate to them, but at the same time many of you will probably just wave them off and tell me, "Android/Windows Phone/BlackBerry (really?)/whatever else is better, because." And that's fine. I just need to get this off my chest, in hopes that someone at Google, Microsoft, HTC, Samsung, LG, Motorola and everyone else for that matter can see that these things are important.
I use my headphones a lot, but when I'm driving I use Bluetooth to listen to music. First, can I just say how ridiculously annoying it is that I have to keep messing with the volume level on Android and Windows Phone, as I switch from one source to another? How often I'll duck my head when I start playing music through headphones, because the volume is too loud after having it connected to Bluetooth? Would this be an issue if iOS did it, too? If it was just like this across the board? No, of course not. But, having used iOS and knowing that my volume levels will automatically change as I switch sources is a game changer, if you ask me. Why on Earth this isn't happening on other platforms is beyond me.
Second is actually switching audio sources. This used to be kind of tricky in iOS, because you'd have to find the option within the specific app you were using (it was usually right next to the on-screen volume control, so not really that hard to locate). However, now that iOS 7 includes Control Center, the ability to switch from headphones, to car audio, and to whatever else is just as simple as sliding up from the bottom of the screen. I don't have to worry about turning off Bluetooth, or unplugging and reattaching my headphones to get the music to start playing through them.
These are just a couple of the reasons, these little inclusions in iOS, that keep me coming back to Apple's mobile platform. I know that there are probably ways to get these situations fixed with root, or custom ROMs or whatever else, but the truth is I just don't want to deal with that stuff, nor should I have to. I want it to work right out of the box, and since I know that it does on iOS and doesn't on the other platforms right now, iOS keeps me coming back. That's the only reason the iPhone 5s is my daily driver (plus, the camera), and I think this is an easy fix for the other manufacturers. Add similar ways to do these things, or fix these issues, on your mobile OS and there's a real chance I'll drop iOS altogether.
Until then, though, there's just not a real shot. No matter how hard I try, or love Windows Phone or Android, those missing things or small issues will just drive me crazy over time.
So, I want to hear from you. I want you to tell me which device you use for your daily driver, and I want you to tell me why you use that one over any other. Is it a feature? A design choice in the phone itself? A hardware spec? Let me know what keeps you with the device you have now, rather than another one.