New year, new platform: Do you plan on switching platforms this year?Anna Scantlin - Contributing Editor
It's pretty early in the game this year, so perhaps this title in itself is unable to be answered at this point in time for many people. But for others, 2014 might end up being a big year. For a lot of people, this is "upgrade year", and with upgrade year comes a lot of decisions that need to be made in order to figure out what phone you'll be carrying for the next several months. Picking a new phone can be a daunting task for sure, but more often than not it seems like "upgrade day" can't come soon enough. It's that breath of fresh air we all desperately seem to need after the first, ohhhhhhh, 6 months or so after getting a new phone.
I've said it once and I'll say it again, 22 months is too long to wait for upgrades now-a-days. Then again, in many cases you don't have to wait that long anymore with new early upgrade programs now available from the four major U.S. carriers, but I digress. No matter how long or short you've had to wait for an upgrade, when the offer is on the table for you there's a lot to take into consideration. Do you want to get a bigger phone, a smaller phone, a faster phone, or perhaps you don't need as much in a phone? But besides picking out the small details of the phone, one of the more important decisions is whether you want to stick with the same platform you've been using or switching it up this time around.
Switching platforms can be scary, because you've likely built a small ecosystem of your own with whatever platform you've been using the past several months. Not only have you situated everything just the way you like it, but you've likely purchased an application or two that you would hate to see go to waste if you were to switch to a different platform. I mean, if you're switching between iOS and Android, in all likelihood you'll probably have little to no issues finding an identical application in the alternate application store. However, that doesn't change the fact that you're going to have the re-purchase the application for the alternate platform. It kind of sucks, but as it stands right now that's just the way it is. On the plus side, from iOS to Android or vise versa you can at least count on the same quantity and quality of applications to be around. The major difference between the two platforms would be that Android gives more freedom to customization while iOS is generally considered more stable.
The same can be said for BlackBerry and Windows Phone as well. Even if they don't have the same massive amount of applications, if that's the platform you've been using since the last time you've upgraded you've likely put a lot of time and effort into perfecting them to your liking.
But despite all of that, perhaps the pull of curiosity is what's making you consider a switch. Maybe it's the customization of Android, or the sleek interface of iOS. Maybe the minimialism and simplicity of Windows Phone, or the security aspect of BlackBerry. Whatever the reason is, the itch to switch is there, and it's hard to determine whether you really want to jump ship from your comfort zone or not.
I feel your pain; I've been there for the past two years myself. In 2011 all I had ever known and used was Android (and Windows Mobile and webOS, both of which were no longer relevant at the time) but the pressure to switch to iOS was there. Begrudgingly I went for it, and as it turned out I loved it. I didn't think I would, but I did. In fact, I loved it so much I had pretty much written off Android as the inferior platform. And, at the time, I still think that it was. But in 2013, after using my iPhone for nearly 2 years, upgrade time was back and I wasn't sure what to do. Do I stick with iOS, do I switch to Windows Phone or the (seemingly) dying BlackBerry, or do I go back to Android? All very viable options, and all very hard to choose from. In the end I went back to Android, and lo and behold I ended up loving it again. I didn't think I would, but the changes made to Android impressed me.
I was 2 for 2 and you know what they say, third time's a charm. So 6 months after having my One (and loving it - I still do) I actually jumped ship to Windows Phone myself just the other day. I gave into that itch to switch - I decided that this year was the year that I was going to stop being a pansy about things and just dive in and see what Windows Phone is all about. I can't say that I love it or hate it yet because I haven't really owned it for more than a few days at this point, but throughout the next several months we'll see how it plays out.
It's an exciting and scary experience all at the same time jumping to an entirely different platform, but now I want to know what your plans for this year is readers: Do you plan on sticking with your same platform, or is this the year you're going to switch? If so, what platform do you plan on heading to? Let us know your thoughts and plans in the comments below!