We are nearing the end of 2014, which means that at this point we’re able to see pretty much everything that there is to offer in terms of new smartphones this year. We’ve had a pretty exciting line-up, anywhere from the oddly shaped LG G Flex to the surprisingly popular BlackBerry Passport, and of course everything in between. There have been a lot of great releases this year from all four major platforms, and with holiday sales ramping up now that Thanksgiving is just around the corner, it’s not a bad time to start looking at switching platforms.
Switching platforms can be both daunting and exciting. On the one hand, maybe you’re bored with your current platform. It might do everything you want it to do, but you just have this itch that you need to scratch, and only a fresh start with a new mobile OS can fix that. It’s understandable, and it’s something I go through quite often myself. On the other hand, what if you end up hating the new OS that you switch to? Maybe your friend Mikey told you, an Android user, that iOS is the best platform ever and you can’t not love it - but as it turns out, iOS wasn’t your cup of tea. Then you potentially wasted all of that money for nothing.
I’m kind of a serial platform switcher. I’ve used each of the four major platforms for at least a few months each this year. I started out with Windows Phone, then switched back to Android, moved over to iOS, and then tried my hand at BlackBerry 10. These days, I’ve pretty much been sticking it out with iOS (on an iPhone 4S, which still runs decently enough) until I can figure out what exactly it is I want to use for the next few months.
Fortunately, I can say that as daunting as switching platforms might be, I can look back on my experiences with more positive outlooks than negative. Even if a platform wasn’t exactly my cup of tea, there was always something good to say about them. With Android, the endless customization options are great; iOS has always been stable and the apps are plentiful; Windows Phone probably has my favorite OS design and “flow” out of any platform; and BlackBerry still has a comfortable, familiar feeling when I use the phone (and the ability to sideload Android apps - and now directly download some of them through the Amazon App Store - is a huge bonus). I never feel like I’ve wasted money on a phone, even if I didn’t fall in love with the platform. It was always a new and exciting experience that I wanted and needed.
But I’ve been involved in this business for a few years now, so perhaps there’s nothing terribly new or exciting for me to discover other than new features or designs when companies update them. Somebody who hasn’t been invested in smartphones for so long will probably find a platform switch even more beneficial at this point. Looking back, if I had continued on my path of being all “Bah, humbug,” about iOS (since I was a Sprint customer for so many years and never had the opportunity to use an iPhone until 2011) then I wouldn’t have discovered how much I actually liked iOS. In fact, the Apple iPhone 4S is still the phone that I’ve used for the longest amount of time, both consecutively and overall. I mean, I’m using the phone right now. That wouldn’t have happened if I never decided to take the plunge and try the new platform. It’s one of my top ranked phone experiences ever.
I think the end of the year is probably the best time to look at switching platforms if that’s been an interest of yours. You have an entire year’s line-up to choose from, and you won’t be surprised by any “special edition” releases later on in the year. You also have the added benefit of catching a ton of sales and promotions going on for the holiday season, so even if you did end up thinking that a switch was a total waste of money, it isn’t as big of a waste as it potentially could have been, right?
With that in mind, we want to hear from you, readers: Do you plan on switching platforms before the end of the year? If so, which platform do you want to switch to and which phone are you hoping to get? Let us know in the comments below!