Julie’s gadget diary – Is there such a thing as being bi-OS?


Last week I ordered a cute little Android pin from Dead Zebra. When it arrived, there were a couple of Android stickers also included in the package. I was so excited that I took a picture and shared it with Dave Rees (my Gadgeteer BFF). What he said next made me both laugh and think.


Dave’s comment that I would have to give up my Android lifestyle on Friday was because I pre-ordered an iPhone 7 Plus and would soon be ditching my Nexus 6P after exclusively using Android smartphones for the past four years.

It made me think about how polarizing people can be when it comes to mobile operating systems. It’s almost like sex, religion and politics. When someone finds out that you like one mobile OS over another mobile OS, they judge you for your preference. And heaven forbid if you decide to switch from one OS to another.

I’ve been in the gadget biz for almost 20 years now and have received my share of hateful emails and forum posts blasting my choice whenever I moved from Palm to Windows Mobile and then to iOS and Android. I find it very interesting how invested people can be in their own personal choices and then freak out when someone who they might look up to changes theirs.

So to anyone out there that cares about the fact I’m going to give the iPhone 7 a shot at being my new daily driver, you can rest assured that I’m not completely abandoning Android. I still have a Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 tablet that use every day. At least I am now. Once I get an iPhone 7 in my hands, the Apple Koolaid might kick in again and I might order an iPad Pro! πŸ˜‰

What does everyone else think? Anyone else bi-OS like me (and Dave)?

Posted in: Android, Articles, iOS
{ 19 comments… add one }
  • eric September 12, 2016, 10:49 am

    I don’t use Android simply because I take my security and privacy seriously. My Samsung device hasn’t had an update in three years. Crucial security patches can take months – if they are provided at all. Android apps insist on access to phone data and features which they don’t need on a take it or leave it basis. Irremovable bloatware hits battery life and I can’t use an Android phone without a Google account tracking me everywhere I go on the web. I’m honestly stunned that anyone would use Android.

  • David Baker September 12, 2016, 11:16 am

    Is it possible to Tri or Poly OS. I use both Windows and Android phones (work and personal), and I use an Ipad (work) and Galaxy Note Pro for personal. I also use a HP Spectre 360 for my everyday laptop so poly is probably it. I have not used an Iphone, simply because I don’t want to set up a personal Itunes account, it’s a hassle as I use one for work, and after juggling a dual play accounts, I just don’t see the point. However I get the gadget itch…:0

    • Julie Strietelmeier September 12, 2016, 11:53 am

      I guess I’m poly too… Mac at home, Windows at day job, Android tablet, soon to be iPhone smartphone.

  • Ruud van der Ham September 12, 2016, 12:31 pm

    I’m also very tri:

    Windows on Microsoft Surface Pro 3 for serious work (particularly spreadsheets, word processing and multimedia production). I think the mouse is the main reason not to be able to do any serious work on the mobile OSs.

    iOS on iPad Air 2. Excellent for reading books, magazines and anything which requires a bigger screen. I also do a lot of programming (mainly prototyping for Windows production) in Python with the excellent Pythonista app, which is not available under Android.

    Android on Samsung S7. For the real mobile apps and the camera. I entered the Android world just recently and I absolutely love the flexibilty of this OS. Just the fact that you can install another (=better for me) launcher makes this OS for me superior. And a proper file system and a convenient notification system here.
    And most apps are also available under Android and the quality of them is often comparable to the iOS apps.

    Conclusion: tri, here.

    • Clarence W. September 13, 2016, 10:08 am

      I have all 3 also, but I use my SP4 for most productivity and some casual if I already have it open. Android fills the gap from casual to convenience usage. Currently my iOS devices serve as a clock (the iPad) and a music player (iPhone) when I go running.

  • Bill Henderson September 12, 2016, 1:12 pm

    Never. Never. Never.
    Been using Apple exclusively since 1988. Never used Windows. Never used Android. I’m the ultimate Apple fanboy. Come to think of it, maybe Apple should pay me.

    • Julie Strietelmeier September 12, 2016, 1:13 pm


    • Smythe Richbourg September 22, 2016, 6:55 pm

      I’m like Bill – but I have had to use some non-Applestuff over the years. I’ve just never paid for the – privilege. I prefer to have others pay me to suffer. πŸ˜‰

      That said, I try not to judge folks by their choices. It’s like Julie said: religion, politics, sexual preferences, and gadget operating systems are best just left in the “agree to disagree and stay friends” department. I’m glad we can all just “get along” here on The Gadgeteer!

  • Daniel Storbeck September 12, 2016, 1:56 pm

    I use the complete Apple Environment since 2012. Then I have changed from Windows 7 to MacOS first with the notebook, six weeks later with the iMac. After I received my MacBook Pro Retina directly from Apple at release date, i have never used my Windows PC anymore. Six weeks later, I saved all my personal files an sold the PC.

    iPhone since model 3G, iPad since iPad 2. I have never regretted it……

    I only use a Dell Latitude 4310 with Windows 10 for applications, which necessarily need Windows (Like Car-coding, PBX-programming…)

    • Julie Strietelmeier September 12, 2016, 3:13 pm

      Your story sounds similar to mine at least with the desktop computers. I was a die hard PC person who even built my own systems. I tried switching to Macs 2 times and failed. The 3rd time was the charm. Now I only use a Windows machine at my day job although I have one here at home if / when I need one for a Windows-only app. It doesn’t happen very often.

  • Tony September 12, 2016, 2:13 pm

    I am not bi-OS, but I do appreciate what iOS has to offer. I’ve been with Android for about 5 years now, though I would really love to buy an iPhone SE to see how I could manage with it as a daily driver. They’re so simple, yet complicated in their own way. I’d actually love to do it with Windows Mobile as well. Ah hell, why not have all the operating systems?!

    • Julie Strietelmeier September 12, 2016, 3:10 pm

      It’s a shame that Windows Mobile just doesn’t get any love…

      • Ruud van der Ham September 12, 2016, 3:49 pm

        Well, it’s no surpise that Windows Mobile is not very popular, to say the least. It would be my favorite … if there were any apps! For me that would be the operating system, actually. But it’s more of a dream than reality.

    • Smythe Richbourg September 22, 2016, 6:58 pm

      My son-in-law got an SE as his first Apple smartphone and loves it. He only had one Android device before, though, and that for less than a year. But it’s as good a device as my iPhone 6s Plus, except for the camera.

  • Marco Bianchi September 12, 2016, 4:00 pm

    Never owned a WinPC, but use one at the job. At home we use a desktop Mac, but I use a Chromebook as a laptop. Ipad for tablet consumption. Android for everyday mobility, and Pebble as wearable. I guess this makes me ???-OS?

  • Dave Ferreira September 12, 2016, 4:04 pm

    Kind of with you on this: MacBook Pro Retina also running Parallels/Windows 10 for some applications (like Visual Studio or Visio). Android phone (Note 7, and the boom you heard is a mic drop) and tablet, but do like Windows Phone (and even the old Windows Mobile stuff).

    Never managed to get into iOS – I’ve had a few iPhones over the years, and I ditch them pretty quickly because Apple still wants to tell me how to use my device. For example, it is inordinately difficult to block callers. With a lot of Android apps, I can import an already-created black list of known spammers and go about my business. Plus I can keep new entries from the community in line with automatic updates to the list. With iOS, I have to wait for the spammer to call me, and then block their calls from that specific number. This means I am forever playing catch up as their numbers change more often than I change my socks (daily, thank you).

    As for the argument that Google is mining you for data (through things like making you have a Google account to use an Android phone), I suggest that it is no different than needing an Apple/iTunes account to use an iOS device (or, for that matter, the App store on the Mac). If you think for a minute that you are not the product in an Apple scenario, then you should cut back on the Kool-Aid. I just appreciate that Google collects the info, presents me with targeted ads rather than random ones, and then gets out of my way to let me do what I need/want. No legislating morality with the sites or apps you can visit or download, and no telling me that their mistake is mine (you’re holding it wrong).

    Not to say that iOS is a total dog. It works well for my 78 year old mom – and no, not a statement on the potential users of that OS. Merely a note that depending on how you look at your device (communication/business tool vs. entertainment/consumption), your mileage may vary. And diversity in that regard is a very good thing. At least it is for me and the tech support I provide to Mom…

  • Nicholas September 12, 2016, 11:00 pm

    If I’m using ChromeOS and Android does that count as 2 OSes or only 1? If it’s one, is it because they’re both Google properties or because they run on the same kernel?

    • Julie Strietelmeier September 13, 2016, 6:20 am

      There are no rules. If you want it to count as two, we’ll count it as two πŸ™‚

  • Lex September 16, 2016, 6:41 am

    Living in both worlds for years. iPad is my work computer, unfortunately. Company took away laptops and gave us iPads 6 years ago. They’re great for home use but are consumer vs producer devices. Using Android phones for years. Home Win 10 laptop. Shopping Chromebooks for home use to cut the Windows umbilical cord.

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