Julie’s gadget diary – My iPhone 7 saga has ended (for now)

{ 27 comments }

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I decided not to write a traditional smartphone review because you can read any one of the eleventy billion iPhone 7 reviews on the internet right now. I thought it would be more interesting to write about my experiences using the iPhone 7 and trying to adjust to iOS after using Android for the last several years.

First things first, if you haven’t been following my iPhone 7 adventures, you can get caught up by clicking through and reading the following posts. 

Julie’s gadget diary – Here we go again, I want an iPhone 7
Julie’s gadget diary – Be careful how you order your new iPhone 7
Julie’s gadget diary – iPhone 7 procurement mission completed
Julie’s gadget diary – I’m starting to rethink my iPhone 7 purchase

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When I walked out of the Verizon store on 9/16 with a brand new iPhone 7, I decided to really give it my best try at switching from Android to iOS. From the moment I took the iPhone 7 out of the box I really liked the look and feel of the phone. I love Apple hardware and always have.

So I turned off my Nexus 6P and started the switch by installing my most used apps like: Words with Friends, Amazon Music, Instagram, Google Keep, Hangouts, Nest, WordPress, etc.

I had no problems using the iPhone 7 for day to day tasks. It’s not rocket science using a smartphone no matter which operating system it uses. But it’s the little things that make you like one platform more than the other.

Some of the main reasons why I like the iPhone 7 include:

  • Fit and finish of the hardware
  • The iPhone’s dedicated mute switch is much easier to use than waking up the phone and holding the volume button down until the volume is off
  • Gorgeous display. The iPhone 7 might not have as high of resolution as my Nexus 6P, but I think it looks better
  • The iPhone 7 is crazy fast and snappy
  • The camera is awesome
  • The massive number of accessories that are made specifically for the iPhone
  • OS updates on the day that Apple releases them instead of waiting for carriers to approve and roll out the updates to each Android phone

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As each day passed, I kept going back and forth about keeping the iPhone 7 or going back to the Nexus 6P. I kept finding things that I missed from Android like:

  • The ability to customize the Android interface with different launchers that allow for denser icon spacing, icon packages, icon sizes, widgets and more is something that I really like because I’m a tweaker.
  • Apple’s notifications have been improved, but I still prefer Android notifications. One thing I noticed immediately was that the iOS notifications for my Nest cameras did not show a thumbnail image like they do on Android. That meant that I would have to open the app and in order to see what triggered the notification.
  • I like being about to use a wired or Bluetooth mouse and keyboard with my Android devices when I need to use them as a pseudo-laptop. You can’t use a mouse with an iPhone or iPad.
  • Copying files to and from Android is a lot easier than with iOS.

I think it ultimately comes down to being able to customize the interface and do cool things like using NFC tags and Tasker scripts that make me like Android so much more than iOS.

The clincher was when I checked my Nexus 6P one morning to look for an image I had taken and found that the Nougat update was waiting (finally) to be installed. After I updated the OS and started playing with the 6P I knew it wasn’t going to work out with the iPhone 7.  I may be a Mac when it comes to desktop operating systems, but I’m definitely an Android when it comes to mobile operating systems. At least for now.

I boxed up the iPhone 7 and returned it for a refund (minus a $35 restock fee) to my local Verizon store.

This year’s experience with the new iPhone lasted longer than last year when I canceled the order before I even received the phone. It will be interesting to see if I gulp a big glass of Apple Kool-Aid next year or if I am able to maintain some self-control. Oh heck, who am I kidding? I know I’ll be just as excited to try the 10th anniversary of the iPhone in 2017 as I was to try this year’s model. Afterall, I’m the Gadgeteer, so it’s in my nature.

Posted in: Articles
{ 27 comments… add one }
  • Nicholas Conrad September 26, 2016, 12:06 am

    I’m sorry it didn’t work out. But I have to say, I had a feeling…

  • William Nicholls September 26, 2016, 12:15 am

    I run a Nexus phone on Google Fi, and I’m used to taking updates for granted. The unadulterated Android experience is fantastic, but Fi’s coverage is poor away from urban areas. I love Fi’s pricing, simplicity, and clarity. The only thing I miss from Verizon is the coverage.

  • Pow Wee September 26, 2016, 6:06 am

    The whole article can be applied on iphone 6s vs your Nexus phone too. There is nothing new on the iphone 7 that could attrack you to change. Those thing that you like on Nexus 6P will not be found in next year’s iphone either. So you can recycle this article next year as well.

    I am sure you find lots of pleasure in writing about your experience, but from a reader point of view, that was really nothing new that I gained from this article. Main reason is that your conclusion on why you stick with Nexus is already known before you even try iphone 7. So why bother with the whole try out?

    An analogy will be meat-eating person one day declare that she seriously want to consider becoming a vegetarian. After trying for a few days, she declared vegetarian is not for her, and the reason is that she cannot live without meat….

    By the way, I am an Android user. I just felt a few minutes of my time has been wasted, so I decided to waste another few more minutes writing this comments, hoping that there will be more uplifting articles in the internet in the future. Please take this in a positive way, this is just an honest feeling from a reader who care to respond, cheers.

    • Julie Strietelmeier September 26, 2016, 6:14 am

      I’m sorry you feel that reading about my experiences with the iPhone 7 wasted your time. Hopefully everyone else won’t feel the same. Hardware wise, there weren’t many updates from last year’s iPhone, but this year did see some improvements under the hood and a new version of iOS. For those reasons, I felt it worthy enough to give the iPhone and iOS another shot at being my daily driver. I never know when I’ll want to fully jump ship to another platform. It didn’t work this time, but it just might next time.

    • Lynn Lopez September 26, 2016, 12:59 pm

      I enjoy reading your reviews. I think we are a very alike in how we use our phones. I just had the benefit of watching you go through what I most likely would have done myself. I just decided to wait for the google announcements before trying the Apple Koolaid myself! Who knows, next year may bring something really cool with the 10th anniversary Apple iPhone.

      • Julie Strietelmeier September 26, 2016, 3:35 pm

        I have my fingers crossed. But I am not sure Apple will ever make iOS as open and “fun” as I want it to be. Here’s hoping though! And yes, I agree that we’re a lot alike in our views on phones. 🙂

  • 1000Acres September 26, 2016, 10:17 am

    I really enjoy your articles about iPhones, Android and everything else. When I want a new gadget, I always check the Gadgeteer first and have never been disappointed. Since all the relatives are iPhone dudes, I like knowing all the shortcomings vs. Android. It drives them crazy! Welcome back from the dark side :-).

  • Richard September 26, 2016, 10:57 am

    And of course this is why we love you Julie – because you are a tech blog not like the other eleventy billion. While the clinical dissection of a product has its place, the crazy gadget urge , the “why because I can”, the child’s “the present is nice, but let me show you what I can do with the box and wrapping paper”, sums up the giddy joy at experiencing new technology. “The Gadgeteer” is personal, primal! My daughter – 4 years old at the time – once was given a present and she just stood there and shook, repeating over and over again “happy, happy, happy”.

    So I understand the urge to just experience, and report that experience. I understand. A company contacted me a while ago and reminded me that their software could be downloaded to multiple devices, but it should just be my devices. They mentioned I had over the past few months downloaded the software to over a dozen devices and surely they could not all be mine? Yes they were, but only three were still in my possession. Others had been wiped, returned or sold. But the pleasure in trying them all!!!

    I love your site and posts. I understand them. This one was more about WWJD (what will Julie do?)

    • Richard September 26, 2016, 11:00 am

      …. and WWJD is as fascinating and entertaining as bits, bytes, flips and flops, widgets and whatnots.

  • Paul Lagasse September 26, 2016, 6:29 pm

    Thanks for sharing your iPhone 7 experiences with us. You mentioned that you find file management on Android to be superior to iOS. I’m using my iPad almost exclusively as my mobile computer these days, and I’m finding the lack of desktop-class file management (either natively or via third-party apps) to be a real limitation. I’d love to know more about Android’s file management capabilities. How does it work on Android, and why do you find it better? Thanks in advance!

    • Julie Strietelmeier September 26, 2016, 7:49 pm

      File management on Android is comparable to Windows or the Mac when using a file explorer app. One of my favorites is X-plore.

  • Douglas Forrester September 26, 2016, 10:29 pm

    I am impressed that you say “eleventy billion” in Ohio. I thought we only said that in Virginia. 😛

  • Martin September 27, 2016, 5:10 am

    This sounds like something that the next iPhone will not solve either. The philosophy is different between iOS and Android, and I can’t see that Apple will change their way of doing things. Of course you can try every once in a while, but I suspect that you will never find the iOS experience satisfying. Same goes the other way, of course. They cater for different users.

    Me? I use a Jolla Sailfish phone and couldn’t be happier. 😉

  • Bill Henderson September 27, 2016, 6:20 pm

    Apple Kool-Aid is quite good. Been drinking it for years with no ill-effects.
    I took the iPhone 7 Plus to Washington DC on business and am very impressed with the camera (my sole reason for upgrading from iPhone 6).

  • Cristina Go September 28, 2016, 5:49 pm

    I like both iOS and Android. Currently using an iPhone 7 Plus and the newly replaced Samsung Note 7. Both devices have their pros and cons. I like to switch things around from time to time so I don’t get too bored.

  • Ronald Lu September 28, 2016, 10:21 pm

    Julie, you hit the nail on the head when you said “The ability to customize the Android interface with different launchers that allow for denser icon spacing, icon packages, icon sizes, widgets and more is something that I really like because I’m a tweaker.” I’m the same way. Presently I’m using an iPhone 6 that’s jailbroken so that I’ve customized it to my liking. Unfortunately Apple goes out of its way to prevent jailbreaks so it has been taking longer and longer for the jailbreak community to publish jailbreaks with each new iteration of iOS. For those people wanting to have newer iPhones due to possibly better hardware, they are faced with upgrading to the new phone without being able to customize it because a jailbreak isn’t available for the newer iOS. I also agree with you that moving files back and forth between phone and desktop is much easier on the Android side. I don’t have problems customizing my iPhone and moving files around because I’m quite tech savvy but for the majority doing these types of tasks on an iPhone is a real pain.

    • Julie Strietelmeier September 29, 2016, 6:20 am

      A few years ago when I was using the iPhone 4 as my main phone, I did the whole jailbreak thing. And I’ve installed other ROMs on Android devices. It’s fun, but it can also be a pain. I’d rather not have to go to those extremes in order to make the phone bend to my will. Stock Android is pretty much perfect when it comes to customization without having to jump through too many hoops.

  • Kathleen Chapman September 29, 2016, 1:18 am

    I really enjoyed your review, Julie. My primary device is a Nexus 6 phone but I also enjoy using my iPod Touch 6G. Customization and file management on Android devices are the primary reasons that I will most likely always favor Android over iOS devices. However, I feel that having both of these makes me a better Gadgeteer – here on your blog AND at home (I’m the resident IT/network admin of our mixed Android/iOS household). 🙂

    • Julie Strietelmeier September 29, 2016, 6:22 am

      There’s a lot of truth in that. I am still finding that some products that are offered for review only have an iOS app, so it does pay to have both when you’re in this line of work. Luckily my original iPad mini still helps me out once in awhile.

  • Smythe Richbourg September 29, 2016, 9:34 am

    Love the video at the end! Sorry you aren’t in the iOS camp any longer, but there’s always next year!

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