I’ve been working with mobile applications since 2011, making apps for both Android and iOS platforms. Between the two, there was no secret, iOS is being my favourite since day one. 90% of the apps I’ve done were just for iOS and the reason is simple: I hated Android as a user — Yes, the sentence is in the past.
Forget about different programming languages, approaches, IDE, project’s structure, any of these isn’t a problem for a developer when he likes what he’s doing. I simply could not enjoy. Just like cooking something that you don’t even support to smell. This led me to only develop for Android when I had no escape.
My first contact with Android was in 2010 with a Motorola Dext running Android 1.5. For me, an impressive device by that time. But a couple days with that creepy OS, made me continue with a Nokia C6 with the old and good friend, Symbian. The hate have started…
The Mind Trap
Android continued to upgrade when I first met iOS (4), when a mobile OS started to make sense for me. Since then I have ignored the Android evolution even using it from time to time, in my mind I was still relating that with my bad experience all the time.
An Idea & a Nexus 5
2015 has arrived and someone came up with an idea to develop an Android-only application. It was not the first proposal nor the first Android app I would make, but that brilliant idea brought a great opportunity. I surprisingly accepted.
This was the trigger to start an experiment to see if I could leave behind my bad experiences with Android and start liking it. Because at the end if I don’t, I would be working for nothing, cooking something I don’t eat, I don’t even bite. It would affect the overall project and the result would not be up to that brilliant opportunity.
To start the experiment I left my iPhone almost untouched and used a Nexus 5 as my main smartphone for 2 weeks. During the first days it was painful, but surprisingly I started to get used, not with the features because I knew them, but with the entire user experience. The evolution is really impressive, Android 5.0 Lollipop looks really good and is mature enough to provide anything I need from a smartphone in a day to day basis and Nexus 5 was really helpful in this process. By using the Nexus 5 I could get a more clean Android experience — stock Android, some people hate it, but that is not the point here — just like Google intended to and it also changed my mind about another aspect, the screen size. Just like Android at first contact, I did not like smartphones with screens larger than 4″ inches, even the iPhone 6/6 Plus, because the screen was “too big” for my personal needs or to make me feel comfortable with the smartphone in my pocket, and other key points as well. But after 2 weeks using the Nexus 4.95″ inches display I can’t use my old iPhone 5c with the same enthusiasm anymore… I need a bigger screen.
Now I like the Android experience, which leads me to enjoy coding for Android, the projects have better results and I know I need a bigger screen. At the end, It took only 2 weeks and an open mind to change years of hate.