Finally, the serpent got me

I’ve never really understood the Apple/Windows or Apple/Android fanboy vitriol.

I mean, I’ve historically been a Windows guy because I’m geeky and in the early 90’s Apple machines were truly crap. Don’t get me wrong – Windows was fairly terrible too, but the abundance of cheap software and Linux for the proper jobs meant Apple never really got a look in. That doesn’t mean I don’t see the merit though. For the right dumb-user-and-don’t-care person it’s a great (if pricey and exploitative) option.

But when it comes to smartphones (or in fact anything), I abhor lock-in. Apple is a master of lock-in (iMessage being a great example), and they can go take a running jump as far as I’m concerned.

So, I’ve tried a myriad of Android and iPhones over the years, but – whilst the Apple hardware was just fine – they just made it too damn hard to use one without getting stuck in the quicksand, and I ended up throwing them at someone.

However, Android has pissed me off recently. Manufacturers seem to go out of their way to make a slick experience impossible: even on a new unlocked handset there’s an abundance of bloatware like Facebook or Samsung Cloud, Bixby, etc. bullshit; and the experience just isn’t as smooth and slick as it should be with a £600+ device. Blame shit apps, or the OS, or blame the data slurping telemetry workload, but the outcome is the same.

So, it was with some trepidation that I accepted a new iPhone XR as a work phone. But… (deep breath)… I have to say, Apple have finally swung me!

Through Signal, WhatsApp, Firefox, Google Photos, Outlook and OneDrive I have managed to avoid any kind of Apple lock-in. It’s annoying not be able to set Signal to be the default SMS app, but pure SMS is fairly rare these days; and it took a contacts sync app to replicate my contacts and still avoid lock-in – but hey ho!

It charges wirelessly, so I can re-use my existing chargers rather than have a snakes nest of crappy frayed Lightning cables.

I’ve deleted all the OOTB crap without complaint, and the few Apple apps I can’t remove are hidden away.

Above all though, the experience is as smooth and slick as it bloody well should be on a £750 device!

Would I spend my own money on one? No, probably not. A OP7 achieves much the same for less. But I don’t want to throw it at anybody, and that’s something.