December 12, 2010, I purchased an Android phone from Verizon Wireless (the Droid X). January 11, 2011, just under a month later, Verizon announced that it is adding the iPhone to its cell phone offerings. I’ve used an iPod Touch for almost two years and loved it. I would have greatly enjoyed using an iPhone. Do I regret my decision? Not at all. Here are a few reasons why:
1. I made an empowering choice as a consumer to stop being strung along by tech rumors. Verizon iPhone rumors have been around a long time, ever since the iPhone was announced by AT&T four years ago. I’ve been a happy Verizon customer for over seven years and did not want to change carriers, yet I was in fact hoping for the iPhone. Admittedly, I’d held out probably longer than I should have. But I made the decision to purchase an Android smartphone and I followed through with it. I felt freed from the tethers of rumor mills. And that’s satisfying.
2. I chose to purchase a phone with a new-to-me operating system, giving me a chance to expand my knowledge of technology. Sure, I loved using my iPod Touch and its operating system works very well. But if the mobile iOS is an elegant avenue of carefully curated apps, the Android market is a wild west of development, and getting a phone that uses those apps allows me to hone my hacking skills. Because there is much less oversight for apps that make it to the Android market, there is more possibility that they won’t work exactly as desired. But I like supporting these development efforts (such as the app that is being developed by one of my very capable students at Wheaton College). And I like having the chance to do some troubleshooting of my own and learn something new.
3. I gained the opportunity to learn how to enhance my use of the Android OS. This theme of learning new things is important to me. As I get older, I find that I have to be more purposeful in keeping up with technology. After my Droid X purchase, I had to go through the process of finding in a new market apps hat were useful in both my professional and personal life. Not all of the apps I enjoyed in my iPod Touch are available for Android phones (I’m looking at you, Attendance and Public Radio Tuner). But you know what? Beyond those two, I’ve been able to download either the Android version of apps I’ve used previously or suitable replacements. And it was good to go through the process of searching for and paring down to what I really needed.
In all, I’m extremely happy with my purchase and glad I have had the opportunity to learn some new things. My new smartphone is really fantastic, especially for the boost in productivity as relates to my life as a professor. And let’s face it, it’s just plain nice to carry one device instead of two, as I was doing with iPod Touch + cell phone.
What choices have you made in your tech life that might have gone against the grain? How do you keep yourself up-to-date with new technologies? Let us know in the comments.
[Creative Commons licensed photo by Flickr user sanchom.]Return to Top