I used the iPhone 3, 4, and 5 before jumping to Android. I had the Nexus 4 and 6P, the Pixel XL, and the OnePlus 7Pro. But now I have jumped back over to iOS and the iPhone 13. This was not a light decision, but rather one that I struggled with for several weeks of research and weighing pros and cons.
As I have gotten older, I realized that for all the convenience of
big brother Google watching me…I just didn’t want to be surveilled by an advertising company every minute of every day. I became far less enamored with the conveniences as I came to better understand how Google was making billions in profit on everyone’s data and giving them a pittance of services. Services, I might add, that they are notorious for discontinuing at the drop of a hat. I’ve had a number of conversations with people that tell me I’m getting email/calendar/maps/etc for free, so I am being compensated for my data. And if it were anywhere near equitable, they wouldn’t be clearing the amount of profit they do every year.
Which led me to my decision a few weeks ago. I decided that there was not an Android-based phone out there that would meet my personal and professional needs without sacrificing my every movement and interaction to the Great Google Data Machine ready to be sold off to every random advertiser with a few cents to spare. This left me with the only other viable choice of iOS. I know, there are options like the PinePhone and Librem 5, but I cannot install my company’s required security software on anything but Android and iOS. So if Android is out, iOS it is.
I have been running the iPhone 13 since the launch day and it has been pretty good. The widget options are not quite as robust as the ones on Android, but they also have not been available nearly as long. I really do like the Focus feature. And as much as I wanted to dislike Face ID, it is much faster and more reliable than my OnePlus’s in-screen fingerprint reader.
I am also planning on pickup up the Apple Watch to replace my Samsung Gear Fit 2. Not that I can complain about the Gear, it has served me well for several years. But it does not integrate well into the Apple ecosystem and the battery has gotten very flaky in the past 8-12 months. The Apple Watch does a lot more than the Gear, though it is also bulkier. So I will have to give it a try and hope that I find it at least as useful and convenient as I have found the Gear to be.
This, again, feeds into my desire to get away from technology that is tightly coupled with a massive machine solely designed to gather as much data about me as possible so it can conduct more effective psychological warfare against me. Yes, this is a dramatic way of saying I do not like advertising and I do not want to help an advertising company market to me more effectively. If I decide there is something that I want or need, I will do my own research at that time and make my own informed decision of which one to get, if any.
And honestly, that is the crux of the entire decision. I have spent the last 15 years diligently removing as many forms of advertising from my life as I could reasonably accomplish. I started by getting rid of cable television and going with streaming services and purchasing seasons of shows that I want to watch. I use ad blockers in my browsers. I have a pi-hole at my house to prevent my computers from being able to reach known tracking and advertising systems. I have also been moving into services that I pay for up front or host myself such as email hosting with MXroute or file hosting on my personal server with Nextcloud. So while I know the iPhone is also keeping up with where I go and what I do, I have opted to go with what I feel is the lesser of two evils. I am not foolish enough to believe that Apple truly values every customer’s personal privacy over profit. But I think they care about it more than Google as their entire business model is not solely based on being an advertiser. Apple would rather see how many of my dollars they can get from me up front, and I am okay with this arrangement. I know who all is involved in the transaction before I make it. And that matters to me.