Could Google’s Nexus 7 make me dump my iPhone?

There can be little argument (though some folks will argue about anything) that the iPhone has revolutionised the Smartphone industry. And with iOS, Apple has created an ecosystem that has directly contributed to soaring revenue and profitability. Sometimes, it seems as though everybody has an iPhone or and iPad.

I have both, and love them both. But sometimes, I wonder about whether I should ditch my iPhone and get an Android device. That may sound crazy, because I’m happy with my iPhone, and always have been. But I sometimes like to do something different, try something else, and find out for myself what I really think. The Samsung Galaxy S3 has had a good review or two, so why not go for that? I’m out of contract, and could get it tomorrow.

I got my first iPhone in 2008, a few months after its UK launch, and fell in love straight away; there were other phones with a better camera, a better screen, but the whole package, and in particular the user experience was second-to-none. I’ve watched films on my iPhone, listened to music, browsed the internet, and played tens of apps.

I also know I can do this on an Android device, but my current thoughts are that some aspects of the Android user experience may be less polished, and have a more ‘homebrew’ feel to them than their Apple counterparts.

Curiously, none of my friends has an Android device, and I can’t make informed judgements of Android by using a phone for a couple of minutes in a shop. iOS irks me a little, and no doubt Android will too, but how much? On balance, I’d always thought I’d stick with what I know, which is undoubtedly a great phone and OS.

A short time after the release of the iPad 2, I purchased a 16Gb Wifi model. After an initial burst of use, I left it collecting dust for a while, but have once again used it, mainly for e-reading, internet browsing and apps. It’s a familiar device with a great screen and many wonderful apps.

The iPad arguably has fewer legitimate competitors than the iPhone, so I wasn’t expecting to think about buying another tablet, let alone go ahead and do so. But when I saw news of Google’s 7″ form factor Nexus 7 tablet at very low price of £189 (I got a tenner off at Currys), I thought it was the best opportunity to give Android a go.

I placed the order before even reading a review for the Nexus 7, but thankfully, they’ve all been very positive.

And here’s the deal – after using the Nexus 7 for a few weeks, I’ll be perfectly placed to judge Android and compare it with iOS. Before now, it’s been too big a risk to ditch my iPhone and ‘switch sides’, but soon, I’ll have first-hand experience of using Android day-in, day-out. I’m excited about getting my Nexus 7 in the post and to experience something different, something new, and to really make an informed decision about Android.

It could be the the best reason yet to dump my iPhone.

Google Chrome for iOS arrives

Mobile Safari has served my iPhone web browsing needs admirably since 2008, but I was probably waiting for Google’s Chrome browser, though I didn’t really know it.

Though I still favour Firefox as my browser of choice whilst doing web development and design, I switched to Chrome for general desktop browsing. With the arrival of Chrome on iOS, I have made a similar switch to Google’s browser.

What’s more, I’m sticking with it; the killer feature for me is the persistence of tabs across devices. Being able to open the chrome on my laptop, and then be presented with the same tabs on my iDevice is a great addition. Together with this, the browser seems very fast, and has a great UI.

A detailed review of Chrome is available at, but trust me – install it, it’s free, and you may find yourself leaving Safari for dust.

That’s why, for the first time ever since 2008, I’ve changed the Apps in my dock from this:

to this:

Why Amazing Breaker is better than Angry Birds

So, Amazing Breaker is better than Angry Birds, and here’s why:

  • it feels more precise; sure there’s a physics engine in Angry Birds, but how many times have you thought ‘wtf?’ whilst playing it?
  • it feels more strategic than Angry Birds – planning your attack using a succession of different attacks feels more integral to the gameplay
  • pulling off a wave of destruction after three or so turns of strategic bomb placement feels so satisfying
  • who doesn’t like watching game world explosions?
  • who doesn’t like it when their amazing move is rewarded with an ‘amazing’ comment?
  • sure, the birds have a far greater characterisation than different coloured ballistics, but the graphics are pretty amazing nonetheless
  • I was getting bored of angry birds anyway