Ihnatko, Android, and the Space Between Devices

So, Andy Ihnatko has a new column up about switching from his iPhone to an Android device… specifically, a Samsung Galaxy S III. At first, this only registered for me because, to be blunt, I’d never much cared for Ihnatko’s writing, and in a previous life, I’d basically written him off as an Apple mouthpiece that wouldn’t be able to get a gig outside of Macworld. By the time Johns Gruber and Moltz had both linked to it without apparent irony or ridicule, I was curious to go read it.

It’s just the first part of what promises to be three columns, and everyone has their preferences concerning how they use their stuff. But the first read-through left me wondering what he was talking about. His first big complaint, “When I’m typing fast, I’m accidentally triggering speech-to-text All. The. Freaking. Time.” is apparently so bad that “This is the single iOS quirk that makes me hate my iPhone.”

That’s just never happened to me. I’m not trying to say he’s wrong or that you shouldn’t believe his review, I’m just saying I have no frame of reference for it. It’s never once happened to me.

Likewise, his second reason for de-switching is the larger screen size of the Galaxy compared to the iPhone… he complains that reading a book, watching a video, or reading comics is easier on the larger screen.

I’m not feeling this one, either. I mean, all those things are the reasons I carry this iPad with me wherever I go, right? Because you just can’t do them right on a phone.

I realized that Andy and I simply use our devices different ways, and choose different sacrifices and compromises along the way. It is nice that my iPhone will let me read books or watch videos or write weblog posts if I’m stuck without other options, but none of those things are why I carry my iPhone. I have an iPad for those tasks, because I would not be happy doing them on a smaller device. I don’t even see the appeal of the iPad Mini… It’s too small and cramped to do the things I want. Hell, I’ll start the line for the MAXiPad now, the one with the magazine size 9 x 12 inch display.

Andy doesn’t have the same requirements I do for casual reading, watching videos, and reading comics, so the Galaxy works for him in a way it would not for me. I don’t require my iPhone to be a volume text entry device, so it didn’t fail me the way Andy’s failed him.

I mentioned not caring about the iPad Mini, I don’t care much about the Mac Airs for much the same reason: because of the specifics of how I use the devices, the Mini is both too big to substitute for my phone, and too small to substitute for my iPad. The Mac Air is too big to substitute for my iPad, and too small to substitute for my MacBook Pro.

I wonder if Andy ever considers ditching his iPad for a Mac Air?