So, this is it. After months of psychological see-sawing, dozens of YouTube videos, photo comparisons, app-compatibility checks, multiple deep dives into spec discussions, yesterday, I took the plunge and tied myself to 24 months’ worth of payments (not necessarily the smartest decision to make – future Ash) for an iPhone 11.
Not the Pro, not the Pro Max, just the regular flavor of the 11, in bright (Product)Red. My last iPhone was the 3GS, lovingly gifted by my wife the same year it came out. That was almost a decade ago. Since then I have been using various versions of Android phones, ranging from the HTC Wildfire, at least 2 Samsung S and Note models, the HTC M8 and M9, to the Huawei P9 and finally the P20 Pro which I’ve been using for more than a year (and still works fine).
I’ve railed against Apple’s walled garden approach in the past, about how restricting user autonomy on how they should use the phones they paid a fortune for is silly, and about how the ecosystem is designed to milk as much money as possible from its denizens. My stand on some of this, at least, has not changed in some aspects, but has done so drastically, in others. My expectation of user control, of granularity in the experience, which was colored for so long by the sheer inability of iOS to do simple things like send contacts to another phone via Bluetooth has been completely upended in the current generation of iPhones and iOS.
I also feel that my expectations of security and privacy have shifted a lot in the past 2 years. Where I was previously satisfied with the flexibility in determining the level of security I could apply to an Android phone, it does end up being something that requires constant effort to get on top of. It security in Android broken? Obviously not, but the point is that the fragmented nature of Android and the multitude of devices in the market make it easier to end up with a less-than-secure device. Also, having Google continuously track me at the device level became something less of a plus point than I’d originally thought.
So here we go. The first 24 hours with a new device from an ecosystem I left many years ago has just begun. I had some hiccups setting it up (the Move to iOS app refused to allow my P20 to connect to the iPhone, resulting in me having to move all the apps and settings manually), but with the tools provided in the OS and LastPass, it went about as smooth as it could. It feels like some of the control has been returned to the user: notifications, when each app can use your location data (if at all), the integration with FaceID (and LastPass), these are incredibly convenient and powerful things.
Also, there’ll be pictures, many of those with the Ultra-wide lens (which judging from the few shots I’ve taken are very consistent with the standard lens in terms of color, so there’s that, and maybe even, something like this: