Disclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Boomer Voices program and have been provided with a wireless device and six months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the product.
When I was younger I was a worrier. Now this might run counter to most people’s experiences, but I’ve found that the older I get, the less I worry. Maybe it has something to do with the wisdom that accrues with age. Or maybe it comes with the realization that in my life’s narrative arc—divorce and cancer being two notable plot points—anything else is small potatoes. (I’m not thinking of the global concerns that keep me—and you too, I suspect—up at night, but that’s fodder for another post.)
In my own little corner of the world, I have learned to let go, explore, and question old habits. Take my iPhone habit, for example. I’ve been a Mac girl ever since my first Apple desktop back in the 1980s, and I can state, unequivocally, that I’ll never trade in my Mac for a PC. But after three months of testing the DROID RAZR MAXX, I have to admit that I seriously thought about trading in my iPhone for the DROID.
Thought about it…agonized over it…but ultimately decided that although I’ve kinda sorta stopped worrying about the DROID, and can say in all honesty that I do love it, I’m not in love with it. You know what I mean?
In an earlier post on this topic, I said the clincher for me would be cost and security, and I promised to write one more post on the DROID to let you know how this all settled out for me. So let’s talk.
The DROID lists for $199.99 But then so does the iPhone 5S (at least, the one with the least amount of horsepower—16 GB). To lock in the price for both, one must commit to a two-year contract with a wireless provider such as Verizon, AT&T, or Sprint.
As for the new low-cost option Apple released this year, the plasticized iPhone 5C with a list price of $99.99 plus a two-year contract, I say good. Those who have longed for an iPhone but couldn’t afford one are benefiting from Apple’s decision to enter the lower-end market. It’s not for me, but I like that it exists.
As for contracts: I’ll have a word or two about wireless providers in my final wrap-up post for the Verizon Boomer Voices program, so look for that in the coming days.
Back to my comparison exercise. With cost eliminated as a factor, we’re left with security. And this is where I do sleep better at night with the iPhone.
Apple is famous (some might say notorious) for its closed operating system, which limits the seemingly endless opportunities presented by software designers who are free to contribute to Google’s Android system. That’s why the DROID can practically butter your toast for you. But what the iPhone lacks in options, it makes up for in security. According to a recent article in the MIT Technology Review, a study at North Carolina State University revealed that “changes manufacturers made to the stock Android software were responsible for more than 60 percent of the security flaws uncovered in phones from different handset companies.”
In years of using an iPhone—indeed, in years of using a Mac—I’ve never once experienced a security issue. Malware and viruses were things that happened to other people. That means something to me. One could say that with Apple, security derives from simplicity.
In design and functionality, the DROID lacks that elegant simplicity. Because the DROID’s open operating system allows it to do so much more than the iPhone, it arrives with a certain amount of baggage—numerous mysteries to unlock before one can give in to its charms—although the tutorials and videos, accessible from the DROID’s Help icon, are a nice touch. Some of that baggage, however, includes the risk of a security breach. At this stage of my life, I just don’t need the hassle.
So there you have it. I’m staying with my iPhone. But I was thrilled to have had the chance to experience the Android operating system, and for that I have Verizon Wireless to thank. As for those of you who want help buttering your toast, I am happy to recommend the DROID RAZR MAXX HD. It’s really a cool, fun phone.
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