Full circle back to Apple after 5 wonderful years on Android.

I was a die-hard iPhone user since day one. As a matter of fact, I was one of the very few people who had the very first iPhone back in 2008. I still vividly remember how ahead of its time it was when I first got it. It felt like someone from the future had left it behind by mistake.

Pixel 6 & iPhone 15 Pro

Over the years, from the first iPhone to the 3G, 4, and then the iPhone 6, I was getting bored with the interface. Moving from iPhone 6 to 8 (circa 2017), it didn’t feel like an upgrade at all. It felt like the same thing. So when my friend Justin Li told me about how great the Pixel 2 XL was, I was intrigued. The Google Pixel 2 XL Panda version looked light years more interesting and cool than the iPhones at the time. It also offered so many other cool things, like squeezing it to launch Google Assistant, crazy-good battery life, complete waterproofing (I even submerged the phone under rivers to shoot fish!), cheaper cloud storage, unlimited photo backup (at the time), a phenomenal camera, dynamic wallpaper (animated!), a highly customizable UI, AR-enabled video where I was able to create really cool videos by adding things like a stormtrooper, the Incredible Hulk, and more, making my iPhone-using friends super jealous. Sadly, that function disappeared once I moved on to the Google Pixel 4a (also a very charming phone!). The Google Pixel 2 XL also allowed me to shoot RAW photos (Apple did not offer that at the time), had a super slim design, USB-C charging, and best of all, it was native to many daily apps I use, such as Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Mini, and our Google doorbell. It just felt like the natural way to go since we were so deep into the Google ecosystem.

Photo shot on SONY ZV-1.

So, within the past 5 years, I moved from the Google Pixel 2 XL to the 4a and then to the 6. So why the move back to Apple? Well, the new iPhone 15 Pro is finally ditching the horrendous Lightning cable (FINALLY!) for USB-C. That’s one big reason why I was able to convince myself to move back to Apple. The other reason is that I really wanted a more seamless integration with the rest of my workflow. Our studio exclusively uses Apple hardware, such as MacBook Pros and the Apple iPad Pro. Being able to share work across all three devices is a huge perk. Also, the native Freeform app on the iPhone is impressive (sorry, I’m so late to this game.)

Lastly, BMW hates Android phones. We own two BMWs, and every time I enter the car with my wife, her iPhone always connects first with the car, and it’s only when I’m driving alone that the car reluctantly connects with my Google Pixel. My album art is also never displayed on the car’s computer screen, while Denise’s music will be in full display with her music’s album art.

Finally, I get to have my album art displayed on our BMW i3’s screen. Shot with my iPhone 15 pro.
Photo taken with Nikon D600 + Nikkor 50mm F1.4

I am slowly transitioning all my stuff back to Apple, but I still miss the wonderfully intuitive user experience of the Google Pixel. Ironically, I loved being different by using a Google Pixel (Think different), but being different has its price, unfortunately. Almost all my creative friends are on Apple, so when they see a text message displayed in green and not blue, I instantly become the focal point for ridicule.

Let’s see how long I last before I am tempted to go back to the dark side.

Update: Dropped my new iPhone 15 Pro after dim sum in Richmond just a day or two after this post. All it took was just one drop. Had to get a case afterward to hold the glass in place. Thank goodness for Apple Care. Had to pay $39 + Tax for the deductible and they replaced my phone with a brand-new one. How about that eh.