I can remember the exact moment that it happened. Working out at the gym. Although I could not hear the sound of the television mounted in the distance, the message was clear. It was an advertisement for one cellular provider or another, mandating that I pick a side. Buy a new iPhone. Get the new Android phone. Whatever you do…above all else: PICK A SIDE!
That message resonated with me on that day….but not in the manner you might expect. You see, as a long iPhone user (stopping just short of membership in the cult of Apple), I had recently switched to an Android Galaxy phone. The reasoning, at the time, was a simple one. I had become a cell phone contract “free agent” and a contract renewal netted me the free Galaxy phone. Working at an MSP where Galaxy models are de rigueur, I figured I’d take the plunge.
The transition was fairly seamless, save for the small matter of suddenly not being able to receive SMS messages from my iPhone friends. As you might imagine, this was problematic and required a call or two to Apple to finally break free of their iMessage grips. Problem solved, but at the expense of knowing when my iPhone friends were responding to my texts (how I miss that iMessage ellipsis…).
The Google play store, with its less rigorous application screening process, offered so much more in the way of choice and functionality (though there was the occasional furrowed brow moment when pondering why a flashlight application would need control of your camera and microphone to function). I thought, “OK…with greater choice comes a bit more responsibility to vet your applications a bit more closely.”
I was doing my best to adapt to my change in smart phones, and yet there were several moments where I realized that I actually missed certain bits of functionality on my trusty iPhone. Music, podcasts, handoff to different Bluetooth devices….all would leave me with the occasional pangs of “what have I done?!”
Which takes me back to that moment at the gym. You see, it was on that day that I decided to forego conventionality and <gasp!> take both phones with me. This was largely due to the fact that my iPhone had continued to be my go-to device for listening to music (yes, my iPhone had been largely relegated to a glorified iPod). Mind you, I had copied most of my music over to the Android, but not without drawbacks like losing 80-90% of the album artwork that I had worked so hard to polish and hone on my iPhone. To me, this was a big deal.
And it was at that moment….at the gym….that I had my epiphany. I do not have to pick a side. In fact, I am officially embracing both sides, each having their own merits and drawbacks. Inevitably, there will be eye rolling and scoffing at the fact that I am not picking a side. What will they think of me on Madison Avenue? I can hear the chiding as I type. “Carrying two phones? How very Draconian!”
In defense of my newfound “bi-cellular” lifestyle, I will simply hearken back to the days of the ENIAC. Some will not be old enough to recall what is largely considered to be the first-ever general purpose computer, and how it filled (literally) an entire room. By way of comparison, the prospect of carrying not one but two smart phones seems a small price to pay for the added convenience it provides me.
And besides….you couldn’t even play MP3s on the ENIAC!
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