I Ditched My Android for an iPhone, and I Don't Regret It
Commentary: I now get the Apple hype.
Abrar Al-HeetiVideo producer / CNET
Abrar Al-Heeti is a video host and producer for CNET, with an interest in internet trends, entertainment, pop culture and digital accessibility. Before joining the video team, she was a writer for CNET's culture team. She graduated with bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Though Illinois is home, she now loves San Francisco -- steep inclines and all.
ExpertiseAbrar has spent her career at CNET breaking down the latest trends on TikTok, Twitter and Instagram, while also reporting on diversity and inclusion initiatives in Hollywood and Silicon Valley.Credentials
Named a Tech Media Trailblazer by the Consumer Technology Association in 2019, a winner of SPJ NorCal's Excellence in Journalism Awards in 2022 and has twice been a finalist in the LA Press Club's National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards.
For a decade, I defended my choice to own an Android to countless haters. But at long last, I've traded in my beloved Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus for an iPhone 14 Pro. And so far, I have no regrets. (Especially now that I'm no longer teased for having green texts -- more on that later.)
It may sound like I'm being overly dramatic, but that trip to the Verizon store signaled a big shift for me. I've always prided myself on not buying into the Apple hype. Despite years of pestering from friends to switch to an iPhone, I pushed back, maintaining that I liked being different from the masses. Everyone around me has an iPhone. It felt good to defy the norm. And so for years, I stuck with my Samsung Galaxy devices, which I still believe are incredible phones.
I've been told countless times that I ruin group chats by turning all the texts "green." This is because Apple refuses to make iMessage compatible with Android phones, so when you message someone who isn't on iOS, you'll see green text bubbles instead of the standard blue ones. Because this felt like a superficial complaint -- and is 100% Apple's fault -- I brushed it aside.
Until I realized I was missing out on other, more significant benefits of owning an iPhone.
Unless you use a third-party app like WhatsApp, there's no easy way to send high-resolution photos and videos directly between an Android phone and an iPhone. I was OK with just using WhatsApp... until I began to envy my friends who were instantaneously AirDropping pictures and videos after our hangouts. WhatsApp also diminishes the quality of videos, and Google Drive takes a lot longer to upload videos to.
It also was frustrating that apps like TikTok diminished my camera quality on Android. Comparing TikTok videos taken on an iPhone -- even an older version like the iPhone X -- with those taken on my Galaxy S10 Plus is like night and day. On my Galaxy, TikTok distorted the colors and blurred everything in the most unflattering and unrealistic way. On the iPhone, videos are crisp and clear and appear just as they should. For someone who uses TikTok as much as I do, this was important.
These reasons, along with the fact that I already use a MacBook and would therefore benefit from the Apple ecosystem, led me to start changing my mind about owning an iPhone. Throw in features like the new always-on display on the iPhone 14 Pro models -- something I absolutely loved on my Galaxy devices -- and fun new elements like Dynamic Island, and suddenly I was sold on the idea of switching over.
A growing number of people are feeling the draw to switch to an iPhone, according to a report from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners. Fifteen percent of people who bought an iPhone from March 2022 to 2023 switched from an Android phone. That's up from 11% the previous year. So, I have company. (On the flip side, 4% of Android users switched from an iPhone.)
Yes, I had to fight off feelings of being a sellout. But I realized that ultimately, it's just a phone. And no matter what you do, people will have unsolicited opinions about what device you're using. My Galaxy worked well for me for many years. Now I was ready for something new. And so far, I have no regrets.