Is it weird that I feel like I'm doing something scandalous?
I guess that's the power of Apple's marketing machine. I recently switched to a Pixel 2 XL, and I can't shake the feeling that I'm doing something dangerous or immoral. It's like one day someone is going to see my new phone and I'll have to make up some crazy story about how I found it on the street and adopted it out of pity like a stray dog.
But the real reason is I got sick of Apple's crap. I've said for a while that I love Apple's hardware, but i hate their software. iOS 11 was the straw that broke the camel's back for me. As soon as I installed it, my iPhone 6 became an unusable brick.
First there were performance issues: It started taking close to 10 seconds for the camera app to load (way too long when you're trying to snap a shot of a speedy 2 year old doing something funny), my battery started to die just after lunch (I've heard this from a lot of friends, too), my fingerprint sensor rarely worked, my apps started spinning for minutes at a time, and my voice recognition became laughably bad.
Then came the barrage of unwanted things I couldn't control: My home screen was filled with endless notifications that kept coming back no matter how many times I suppressed them (especially from the News app), bluetooth kept turning on mysteriously no matter how many times I turned it off, my apps all started showing 5, 10, 20+ notification constantly even when i checked them, and on and on. It became obvious that Apple knew what they wanted for me and didn't care at all what I wanted for myself.
Then, mercifully, Google announced a viable alternative for me: the Pixel 2 XL. I've always been afraid of Android phones because the hardware seemed cheap and the UI was often undesirable. But Google is different. I use Google for just about everything, so when I heard they were releasing a legit iPhone competitor with full Google Assistant integration, my ears perked up. I realized it was kind of stupid that I was using all Google apps on an Apple phone instead of the Apple apps and decided to take the plunge.
So far, I'm absolutely loving it. The new UI is taking some getting used to, but a lot of the features make more sense than how my iPhone worked. But the biggest gamechanger is Google Assistant. I feel like Google is winning the AI war, so I wanted to see how their AI works on a phone and I'm not disappointed at all. In fact, it's far exceeding my expectations. The phone really seems to know me and predict what I want. And the voice recognition... it actually works! In fact, I haven't even had to correct it once yet when doing talk to text (I had to correct every 5th word with Siri).
I'll post more reactions after I've had a chance to use it longer, but so far it's very promising. I can't wait to try out all the things it can do with Pixel Buds, Daydream VR, and Google Home mini (I got one for free when I preordered). More to come!