Monday, January 5, 2015

Decided to make the switch from iOS to Android

Android-versus-iOS

Background

Even though at first I whole heartily welcomed Apple adding a lot of features to iOS 8, I soon realized how much of a blow that was to the reliability of iOS. Despite Apple releasing many updates to fix the issues, there are many issues that haven't been addressed.

I experience

  • app crashes,
  • apps being unable to connect to the Internet without turning Wi-Fi off and back on,
  • SwiftKey keyboard popping up really slowly or not popping up at all and
  • the copy/paste dialog not popping up when tapping on a text box

almost everyday..

Those are only the ones that I can remember. I have never encountered this many problems in iOS before. Unfortunately with the iPhone you cannot downgrade so I'm stuck with these issues until Apple does something about it. However they are late...intolerably late and I cannot wait any longer.

Thus I've decided to take things in to my hands. That means switching camps. I am finally going to switch to Android. I'm not completely sure that this would improve the situation as Android might have larger issues, but with the release of Lollipop or Android 5.0, it appears that Android is finally good enough. That's not to say that there is no learning curve and it probably would be quite steep for my wife but she is willing to adapt.

So switch already!

While switching to Android isn't that difficult, I am after the best possible Android experience in a carrier unlocked phone. That means getting a Google Nexus Phone with Android Lollipop. However, Softbank, my current carrier doesn't offer Nexus devices. Luckily there is one carrier, Y-mobile, that does. So I have to switch carriers to become a Nexus owner.

Have to switch carriers – not once but twice

There is one problem. Since Y-mobile also is using the Softbank network, we cannot switch directly from Softbank to Y-mobile using Mobile Number Portability (MNP). With MNP, you get to keep your old phone number even if you switch carriers. And I want to keep my current phone number unless there is a very good reason not to use MNP, and there is none.

So to get a Nexus while retaining my number, I have to switch carriers twice. That means first from Softbank to AU or Docomo and then to Y-mobile.

Softbank ➡︎ AU/Docomo ➡︎ Y-mobile

Ability to keep your old phone number is not the only reason to switch carriers using MNP. Usually you get awesome discounts or offers from the carrier you are switching to in the process. This is important as I would have to pay up a massive sum when I terminate the contract with Softbank: over JPY 12000 per connection (I have 2) and I also have a portion of the value of my iPhone 5S remaining. It would total up close to JPY 50,000.

About early termination fees

Remember that I would be terminating the AU or Docomo connection early as well. That would add another JPY 24000 to the list of expenses. I definitely don't want to pay anything additional for the phone which means I will have to find an offer where they are giving the phone totally free when doing the first switch. I can sell those phones off when I finish the second switch and cover up the losses or maybe even make a small profit. And I can sell our existing iPhone 4S and 5S as well.

Offers to spice things up

Additionally, some shops such as the phone shop inside BicCamera offer cash-backs every now and then. Some offer to pay up the early termination fees of the original carrier. Both are good offers however I doubt it is possible to find both of those  offered simultaneously.

Which phone?

But the search has begun. As of this moment, Y-mobile is offering the Nexus 5 free of charge with a 2 year contract for carrier switchers. This is because they want clear out Nexus 5 because it is outdated as Nexus 6 is already available. Unfortunately the Nexus 6 is not free, and even then it is quite expensive at around JPY 75,000 for the phone alone. That's a definitely not an amount of money I'm going to spend on a phone - and I have to buy two. Of course I can get my wife the Nexus 5 and myself the Nexus 6 and she'd probably not care (though she'll notice the difference because the Nexus 6 is huge!). But I don't feel like doing that. So as it stands now, I'll be getting a Nexus 5 as well. It is unlike me to settle for an old model but Google has made me do that.

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