I still remember how giddy I was when I got my green iPod Mini in 2004, my fifth-generation iPod in 2006, my MacBook in 2007 and my iPhone 4S in 2011.
Along the way, I also bought an iPod Shuffle (for the two or three times I’ve been to the gym in the past four years), an Airport Wi-Fi router, an Airport Express network extender and a Fathead of Steve Jobs. Okay. Only three of those things are true.
But last year, I turned my back on Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500), and I haven’t regretted it.
Why the change of heart?
For all its glitz and glam, the iPhone had a lot of features I didn’t need (see: Air Drop, Passbook, Airplay, Photo Stream and iTunes Radio). But mostly, it just didn’t do enough of the stuff that I really cared about. That’s why I decided to ditch the iPhone for an Android device.
In October, I bought a Motorola Moto X. I love it. It’s by far the most useful gadget I’ve ever owned. I can check the time just by taking the phone out of my pocket.
When I want to change directions while I’m driving, I don’t hit any buttons — I literally just speak to my phone, “OK Google Now, navigate to….” When there’s traffic, and I’ll miss my meeting if I don’t leave soon, my Moto X will tell me to get going.
An app called Trigger automatically puts my phone in vibrate mode the second I step into my newsroom.
I’ll admit to missing FaceTime — not because it’s any easier or better than Google Hangouts, but because all my friends and family have iPhones.
But Android’s widgets are better and more convenient than the iPhone’s badge notifications. Google is far, far superior at backing up photos than Apple. iCloud in general is a confusing mess, and I eventually just shut it off.
I could go on. The point: Google (GOOG, Fortune 500) just seems to understand me better than Apple.
That’s true for Microsoft (MSFT, Fortune 500) too. I love my Windows 8 laptops much more than I ever enjoyed my MacBook, which died three years ago. I ended up buying an Acer notebook and a Surface tablet. Or is it a tabtop? (Laplet?).
Windows 8 isn’t perfect, but I’m growing to really like it. On my laptops, when I want to open an app, I literally just start typing the name, hit enter, and it starts running. My laptops have touch screens, which come in handy more often than you’d think, particularly when looking at videos and photos. There is nothing better for watching Netflix (NFLX) in bed than the Surface, with its kickstand and screen optimized for HD videos.
Like many people, I use my laptop and Surface almost exclusively for Web browsing, email, word processing, watching videos and work. The MacBook is a great computer, but I don’t need to pay MacBook prices to do those things.
I also opted for a Google (GOOG, Fortune 500) Chromecast video streamer for my TV over an Apple TV. And I have a poster hanging in my bedroom of Larry Page and Satya Nadella holding hands (Okay, that part isn’t true either).
Meanwhile, my iPods are sitting in a drawer somewhere. I can’t find my Airport Express. (If you stole it, you can keep it).
But my three-year old daughter uses my old iPhone as her personal “Thomas the Tank Engine” video machine. I also still use the Airport router. So I guess Apple and I never got divorced — we’re just legally separated.
And I’ve never been happier.
On Monday, Apple is expected to unveil iOS 8 and possibly a new Apple TV, Macbooks, smart home initiative and an iWatch. I’ll be reporting on it — and I’ll let you know if Tim Cook & Co. showed me enough to bring me back into the fold.