Evaluating my smartphone needs

Posted on: 14th November 2020

I switched to iPhone from Android about 7 years ago. Back then Android devices were woefully underpowered. Not to mention a lack of updates forcing me to try out different builds from XDA forums. iPhone was a breath of fresh air. Regular updates, apps and games launched on iOS first, looked slick (still does), the hardware and software supporting each other.. Everything is peachy if you are into Apple ecosystem. Apple devices are getting better and better each year but I have been feeling the ‘upgrade fatigue’, if I can call it that.

The iPhone gets an upgrade every year but does it add any value to me? iOS 14 brought widgets and tonnes of other fancy stuff but I feel nothing looking at all the customizations people are toying with. Camera hardware improvements are nice, arguably, but I am perfectly happy with how iPhone 11 produces images. I still use the same photo editing apps on the iPhone as I did before iOS 14. And they are fast enough. Its not like I am working with JPEG files alone. The RAW files from my Olympus camera loads fine and my phone doesn’t complain editing them with Darkroom/Polarr. Also, starting this year, I have cut down on lot of apps. Stopped playing resource hungry games. Moved most of my reading/writing to the laptop I am writing this on. I am still on the Apple upgrade plan and have used it for the past two years to upgrade to the latest affordable iPhones as they are launched but I skipped it this year. Increasingly getting disillusioned with the subscription model of business every hardware and software is aiming for.

Then there’s the matter of who really owns our computing experience.Our devices aren’t ours anymore. If I could live without a smartphone, I would probably go for this sexy Mudita phone but that ship has sailed. Smartphones still have its use with navigation, sharing photos with my family, editing photos, checking toots, making quick notes, jotting down in private journal and managing shopping lists for me. I want to own a hardware that’s open. I want to use software that doesn’t phone home and respects my privacy. I really really want the Pinephone but it doesn’t look ready for daily use yet. The other alternative is LineageOS on a compatible device. Come next year, I will be evaluating my smartphone needs once again when I stop paying for this current iPhone. Hope Pinephone is ready for primetime by then.

Day 46 - Join Me in #100DaysToOffload

tags: 100daystooffload smartphone pinephone iphone