Switching Away from Apple?

I've enjoyed using my Apple products, but I'm considering a switch. I find myself drawn back to Windows on my desktop, and to an Android mobile device.

There was a time that the Macintosh was clearly superior to the competition in every way except price. But that was a while ago. Now, the Mac is still pretty nice, but choosing Mac over Windows is a matter of preference rather than necessity. Ironically, Windows is now the operating system for the everyman, where everything just works, while Mac OS X is the one that requires a lot of technical expertise and hackish workarounds to get anything done.

The iPhone created a new product category, and is still the clear leader of that category. If I was just a consumer, I'd stick with the iPhone. But I'm a software developer, and developing software for the iPhone isn't the joy I'd hoped it would be. The tools are archaic and quirky, and with 100,000 apps in the App Store, it is practically impossible to get anyone to notice your work. Apple just doesn't need me, and doesn't act like it wants me.

So, I find myself drawn back to Windows on my desktop, and to an Android mobile device.

It's been a few years since I've done any serious Windows development, and I need to brush up on those skills. I want to buy a copy of Windows 7 and Visual Studio whatever-the-current-version-is and play with it. Microsoft's products have a lot of flaws, but their development tools have always been top-notch, and I need to see what they've done recently. (In contrast, the Mac's development tools are basically 20 years old, but are still not quite finished.)

Mobile device development has always been a favorite pastime of mine. I've enjoyed learning my way around the iPhone API and tools, but I feel like I know it all. Diving into Android development should be fun, and will help me brush up on my Java skills. And unlike Apple, maybe Android needs me.

So, I find myself drawn back to Windows on my desktop, and to an Android mobile device.

I don't hate Apple products, and I'm not bashing them. I just don't find them interesting anymore.

Switching back to Windows on the desktop should be pretty easy, since I can just run it in VMWare on my Macbook for a while, and then Boot Camp it if necessary.

The switch from iPhone to Android would take a lot more commitment, so I'm going to go slow with that. I'll start by playing with the Android SDK, and I'll try to find a store with a Droid or other top-of-the-line Android device. I suspect I'll end up keeping my iPhone for real-world use, but I'll have an Android device for development purposes.

I'll still definitely be getting an Apple tablet, though.