28 Days Later...
Late on the night of September 9th, 2012, I was sitting at my kitchen table, going over notes for a piece I was writing about video game arcades. The next morning at 6AM I was bound for an Amtrak train which would take me to Pennsylvania, then to Baltimore, on a four-day trip of interviews for the piece. I was packed and ready for bed. I was exhausted, and as I brushed my teeth, thought of the next day's work.
I'd like to be able to say that I went peacefully to bed, my iPhone tucked underneath my pillow as I was wont to do, but that isn't what happened. What happened, instead, was a series of events involving my phone, a toilet, and a bowl of rice at 1AM. As I removed the SIM card from the phone and buried it in rice, still vibrating and refusing to power down, I didn't know that my phone was definitely, totally, completely dead.
In horror, I quickly and hastily chose from among the dozens of tester phones I am routinely surrounded by. I passed up a Windows Phone as too foreign since I have so little experience with them, and settled on a European version of the HTC One S. It was bigger than my iPhone, which I didn't like, but it was close enough in size that I thought I could manage for the unavoidable four days of hell I was surely in for. After all, traveling with a brand new phone when I'd need access to my emails, maps, music, and text messages with only minutes to make the switch was not ideal in any way. I went to bed afraid and confused, angry at myself for dropping my phone into a toilet. As I struggled to figure out how to set the alarm on this dreaded device and silence its notifications, I cursed it openly.
This was my introduction to Android.
I was suspicious of sizing up: I assumed that my days of multitasking one-handed were over, and they were. The One S wasn't mine and it wasn't an American phone, which seemed to cause it occasional data problems, but, other than that, I loved it. I got on that Amtrak train on September 10th groggy and acutely aware that I was going to be uncomfortable with my phone for the duration of the trip.
But I was wrong. By the end of the trip I was emailing other Verge writers, effusively praising the glories of Android. Rdio worked beautifully! The notifications were so much better than the iPhone's! My email, oh God, my email. I composed long, beautiful emails in dead spots where I had no service and it quietly sent them later on. The Twitter app seemed... better. It loaded faster, I thought. The battery life was better than my iPhone's. I could effortlessly Gchat, 24 hours a day! Editing documents on my phone was something I could actually do realiiPhone to shame. There were other, smaller things, too, but I can't remember them, because it's now been so long since I touched an iPhone.
- 28 Days Later...
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