So I got an iPhone

Posted by Wxcafé on Sat 11 February 2017

So I’ve been using an Android phone since I got an HTC Desire HD, I think in late 2010, so for a little over 7 years. I went from 2.2 Froyo to 6.0.1 Marshmallow, and used basically all of the versions in between except Honeycomb (3.x).

Before that, I had an iPhone 3GS, which I had a great deal of fun jailbreaking on iPhone OS 3.1.2/3.1.3, and gave up at the end of iOS 4.

Of course, I had a lot of fun playing with the android phones too, flashing the bootloaders, installing “custom ROMs”, and even different OSes on some of them. That was all fine when I was looking to play with my phones, I had time to do so, and it didn’t really matter to me if things were broken half the time.

I’m not in that situation anymore. As sad as it makes me to admit it, android, or at least the experience I’ve had with it, doesn’t work consistently. There are always small things that are broken that you have to constantly fix. There’s always that thing that should work fine but doesn’t. And then there’s the security aspect, which, I’m not even going to try going in there. Go look at the list of CVEs on Android, look at those that are over severity 9, and have a good laugh (or a good scare I guess).

Anyway, my phone (a Moto X Play, so supposedly a pretty flagship, not too modified android phone) was starting to require a reboot a day to keep on receiving texts, which was /a slight problem/ to me. I couldn’t fix it by installing a clean “ROM”, because for all the ones I’ve tested with this phone either the radio (so 2G/3G/4G) OR the wifi stops working, which is, as they say, not optimal. I tried to fix it, nobody had the same problem, I couldn’t figure out where it was coming from, whatever.

So I got an iPhone. Of course, another part in this is that I now have a regular income, so buying an iPhone doesn’t mean eating pasta for two or three months anymore.

Anyway. I bought an iPhone SE, because I want a headphones jack, and it was cheaper. I can’t just churn out 770€ for a phone, even when I have regular income. My first impression of that phone was that it was very lightweight, the screen was pretty small, and it looked and felt very good. Everything looks like it makes sense, on that phone.

The “first time on” experience is very good, with everything working fine, no popups interrupting you from typing, the importation of data from your old phone (be it an Android phone or an iPhone) is very easy and works perfectly. The settings are all in one place, the third-party software works generally better than on Android (okay, my bank’s app doesn’t work that well, but what do you expect from a bank…). I have working push notifications in all my messaging apps. My emails are not in an app called “Gmail”, but in an app called “emails”. I don’t need a google account to use my phone. I need an apple account only to get apps, but since that’s all I do with apple they have far less information on me than google has in the same situation.

For some reason, even though the screen is smaller, the soft keyboard seems to work better for me, I hit the keys that I want more often, which is a pretty important thing because autocorrect doesn’t always work for me, since I type in two languages using the same keyboard. AUTOCORRECT WORKS FOR MULTIPLE LANGUAGES OUT OF THE BOX! You don’t need to download a recent update to Google Keyboard to be able to enable it in a submenu of the settings, you just get the dictionary and it starts correcting in multiple languages.

Okay, let’s talk about things I miss:

Firstly, I miss having Twidere with an official twitter API key. Being able to have all the features of the official twitter client in an app that doesn’t suck (and Twidere is actually amazing). I use Tweetbot instead, and it’s great, but since it doesn’t use the leaked official Twitter API keys, it can’t do what Twidere does. I guess that’s on twitter being assholes.

Secondly, I miss being able to copy files from my computers to my phone. Android phones use MTP, which is a shitty protocol but works with Linux and Windows (and very badly with OSX). iPhones use the iTunes sync thingy, which works for OSX and Windows as long as you have iTunes installed, aaaaaand doesn’t on Linux. Well, there’s libimobiledevice, which at the time I was using an iPhone 3GS was described as “teaching penguins to talk to fruits”. It works, but the version packaged on debian is not the latest one, so it can’t talk to iOS 10. I tried installing the latest one manually, which worked, but for some reason the desktop still can’t detect the iPhone, so I can mount it with ifuse but I can’t do anything with it since none of the software that could use that mount actually detect it. Anyway.

Third, I miss… wait, no, actually, I think that’s it. Everything else works just the way I want.

Anyway, that was the story of how I got an iPhone. I won’t be jailbreaking it, but I’ll be posting stuff here if I find out how to make that thing work with my Linux computers.