Leaving ATT You Won't Be Missed

20 Dec in Android, ATT, cell phone, iPhone

So it is official. I've made the switch from ATT, and so far I couldn't be happier. So to start I've been an ATT customer for many years. In fact, I was a customer back in the day of Cingular. I was happy with my service because they were nationwide and actually had full coverage at my parents house in the middle of nowhere, and that mattered to me at the time since I was in college. So when ATT got the iPhone I was pretty excited. Now to be honest I didn't "have to have" an iPhone. I was already eyeballing Android phones, but two years ago I was ready for a smart phone and at that point the G1 was the only Android phone on the market. Needless to say the iPhone was the best choice, and I'd say a pretty good one. I've been happy with my phone for the most part the last 2 years.

Of course a lot has changed in the smartphone market in the past two years, and I was counting on that to happen by the time my contract was up. There have been some really awesome Android phones come to the market, the EVO being just one of them. When the iPhone 4 was announced it became clear to me that the iPhone was no longer calling the shots. Phone makers were no longer aspiring to be the iPhone...the iPhone 4 announcement made it painfully obvious that Apple was playing catch up with everyone else.

While I really liked my iPhone there were certain things that I never did on it because the experience was so horrible. One of the biggest things was browse the internet on mobile Safari. For a long time I wondered if it was my service or the phone. Now I'm certain that it is both. Even on wifi load times were horrid and off of wifi it was just unbearable. I just didn't do it and assumed that everyone experienced the same deal. Another issue was the maps/gps. One moment it could find me and track me just fine and then suddenly it would tell me I'm in Texas (slight exaggeration). Or at times it just wouldn't tell me where I was at all. If you mapped out your directions while you had gps you were fine, but if you were moving and wanted to know where you were good luck with that. Also with maps good luck scrolling. If you wanted to do some quick panning on the maps ATT's service just wouldn't allow for that, it would take quite some time while you sit and watch the grey screen slowly turn into something.

Then there was ATT's service. Again when I first started with them they were fine, but as the iPhone kept selling service got worse and worse. I could go for an entire half a day with no service even when the phone said there was service. Or I could be outside clear air no clouds and have 0 service for no reason at all. If you were anywhere near a crowded area kiss all service good bye and don't even think about 3G (Celtics Basketball game? too much, 4th of July fireworks? think again about meeting your friends cause you aren't getting that phone call through, Update your status at a Sox game? Who would want to do that, oh yea everyone not holding an iPhone). And if you stepped into any restaurant or building you could kiss your service good bye. And that is just when I noticed or cared. 4th of July was probably the worst. 2 years straight I'm trying to coordinate with friends and ATT can't even connect a phone call let alone a txt and 3G wasn't seen until well after the event. At home the only thing that saved us was living on the top floor.

Now ATT could have made nice and upgraded infrastructure or for the people who had 0 service at home offer free femtocell stations or what not. Instead they decided not upgrade and "fix" the problem by charging people more with caps and if you had no coverage at home, for the low low price of a femtocell and a monthly charge, oh and finishing the call over your own internet that you pay for you can fix that problem.

The Tipping Point

The tipping point for me was at a restaurant with a couple of friends month or so ago. My friend had just upgraded to an HTC Incredible. Early on in the night I checked my phone only to see the "no service" listed at the upper left. I'd grown accustom to this, and figured that everyone had issues like that. Later on that night I had to step outside, because I didn't have reception, to do something. Magically the moment I step outside of the doors (we were sitting right next to the door) I get reception, I walked a grand total of 5 feet and one wall and now my phone has full coverage. I come back inside and it disappears to nothing (one wall!). Moments later we start talking about skii mountains in New Hampshire. I figure why not just look at it on the map. I pull out my phone and at that moment I have full reception for some reason. So I launch the app. My friend, with the Incredible, does the same. Before I even get the app loaded so that I can type (yea you have to wait for it to completely load on the ATT's crappy network before you can even type your new location) he has the map up and is looking at New Hampshire. Finally I get mine to load and I'm pulling up the state. My friend hands his phone to my wife who then  promptly scrolls the map at will to find various locations on the map. I tried to do the same and pretty much nothing responds. Finally I give up and grab the Incredible. It loads so fast and when I move my finger or zoom in it just works immediately; I never experienced that even with full coverage outside. I was amazed, oh yea, and I didn't have to walk outside to do it we were seated right where I couldn't even really get reception with my iPhone.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Verizon iPhone Announcement
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog</a> The Daily Show on Facebook

Now I have my own Android phone, Droid X, on Verizon. The contrast could not be greater. First I actually love browsing on that phone. Load times over Verizon's "slower" network are awesome and way faster then the iPhone can do on wifi. There is no need to avoid using the browser even on the subway. Normally, with my iPhone, when I'm sitting on the couch and I think of something I want to look up on the internet I send myself an email so I can do it the next time I'm in front of a computer. A couple of nights ago I just browsed to it on my phone, and it looked awesome and loaded beautifully. I used to avoid links on Twitter and Facebook and wouldn't even think about video. Now I click on it without even thinking (after 1 week). I didn't realize that it was all possible with a different carrier and a different phone. Then there is the GPS. Before the map finishes loading it already knows where I am. No waiting, no pushing of a button. It just knows where I am, and it knows what direction I'm pointing. Finding directions is now a breeze. The other night I come out of the deep dark subway and my phone knew exactly where I was and which direction I was facing. In less then a minute we were at our destination. The iPhone would have taken that long to figure out I had reception, twice as long to figure out where I'm at, if it could at all, and then would leave me guessing which direction I'm facing.

So why did I switch? Well because I no longer have to wait for an awesome phone. It is right here and with awesome service. No longer do I have to decide between the phone and crappy service. I can get both right here and right now. The Droid X is but one phone with Verizon which is just one company carrying awesome phones with good service. Since switching I realized that I was just tolerating things, and that is sad. So onward and upward. I've ditched you ATT and I couldn't be happier. You won't be missed. Onward to smartphone nirvana.



And don't get me started on multitasking. It is so refreshing to be in an app and have the freedom to change course and come right back to where you began. I remember opening up Pandora and realizing I needed to check my email. Sure enough I could do that without losing the stream. Then later I was reading the NYT and got an email. I switched to my email and went right back to NYT and didn't miss anything. Why couldn't the iPhone do that originally?