I remember when it started – November 25, 2002. Alan Partridge made friends with Lexus-driving, Lynx Voodoo-wearing kitchen magnate Dan Moody, played by the brilliant Stephen Mangan. He combined a handshake with a business card and when Alan informed him his mobile phone was a Motorola Timeport he remarked ‘that’s saaad, you want to upgrade’. Not only was Dan cool, he was right.
I thought I owned the ultimate Moody mobile in the shape of a Sony Ericsson T68. Colour screen, Bluetooth connectivity, tri-band compatibility and an icy metallic finish. Ahead of its time, it was even James Bond’s burner of choice. In reality it took another five years before finding the kind of handset desirable enough for the owner of Kitchen Planet, and as a result ever since 2008 I’ve used an Apple iPhone.
Delving ever deeper into the Apple ecosystem over the next decade its suite of services from iTunes to… iTunes, the iPhone became the centre of my world and to entertain leaving iOS for Android felt like switching back to a Motorola Timeport, swapping Lynx Voodoo for Java, becoming Alan.
Fast forward to 2019 and something has changed. Android has become cool. In truth it’s been threatening this for a while, but what was once the domain of The IT Crowd, now has the attention of the ‘in’ crowd – Dan.
My flagging iPhone X is in need of an upgrade and Apple will have to pull out all the stops in September, because my head has been turned. Not simply by the sheer number of exciting Android handsets released in the past 12 months, but primarily something shiny that surfaced in New York this week – the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+.
I’m a bit of a magpie, so the Aura Glow finish of the latest Note immediately caught my gaze, but there’s so much more to love here from the bezel-less display to the brilliant S Pen, and if you want it, 5G-readiness. This is one eager puppy when it comes to productivity and ultimately that’s what Dan would want. It’s also £100 cheaper than an iPhone XS Max, let alone whatever surfaces in Cupertino next month, and that’s a lot of petrol station Flavia coffees.
But hold on a minute, I’ve got an iPad Pro and I adore it. In fact I don’t think I could ever go back to using a laptop. Apple’s move to develop iPadOS is absolutely bang on the money and has me very excited that a product I’ve had for a year is about to get even better.
Problem is none of the services I currently use across my iPhone and iPad are made by Apple or are exclusive to iOS. My emails come from Outlook and Gmail, I use Office 365 and G Suite to work collaboratively, Slack and WhatsApp help me communicate, and my music comes from Spotify and Primephonic. Maps, social media, weather, smart home devices – all third party apps that aren’t exclusive to Apple.
Dan! Dan! Dan!
As for privacy? Okay, Craig may have got me there and Apple should be generously applauded for the stance it’s taken. But presumably you’ve all seen The Great Hack by now, you know who is stealing your data and rotting your brain, and you’ve started taking the necessary steps to protect yourself.
If there’s one thing Android does have over iOS it’s the depth of settings and personalisation options to protect you. It might take you twice the time to find it buried in a hideous sub menu somewhere, but if you’re going to check yourself before you digitally wreck yourself why not learn some new tricks along the way and be more Dan while you’re at it.