Ask LH: Should I Have Both iOS And Android Devices?

Dear Lifehacker, for the past year or so I’ve been using a Nokia dumb-phone as my mobile phone and an iPod touch as my portable organiser, text editor, web browser and so on. the Nokia has, sadly, seen better days and it is becoming inevitable that I’ll need a new phone soon. As I enjoy the iOS experience, and have built up quite a library of apps, the obvious choice should be an iPhone, but that will make my iPod more or less redundant. for that reason I’ve been wondering, is there anything to be gained by using both an iOS and Android (or Windows) device? Thanks, Mobile Overload

While having one device that can do everything is a worthy goal, the reality is that many of us do end up toting multiple gadgets. for instance, my longstanding smartphone of choice is a BlackBerry Torch, but I also usually carry an iPod Nano as well for music playback. My Torch is a perfectly fine music player, but using a separate gadget means that I get more battery life out of both devices. having no music on the Torch also means that I maximise space for apps and other information.

In your scenario, there’s a bunch of potential strategies you could pursue:

Sell your iPod Touch and upgrade to an iPhone 4. This will give you one device that does everything in a fashion you’re familiar with. the potential downside is that if you’ve got a higher-capacity Touch, you’ll need to spend a fair bit to get similar storage space. (You might also want to wait until the rumoured mid-year iPhone upgrades before splashing out your money.)

Keep your iPod Touch and buy an iPhone 4. This way, you’ll have a useful music player and a familiar-feeling phone (and you’ll be able to keep using any chargers and other accessories). It’s an expensive route though.

Keep your iPod Touch and buy an Android or Windows phone. You’ll have access to the best of both iOS and your chosen phone, and (potentially) a standalone music player. A new Android phone can be had for a lot less than an iPhone. however, you’ll need to learn an entirely new platform.

Sell your iPod Touch and buy an Android or Windows phone. This would make sense if you didn’t like the iOS experience, but clearly you do.

My basic feeling is that if you like iOS already, moving to the iPhone will give you the most pleasure and satisfaction. Whether you choose to keep your Touch as a backup/music player comes down to whether you can afford the new device outright. You’re already used to carrying two devices, so that won’t come as a shock. I think Android and Windows Phone 7 have plenty to recommend them, but I’m not sure that change for change’s sake would make sense in your case.

That’s my take, but there’s definitely other ways of looking at it. Additional insights from readers are, as always, welcome in the comments.

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