9 year old faced with replacing his iPhone 4s or switch to Android Samsung Galaxy Note, he picks the Note - Why?

Less than a week ago my 9 year old son had his iPhone 4S stolen from the bus he rides.  My son spends 45-60 minutes on the bus going to a school that addresses kids with dyslexia.  He has made great progress over the past 2 1/2 years, and we got him a feature phone for the long bus ride.  The family has upgraded to iPhone 5/5S, so we had a 4S we could hand down.  He has been pumped to use the 4S.  Last year we let him have a 3GS.  But he had his phone stolen from the bus and I wrote this post on the 5 steps you can take to protect your iPhone from being stolen.

My son felt bad his phone was lost/stolen, and he was afraid he would be punished.  We have talked about what he can learn from the experience.  All kids go through that painful first experience of having a valuable item lost or stolen.  Two days after the event, he is asking if he can have the other 4S that I was going use for development work.  I told him to wait.  

I decided to charge up my Samsung Galaxy Note 1, wipe it clean, reset it to factory defaults and see if he wanted to play with it.  He wanted to get the move “Remember the Titans,” as he has been getting more into football playing on a well coached flag football team.  He couldn’t figure out how to spell Remember the Titans, so I brought up the mobile browser, hit the microphone button and told him to say “remember the titans.”  Google recognized it, listed the search results.  Next I showed him the pen feature and how he could write with the stylus.  Then the camera app.  He played for hours and was ready to use the Galaxy Note.

There are those of you who may argue that the iPhone 4S can do all this same stuff, minus the stylus.  

Here are a few of the reasons why I am supportive of him using the Galaxy Note with Android on it.

1.  Using multiple devices is like language skills.  It is good to learn another mobile OS. Over twenty years ago I would tell people who knew I worked at Apple and then at Microsoft what computers should their kids should use at home.  They were frustrated their kids had Macs at school and Windows at home.  I told them that kids don’t care most of the time.  It is good to learn different OSs.  Yet with mobile it is quite rare for people to know how to use iOS and Android.  I have an iPhone 5 and a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 which I carry most of the time.

2.  Google’s integration into Android is different than iOS and it creates a different experience which includes more voice features.

3  Samsung’s use of the stylus in the Note series supports hand writing which is good for those who don’t think everything should be from a keyboard.  My son is 9 and he is regularly practicing his hand writing.

4.  My son will learn there are the same and different applications for Android vs. iOS.  It’s not the end of the world switching, yet for some it could be quite traumatic, but not nearly as traumatic as having your phone stolen by kids who you thought would never do such a thing.

5.  The Galaxy Note is bigger and different so it is not a target the way an iPhone 4/5 is.

6.  I am getting an extra battery, so he can swap out the batteries.  Ever notice how many iPhone users are plugged into the wall at conferences?  no spare battery.

7.  He has 48GB of memory, so plenty of room.  16GB internal with 32 GB microSD.

Kids can easily change their minds.  My daughter at first wanted a Windows phone 1 year ago, then within a week said she wanted an iPhone.  I still have a 4S and a nice friend has offered us a Windows Phone.  For now, my son will be on the path to learn Android.  and, he will hopefully comfortably swap between mobile OSs for the rest of his life.

Even though his phone was stolen, he is moving on learning.  Which is part of the challenge of dyslexia.  You hit obstacles.  Adjust.  Try something different.  Keep on going.