by Swapnil Bhartiya

Why I’m replacing my son’s Nexus 6 with iPad Mini

Jan 28, 2016

The answer lies in sharingrn

I am a heavy Linux user, but lately I find myself getting even deeper into the iOS world. My wife was shocked when I gifted her the iPhone 6S on Christmas. Her shock was justified. She was a Mac user before I converted her to Linux. And she has been a full-time Android and Chrome OS user until now.

The migration from Android to iOS in my household doesn’t stop there. I am soon going to replace my 4-year-old son’s Nexus 6, which he uses to watch Handy Manny and Octonauts, with an iPad Mini.

Why am I doing this?

The answer is more serious than you think. I have previously pointed out some reasons why I switched from Nexus to iPhone. But that was about me switching to iOS; this is about moving my whole family to iOS.

The answer lies in sharing, in economics.

Like most families, we purchase stuff and share it with each other. We share the same Netflix, Pandora, Spotify and Hulu account. We pay for a service once and share it with our small family.

That’s not possible with Android. My wife and I use separate Gmail accounts, for obvious reasons, on our Android devices. And apps, movies and music that I buy from Google Play Store are accessible only from my account. I am a cord cutter so I buy a lot of TV shows and movies. But, in the Android world, when I buy Spectre or a season pass for The Walking Dead or the Game of Thrones, these works are available only on my account; my wife can’t access them from her phone. If she wants to watch them she needs my phone. Not practical, especially when she wants access to the works that I bought to watch on her commute to work.

Android does support multiple accounts, so she can log into my Gmail account from her device and then sync apps or purchases from Google Play Store. The downside is that access to Gmail, Hangouts and Google Drive can be enabled with one click, giving her complete access to my account. She is my spouse, so I don’t much care, but the case becomes trickier with my son because his device is also accessible to his caretakers. That’s not at all acceptable.

That’s where I found Apple’s Family Sharing to be the ideal solution. Once my wife had her iPhone, I added her to my family share and now she can watch all the movies and tv shows that I have purchased. She can use all the paid apps and games that I have bought. And at the same time she can buy movies, tv shows and apps that I can use on my device.

It made it much easier for me to manage my son’s entertainment as well. With Family Sharing I can create an account for him and mark it as a child account so he can’t purchase anything. Once I buy him the iPad he will have his own device that will not have access to my email or other critical data. That device can be freely used by his nanny without any worries.

One family, one purchase.

I have been a hardcore Android user from day one and while I don’t relish playing in Apple’s walled garden, I also feel that Google needs to improve its game. All my family’s iOS devices are on T-Mobile’s Jump on Demand program so I can easily switch back to Android, if (and that’s a big IF) Google gives me the reason to do so.

The ball is in your court, Google.