Popular Posts

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Read : Clean Tech

The Bottom Three Billion: How One Clean Tech Company Serves The Poor

Pachyappa Bala of Ampere with the Angel, a stripped down electric scooter.
In 2007, a married couple with well-paid tech jobs in Singapore saw a prototype of a Japanese electric car and had a revelation. An electric car could be run for a tenth the price of a comparable one fueled by gas. The couple wondered: Could they create an electric motorbike for the masses in their home country of India?
“This hit my mind like anything. This is the future,” Pachyappa Bala, the husband of the couple, remembered thinking at the time.
Shortly after, Bala and his wife, Annamalai Hemalatha, sold their $1.8 million apartment in Singapore and moved with their two school-age daughters to Coimbatore, India, to found Ampere. This was a drastic move. Coimbatore is a second-tier industrial town in the steamy-hot south of India with no cosmopolitan flair. Though Bala is an engineer with a specialty in electric motors, neither he nor Hemalatha had tried to build or sell an electric vehicle.
What they have learned since offers lessons for anyone building a business where the risks are high, the time horizon is long, and the customer makes $2.50 a day or less — a population that is known in some circles as the bottom of the pyramid (BOP). Clean tech businesses are finding that the road to success is long and rocky; so are those serving the BOP. What makes the endeavor worthwhile is that the benefit to society can be great and the potential market is huge. It’s estimated that three billion people worldwide make $2.50 or less, most of them in Asia, Africa and Latin America, and each has the same desires as those who make $100,000 a year. How do you make a product that satisfies their needs on a measly budget?
Hint: It looks nothing like a comfortable IT job in Singapore.
“I practice what I call frugal engineering,” Bala said during a visit to one of his two factories, a converted textile mill next to a coconut grove at the end of a dirt road. Then he corrected himself. “Ultra-frugal engineering.”
Rethink the Conventional. At first, Ampere created a line of electric vehicles that looked and felt like conventional motorbikes. Bala and Hemalatha developed 13 models of electric scooter targeted at the upper-middle-class, ecologically-oriented urbanite. Each had a sleek design in molded plastic — the style of motorbike that has proven to sell well in cities around the world. The marketing plan was also familiar: a $1 million advertising campaign accompanied by new dealerships in the big cities of Bangalore and Chennai.
Total number of vehicles sold: five.
Relaying this information to me, Bala burst out laughing. “The people buying EVs are not the rich, not the educated,” he said. “It is the poor people who are buying our vehicles.”
Here is the profile of Ampere’s new customers: 1) a shopkeeper or deliveryman in one of India’s small outlying cities or villages, or 2) a farmer. The company’s biggest seller is the Angel, a two-wheeler so stripped down and ugly that it has a certain charm. It is a stout Chinese bicycle retrofitted with front shocks and sturdier wheels, and a frame that has been cut apart so a battery fits behind the seat tube. The lead-acid battery gets a full charge in eight hours from a standard Indian 5-amp outlet — the same way people charge a cellphone. The price is about $386, far cheaper than a gas-powered motorbike. It is priced, Bala said, for “people who can afford the vehicle but not the gas.”
Number of vehicles sold within weeks of the Angel’s debut: several hundred.
Since then, Ampere has expanded its product line to fourteen models and sold thousands of vehicles. Business has taken a nosedive recently because a plague of power outages in India are destroying confidence in electric cars. Despite the downturn, though, there is no question that Ampere has found a market.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Logistics behemoth : UPS

Online shopping seems like a straightforward process: hunt down the perfect item, trudge through the checkout pipeline and await a package's inevitable arrival. The trip between a warehouse and your doorstep, however, involves meticulous organization on a massive scale. In order to pull off such a feat, United Parcel Service (UPS) relies on Worldport in Louisville, Ky.: a 5.2 million-square-foot processing facility that's capable of sorting up to 416,000 packages an hour. Within Worldport, 70 aircraft docks and 155 miles of conveyor belts await the arrival of packages from over 220 countries and territories. So, what happens when UPS gets ahold of those parcels destined for air delivery? 

DNP UPS WorldportUPS trucks are the foot soldiers and the most familiar presence of the outfit, but the real powerhouse in the operation is the firm's aircraft fleet. In total, UPS owns 230 jets ranging in size from Boeing 757s to 747-400s, some of which have ferried everything from a whale shark to an iceberg chunk. The aircraft deliver packages around the globe, but make frequent pit stops at Worldport, where one of them lands roughly each minute during peak operating hours. The facility has a 7.2-mile perimeter and is the largest of UPS' 12 sorting hubs. Though the complex is adjoined to Louisville International Airport and shares its two runways, its size overshadows the passenger terminal. At Worldport alone, more than 2.3 million gallons of fuel are guzzled down by airplanes roughly every three days.
So, why Louisville? Simply put: good weather and short travel times. The Derby City has generally temperate weather and is about a two-hour flight from 75 percent of the US population, and a four-hour flight away from 95 percent of other folks in the nation -- key factors to ensure consistent and speedy deliveries. The surrounding area has become a prime spot for a bevy of companies to set up their own distribution facilities thanks to UPS' presence. Zappos and others have set up camp nearby so they can hand off their goods to the shipping titan quickly and ensure they arrive at their destinations as soon as possible. Nikon and Sprint have even partnered with UPS to handle a good chunk of their shipping duties. For example, The Now Network doesn't lift a proverbial finger when a phone is ordered -- UPS takes care of plucking the right handset from its inventory and shipping it off to a customer.
DNP Inside UPS' Worldport facility how one of the world's shipping titans moves 2,000 packages every 17 seconds
Work at Worldport is divided into two "sorts," a daytime and nighttime window where packages are unloaded from arriving planes, rerouted to their next ride and sent off again. Two-thirds of the work is done on the latter shift, between 10 PM and 2 AM. However, preparations begin well before aircraft even touch down. At the company's operations center, employees keep constant tabs on coordinating operations across the globe, including everything from world events to weather. UPS even keeps a staff of meteorologists on hand to monitor potential weather hazards -- snow and fog being chief among them in the winter -- and to prognosticate what could foul up operations, while helping the team adjust accordingly. If the weather, mechanical troubles or other mishaps put an aircraft out of commission, the firm often has roughly a dozen "hot" planes in different locales that are ready to take up the mantle.
DNP Inside UPS' Worldport facility how one of the world's shipping titans moves 2,000 packages every 17 seconds
Roughly 2,000 packages were processed on the very first night the site commenced operations in September 1982. Today, 2,000 packages are processed every 17 seconds. Though some aircraft are serviced out on the tarmac, the majority pull right up to the walls of the sprawling complex. Once sidled up to the building, a crew uses a scissor lift to unload giant enclosures made of Lexan and aluminum, dubbed Universal Load Devices (ULDs), which can weigh up to two tons each. Hundreds of thousands of wheels and ball bearings embedded into the floor of the facility, the lift and even the airplanes make pulling the hefty containers possible for between one and four mortal humans. UPS estimates that Worldport is riddled with approximately 1.2 million wheels and bearings.
DNP Inside UPS' Worldport facility how one of the world's shipping titans moves 2,000 packages every 17 seconds
As containers are unloaded, they find themselves at the first step in the sort. A worker at one of 325 unloading nodes opens up the ULD and places packages on one of three conveyor belts: one for small packages, one for larger parcels and another for irregularly sized ones. Hardware above the belt scans the "smart" label ubiquitous on the shipping giant's parcels shortly thereafter. Once a package and its destination are identified, the Worldport system routes it to the appropriate place, all while keeping track of where each item is at all times on the 33,245 conveyors and 2.6 miles of tilt-tray sorters. Since the system has a 20 percent redundancy, packages are dynamically rerouted to the right loading area when part of the building's conveyor intestines fail.
DNP Inside UPS' Worldport facility how one of the world's shipping titans moves 2,000 packages every 17 seconds
If the camera system can't read a label for one reason or another, an image of it arrives at Telecode -- a room lined with desktop stations and employees keeping watchful eyes on screens. As soon as a snapshot appears, workers have 10 seconds to identify the ZIP code so that the parcel finds its way to the appropriate loading area. If neither the scanner nor the Telecode department can appropriately identify the offending label, the package winds its way through the system to be inspected by hand. Just how often is there a kink in the works? UPS prides itself with a 99.9994 percent accuracy rate, but even still, they say that accounts for 15,000 packages that need to be nudged in the right direction for each million. When all goes well, the company likes to say parcels are only touched twice by human hands: upon unloading and loading into ULDs.
DNP UPS Worldport
Packages eventually file down a chute and into another shipping container, which is weighed to make sure the outbound plane is properly balanced. When rolled into position inside an aircraft, containers lock into place to avoid moving about in flight. UPS crams up to 39 ULDs in their largest-capacity planes, Boeing's 747-400 and the MD-11. The entire sorting process, from unloading to reloading, takes about 45 minutes when all is said and done.

Inside UPS' Worldport

During the holidays, UPS adjusts to the influx of packages and it has a team of 20 number-crunchers to calculate what it'll take to handle the increased demand. Typically, that means hiring an additional 700 to 1,000 workers, leasing more aircraft and 475 extra daily flights at Worldport alone during the busy season between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The company handles 1.6 million packages at the complex in a typical day, but on December 22, 2011 -- the firm's busiest day that year -- it routed 3.6 million to their destination. On its peak day in 2011, UPS delivered more than 27 million packages in total. And 2012? It was projected to be even more hectic. UPS isn't ready to divulge exact numbers just yet, but it expected to handle 69 million online package tracking requests in a single day, compared to its 2011 record of 57 million.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Read on iOS and Android

A confession by an Apple Fanboy

Over the past few years I've invested a lot into Apple's products and services.

If you come by my house, you'd find four of the latest Apple TVs, two iMacs, the latest MacBook Air, a MacBook Pro, more than five AirPort Express stations and Apple's Time Capsule. You could touch every single iPhone, from the first up to the iPhone 5, iPads ranging from first generation to fourth and we recently added two iPad minis.
My iTunes Library comprises well over 8,000 songs – all purchased via the iTunes Store. No matter whom you would ask, everybody will confirm that I'm what some folks call an Apple fanboy.
The reach of Apple's products goes beyond my personal life.
As the co-founder of Germany's largest mobile development shop, I'm dealing with apps – predominantly iOS powered – in my daily professional life.
Driven primarily by the business I run, I tried to give Android a chance more than once.
In various self-experiments, I tried to leave my iPhone at home for the Motorola Droid, the Nexus One, the Samsung Galaxy S II and S III – and always switched straight back to the iPhone. None of those Android devices have worked for me – yet.
And then I got the Nexus 4.
When the latest Google flagship Android device shipped, I almost expected it to turn out as yet another "take-a-look-and-sell-it-on-ebay" experience. Little did I know.
It's now almost two weeks since I switched the Nexus 4 on for the first time – and meanwhile I completely moved to it, leaving my iPhone 5 at home. Do I miss anything? Nope. Except iMessage. More on that later.
My motivation is not to bash Platform A over Platform B. On the contrary: I will try to summarize my very personal findings and experiences based on years of using iOS. I've seen the Apple platform evolve while Android was playing catch-up for so long. When iOS 6 came out, for the first time I complained about the lack of innovation in this major new release. I asked myself, whether we might see Apple beginning to lose its leading position in mobile platforms.
Before you read on, it's important to emphasize that I'm a pro user.
I'm not the average smartphone owner, who makes just a couple of calls every now and then or runs an app once in a while. By the nature of my job and out of curiosity, I deal a lot with social media outlets, social networks and constantly try new services. With that said, my judgement might not be suitable for everyone. In case you consider yourself being a demanding power user, though, you might find this helpful.
At the time of this writing, I've been using Android Jelly Bean 4.2.1 on an LG Nexus 4.
Putting it into a single line: The latest version of Android outshines the latest version of iOS in almost every single aspect.
I find it to be better in terms of the performance, smoothness of the rendering engine, cross-app and OS level integration, innovation across the board, look & feel customizability and variety of the available apps.
In the following paragraphs, I try to explain why.

Performance and Smoothness of the Rendering Engine

I know there are benchmarks which measure all kinds of technical performance on a very detailed level. That's not what I've done and, honestly, I'm not interested into that much. I'm talking about the performance I feel in my daily use.
Using the Nexus 4 with Android 4.2.1 is a pure pleasure when it comes to performance. I don't exactly know what Google has done with "Project Butter" in Jelly Bean, but the result is astonishing. In the past, Android felt laggy, sometimes even slow and responses to gestures didn't feel half as immediate as on iOS.
This has changed completely.
I'd say both platforms are at least even. In some cases, Android even feels a bit ahead of iOS 6. I especially got this impression when it comes to rapidly switching between apps – which I constantly do now – and scrolling through a huge number of more complex content. (I'm not talking just tables with text here.)
While Android still doesn't give you bouncing lists and scroll views – primarily, because Apple has a patent for this specific behavior – every transition between views has been reworked, polished and modernized. In most cases, it feels more modern, clean and up-to-date than its iOS counterpart.

Cross-app and OS level integration

One of the biggest advantages I found during my daily use is the level of cross-app and OS level integration.
This also is the area where I was most disappointed when Apple introduced iOS 6.
In fact, I think iOS has reached a point where usability starts to significantly decrease due to the many workarounds that Apple has introduced. All of these just to prevent exposing a paradigm like a file system or allowing apps to securely talk to each others. There is a better way of doing this. Apples knows about it but simply keeps ignoring the issues.
On Android, it's quite the opposite. One can see the most obvious example when it comes to handling all sorts of files and sharing.
Let's assume I receive an email with a PDF attachment which I'd like to use in some other apps and maybe post to a social network later.
On iOS, the user is forced to think around Apple's constraints. There is no easy way to just detach the file from the email and subsequently use it in what ever way I want. Instead, all iOS apps that want to expose some sort of sharing feature, do have to completely take care for it themselves. The result is a fairly inconsistent, unsatisfying user experience.
On iOS, you might use the somewhat odd "Open in…" feature – in case the developer was so kind to implement it – to first move the file over to Dropbox, which gives you a virtual cloud-based file system. If you're lucky, the other app, from which you want to use the file next, offers Dropbox integration, too, so you can re-download it and start from there. All because Apple denies the necessity of basic cross-app local storage.
On Android, it's really simple.
I can detach the file to a local folder and further work with it from there. Leveraging every single app that handles PDF files. In case I receive a bunch of mp3 files, I can do the same. And every app that somehow can handle audio playback, can reuse those mp3 files.
Another great example: Sharing stuff on social networks. On iOS, I have to rely on the developers again. Flipboard, as one of the better examples, gives me the ability to directly share with Google+, Twitter and Facebook. On my Nexus 4, I have 20+ options. That is, becauseevery app I install can register as a sharing provider. It's a core feature of the Android operating system.
But it goes even further: On Android, I can change the default handlers for specific file types – much like I'm used to from desktop operating systems.
If, for example, you're not happy with the stock Photo Gallery application, that shows up whenever an app wants you to pick an image, you can simply install one from over a hundred alternatives and tell Android to use it as its new default. The next time you post a photo with the Facebook app – or have to pick an image from within any other app – your favorite gallery picker shows up instead of Android's own.
All of this is entirely impossible on iOS today. I've stopped counting how often I felt annoyed because I clicked a link to a location in Mobile Safari and would have loved the Google Maps app to launch. Instead, Apple's own Maps app is hardcoded into the system. And there's no way for me to change it.

The customizability is simply stunning

Let me make this very clear: Gone are the days where home screens on Android phones almost always looked awful.
If you don't believe me, hop over to MyColorscreen and see for yourself.
Also note that all of those are real Android home screens, not just concepts provided by designers. They are not beautifully photoshopped wallpapers, but fully functional screens with app icons and active widgets.
And all of those can be configured pretty easily just by installing a couple of apps and tweaking settings. Here is an album showing my current configuration, which I was able to achieve after just a couple of days using Android as an absolute newbie.
Getting inspired? Here are some more of my favorites:
An iPhone Lover̢۪s Confession: I Switched To the Nexus 4. Completely.

Now, iPhone lovers might argue that the average Joe doesn't want to deal with widgets, icons and custom animations. I've used the same argument for years. Well, guess what, you don't have to. The default Jelly Bean home screen looks beautiful already. But in case you want a somewhat more individual phone, the possibilities are endless.
For years, what you could do with Android, simply yielded awful looking home screens. This has changed. Significantly so.
And believe me or not, but after having configured my Nexus 4 just the way I always wanted – providing me with the fastest access to my most frequently used apps along with the most important information on a single screen – whenever I grab my iPhone for testing purposes, iOS feels pretty old, outdated and less user friendly. For me, there currently is no way of going back. Once you get used to all of these capabilities, it's hard to live without them.

App quality and variety

Yes, there are still lots of really ugly apps on Google Play.
In my opinion, this has two primary reasons.
First, the obvious one: The lack of a centralized quality control and review. It's great for encouraging variety, but obviously it also allows for some really cheap productions to be published to the store. Usually, you can spot those immediately from the screenshots on Google Play.
The second reason is more low-level: The way developers declare user interfaces (it's primarily done in an XML configuration file) allows for rapidly hammering together dirty UIs. That's what happens a lot and users can see and feel it. iOS developers tend to be more aware to involve designers and iOS UIs cannot be crapped together as easily.
However, I no longer feel as though the apps I use most greatly fall behind their iOS counterparts.
The Facebook app is identical in terms of look and feel and features. As a plus, it has better cross-app integration. The Google+ app is better on Android, but that's to be expected. Flipboard is fantastic on Android, plus better integration. The same is true for Pulse News. The list goes on: Instagram, Path, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, Quora, Pocket, Amazon Kindle, Spotify, Shazam and Google Talk. They are all great on Android. Plus better integration. Plus home screen widgets.You sense a scheme here?
And if you want to experience some real UI magic – even if you just need an argument when you're bumping into an iPhone owner the next time – install Zime, a highly addictive calendar for Android which features smooth 3D animations and really innovative UI.
Talking about variety. This is where Android's openness pays off.
On iOS, many things I always wished to see being developed, simply cannot be done because of the strict sandbox Apple enforces around apps. On Android, I use an app to block unwanted calls. To auto-respond to incoming short messages. And to lock some specific apps with an extra passcode, so my customers don't play with my Facebook profile, when I hand over my Nexus 4 for demos.
I also have apps that give me great insight into the use of mobile data across the device and all apps. Or the battery consumption. Or which apps talk home and how frequently.
None of it is available for iOS. And possibly won't be at any time in the near future.

What I miss

I said this earlier: The only thing I miss is iMessages. I'm not kidding. Letting go of iMessages was difficult, as many of my friends are on iPhones and used to text me via iMessage. While there are perfect alternatives (Facebook Messenger, Google Talk, WhatsApp, to name only a few), from time to time I still find a couple of unread iMessages, when I switch on my iPhone 5.

My most frequently used apps

I'm an Android newbie. During the last couple of days, I had to ask many questions and received hundreds of recommendations for apps. I installed, tried and uninstalled. And kept the great ones. My sincere thanks go out to the great Nexus and Android communities over at Google+.
In case you decided to give Android a try before you read this article, or got inspired here, I'd like to save you some of my journey. Here is a list of the apps I found most useful (and beautiful, given the high standards set by years as an iPhone addict):
Nova Launcher Prime – a must have if you want to get creative with your home screen(s)
Twitter, or as alternatives Falcon Pro and Plume Premium
Pulse NewsFlipboardGoogle Currents and Press (a handsome Google Reader) for your daily dose of news  
SpotifyGoogle Play MusicShazam (which you don't necessarily need anymore, because Google Search on Android has this build in), doubleTwist for everything audio
MX Player Pro as a really versatile video player that handles almost all formats seamlessly
TubeMate to make YouTube videos available for offline viewing
QuickPic as a replacement for the stock photo picker (Gallery)
Pixlr Express as the most amazing photo editor I've seen on a smartphone. Forget about Camera+ on your iPhone.
InstagramSnapseed and Flickr for photo sharing
Wifi Analyzer if you ever want to fine tune your wireless LAN
Zedge for free access to hundreds of thousands of ringtones, wallpapers and notification sounds
Power Toogles for home screen level access to toggling bluetooth, WiFi and other settings
Remote for iTunes as a 100% replacement for the Remote app on your iPhone
Minimalstic Text to create beautifully simplistic text widgets for your home screen
ASTRO File Manager if you want to fiddle on file system level
AirDroid to remotely manage all aspects of your phone from a browser on your desktop PC
BeyondPod if you're an avid podcast listener as I am
ConnectBot, a really capable SSH client
Eye In Sky weather widget for beautiful weather on your home screen
Note: I always use the paid / pro version of apps, if one is available. Coming from iOS, I simply cannot adjust my eyes to in-app-ads and probably never will. Google Play now offers credit cards, PayPal and some other payment alternatives. Plenty of choice. I encourage everybody to give back to the developer economy and not just go for the free versions.
In case you're wondering why I took the burden to include all of the links to the apps above, well, here is another advantage over iOS: Google Play allows the complete remote install via the Web. If you're logged into your account you click the install button after visting one of the links in any browser, and wherever your phone is, the respective app will be installed silently.

My Android Wish List

Let me finish this post with a couple of wishes I've got for the next major version of Android, hopefully made available at this year's Google I/O:
More and centralized settings for notifications, or, a notification center. The rich notifications introduced in Jelly Bean and the overall usability of the notification bar and drawer are already far better than those on iOS. (On a side note, I never understood why usability masters like the Apple engineers decided to make the "clear" button so tiny, that you can hardly hit it without using a magnifying glass.)However, the level of customization you get for Android notifications is currently 100% up to the developers.This means, even though Android offers a great variety of possibilities, they are not consistently available in all apps. In fact, some apps barely let you switch notifications on and off, while others allow you to customize every aspect, from notification sound to the color of the notification LED to do-not-disturb times. These should be made available globally and enforced through the APIs.For example, I'd love to be able to receive notifications on Facebook messages, but don't want them to show the full message preview in the notification bar.
There are some apps, which let you chose whether you want a complete preview, or just a standard "you've got mail" message, without revealing its content. But it's up to the developer whether you've got the choice or not.
Or: Android has support for a notification LED that can flash in different colors. I configured the LED on my Nexus 4 to blink green on new WhatsApp messages. Incoming stuff from Facebook notifies in blue and new business mail causes the LED to flash in white. What sounds like a tiny feature is really valuable: While sitting in a meeting, you can grasp immediately whether you might want to check your phone right away or not. Unfortunately, not all apps let you customize the LED color. Again, it's up to the developer to provide these settings as part of their application. This belongs into a centralized notification center.
Options I'd like to see centralized: LED color, notification sound, content preview. They could also be exposed on app level, but the Android Notification Center should allow for overrides.
Support for multiple accounts in Google Now. I'd love to see Google Now taking advantage of multiple configured Google accounts. On my device, I'd like my Google Apps for Businesses account to drive the calendar based cards but my private one for everything else (location and browsing history, etc.). Currently, Google Now can only leverage a single account. I therefore had to switch browsing and location history on for the Google Apps for Business account I use professionally. This should be a no-brainer for Google and I keep wondering, why the folks at Google tend to forget these multiple-account scenarios.
Solving the inconsistencies grouped around the back button. I've actually found this on many lists and from what I've read it has already gotten better in Jelly Bean. However, at times I still get confused about the multiple navigation hierarchies that are caused by the native back button which is part of the OS and a second back button available within apps. Oddly enough, the mostly fantastic Google+ Android app suffers from this issue, too. Sometimes I end up on my home screen just because I "went back too far". It's not a big issue, but one which needs to be addressed. As a starter, how about giving the damn back button a different color if the next time you hit it, you'll be taken out of the app.
Indicate whether an app uses Google Cloud Messaging or some other technology to stay connected. I believe this one to be huge: On iOS, there are essentially no long-running background processes, except for VoIP or Navigation apps. This means, all apps that notify users of incoming data while they are inactive, make use of a centralized service operated by Apple, called Push Notifications. It has a great advantage with respect to battery life, as there is only a single process on the OS level, that monitors all incoming messages and distributes them to the targeted apps, instead of potentially many apps doing whatever they want to do to stay connected. Android has a similar service, named Google Cloud Messaging.Unfortunately, there is no obvious way to differentiate apps that leverage this service from those, that constantly poll or even keep a socket connection to their home servers.I'd love to see the ones making use of Google Cloud Messaging identified in Google Play and on the OS level, maybe in the already available App Info screen. That way, I could dramatically increase battery life by stopping those that constantly talk back home and encourage developers to make use of Google's Cloud Messaging service.

One last word

At the beginning I stated, that I tried Android many times before and it never worked for me. I figured, there are two main reasons for this. First, Android has made a major step forward with Jelly Bean. It just wasn't on pair with iOS before. Second, and more important, I found the stock Android experience provided by Google the best you can get. After switching to the Nexus 4, I tried my Samsung S III again, and it did not work for me.
What Samsung does with its TouchWiz modifications and many of the other tiny changes – and other non Nexus vendors, too – totally ruins the experience for me. If you're coming from iOS I highly recommend choosing one of the Nexus devices with guaranteed updates and a clean Android environment the way Google envisioned it.

Closing it off

This was rather lengthy. I figured, switching the mobile OS platform should be worth an in-depth view. Hence this post. I hope you've enjoyed it.
Will I sell my iPhone 5? No. No. No. I never sold one. I'll keep it. Maybe it'll manage to win me back with iOS 7.
Looking forward to your feedback in the comments. Or on Google+Facebook and Twitter.
Ralf Rottmann is a serial entrepreneur from Germany, CTO at grandcentrix and former editor for The Next Web. He successfully sold his last business to Alcatel-Lucent. Find him on Twitter@ralf and Facebook and Google+.