I think you've got that backwards. Google and Samsung are becoming more like Apple to let you use only what they want you to, that gives you the best experience. Android is far from being locked, but is getting there, as Google and Samsung, to some extent, are trying to control their user experience more.
It’s a slippery slope. I can see see them (let’s be honest any manufacturer could) doing just that. They burned me the first time when they said ST would always support windows phone, then ended it long before windows phone died (or was about too). The second time was when the started to transition to their new app in 2017 . Just don’t like them much any more, slightly better than google. Honestly I never was a big fan of apple either.
I'm not "fond" of Samsung, Google, Apple, etc. Don't think of any of them as a friend I can trust. (Only possible exception, HE.)
I'm only concerned with loss of home automation apps and features.
Changing from Apple to Samsung will be huge on many levels...I guess in a couple years when my next carrier contract expired, I'll get to change my mind.
Yeah, sorry, we tend to wander a lot in topics here...
I think you'll be fine w/automation on Android. I have never felt anything is missing...particularly since you're on Windows. You'll be able to pull things together between phone and watch and computer, and you don't lose any significant HE home automation options.
Although I wouldn't start with Samsung, go straight to pixel you be a lot happier in the short and long term.
Samsung just don't keep their phones updated and the strip out of features and bloat wear is just bluddy annoying.
Both of those have changed in recent years. Galaxy line receives 4 years of OS updates, whereas Pixel only 3 years and as @danabw mentioned above, there are just a few Samsung bloatweare apps that can't be uninstalled or disabled. Plus, some of the Andoid's next version features are usually first introduced by Samsung's One UI before they make it into Android.
More importantly, all Android phones continue to receive Hubitat App updates....
Not "all" but many*, and for longer period than phone getting OS updates
*some customized Android based phones are not supported E.G. Xiaomi's MIUI or OnePlus' OxygenOS are known to have problems.
My Pixel 2XL still receives HE updates (I hope)..... Any blockers on HE App would be a strong motivation to finally upgrade my 4-5 year-old phone
We usually go further than other smart home platforms. Both SmartThings and Google Home, for example, support Android 9 or newer. We go beyond that, but is safe to assume, that best experience would be on Android 9 or newer.
Google is good for that, I'm still running 11...
I had Samsung for years untill about 2 years ago, so to little too later. Plus A I don't care for Samsung OS and B I'm more interested in the security updates which is 5 years on pixels.
My wife's pixel 4 is on 13 with the latest security, my 5 and 7 is on 14.
Yeah, my Galaxy S23 is on Android 14...
I've had multiple Pixels and a ton of Samsung. In my experience and use cases EVERY Pixel I've owned (up to and including the 7 Pro) has had WAY more issues/bugs than any Samsung S series (never tried any of the A series) phone I've owned.
Most recently went from S22 Ultra to Pixel 7 Pro right back to an S23+. The pixel 7 Pro was a mess (and didn't support video out on the USB connector which is utter BS and something I use a lot now).
It is really a shame that Google can't get their crap together.
Even the current Pixel 8 line has a few very interesting threads ongoing about various issues in them (some serious, depending on use case).
In terms of desktop use - as a Windows guy (well half Windows half Linux) I've been very happy with the Phone Link integration with Android devices. Can basically do anything from my desktop I can do from my phone, which is convenient.
Personally some of the extra features / flaws beyond making / receiving calls, supporting the apps I care about and browsing the web, don't bother me. How many pimples the phone has on the back for taking that extra pixel in the photo of the back my latest IT purchase or the paint tin I want to purchase doesn't bother me. But each to their own, in the end the phone has to do what the user wants and if it doesn't, you will find one that does...
My S23+ (AT&T) is still on 13.
I guess I'm getting old... They haven't added a "new feature" I really cared about in a long time, so I'm in no hurry for it to get to 14.
Beyond security (not to downplay the importance of it), I haven't heard of a feature on a phone I am interested in enough to pay the $$ so many flagships want to charge.... That said, once my battery dies on my current phone I'm sure I will just purchase another Pixel like a lemming consumer, though not the latest, it's not worth the $$ IMHO...
I have little passion on Apple vs Android - or even android vs android lol.
I went from Apple to Android in the early days because Apple kept restricting me from doing things - new keyboard? Nah. Different launcher? Nah. Etc, etc. A lot of those things aren't true anymore, or not important to me anymore, etc.
But now all my apps, etc, are in the android ecosystem so it is just easier to stay there.
Unless some use case I simply can't live without (homekit and a few Apple exclusive app features were close, but I worked around that by just getting a cheap used iPad) on Apple comes up, I'll just stay android. Not because I "love it more than Apple", really just because I don't care/see a point in switching.