Making the Switch from iPhone to Android
After years of being an iPhone user... I have made the switch. Or should I say addition. I started with an iPhone 3G, then the 3GS, followed by the 4, and then the iPhone 4S with the launch of Siri. Last year I upgraded my 4S to an iPhone 5 and made money doing it. When I upgraded to my iPhone 5 last year I also added a line to my account for my business phone. Since it was an additional phone and I already had an iPhone - I figured that I would go ahead and try an Android phone. I purchased the Samsung Galaxy S4 and have been using it steadily for a year now.
I was very hesitant to try an Android and would not have been convinced if it had not been for a secondary phone. I thought, though, that I would share my experience about switching to android from iOS and tell you about the ups and downs.
Lets start with a few little things that annoy me about Android from an iPhone User perspective.
- It seems that I am constantly resetting defaults. In fact my phone has asked me three times this week which keyboard I would like to use. While appreciate the concern it has for my preference I don't understand why it doesn't remember my last answer. Yesterday. I am sure an update caused it to pop back up but I still have this happen enough that it annoys.
- Many Apps not available on Android Market. One of my biggest concerns coming in is still a valid concern though not nearly to the extent that I feared. I would have to say there are probably only one or two apps that I wish were on Android - the rest that I would need are there.
- Perhaps it is just my launcher but I have yet to find an easy way to send a page link to the home screen. It seems I have to add the page as a bookmark in the browser and then go in from the homescreen customizer. I think this should be an easy task and not sure why I have struggled to get it to work. The last thing that annoys me a bit about Android is that the camera is just not comparable to the iPhone camera. Does it take decent pics? Sure. I mean maybe I have the wrong setting somewhere but the pics just don't add up to what can be done on an iPhone camera.
All in all - that is not a huge or really concerning list. Perhaps to some it would be a bigger deal - or perhaps if I didn't have the iPhone 5 that I could swing out of my other pocket it would bother me more.
Here are the things I have come to love about Android mobile phones.
- The swipe down menu from the top of the phone is the bee's knees! While the latest version of iOS has tried to mimic it with their swipe up menu from the bottom - it is just not comparable. From this screen I can see all notifications easily and pretty much any setting that I may need to change often.
- There is just no way around it. The Android allows you to customize a phone limitlessly. While this means that if you pick up someone else's phone you may not immediately know where things are - but it means that you can make things work for you rather than making yourself work for the standard way that all phones are. From launchers to icons your options are infinite. I do have a friend who literally has a different set up every single time I see him.
- Most android phones will have a bigger screen than the iPhone. My Galaxy S4 has a 5" display which is just a beast and lets be honest why would you want a 4" when you can have a 5"? In this case - bigger is better whether it is for watching movies or scrolling web pages. Especially when they are beautifully designed by FooWebs :)
- The Mobile Hotspot app on my Android phone seems to work much much better than the personal hotspot app on iOS. When I was trying to connect to wifi from my laptop to my iPhone it was always an art of turning it on and off until my wifi would finally see it. I have yet to have the slightest hiccup using my Samsung's mobile hotspot app. That in itself is a potential deal breaker - for me at least.
- Launchers are the way Android allows you to customize the graphical user interface of your phone. There are tons of them out there - free and premium - with tons of options and icon packs to work with them. Do you want your Android to look like an iPhone or a Windows phone? There is a launcher for that. Do you want it to simulate KitKat since its not out yet for your phone? There is a launcher for that.
- Widgets are another thing that really increases my efficiency. While I have often avoided them due to their resource sucking - I have found the gmail and calendar widgets are ideal! I don't have to open a thing and there I have my most important links and any new emails and upcoming calendar items all in the same place!
- The next thing I love about Android is perhaps only so fantastic because of my OCD personality. There are apps on the iPhone that you don't use at all but can't get rid of or don't use often enough to warrant easy attention. Can I tell you how my OCD has struggled with the stupid stocks, passbook, or newstand apps? I want to hide them. I want them to go away. I have literally never opened them and do not plan to ever open them. But they can't go away. I can put them on that last screen by themselves but then i will inevitibly swipe to that screen at least once a day. And every time I swipe there I will be annoyed that I wasted my time. So the fact that Android allows a separate place for all apps and your homescreens for regular apps - is my little piece of heaven. Never again will I swipe the homescreens and waste my time looking at a stocks apps to wonder if I need to check it.
- One of my favorite things about the Android Mobile OS is the Google Voice integration. I have been a user of Google Voice since inception and absolutely love the ability to block callers so easily and screen calls and route calls certain ways. It is beautiful. The way that Android integrates your Google Voice number with the phone is beautiful. Highly recommend.
- A sweet surprise when I first started using my Android phone was the alarm tones. The first time I woke up to one I smiled and thought - "That is how you wake someone up". They are relaxing but alerting. Remember that iPhone alarm that sounds like a fire alarm? Its like that but the opposite.
- Another thing I have noticed that may lend to the hardware rather than the software is the ability of the battery. It is hard to say whether it is the Samsung battery being better than the iPhone battery - or whether it is the Android OS resourcing battery better than iOS. Either way it makes me happy that I can often go two days without charging!
Overall - I am glad to have my Samsung Galaxy S4 Android phone. If I had to choose between one or the other I would probably go Android at this point. But - having two phones I definitely enjoy having one of each. I hope that some of my observations over the past year would help you decide whether you would like to make the jump to Android. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments below!
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Kim Young is Founder, CEO, and a developer at Foo - a web development company based in Wesley Chapel, Florida. She can also be found on Google+. With over 16 years of experience as a web developer, Kim is excited to share with you tidbits that she has picked up along the way. Kim prioritizes continuing education and out of box thinking in order to bring the most valuable solution to Fooweb's clients.