Swype

Why I Switched From iPhone to Android

For the past several years I’m been a fanboy for Apple products. It all started with my iPhone 3G a few years ago, then to an iPod Touch, then a white MacBook, then an iPad, to a MacBook Pro, and iPhone 4. Whew, when I actually list all of that out it seems like a lot huh? Well I recently made the switch to an Android as my mobile device. Switching from my easy to use and fully functioning iPhone 4. For me, learning how to use all of these devices was pretty simple. I’ve been a “techie” just about all of my life.

But why did I make the switch? Well, for a lot of reasons but some that are biggest to mention is that Apple has been slacking in their handheld department. My wife has been on Team Android for years, and of lately I’ve just been really frustrated with the lack of user options that iOS is still lacking yet Android users have had for years. She had been taunting me with these air gestures for scrolling through pictures, automatic pause when looking away from watching a video, scheduling text messages, and more. Aside from these I just mentioned let me talk about a few things I now enjoy that I was denied from Team Apple.

Swype

The ability to compose text and email messages by sliding your fingers across the keyboard. I was quite skeptical about this from the outside looking in, but once I started to really use it myself I finally understood what all the hype was about. Its amazing how accurate the engine is as well as the built in predictive text. There were plenty of times when I started spelling a word the wrong way and when I was done with the word expecting to delete it, the corrective type already knew what word I really wanted to use. Eerie but cool at the same time.

Automatic App Updates

I’ve never really understood why Apple hasn’t implemented automatic updates. Most PC software and a lot of OSX software have their own measures for automatic updated, yet on iOS whether you have an iPod, iPhone, or iPad you still need to manually update your apps and each time you do you need to enter your credentials. In most cases there really isn’t a reason you’re NOT going to update your apps. Updates are usually a benefit, be it for bug fixes, new features, and other advancements. Android apps can be updated automatically and you get a short note in your notification window that the app(s) have been updated.

Android update

External Storage

This has been a longstanding issue. Now that I can add my content from my devices straight to my mobile device is great. And not having to worry about filling up my internal and doing a data balancing act with my content is quite relaxing. On my Samsung Galaxy S4 I can add up to 64g of external storage. And that’s on top of the already allotted 16g of internal storage.

Removable Battery

Most Android phones will allow you to remove the back plate and have access to your battery and that may also be where your SD card slot is too. It’s pretty convenient to have a spare when you know you’ll be at an all day conference that may be limited on outlets to recharge. So when your device does go to that 10% status, you can just swap out your battery and you’re back to 100% and that should last till the end of your day. That was never an option on my iPhone 3G or 4. I kind of doubt that will be an option on the upcoming 5s too.

NFC

Near Field Communication is being able to send or receive data just by placing your device near another device. They don’t need to be the same device, they just need to have the NFC function. So you may have a debit or credit card with NFC where you can pay just by waving your card on a small box. Well with mobile phones you can send pictures, music, and more this way.

Widgets

Now this was a totally new concept to me. Having jailbroken my 3G and my 4, I had a few things that I added like SB Settings and Lock Info which were great for getting to commonly used options like brightness, airplane mode, weather and more. On my Android device there are many apps that have their own widgets that can be placed on any page you create from your phone. So for example you can have a row if icons for your favorite apps like Messaging, Gallery, Email, and Contacts, then have a full horizontal bar that is your music player, then a few boxes that are your weather app, calendar, tasks, etc. The combinations are vast especially from the native apps. Android Widgets

Overall this new OS (to me) offers a lot more in user functions that I was not even aware was possible when I was on iOS. Though one major shortcoming is that unless you have one of the major manufactured devices like HTC or Samsung, you may not get the same version(s) of Android. The one attack I’d usually is how segmented the OS was across so many different devices, and how unified iOS was. The phone I’m currently using is the Samsung Galaxy S4 and it has many more options baked in that aren’t yet available on other manufacturers so my views are from this device solely.

Now if you are deciding to make the switch, I found some apps to make your converting process a bit less painless.

Samsung Smart Switch

Smart Switch

This free piece of software from Samsung called Smart Switch will actually find and transfer your text messages, memos (notes), music, calendar items, contacts and more. What you’ll want to do is be sure to do a sync and a backup of your iPhone prior to using this application because it pulls from that stored data from your computer. This is something available for Samsung Devices though, so I can’t say if it will work with an HTC device or others. They have it for Windows and Mac too. This process took a while because I had a lot of data on my iPhone but it was so nice not to lose any text messages or photos and such.

While you’re at it pick up Kies and configure your device to sync to your computer or laptop. It’s fairly easy to setup and configure. What I liked best was the ability for it to scan my hard drive or specific folders for media to then choose what I want added or sync’d to my phone. Kies

So if you’re planning to do a switch I hope that this article helps to shed some light on what to expect and maybe more reasons why you’d want to go all the way. Of course I have a bunch more comments and such to add, but I’ll save that for replying to your comments below.

8 replies
  1. Samuel Mateo
    Samuel Mateo says:

    All very valid point that I agree with. I’ve been on the Android band wagon from the very beginning and I don’t see me jumping ship any time soon. iOS has a lot of catching up to do if they want to compete in the market they once ruled.

    • Design Theory
      Design Theory says:

      At times I wonder if Apple has started having the same mindset that Palm did. Getting way too comfortable, and believing that there are more die-hard fans for their products than actual ones. That was the biggest thing for me was that they have a LOT of catching up to do. But then that won’t really be enough, they’ll need to catch up and come up with newer innovations. Like they used to do – be the cutting edge.

  2. Alice Vidale
    Alice Vidale says:

    Thank you for sharing!v, I have been straddling the fence trying to decide what I want upgrade to. Are there any personal adjustments you had to make in getting used to the Samsung vs Apple?

    • Design Theory
      Design Theory says:

      Hi Alice, and thanks for reading! Yes there were a few things I did to better personalize my experience with the Samsung GS4. I made it a point to go through the little tutorials that some of the device options had to offer like NFC, S Beam, and Motions and Gestures. I wanted to learn truly how these things worked and if I would enjoy using them. I did and that’s a whole other story on waving my hand over the device to answer a call, saying “cheese” to take a picture, or waving my hand to scroll up and down a website and more. I also tried to deviate from syncing all of my contacts, calendar, and photos from my Gmail account. I was able to do that by using the Kies software. I also downloaded the same major apps I use on my iPhone like Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, and more. They all had the same look and feel (mostly) so that really helped my transition and ease of use.

  3. Ray
    Ray says:

    I switched from Android to iPhone about 8 months ago.

    Here’s are my reasons:

    When an Android device gets dated the carrier and the manufacturer stop sending updates to it or the updates roll out painfully slow to your elderly device. When a new version of Android comes out it doesn’t just roll out to the phones. It has to go to the manufacturers to make sure that their UI still performs well or at all on the new version. Once that is done, the manufacturer sends it up the pipe to your carrier to run through it’s paces and they decide when / if they roll it out. It’s not in their best interest to update old phones. A waited for two years in vain for updates to my HTC Thunderbolt.. then got tired of waiting and rooted it and installed Cyanogenmod just to have them also stop rolling out working releases for my phone.

    The various manufacturers mean a ton of different hardware. It’s the equivalent of trying to be everything to everyone. I believe that an OS designed to work on specific hardware is inherently better as it can take advantage of the hardware better.

    • Samuel Mateo
      Samuel Mateo says:

      Very valid point but in my personal experience and opinion I would rather upgrade my phone every two years, which would have the latest Android OS, than have to wait for iOS to catch up to all the goodies already available on the Android Platform.

      I’ve had 4 android phones at this point and have had the same experience you mention in each of the first three and I’m not going to lie, I’ve wanted to throw the phone into the sea on quite a few occasions but that is not reason enough to leave the forward moving android OS.

      • Design Theory
        Design Theory says:

        Hehehe I had to laugh at your “throw into the sea” comment Sam!

        Do you feel though that Android and most major device manufacturers have come a longer way so as to better support OS upgrades now than when Gingerbread was around?

    • Design Theory
      Design Theory says:

      Hey Ray thanks for your comment!

      So the manufacturer issue was one of my main arguments when advocating team iOS. So many different devices and version of the Android OS that some phones could get updates and some may not. There’s no complete version upgrade across devices. So For me I felt I’d stick with one of the major brands like Samsung hoping that when 4.2.3 comes out in a few weeks I’ll be able to upgrade to it. I’m not sure how that is with HTC but they’re also a big brand so I would imagine most of their devices will get them.

      I do have to ask you though, how did you feel about rooting your device? Did you find it easy? Is there a fail-safe in case something goes wrong?

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