I switched to the iPhone after over a decade on Android — here’s what happened

nsteblay

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Dec 7, 2019
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I've used both iOS and Android over the past decade. I also have MacOS, PadOS, Windows, and ChromeOS computers that I use on a regular basis. I'm am currently using Android for my phone for one major reason - Google's assistant. Google's NLU is so far superior to Siri or Alexa there is really no comparison. When using the phone in a car having a Google assistant can be a matter of safety beyond its superior utility. Except for that, I find the OS capabilities between iOS and Android mostly equivalent.
 
Jul 1, 2020
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I use both an iPhone and an Android (Note 9). My Note 9 is my main phone for multiple reasons:

1. Samsung Pay. I can use mobile wallet at stores that don't accept Apple Pay or Google Pay with Samsung's MST (Magnetic Secure Technology). MST was dropped on the S21 line but it's even on low-priced phones like the A51. It's a big deal because I get 3% cashback on all mobile wallet transactions on my credit card, but for a physical card the best I can do is 2% unless I want to get into the hassle of rotating categories of higher cash back.

2. Stylus. I use an Apple Pencil on my iPad, a Windows pen with Windows Ink on my laptop, and the stylus on the Note 9. While Apple is predicted to add Apple Pencil support to future iPhones, it hasn't happened yet. The stylus is more precise when entering text or playing games and keeps the phone cleaner.

3. Headphone jack. While this was dropped starting with the Samsung S20, it still exists on some Samsung, LG, and other Android phones. Yeah, I know I can use an adapter to gain back that functionality on other phones, but I try to minimize dongles.

4. MicroSD Card Slot. I have ripped my entire CD collection to MP3 and it's stored on my MicroSD card, along with audio books and an occasional movie. When traveling overseas I'll load maps onto the MicroSD card. The partitioning of putting content onto the memory card and apps onto phone memory works well and saves money since higher capacity phones are a lot more expensive than a MicroSD card.

5. Apps. There are several apps that I use for which there is no iOS equivalent, either because Apple won't allow the equivalent app or because the hardware to support the app isn't accessible to the developer. Unlike Android, iOS doesn't support Bluetooth SPP (Serial Port Profile) which means many Bluetooth devices won't work. Unlike Android, iOS doesn't allow apps to access NMEA GPS data.

6. Fingerprint sensor. While the iPhone 13 will reportedly get TouchID back, for now only the iPhone SE 2020 has a fingerprint sensor. Even pre-pandemic FaceID was a huge annoyance in countries where mask wearing is common, but with the pandemic FaceID has become a real pain.

7. Apple tends to follow Android in terms of introducing new features. Apple was late with 3G, late with 4G, late with 5G, late with NFC, late with larger phones, late with wireless charging, and still doesn't have 120Hz displays or under-screen fingerprint readers. Those committed to iOS wait patiently for 1-2 years for Apple to catch up with Android devices. In the tech industry, Apple is what we call a "fast-follower."

8. App stores. With Apple, you have to get all your apps from Apple. While this increases security, it means that a lot of more esoteric apps are only available on Android (which is why Android does so well in China).

9. Google Assistant is far superior to Siri.

10. USB-C. USB-C has multiple advantages over Lightning. Hopefully Apple will soon move their phones to USB-C, just like they did for the iPad.

11. Separate audio volume controls. On my Samsung I can set different volumes for ringtone, notifications, media, system sounds, and Bixby (Samsung's personal assistant).

I know that Apple will never add a MicroSD card slot, add MST (Samsung owns the patent), or bring back the headphone jack. But if they would add 120Hz displays, Pencil support, bring back TouchID in some form, and switch to USB-C, it would go a long way in converting some Android users over to iPhone. It would also be really nice if they'd allow developer to access NMEA data, add support for Bluetooth SPP, and allow separate volume settings for different functions.

BTW, I also use the USAA app on both my iPhone and my Android phone. I've never noticed any lag on either.

It is true the the Apple Watch is far better than any Android watches, though it's possible to use an Apple Watch with an Android phone by going through a few contortions.
 
Last edited:
Feb 27, 2021
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I would have expected an article on switching from android to iOS to show some surprise about how easy it is these days to stay in the Google ecosystem - connecting to your gmail account and using your google contacts and calendar.
 
Feb 27, 2021
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I found your article interesting. I've been a devote android user since it's inception. I loathed apple ever since I switched my wife from an iPhone 4 to a galaxy note 2. It took herculan efforts to get her pictures from her iPhone to her note 2. I think I had to finally use a 3rd party app to extract her pictures from a backup. I've thoroughly enjoyed saving all my pictures to a micro SD card and just swapping it every time I upgraded. Since Samsung finally ditched the memory card I thought I might give an iPhone 12 pro max a try. My experience has mirrored yours and I've been pleasantly surprised how much I'm starting to like it. One issue that you never mentioned was how to get a large amount of pictures from Android to iphone. I spent many days trying to solve this issue but finally found a solution that works but is slow.
#1. Don't use the windows icloud app. It doesn't work and chokes on the picture uploads. It also won't upload pictures in folders, everything gets uploaded flat and completely unorganized.
#2. I ended up using the browser to upload my pictures. Open icloud in a browser, open your photos directory. Once there you can create albums. Open an album and then upload the pictures you want in that directory. Don't upload more than 150-200 pictures at any given time because the browser will choke.
Thanks for the article.
 
Feb 27, 2021
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I would have expected someone with an android to have been using the google photos app to upload to Google's cloud. The iphone answer to that is to install the iphone version of the google photo app. Bingo - same photos show up.
 
Feb 27, 2021
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I would have expected someone with an android to have been using the google photos app to upload to Google's cloud. The iphone answer to that is to install the iphone version of the google photo app. Bingo - same photos show up.
And I think you missed the point. I store my pictures in full resolution on my sd card. I don't backup all those photos to the Google photos online backup. In particular, I would have run out of free storage. We're talking cool pictures pictures I've taken from all over the world... The great Wall, diving in Palau, Shanghai, Costa Rica, etc. As an airline pilot, I've seen some cool things over the last 22 years. I probably have 2-5k photos... They are organized in folders on my sd card... Not so much on either the iCloud or Google photos. Hope that clarifies for you.
 
Feb 27, 2021
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I've considered the 'high resolution' format that google photos gives unlimited storage for (if uploaded before June...) to be
'good enough' for viewing on the phone screen and thus all that a new phone would need to access. For large format printing I'd go back to the originals which are backed up on a computer. It is nice to have access to all photos from multiple devices without needing a huge amount of phone storage. I guess I'll have to decide how to handle that when google ends the ability to add new items to free storage.
 
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