Why I switched from Android to the iPhone

Why I switched from Android to the iPhone

Android fans, I have some bad news: I finally crossed over to the dark side this weekend and got an iPhone 4 to be my main device. My two-year upgrade came up with Verizon from the original Motorola Droid and I decided that it was finally time to pull the trigger and become a part of iCrowd.

First of all, I know how dumb it is to buy an iPhone 4 right now. The iPhone 5 or iPhone 4S should be out in two or three months and locking myself in to a previous model is exactly what I advise people not to do. The thing is that I’m a mobile fanatic, in fact, you might say that I’m really into mobile, so I’ll likely just buy the next one outright and sell this model (thank god for write offs). Please do not follow my lead on that one.

Why I switched from Android to the iPhoneI purchased an iPhone 4 mainly because I felt like it was time. I have an iPod touch, iPad and a MacBook Air and felt like it was finally time to compete that cycle with the phone. The “free” update really was the impetus but what really put me over the top was iOS 5.

For all the talk of the elegance and beauty of iOS, I could never get over the childish notification system that iPhone users had to put up with. I use my mobile devices to get things done and I would go crazy if some dumb pop-up notification came up every few minutes to tell me I have a new Twitter mention or a Facebook notice. Sure, I can configure those but I still want to know these are happening without it interrupting what I’m doing.

I’ve loaded up the latest iOS 5 beta on my Verizon iPhone 4 and have been quite happy with how the notification system works: apps inform you of some activity in an unobtrusive way at the top of the screen and you can swipe down from the top to give you access to the notification tray. Yes, it’s almost exactly like Android and that’s a good thing for me. I also dig the ability to view widgets in that tray and hope Apple opens it up to third-party developers.

Another major reason I’m diving into the iPhone world is the apps, as I really want to spend more time with these to determine if the tropes you hear are true. Are iPhone apps better and more polished than Android apps? Yes and no. Take something like the Yelp app, as it offers the same features on Android but the iOS version does seem more polished and prettier to use. I don’t believe in style over substance but I can’t deny that I enjoy using the iOS version more than the Android version.

Why I switched from Android to an iPhoneThere are also the exclusive apps like Instagram, which is a joy to use and doesn’t have an Android version. While there are credible alternatives on the Android side and the Android Market has improved by leaps and bounds over the last few years, my conversations with developers still lead me to believe that if an exciting startup is going to create an app, they will go iPhone first and then Android. That’s a large change from when Android would be in the “considered” pile but I need to be on the cutting edge with apps folks and right now, that’s the iPhone and the App Store. Good thing Marc laid out a good list of iPhone apps to get me started.

The other side of that is that many iPhone apps seem beautiful but some of these can be shallow. For instance, I really miss how Android apps can easily and quickly tie in to other features of the phone like the camera. When Apple announced that the Twitter integration in iOS 5 would let you do things like tweet a photo, I thought, “Big deal. I’ve been doing that on Android for years.” I’ve also been able to send photos directly to Facebook and various other social networks directly from my Android camera and I really miss that feature.

I’m also a big Google services user and really miss the deep integration with these on the phone. Yes, Google Voice, Gmail and Google Calendar work on the iPhone but the experience isn’t close to how good it is on Android. Don’t even get me started on how far behind the iPhone version of Google Maps is …

Why I switched from Android to iPhoneApple iCloud is also a major reason why I’m switching over, as I do think that this will be one of the simplest ways for an individual to take advantage of the cloud. I use DropBox, Google Docs, Microsoft’s SkyDrive and many other cloud-storage options but none of these quite scratch my storage itch. I use technology to make my life simpler and I truly believe that iCloud could be a nice solution for personal cloud management. I’ll still need to use other products for collaboration but I’m cautiously optimistic that iCloud will handle my needs.

I also think the iPhone 4 is quite a beautiful piece of hardware, even if I miss the 4-inch screens (or larger) that many Android phones have. Interestingly enough, I’ve found that because iOS is optimized for this screen size, it feels just as good as having Android on a 4-inch screen. The next iPhone will likely have a larger screen and I’m sure I’ll be singing a different tune then, though.

This doesn’t mean that I’m going to become an iPhone fanboy (Hi Dave) and I won’t be bowing at the altar of Steve Jobs anytime soon, as I’m writing this on a Windows PC and literally have a dozen phones and tablets around me that run Android, Windows Phone 7 or BlackBerry OS. This does mean that the first phone that goes into my pocket from now on will be the iPhone 4 and I’m okay with that.

  • http://twitter.com/stockypeasant snoobar

    i did as well, but i am having a hard time choosing between Vz and Att. how did you make your decision to go with Vz?   

    • Anonymous

      I already had an account with Verizon and my upgrade came up. I also wanted to be grandfathered in on the Unlimited plan. Also, AT&T is absolutely garbage in San Francisco. 

    • Anonymous

      I already had an account with Verizon and my upgrade came up. I also wanted to be grandfathered in on the Unlimited plan. Also, AT&T is absolutely garbage in San Francisco. 

    • Anonymous

      I already had an account with Verizon and my upgrade came up. I also wanted to be grandfathered in on the Unlimited plan. Also, AT&T is absolutely garbage in San Francisco. 

      • Dhsteelers

        What do you and/or most Iphone users do instead of google maps turn by turn navigation?

        I have always preferred swype over other android keyboards. How does the iphone’s keyboard compare to what you came from.

        Thanks

        • Anonymous

          Haven’t needed turn by turn just yet (only had it for about a week) so I’m not quite sure. There are options out there but I loved the paid one. 

          I’m familiar with the iPhone’s keyboard from the iPod touch and iPad but I miss the customization that Android offers. Don’t like the stock one? Go get another! Not so much with the crazy auto-correcting iPhone

    • Anonymous

      I already had an account with Verizon and my upgrade came up. I also wanted to be grandfathered in on the Unlimited plan. Also, AT&T is absolutely garbage in San Francisco. 

  • Anonymous

    How am I finding out about this on IntoMobile instead of Facebook or Twitter? I thought we were buds! Also, “I use my mobile devices to get things done and I would go crazy if some
    dumb pop-up notification came up every few minutes to tell me I have a
    new Twitter mention or a Facebook notice.” Boxcar is your friend!

    • Anonymous

      I can still keep some things off social networks. Also, iOS 5 kills most of the notification problems I had. Most of them. 

    • Anonymous

      I can still keep some things off social networks. Also, iOS 5 kills most of the notification problems I had. Most of them. 

    • Anonymous

      I can still keep some things off social networks. Also, iOS 5 kills most of the notification problems I had. Most of them. 

    • Anonymous

      I can still keep some things off social networks. Also, iOS 5 kills most of the notification problems I had. Most of them. 

  • http://twitter.com/silva918 Antonio Silva

    Your officially not cool anymore

    • Anonymous

      I agree… Apples are sorta smartphones dumbed down and locked down for peoples not smart enough to operate a real smartphone. But given that the OP is already drinking the Apple pee it makes total sense.  

      • Anonymous

        Here’s the thing: I know that it’s a locked down smartphone and still chose it. Dunno, made sense to me at the time. I use tech to make my life easier. I don’t need to control every single aspect of my device. Check back in a week though, I’m sure I’ll be upset with the limitations. 

  • Anonymous

    Traitor! Crucify him!!

  • http://www.matthewdlyons.com/ matthewdlyons

    To each their own. You don’t owe anyone an apology for moving from Android to iPhone. I will say this, though. (please take this as constructive feedback) Haven’t we seen a thousand different iterations of this same “Why I’m switching to iPhone” or “Why I’m switching to Android” stories? Perhaps there should be an “Opinion” tab on IntoMobile because I don’t see this piece as news.

    • Anonymous

      Fair enough. I thought it was clear that this was personal and an opinion but we’ll see what we can do about clearly defining these. 

  • Anonymous

    I do see benefits in the Apple ecosystem (slick interface, tons of  apps). The Apple business model is pure genius by locking people into one source (theirs) for apps and most media (iTunes). The trouble with Apple is that they don’t share well with others and they will eventually suffer the same (market share) fate in the mobile marketplace that they are in with the desktop environment.

    Apple doesn’t create content (media) and apps. They essentially are the pimp that takes a
    (significant) cut of the action. Over time the creators of apps and content will want greater control and profit from their efforts. Once land-based broadband and mobile broadband (4G and future technologies) are widely available, you will see a shift towards everything being web based (cloud apps and streaming media). This is where Apple will loose and Google will win. Until then, enjoy your Apple products and making Steve Jobs a gazillionare.

    I for one like the Android idea of having freedom to customize, multiple sources of hardware, apps, and media. Living in the Apple ecosystem is like being a preteen with a Mom who makes all the decisions for you.

    • Anonymous

      I get your points and agree with some but let’s be honest here, Google is far more of a pimp than Apple is. At least with Apple, you know its end game. The company wants to sell you hardware and its software products. With Google, you are the product and its customers are advertisers. 

      • Anonymous

        Yeah…I understand that Google is using me to collect advertising revenue, but they are only controlling the OS (somewhat – as there are others who cook up their versions). Apple controls nearly everything. The Android way allows for others to play a part.

        • Julius

          And let’s not forget the fact that, with Android, you *can* strip anything that ties you to Google. Heck, even Samsung is now making Bing the default search engine on Galaxies — without you being able to choose Google. Now try that with Apple if they decide you can’t ! Wel… you can’t.

          • Anonymous

            Try using Android without a Google account. 

  • Anonymous

    Question: if you had all of those things before, why weren’t you using an iPhone before now?  I mean, the whole reason I hate Apple is because they take control of everything you do.  Either everything you do is Apple, or the one thing you do that is Apple works terribly with everything else.  If most of your devices were already Apple, what the hell were you doing with an Android phone?  Having to find dozens of work-arounds to sync your music and such had to be a huge pain.  All because of the pathetic notification system?  Meh.  OK.

    • Anonymous

      Well, I also have and use multiple Windows PCs, Android tablets and Windows Phone 7 handsets. Twas not an easy decision

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NQAOAEBPCWGJWPIRBBPRTP4OYY Drizzle

    both apple and google are bad guys. choose microsoft! a soft giant!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NQAOAEBPCWGJWPIRBBPRTP4OYY Drizzle

    both apple and google are bad guys. choose microsoft! a soft giant!

  • http://www.tehdik.com tehdik

    Welcome.

    Welcome.

    Oh and hi back at you.

  • odh administrator

    Hey, nothing wrong with the iOS and the Apple ecosystem at all. Its probably just being you as a “consumer” who’s willing to see things on the other side – and you should… i have. Moreover, it will boil down what you do more on your phone. If you find yourself using iPhone apps more frequently than the Androids, then no reason to keep the android.

    But I’d like to comment though that from motorola phone model you divorced yourself with, an iPhone is definitley a step up.

    I however, use both (droid on a Samsung galaxy S). But I ended up using the Android, because simply the good hardware combined with the android 2.3.3 does “the job” for me, e.g. it has bluetooth that can send and receive files without purchasing a 3rd party app, there’s Kies Air so you don’t need to plug you phone to sync to mac or pc, Swype (well natively in the device, not a port like for iOS), the draggable cursor when text editing in the Android is plain common sense, wifi tethering…  – stuff like that.

    So, it basically boils down to what you need to do as a smart phone user I guess.

  • odh administrator

    Hey, nothing wrong with the iOS and the Apple ecosystem at all. Its probably just being you as a “consumer” who’s willing to see things on the other side – and you should… i have. Moreover, it will boil down what you do more on your phone. If you find yourself using iPhone apps more frequently than the Androids, then no reason to keep the android.

    But I’d like to comment though that from motorola phone model you divorced yourself with, an iPhone is definitley a step up.

    I however, use both (droid on a Samsung galaxy S). But I ended up using the Android, because simply the good hardware combined with the android 2.3.3 does “the job” for me, e.g. it has bluetooth that can send and receive files without purchasing a 3rd party app, there’s Kies Air so you don’t need to plug you phone to sync to mac or pc, Swype (well natively in the device, not a port like for iOS), the draggable cursor when text editing in the Android is plain common sense, wifi tethering…  – stuff like that.

    So, it basically boils down to what you need to do as a smart phone user I guess.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for the feedback. I want to note that my contract was with a Motorola Droid but I’ve been using or have used nearly every single new model of Android there is. For example, I currently have an EVO 3D as my backup phone and my desk is littered with multiple Android, Windows Phones and even a BlackBerry or two

  • http://twitter.com/#!/PitoVH787 Pito V.H

    Bienvenido ( Welcome ) im sorry i got an Iphone 4 & a G2X and for real i love IOS Android is cool but too long to get to the point of things i never change IOS im thinking to sell my G2X and try the Samsung Galaxy s2 to see … 

  • Davidlw

    I concur with your feelings and have done the same thing.

  • Anonymous

    you are a truly a STUPID FUCKING MORON

    • Anonymous

      Be nice, mom

  • http://twitter.com/diwagalvez Diwa Gálvez

    Lol each to his own

  • MP

    “First of all, I know how dumb it is to buy an iPhone 4 right now.” Couldn’t have said it better myself!

    • Anonymous

      Sigh. I know, I know. 

  • tdoughone

    sellout

    • Anonymous

      Maybe

  • Anonymous

    Who cares about you and what phone you like.

    • Anonymous

      I do. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dave-Miller/100002592932249 Dave Miller

    nicely put :)

    • Anonymous

      Thanks

    • Anonymous

      Thanks

  • Gadjgrl

    I am in a similar boat except post iPhone 4S.   I loved my EVO on Sprint, and know that I love my Androids….now I am on the verge of either the Epic Touch 4G  or finally trying the iPhone now that it’s 4S and on Sprint.  I’m just really curious I guess but really don’t want to be disappointed.  Not so sure I want to deal with the ‘home’ button all the time, I really like the Androids 4 touch buttons at the bottom.    I do have an iMac and tons of iAccessories, clock radios, stereos, etc.  I love to get new gadgets just to get them when ever I can. 

    On the iPhone Siri looks like it might be fun, and I agree i do like the sharing functions from the camera, I’ll miss those and Google navigation.   Also it’s nice that Otterbox makes a great case for the phone, the Samsung epic 4g touch looks like it’s still waiting for that almost indestructible case.  

    So should I just try the iPhone and get it out of my system?  What’s 2 years on a phone you may not like quite as much…. but then I could always give it to my dad and  go back to my evo for a bit until my next upgrade…. what to do what to do…   part of me knows that this particular iPhone isn’t quite it…

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