Posted by mtcantor (965 posts) 2 years, 1 month ago

Poll: Should I switch from iPhone to Android? (137 votes)

Yes... and get the Galaxy SIV. 28%
Yes... and get another Android phone. 42%
No. 30%

I've been getting more and more annoyed with my iPhone. Every time they update the software it feels like Apple is putting in more and more workarounds to circumvent their own closed system. I can usually do what I want with the thing, but it never feels quite as fluid, or easy, or reliable as I want.

The more I read about the new hardware coming out for Android phones, the more intrigued I get. Real strides are being made with NFC, facial recognition, etc. Also, the fact that it's an open system means I could actually customize my phone's interface, instead of just adding background pictures (since that's all Apple will let me do).

But, I don't have any real experience with Android phones, and I will need to move my itunes library over to google play. Is this all just pie in the sky? Should I just stick with Apple, or take the plunge? If I was going to move over to Android, what's the phone to beat? I know the new Galaxy will get announced tomorrow, but maybe the new Nexus is really the way to go.

#1 Edited by Ubersmake (771 posts) -


I made the switch from the iPhone 3GS to the Galaxy Nexus a little more than a year ago. Being able to customize the phone's interface to match what I care about is awesome. Widgets, multiple homescreens, having what I want at a glance, and what I might care about just a gesture away, is awesome. But all the other things, like NFC? I could honestly care less about. All the switch from iOS to Android has done for me is that it's made it quicker to do the things I use smartphones for, and I don't really use smartphones for much. A lot of this sounds negative. Don't get me wrong, I'm personally glad I made the switch. But at least temper your expectations with the fact that you'll ultimately be using a different smartphone. If you have a friend with an Android, play around with it.

Regarding iTunes, you don't need to move everything over to Google Play. As long as your iTunes songs don't have DRM on them, and most recent downloads don't, you can just copy them over to your phone. Google Play, and alternatively, Amazon MP3, are convenient in that they let you stream your entire library from the Internet. But you don't need to use them. You can still keep all your music on your phone.

Hardware-wise, the Galaxy S4 should be the phone to beat. The line is popular enough that people will be making custom ROMs for it anyway, if that's a thing you're interested in. Nexuses (Nexii?) have traditionally not been as powerful as far as the specs sheets are concerned, but they're also ridiculously easy to root and/or develop for. And if the Nexus 4 is anything to go by, all future Nexus phones should be unlocked. If you're a frequent traveler, this might be appealing.

#2 Edited by mtcantor (965 posts) -

Are there any really serious pitfalls of switching to Android? Would I be giving up something that I'm not thinking about already?

#3 Edited by jdh5153 (1097 posts) -

Personally I'd stick with Apple. Argue all you want, they make the best hardware on the planet, and there's no reason you should need to do anything on your phone they don't already allow you to do.

#4 Posted by Ubersmake (771 posts) -

I can't think of any serious pitfalls. You'd be moving from the iOS ecosystem to the Android ecosystem, so there's the obvious things like not being able to use iTunes (the iOS app, not the desktop app), everything associated with iCloud, or being able to run your downloaded apps. But that's about it.

I did forget to point out two of the more annoying things during my transition:

  1. A phone running stock Android doesn't have a voicemail app integrated with the phone app. I use Google Voice, but if I didn't, it'd go straight to Verizon's voicemail service, which you have to call to access. Instead of being able to see things straight from the phone app, which Google Voice allows and which iOS's phone app does out of the box. There's an emphasis here on "stock Android," since most carriers will probably put something on the phone to deal with this.
  2. I had to transfer contacts manually. At the time, there was no easy way to transfer iCloud contacts to Google. I don't know if there is now, and there may be workarounds, but this was annoying.

Again, my smartphone usage is pretty limited in scope. If there are apps you need to do whatever it is you do, go over to Google Play and make sure there's an Android version, or something comparable. Instagram is the notable example, since it wasn't available on Android for the longest time. It's not something I use, but if that was something you needed, a year or two ago, that'd be a significant point against making the switch.

#5 Edited by EXTomar (5025 posts) -

I don't know if switching to an Android phone will solve any of the annoyance factors you have. It has been and still seems like a "pick your poison" where one offers a tightly controlled system that works very well if you stay in the box but only in the box while the other is Wild Wild West where stuff may work or may not and you might be able to make it work or maybe not.

#6 Posted by SavePoint (103 posts) -

I have a Galaxy Note 2 and it is amazing, so I would recommend that or the S4. As for moving over your itunes, you don't really need to copy them to your phone... instead upload them to Google Music and you'll be able to stream all of your music from anywhere and it uses practically zero space on your phone, plus you can access it from any computer. They allow you to upload up to 20,000 songs for free.

The only thing you would lose in the switch are any apps you bought through itunes. But at least Android gives you more choices for marketplaces such as Google Play and the Amazon App store. Plus Humble Bundle puts out a lot of Android bundles the past year so you can get a lot of cool games on that for cheap (and also gives you steam codes).

#7 Posted by EXTomar (5025 posts) -

Meh, music is highly portable with Apple through iCloud. The only real difference between Amazon, Google and Apple is their interface where the only who appears to be trying to be agnostic is Amazon.

#8 Posted by uniform (1836 posts) -

"But, I don't have any real experience with Android phones"

I don't consider myself incredibly tech-savvy, especially when it comes to smart phones. That said, I went from a BB Bold to a Galaxy S III and learned top to bottom: the phone, ice cream sandwich, then Jelly Bean in less than a few hours. It actually felt a lot more user friendly than my BB. Your reason for wanting to switch is the exact reason I chose the Galaxy over an iPhone. Although, I'm not sure I'd do it if I already owned an iPhone. Hefty price for some freedom.

#9 Posted by mikey87144 (1987 posts) -

I love Android but I've grown sick and tired of iOS people switching and becoming annoyed at small quirks that Android has the iOS doesn't. So, despite the fact I think Android superior I'm going to tell you reasons now to just tough it out your Android friends don't have to deal with your complaining.

1. Games. If you play games on your phone then iOS is the way to go. The games come out their first and I hear they're usually the best.

2. Apps. I know that iOS is currently struggling to keep up with new and existing features that Android currently has but when it comes to 3rd party apps iOS is king. Things like Snapchat, Vine, Instagram, and a lot of other new apps come out their first and usually have features the Android version might not get for months. For instance you can't send videos in the Android version of Snapchat.

3. Ease of use. I think this is a bullshit reason seeing as how I've gotten asked more times to help someone with their iOS device than Android but Apple says there product is easier to use so take them at their word.

4. Apple Ecosystem. Buy an iPad, an Apple TV and whatever else they've got coming out so you can fall more in love with iOS. Even though most of that cloud stuff existed in Android before Apple decided to make a big deal of it and they allegedly do it better. So instead of buying an Android phone buy an iPad.

5. Music. I think iOS has more? I dunno. Google has an iTunes match like thing that allows you to put your entire music collection on their service so you can stream it for free but Apple's is probably better. So you want to use that instead.

6. Smarter. iOS users are better than Android users. Do you really want to give that up.

7. Features. iOS adds more new stuff in each new version of iOS than Android. Since almost all those features are stuff that was already in Android plus new things they've though about themselves you get more bang every year.

#10 Edited by Zekhariah (700 posts) -

@mtcantor: Android had substantial compatibility issues from phone to phone (hardware and software framentation). And customization is not really all that amazing, beyond UI apps and the like having a more free hand. I'm having trouble seeing a jump in UI experience over iOS, even if it is probably equivalent at least with 4.2.2.

I personally use android and do not want to switch (using a Nexus 4 to avoid the carrier garbage software - another significant android issue on some of the phones). But for the items you have an issue with, I would have a lot of trouble saying your going to see any significant improvement with a change. Generally android phones come out with features before apple, but those things do not usually work super well right out of the gate (the next iphone probably gets NFC + wireless charging + facial recognition since those seem to work on android now).

The reason to switch to android is more to do with wanting things like form factor (larger than 4" screen, higher res), cheap off contract devices (350ish Nexus 4), or specific hardware characteristics that iOS is not getting you (unless a particular android UI version strikes your fancy). And for the concern given to iOS update issues, at least your device is getting them. Android is getting better, but historically only directly purchase from google (no subsidy.....) type nexus devices have long term support.... but then you get no LTE.

#11 Edited by Korwin (3320 posts) -

If you've had enough with it then why not, get a Nexus 4 and make a go of it.

#12 Posted by DeanoXD (651 posts) -

I did, after seeing the iphone 5 i made the decision to switch. So two months ago i went from the iphone 4 to Galaxy S3 and don't regret it at all.

#13 Edited by NiklasTatu (2 posts) -

I think the most important thing is to transfer the data and files between them. Any solutions?

*edit*: I think I've made it, with this guide:

How to Switch from iPhone to Android

#14 Posted by LordAndrew (14588 posts) -

@niklastatu: Motorola provides a service to transfer iCloud data to a Google account. I think it handles contacts and maybe other stuff.

#15 Posted by Ben_H (3579 posts) -

You can also output your contacts from iCloud into a file that apparently makes sense across multiple services. The option is on the iCloud website somewhere.

#16 Edited by DifferenceEngine (74 posts) -

Android certainly opens up more possibilities, especially when you root your phone and install custom ROMs that can maximize your phone's hardware potential and install apps that you otherwise couldn't beforehand. The problem with stock Android is that the carriers and manufacturers put such an obscene amount of bloat on their handsets or software which can cripple your data connection at times like Sprint does with its connections optimizer. Rooting is a must in my case. I couldn't even imagine using a stock ROM these days.

If you're looking at the Galaxy line, you might also want to check out the Note 3. Though a 5.7" screen is a turn off to some users.

#17 Posted by Itwongo (1428 posts) -

I'm glad I did.

#18 Posted by Thedrbrian (68 posts) -

How sick is the iPhone 6 going to be? The 5s is still faster than the Galaxy s5 so the 6 should be even faster.

Drops spoon and runs

#19 Posted by Scullinator (550 posts) -

I have sold cell phones for over 10 years. I would bet im as close to an expert as you will find on here. I can use any phone I want and I have always chosen Android. I have used every Galaxy phone up to my current S4.

Major Pros for Android (Galaxy S4):

1. Storage Space. Some androids have done away with the SD card support, but not Samsung. Sure cloud storage can be great for backing up your photos and music but playing music off the cloud uses lots of Data. You may say "well i have unlimited data" and well sure you do but most unlimited data packages throttle your data down to stupid slow speeds. Best of luck playing music off the cloud at 1X. I can play music stored on my memory card and still take advantage of cloud storage when I want to.

2. Screen Size. I have been spoiled with the giant screens of my galaxy 3 and 4. I watch a lot of videos killing time at work and the iphone screen just seams so small after using a galaxy S4. When someone is trying to show me a video or a photo on their iphone I almost have to laugh before pulling it up on my phone to look at.

3. I have bought / invested into the Android platform when I buy games, movies and apps in the android play store. This could go both ways. If I had invested a lot of money in iTuens buying music, tv shows, games and movies then I would most definitely use an iphone. I say get yourself and android phone and pick up an iPad for your tablet needs.

Well thats is all for now. these are just the first 3 things that pop into my head when someone asks Android or iPhone. When its a customer I usually ask first "what have you used before and are you more comfortable with?" iPhone keeps it simple with not a lot of customization options, so for most people starting out I have recommended iphones to.

I hope this is helpful.

#20 Edited by Ben_H (3579 posts) -

How sick is the iPhone 6 going to be? The 5s is still faster than the Galaxy s5 so the 6 should be even faster.

Drops spoon and runs

I'm just worried they will make it too big like all the current Android phones are. I like the current form factor of the iPhone. It doesn't completely fill up your pocket like all the flagship Android phones do and the screen is still perfectly usable. If they do up the screen size, I hope it is to 4.3" to 4.5" max, or if they do go the near-5" route, they also offer a smaller, but just as powerful variant.

If that Ars Technica review is anything to go by, the slowness of the hardware compared to the competition is the least of the Galaxy S5's worries.

#21 Posted by Zevvion (2888 posts) -

It sounds like you don't.

Android is good if you do not want to be limited in your options. It is less good if you don't care so much about options and just want a smooth experience. You sound like the latter is more important for you. While Android is by no means a jagged experience, I don't think it will be an upgrade it smoothness coming from iOS.

So for you, it probably wouldn't make much sense to go for Android.

Now that I made a well informed comment, on to my personal opinion. Fuck iOS and Apple; they fucking suck. Not being facetious, I actually hate their stuff. All my iPod's broke down within 2 years and they are crap picky about formats and what not. I've been into Cowon the past couple of years and they let me play FLAC files. It's crazy that iPods did not; they even had 160GB. That said, the iPod did work smoother... but I'm more of an options kind of guy in this case.

So yeah, latter part of my post not very useful for you, but hopefully the first half makes sense.

#22 Posted by AlexW00d (6703 posts) -

@ben_h: I used to think the same as you, regarding screen size, but then I actually used a ~5inch screen and man, you really just don't notice it's so big. It's thin as fuck so you don't actually feel it in your pocket (this might be less so if you put it in a case), and the screen is absolutely beautiful to look at. I used to be fairly against phone's with screens larger than like 3.5, but man, I was a fool.

#23 Posted by Professionlol (104 posts) -

Ive had both, went from iPhone 4 to Galaxy S4. I like being able to have a greater flexibility with my settings and storage (and especially having a SNES and GBA emulator) but I miss having proprietary apps that work and I also miss not having all of my shit get broken every OS patch. (with the exception of the apple maps mess, which I actually predicted and waited a good month to update my phone while all of that passed over, since I was a pizza delivery driver at the time and knew i would need that. no harm done) with my android phone, there were three consecutive times where I needed to make an emergency call as quickly as possible and the app actually locked up. I had to restart the phone, dumping the memory and closing all apps did not help. Like the actual original use of this device had failed. am I supposed to buy a third-party application for making phone calls now? messaging? music playing? browsing? weather? I have considered the above for all of those apps at one point because of some glaring issue.

also just wanted to say that the actual android apps store(s) have absolute dogshit games if you arent looking for iphone ports or micro-transaction trap mmos. also it is probably just me but despite the much larger screen, I had a tougher time with the android keyboard than the iphone keyboard (i dont use swype). regarding your desire to change the layouts and background for your phone, everything ive seen is unoptimized battery-sucking garbage that breaks with every new OS patch.

Like i said, I liked the customizeability of the Android and I dont know that I will ever go back, but the thing about the conservative style and acute features in the iphone meant that the software pretty much always worked right, and right when i wanted it to. Especially the most essential of functions like messaging and calling.

#24 Posted by personandstuff (179 posts) -

No, you should get a windows phone. Or an android. Really, just fuck apple.

#25 Posted by Ben_H (3579 posts) -

@alexw00d said:

@ben_h: I used to think the same as you, regarding screen size, but then I actually used a ~5inch screen and man, you really just don't notice it's so big. It's thin as fuck so you don't actually feel it in your pocket (this might be less so if you put it in a case), and the screen is absolutely beautiful to look at. I used to be fairly against phone's with screens larger than like 3.5, but man, I was a fool.

I went from a 4.7" screen Samsung phone to an iPhone. I don't miss it.

#26 Posted by LiquidPrince (16471 posts) -

Yes. Android has almost the same number of apps as iPhone, if not more and the ones that come out on iPhone first usually come out cheaper on Android within a month. Also Android offers a lot more customization to get that unique look that you want. As for which phone to get: I love Samsung products and had a Galaxy SIV, but they really dropped the ball on the SV, by making it uglier with bigger bezels and a dimpled back. Thus, I would recomend the HTC One (M8) as the current best smartphone.

How sick is the iPhone 6 going to be? The 5s is still faster than the Galaxy s5 so the 6 should be even faster.

Drops spoon and runs

The Galaxy SV is faster then the iPhone 5S in pretty much every respect when it comes to specs. However it loses certain advantages because of the pretty bad TouchWiz overlay on top of Android. The HTC One M8 however is much fast then the iPhone even with the sense UI on top of it. If you get the Google Play Edition of the HTC One M8 which has stock Android on it, it thoroughly destroys the iPhone 5S.

#27 Posted by Thedrbrian (68 posts) -


My truck has 2500hp so its faster than a Veyron. Specs>actual testing

#28 Posted by LiquidPrince (16471 posts) -


My truck has 2500hp so its faster than a Veyron. Specs>actual testing

You obviously didn't read what I said.