I never thought I’d switch from an iphone to an android.
I have been an apple fan boy and pretty loyal iPhone user since the day the iPhone came out.
As a mobile marketer, I was one of those guys that carried 2 (maybe 3 phones) on me for a couple of years.
I had my perosnal iPhone, my blackberry for work email because typing was so much easier, and then I’d have about 20 test phones on my office desk to play with at any point I wanted.
Let me tell you…
It’s just as annoying to be the guy that carries multiple mobile phones as it is to be friends with the guy(or gal) who uses multiple mobile phones.
So since 2008, i’ve chosen iPhone, but for recently things changed for me.
I began having thoughts and dreams of another phone.
It was like I was cheating on my iPhone at first. I felt bad. I felt guilty. I felt dirty.
“How could I leave my nice iPhone 5 for an Android?”
“Everyone think’s I’m crazy for wanting to switch, are they right?”
These are literally things I said to myself…about x months ago.
It’s been about x months since I left my iPhone and made the made the switch to Android and I have to say this.
I’m not missing my iPhone.
I know you may be considering this switch yourself. Whether you’ve made it public or not is a different story. 😉 There are many reasons to give Android a shot…
Here is why I made the switch:
- As a mobile marketer, I felt the need to really re-emerse myself in the Android world. I had never had an Android as my primary device and the last 2 years the devices and operating systems have really advanced and I must say…are right there with iOS, if not better.
- I wanted something new. Yup, I was bored. If you think about it Apple really hasn’t innovated on the iPhone or the OS since it launched. Yes, you can argue iOS 7 has a new look but it really comes down to it…they haven’t innovated much at all. That is what really opened me up to change.
- I wanted a bigger screen. I was really hoping the latest iPhone was going to be larger. I was originally opposed to larger phones because “the iphone was perfect” but a larger screen became more important to me since I do a fare amount of reading from my phone.
- I read Paul Stamaiiou’s blog post, Android is better. A phenominal deep dive into his switch to Android. He was a huge advocate of iPhone and he opened my eyes and made me realize that I wasn’t as “locked” to my iphone as I thought I was.
I’m very particular when it comes to my phone…Heck, I’m a mobile marketer. I love phones.
After reading Paul’s post and determining what was most important to me I decided on the Samsung Galaxy S4, Google Edition.
I chose the Google Edition for multiple reasons:
- I could get it in white. 🙂 Yup. that was a reason.
- I could get it and not be tied to a contract. I bought a SIM adapter and just swapped out my iPHone SIM into the S4. Boom, no contract (Downside: it costs $650 but I saw that better than being tied to another contract)
- The Google Edition doesn’t come with all of the bloated software from the device manufactuer or wireless carrier. Samsung layers their own TouchWiz software on top of the Android Operating system and I just wasn’t a fan.
- The GE was bare bones Android and since you buy it directly from Google, you get all the latest OS updates way before they make their way to all other devices that are purchased directly from your wireless carrier.
- It had a better camera than many of the other Android devices on the market and I like taking pictures with my phone.
Having been using my S4 now for about x months I can easily say that:
I love Android and I love my S4.
Whew, it sort of feels good to say that. *Note, I’m writing this from my sexy 11″ Macbook Air and by no means do I ever plan to have a PC.
Android does not mean Windows.
I know some of you Apple fanboys still probably tell yourself that.
Here’s what I’m diggin’ about my switch so far:
Oh My God, that Screen is So Big!
I have to admit sometimes it’s not easy having a bigger screen when having to get to that top left corner (as a righty).
You really do have to shift the way the device lays in your hand which is still one of the more annoying things, although, the benefits of the larger screen far outweigh that challenge and it gets easier every day.
Websites look great. Let me rephrase that. Websites that use responsive design or have a mobile-optimized site look great.
If your website is not mobile friendly your site will look like garbage on almost any phone. You can learn more about mobilizing your site on my Mobile Marketing blog here.
Another perk to a larger screen is that when it’s in my pocket the device is less likely to twist and turn.
My iPhone would turn horizontal a lot in my pocket making it uncomrfotable and probably a bit awkward looking to oncoming traffic.
The Gmail App Is Way Better On Android
It’s much better on Android and with the Google Edition, it is frequently updated.
Switching between multiple GMail accounts on Android is much easier and faster, you can customize which messages you receive notifications for, assign different sounds for individual labels and more.
Much of this is customizable through two awesome apps called DynamicNotifications and LiteFlow.
Widgets make life easier
Adding widgets to my Home Screen and secondary screens have made navigating to the most important apps seamless.
DashClock – lets me see the time, weather, the most recent emails, text messages and upcoming calendar events right from my home screen. One tap and I’m in the respective applicaiton.
Google Now – I have google now setup as a widget on its own screen so I can quickly see upcoming appointments, drive times/traffic to get home, Airline info if I’m traveling etc. Having this accessibile one swipe away is amazing.
There is an app for that
Now, I will say there are some apps that I had on my iPhone that don’t yet exist on Android but they are coming soon. Those are apps like Mailbox, OverNear, Kanoodle (for flirting with my fiance) and probably a few others but since I can’t remember them, they can’t be that important.
Now, even though there are apps that aren’t made for Android yet there are tons of cool apps that let you customize your whole devices expereince. Apps I’m using so far:
- LightFlow Lite
- SwiftKey (game changer)
I’m not really locked to Apple
Ever since I started using Spotify, Rdio and Pandora for music the only thing I really used iTunes for was podcasts. On Android, for podcasts I use PocketCasts (which I’m really liking) and Stitcher radio.
I can see how people tied to itunes for massive music libraries may find it cumbersome to leave but the main things I’ve noticed we’re right in line with what Paul said in his post.
- Photo Stream? Not a problem for me. I use Dropbox and every photo I take is Auto Backed up. I can take a photo and it’s already on my computer without opening iPhoto, makes it way easier for using phone screenshots in blog posts vs having to email them to myself.
- Safari syncing? Like Paul, I use Chrome and browser sync is legen…wait for it….daryyyyyy .
- iTunes and iTunes Match? Like I said I really had only used iTunes for podcasts which was an easy switch. I no longer maintain an iTunes library and haven’t for the last few years. Spotify, Rdio and PocketCasts take care of me just fine.
- iCloud Calendar, Contacts & Mail? My calendars are hosted by Google and I’ve been using a GMail account for email. Exporting contacts from the OS X Contacts app and importing to GMail Contacts was a bit of a pain at first but once I got it to work I haven’t looked back.
- Reminders.app? I actually used this a lot but took Pauls advice and switched to Wunderlist. It is actualy way more useful than Reminders too.
- Facetime? This has been a bit of a struggle because I used to facetime my parents and neice all the time so when I do this I have to either use the Facetime app on my Mac or Skype. My family doesn’t use Google Hangouts but that is an option as well.
Losing iMessage was one of the more painful transitions but I’m settling in now. iOS7 makes it really difficult for iPHone users to send a text to Android users. Deconnecting devices from iCloud and a few other tweaks make this work but I still find iPhone users have issues texting me here and there. I now use MessageMe to chat back and forth with my fiance (iPHone user) and I use Google Hangouts as my default SMS app which I’ve really fallen in love with.
I feel way more in control
The notifications are another game changer for me.
Like Paul says,
“The first thing I do every morning is a simple down swipe from the top to reveal the drawer. Notifications can be individually or bulk dismissed; iOS only does it at the app level. Depending on the app, notifications may be expanded with a simple down swipe to reveal additional information and inline actions. For example Gmail app email notifications have inline actions like Archive and Reply.
They can also digest notifications together when multiple come from the same app. If you don’t open the notification drawer, you’ll see app icons in the top status bar. Also, it’s common for apps to scroll notifications line-by-line in that status bar when they come in. This bar can also be used for brief status messages. Anything longer can be pushed to the drawer as an “ongoing notification” type: things like uploading/downloading or playing music. That way you know where to go to easily open up that app again.”
This command center really makes accomplishing most of your tasks super seamless.
The switch became easy when…
I realized that most services I rely on daily are owned by Google. My world revolves around GMail and Google search. And don’t get me started on Voice Search.
Google’s Voice Search and Voice to text recognition make Siri it’s little bit*h. Seriously, it’s not even close. It understands complex commands, big words and more. When I can, I use voice to text to type just about everything.
Back Like I Never Left…
The last thing I was doing.
Having a back button, although awkward at first, is a welcomed update.
The back button lets you to navigate through your history of pages, apps and menus. Made a mistake? Ain’t no thang, just hit back.