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Making the Move from iPhone to Android by Angela James (and...

A friend of mine noticed it the other day and said “is that a non Apple device in your hands?” I said yes. That’s how well my Apple Fan Girl status is known both online and offline but I’ve bought the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and I’m not going back.

iPhone | Samsung (taken with Ned's iphone)

iPhone | Samsung (taken with Ned’s iphone)

My first encounter with the infamous Phablet was with Sunita at the Chicago RT. I was intrigued but not enough to leave iPhone. Time marched on. Apple has failed to really innovate. I moved from the iPad down to the iPad Mini but still found myself reading mostly on my small iPhone screen.  Last summer, Angela James was showing off her Samsung Galaxy Note 2.  The screen was so big! [insert your own dirty joke].  We’d exchanged emails since then with me asking her how she liked it and Angie replying that she wouldn’t go back. She would even write me up a guide on switching.

Every so often I would wander over to the Galaxy Note 3 at the Best Buy Mobile store in the mall or at Costco and I would fondle the big screen. The last time I was at Best Buy, the sales person gave me a great sales pitch. Return it, no questions asked, in fourteen days. And, he added, he’d never had anyone return a Note 3. Within a minute they had transferred my contacts and then I was good to go. What sold me was the size and the stylus.

I immediately emailed Angie to ask her for the guide.  Angie’s guide was something I looked at frequently when I first started using the Galaxy Note 3 but the device is far more intuitive than I thought it would be. Angie’s guide is as follows:

 

android-vs-iphone

 

Making the move from iPhone to Android

My background with the iPhone (I tell you this to help others who are thinking of switching understand & gauge where I fell in the casual vs committed iPhone user spectrum. Definitely committed).

I’ve been an iPhone owner since the original iPhone came out. I can actually tell you when I saw my first iPhone in person—it was actually at an RWA and it was Jane (of course!) who was the earliest adopter I knew. I remember sitting at a breakfast gathering, trying to type out texts on Jane’s iPhone and determining my thumbs were just too damn fat. To this day, even after years of iPhone ownership, the keypad still makes me feel like an ungainly giant (in reality, I come in at just under 5’ 4” and my hands are not large). But despite that initial feeling that I’d never be able to type on the iPhone, I was caught by the seductive technology and I ended up buying an iPhone shortly after that.

I was always one of those iPhone owners who updated with each new phone and who vehemently proclaimed you could “pry my iPhone out of my cold, dead hands”. Dramatic, for sure, but an example of how much I enjoyed the iPhone and how dedicated I was to it. In fact, the iPhone was my first Apple product but after that initial purchase, in the years following, I became the owner of a MacBook Pro, an iMac, a MacBook Air, 2 different versions of iTouch (for my daughter), an iPad, iPad2 and iPad Mini, and also switching my husband to iPhone, and he’s had 3 versions of the iPhone. In short, we entirely switched our family over to the Apple systems, so needless to say, we have a lot of investment in apps, music, movies & TV shows playable only on these systems.

Why I finally made the decision to switch

But in September 2012, when Apple was just releasing the iPhone 5, and it was time for my newest phone upgrade, I found myself hesitating. I travel a lot and while I had okay coverage & reception with AT&T & the previous iPhones, there were definitely times when I was finding I didn’t have coverage when I should have. A great example was at a USA soccer game held at FedEx Field in Washington DC. I couldn’t get any signal, none. No one with an iPhone seated around us could get signal. But people using various Android devices? They had signal.

Funny enough, also at a (different) soccer game was when I first realized how awesome those big screen phones were. A girl sitting in front of me had one of the larger screen Android phones and I was instantly enamored with that screen size. I wanted that. As I said, I travel a lot, and that means I spend a lot of time using my phone for, well, everything. Reading manuscripts, looking at cover art, reading & answering emails, browsing the web, social media, etc. I could only imagine the bigger screen would make that so much easier and I wanted a bigger screen.

So I gave some thought to switching, both because of the reception issue and the screen size. But when my contract came up for renewal, my brother convinced me to give Verizon a try (not incidentally, he works for Verizon). I was ready to see if my signal problems were partially due to my provider, so I agreed. At the same time, the iPhone 5 was releasing with a slightly longer screen so, because I did have a lot of time & money invested in the iOS platform, I decided to stick with the iPhone and upgrade to the 5, hoping that slightly larger screen would be enough of a move up in size.

I don’t think there are a lot of decisions I’ve regretted quite as much as not going with my initial instincts to move to a new device, and instead buying an iPhone5.

I hated the iPhone 5. It never worked right for me. I had terrible battery problems, more than I’d ever had with any previous iPhone. I had continued reception problems, even with the move to a new provider. My iPhone’s screen would freeze, become unresponsive, do some weird “jumping” thing and basically made me not just dissatisfied with my experience but actively disgruntled. In January, after only owning the phone for just around 4 months, I took my phone to the Apple store & explained my issues. Within 30 seconds of my explanation, the associate said “Is your phone backed up? I’ll get you a new phone.” While this seemed to be great customer service, I was worried by how quickly that was offered. It said to me that whatever was going on with my phone certainly wasn’t isolated to me. Especially since the man standing next to me was in for the same reasons and had just received the same offer. Ouch.

So out I went with a new iPhone5, hoping my issues would be resolved. Sadly, they weren’t. Within a short period of time I had similar screen problems, I still had reception and battery problems and the “larger” screen that the iPhone5 had released was still really not that much larger and nothing like I could get with a different platform. But I was stuck unless I wanted to pay full price for a new device, because I had 18 months to go until my next upgrade. So I lived with it, until in May, I decided I didn’t want to live with it anymore and I’d pay what I needed to make the change (it helped knowing that I’d be able to sell my iPhone5 for a nice price and make up a lot of the difference).

Making the switch

I did a lot of research on switching from iPhone to Android over the months I was thinking about this. I did Google searches on other people who’d made the switch—part of the reason I’m writing such an in-depth post, because it was hard to find good, relatable stories out there—I researched my device options, started reading up on the Android platform, took a hard look at what my app choices would and wouldn’t be, and basically mentally prepared myself to learn a whole new system. I’d been using the iPhone for over five years, this was going to require a major change of thinking, work processes and muscle memory. Not to mention all of the apps, shows, movies I was going to lose access to. I needed to make sure I was actually ready to make this type of time and money investment, and that I was switching to a device that I would like.

With all that in mind, I went into Verizon with 2 potential devices I wanted: the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 or the S4. I knew that screen size was very important to me, and while I liked the stylus option of the Note 2, I have to admit that Samsung’s advertising of the S4 during the months leading up to its release (it was still 2 weeks from release when I went in to switch) had worked on me and all of the bells and whistles they advertised seemed fun. But, ultimately, the Note 2 was available for me to walk out of the store with, and I thought I’d get some use out of the stylus, so I went with that.

The pains of going from iPhone to Android

There are the obvious things that initially had to be dealt with—getting my contacts from one phone to another (Verizon did that for me and it took an hour in store. But it was painless.), figuring out how to transfer not just my music, but my playlists (more on that later), setting up options, learning the settings, and just basically getting used to both a new device design but also a new platform design.

In the first few weeks of owning the Note 2, I think I spent more time doing Google searches for “how to…” do various things than I did anything else. It felt like every time I turned around there was something else I didn’t know how to do on the Android.

This is where I want to be clear to people thinking of switching: I don’t find the Android platform nearly as user-friendly as I do the iOS platform. I compare it to the Kindle device. Hand someone that device and they’re going to be able to figure out how to do the basics right away, do more in-depth things in a day or two. Amazon has made it very easy to pick up and use.  iPhone did the same, with some of their built-in settings I’d gotten used to happening automatically, while on the Android platform, you have to figure out how to make it happen, and in a few cases, I still haven’t made it happen exactly as I want.  Some of this is complicated by the fact that I have to have a lock setting on my phone because of my work email, part of it is complicated only by the fact that it’s the Android system.

Let me give you a few examples. First, on the iPhone, when you get a text message, you can have that text light up your screen and the text appears on screen, even when the screen is locked. On the Android, with my lock screen in place, I wasn’t able to make that happen for my first few months of ownership. Thankfully, my provider, Verizon, came out with an app called Verizon Messenger that solved this problem for me. It’s now my default messaging app and all is right in my word for getting text messages on my lock screen.

On the same type of issue, on the iPhone, even when your phone is locked, you can access your camera with a simple swipe. I LOVED this option, because I take a lot of impromptu pictures very quickly. Again, because of the lock screen on the Android, I can’t do this. I have to take the time to enter my passcode and then go to the camera app. I’ve spent a lot of time and apps trying to work around and I did seem to find an app that would at least open the camera right after the passcode, but I have to enter the passcode first (and on the Android, entering the passcode means having to hit “okay” when you’re done, because you can have more than 4 #s, unlike the iphone). This means I’ve missed a good number of photo opportunities in the 6 months I’ve been using the Android. This continues to probably be my number one discontent with the phone. If someone can suggest a fix (without having to root my phone) I’d be 100% content with the phone!

Jane’s Note: Samsung Galaxy Note 3 allows you to take a photo, take a note and operate the music controls from the lock screen. The messaging app also pops up when you have a new message and allows you to read the message and send without leaving the underlying app.  

Last, an example of the Android taking extra steps for things that doesn’t have anything to do with whether or not you use a lock screen, and that’s downloads. On the iPhone, if you have an attachment in an email or download something, and you tap on it, it will open right then and there. Not so with the Android. There are steps involved. You have to download. Then you have to go to the download folder (not in all cases, but many) and choose to view the attachment. And the Android doesn’t always have the right application to open attachments. Or makes it hard to open the attachments even when you do have the right program. There’s nothing intuitive about viewing attachments on the Android platform, like there is with the iPhone. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say that Android makes it unnecessarily difficult, and almost a deterrent. I’ve gotten used to the extra steps, but they were definitely an annoyance when I was first getting used to the phone.

The joys of going from iPhone to Android

Those three things I listed above are probably my biggest bug-a-boos with switching. However, it must be said—those things, as annoying as I find them, are not enough to keep me from being happy I switched so I need to tell you all the things I do like about having made the switch.

First, it has to be obvious by now, but the screen size rocks my world. The Galaxy Note 2 doesn’t have the biggest screen on the market but it does have one of the bigger screens. I love it, there’s nothing I regret about the size of this phone. If I need to hold it to talk, it doesn’t feel unwieldy (but I generally use headphones anyway because I spend a lot of time on the phone for work & holding a phone for hours, no matter what the phone, is annoying.) There’s a reason phones of these size are referred to as “phablets”, because the screen size makes it less like doing tasks on a phone and more like doing tasks on a tablet. But it’s still small enough to fit easily in my back pocket and even a small clutch. I haven’t had to change how I carry my phone, even with the upgrade in size.

The screen is really obviously larger. I can’t even count the number of times random strangers have asked me what I’m using. Including small children. Everyone is drawn in by the screen size. Going up in screen size has made a huge difference to me in using my phone. I find viewing cover art & emails, and searching or browsing the internet more practical than on the iPhone. I also use my phone as a reading device, and I’m an avid reader so use it heavily for this purpose, and being able to go up in screen size has made this even more enjoyable. Comparatively, when I pick up my husband’s iPhone5, I can’t believe how small the screen seems (and it’s worth mentioning that my husband is also now seriously contemplating a switch to a phone like this).

The second thing I like a lot about the phone is actually the platform itself. Even though I mentioned a few things about it that really annoy me, there are still many things I like. One is how customizable it is, not just in settings, but how I can set up my home screen and the easily accessible immediate settings via a swipe down menu.

Also, navigating the phone is made easy with both a home button and a back button. I love that back button & find myself longing for it when I’m navigating my husband’s iPhone 5. The Android platform offers a number of different options for customizing how your screen appears, including color usage, dimming options, etc.

Another feature I like is that you don’t get one screen brightness setting for every app, but you can adapt the screen brightness in home mode, but have it set totally differently in an app, such as reading apps.

I mentioned the ability to customize the home screen, and Android allows more options than iPhone, giving you both icons and widgets for different apps, so your home screen is fully customizable, both out of the box and also with app managers that you can download. My screen looks exactly how I want it to look, now how Apple thinks it should look.

Jane asked me if I ever use the stylus and the answer is yes. The stylus is one of the reasons I went with the Note 2. I find myself using it surprisingly more than I thought I would. When I was in Italy last fall, for instance, I found myself in a small local business in Southern Italy learning how to make limoncello. I couldn’t type as fast as the interpreters spoke but I could write with my note app and stylus!

Another bonus of the Note2 has been the ability to expand the memory using a micro-SD card. This allows me to store all of my music, books, pictures and other media on the storage card and save the internal storage for Apps. This has made a huge difference in being able to expand the memory of the phone, obviously.

One of my absolute favorite things about this phone is going to be meaningless to someone who doesn’t use their device as much during the day as I do, but a heavy phone user, someone who uses it for both talking and playing will appreciate this—the ability to change out the battery. I’ve never owned a phone that lasted me an entire (long) day of use. Not an iPhone and not the Note2. I said early on that I had extreme battery issues with the iPhone 5, so for me, the Note2 was a step up there, but even so, I’m still hard on battery life. I do use this battery management app, Juice Defender, to help with this but I still am an extremely heavy user of my phone. So it’s awesome for me to be able to carry an extra battery and change out when the first gets low. It beats having to carry a cord and a battery charger. I bought a phone charger that will charge both the battery and phone simultaneously, so both get charged at the same time at night. The extra battery goes into my pocket or purse for the day and I’m set!

Last, Jane asked me to cover some of my favorite apps. I would be remiss by not pointing out one of the things I like about the Google Play app store—you can get a refund of an app if you don’t like it. They make it easy to get a refund, via a “refund” button that appears on the app page for a few days after your purchase. Thank you, Google. I appreciate that. It makes trying apps less risky (ironically, though I love this feature, I’ve never actually returned an app).

The apps that I use the most

Twitter:

Here I don’t have an app I LOVE to rec. I’m a heavy user of Twitter, plus I manage two accounts, so I’ve tried a whole lot of apps. All of them are flawed in two ways. The top two I’ve switched between are Plume and Tweetcaster. I probably favor Plume moderately over Tweetcaster right now, but not enough to say you absolutely must use one of these.

Jane’s note: I’m using FalconPro. You’ll need to follow the instructions here on logging in and creating a dev account for the app.

Reading:

I have a number of reading apps I’ve tried, pretty much all of them from the article Brian did here on DearAuthor, and my two top used are Aldiko (which I like a lot for it’s ability to create collections and also its interface with Dropbox) and the Kindle app. The drawback to the Kindle app is that in the last 6 months, each update seems to make it buggier, so I’ve recently had a lot of problems with it both crashing, and also throwing errors when I try to read purchased books. I also have to give major props for the Audible app for audiobooks, because it’s excellent.

Related to reading, I also recommend Polaris Office 5 for reading documents. I use this a lot because of work.

Calendar:

While the default calendar is very functional, I found it wasn’t syncing right with my work (Outlook) calendar for whatever reason. I’ve been using SolCalendar and I like both the interface, the widget, the syncing and the features.

Music:

Here I use Music Player, which I think came on the phone, but more importantly I use an app called iSyncr to sync my playlists and music from iTunes to my phone. I tried a lot of different things (for the love of God, stay away from Kies. Trust me.) and this is both easy and painless. I highly recommend it.

System:

I use a few apps to keep my phone system running smoothly. I mentioned JuiceDefender Ultimate for battery management, I also use Clean Master for cleaning out extra temp files & keeping the memory cleaned out. For home screen management I use Nova Settings. There are a lot of home screen management apps, this is just one I settled on, so I don’t necessarily strongly recommend it, it’s just what I use. And last, I automate a lot of functions using AutomateIt Pro. It’s very customizable and does things like turning the sound off when I open the Camera app, blocking all but calls/messages from my favorites between certain hours and tasks like that, that I want to occur when certain times or functions happen.

Jane’s Note: I’m using Aviate which I really love for the clean look and the way that it changes the screen apps depending on the time of day. The code is YAHOO. 

Random:

I do highly recommend two screen management apps: Twilight and Screen Filter. Twilight is a very cool app that manages the blue light setting on your phone. At dusk (and Twilight knows your local dusk time) Twilight starts to steadily decrease the amount of blue light on your screen until, later in the evening, you’re looking at an orange-tinged screen. If you spend a lot of time on your computer or looking at your phone, this is excellent for both eye strain, but also the blue light is what can interrupt sleep patterns. It creates a slightly dimmer screen as the night goes on, that’s easier on your eyes and brain!

Screen filter is an app that’s purely for making your screen even dimmer. The brightness only goes so low on the phone and in apps, so Screen Filter lets you do just what it says—filter the brightness even further. Nice if you read in bed in the dark like I do!

Messaging:

Verizon Messenger. I mentioned this in my article but want to pull it out because it’s really a great messenger app and added some functions to the phone over my lock screen that I didn’t previously have.

 

Fun:

Zedge for downloading new ringtones and message tones.

Paprika Recipe Manager. I was pretty disappointed in Paprika because I had previously paid for the Ipad app, the iPhone app, and the Mac app (yes, all three separately) and probably had about $25 invested in all three apps. So I contacted them to see if they’d give me a discount code for the Android app because I REALLY did not want to pay full price for a fourth version. They said no so…I didn’t download it. It was the principle of it. But all of my recipes I used were on the app and one day about a month ago I was in the grocery store and I needed the ingredients. So I caved. I still feel a little dirty about that, but it is a good app. They’re just getting into my wallet on all platforms, which feels kind of yucky in a multi-platform digital age. Oh well!

Candy Crush Saga, Contra (yes, that Contra) and Ski Safari. Because everyone needs brainless games on their phone.

 

Travel:

I travel a lot, so this is a key category for me. White Noise—I use this to help block hotel noise when I sleep. Highly recommend it.

Yelp, TripAdvisor and Uber. Three good apps for finding restaurants, hotels, stores and a ride home!

TripIt. If you’re a heavy traveler, TripIt does an excellent job of helping you manage not just ALL of your travel plans, but also track all of your various loyalty program points.

And there you go, there’s my switch from iPhone to Android. Will I go back to iPhone if they come out with a  bigger screen? Nope. I’m still an Apple fan. They have fantastic customer service. I use only Macs, I love my iPad, but I’m also very happy with my Android experience on my phone. I love being able to switch batteries, customize my screen, and really customize my apps.

If you’re an iPhone user thinking about switching, I’m happy to answer questions about my experience. I seriously angsted the switch. And if you’re an Android user, please tell me what some of your favorite apps are. I’m always looking for another great app!

 

 

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

34 Comments

  1. Mikaela
    Jan 12, 2014 @ 04:18:26

    Thank you for the link to SolCalendar. I got a Samsung Galaxy Note 8 for Christmas, and while I love the tablet, it drives me nuts that the calender don’t sync with my phone. ( It syncs with Google Calendar on the web, but not the phone. I have no idea why it is like that.) So I’ll give SolCalendar a try.

  2. Kristin
    Jan 12, 2014 @ 06:07:17

    Nice article. I switched the other way due to the iMessage/Android difficulty when group texting and I despise my Apple phone. I love my Mac computers and use an iPad Mini so it’s not ignorance of the platform, I also run web-based programs for work and design websites for a hobby so it’s not an altogether unfamiliarity with tech – I simply feel my Android had more to offer in customization and ease of use. I found the Android far more intuitive than the iPhone – six months into it and I still have to google or ask friends how to do things.

    My next phone will be an Android and I will force me iPhone friends into Whatsapp for our daily group texting. And by force I mean beg so I don’t get left out of the conversation.

  3. Ros
    Jan 12, 2014 @ 07:17:54

    I installed f.lux on my laptop a few months ago, which does the same thing as the Twilight app. I’ve found that it’s helped a LOT with my sleep issues.

  4. Lynne Connolly
    Jan 12, 2014 @ 08:18:33

    I have an Android phone, but it’s a stinkin’ little one and I’m waiting for my contract to expire so I can get one with a bigger screen. Texting is a nightmare on the tiny screen.
    However I also have a Nexus 7. I do everything on that, bar making phone calls and texting. I can tether it to my phone to surf when I’m travelling.
    And I’m a Windows user. The thing about Android is that there are aps for every platform, so I can do things on the go and sync to my Windows 8 system (it works better with 8, as syncing is hard-baked into the system – it just does it). So Android have been careful to be compatible to both the major platforms. Clever!
    Great introduction, very clear about the pitfalls and the benefits.

  5. Shannon Stacey
    Jan 12, 2014 @ 08:37:51

    I can’t imagine giving up iMessage or the Cloud (calendar/Reminders/etc), but their S-Pen is amazing. I eased my stylus envy by buying a Galaxy Note 8, which I use as a digital notebook, but I do wish the iPhone’s screen was a little bigger.

    When I had all Apple stuff, but a Droid X (because Verizon didn’t have the iPhone yet), I told my husband it was like having an office staff who only spoke German and an executive assistant who only spoke French. Now everybody speaks the same language in my virtual office.

    I play with the big Galaxy phones at the store, though. I play with them a lot.

  6. Angela James
    Jan 12, 2014 @ 08:44:41

    Shannon, I didn’t give up my iCal when I switched. Remember, I use a Mac, so I still use iCal. It syncs fully with my phone’s calendar. I haven’t had any problems being on two platforms.

  7. Shae Connor
    Jan 12, 2014 @ 09:02:50

    I have a Galaxy S4, which I love for most of the same reasons. I’ve never had an iThing, so I can’t compare (though my sister just went iPhone mainly for the iMessage issue). But the screen size is a huge issue for me, too.

    I use a swipe password on the lock screen, which is MUCH faster than a passcode. I don’t know if that’s an option on the Note, though.

  8. Moriah Jovan
    Jan 12, 2014 @ 09:11:03

    Sunita gets around, because she’s the one who gave me device envy.

    I am a committed Apple-hater and 3 years of iPad and 1 of MacBook Pro loanership have only deepened my hatred. That said, I never really cared what device I had; I just used whatever my husband got. I had a Blackberry for a while but not being able to read EPUBs got real old real fast. And then I saw Sunita’s and went batshit crazy in love.

    Now the screen seems normal to me, but when I look at other people’s phones, I wonder if they’re really old because they’re so small. My Kindle Paperwhite isn’t much bigger than my phone. (FWIW, I also use an OtterBox [totally love].)

    There are likely things about it that I would appreciate more if I’d had to deal with an iPhone, but as a Windows user, most of the things I CAN’T do on my iPad have made me want to throw it through a brick wall. I love the SD card. I love that I can get into the file system.

    The only thing I don’t love is that Goodreader doesn’t have an Android app and has no plans to build one, but that’s Goodreader’s problem.

    So while I’m coming from a different place technologically (i.e., not from Apple), I will sing this phone’s praises to the heavens.

  9. Sunita
    Jan 12, 2014 @ 09:38:31

    I love being an enabler.

    I wanted the Note from the beginning, but it took me a couple of months to talk myself into it because it seemed so ridiculous. Hah. I loved it immediately. I had an iPhone 4 for about a year and I grew to hate it. The walled garden, let-us-tell-you-what-is-best-for-you system that iOS was and that Mac has become is so different from what Apple was when I made the switch back when the first all-white iBook came out. I’d always been a Microsoft person before that (pre Windows, even) because of the programs I needed to use.

    The Android OS has become more and more user-friendly with each major update, to the point where there are very few programs that most people use that are only available on iOS. If you like the iPhone, great, but if you don’t, Angela’s great tutorial shows you that it’s really not that hard to switch.

    I suppose I should come clean and admit that I gave up the Note a few months ago for a Nokia Windows Phone, and for my uses and preferences I find this OS to be the easiest and most satisfying to use. Also, after about 18 months with the Note I really wanted a phone I could put in the front pocket of my jeans. And finally, I find the Windows Phone keyboard the easiest by far to type on (I never found a keyboard program I liked in Android). I still have the Nexus 7 as my tablet (I got rid of my iPad after the iOS 7 update, an “upgrade” I hated more than I hated my iPhone), so I still use the Android OS on a regular basis. I don’t see myself going back to iOS unless it changes a lot. There’s only one program I really miss, and it got borked in iOS 7, so it wasn’t worth hanging on.

  10. Sarah Frantz
    Jan 12, 2014 @ 10:17:40

    As for Android keyboards, I adore Kii. It’s not free, but the numbers keys are above the keyboard, it has cursor keys, you can change key sizes, touch time is fully customizable, and the predictive texting is the best I’ve ever used. The Samsung keyboard is awful and I downloaded about 10 keyboard apps before I settled on Kii. Love it.

    Also, if you message internationally, WhatsApp is the best thing ever. I think that’s on Android and iPhone, so not Android specific, but it’s utterly invaluable to me. International, instantaneous, unlimited text messaging for $1 a year.

  11. Angela James
    Jan 12, 2014 @ 10:19:07

    Thank you, Sarah! I haven’t tried different keyboards, though I did switch to Swype, which was a fun experience when I first used it and now I love it. I’m going to look at Kii.

  12. Gabriel Silva
    Jan 12, 2014 @ 11:22:55

    Hello, Jane… very nice article. I recently moved from the iPhone 4S to the Galaxy Note 3 after 5 years of iPhone and so far, besides loving the device mostly for the same reasons you do, I find the transition so far to be quite painless as well. Thanks for the useful tips on apps and the “how to” for some routines I’m still getting used to.

  13. l;ibrary addict
    Jan 12, 2014 @ 11:25:23

    For reading I use Calibre Companion and Mantano. While I use these apps mostly on my tablet, I have them on my phone as well. I love that I can sort my books by author, title, tags, and series just like in Calibre. Best $2.99 I ever spent. And the Mantano app allows for customized fonts.

  14. Angela James
    Jan 12, 2014 @ 12:24:17

    Shae: I can’t use a pattern. I have my work email on the phone and they install an extra security protocol that requires a number-only password.

  15. Keri Ford
    Jan 12, 2014 @ 12:43:32

    This post made my Andriod loving heart go all tingly.
    I have an S4. I wanted the Note 3, but it wasn’t in stock and Son had killed my phone with a cup of water. I wasn’t waiting around.

    Not sure of the difference between S4 and a Note, but you might try the pattern dots over the numbers for unlocking your phone. I can swipe that in under ½ a sec over punching in numbers.

    I don’t think people really get the screen size difference until they see it in person. My sister has an iphone. I used her phone for something. I handed it back saying “you should really put a case on that.” AND SHE ALREADY HAD ONE. And yes, it was an otterbox case. That’s the size difference.

    For twitter—I use Hootsuite. I’m disappointed they did an upgrade. Used to you’d click a tweet for a link and it’d display the link IN Hootsuite, so you didn’t have to go outside the app. It was better then. I haven’t noticed any other changes.

    For reading—The S4 came with a whole page dedicated to Amazon. So there’s all my amazon books, right there with two slides to the right of my homescreen. I can access all my amazon things from there—even music in my cloud player. (my former Samsung phone, I had to use the kindle app and yes, buggy. also SO SLOW.) I’ve done 100% of my reading on my phone since I made the switch. I don’t even know where my kindle is off hand now.

    For music—I use the Amazon music app. It can important any music on your device and also access your cloud music too. I don’t like the other music player on there cause I haven’t figured out how to set a single song (or even a playlist!) on repeat—something that’s necessary for me when writing to music.

    For games—try Farm Heroes Saga. Same makers of Candy Crush with the same basic principles, but the levels aren’t near as tough. It’s easier to pick up and put away without feeling addicted and you can’t stop.

    For backup—it’s worth your time to use Verizon’s Cloud backup. It auto syncs when on wifi and call pull documents, photos, contacts, song and text message history.

    How much are you loving that you don’t have to sign into an account to download a free app? I find that so annoying when I grab something for my mom on her iphone and on the ipad for the kid.

    Samsung is starting HUB and selling books on it (I think for competition with what itunes is all about, best I can tell. *hinthint for Carina*).

  16. Keri Ford
    Jan 12, 2014 @ 13:00:03

    @Keri Ford:

    *scratches out pattern dot suggestion*

  17. Maureen
    Jan 12, 2014 @ 14:57:56

    This is so interesting…. I had an android way back when they had flip out keyboards — loved! But I hated the interface – it always seemed like I had to figure something out. And their app store blew. All apps were always iphone only….so I made the change. Love my iphone so much. I love how it syncs with my macbook and the icloud and itunes match…. etc, etc. BUT….this article really has me rethinking things. Crazy! It seems like android has really stepped their game up. And that big screen is totally calling my name ;).

  18. Laura K Curtis
    Jan 12, 2014 @ 15:09:06

    I love my Galaxy SIII and I am a devoted Apple person. The only thing I don’t love is the lack of ability to iMessage. It annoys me because my iPhone/Mac using friends will message me when they think they are texting me, etc, because we message from our iPads and then I text them and they mess up when sending a message back. So it’s annoying.

    That said, I LOVE MightyText, which puts my phone alerts (including my battery status) onto my computer and automatically uploads phone photos to computer. (Yes, I have that set up for DropBox, too, but it’s still helpful to do the MightyText.)

    For a keyboard I use, and HIGHLY recommend SwiftKey. It’s not free, but that doesn’t matter. It’s predictions are so incredibly spot on that I rarely have to type more than a letter or two. It’s also big, clean, and intuitive. There’s a free trial version you can test out before paying (30 days or something), so I would absolutely try that before I went with anything else.

  19. farmwifetwo
    Jan 12, 2014 @ 15:17:18

    @Mikaela:

    I have found that the calendar on my iPhone sends an email to my Kobo arc which is android. Both the phone and tablet have my gmail addy on them. Whether or not that’s why it works…… truthfully I don’t use either enough to care. Email, calendar, reading… That’s all.

  20. theo
    Jan 12, 2014 @ 15:39:17

    Never had iAnything (except a really old iPod) so I have nothing to compare to as far as anything Apple is concerned except for iTunes which I’ve always hated. I went from a Windows phone to Android back when the HTC EVO first came out and have never looked back. I’m using a Galaxy S4 now and love it though I admit to having Note3 envy because of the screen size.

    The apps I can’t live without are:
    SwiftKey (best swiping keyboard out there)
    Calendar Status Pro (syncs with anything)
    Calibre
    Call Blocker Gold (gets rid of calls and texts)
    Clean Master (because I have a lot of apps)
    DoubleTwist
    DropBox
    G Cloud
    Lookout
    Music Sleep
    Out Of Milk
    Overdrive
    QuickPic (because for some reason, the Gallery WILL stop working on your phone)
    Waze (way better than Google Maps even though Google bought them. They haven’t screwed Waze up. Yet.)

    I have others that aren’t quite necessities like Sirius, Audible and some games and I’m always trying and uninstalling others but I’ll never use anything but Android again.

    One thing I do want to mention though. Do NOT buy a Chromebook and expect it to act like your phone. It won’t. My biggest complaint with the DH’s is the fact that even with a cloud ready printer, it won’t print except using my laptop as a server. But that’s another story.

  21. theo
    Jan 12, 2014 @ 15:41:13

    Are you moderating all comments now? Or just for this thread? Or am I in trouble?

  22. Jane
    Jan 12, 2014 @ 15:42:57

    @theo – we don’t moderate the comments. if your comment goes into moderation it is because Askimet thinks you’ve said something spammy. Just let us know and we’ll fish it out.

  23. That Samsung Galaxy Note Phone | Mike Cane’s xBlog
    Jan 12, 2014 @ 16:23:02

    […] The League of Galaxy Note Women have issued a manifesto an official statement: Making the Move from iPhone to Android by Angela James (and Jane’s shocking conversion) […]

  24. Shiloh Walker
    Jan 12, 2014 @ 16:23:25

    I switched back when it was time for me to upgrade…went to a Samsung, too. I didn’t like the smaller Apple, was irritated that I’d have to buy a new docking station (or adapters) for all the devices I had around the house and there were other apple related issues too. I still have my iPad and love it, but for a phone, I think I’m hooked on Android. I wish they had as many apps, but I suspect that’s coming.

    There’s a new Android out now that has like a 40 MP camera and I wants. So bad.

  25. Lada
    Jan 12, 2014 @ 17:23:06

    I think it’s important to point out that “Android” is Google’s OS but the UI (user interface) experience differs and depends on phone manufacturer as well as your service. I have been an Android user for a long time and have experience on Motorola, HTC and currently, Samsung. While my cell phone service has remained the same, each UI was different and HTC was the closest true Android experience and most intuitive to use. I haven’t tried to jailbreak my phone though it’s what recommended for the best Android experience.

    Samsung took me some getting used to even after years of using Android because Samsung wants to force users to commit to their specific interface. Their native messaging was truly one of the worst I’ve ever experienced. I’m now using Chomp but am interested in giving Whatsapp a go. I’ve turned Kies off and don’t think it offers anything worthwhile. But otherwise I’m enjoying the GS4 and Note 3 (which hubby sometimes lets me play with).

    I’m a dedicated Swyper so I don’t love typing on my iPad (which can’t be very different than the iPhone) much less on any tiny keyboard. I agree about the the annoying loss of functionality when my phone is locked but again, this is Samsung GS4 specific and wasn’t the same on HTC.

    The most interesting thing Angela mentioned having trouble with was viewing attachments which I’ve never had problems with. I’ve generally been able to tap to open any attachment and am given a choice (if more than one is available) of app to use to open it but perhaps she needs apps I’m not familiar with.

    Welcome to the family, Jane!

  26. Sunita
    Jan 12, 2014 @ 18:41:25

    @Lada: I didn’t have problems with most attachments, but I think occasionally it told me there was no program to open the attachment.

    Agree completely on Kies. So awful, Angela and you are right. I still shudder remembering it.

    WhatsApp is fantastic. It’s on every platform (iOS, Android, WindowsPhone), which means as long as you have data you can use it. I use it w/relatives overseas to save on international text costs. It’s hugely popular in other countries, from what I can tell. People of all ages and tech skill levels use it.

  27. theo
    Jan 12, 2014 @ 20:33:17

    OH! And Dolphin. Because it still plays flash.

    I went from HTC to Motorola to Samsung and haven’t had any problems getting used to any of them. I like Samsung’s TouchWiz, but I really like Nova Launcher. I haven’t had any trouble with Samsung’s messaging. It handles everything I toss at it. And I can’t remember having something doc wise that wouldn’t open. Maybe it’s the phone and not the system?

  28. leftcoaster
    Jan 12, 2014 @ 21:18:38

    Shout out to WhatsApp… it’s multiplatform and indispensable for staying in touch with family in Asia. Great for group messaging, and even the patriarch can manage the interface. Spouse got it for free, I think I paid $1. No intl text fees, even with tons of photos. (Brother-in-law sends photos of every single damn thing he eats).

  29. Cordelia
    Jan 12, 2014 @ 21:37:18

    In terms of reading apps, can anyone recommend an an Android equivalent to iOS’s Marvin? Marvin is why I’m still attached to my iPad. I love the customization features (color choices, fonts, spacing, etc.) but none of the popular free apps I’ve tried with Android do the same thing.

  30. Lajuan Hughes
    Jan 13, 2014 @ 01:00:20

    For the batter check out the zero lemon battery. I have the gs3 but with heavy usage i get 2 days and 20 hr on average. ALso very good article.

  31. Alison R
    Jan 13, 2014 @ 03:12:22

    I went the other way. Got a Samsung Galaxy S4 and reverted back to an iphone. On the subject of importing contacts etc, although Kies only ever worked the first time I installed it there was a link in the help which imported all your previous smartphone “stuff” from the cloud or a back-up on your computer. I imported emails, contacts, photos, music – pretty much everything.

  32. theo
    Jan 13, 2014 @ 17:13:30

    @Lajuan Hughes: What is a zero lemon battery? Because I’m not seeing anything in the Play store by that name and if there’s a better battery manager than the one I’m using, I’d like to know.

  33. theo
    Jan 13, 2014 @ 17:14:44

    @Lajuan Hughes: Never mind. It’s an extended battery, not an app.

  34. Tae
    Jan 14, 2014 @ 10:24:32

    I’ve always had an Android phone, but some of these apps sound great, so thanks for posting.

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