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My Switching Story: How I made the move from IPhone to...

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Last summer I did not upgrade to the iPhone 5S. I was happy with my perfectly functional iPhone 5 until I began to spend time with people who had these larger Android devices. In January I finally broke down and bought one of my own. It’s been three months now and I’m not sorry that I’ve switched.

To be clear, I’m an Apple girl. I have an iMac, a Macbook Air and an iPad. And I’m not the only one. Every computer in my house is an Apple product. I had real concerns about compatibility and functionality but I paid close attention to Angie James’ article on switching.

Apps

On my iPhone my most frequently used apps were iMessage (texting), Notes (f0r everything from writing grocery lists to blog posts), Mailbox (for my email accounts), Kindle and Marvin for reading and Dropbox.  I had paid for many apps including SimpleNote (for longer note taking), Pages (to replace Word), Goodreader (PDF reader and annotations) and iAnnotate (another PDF reader/note taking).

The biggest challenge was finding a replacement for iMessage and I haven’t found a good replacement for Mailbox.

Evernote IconNotes. The biggest change I made was moving away from the Apple ecosystem of apps and  toward device independent apps. Instead of Notes, I moved to Evernote, a program I had used before but not to its fullest. Now I use Evernote for everything from saving a web article I want to read later to grocery lists to blog posts to work notes.

Evernote can be accessed on the Web and has apps for PC, Apple, IOS, and Android. I’m still not using it to its fullest capabilities but it’s the perfect cross platform note taking application. It saves automatically and syncs automatically so all you have to do is worry about taking the notes.

Pocketbook appEbooks. I really like Marvin but there are plenty of ePub reading apps. Android is a more open system and there are two programs that I’m enjoying using. The first is Pocketbook.  PocketBook doesn’t have as many customization features, but I like it’s elegant interface. You tap the center and a circle of options are presented along with access to your library, the table of contents, search, and navigation. It even remembers the last place you were in a book so if you start at page 50 and then advance to page 150, with one tap of your finger, you can return to page 50.

You can also highlight, copy, takes notes, and even take a screenshot by dragging your finger over the screen. It connects to your Calibre library over the network as well but just launches a browser access.

I like the app Calibre Cloud that connects to your Dropbox library of ebooks. There are two problems. 1) if you have a big library, it takes time to load initially. 2) You have to force sync your desktop Calibre program. It’s pretty easy to do this. You can either restart Calibre or you can switch to a new library within Calibre. I do the latter. I have a “research” library where I keep an index of various cases and so I switch to that library and then switch back to my main ebook library. I guess Calibre locks the database and prevents it from syncing until it understands that you aren’t using it.

You can also use GDrive instead of Dropbox. Given the recent HUGE price drop in Google Drive, I might switch from Dropbox.

An important note. In iOS you can download a mobi and then open in Kindle but under the Android OS you cannot do this. I don’t know why. Calibre Cloud has a function that will automatically send a book to your Kindle account but it doesn’t always work.

Mighty TextMessaging. There is no perfect solution to iMessage, particularly when your entire family uses it. However, Mighty Text provides a decent replacement when used in conjunction with Google Hangouts or another non device based text messaging service.

Mighty Text basically syncs your text messages from your phone to your computer. You can text and send video and images via your computer that are automatically synced to your phone’s messaging service. I’ve taken to using Google Hangouts because it is free but Facebook’s recent acquisition “What’s App” is incredibly popular. I like Google Hangouts because you can do video chats (like Facetime) and because Google is device agnostic. There are apps for every device.

A bonus feature for Mighty Text is that it tells you what percentage your phone battery is at. It’s reminded me more than once to plug in my phone.

For someone who texts a lot, you may like Sliding Messages. It features a popup screen for texts and allows you to respond without leaving your current app. So I can be reading a book and a text message pops up. I answer and when I press send, the text box disappears and I’m back at my book without having to press another button. Sliding Messages costs $1.99 and can be buggy!

Mailbox AppMail. I haven’t found a mail application replacement for Mailbox that I love. One thing about Mailbox was that it’s snooze feature which allowed me to archive an email message for a particular time (like hours, days or even weeks) helped me achieve the zero inbox which I love. Since I’ve moved to Android, I no longer have that feature. I hear that Mailbox is creating a similar app for Android but I’m worried that it’s recent acquisition by Dropbox will mean development will be placed on the back burner. Boomerang is a similar alternative but I don’t love the interface of Boomerang. I might try again.

google-voice-voipGoogle Voice. There is no visual voicemail as default. Visual voicemail is a list of voicemails left. You can listen to them on your device and delete them from your device instead of calling a number and working through those voicemails via keypad entry. Visual voicemail is an extra $2.99 for a Verizon customer. I’ve opted to hook up my phone number to a Google Voice number and Google Voice then alerts me to the new voicemails and, if possible, will do a voice to text conversion and send it to my inbox or as a text message. There is also a Google Voice App that shows your voicemails a bit like Apple iOS. All for free.

Cases and Accessories

I find the cases and accessories for the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 to be uniformly poor. I use the S View case but I kind of hate it because it feels cheap even though I paid through the nose for it and the stupid front never stays shut. I’ve looked around for a better case and I’ve not found one that I particularly like.

Anker Battery

As for accessories, there aren’t any of importance other than extra batteries. I first bought an extra Samsung battery but then I realized that the only way to charge the battery was to stick it into the phone. That made no sense so I bought this Anker package of two batteries and a charger. I really only needed the charger but now I have three extra batteries. I haven’t ever run out of battery power which is a real pleasure.

A stylus comes with every Samsung “Note” device and I thought I’d use it frequently but I don’t. The only time I use it is to play with my screenshots.

writing on a screen

I will say that while the pen itself is very thin it takes notes better than any stylus I’ve tried on an iPad or iPhone.

Other cool features

I’m a big fan of being able to go to the Google Play store on my computer and install apps from there.  You click on the install button and you can install the app on whatever device you have registered with your account.

Google Play store

 

On screen customization.

Aviate

I’ve literally spent hours looking at launch programs for the phone. There are so many ways to customize the way that your home screen looks, it’s overwhelming.  Currently I use “Aviate” which only allows for widgets only on the main screen but I really like how the apps change on the front page based on where you are (particularly great when you’re traveling) or what time it is (it presents the DO NOT DISTURB and Alarm at night).

Aviate basically utilizes Tasker like features. If you plug in your headphones, it assumes you want to listen to music and brings up your music apps. If you are home, Aviate allows you to see a context specific menu on the front page.  If it is nighttime, a different context specific menu appears. My nighttime apps include Kindle, PocketBook, Houzz, and DVR Commander. I think you can all guess what I do before I go to sleep right?

I’d prefer a second page for widgets so I can have a nice big picture of my family on the first page.

It should be noted that Aviate was purchased by Yahoo!. If you do use Aviate, I recommend subscribing to the blog because it tells you about its new features like icon packs and shortcuts.

The back button.

The right button on the phone is a “back” soft key which means it takes you one step backward. If you opened a program and want to go back to the previously opened program, you tap the left soft key. When I’m using my iPad, I really miss the back key and I’m constantly tapping the right side wondering why nothing is happening.

I also tend to forget that there is a lot of functionality to be accessed under the left soft key.

Mini SD Card

In the back where the camera is exists a slot for expandable memory. I’ve stuck a 64 GB card there to hold all my music, books, and a few videos. I haven’t even begun to use all the space on that card.

Automation.

I’ve not fully explored this but there are two apps – Tasker and AutomateIt – that do things based upon triggers (see Aviate above). Currently I am using AutomateIt and I’ve downloaded a few rules such as disabling the lock screen when I’m on my home wifi and sending me a text message if it is going to rain on a particular day. There are many more features but I haven’t explored this fully.

Annoyances / Drawbacks

The Samsung lacks the elegance of the iPhone. Maybe I’m an Apple Fangirl but the form factor of the iOS is superior. It could be that the iPhone and iPad’s all metal casing versus the plastic of the Samsung is the difference maker, but when I pick up my iPad mini, it just feels better than the Note 3.

I really dislike the camera on the Samsung over the iPhone. I’m not a great picture taker but the photos I took on my iPhone are far superior to the ones I take with the Samsung.  On my Note I take a picture and then wait for several seconds while it says “processing”. You can eliminate that by turning “smart stabilization” off.  While that helps, the onboard stabilizer isn’t as good as the iPhone in my opinion.  For those who have a steadier hand than me, though, this article suggests that the comparison between cameras is minute.

I’m not sure if it is because of an Apple patent but you have to swipe to do everything on this phone. To answer a call, you need to swipe to the right instead of simply tapping. Pressing on a phone number takes you to the dial screen but you have to press the green phone button to dial the number which is one more step than the iPhone. I was able to customize the phone to set the home button to answer and the power button to hang up but I’ve frequently forgotten which is which and hung up on people accidentally.

The voice command isn’t as good as Siri but you can download different voices including a male one. 

There are more cases and better accessories for the iPhone primarily because it is one standard size. There are dozens of different Android devices all with their own unique shapes and sizes. This means that the accessory market is slim. I am looking into the Bamboo Stylus for the Note. Anyone have one of these?

Summary

The iPhone is supposedly coming out with a larger screen device. I’m not sure I could change back given the battery, external SD and customization features but I’ll let you know this fall when I see what Apple has to offer. For now, though, I’m pleased with the screen size and I’ve found replacements for most–if not all–of my favorite iOS Apps.

I don’t miss the small screen iPhone and I certainly wouldn’t go back to a smaller screen device. In the end, for me, size matters.

I’d love to hear how people are using their Android devices including what Apps I should be downloading; what cases they like; how to customize the lock screen so I can see text messages and other stuff, and how to use Tasker and NFC tags!

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

37 Comments

  1. Mikaela
    Apr 06, 2014 @ 05:57:07

    I have an Motoluxe from 2012, or there abouts. While it has some features that I love, the small internal memory is driving me *nuts*, so I’m probably upgrading this fall. Or maybe I’ll simply check if the spare Sony Xperia in dad’s drawer has better internal memory… Then I’ll simply buy a new battery instead :).

  2. Zildjianpro
    Apr 06, 2014 @ 08:56:13

    Hi I am glad you tried the change and are not unhappy. My wife did the exact same thing recently all tho she has always been an android fan but wanted to try iOS. Well she ended up switching with someone on craigslist for a galaxy s4. I personally have a Google phone Moto MAXX. I have always enjoyed what android had to offer in the customization area. I get board with the same layout so I end up switching themes all the time haha. I have to tell people when they are picking usually in the build of the phone apple devices will tend to be less buggy but if they want a toy get android. I have not had any problems with my device yet but it happens more on android. I tend to like my larger screen and specs. I really liked a few things Google was playing around with their new moto line (the short time they had it) with OK Google now and the active display. With OK Google now you can wake your phone up without even being near it by just a voice command I believe Samsung has a feature like this as well. I use it when I’m listening to music and running with just my voice I can make a call, change songs, listen to received texts, make texts and so much more. With the Active display I just pull my phone out of my pocket and it automatically shows time and my notifications. My battery (being that it is the MAXX because of the battery) is insane I have yet to have a device last me the whole day but listening to music at work all day and accessing the web and all my activity the lowest I’ve seen my battery at night was about 48%. Well those are a few things I like but I must go or I I’ll be late for work lol.

  3. Dana S
    Apr 06, 2014 @ 09:00:12

    Have you by chance found a decent pdf reader? I have a ton of pdfs from work/classes, and I’m having trouble finding a program to replace Goodreader.

  4. Jane
    Apr 06, 2014 @ 09:05:58

    @Dana S: I’m actually a fan of Adobe Reader. The free version allows you to copy, highlight, strikeout and underline as well as take notes. It has a night mode, text reflow, and search. You can’t convert the PDF to Word or Excel or Create and export PDF files without a subscription.

  5. theo
    Apr 06, 2014 @ 09:07:23

    I have a Galaxy S4 and while it adds a bit of size to the phone, I’ll never have another phone without an Otterbox Defender case. It has an all inclusive hard case with screen cover which is then wrapped with a shock absorbing outer cover. I’ve drop-kicked my phone several times and the phone and case both are still pristine.

    Having used a generic OS, then Windows phone and then, four years ago switching to Android, I can’t speak for the difference in functionality, but I can tell you that the swiping is inherent to the Samsung TouchWiz design. There are other launchers out there as you said, that will make it more like an iPhone but I’ve had no reason to try them.

    What I do love…Dragon. It’s awesome on the Android system. Evernote, G Cloud (backs up every night) AppWereRabbit which backs up anything I install to my SD card and keeps all the .apks in case I have to roll back to a previous version, Waze which is so much better than Google maps and Sqwak, a great little reminder program.

    I can’t read on my GalaxyS4 because the screen is still too small for my old eyes so I can’t speak for a reading app other than the standard Nook, Kindle and Kobo apps.

    But one of the best things for me is being able to do half a dozen things at one time on the phone since I use it for work. I understand Apple has finally introduced that, but I’d be lost without that functionality.

  6. Amir
    Apr 06, 2014 @ 09:15:56

    I had an iPhone too and I was planning to get the 5s but decided on the Nexus 5 instead and I really don’t regret my decision. I’m still very much an Apple loyalist everywhere else but I love the home screen customization, widgets and the 5 inch screens of Android phones. It’s a good thing that most of the apps I use have an Android version too so switching wasn’t a big adjustment.

  7. Lynne Connolly
    Apr 06, 2014 @ 09:26:06

    I have a Nexus 7 and my son’s discarded Galaxy S2, both of which are perfect for me.
    For reading, try Moon+ (there’s a free version, so you can try before you buy) and Mantano. Both are excellent, so much better than anything else I’ve tried. If you buy Moon+ there’s a pdf addition and you can read your locked Adobe Digital books on Mantano. sorted. Mantano also has a great library function, but I still prefer Moon+, mainly because it takes advantage of Kit Kat’s full screen option. Both will sync with Evernote, and then you can make your notes straight into either Evernote or One Note.
    I use Calibre for my full book library, and move the books I want to the Nexus and the Galaxy. Stops it getting too cluttered.
    I’ve rooted and hacked my Nexus. very simple process, and so I can have an adblocker on it. The ones on the phone aren’t quite so intrusive.
    I’m a Windows girl, and that’s one of the beauties of Android – it speaks to both platforms equally.

  8. Dana S
    Apr 06, 2014 @ 09:55:12

    @Jane: Thanks. I’ve tried Adobe’s reader but one of the drawbacks for me was that I couldn’t “freeze” the screen the way I could in Goodreader and it won’t keep zoomed in, the zoom resets on every page turn. Hmm, my hunt continues.

  9. theo
    Apr 06, 2014 @ 10:00:51

    @Lynne Connolly: I used Aldiko for a long time and still do on my tablet though only occasionally. I use Calibre primarily on that. Did you ever try Aldiko? If so, how does it compare to Moon+?

  10. Lynne Connolly
    Apr 06, 2014 @ 10:37:23

    @theo: I used Aldiko for a while, too. But you have to import all your books into it, which means you have two copies of everything. I don’t know if they fixed that. Also, the choice of fonts was limited. The note taking was a little more clunky, as well. And I had a weird problem with italics – Aldiko wasn’t showing them at all, but I think they fixed that one.
    Moon+ and Mantano are just that bit more sophisticated. And Moon+ has the pdf thing going for it. If you’re looking for a pdf reader, this one works the best for me. I can put the pdf’s with the epubs and have them all in the same library.
    You do have to import books to both apps, but they don’t copy the whole book over, they will accept whichever library you designate.

  11. library addict
    Apr 06, 2014 @ 12:30:09

    Because there can by issues if you have Dropbox (or any auto-sync program) connected to your Calibre library, I have taken my main library out of dropbox and have a copy of it in Dropbox which I manually update. So I started using Calibre Companion and Mantano to read. I mostly read on my Nexus tablet, but have it on my phone as well. I love Calibre Companion beacuase it allows you to sort your books by all the various tags, etc just like in Calibre.

    I’ve had my Sony Ion phone for a few years and don’t think I use the various apps enough. I mostly still use it as a phone and check email at times. But I do love that the Dropbox app allows me to check my various To Buy lists I have in Word.

    I like Out of Milk for my grocery lists. And Evernote which I mainly just use for lists though I know it does tons more.

  12. Alanis
    Apr 06, 2014 @ 13:41:46

    Thank you for this review. I want to make the jump to Android, the big screens are so tempting! But my killer apps are mail and Marvin and those are the two apps that Android can’t match. I have 6 emails funnelling through my iphone mail and I’m not logging onto a bunch of different apps to check them all.

  13. theo
    Apr 06, 2014 @ 13:47:18

    @Alanis: FWIW, I have 8 running through Gmail and two through the stock Android mail app that I funnel my work exchange/Outlook email through. I can’t speak to the Marvin app since I’ve never had anything Mac except for an iPod touch, but running that many emails through the Android phone is a piece of cake.

  14. Jesslyn H
    Apr 06, 2014 @ 14:07:26

    I have a couple of suggestions.

    For random mobi books on your device. I’ve found that I prefer to have them in my Kindle library so I can read them on whichever device I choose (and have reading locations sync). Use the ‘Send to Kindle’ app, which is really a virtual printer, and when you check the Archive button as well, the book will be sent for free to whichever Kindle device(s) you choose and then added to your Personal Documents list.

    Cases – I have a Note 3 and use the Spigen Neo Hybrid case, but just ordered a Fintie Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Shield Series Case. The latter has a removable kickstand so you can watch movies/video. I tend to switch cases quite a bit.

  15. Alanis
    Apr 06, 2014 @ 14:42:10

    @theo: it’s 2 gmail accounts, a yahoo, a hotmail, iCloud and a work email. Clearly, I’ve never met a free email account that I didn’t like! I’ve got to say that one app that aggregates them all is incredibly convenient. Of course, I could also shut down a few of them.

  16. Jane
    Apr 06, 2014 @ 14:44:55

    Alanis – SolMail will do that. Aggregate all your mail into one app.

  17. Alanis
    Apr 06, 2014 @ 16:00:27

    Thank you everyone about the email apps, now I know about one googling actually finds articles that suggest a few more. I really want to buy a nexus 7 as an ereader. Marvin syncs a little file with dropbox so that you can pick up where you are in a book from different devices. If I could figure out how to sync that file to one of the android reading apps then I could have the same seamless experience I currently enjoy on ios.

  18. FD
    Apr 06, 2014 @ 16:32:09

    I have an Nook android tablet which I use with a keyboard case for taking notes / working on the go and a Galaxy S3. I use Moon+reader as a my main reading app which syncs with dropbox and calibre across both devices.
    Alanis, in Moon+reader, you can (and I do) sync reading positions via dropbox – it’s accessible under misc options.

  19. Lynne Connolly
    Apr 06, 2014 @ 16:34:38

    Moon+ syncs with Dropbox. Very simple, just set it up once.

  20. theo
    Apr 06, 2014 @ 17:42:36

    @Alanis: I have one Gmail, one Yahoo, one Hotmail and five other non-standard domain emails running through Gmail because I did a POP forward on them. They all have their own label so I know which account they’re coming in from, I can color code them, star them, do whatever I need to. I might not like all Google tries to rope me into, but Gmail is a pretty powerful little email program. :)

  21. Jay Jackson
    Apr 06, 2014 @ 17:44:08

    I’m in complete agreement with you. There is a certain polish to Apple hardware but I love my Nexus 5. It as some issues but I won’t return to a smaller screen.

  22. Gaston Gordon
    Apr 06, 2014 @ 23:44:24

    I personally find the gmail app good enough for my needs, but CloudMagic is one of the best apps out there with great design and plenty of features similar to Mailbox

    I’m also a macbook iPad Android user really happy with my Moto X, one of the most simple an elegant Android phones out there

  23. Alanis
    Apr 07, 2014 @ 01:19:49

    I want to have the magical ability to sync between iOS and Android. I want to be reading on my nexus 7, put it down, pick up my iphone and start reading where I left off. This is possible if you’re on all Android or all iOS, but I can’t get it to work cross platform. It seems like the kindle app might do it, but I’m not certain it will work with side loaded books. I’ll have to experiment.
    Other than that, thank you for all the email advice.

  24. Juli
    Apr 07, 2014 @ 06:35:45

    For me the best combination I’ve found is Calibre Companion and Moon + Pro. I don’t do a lot of reading on my Samsung Galaxy 4S, but when standing in line or waiting for appointments it comes in so handy. Amazon’s silly app takes forever to load. It makes me want to purchase a Galaxy Tab.

  25. Angela
    Apr 07, 2014 @ 07:33:49

    I think I must be one of the only people in the world that made the switch from Apple to Android and hates it – I’m about a year out from switching to the Samsung Galaxy S4. The increased screen size means I can’t operate my phone single-handedly – though I admit I do like the bigger screen for a lot of things.

    But my biggest frustration is that the fracking thing never wants to work. I have a horrible signal on it (that I never had with my iPhone), the battery dies a lot more quickly and charges much slower, and the apps don’t work as seamlessly. Everything feels very clunky to me in it. I tap to do stuff and things don’t respond, or have a long delay to respond.

    I dislike Apple as a brand a lot, but unless I see something that changes my mind I’ll be going back to them when I upgrade again.

  26. JJPP
    Apr 07, 2014 @ 13:39:36

    I switched operating systems in December, but in my case it was from a Windows Phone to a Moto X on Android Kit Kat (4.4). I freaking love it. I’ve barely gotten my toe wet when it comes to apps, but here’s what I use:

    – Kindle App
    – Dropbox
    – Locale, which is a paid app that lets you set conditions and resulting states for your phone (e.g. at HOME, turn on Wifi, turn volume to 50%, change the wallpaper & home screen apps, etc.)
    – Evernote – I’m sure I’m using less than 1% of its potential, but it’s great for my purposes, which is keeping track of my projects and glazes at the pottery studio, with notes and pictures on all my pieces.
    – SwiftKey for my keyboard app
    – Apex Launcher

  27. JJPP
    Apr 07, 2014 @ 13:44:19

    @Lynne Connolly: Lynne, I took your recommendation and downloaded Moon+ last night and tried it out. I like it as a reader, but it doesn’t work so well for me when it comes to accessing my library. I have my Calibre library saved on Dropbox, so I linked Moon+ to that. But when I go into Dropbox through the reader, the files are all sorted just as files — a million different author folders, with subfolders for each book. If I know exactly what book I want to read next, it’s fine, but it doesn’t work to browse, and of course in that interface it doesn’t pull in any of the metadata I’ve added through Calibre.

    I just wondered if there was anything else you did to make it more usable for yourself, or if that interface just doesn’t bother you. Thanks!

    I may also try out Jane’s suggestions, Pocketbook and Calibre Cloud.

  28. Lynne Connolly
    Apr 07, 2014 @ 14:02:19

    @JJPP: If you access the folders on Dropbox, you’re just navigating to them, so you can’t manage them in Dropbox. Don’t navigate to your book folder, import them, and then they’ll appear in your Moon library. Moon doesn’t make a copy, it makes a list, so you won’t duplicate your books. You can view the library on shelves, carousel or bookcovers, and you can arrange them by author, title, or newest. You can then click on the covers and create Favorites folders, and sort your books any way you like. I have mine in standard genres – contemporary, paranormal, etc and there’s a Read folder. You can only have your book in one folder, so when you’ve read it change it to Read.
    If you access the folders on Dropbox, you’re just navigating to them, so you can’t manage them in Dropbox.

  29. Mara
    Apr 07, 2014 @ 18:27:09

    That’s interesting. I just switched from Android to iPhone because I hated Android’s bulk and weight. Felt like I was carrying a brick in my purse. As far as usage, I’m not finding iPhone any better or worse than Android, but I rarely use my phone except for calls, mail, and catching up on Dear Author when I’m out of town.
    I do like the camera better on the iPhone. I think it’s easier to use.

  30. JJPP
    Apr 07, 2014 @ 19:29:45

    @Lynne Connolly: Thank you! I’ll play around with this and see if I can figure it out!

  31. Jae Lee
    Apr 08, 2014 @ 09:15:29

    I have a Note 2, have had it for a year and I’m still being surprised by some of its functions. As far as making phone calls though, once you have the contact info on the screen you should be able to just bring the phone towards your face to connect the call. There are a lot of gesture commands and shortcuts.

  32. Keslynn
    Apr 08, 2014 @ 09:27:52

    @Dana S: I recommend ezPDF Reader. Lots of features though I do believe it’s a paid app.

    @Jane – I use a Goospery Fancy Diary Cover on my Note 3. I got it on Amazon for about $9.

    If you’re on Verizon, the Verizon Messages app is fantastic. It let’s you sync messages between your phone and a web interface just like MightyText.

    You should also check out Pushbullet. It sends files between devices in a snap and will mirror phone notifications too. I love sending web links from phone to PC when I need the larger screen. Pushbullet has a channel on IFTTT as well so there’s lots of ways to play with it.

  33. Diana
    Apr 08, 2014 @ 23:20:39

    Love this article! I also made the switch from the iPhone 5 to the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 very recently, and…wow. It’s an incredible difference. I had to jailbreak my iPhone to get half-way decent customization and functionality, and it still doesn’t match what a stock Note 3 can do, straight out of the box. The only thing I miss off of my old iPhone is the camera. The iPhone camera really is great.

    But… As for messaging, can I suggest Hello SMS or Textra? They are not an alternative to iMessaging, but they are loaded with so many cool, useful functions that I personally love them both (I use Hello SMS on a daily basis). Also, CloudMagic is a great e-mail app. I’ve aggregated my Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo, iCloud and Exchange e-mail accounts together and it’s all gorgeous and seamless.

  34. Caro
    Apr 09, 2014 @ 14:13:21

    Hmm. I think I’m going to wait and see what’s announced come June, if the rumors of a bigger screen for an iPhone are true. The big thing for me on a phone has turned out to be, ironically, the camera. The husband laughed when I started doing to a bunch of photos on it, especially during our trips to Disneyland, but then I caught a night shot of the Main Street Christmas Tree reflected in a rain puddle. That’s now a 12×15″ print on our wall and he completely understands that whatever phone I upgrade to, the camera is going to be a big consideration.

    Funny what turns out to be important.

  35. theo
    Apr 09, 2014 @ 19:36:22

    For those of you looking for Mailbox for your Android, here’s a pretty exciting announcement on Lifehacker!

    http://goo.gl/k4eWwU

  36. SAO
    Apr 11, 2014 @ 00:52:38

    My Galaxy S3 has a setting that allows me to switch from swiping to answer a call to tapping. It’s in the gear menu. The default is swipe. My bet is you can switch, too.

    You don’t want a case with a magnetic closure, because it can screw up functions like the compass. (Have fun finding a case that closes well without a magnet, though). I got mine in Europe.

    I like AutomateIt. It’s very easy to program. If you use your phone as your main or only phone, you can get a rule “unmute” that will unmute your phone at night for urgent calls.

  37. Stumbling Over Chaos :: Linkity is cautiously optimistic about the arrival of spring
    Apr 11, 2014 @ 06:45:15

    […] One reader’s tale of switching from iPhone to Android. (One of her complaints was that Mailbox wasn’t available for Android, but it is now.) […]

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