Let’s talk about Android vs. Apple

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I am an Apple user, but I’m sick of my iPhones which are expensive, and basically become inoperable after a year and a half, or after a software update. I’m currently so fed up that I’m considering switching to Android, but am feeling reluctant to make the change!

I use a MacbookPro for my personal computer, and am concerned that if I got an Android phone it would be a huge hassle to sync it with my laptop.

Have any of you made the switch from iPhone to Android? How did it go, and do you think it was a good choice? -Catherine

Isn’t this just the question for the ages!? On this one, the Empire itself is divided:

Megan thought about switching from the iPhone to an Android not too long ago. But because of the same laptop issue, and the fear of change, she’s just bought the new iPhone. Thanks to its bigger screen area, she is a lot happier with the iPhone than she was previously.

Ariel, however, is a happy Android user and would never consider using an iPhone.

What about y’all? Have you guys made the switch from Apple to Android? Share your experiences and recommendations!

Comments on Let’s talk about Android vs. Apple

  1. This sounds like a very interesting discussion and here’s my bit. I have a iPod Touch 5 and while the screen size is just fine for my tiny hands, it’s not so fine for my eyes. 🙁 Honestly, I have been thinking about moving to something a little more practical. Yes, the iPod Touch looks very sophisticated but more often than not, websites are just too small to see. Decisions, decisions….

  2. I have a Macbook for both work & home, as well as an iPad…and at one point I had an iPhone that I despised. I recently switched back to my preferred brand of phone which was android. Honestly, I haven’t had any issues syncing at all with my macbook. You obviously will have to download extra software to sync as opposed to just syncing with iTunes, but its really not that big of a deal. All my photos sync to iPhoto, my music synced to my phone software and would sync to my phone no questions asked, and visa versa.

    I don’t notice a difference really in all honesty, except that my photos don’t sync via iCloud to my other devices. I do have a google + account which allows my phone to backup all my phone info to my google +. So even if I had an accident with water and destroyed my phone, all my info is safe because its automatically set up to back up with wifi to my google +

    • One other thing is really try out an android based system. Each manufacturer has their own user interface with android, so some systems will suit you better than others. I’ve had two different manufacturers, Samsung & HTC. Personally I hated the Samsung UI (my sister & mom love it)… it felt clunky and childish to me. I love me some HTC UI, as does my brother (my sister hates the UI on HTC). So, I think it’s a really personal decision as each android phone is set up to appeal to a different user group. If you can, test the models out before you buy, as the UI is really what you are going to deal with on an everyday basis.

      • The Samsung interface is annoying but there are a zillion fixes for that. Custom launchers you can get for free or pro at under 5 bucks are a Godsend on that. I love the size of my Note 2 however, I can read and actually returned a tablet I had bought a few days before I decided to upgrade my phone.

    • I am so frustrated with my iphone. Siri is totally lame half the time and is anything but ‘smart.’ She can’t figure out ‘Merry Christmas’ after I’ve used 50 times over the holidays? My phone is slow to fire-up even after I’ve closed everything and deleted text messages. My PC tells me my iphone has no pictures on it. I’m seriously thinking of switching to Android/Samsung (with fabulous camera) even though it means using a new system. A Verizon tech helper suggested strongly the Moto X (Google bought patents from Motorola) which I read in the paper Google was getting rid of (and that the Moto X was lame.) Was Verizon just trying to ‘dump’ these phones? The guy on the phone raved about the Moto X. Any suggestions would be appreciated. How do I let Apple know how frustrated I am with their phone? Do they read these blogs? I used to love it.

      • Verizon does tend to be very good at trying to dump phones with low ratings, though I think the Moto X has gotten pretty good ratings, actually. My sense has been that the Motorola phones in general tend to have more problems than Samsung and HTC phones after about six months of use.

        I don’t know if this is anything you care about, but the other thing that led me to make the switch – the popular Motorola phones tend to have WAY higher radiation rates than other smart phones: http://reviews.cnet.com/2719-6602_7-291-3.html

  3. I had an iPhone, a MacBook, and an original iPad when I decided to upgrade to something smaller and bought a Samsung tablet. I gave it about six months, but I never really clicked with the interface. Eventually I gave my tablet to my Amdroid-loving hubby and he bought me an iPad mini for Christmas, which has absolutely become my go-to tablet option. (I use it much more often than my computer!)

    My husband the PC user switched from an iPhone to an Android phone several years ago, though, and hasn’t looked back.

  4. I’ve used a MacBook for ages but have only ever had an Android phone (and now tablet). For me, it works because I mostly only sync my phone to Instagram, gmail and Twitter. If I was married to Apple’s calendar/planning systems, an Android might not be the best bet. But I just use Google Drive to sync whatever plans/docs/events I need over all three devices.

    So, basically, I think it would depend what features you use most — but if you’re totally fed up with your iPhone, there is life over here on the other side.

  5. There’s a third choice here and it’s called Windows phone. My husband dislikes Apple and has 2 Windows phones (one work, one for private use). I must say, I like them a lot. His work laptop and the two phones are fully integrated. I’m not sure how things would work out for a Mac book, but I think it’s worth investigating the third option.

    • I have the Windows Surface Tablet and I love it. I use an iPhone4 currently, because it was free with my cell plan, but after I can upgrade I’m totally going to a windows phone. I use my tech for a LOT of work stuff, and don’t instagram, twitter or anything like that so the windows interface makes sense for my powerpoint and excel spreadsheet life.

      • I have a Windows tablet too, though not microsoft hardware. I love it. I use it for work and play. I haven’t synced it to my BlackBerry (workphone), because I’m too lazy to get the IT department in my job run all the safety stuff between them (can’t do that myself). But my tablet is great for checking e-mail, reading work stuff (.doc, .xls, .ppt) and working a little bit on it.

        • I love my Windows phone! I still use itunes on the laptop and it just does all the synchronization for me, no issues.

          I’ve found the interface and the keyboard easier than my other half’s previous iPhone and android Sony plus it seems to have less clutter. I only wish the music player wasn’t so sluggish

  6. Well, I’ve never had a Mac, but it sounds like you are indeed fed up with the iPhone culture so why not try Android and see if you like it better? Syncing Mac devices with PCs isn’t that difficult (although I loathe iTunes, but that’s another thing…), why should the reverse be much more difficult?
    From sources on the Web, it seems it is perfectly doable:
    They even mention an app (Double Twist) that is said to be the iTunes for Android. That sounds promising 😉

  7. I am a stubborn dumb phone user, but my husband uses a mix: iPad, normal PC desktop, used to have an Apple laptop through work, and has an Android phone. He loves the iPad, and has no problems. His laptop tried to die on him several times, destroying data and causing a mental breakdown. And his phone frustrates him because it can be slow, but it’s made with GORILLA GLASS so it’s at least indestructible.

    Why do you need to sync your phone and computer? (I live in the stone age. When I leave all the computers at work, the last thing I want to do is look at another screen, unless it’s my Nook.)

    • I sync my phone to my computer because I want to have all the calendar items, notes and contact information transfer between the two of them, seamlessly. I travel for work so when I leave I need to know that all that relevant information is on my phone. Likewise, when I change something ( like update a phone number ) while I’m out and about, I need to know it will make it back to my computer. The same applies to my music and books and photos, although I don’t need those for work! 🙂

      As far as looking at screens after hours, a lot of people leave work and still read books, watch television or listen to the radio. I do all of that on my phone or my iPad. It doesn’t bother me that it’s a “screen”.

      • If it’s mainly about contacts, calendar, and email, the default accounts on Android phones are your Google accounts. As long as you’re using Gmail et al on your apple computer, I don’t think that’ll be a problem at all (I have a windows computer, and Android phone, and everything syncs seamlessly)

        • Also, more generally I love love love Android phones. It might be a bit more difficult to get a hang of it if you’re not super tech savvy, but that’s because it has way more features. You don’t HAVE to learn it all, but it’s worth it to me to have so many more options

  8. I have an iPad mini, a Mac Book (plus another MB pro at work), and an Android phone, and have been using that setup for a few years now.

    All of my contacts sync with Google, which is great, because I’m a Gmail user. All of my photos automatically upload to Dropbox when I am on WiFi, meaning I have instant access from any other device. My Jawbone UP, Withings scale, Evernote notes, etc. all send data to their own cloud services that again sync across all devices. Likewise, my calendars are with Google and Microsoft Exchange, and both sync with those services rather than saving the data on the phone. Google Chrome saves my tabs on my phone, iPad, and computer, so I can even easily share bookmarks and open tabs between all of the devices (although I do prefer Safari on the iPad).

    The one thing I can’t speak about is music, because I just don’t store much on my phone. I’m much more apt to use Pandora or something, but I do have a few CDs on my phone. It was easy to sync them with Kies (which might be Samsung-only), which is admittedly no iTunes, but it isn’t difficult. My understanding is that Google Play Music makes it even easier by synching all of your music to the cloud and letting you quickly save what you want on your phone.

    On the iPad side, I use Paper 53 a lot for notes/sketching, and that is the one place I haven’t found a good way to backup often, but that’s not my phone, so…

    In short, 90% of my data already goes to a cloud service on its own (the rest being game data), all of which are supported on all the devices. It’s kind of amazing.

  9. I am a long-time iPhone user but an even longer-time (is that a word? let’s make it a word ) smart phone/PDA user. I’ve had a variety of Palm products and Windows phones before I got my first iPhone.

    Many years ago I started thinking about getting an Android phone. I had ( and still have ) a lot of lust for the Android hardware. Because they’re licensed to so many manufacturers the competition there is fierce and I freely admit they often top my iPhone in that regard. But it’s hard for me to switch phones. I don’t take it lightly ( seriously, spreadsheets are involved ). I’m completely attached to my phone. It’s my email client, my music player, my messaging device, my book reader, my video player, my gaming device, my web browser and my camera. And sometimes I’ll even make a phone call on it.

    About 3 years ago I decided to buy an Android tablet, specifically the Motorola Xoom. In addition to wanting a tablet in general, I was interested to see if I could transition myself off iPhone as well.

    Turns out I can’t. Here is what is stopping me:

    1) Email. If you don’t use a gmail account ( which I don’t ), your email experience is severely hampered. You can’t search mail that’s already downloaded to the tablet. You also can’t leave emails on the client. My normal operating procedure is to leave a copy of my email on the server until I download it on my desktop PC ( which stays at my house and is backed up regularly ). When I download on my phone ( which can be left in a cab ), it’s still on the server. I generally don’t leave email on my phone ( see : left in cab ) but sometimes I want to leave a message, say because it has my flight information. The android mail client will not let me do that. As soon as it’s off the server, it’s off the client.

    2) No direct way to sync to Outlook. I know, I know — Microsoft is the evil Empire. But I’m in hock to Outlook — decades of contacts, calendar items and notes are there and they must be synced . Else what’s the point? The only way I found to do that is through the Google cloud and I am not a cloud user. I don’t like the idea of all that personal information hanging up there like a giant juicy plum to potential hackers. ( I know, I know — my friends have already done this for me so I should get over it but I still cannot bring myself to assimilate with any cloud.) It was apparent to me if I wanted this feature I would have to write it myself ( and 3 years later you can see how far I got ).

    3) Clunky music playing. It was a pain to get music onto the device, probably because a lot of my favorite music is now in the iTunes format and requires support for the DRM.

    4) Video. This was the biggest disappointment. I had less video support in general than I did on my iPhone and specifically amazon decreed that it would support Apple products ( including tablets) with their player but NOT Android tablets. I’m a big amazon video customer, both through Amazon Prime and through their digital downloads ( i.e. purchased movies ).

    5) Not stable. I frequently had to reboot my tablet.

    6) Expensive. The tables and phones I looked at ( top of the line, extra memory, etc ) cost as much as their Apple equivalents.

    #4 and #5 wouldn’t necessarily apply to an Android *phone* but my overall impression after several months of heavy use is that Android was “pretty to look at but not functional”. As I said though, this was 3 years ago which is almost an eternity in the digital domain, so things have probably changed. Maybe in another year I’ll look again.

    • I’m interested in how recently you’ve tried syncing with Microsoft stuff and what version of Android you’re running. My phone running Jelly Bean has tons of support for Microsoft Exchange calendars and IMAP email (leaving copies of email on the server). In fact, the calendar sync works better than Google Calendar half the time. And if you’re just using Outlook rather than exchange, they have a great Android app now.

      • I haven’t tried anything since Ice Cream Sandwich ( 4.0 ) . I don’t actually use Exchange nor IMAP so I’ll have to check out whatever Android app is available that will sync to Outlook on my PC. To honest though I probably won’t rush out and do this. I won’t get another phone for another year at least so I’ll probably revisit the situation then. Also, about a 1.5 years ago I bought an iPad mini and haven’t touched that ugly beasty Xoom since then.

    • Just wanted to add that I have no trouble with exchange email using my native android client. With earlier versions of Android I just downloaded an app that served my room email needs, but in jellybean this is not problem.

      I’ve also watched films on Amazon on my Android tablet with no problem.

  10. I am it seems one of the last blackberry users, my Blackberry Z10 I have had for a year, syncs wirelessly to my lap top. It works, always for me. Its slightly bigger than the Iphone, it doesn’t break when you drop it, the battery life is amazing. I can of course work on documents on the go, seamless email. What you say there are nor apps for blackberry? I run pintrest, instagram, myfitnesspal and others, cause if its free for android users, its easy to port into a blackberry. but I have been a 10 year blackberry user, if I no longer had a blackberry option, I would lean towards the android.

    All the fun I want and the sync ability for my laptop.

    My husband recently left the iphone for an android. He’s a mac guy, but now a android phone and tablet.

    There is life without apple.

  11. Windows phone! 🙂 Took about two minutes and no brain power to set up. Has most of the main apps (i can only think of pinterest atm). Is convenient, really easy to use and syncs beautifully with pc and xbox. Uses ms office. Does not require a degree in computing to understand. Love love love 🙂

  12. We live in Canada and phones purchased here are still locked and on contract, so even though my husband and I are fully Mac people for home computers, we ordered Google Nexus Android phones on line because they are unlocked and we would not be stuck in stupid expensive Canadian contracts. The phone providers here area supposed to unlock your phone if you pay them to do it once the contract is up, but several people that I know have had problems with that. My Android phone is great, I love it but I am not a techie, and making things sync is not my area, that is my husband’s department.

    • I did that too last week-end! (although not Apple equiped) I hope it goes well. Those 2 year contracts are a pain and they still start the phone out at 600 $. So unless you’re paying 70 $ a month on a cell phone plan, it’s not worth it. I’ve never had to pay for a cellular device before (dad worked in selling them, so always got mine free over the years), and boy are those things pricy!

  13. I switched from an iPhone 4s to a Samsung Galaxy and am glad I made the switch. We had been iPhone users for about 5 years. My fiance (now husband) and I looked around at our options back in August, and I was very reluctant to switch from my iPhone. I wasn’t sure if an Android would be as stable as my iPhone had been, but actually, I haven’t had many issues with it at all. My screen is larger, it’s easy to customize the features (for example, ringtones), and I feel like it’s fairly user-friendly. I do miss the camera on my iPhone and my photos (they unfortunately didn’t all upload to my iCloud account for some reason, grrr..), but I don’t think I’ll be going back to an Apple phone anytime soon.

  14. I had an android phone before I got my iPhone. As a phone it was far superior to the iPhone, however it was incredibly frustrating to try to get the damn thing to sync up with my iMac and MacBook. Finally I bit the bullet and switched to the iPhone (mostly because I wanted my phone and computers to be friends, but also because my husband works for apple corporate and we get a discount on the plan). The phone itself is inferior (especially typing on it– ugh!!!), although my 2 year old iPhone 4S is still going strong and I don’t need to upgrade yet, whereas my old android really showed its age at 2 years and I upgraded as soon as I was able.

    So yeah, my vote is that the iPhone is way more convenient, even though the android phone was a far better phone with better features and call quality.

  15. I have an iPhone 4, that is old enough that I’m out of contract on it. Hubby has a HTC Evo3D that he got at the same time, and I also have a nook HD that’s been jailbroken to run a PROPER version of Android (jellybean with cyanogenmod boot loader. Something that was limited use when I first got it for Xmas is now something I use several times a day.)
    When we first got our phones my computer was an older Mac, but about 6 months later I went back to a windows machine for school purposes. We still have a Mac Mini set up as a network storage server for our house, so technically my phone syncs with the Mac but for the most part all my data is in the cloud.
    An interesting thing to note is that android plays nicely with Mac OS for file browsing. Using ES File Explorer on the various android devices in the house, the only computer on the network that’s visible is the Mac. So depending on how much you really use the “sync with computer” aspect of the iPhone, you’ll either never even notice a difference, or be extremely frustrated.
    I do MUCH prefer the iPhone keyboard though. Android’s autocorrect isn’t as smart as the iOS one.

  16. Hi Everyone,

    I’m the original question-asker, and it’s great to read all of your responses! I knew you guys would have decent feedback that was actually written in a way that made sense to me 🙂

    For those of you who said it depends on how much and what I sync, it’s pretty basic – I need to sync my calendar, music and pictures, and I already use Gmail as my primary email account. I don’t use my phone for work related stuff too often, so I don’t need to transfer files frequently or anything. It’s mostly the day-to-day stuff that I’m worried about, because I already feel like my iPhone has become totally inconvenient (I have to sync it manually! Ugh!) and I don’t want to worsen my problem by switching to a platform that will cause even more issues!

    Again, thanks, and I will continue checking back to read all of the comments!


    • Oh, and I should also add – The Andriod phone I’m currently considering after reviewing the viable options is the HTC One, because it has good reviews about the things I use it for (mostly just personal stuff), and apparently has a good camera (currently the one on the iPhone 4 is TERRIBLE!)….thoughts on this?

      • We don’t have the One, but both my partner and I have HTC phones (a DNA and an Incredible 2). We’ve definitely been very happy with these phones (after a long stint using Motorola phones). Amazing battery life, great sound and screen, decent camera. Definitely better than the IPhone cameras, but then, that’s not really saying much.

        I’ve used Palm, Windows, IOS and Android, and DEFINITELY prefer Android. By a lot. But then, the reason I reject Apple products is precisely because they don’t play nice with others. That said, in my experience with my friends, folks have a lot more trouble syncing between IPhones and non Apple products then between Android and Macs.

        My next phone will probably be a Samsung Note…

  17. I am not a techie person at all. Since my first smartphone, I’ve been an Android person. Specifically, a Samsung Android person. I didn’t start out as a devotee, my son turned me onto the platform after his experience as both an Apple user and an Android user. See, I have four different autoimmune diseases, one of which causes severe circulation issues. There is neither heat or feeling in my finger tips, which means that the keyboard on the iPhone wouldn’t work for me. When my son showed me the Swipe function on Android, I knew I’d found a smartphone I could use without a physical keyboard. That said, my son who began as an iPhone guy, switched to Android (where my story began), and then switched back again to the iPhone. Although he was just as happy with the Android platform as he is with the Apple platform, one thing made him go back: slow down. After a while, Android phones slow down… waaaaaaay down. There’s a huge difference between out-of-the-box speed and owned-it-for-a-year speed. iPhones just don’t have the same junking up issues (says the boy-child). Of course, if you’re tech savvy and know a way to prevent the junking that may not make a difference to you.

    [It’s not expert data, but it is experience worth considering.]

  18. I have personally made the switch from iPhone to Android and back again. My first iPhone was the 3G, which I then replaced with the Google Nexus One. I absolutely adored the Nexus One, but sadly, even with a protective case, I managed to shatter the screen with an accidental drop about a year into owning it. Not being able to afford paying full-price for a replacement (being as the one I owned was unlocked), I just went with an Android contract phone through AT&T (the HTC Inspire). It was nice for the first few months, but gradually I came to hate it – it became slow, frequently crashed, and was difficult (if not downright impossible) to use without almost immediate frustration. I can’t say if this was due to the OS or just the hardware, but I know I didn’t experience those issues with my Nexus (at least not to the same extent.. there were a few minor problems, but nothing that was a show-stopper). I got so fed up with the Inspire, I eventually saved up and purchased the iPhone 5 when it came out. No muss, no fuss.. not as customizable, per se, as the Android OS, but IT. JUST. WORKS. Your mileage may vary, of course, depending on usage and such. I use my phone a LOT for a variety of things: e-mail, games, social media, shopping, photography (I use a lot of photo-specific apps like PS express), organization, web surfing, etc. I’m on my phone quite a bit, and my only gripe is the battery life (totally self-inflicted.. one game I like to play during my breaks is just a huge battery hog). It doesn’t crash or freeze, apps are stable and for the most part reliable (facebook occasionally craps out, but I think that’s an issue with the app itself, not a phone issue).

    Then again, I’ve heard the same said about various Android phones.. and even Windows phones. So.. the TL;DR version: go with what you like. If you get something and don’t like it, try something else (or jailbreak it and make it work for you). That’s easier said than done with the price of phones and two year contracts, but you don’t really know what OS works best for you until you’ve tried them all.

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