So you’re thinking of switching to Android? You’re in the right place! I recently made the switch from using IOS full time to Android full time. I’ve been using my iPhone 12 practically since it’s been released and it was a good phone. However, there was one thing that bothered me, the amount of storage space. I thought that with iCloud the 64 GB version would be more than enough, particularly due to the amount of storage space I was actually using on my earlier iPhone 7. As you can probably guess, I was badly mistaken. The 64 GB was constantly being used up. So I decided to upgrade my phone. I wanted something new, something different but unfortunately, I felt that Apple’s lineup let me down. I wanted something new, something cool, but I just could not find that in Apple, so I looked elsewhere.
The search for a new phone was not easy, initially, I went with the Samsung S21 and I actually really liked that phone, but it was let down by issues with the provider of my contract. So I decided to swap to the Google Pixel 6 Pro, which was a great choice!
After browsing the internet for some time, I found that many people are considering switching to Android, which suggests that Apple is doing something wrong. For me, it’s probably the lack of innovation in their latest smartphones. The one thing I noticed was that people didn’t really know what to expect after switching to Android, so I decided to write an article based on my own experience.
So here are the things you should know before migrating to Android…
To begin with, let’s start with what Android actually is. To simply put it, Android is an open-source operating system owned by Google. The fact that it’s open-source means that it’s freely available to manufacturers such as Samsung or Oppo to modify and distribute it however they like. That’s why Android devices can differ in look and feel and one of the reasons why I recommend going to a phone shop before buying your next phone.
The Android Eco-System
One of the main disadvantages of switching to Android is that it doesn’t have an Apple-like ecosystem. However, there are options. One example is Microsoft’s phone app which allows you to sync your phone with Windows which allows you to view your photos, make calls and even send messages. If you combine that with apps like OneDrive or Google Drive you can also keep all your files in one location within the cloud.
However, with that set aside, you may find a pleasant surprise when it comes to the Google app suite because Google apps tend to be built extremely well. You’ll know this if you are already apps like Gmail or Google Calendar. The interface is just so nice and so is the usability. Personally, I was always a fan of Google’s apps.
The Google Play Store
The Android App Store or at least the main App Store is called the Google Play store and it will come pre-loaded on most phones. You can find apps, games, books and even movies and TV. However, since Android is Open Source, you may also find other app stores on your phone. One example is Samsung’s Galaxy Store, which comes preloaded on most Samsung phones. If you decide to go down the Huawei route, you may also find the Huawei App Gallery. The actual list of app stores available is endless, but I would proceed with caution if you plan to sideload them.
You actually have a Home Screen!
This one may confuse some, but IOS by default has always had all the app icons cover the Home Screen. This was then corrected with the ability to hide apps. In my view, this always looked messy, especially since Android has always had a separate apps menu. This allowed users to have a clean screen where they could set a nice wallpaper, add widgets and even shortcuts to apps. It’s a bit like the Windows start menu in effect as you have to press a button or slide up to get the full list of apps. Now some Android phones decided to take Apple’s route too, so instead of having a dedicated app menu or drawer as we call it in the Android world, it just leaves the icon on the Home Screen. I told you this will be confusing, right?
One of the main things I miss from IOS is MagSafe and all the accessories that were available. I liked having a card wallet attached to the back of my phone or even a power bank without any cables, it was extremely convenient and actually pretty cool.
The app choices are different when it comes to IOS and Android. I found many apps that I actually used on IOS not available on Android. Things 3 and Fantastical are two of those, but the list just goes on. However, in many cases, an alternative that’s equal, if not better can be found. My recommendation is that if there’s an app you like make sure it’s available on the Google Play Store. You can check this online here.
The huge choice of phones
The choice of Android phones is massive compared to IOS powered phones because IOS is only available on Apple devices such as iPhones. The truth of the matter is that there are many manufacturers that use Android, Samsung is just one of the most popular ones. This is why once again, I recommend visiting a phone store to see what these devices are like.
When it comes to Android phones, there are many options to choose from and they also come at various price ranges. You can pick up an Android phone for under £30 these days. As a matter of fact, I actually make a video on one of these cheaper phones, the Alcatel One!
Android Phones also come in mid and high ranges so there are many choices to choose from.
It’s worth mentioning that it’s not only the choice of devices that is good but also the choice of features and styles that aren’t available with iPhones such as flip phones or phones with curved screens such as the Google Pixel 6 Pro.
The Lack of iMessage and FaceTime
iMessage is a pretty awesome Apple product. It gives iPhone users features that Android phones simply can’t Well not yet anyway, but it may become a new thing with the new EU laws. However, at present sending messages with effects such as fireworks, iMessage Apps, and sending and receiving money via Apple Pay is just not available.
On the other hand, you can only FaceTime with Apple users if they send you an invitation link. However, there are alternatives, What’s App, Facebook and Google’s Duo are ways you can get around it. I mean I mainly use Messenger and What’s App but I have used Google Due and kinda liked it.
No AirDrop support
This may come as a big shock to some. But as AirDrop is an Apple product, it’s unavailable on Android. Although this is slowly becoming a thing of the past with Nearby Share, I can’t really comment at this stage as I haven’t had a chance to use it.
What’s so good about Android?
After reading the above article, you’re probably thinking that Android isn’t the right system for you. However, Android is a well-built system with many advantages such as better hardware. I can tell you know that after comparing your iPhone screen to a Dynamic AMOLED screen you’ll find it difficult to look back.
The truth of the matter is that the Android operating system is open-source, which makes it easier for other manufacturers to use and adapt to their needs, so the overall quality of the system will be dependent on the manufacturer you go with. I used many Android phones before I switched to IOS and my favourite customised versions of Android have to either be the Samsung variants or the Huawei variants they just feel so nice to use. Although, the Google Pixels are best when it comes to clean Android which is also nice.
Android is a great operating system but it’s only as good as the actual device running it. As Android is so mainstream with the manufacturers, it would be unfair for me to compare it to iPhones which work extremely well on IOS. Some Android phones will struggle to run Android properly, these are mainly the lower end devices but as long as you do your research you should be fine, it’s one of the reasons checking out product reviews is a good idea.
I decided to move to Android because I was starting to get bored with Apple’s lack of innovation on the iPhones, if you are in a similar position, why are you considering the switch? Let us know in the comments!
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