Moving from Android to iOS is not as bad as you think
Widgets are something any Android fan likes to talk up and can sometimes be something a lot of iOS users want. I can safely say that widgets just aren't that exciting. The main issue for why I never got into widgets was they all rely on background polling, if you disable this they wont update as quickly. Since polling can have an impact on battery life, naturally you don't want something like a Twitter widget updating every five minutes. So if you're changing the polling timeframe, it kind of defeats the purpose of the widget. If Android figured out a way to make the widgets update on focus there could be more value in them, but overall they didn't offer much for me.
This is one I hear a lot from Android circles and again it's pretty overrated. Sure, being able to completely customize how your phone looks with UCCW, icons, and wallpapers is cool but often they're not very practical for efficiency. I once followed instructions to build a home screen that resembled the Feedly interface and while it looked cool, the way the screens moved became annoying to watch. Simply, the time invested to really make your Android phone standout wasn't worth the potential dislike for the functionality it would offer.
I wont try and sugarcoat this, Apple still hasn't figured out notifications on mobile devices. Android offers a lot more power from the shade and it's faster to dismiss them. However, I'd rather give up that power to get the ease of tuning that iOS offers. With Android you have to go into every single app, discover the menu and fix the notification settings. With iOS you can conveniently disable whatever notification you want from within the main Settings panel of iOS. This makes it incredibly easy to quickly turn off notifications and customize them a bit more.
Android users, it's time to stop going on about about how iOS is just a grid of icons. It's a tired and boring reason as to why Android is a better platform, and using it as a basis for innovating is just cheap. The reality is that when you open the Android app drawer it's a grid of icons and your home screen is a grid, it's just the nature of the beast. While Apple is "still just a grid of icons" it actually is refreshing because it keeps you from downloading endless amounts of useless apps.
Perhaps the single biggest thing that has been nice about coming to iOS from Android is a uniform feel throughout the phone. While iOS apps are currently in a transition from iOS 6 design styles to iOS 7, the apps still feel similar enough that you don't feel too disjointed. The single biggest frustration with Android from 2.3 - 4.x, and even still now, a lot of Androids function differently based on if the menu button comes into play or not. It can be confusing in some situations and other it's not. However I still think the biggest grip I have with Android from a uniformity aspect are their app icons. Yes, every iOS icon is a square but it honestly looks a lot better than how Android icons are all miss-matched and laid out.
Android is not a bad product
I am by no means trying to discredit everything Android has built-to and become, it's really grown a lot and it obviously was doing something right when I picked it a few years ago. However, over time, I have just come to recognize that perhaps iOS's ease-of-use was something of a benefit. At the end of the day what matters to me is having an extension of my desk, and right now iOS is delivering that better for my needs. Maybe in another six months or a year I'll despise iOS and want to go back to Android, or even Windows Phone, but right now I just don't see it.
I just wanted to ask you something , what do you have in iOS that is not in android , or or just live that , tell me what do you have in iOS ? , messages, even my dads phone does have messages
Where this does get slightly annoying is dealing with things like the camera or browser, but as I said in another response it's not as if these two default apps are terrible.
The fact that you can replace the launcher at all is an example of why Android is better. You can do these things on stock Android, without rooting/jailbreaking, without having to hide it from Google. You can use whatever apps you want as your default and Android will still work fine and Google will not throw roadblocks in your way or try to punish you for it.
Sharing anything doesn't require an extra app in Android. The Share menu lets you share content from anything you have installed. It's baked into the OS, and any app can be added to it. You do not need to wait for OS updates to add stuff to it.
iOS is basically an app jukebox. It is the Jitterbug of smartphones. And while that sounds insulting, I don't mean it to be. For a lot of people too many choices are confusing and for them iOS is a great solution. But if you are already comfortable with Android's Choices, going to iOS is going to be unpleasant IMO.
2. I never once said iOS is better and that Android is terrible, in fact I go on to say that Android is a fine OS.
3. I don't share between a lot of apps and the ones I do need to share between all work with each other. In fact, I hated that the intents menu in Android included every damn app. Why would I want to share a picture to my calendar or vice versa?
4. I can use whatever apps I want on iOS too, there are no "roadblocks". It's just a different way of doing things.
This post is not intended to bet an us vs them post at all, just to discuss how the switch is not hard. Too many times people get caught up in so many nuances of something they feel locked into a particular platform. I could have made this post about Android to Windows Phone and I'm sure the comments would be completely different.
Is this less convenient than how Android does it, perhaps. For how I use my phone and move data around this works fine.
I just wanted to mention that I switched from iPhone3G to a HTC Desire HD a few years back and now I have a Nexus4, Android has come on leaps and bounds both in usability and hardware but the most impressive feature for me is Google Play/Music being able to buy/download/stream from any device and upload every song from my iTunes library has been superb but also still have the choice to have things offline & available on any device, Apple always seemed restrictive in the DRM department and used to force you to use iTunes. I.e. I can always use AmazonMP3 to get a better price.
Now I haven't used a Apple device in a long time and it does seems they are adding more choice making alternative media & sharing apps available but choice is why I moved to Android, there is now an amazing range of Android devices from the bottom end to top end you aren't restricted with price or spec there's so many to choose from. On the flip side I do like the hardware Apple has to offer especially the new iPad Air (iPhone 5 is good but don't really like the thin screen) but I still feel they aren't value for money and when you have invested so much into Android i.e. Nexus4/Nexus10 devices, music downloads, app purchases and integrating that with Windows and other cloud services it seems to me anyway, that moving across to iOS would be very difficult indeed.
I don't regret my 5c at all. I probably would have been equally happy with an HTC One or Nexus 5, both of which I considered before the final choice. iOS 7 is awesome and it looks a lot better than Android (in my opinion). And although it doesn't work as seamlessly with mac as I had expected (no Airdrop between osx and ios, whaat?! why did they add it to mac in the first place lol) it's still working a lot better than my ZTE.
I think one advantage of iOS over Android is also that the user experience over devices is consistent – mostly because of the limited number of devices that run iOS. Samsung has so many models that if you can't afford the flagship, you wouldn't know which one to get.
I believe KitKat was designed to also accommodate phones with more modest hardware, which is great.
I hate the ios vs. android debate. To each his own. Yes, there are some areas in which one performs better than the other, but not everyone bases their choices on design, or price or performance. I think instead of being angry at someone for their choice one should feel happy about their own and remember that every major manufacturer is equally rotten; yes even apple.
This was something I was hoping to avoid and I think most have picked up on this. Thanks for being someone who just wants awesome devices and doesn't focus on how to get there.
I will say IOS 7 is troubling for me. I love the interface, but it does the one thing I always prided my devices for not doing, crashing. My apps, even apple ones like safari, crash constantly on my 5s and iPad. Its not an app crash, but a IOS crash as it restarts a lot. Anyway, IOS 7.
Now I want to comment on the reverse of your article. I think the opposite (IOS to android) does not hold true. I have invested over $200 in apps, $500 in music, and $100 in movies on IOS. I can't see just leaving them behind. I also think the whole iCloud thing is amazing. When I buy a song, I get home and enjoy having it ready on my iPad. Its a convience thing. I just don't think Android has that prepared on a silver platter like Apple does simply because of the walled garden approach.
I look forward to both yours and Matt's response to this. I love my iProducts now, but don't think devices such as the Moto X (love it) and others have made me think 2x!
This is something myself and someone else on the team have discussed. We both noticing it happening a lot on devices with the A7 processor and believe it to be an issue with memory limitations. I've seen it on a few other blog posts as well from people in the industry. Perhaps this will get squared away as more apps move to 64-bit and Apple reigns in memory management.
You could also have mentioned that the gorgeous FHD screens on many Android phones present too much information at one time and don't fit comfortably into small pockets. Native support of SIP calling in the Android dialer is very confusing and not as reliable as using wireless carrier voice, even if it might save you a lot of money on international calls. Getting an unlocked phone (like the Moto G or Nexus 5) and monthly service for under $50 isn't important. Who needs Swype when the Apple keyboard includes all the characters, with autocorrection? Those LED status indicators are useless when the phone is in your pocket. Paying by NFC is really overrated, too, since you'll always have a credit card in your wallet. Yes, the iPhone really is better in every way. Right.
And for the record I would never by a Rolex unless it was a Submariner. I much prefer a Sinn or Omega, thank you very much.
You're reading a lot into one person's dismissal of features which he found unnecessary for him, which ended with a point that Android's actually perfectly good for those features. There was a recent point that iOS is a lot like a sportscar, and I think that really sums it up: It's stripped down. Android is heavier, by comparison. It's got features that not everyone needs, and it can do quite a bit as a result that iOS can't.
The core argument here, as I read it, is that if you don't need all of these features, you don't need Android. It's a minimalist perspective, not an anti-Android perspective. If you read Frank's points and disagree, then yeah, moving to iOS is an utterly terrible experience. Personally, I disagree with that idea, but I generally lean towards systems with fewer, more polished features, than anything with more "power" and a lack of design focus/purity.
That lack of purity's not even Android's fault, mind. What could you possibly expect from an ecosystem with one OS vendor, multiple hardware vendors, and silicon designs sourced from whichever bidder has the closest match? I frankly look forward to Motorola forcing a little more control over their handsets through Verizon, and an annual release cycle of Motorola designs geared towards hitting a "pure" Android target with an eye towards long-term product evolution. Switching manufacturers along the Nexus line certainly isn't providing that answer, though it was a good start.
The 2 biggest gripes I have with iOS are:
- Keyboard - the iOS keyboard is ok, but hands down Swiftkey on Android is my favorite.
- Apps bundled in the iOS firmware. - This may sound like a minor thing but the downside of bundling the apps in the firmware is every-time there's a bug fix or new feature to be added in the iOS Browser, Facetime, Apple Maps, etc. a Firmware update is required which requires a full reboot of the device. Where Google has taken the strategy of making their Android apps available in their store, so that any time there's a bug fix update or new feature added it's just an App update. I've been hoping for some time that Apple separates non essential apps from the OS firmware, and just makes them available as updates via the App Store. ie. Browser, Maps, Mail client, Facetime, etc. But it hasn't happened.
However (you knew that was coming), having so many options on Android is huge. I don't even use a replacement keyboard anymore, because I find I don't need to be at all accurate with the "Swype" feature of the built in keyboard. I love the iPhone's accuracy (which is critical for such a small screen - sorry, couldn't help myself), but I basically don't need it.
I've already learned that some apps may CLAIM to provide notifications, but they... don't. If this thing can make noise and turn on a light when I get a reminder, then EVERY app should be able to leverage that. It's bits like that which keep me deeply in iOS land as I think about it: Yes, it's a limited, walled garden, but as weak as the notifications may seem, they're consistently available to almost all apps.
Basically, I can't really fault Google for bad developers, but I feel as though they're responsible for not providing guidance or tools to lead their developers down the right path.
I can't tell if it's what you were going for or not, but for the sake of clarity: every app is capable of that, but the developers are the ones who have to take advantage.
It's difficult to discuss this issue when you don't provide any examples, but the biggest offenders of poor notifications on Android seem to be (in my experience) the developers who only offer straight ports of iOS titles. All too frequently I'll notice that they don't take advantage of rich notifications (where you can pull down on a notification in the shade to reveal more information - like with GMail notifications). This is bad because it means you might get a notification that doesn't have anything useful in it, and you have to click on the notification to see what it's telling you, thus negating most of the purpose of the notification.
"Basically, I can't really fault Google for bad developers, but I feel as though they're responsible for not providing guidance or tools to lead their developers down the right path."
Are you speaking from specific experience? Do you know that they don't provide this guidance? Google provides all the tools that developers need, including style and UI behavior guidelines. It truly is up to the developers to write their apps properly.
The nice part about that is that all of the device functions are exposed to every app very consistently. I've now dealt with a few apps on the Android side, Google Play included, that don't. Admittedly, I don't need a notification light to tell me that updates are available, but it makes for an odd precendent: whose example do I follow to provide fine-grained notification control?
I'd also mention that I have a very odd view for how I trust developers to do things "properly." It's odd that iOS forces devs to do their own memory management, but give them rigid notification and multitasking controls, while Android more or less throws the kitchen sink of capabilities without any structure behind it, but gives you a freaking garbage collector on a mobile device? Crazy town.
I sometimes wonder if Android is giving too much to developers to the point they just don't know where to begin or conceptualize using it.
I think Google Play relies on crowd sourced reviewing of the app, if an update or an app is bad or has a major bug the recent reviews will reflect that. Due to this setup for a new app first starting out in the Play store those first reviews can be tough.
As a user try to read several review, since every user has a different expectation, one user's one start app is another user's 5 star app, and the most rare review to be given is 3 stars. ;)
raptorck: I'm not sure exactly what you're arguing in that last post. The one thing I'll say is that I think you misread what I was calling "tyranny." I was referring to the "tyranny of the default," which has become a common phrase in the tech sector to describe the advantage a platform gives to its own default apps, mostly when those defaults can't be changed.
The rest of your argument is mostly subjective, IMO. I think the stylistic offenses on Android are not as bad as they once were back in the days of Gingerbread. Most devs seem to be pretty good at updating to the Holo UI.
Heck, devs on both platforms frequently screw up UI. I don't blame Apple or Google for this.
The entire point here isn't that I'm right, because I'm not. No one is. It's just me providing a window into the psychology of an iOS full-timer, and the perceptions brought about from dabbling in Android.
By the way, what you call "tyranny of the default," we used to call "Embrace, extend, and extinguish" back in the day. Funny how back then, Apple was the underdog and Microsoft was the bad guy...
I like tyranny. Android vs. iOS isn't the problem, accordingly, it's all about iTunes App Store vs. Google Play. I can EASILY build a crappy .ipa, get a developer ID, and shove it on my own iPhone. It could do a half-assed job of conforming to anything brought in since iOS 4, and it'd still run, but no one would want to use it.
The Android ecosystem, accordingly, is akin to an condominium: Everyone (app) gets their home space, which they can modify to their heart's content. If those apps want to share data, they can do so by going directly to the desired apartment.
The iOS ecosystem is a boarding school dormitory: You get a space, and it must meet certain standards of cleanliness, orderliness, and overall behavior. Sneaking data via non-standard channels is akin to breaking curfew: Don't do it. It's uniform, it's limited, but everything is sparkling clean, shirts are starched, shoes are shined, etc.
It doesn't mean that iOS apps are better, mind you. That only happens because development priorities favor the platform which seems to be more profitable. It just means that iOS apps are more consistently awesome because Apple has forced a high bar for "average" on their side, while Google Play basically just opens the floodgates.
I know full well that I'm painting a picture of fascists vs. hippies here, and I'm comfortable with that. My phone can be a little digital dictatorship, because at the end of the day, it's a phone. I WANT my trains to run on time. When I want a digital LEGO set that I can pull apart, twist around, and generally fiddle with, sure, Android's great, but I've learned that there are certain things that I simply don't care to tinker with, and at this point in my life, the tiny chunk of silicon in my pocket is simply too mission-critical with respect to my digital data addiction for me to necessarily care about the things that I can, but won't, do.
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