Android to iPhone Day 0: What to Expect

Subject: Mobile | September 24, 2015 - 10:17 PM |
Tagged: iphone 6s, iphone, ios, google, apple, Android

PC Perspective’s Android to iPhone series explores the opinions, views and experiences of the site’s Editor in Chief, Ryan Shrout, as he moves from the Android smartphone ecosystem to the world of the iPhone and iOS. Having been entrenched in the Android smartphone market for 7+ years, the editorial series is less of a review of the new iPhone 6s as it is an exploration on how the current smartphone market compares to what each sides’ expectations are.

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The last time I used an Apple phone as my primary device was with the release of the iPhone 3G. It remained by my side for a full year when it was replaced by the…Palm Pre in mid-2009. Yes, I loved that Pre, but let’s not depress anyone here today. After my time with the Palm device I moved over to the world of Android with the HTC Evo 4G in early 2010. The move wasn’t easy at the time – Android was messy, frequently unstable and the app ecosystem was still getting started.

But I stuck with the Google platform, diving headfirst into a world of Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Photos, etc. I moved through countless Android phones in my never ending quest to find better hardware and, maybe more importantly, better software. I had the Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4, Nexus 5 – I had phones from Samsung, LG and Motorola. Even oddball companies like OnePlus found their way into my pocket, so to speak. Most recently the everyday device has been the Motorola Droid Turbo, purchased due to its faster processor and extended battery life.

In the past year or so PC Perspective has put emphasis on the mobile market in terms of phones and tablet reviews. You can find reviews of the ASUS Zenfone 2, Motorola Moto E, and Galaxy Note 4 on, in addition to numerous articles that look at the SoC architectures from Qualcomm, ARM, Intel and others. And for every phone review you actually saw, there are 1-2 other phones that are purchased or sampled, used for context and internal testing.

But despite the fact that Ken, Allyn and others on the PC Perspective staff have and use Apple products, I personally had spent no time with any iPhone since the release of the iPhone 3G. With Apple by far the most dominant player in the mobile space, this is just dumb on my part. How can I pretend to offer informed opinions on the selection of smartphones to our readers and viewers without even giving the annually updated Apple iPhone a chance?

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To fix this, I ordered myself an iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.

Rather than just get the phone in, run some benchmarks, take some sample photos and write a typical review of the new iPhone 6s, I thought it might be interesting to our readers to take them along on a journey. Starting tomorrow when the iPhone 6s arrives I will be swap out my Verizon SIM card and commit to using it as my only mobile phone for the next 30 days. I think it’s only fair, considering the drastic ecosystem differences between Android and iOS, to engulf myself in the iPhone platform completely rather than simply keep it with me as a secondary device. (That’s something I typically do with Android review units.)

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My new smartphone. I'm not sure I'm ready.

As an Android user for many years, I am familiar with many of the stereotypes associated with the iPhone and its users: closed platform, overpriced hardware, complications with access to data and photos, etc. But is it really that bad? Too many of my friends and family use iPhones for me to believe it’s THAT bad. So I’m going to find out.

I'm honestly nervous about a handful of things already:

  1. How much am I going to miss having Quick Charge capability?
  2. How many Lightning cables am I going to have to buy to replace the locations I have micro USB cables at?
  3. How can I easily access the full resolution photos I take on the phone?
  4. Am I REALLY going to have to use iTunes again?
  5. Will I be able to recreate the workflow I am used to on Android? Apps like Gmail, Calendar, Keep and doubleTwist are essential!
  6. Will this new "Move to iOS" applications on the Play Store actually work?

I plan to write frequent entries to this series, offering up my thoughts on the performance, application ecosystem, camera, battery life, gaming capability, accessory market and more. You'll see some posts that simply discuss my experiences that day and others that show performance data or battery metrics. What is it like to suddenly decide to “change sides” at this point in the Android / iOS war? 

Let’s find out.

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September 24, 2015 | 10:24 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Think you'll find the iPhone charges plenty fast and uses less battery at idle. I've discovered my iPhone 6 gets roughly the same if not better battery life as my wife's Galaxy S5.

September 25, 2015 | 03:37 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

My employer gave me an iPhone 5c to use for work, and that's what I use it for. In terms of battery my personal phone: Sony Xperia Z1 is leaps and bounds better. I'd imagine the newer Sony phones would be better still.

Battery life with Android is difficult to make because you're always talking about a specific model.

September 24, 2015 | 10:38 PM - Posted by Ken Addison


September 24, 2015 | 10:40 PM - Posted by Reid Ellis (not verified)

I use Google Calendar on my desktop and iOS' calendar app supports GCal. It's great.

September 24, 2015 | 11:01 PM - Posted by Pokycrastinator (not verified)

I'm actually in the same boat: I just moved to the east coast and my new job requires me to support mobile devices sometimes. Far more Apple stuff here than where I was before, so I figured I needed to take the plunge and get used to Apple's stuff. I'll be very interested in your experience.

September 24, 2015 | 11:13 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

You should be able to easily access full resolution photos by just plugging your new iPhone into your computer. (or is that not full-res?) And with third party apps, you don't really need to use the phone's built-in music player (along with iTunes) to transfer music from your PC to your iPhone. Many apps I've used allow you to use FTP to transfer files to your phone and you can play it from there. The iPhone's default mail, contacts, and calendars apps are quite good. Google's Gmail app is available on the App Store, too.

September 24, 2015 | 11:17 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I forgot to mention that your iPhone will act as a USB storage device when you plug it into a Windows machine, and you can use the built-in import function of Windows to take all the pictures off your iPhone and onto your computer.

September 24, 2015 | 11:27 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I've used iPhones and Windows PCs side-by-side for several years and I've never installed iTunes since they added over-the-air updates to iOS.

September 24, 2015 | 11:16 PM - Posted by (not verified)

You have to use iTunes
1. if you have your own music you want to sync without going thru Cloud.
2. Don't want iCloud backup (aka NSA snooping)
3. iTunes used be really good on Mac but even there it is neglected because
it is asked to do too many tasks and iCloud is competing with it for engineering talent.

all photos are full resolution unless you back them up and sync with lower res.
Obviously it will happen when you buy 16GB version and complain of not enough

Fast charging. meh.
iphone has smaller battery. Apple has the best battery management software.
Nothing worth complaining.

September 24, 2015 | 11:25 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

NSA snooping on iCloud backups? Have you heard of the recent news where Apple won't let the FBI see specific iMessages, even with a warrant, because they're encrypted and Apple doesn't have the crypto-key? In a similar manner, Apple claims that they encrypt iCloud backups.

September 25, 2015 | 09:11 AM - Posted by D-rock (not verified)

That's two completely different issues. The iMessages are sent encrypted end to end, so once on Apple servers they cannot be decrypted. However, the iCloud backups are not done this way. They reside on Apple's servers and Apple does have complete access to the backup and can decrypt it. It is NOT secure.

The best way to store backups is to save them to your local workstation and check the box that says to save them encrypted.

October 1, 2015 | 01:45 PM - Posted by syphrix

Do you have a source for this information? Because that's concerning. Thanks

September 25, 2015 | 04:02 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Copytrans free can be used to transfer music without iTunes.

September 26, 2015 | 12:33 AM - Posted by Tim Verry

Oh yeah, that's right. I remember using that to transfer music to my iPod Nano without needing iTunes. It works pretty well so long as you have your music organized in folders well enough :).

September 25, 2015 | 06:40 AM - Posted by Anarion (not verified)

Let's be honest. iPhones are overpriced. You can find excellent and premium Android phones with way lower price.

For me needing iTunes to transfer an mp3 to my phone is unacceptable. Let alone the horrible iTunes experience.
iOS can't just play any type of media without the need of iTunes and conversion. In Android you can just plug in your USB and copy paste any type of media of any format and your phone can play it without any hussle. iOS is too limited. You can't access your file system, you can't transfer and play media easily, no share system integrated to the OS like in Android. You have to rely on the app itself for sharing options. No customization. A screen with a wallpaper you can't really see because of the tile icons. No widgets. No unlocked bluetooth. Bluetooth works only with other iDevices which is unacceptable for me.
It's not the iPhone is terrible. But it is overpriced and way too limited. Apple lately starting copying features from Android. iOS 7 took some notes from Android 5.0 in design language. iOS 9 added card style app switcher just like Android 5.0 has. iOS 9 added a back option like Android just in different position. iOS 9 on iPad Air 2 can run 2 apps side by side and we called this a revolution. Many Android phones and some tablets can run apps in windows since few years now. With Apple's iPhone you buy the brand name and prestige not the actual technology. This is why it's overpriced. People buying it because they think it's cool and trendy not because it's technologically advanced.

September 25, 2015 | 08:12 AM - Posted by terminal addict

iPhone, Android, heck maybe even Windows.... does it really matter which you use when 99% of what people do on their phone is web, email, facebook, messaging, music, a casual game or two, and take pics (to share via facebook or messaging)?

Smartphones have essentially reached the same point computers did with the whole "Mac vs PC" debate (see Your experience with the iPhone is going to be barely different from your experience on Android, except you will be significantly poorer. The idea of paying more than $400 for a smartphone today is laughable.

September 25, 2015 | 10:47 AM - Posted by Shambles (not verified)

So much this. Phones are a commodity at this point and manufacturers still think they can treat them like a luxury. I'm still using a 3 year old nexus 4 and was thinking of upgrading this year until i stopped to think of what would improve. The new phones don't do any of my usual tasks any better than my three year old phone. I'm going to use this thing another year and hope the battery keeps going strong. I could see if you like to play 3d mobile games an upgrade would be worth it but i don't. Phones are boring now. Bring on the self driving electric cars and home automation.

September 25, 2015 | 12:33 PM - Posted by ppi (not verified)

Note sure if this is valid in Apple vs. Android, but in Android vs. Android ...

Couple months ago, I bought my wife Lenovo P70 for some $230 (pre-VAT price, not sure about exact FX at that date). Now I got Samsung Galaxy S6 at work.

In the benchmarks etc., S6 is like twice as fast as P70, but in general usage (calls, mails, web), the difference between the two is pretty much indistinguishible. Sure S6 has nicer display and more premium build, but P70 has better battery and that anti-slippery back-cover. So we end up comparing camera differences only ...

September 25, 2015 | 08:31 AM - Posted by derz

damnit, I can't find the down vote button.

September 25, 2015 | 09:17 AM - Posted by D-rock (not verified)

In my opinion, you wont be going back to Android. iOS is that much better.

I was an original iPhone user from 2007. In 2009 I switched to Android because at the time it was more open and better. I stuck with Android until 2012. then I switched back to Android. All the talk about Android being open and customizable was pretty much bunk. You couldnt customize anything without rooting your device and voiding your warranty. Might as well just have an iPhone and jailbreak it, its the same thing. iPhone hardware is so much better than Android hardware, and iOS is ridiculously better than android. Android is so poorly coded you need a quadcore super CPU to even run it without lagging, and then your phone overheats and goes into full meltdown just from surfing the web because the screen is on and you're scrolling a lot. Apparently scrolling taxes Android. iOS is faster and better than Android using only a dual core cpu with 1GB ram. android on that level hardware would creep along at a crawl.

September 27, 2015 | 02:58 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

holy fanboy batman!

September 25, 2015 | 09:51 AM - Posted by kent1146

I'm in the same boat (long time Android user, forced to use iOS device for work).

The two things I miss most about Android:

1) iOS homescreens are simply a giant wall of icons. iOS home screens don't have widgets, or the ability to display "ambient data" such as news feeds, calendar, stock quotes, weather, etc. The only thing close to this is the pull-down iOS Notifications panel, which is a single screen to show all of that.

2) Forced to use iTunes to push content onto the phone. I watch videos on my phone all the time (in MKV or MP4 format). iOS forces you to use iTunes to push that content to your phone, and possibly convert that content into a format that is compatible with iOS. Android phones let you access the phone's file system for a direct copy, remotely transfer (via WiFi), and/or directly copy through removable MicroSD card (on certain phone models).

Other "nice-to-have" features are:

3) I watch movies (that I rip from YouTube) on my phone when I'm in the shower. Certain models of Android phones are waterproof; allow direct access to the file system for easy transfer of video content; and flexibility in video players that can play back multiple video file formats.

September 25, 2015 | 02:33 PM - Posted by Subsailor

I applaud Ryan for trying out the Iphone instead of relying on hearsay. It's a big step to ditch your entire smartphone ecosystem.

September 25, 2015 | 03:14 PM - Posted by LucasFart (not verified)

Man.... Once you jump into ifon you are $crewd. You will not be able to stream from PopCorn Time Pro, Show Box, TV Portal and many others because Apple likes to control you. Won't even let you install other App stores unless you hack it. That device is just no fun with play with.

September 25, 2015 | 05:23 PM - Posted by thezfunk

The fanboys you work with finally wore you down Ryan? When I listen to the podcast, I can sometimes feel the Apple fanboys and their greasy fingers creeping through my car speakers. It sets my teeth on edge to hear your 'peanut gallery' wax lovingly about their overpriced Windows Bootcamp hardware all the time.

If you use Outlook on Exchange with an iPhone good luck trying to remember which emails you replied to on your phone when you are in Outlook.

September 25, 2015 | 05:46 PM - Posted by Jeremy Hellstrom

Say what now?!?

September 29, 2015 | 02:56 PM - Posted by thezfunk

Sorry Jeremy, I wasn't referring to you! Or are you asking about the iPhone Exchange 'feature' I am referring to?

September 29, 2015 | 03:54 PM - Posted by Jeremy Hellstrom

No, I was worried you were from some evil parallel universe where I was a fruit lover

September 30, 2015 | 02:37 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

Ken is the only one in the office with a MacBook, and he doesn't bootcamp it.

September 25, 2015 | 05:31 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Benchmark the hell out of the A9, and get an iPhone Application SDK and a compiler optimization manual for the Apple A9 and write some inlined assembly functions that can probe the CPU core's Cache resources, reorder buffer resources, and other execution pipeline/s resources, to tell the readers what hardware changes have happened since the A7 was released. It's hell getting the simplest technical information post Anand leaving AnandTech.

September 26, 2015 | 07:28 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Don`t do it

September 26, 2015 | 11:21 PM - Posted by RooseBolton

I had the 3g. My last iphone. It's been android ever since. I recently purchased a iPad mini for my 7 year old son thinking the appstore with all its educational apps and the simplified OS would be good for a child.

All I can say is the appstore is a dissapointmen, filled with overpriced, slick looking, useless apps that suck. Navigating iOS is a nightmare and my son never uses it. He prefers my Dell 8 venue android tablet. The apple hardware is nice, but these days there are nicely designed, well built android phones and tablets at half the cost. I doubt I'll ever purchase another apple product.

September 27, 2015 | 08:51 PM - Posted by R. Faust (not verified)

Get your lightning cables at mono they are like $3 for OEM type cables

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