From iPhone to Android: A Journey

Photo by Billy Brown

I guess you could say that I've always been an iPhone user.

Actually, that's an entirely misleading statement. Smartphones weren't even invented until I was graduating university, and then I didn't get one for several more years after that.

So I guess you could really say that I've been an iPhone user since I let my intense desire to maintain a constant connection to the internet outweigh my cheapness, about 6 years ago.

But now! Now it's all different! Things have CHANGED!

It all started last month when my iPhone decided that it wanted to stay in Serbia. (It's true! I was getting out of a cab, and instead of coming with me like it was supposed to, it said, "See you later, lady! I want to keep this traveling lifestyle alive!") (Clearly, this is not my nice way of skirting around losing my phone like a dummy. Nope, my phone made its own choices.)

I was already annoyed with Apple for the usual proprietary nonsense, planned obsolescence, and the whole getting-rid-of-the-headphone-jack-and-pretending-people-want-that thing. Combine that with the fact that I JUST WENT TO EUROPE and had NO MONEY, and I looked up the cost of buying an unlocked, used Android instead. That's when I learned what every Android user already knows: I could get a phone that was superior in most ways for half the price. I welcomed an LG G5 into my life, and I didn't look back.

Except that I looked back a lot, because I kept comparing my new phone to my old phone.

Here's what I didn't know:

Like a Vampire, iMessage is Hard to Kill

When I put my sim card in my new phone, I just assumed that all my text messages would come on through because that's what sim cards do. They are magical little pieces of plastic that connect you to everyone you love as well as the other people in your life. Silly me! I forgot that Apple likes to take hold of you and never let go, and that iMessage is SPECIAL and different than texting. iMessage is saved to your iCloud account and doesn't just transfer over when you have a non-Apple phone. I noticed this when I sat down at my laptop (still connected to my iCloud account), and saw a bunch of messages that hadn't come through on my cell. WHAT THE WHAT???

Here's what I should have done: disable iMessage before getting rid of my iPhone. Since I didn't have the foresight to do so when I LOST MY PHONE, I had to do a bunch of googling and then found this page where you put in your phone number, get texted a confirmation code, and then can turn off iMessage.

Good thing this is common knowledge.

Transferring Contacts is Mostly Easy

I transferred my contacts over by logging into iCloud on my computer, downloading all my contacts as vcard files, and then bulk uploading those to my Gmail account. Blammo! It took a little poking around and syncing and re-syncing to get it to work, but at the end of the day, it was mostly painless.

There Are Some Things iPhone Does Better

First of all, despite it's vampiric qualities, iMessage is great and Android has no equivalent. I knew this would happen, but it was still kind of annoying when I had to start strong-arming my friends into WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger for group chats.

I also had way better control over my notifications on iPhone. I basically disabled everything, only getting notified of text messages and phone calls. On Android, I can turn off notifications, but the stupid badge numbers still show up!

The iTunes podcasting app is pretty much the best. I finally found what I consider to be the best alternative on Android: Podcast Addict. Its interface isn't nearly as pleasant, but it automatically creates playlists of the newest unplayed episodes, which is basically all I want.

Volume control. Instead of having a silencer switch on the side of my device that I can flick on and off at will, I now have to wake up my phone, swipe down the control panel, and then turn off sound. Extra steps are the bane of modern existence, y'all!

There Are Things My LG Does Better

The camera is way better. I love the wide lens option. This was one of the main reasons I went for an LG in the first place. The main things I do with my phone is take pictures and videos and then share them with people in different ways, so I wanted to take better pictures and videos!

Also, the selfie cam has all these options to take photos hands-free, which has dramatically increased the number of selfies I take. It's hard to say if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but it is a thing.

The fingerprint reader works a zillion times better. My fingers had to be completely dry (not even a bit clammy) for it to work at all on my iPhone, but on my LG it works almost every time, even when my hand is legitimately wet. This is excellent for sweaty people like myself.

The knock code is also great! I can have my phone sitting next to me on the desk, tap a pattern on the screen, and it wakes up instantly. No need to press a button first or anything. It's a little thing, but it's just easier.

My wifi doesn't automatically connect to those gated portals at Starbucks and Chapters as I walk down the street!

Once I got used to them, the navigation buttons on the bottom of the screen became pretty awesome.

I can actually just transfer files between my phone and computer with a relative amount of ease! It's relatively easy!

It came with twice the memory of my iPhone AND I can expand the memory when I run out (which I will, did I mention I take a lot of photos?) I was constantly deleting things off my iPhone to avoid running out of space. Now I'm a maniacally laughing hoarder.

There Are Things That Are the Same

Mostly it's a phone and it mostly does all the same things. Because phones are phones. Or, should I say, phones are mini computers that also have phone functions and they mostly just differ in user interface.


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