App Wars (Migrating from iOS to Android)

One of the bigMy Android Appsgest concerns for me with switching to Android from iOS was the Apps. Over the years I have invested a lot in iOS Apps (a lot). I easily have several hundred and I wasn’t sure if I’d miss any of them by moving to Android. What I discovered is that I was suffering from App bloat. I had dozens of Apps on my iPhone that I downloaded once and never used again. Thankfully, I’ve been able to find all of the iOS apps I (and more importantly, my wife) were using on a regular basis on Android. After the great app cleansing of 2015, we now have the apps we need and use and no more. It’s a rather liberating experience.

While app compatibility is nearly complete, there have been a few apps that have been harder to replace than others.

Twitter

I tried to use the native twitter app. I really did. But the promoted tweets were just too annoying. And I really missed Echofon’s interface. I’d been using it as long as I’d been on twitter (essentially forever). On to Talon, it was ok but I couldn’t figure out the push notification thing. Then to Echofon for Android. I thought I had it, but it was just different enough on Android to be off putting. A quick Google Search got me to Tweetings. Tweetings has push notification and Material Design. With a week of use under my belt, it is by far my favorite Android twitter app. I’ll be keeping it.

iMessage

I was just getting used to the ability to sync SMS and iMessages between my iPhone and MacBook. Looking to replicate the experience, I installed Pushbullet and setup the sync. It worked for a while but at one point it stopped syncing from my phone to my computer and I basically gave up. I really miss this feature (so much so, I had a moment of weakness and was drawn back to the iOS side for a bit)

Keyboard

This one both my wife and I noticed. The Android keyboard is taking some getting used to for us. After over six years on iOS, we’ve both become accustomed to the keyboard layout and QuickType (all joking aside). The keyboard layout and figuring out Cut and Paste have probably been the two UI transitions that are proving the most difficult. And yes, we did try SwiftKey, but that’s more Blackberry than iOS like. We’ve taken a step back in typing speed and accuracy. I’m hoping that improves over time. Why can’t we have a universal keyboard across smartphones?

What else? I’m still getting to know the Camera App. Off all the apps, Camera and iMessage were probably the two I used the most in iOS without thinking and Camera on Android is definitely different. I’ve barely begun to explore the native Nexus app but I have been told there are better Camera apps out there. I’m a big fan of native (ie. simple) unless there are a ton of promoted (ie Ad) messages popping up all over.

Now that I have an Android phone, I really want to dig into the photosphere possibilities.

Screenshots

I figured it out! (well, Google helped) Odd how much I used this feature in iOS. It’s a bit clumsy in Android but supposedly it’s going to get easier soon. The point is, it can be done.

Google Apps

What can I say? They just work better on Android than in iOS (duh!). Under iOS, I felt hamstrung when using Google apps. The integration was almost there, but not quite. On Android, all my Google accounts work seamlessly (switching between two accounts in gmail, hangouts and keep is subtly better) and Google Now is on all the time. Add to that the fact that notifications in Android works much more straight forward than in iOS and the overall Google App experience is worth the price of admission.

To sum up, in making the jump from iOS to Android, finding a Twitter app was the hardest challenge for me, otherwise, all the apps I want or need (so far) have been available on Android. Installation is straight forward, oh and the 2-hour return option for Apps in the Play Store is pretty awesome. Helps when trying to find the right twitter app :). A few more months on the keyboard and I think the keyboard thing will be a moot issue.

If only there was a killer SMS/Message desktop integration option (Save me Project Fi, you’re my only hope…)

 

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