20th Mar 2019

Switching from iPhone to Android: Should You? And How? Or Vice Versa?


Are you considering making the switch from Android to iPhone? Or perhaps you’re thinking of going the other way: from iPhone to Android. This might seem like a minor decision, but it’s likely you’ve used a particular type of phone for a while, meaning you’re seriously accustomed to a certain type of operating system (OS).

There are some users who are absolutely devoted to their preferred phone type. These super fans claim that they’d never abandon Android (or iPhone). They believe their chosen OS is superior to all others. Android users can’t imagine the more simplistic-seeming iPhone, with its limitations on outside app installation. Similarly, iPhone users are often Apple devotees that view Android as being overly complicated or even buggy.

But for most of us, the decision largely comes down to personal preferences and individual needs. (PS: Check out our guide for choosing the best phone for you). And frankly, we might even choose a phone of either making, merely because it offers exciting new features or is available for a solid deal.

In this article, we’ll discuss the primary differences between these two well-known mobile phone options. This can serve as a guide to help you determine which operating system you’d prefer, or, it can help you make the move from one to the other.

The Biggest Differences

What are the major differences between Android and iOS? Which will present the biggest obstacles when making a switch?

The most obvious element that sets Android and iOS devices apart is hardware. Apple only produces the iPhone, meaning users will only be choosing from different versions of what is essentially the identical phone. Android, on the other hand, is available in a far greater variety of devices. This is because Google offers its Android software to a number of phone manufacturers. Some of the most recognisable names include Samsung, Motorola, and LG.

Ultimately, for mobile phone users, it boils down to choosing between an iPhone and another type of device (with many variations in size, quality, specs, and appearance). For avid Apple lovers, the simplicity of sticking with one model through the years has a certain appeal. Once you’ve had an iPhone, every subsequent iteration of the iPhone is going to feel extremely familiar and comfortable to use.

While Android users will notice many similarities from device to device, there are other adjustments that will be necessary.

Pricing is also a factor, and for some consumers, this may be the deciding aspect of choosing which device to purchase. While both new iPhones and Android flagship devices can have a roughly equal price point, the diversity of Android devices means that it’s far easier to get a cheaper phone running Android. Even older model iPhones can be costly. That said, the iPhone clearly offers a higher resale value than many Android devices.

Let’s talk about the OS themselves. The operating systems are what you as a user interface with every time you use your phone, so it’s important to find one that you’re happy with.

In many ways, there aren’t a lot of noticeable differences between the two. This is because developers are largely imitating one another; finding what works for the user experience and duplicating it in every device. This is good news for consumers. Any device you pick up is going to feel at least somewhat familiar, and you’re likely to intuitively understand how to access apps and navigate the device---at least on a basic level.

Ultimately, the OS differences come down to small negligible elements. There are dozens of features that may be particularly beneficial or positive, and this can depend largely on the user. For example, many Android users find the OS to be excellent for handling user multitasking, while iPhone tends to lag behind in this area.

While Android offers more freedom for customisation, iPhone users tend to enjoy the security of iOS. Apple products also allow for easy syncing of various devices, known as continuity. If you’re using an Apple Watch, an iPhone, and a Mac, you’ll enjoy a terrifically unified experience across all your devices. With Android, though Google’s services will work successfully across various devices, if these are made by different manufacturers (which is likely), you won’t get the same continuity as you would with iPhone.

The Pros of Android

Overall, the standout elements of Android appear to be the following:

  • More options in make and model (as well as price)
  • More customisation possibilities
  • Google Assistant is more advanced than Siri
  • Android handles notifications extremely well - Notifications can also be managed even better with the use of external apps such as Tasker
  • Many Android devices still retain the headphone jack (Apple has nixed it on the latest iPhones)
  • A more universal and faster-charging cable connector: USB Type-C
  • Generally a longer battery life
  • Users can change the battery
  • Users can expand storage
  • More options for accessories
  • More apps available on the Google Play store

The Pros of iPhone

Overall, the standout elements of iPhone appear to be the following:

  • A polished, uniform aesthetic
  • A premium look and feel
  • Fast and easy syncing with other Apple devices
  • Fewer lags and bugs than Android
  • Better support (The Apple Store)
  • Considered far more secure than Android (One study showed that 97% of all malware, viruses, worms, etc., were for Android.)
  • iMessage
  • Easier OS updates
  • Even older iPhone models get updates, which retains usability and security
  • Apps are usually premiered first in the Apple Store

Making the Switch - A How-To Guide

So you’ve decided to switch from one OS to the other. Here’s how to manage the change as seamlessly as possible.

Adapting to your new device might require a learning curve, but making the change software-wise isn’t overly difficult. To make things easiest as you shift to a new phone, you’ll want to streamline the process of transferring important elements, like your contacts, favourite apps, and, if desired, your photos and music.

The simplest method, if moving from Android to iPhone is to download an app called Move to iOS. This is a free app that can be found in the Google Play Store. Simply download onto your Android device, follow the instructions, and with ease, you’ll be able to move nearly everything over to your new iPhone, including photos, videos, contacts, message history, calendars, web bookmarks, and email accounts.

If switching in the opposite direction, from iPhone to Android, there are a few all-in-one transfer options as well. Certain Android devices arrive with a proprietary switching system. This is the case with devices such as the Samsung Galaxy series. When you receive your Android device, your manufacturer may include special software or connection cables that allow for a quick, seamless data transfer. For instance, with Samsung, your device includes a USB-OTG connector, which lets you simply connect your Samsung phone to your iPhone and transfer files and data that way. Alternately, you can use Samsung's software, Smart Switch.

This is by far the easiest way to make the switch. If this isn’t an option, we suggest syncing everything from your iCloud to your Google account, which will enable you to easily access that data on your new phone. Before switching, you may need to download various Google apps to your iPhone, such as Docs, Gmail, Contacts, and Drive.

In the same way, users switching from Android to iPhone can use Google’s apps to transfer their data with more manual control, without having to use the Android to iPhone app mentioned above.

Getting Used to Your New Phone

Be prepared to face a learning curve when it comes to a new device. Spend some time navigating the features on your new phone to find what works for you. There are hundreds of tutorials on YouTube, too, so don’t hesitate to learn from others. These videos can help you make the most of your new device, often revealing its best, must-have features.

Download familiar apps to help you adjust. These work largely the same across devices, and the apps can assist you in getting your bearings. Most of the same apps are available in both iOS and Android.

When you get a new phone of any kind, spend some time setting up the security features. This includes more than just setting your pin or scanning your fingerprint. Look deeper into the safety options for your device and make sure you’ve got protection if your phone is ever lost or stolen. For example, turn on Find My iPhone!

It can be a lot of fun switching to a new device. Wishing you the best of luck as you embark on a new mobile phone adventure.

Have you made the switch from iPhone to Android? Or vice versa? Tell us about it!

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