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In which I attempt to mitigate the anticipated disaster.
December 5, 2013 9:26 AM   Subscribe

I have an iphone. Today I will be getting a MotoX. I don't really know a lot about smartphones in general or Android in general (or hell, even ios really) except that I assume there are going to be a few hiccups in the transition. Help me avoid those hiccups!

I've read a pile of tutorials on making the switch, things to watch out for, etc. I know enough to know that I should plunk my stuff into the cloud/on the computer if I want to not lose it. My biggest concern is that I've also got an ipad, which is technically for work but I mostly use it for personal stuff. Specifically I would like to know if/what things I need to do to make sure that my ipad doesn't get cranky and lose info when it's no longer married to an iphone. (They use the same apple ID account.)

Anyone who has done this before, I welcome your advice! I'm going from an iphone 4s with the latest operating system updates running on it to the new MotoX which I guess has Android 4.4. I've got Verizon if that matters.

If there are any great apps I should be aware of that will ease the transition, I'm very interested to hear about those. (I guess the voicemail will be different in some way?)

I know that the MotoX is set up to be super google friendly. But that's about all I know. Explain it to me like, well, not like I'm five, but maybe like I'm your boomer generation parent who kind of can manage to look like they know what they're doing but that's about it.
posted by phunniemee to Technology (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
You don't have to worry about the ipad; it isn't "married to the iphone". Both the iphone and the ipad are married to your apple account, and your iphone is leaving the relationship. No info will be lost (just make sure to do one last sync of your iphone before wiping it out).

As for transitioning, most familiar apps work just fine on both platforms, so just figure out which apps you regularly use on iphone, and search for them by name on the Google Play store, as a start.
posted by jozxyqk at 9:35 AM on December 5, 2013


I did this recently, in the same situation (went from iphone/ipad to android/ipad) and the only advice I can give you is to TURN OFF IMESSAGE on both your iphone and ipad when you are ready to move to the Android phone because otherwise texts from other iphone users will be sent into imessage purgatory where they think they sent you texts but you will never receive them.

Even then, some iphone users report that their phones still try to text me via imessage and they have to manually send them via text.

Otherwise everything should go fine, just back up your phone to your computer (NOT ICLOUD) before you transition. I will say that unlike the App Store, where the apps just seem to work, the Android market is more iffy and I find that I have to install about 3-4 apps before I find one that actually works like it's supposed to. Which is a Royal Pain, but other than that I am so completely happy with my Android phone, I can't believe I stuck with my stupid uncustomizable iphone for so long.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 9:36 AM on December 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


Definitely turn off iMessage as rabbitrabbit suggests. You'll want to do a full backup of the phone to iTunes on your computer. If you are particularly attached to any photos you have on your phone, don't rely on Photo Stream either - backup them up manually to another folder on your computer.

If you use iTunes for your music consumption, make the move to Google Music, as iTunes doesn't work with Android. There are third-party apps that let you continue to use your iTunes library from your PC and sync the music files to the phone, but it's not as easy. You can use the Google Music uploader to store up to 20,000 songs from your hard drive onto their cloud service (it won't actually upload them all, only the ones that don't match a digital fingerprint for a song already in their library), or you can go all-in with the All Access subscription and never worry about purchasing music again.

If you have voicemails on your VZW account, they should still be there after the transition. If you have any locally saved voicemails in the visual voicemail app that you deleted from Verizon, you need to save them locally to your computer as well.

I have a few friends that just made the switch from iPhones to Androids, and they said it can be a little overwhelming getting the phone set up just how you want it, though they love it now. Android has infinitely more options when it comes to customizing your experience, coming from a phone that just has its one way of doing things. And that's just out of the box, not even counting all the third-party launchers and other mods you can get on the Play Store. Take your time, explore all the menus and submenus in settings and figure out what everything does. Move icons around on your home screens. Add and move and resize widgets to find an initial configuration that works for you. The beauty is that it's so easy to change things you'll find yourself doing it all the time, so don't worry about getting it "just right" when you first set up the phone.

Also, see this G+ post from Eric Schmidt, Chairman at Google, which details exactly how to make the switch as easy as possible.
posted by trivia genius at 9:48 AM on December 5, 2013


I use itunes on my pc and sync that with my android phone with the iSyncr app. I do this because I use smart playlists to find songs I like that I haven't recently played to be on my phone, and I need playcounts to sync from the phone to the PC for this to work (and it does).

Android just started trying to combine hangouts with SMS messages. It's pretty new, so I'm not sure how it works, or how well, but it's Google's answer to iMessage.

Like you said above, the super google friendliness works well if you use google for your stuff. Since I'm on gmail, and use their calendar program and contacts program, any google phone I'd log into would have access to my stuff.
posted by garlic at 12:13 PM on December 5, 2013


I was going to offer the exact same link as trivia genius above.

That list looks intimidating, but Eric Schmidt should know... Good luck with your migration.

And for extra reassurance - we have multiple iPhones and iPads all signed into the same iTunes account, and it is never a problem if one device is switched all the way off or whatever. All the iDevices are married to the host iTunes account (either in the cloud or on a computer) but they aren't married to each other.
posted by RedOrGreen at 3:32 PM on December 5, 2013


Oh man you guys. This was the most terribly complicated process ever. Ever. omg. But I followed your advice and everything I was actually concerned about turned out fine! It was the stuff I assumed would go smoothly--like getting the phone activated--that was a disaster.

Here's how it went:

In order to activate the new phone I had to call an automated verizon activation phone number. I couldn't do this from my old phone, because it had to be off, and I couldn't do this from my new phone, because new phone didn't exist yet. So I had to set up a google voice account and make a call from my ipad.

The automated line didn't understand the touch-tone inputs from my ipad, so I had to wait to talk to a human, at which point she needed an account password in order to proceed. The one I had (it's a family plan and my dad is in charge of it) was apparently not the one they were looking for, and I don't know my dad's SSN so couldn't give them that to verify, either. Helpful verizon lady offered to call my dad for me and verify that way, and I was like ok go for it. She called my parents' landline. My dad's cell phone. My mom's cell phone. Two times each. No answer. So I say thanks and hang up and try calling my parents (from the google voice account on my ipad). Twice. No answer.

I turn on my old phone and call them and they pick up right away and I was all "did you not notice the phone ringing eight times" and apparently since they didn't recognize it they were just screening the calls. "We did think it was weird though when we got two calls from a Chicago number!" Anyway. I call them back from the ipad, make sure all my phones are off, and have them call verizon from their landline while I'm talking through the ipad to my mom's cell phone, which they're holding up to the landline so I can talk to the verizon people.

My dad answers all their security questions, I answer all the phone purchase related questions, we're all good, phone is activated.

But none of my contacts transferred.

All verizon could say was that they SHOULD be there but they weren't so "that's weird, hmm..." Helpful. My iphone wouldn't sync the contacts with my google account (ever, this was a problem I always had but never really cared about) so I couldn't do that, either. I ended up having to buy some completely separate random app to do the transfer for me because everything sucked and was terrible and oh my god guys it took three hours and was so super frustrating.

Mostly I'm sharing this as a cautionary tale to anyone who finds this question while looking for phone transfer help in the future: Don't try to do it yourself. You will probably spend too long on it and want to stab things. Go into the verizon store and make them do it for you.

But, good news, my phone is awesome and slick and shiny and fancy, and now ALL of my contacts are where they're supposed to be and the phone numbers and email addresses have all actually merged because google is in charge now and no one is fighting anymore.
posted by phunniemee at 11:14 AM on December 6, 2013


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