Will I regret going from Iphone to Android?
May 10, 2022 7:26 AM   Subscribe

I have an iPhone, an iPad, and a Windows laptop. I'm happy with the iPad and the laptop, but I need a new phone and I'm considering switching from an iPhone to an Android because they're cheaper and lately I'm blowing through money like a lottery winner, without actually having won the lottery. (I have researched refurbished iPhones, and Androids are still cheaper.) Will I regret this? Will it be troublesome to have one Apple mobile device and one not? Honestly, this feels like a silly question, but I need input from people who are not trying to sell me something before I pull the trigger.
posted by scratch to Computers & Internet (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I think a lot of it comes down to how often you use a few iOS-only features - for me, that's iMessage (or "Messages" or whatever they call it now) and Airdrop. I use them a lot, and that's what keeps me tied to iOS for now.
posted by mskyle at 7:33 AM on May 10, 2022 [4 favorites]

Best answer: There are cognitive advantages to having your tablet and phone be the same in terms of muscle memory and operating system knowledge. There are definite small practical advantages (can share passwords easily between systems, can share stuff via iCloud, Apple Music, iMessage etc).

The bigger potential advantages/disadvantages depending on how you use your tablet and phone. If you're using them both for work and want to move seamlessly between them, there's a definite advantage to having them both be the same. If you're mainly using your tablet for a couple of platform agnostic apps like Netflix and Spotify along with browsing the web: much less so.

I'm a one platform kind of person, but I know a lot of people who (for example) have an iPad but then got an Android phone as it was provided by work. The world has not seemed to end for them.
posted by Hartster at 7:38 AM on May 10, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: It will be helpful to know how you use your phone, and what services you have that synchronize among all your devices. The fact that you have a Windows computer in the mix means you probably aren't overly reliant on Apple-only services, but it would still be good to know specifics.

For example, I have a Mac and an iPhone. I use Apple's built-in password syncing, Apple's photo storage and syncing, and also Apples apps for syncing my address book and calendars. My family also has iPhones and Macs, and I regularly use Apple's "find my" service to locate a family member or to make their phone chime so they can find it! It would be very disruptive if I switched to Android. I'd have to rebuild all that infrastructure. The same may or may not apply to you, depending on your setup.

You should also look at what apps you use, and make sure there are suitable versions or substitutes on Android.
posted by Winnie the Proust at 7:49 AM on May 10, 2022 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: This is exactly the kind of input I needed! Seems like I really don't need an iPhone at all. I'm going to mark this solved. Thank you all for helping me not blow the budget (again).
posted by scratch at 8:01 AM on May 10, 2022 [2 favorites]

I'm not in the exact same situation as you, as I don't have an iPad, so that may be a consideration, but I'd always hated iTunes, iCloud, etc. and when I switched from an iPhone to Android devices I found it so much easier to synch my phone with the extensive number of Google services I had already been using, not only gmail but also Google Photos, Tasks, Keep, Calendar, etc.
posted by drlith at 8:03 AM on May 10, 2022 [2 favorites]

I have both (work phone is a Samsung Android), and there are some minor annoyances between them, but generally I find them to be really similar. I don't use any of the features people have mentioned on my iphone, and don't find much difference between iphone and android for things like gmail. I do like being able to sideload mp3 music on android. I haven't changed any songs on my iphone since I got an iphone 5 in 2013.
posted by The_Vegetables at 8:10 AM on May 10, 2022

I have an iPad and an Android phone (well 2, as I have another for work), and have never found it an issue - sometimes it's even helpful as I have access to both the Appstore and Google Play store, or any issues with an app etc. often only affects one of them. I tend to use Whatsapp and other messaging apps anyway rather than Messages, as they're not OS dependent. However, I've never had an iPhone, and always used an iPad-Android combo, so there may be somethings that would be helpful that I'm missing.
posted by scorbet at 8:15 AM on May 10, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Someone close to me slowly migrated her family from iPhone to Android after her eldest daughter was the first to make the switch. My observations from seeing all this happen are that there were (and are) two primary classes of problem:

1. Transitioning away from iMessage can result in lost messages from iPhone-using contacts. There's a process to remove your number from iMessage but since you'll still have an iPad people may still see you as having iMessage when, really, you don't. Eventually it works out, mostly, but as the person sending messages that have basically gone missing I can say the transition is messy.

2. Android phones just really don't seem to have the hardware quality and/or support they need to last as long as an iPhone can be expected to last. They've been affected multiple times by camera problems in their Pixel phones. She bought a used Pixel 2 for one of her daughters from some site that provided a warranty, and within one year I think they went through four replacements (twice for camera failures, once for a battery failure, and one replacement arrived DOA IIRC). Her own Pixel 4, bought new, required replacement after just a couple months because of some component failure.

Day to day usage is fine. Better in some aspects maybe, slightly more annoying in others. Overall they've been happy and they don't show any interest in switching back, but the hardware problems are not inconsequential.
posted by fedward at 8:45 AM on May 10, 2022 [2 favorites]

Something you should consider - how many paid apps do you use? What will it cost to buy them again on another platform?
posted by Bottlecap at 9:02 AM on May 10, 2022 [5 favorites]

I’ve looked at doing this and it is definitely the syncing tools I would miss the most. I often take photos or write notes when I’m out and about and it is extremely convenient to have them waiting on the other platforms when I get home.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 9:29 AM on May 10, 2022 [1 favorite]

I got an iphone for an app that I needed (that I could now get on Android). the build quality and battery life are great; and apple will do upgrades for quite a while. Otherwise, I hate it with a fair bit of vigor, and I've had it a year. Here's a Reddit discussion. I do not use other apple stuff, and the deep ties to the apple ecosystem are a minus, not a plus.

It came with a free year of appletv, and that was great but I could have bought that for 60US and have gobs of cash left over.
posted by theora55 at 9:51 AM on May 10, 2022 [2 favorites]

I've got Macs, MacBooks, iPads & iPad Pros but then bought a series of very low end MotoG phones because I'd never want to spend so much on a phone that I'd be crushed if I lost it.

Google Photo syncs to my iPad fine enough for my purposes. Streaming apps all work the same. I find the google voice recognition better and map functionality is more streamlined. Setting alarm and event times is waaaaaaaaaaaay less tedious than the Apple scroll wheels.
posted by brachiopod at 9:58 AM on May 10, 2022

I've used an iphone and various Androids over the past two decades and I keep sticking with Android. I won't get into the reasons, but I don't think I'm missing out on much with my Android. A few points:
- my family's iMessages (?) sometimes have problems getting to my Android until they set the sms app to be 'readable' by Androids. This, to me, is weird. My msgs get to their iphones without a hiccup.
-There are tons of apps to find a missing Android, I have one on my Amazfit watch. I don't know about tracking the phone beyond that.
-I don't think iPhones have space for a microSD card in case you want to save and carry around certain media and have physical access to it while offline. My 512gb card has maps for the whole US, all of wikipedia and a few more things. I tend to find myself in places where there is no network or wifi (yes, these places exist...) and it's nice to be able to pull up a book or map or info without cursing the internet.
-Androids are less of a hassle and cheaper to repair, IMO. I also dislike the 'Gorilla Glass' back and parts. I'm sure it's very tough, but is it as tough as my XeroLemon battery case with a milspec screen protector? I see SO many iphones with busted backs and screens.
posted by flowerofhighrank at 10:50 AM on May 10, 2022

The last two times I replaced a cellphone, the Apple security update guarantees were so much longer than any Android options I could find that the iPhone was cheaper per year than the cheapest Android that would have satisfied me. And my current phone got updated longer than they originally promised.

I haven’t done that calculation recently, but if you hardly ever lose or break your phones, it might be relevant.

[I kept a Handspring Visor long after the company had gone under. It went right round to looking cool again. Alas, the phone companies stopped recognizing it and did weird default things making it not useful as a phone.]
posted by clew at 10:55 AM on May 10, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I much prefer Androids, but it is true that you're more likely to get more years (and more years of updates) from an iPhone, unfortunately. You say you've looked into refurbished phones, but what about used ones?

That said, I've been using $150-300 Android phones for years, am close to the bottom of that range right now, and it's all been fine. The one thing that isn't amazing at these prices is the cameras, ime. I think Samsung currently makes the cheap phones with the longest update period, and if big phones don't bother you I'd get one big enough to have a massive battery, likely to last a long time.
posted by trig at 11:00 AM on May 10, 2022 [1 favorite]

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