Switching from Android to iOS Part 2: You might be using it wrong

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
Switching from Android to iOS Part 2: You might be using it wrong
After deciding to make the switch and getting through the initial setup process, it is time to dig in and really make yourself at home on your new platform. 

It probably shouldn't need to be said, but switching from Android to iOS can be difficult and frustrating, just as making the switch from iOS to Android might be. We all have learned not just how to use our mobile devices but how to make our smartphones work for us, and switching platforms requires relearning and adjusting how to get things done. The two platforms may be able to do the same general things, but the process of getting those things done can be just different enough to cause problems if you're not willing to adapt. 

You might be using it wrong


One of the most frustrating aspects of using iOS in the first month of this experiment was to not allow myself to default back to grabbing my Nexus when things got rough. Surprisingly though, it wasn't until I swapped my SIM card back into my Nexus for a day that I realized I was using my iPhone wrong. The biggest difference between Android and iOS is that apps on Android can become a more native part of the system, whereas iOS is a system designed to push you into apps. 

Not acknowledging this difference at first led me to not feel as productive in iOS as I was in Android. On Android, I've got all of my most-used apps buried in folders across two homescreens, and I've got three must-have widgets (Todoist, Timely, and Weather Timeline) for quick access to info. Apps didn't need to be prominently displayed because most interactions were initiated from the notification tray of Android. About 90% of the emails I receive are deleted directly from my notification tray or lock screen; messages are responded to from the notification tray (or at least the reply button will bump me straight to where I need to be in the app); and, content notifications brought me directly into the app where I needed to be.


Attempting this on iOS led to one month of struggle because notifications and Today screen (aka widgets) share the tray at the top of the screen. While you can do most of the same things from notifications in iOS, focusing on that element made me miss my widgets. I didn't want to have to lose that info, take up space on my homescreen, or have to dig into apps to get what I wanted. So, I decided I needed to rid myself of the notification screen completely in favor of the Today screen.

To fix my troubles, apps I normally would have bundled into folders needed to be pulled out onto the homescreen for easier and faster access (the slow iOS folder animations also needed to be avoided at all costs.) Once the app shortcuts were easier to access, I could jump into the app when I saw a notification without checking the notification tray at all. And, once I stopped using the notification tray so much, I was able to focus the pull-down shade on the Today screen for easy access to widget info. 


Getting into the groove


Once I made some changes to how I used iOS, things fell into place and everything was pretty smooth. There were some things here or there that I didn't quite like or preferred how it worked on Android. Nothing was a dealbreaker and there were also some little things that were better, but overall it was a bunch of little trade-offs. 

For example, dictation is slightly better on Android in terms of understanding names and autocorrecting words based on context, but (in a bonus for a grammar nerd like me) iOS can do more in terms of punctuation. So with iOS, I could say things like "open/close parenthesis" or "quote/end quote" and it would put in the proper punctuation where those options don't exist on Android. 

iOS was pretty quick to learn from its mistakes (to a point) as well. When I first started, it couldn't understand my wife's name (Nadja) but it eventually figured it out (the same happened with Google). And, when I first started using Apple Music, if I misspelled an artist's name even slightly, Apple Music would return nothing at all and I'd have to go to YouTube (a Google property) to figure out what I was doing wrong (like searching "Little Dicky" rather than "Lil Dicky".) Just one month later, I'm not seeing those sorts of problems anymore, but other strange issues have persisted, like Siri constantly claiming that it couldn't find contact information for people who were obviously in my contact list. 


Overall though, I found iOS to be solid, smooth, relatively easy to use, and I could understand why it's the platform of choice for so many people. I don't know that I would be able to accept the singular hardware design handed down by Apple each year (the iPhone 6 Plus was crazy slippery and I refuse to use a case on well-designed hardware), but I can certainly see why someone might choose Apple. 


Next time...


All that said, the barriers to switching were too high for me and I'm happy to be back with my Nexus 6P. But, I'll get into that in the next (and likely final) installment. 

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62 Comments

3. Dee79

Posts: 307; Member since: Jun 19, 2014

Why the hell would anyone switch from Android to iOS

14. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

1. Stupid 2. Being forced to by your employer Phone Areana 3. Illogical person 4. Love painful tasks 5. Stupid

18. biophone

Posts: 1994; Member since: Jun 15, 2011

I was an iOS used for two years Android used for two years. Love my Android but I miss my old iPhone. I liked iOS better then Android. Thought I would like Android better made the switch and have regretted it the last two years. It's a personal preference really.

59. NicAngel unregistered

English please.

72. tedkord

Posts: 17043; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

So switch back.

4. tyrionTheWise unregistered

Using iOS for 1.5 years now, still don't know how to set up a widget.

13. Unordinary unregistered

what prescription contacts/glasses do you use? There's a huge edit button lol.

17. tyrionTheWise unregistered

The point was that I never bothered to do that. And that edit button does nothing since none of my app has a widget. Apple doesn't bother to even provide a stock weather widget. A normal user wouldn't even know you can get widget in iOS given the crappy pre installed ones. I have 20/10 vision. Probably won't need prescription glasses for next 40 years.

29. Unordinary unregistered

Was a joke. I'm lucky to have 20/8 and still didn't notice it when they first implemented it. Fact is though that most people who want an iPhone don't bother with widgets / want them. You'd think after 7 or whatever years Apple would borrow something else from Android, but it's the one thing that no body cares about. They did it well in the drop down menu.

32. tyrionTheWise unregistered

IOS does a few things extremely well. For example, the command centre makes all the sense on the bottom of the screen, since it's too easy to reach. But a few counter intuitive ones too like the back button on top left and you can't long press icons on command centre to get to their settings menu. The most people like about widgets is like the clock/weather ones. I shouldn't have to pull the notification shade to look at weather or my calendar. Also there's the music widget, but apple got that covered with command centre.

56. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Why does it make more sense to be at the bottom? The top works just as good for me. I don't see anyone complaining. To me splitting them up just means more work. Having ev erything I need on one slide seems to make more sense. Why use 2 cars, if one will do?

62. Leo_MC

Posts: 6102; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

If you put your finger on the left side of the screen and slide it, you'll not need to use the button (but don't press too hard on 6s, because it does another neat trick exclusive to iOS).

39. AlikMalix unregistered

I don't use widgets either... Don't understand the hype of them things. I never cared for them on a Mac nor on windoes when they added them in XP. iOS has their own ways to deal with delivering info. I ask Siri for most of the information anyway. The only thing "widget-wise" on my iOS is the locations of my wife and daughter; calendar - but I got it set up to only show events today and tomorow, and my reminder list - that mostly holds items I need to purchase or reminded of which generate a popup when I'm near certain stores or locations. Tyrion, you can set up a section to keep you up to date with current and future weather. The widget I would love: my current bank account balances (as I buy a lot of stuff in bulk for constructions, but checking my balances is now super easy because of fingerprint login instead of password to my bank app. I know android got the start on widget thing first, but I prefer to have that stuff in pull down as it allows me to access this stuff anytime within any app, lock screen, on any home screen - no need to navigate to the homesceen you have the widget on, during a call, or while playing a game. I know it's just me - but that seems to be more coherent then just a widget somewhere on one of the home screens.

47. Unordinary unregistered

I've had them on all my jailbroken iPhones since my iPhone 3G. Every one of them haven't lasted more than 3-5 days. I like a clean homescreen, and barely even used the weather widget for, weather! Just had it to look cool after the first day I found it pointless. FFS PEOPLE! If I want to know the weather I'll look out the damn window lol

50. shahrooz

Posts: 792; Member since: Sep 17, 2013

Does the damn window forecasts weather? Cool.

58. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

What hype? The advantage is seeing what I need to know, without needing to open the app. How about a situation where you're expecting an email. Well on ios, you have to wait to see a number show as a bubble to let you know you have mail. Then you have to open the mail app only to find out it was junk. But with a widget I can see the heading of the mail and know if it's even worth investing at all. I could have seen it was junk, before wasting my time to open the app to see. It's nice to be able to just preview the importance of a message and I like to be able to do that from one screen. I didn't pay $800 for a phone to make me work harder. I want smarter.

64. Leo_MC

Posts: 6102; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

You have all new mails in notification tab, where you can read part of them, delete them or go inside the mail app.

74. Joulukas

Posts: 101; Member since: Jun 05, 2013

Well, for starters, I have bank widget for my bank, and I can check my balance without login to app. Secondly every time I try iOS (dont get me wrong theres lots of nice things), I start missing the widgets about after 3 days. Like in the article, I have key widgets in my screen and after glance on my screen, I know where am I, what I am doing, where I am going next and things I forgot. As a business user, whos calendar is filled, get hundreds e-mails a week, I wouldnt keep track with just "app launcher" - I woudn't get shiz done with iOS today (to be clear, general productivity on any mobile platform today is lacking a lot!)

5. realhumanbeing

Posts: 53; Member since: Oct 18, 2014

I like both of these operating systems, they both are unique in there own ways. iOS is honestly buttery smooth at its best, but that's because it's a more limited system in terms of what it has to compute, android on the other hand is much more open source, which is why it relies and works better on top notch hardware, I enjoy using both of these operating systems, doesn't mean they don't come without trade offs though!

15. Unordinary unregistered

The one reason Android is so heavy and laggy is because it uses Java. You have to compensate the Java coding with eleventy jazillion gigs of RAM and plentoptocore hyperslip processors, now with cooling pipes lol. Blame Google for not having better language.

27. tyrionTheWise unregistered

Java is not the culprit. Even swift or basically any language will be considerably slower than c or c++. The culprit is the Java Virtual Machine, which sandboxes. But android can't run like iOS. On iOS, you have to make app for each resolution. You can't afford that on android, with hundreds of screen sizes, DPI and resolutions. You have to have sandboxing. And android is no more the unoptimized scroll lagging ugliness it used to be. On the same hardware, android performs the same as iOS. It's just the stupid decisions of android OEMs to cram so much hardware with crappy processor, slow RAM, slow NAND and less cache. The magic lies in vertical integration too. By now you would have probably seen how badly s7 with exynos smokes the SD variant. That's the power of vertical integration. Huawei and Samsung have realised it and Apple has been doing it for years. The 6s is just too powerful for android phones to handle. The main reason for it being fast is the storage. Android OEMs are still struck on last year's UFS storage while Apple already shipped full SSD inside iPhone. And I've used iOS and seen how laggy it can get. My air 2 was unusable from iOS 8 to iOS 8.13. It was so laggy. They fix it eventually, but it just shows that iOS isn't some magical land where everything is super smooth. iPhone is free from lag just because it has overpowered processor in a 750p screen, enabling it to power through unoptimized code. Have you tried the 5k iMac? Even that stutters due to high res screen. BTW this comment is getting techie-style long. Apologies for that.

33. joeytaylor

Posts: 957; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

No apologies.....i love your insight

51. Finalflash

Posts: 4061; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

No offense but some of what you say isn't exactly right. The reason for the lag and stutters is how both OSes treat drawing to the screen. In iOS you have the CoreAnimation API which takes all screen rendering requirements and does it on a dedicated processor core. Most of iOS is single core optimized (as is all code) and that is why it runs so smooth. All UI drawing happens on one core and all code processing on the other (free resources are used from both cores). The rendering core cannot be interrupted and neither can the animation rendering. The first set of synchronously timed animations must finish before an action is registered and another set of animations can play. There is no usually no frame dropping and stuttering if the processor can keep up and since it gets a fully dedicated processor core it can usually keep up. If the core is slow, you might notice stuttering, but this shouldn't be the case EVER because the heavy lifting is done by the GPU (largely why the iPhone update planned obsolescence conspiracy never ends). Up until Lollipop, android drew all UI elements on screen from the main thread. This meant that as the processor was rendering to the screen, it would also do computations of all kinds in between. If it wasn't fast enough, tons of jank would be experienced and laggy, stuttery mess was one manifestation (down right freezes and crashes were the other). After a while, the good app developers wizened up and programmed around this, but the idiots didn't. Apple was great with support for developers while Google expected the developers to handle it themselves. From Lollipop onward, a dedicated RenderThread uses background threads and available cores to help with rendering. It isn't perfect, but it reduces the stuttering and frame dropping considerably. This is also why Lollipop was such a mess because they literally had to change the running process from the bottom up. The above reason is the MAIN reason for the smoothness on iOS. The advantage is that it is smooth, the disadvantage is that going to multitasking will be all hell for iOS and Apple because it requires very deep changes and this is likely why the iPhone 6/s stutter more than previous releases. Apple has had to change some of these things and it is very difficult without breaking things a bit (they eventually iron them out though). iOS 8 was where Apple decided to break and remake and that is why it was such a disaster. Android is well built for full on multitasking and what not, but that means it will never be as smooth as iOS (current iOS) because they can't fully offload rendering to a background thread because its too deeply reliant on the main thread.

69. tyrionTheWise unregistered

Sounds about right. I obviously wouldn't know this unless I see the kernel source code. Anyway, so what's the reason marshmallow is so much smoother than lollipop?

68. johanbiff

Posts: 415; Member since: Mar 31, 2015

this year(maybe note 6?) the new line of UFS will come to phones which is 2x as fast as modern UFS2.0..the only performance upgrade you will actually notice imo. UFS2.0 2-lane

70. tyrionTheWise unregistered

True. I'm not buying a phone until it's at least as fast as iPhone. And the new UFS storage Samsung announced was 4x faster than current one.

7. Nexus4lifes

Posts: 285; Member since: Feb 13, 2014

No Switching from iphonearena to android blogs like your very own Jon v :)

11. htcisthebest

Posts: 430; Member since: Nov 15, 2011

I am tired of this "switching from Android to iOS" bulls**ts...gonna stop reading iPhoneArena and hop to Androidcentral.com or Androidauthority.com.

12. htcisthebest

Posts: 430; Member since: Nov 15, 2011

And I will be switching from iphone to Android when my contract is due this next month. Just saying.

16. Xperia14

Posts: 1194; Member since: Sep 01, 2015

Will you be getting the HTC10?

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