Switching from Android to iOS Part 3: Why the switch failed for me

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
Switching from Android to iOS Part 3: Why the switch failed for me
I made the decision, set up a new iPhone, and figured out how to best use the platform. In the end, I found that iOS is a solid platform and I can’t argue with anyone who chooses it. But, it’s not for me and there are really just two reasons why.

App investment

Given the enormity of the iOS App Store, another struggle I never expected was in finding apps that I liked using. It's not that the selection isn't there, but apps are generally more expensive and finding what you want is more of a chore because Apple (as noted last time) is nowhere near as good at search as Google and discovery in the App Store is tough.

There is essentially no real web version of the App Store (I refuse to use the garbage fire that is iTunes) whereas Google Play on the web is a great experience. If I wanted to find iOS apps while using my laptop, I basically used Google Search anyway. And, since so many apps are paid, it is all the more annoying that getting a refund is hidden away in options labeled “report a problem”, making it difficult to try out a paid app before committing to buy.

Not all apps are expensive, obviously, but when you're setting up a new device things can add up quickly if you’re not careful. For example, there are far fewer ad-supported apps on iOS, meaning many apps you would get for free on Android (maybe having to pay $1 to remove apps later) would cost you somewhere between $1-2 on iOS. But, the worst trouble is when you get into alternative apps for popular services. 

As far as I could tell, there was one app available on iOS -- Tweetbot -- that offers a good amount of features above the official Twitter app and fixes some of the mistakes of the official app (like burying Lists). You want that? It'll cost you $10 to buy. There are other Twitter alternatives, but most look as though they haven't been updated in a long time or aren't markedly different from the official app, unlike Android where Carbon, Fenix, Falcon, and Falcon Pro are all solid alternative apps, and none will cost you more than about $5.

I found it similar for alternative Feedly and Outlook apps. While most weren't terribly expensive compared to the official apps, none were designed to make using the respective services any easier or more compelling than the official app. And, in terms of Apple's built-in apps, the only ones I used were the Clock app, Apple Music, and Safari, although to be fair Safari is the only real option on iOS anyway, because of Apple's lock-down. Safari is fine, but since I don’t have a Mac it doesn’t integrate with my life as well as Chrome, and while I could get a lot of what I missed from Android on iOS, no (real) Chrome was a big hurdle to jump.

Ultimately, I found it to be a bit boring to use the iPhone (just as I did the first time around), mostly because I'm the kind of person who wants to try out all the new apps to see what developers are doing. While iOS does tend to get apps before Android (the Quartz news app was the best example of that during my time testing), the App Store felt cumbersome and like there wasn't much new coming through. Android has a similar problem of surfacing new content, but Google Play is better than the App Store in that regard.

The missing piece (for me)

I fully admit to living la vida Google. The vast majority of apps I use are Google apps, but this wasn’t much of an issue on iOS. As noted, Chrome isn’t great and I had a constant issue where Google+ links didn’t deep link into the app the way they should, but everything else -- Gmail, Calendar, Hangouts, YouTube, Maps, Search, Newsstand, etc -- worked perfectly fine for me. 

There was one missing app though -- Google Voice. Obviously, the app does exist for iOS and as a Google Voice user, I could handle all my SMS through Hangouts. The trouble for me is that the phone number I’ve been giving to everyone for the past seven years is my Google Voice number and it’s annoying to have to go into the Voice app to make calls on iOS. On Android, I can just make a call and it will show up as my Voice number on Caller ID for others. On iOS, people don’t recognize my number because calling through the Phone app shows my T-Mobile number not Voice.

It seems like a small thing, but anyone who has ever changed their number knows how annoying that can be.

In the end...

When finding apps you like to use is an expensive chore, that makes the switching process a whole lot more difficult. I came into this experiment knowing that my investments in Android apps would be a big hurdle in being able to switch to iOS and I my mind was not changed. I rightly assumed that I would be able to find free apps to get me through.

I know if I really was going to make the full time switch, it would cost me more than I’m willing to spend both in apps and in time telling everyone I know personally and professionally that my number had changed.

Ultimately, Android just works better for me. I like having my choice of devices (even if I do tend to go with Nexus devices) on Android. I like the more deeply integrated Google experience and how I can avoid going into apps in many ways. And, I’ve already invested a lot of money into Android apps to put together the app roster that I like.

iOS is a great platform, it’s just not the daily driver for me.



2. Mxyzptlk unregistered

You have to give it a chance. Ultimately the experience is much better on iOS.

30. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

No it isnt.

125. k4ever

Posts: 240; Member since: Oct 08, 2014

I don't understand.. If iOS is so much more intuitive and easier to use, shouldn't he have been impressed by its ease of use immediately? Shouldn't he have recognized the benefits of iOS within the first hour and swore off Android forever?

10. Mfa901

Posts: 291; Member since: Jul 14, 2012

Never spent a dime on apps....

31. gaming64

Posts: 234; Member since: Mar 22, 2016

Piracy all the way.

114. Mfa901

Posts: 291; Member since: Jul 14, 2012

That doesn't mean i pirate apps :/

99. drahcir02

Posts: 102; Member since: Mar 03, 2016


11. GreenMan

Posts: 2698; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

Both OS have their strengths and weaknesses... Guess at the end of the day, none comes out as a winner... A great and absolutely unbiased piece of article, bravo... Would love to hear your opinion about the latest Windows 10 Mobile... Would be interesting to see how you like 3 Operating Systems back to back... To back! Not many people try WP, but when they do, the immediately become loyal followers... I being one of them! Loving WP on my Lumia 430...

127. logicsdude

Posts: 85; Member since: Jun 25, 2014

WP is pretty good, but apps available are much more limited

16. SuperAndroid507

Posts: 361; Member since: Jan 06, 2014

That diversity of apps in the Play Store is sometimes one of its weakness, you have so many crappy free apps that (claim to) offer the same thing you're looking for, but in the end are just stupid ad-filled trash.

21. GrimJow

Posts: 27; Member since: Mar 24, 2016

You my friend, need Adaway.

25. SuperAndroid507

Posts: 361; Member since: Jan 06, 2014

Yeah I know, I'm just too lazy to root my phone XD

18. GrimJow

Posts: 27; Member since: Mar 24, 2016

I don't see what people like in WP. I mean there's nothing wrong with it, but there's so much more you can do with a flagship Android.

22. AlikMalix unregistered

so the article sounds like this to me: I've been driving a Ford all my life and I bought lots of accessories for it, I've decided to use a Chevy and now my ford accessories don't fit my Chevy. Duh! You switch to iOS for experience but expect to use it like you do android. It's your call - it's your preference - that's all fine. But experience on iOS is supposed to be different, but everyone expect it to be the same? What's the point of having competition at all if everyone wants iOS to be the same as android? To many of us who use iOS switching to android is a huge chore but not because I'd have to buy some of the apps, but because how android is sloppy when it comes to automatition and device management. iOS does so much automatically for me - android can't even get the background tasking and apps doing their own crap when you're not even using it. For crying out loud, until marshmallows there isn't a good solution to app permissions on android. That took like 7years to finally get it right when iOS has been allowing us to have that control. I don't Consider myself more experienced than you, but it seems you haven't really given it a chance.

26. tedkord

Posts: 17507; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Did you read the article. He laid out very carefully how he gave it a chance. It wasn't for him, for whatever his reasons may be. Why does that threaten you, Mxy, creep, etc...? I've used both. I prefer Android. I've found nothing that is better than my Note 5. That's my preference. Even darkkjedi, who is an Apple user/supporter and has both the Note 5 and iPhone 6s Plus has stated that overall, the Note 5 is the better device, though not by much.

65. darkkjedii

Posts: 31749; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

You have trolls that come here for attention, and to start trouble, but I'm gonna keep it real. I've never owned a phone that's better than the Note 5. The 6S Plus hangs in some areas, gets blasted in some, and actually does a couple things better (in my opinion), but overall nothing's better than a Note 5...nothing. Creeps looking for a flame war. +1

69. tedkord

Posts: 17507; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Is your Note 5 on marshmallow? So far, mine is unbelievable on it. So smooth and fast.

73. darkkjedii

Posts: 31749; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Not yet. Heard ATT would update on 3-14-16, but it's not on mine yet. The website I use the fingerprint sensor for is craigslist. Who's your carrier?

74. tedkord

Posts: 17507; Member since: Jun 17, 2009


76. darkkjedii

Posts: 31749; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

If it's not there soon, and ATT is known for slow updates, I may just wait for the Note 6. I'm gonna get something new this year, now that I achieved the goal I set. Hint hint (profile pic)

82. tedkord

Posts: 17507; Member since: Jun 17, 2009


85. darkkjedii

Posts: 31749; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Thanx bro.

96. joeytaylor

Posts: 957; Member since: Feb 28, 2015


70. tedkord

Posts: 17507; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Also, I've switched to Samsung browser with adblock plus for Samsung installed, and browsing is better than ever. I never get the issues with PA that I used to have (especially the post reply button being overlaid by an ad link). I can also log into websites with my fingerprint. Pages load so quickly. It's one of the best things about the MM update.

95. dimas

Posts: 3435; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

I agree with you. The only reason I didn't get note 5 because of the big display and limited storage but man, note 5 sure is one fast beast and multitasker before s7 edge come. Tested it for a week and not a single lag even in default touchwiz setting.

117. darkkjedii

Posts: 31749; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

When you combine its looks, with everything it has and can do, it has no equal. Note 4 maybe, but that's it.

33. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

No he didnt switch to iOS expecting it to be liek Android. He switched to iOS and found it was harder to do many typical tasks because IOS makes you perform them in an illogical manner. The problem is, you guys are usually to stupid and high off your own pride to even see where the problems actually are in iOS. Also if iOS is so simple, then why are the updates so problematic? Because Android updates tend not to be. Anytime you say a platform is just better than another with no specific point of what you're talking about, then the subject matter is subjective and it counts as nothign more than personal preference. I dont care how many phones Apple sells, or how mnay peopel liek them. Its their choice I amnto here to change yoru choice. I just prefer that if you're goign to make a claim, give an exampe so I can see what your talkign about specifically so I can take 2 devices and perform the same function and see if I agree. if I do find, if I dont it should be equally fine. Apple makes you do everything backwards. Something as simple as clicking a link to a webpage, you are FORCED to use Safari by default. No matter what else you install. Then even if you install another browser, it doesn't matter because ll the other browser use web-kit as their foundation; making them suck nearly as bad as Safari already does.

91. SmartNingen

Posts: 48; Member since: Apr 02, 2015


57. eN16HTMAR3

Posts: 253; Member since: Oct 08, 2013

Sounds like you don't know how to maintain your phone so you let Apple do it for you.

109. Joulukas

Posts: 115; Member since: Jun 05, 2013

Because life is not in the device, the device must be in my life. The reason why I'm still waiting for a decent iOS is that Android is just smarter choice, if you dont want to spend your nose in screen all day. Its not about "ford" and "chevy" not being compadible, its that I have the requirements for information I need from my phone, and iOS just doesnt deliver. Tho current mobile platforms (sadly havent tried BB) are low on productivity and OEM focus more on other OEMs rather than customers (even Apple), meaning I get a new phone, i dont get new experience, new options, I get the same shiz - and Android Shiz is just so much more reasonable. Said that, one thing where android falls short is ecosystem, where Apple has done tremendous job, and for a person with atleast 2 other Apple devices, its logical to get iPhone. Ofc the experiences are different, but if I would generalize, iOS is a "app launcher" and android is "widget world"

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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