iPhone to Android Part One – Making the Switch

Since Best Buy is offering a free Samsung Fascinate this week, I picked one up. It isn’t the latest & greatest Android smartphone, since it came out last fall. But it is a nice Android phone running Froyo thanks to the update a couple of weeks ago and who can beat free – at least free until I get the next Verizon phone bill.

How does it compare to an iPhone? This is less about the Fascinate and more about Android. We don’t plan to hash out the iOS v. Android debate. Instead we plant to offer comparisons for those who are interested in possibly making the switch from the previously dominate smart phone platform to the up and coming smart phone platform. Yes, iOS still is a powerhouse, but even the biggest Apple fanboy has to admit that Android is making a serious run at that dominance. Fanboy or not competition is always good for consumers. So, how easy will the switch be?

Android v iPhone

Android v. iPhone: Out of the Box

Packaging

The ever vaunted Apple “out of the box” experience has some competition. Not every Android phone will be the same, but the Fascinate offers a good out of the box experience. First, let’s compare the packaging. The Apple iPhone is simple and straightforward. The box is small and you get the phone, a charging cable and ac adapter cube. You also get some headphones with a mic. There is minimal documentation and the SIM card tool, if needed.

fascinate_packaging

With the Samsung Fascinate, you also get a simple box with the phone, the charging cable and AC adapter. There is a lot more documentation, but it’s the useless kind that most of us will just set aside.

As far as packaging goes, this is a wash. Neither has the edge. This changes from company to company however. So it is not really a fair iOS v. Android comparison. With the Fascinate, however, there is no clear advantage to either side.

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Setup

With an iPhone you either have it set up at the store or you plug it into your computer and set it up. If you choose to do it yourself, you have to use a computer. Once you do there are a minimal number of apps to play around with. The App Store is ready for you to download add-ons to make the phone come alive. This can happen quickly and if you already have an iPad or iPod Touch you might already have many that will work. They key here is, like the packaging, it is simple. You will have to add some accounts like email, your Apple App Store account info, and any others like that.

With the Samsung Fascinate and many of the Android phones I have looked at, there seems to be more pre-installed. It reminds me of the PC v. Mac when it comes to pre-installed software. PCs have a lot of crapware and Macs have a basic set of apps without a lot of fluff. In the few hours I’ve had the Fascinate, I’d say that the built-in apps are more useful than the iOS apps. However, this is a double-edged sword since it takes longer to get going. There are more apps to test out and configure. If you are a geek who likes to play with such things, then you will be in heaven. If you are someone who just wants it to go out of the box, this will be overwhelming.

Since Android is a Google product, integration with Google should be easier, but it is not. That’s not to say its harder. It is about the same. I have three Google accounts I use – a personal email address for my own domain, a personal email address that is a basic Gmail account and one for our website. Setup is straightforward in both iOS and Android.

The only reason setup is maybe a little harder on the Android side is there seems to be more to set up besides the basic things like email accounts, calendars, and an app store account.

Interface

Finally, out of the box the interface of the iPhone is simple. You have one page of icons and the Settings app is right there staring you in the face. On an Android phone there are multiple screens and an Applications button. There are more buttons and more to learn. That also means there is a little more functionality, but it will take a little longer to get your bearings. The interface is just a little more complicated and cluttered. We will cover this more about in a later post.

What’s Coming

Going forward we will look at the following:

  • Cost of making the switch
  • How comparable are the apps
  • How easy is it to find sufficient alternatives
  • Can your Android serve as an MP3 player
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What would you like to read about? Do you have any concerns about making the switch or have you already done so and would have some advice for us? Comment below or contact me at Kevin at Notebooks dot Com. If you would like, make a short video either asking or answering these questions and post it to YouTube and I will respond with a video and post it here.

Comments

  1. Xenocatz says

    WOW, this has to be the worst article on Android phones ever. No mention of the fantastic features that define the real difference between Android and IOS, such as the amazing voice to text, voice search tools, swipe text entry, or the amazing adaptive Swift Type, or the cool user defined home screens with widgets, that contain live data feeds from your favorite social networking sites and the great calander widget that has feeds from outlook, facebook, and gmail, or the super cool live wallpapers, or best of all, websites without grey boxes where flash content is supposed to be, or access to the hundreds of fantastic online games and media content written in flash.Android is so much more than the box that the phone comes in.

    • Skwisgaar Skwigelf says

      I think they erred on the side of being too Android-centric. There is no mention of how iOS has killer apps like Netflix, Hulu+, iTunes, and PBS (between all those, you can pretty much cancel your cable subscription and the savings will more than pay for your iPhone). These do not exist on any Android phone, and when they do, they will only work on certain phones, due to the need for hardware based DRM. That’s a huge deal breaker for most people. Who cares about widgets and swype? Consumers don’t. It seems as though Google is pretty bad at figuring out what customers want, or at least prioritizing these things. Get the basics first, then the boondoggles later. Great, animated wallpaper, but no content, because Netflix, Hulu and others don’t want their content stolen on an unsecured platform (actually, the big Hollywood studios are preventing Netflix from doing a Droid version until they have proper DRM implemented). Android still cannot do basic things, like play movies (yes, theoretically, it can play movies, but nothing anyone would want to watch — “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants”, anyone?). Android has slim pickens in those departments, and there’s nothing better when you’re waiting or on public transportation, than watching a movie or TV show. Nothing better than telling Comcast to F-off and cancelling their near $100/mo “service” (if you can call it that!).

      No mention of the huge security issues with Android either — like 200,000+ people who had their devices compromised a few months ago, and Google had to commandeer their phones to remove the malware. No mention of how bad most of the apps in the Market are… Really bad, unless you want 20 Telugu radio apps. Again, customers aren’t clamoring for this stuff…

      iOS does has speech to text, it’s available via Dragon. Many Fandroids claim that the speech-to-text is “built in to the OS” in Android. It’s not. Smart phones are not capable of translating speech to text on their own. They ALL send a sound file to a web service, which returns text. The voice search tools are available on iOS, but quite honestly, that Google app with the voice search is not that great. I downloaded it and I rarely use it — it’s just a wrapper around Google webapps, in an inferior browser (it doesn’t even go landscape when you turn the phone… with iOS users seeing such inept products from Google on their phone, no wonder few of them switch to Android. In fact, data shows this is the other way around — more Droid users are switching to iPhones, especially now that Verizon is on board… T-Mobile is probably next…).

      Finally, I would like to clarify this notion that Android is the dominant smart phone OS. This is not true at all. Anyone who bothers to search “OS market share” will see that iOS is the 3rd most popular OS when compared to all OS’s, and Android is #6. These “surveys” touting Android domination are based on phone sales. Yes, Android phones sell more because they need to be replaced more often. That said, anyone who bothers to go beyond the tech pundit shills will see that iOS has four times as many users as Android, and there is no huge increase in Android OS usage associated with all the sales. This means people who buy a new Droid device are REPLACING an old Droid device. After all, a new version of Android, even going from “.1″ to “.2″, often necessitates buying a new device. The device makers are LOVING Android, much like PC makers love Windows. Anything that forces people to buy a new gadget is good for their bottom line. Why else do you think so many developers are favoring iOS over Android? Four times as many users as Android. iOS has more apps, better apps, and this will be true for years to come. Furthermore, a lot of the surveys are limited to particular quarters and just the U.S. In many nations, particularly European ones, the iPhone is has near-exclusive dominance. Tech pundits have done a lot of filtering to come up with this “Android dominance” B.S. Check out the studies that are international and have huge sample sizes, like netmarketshare.com or icrossing.com and you will see the reality. iOS is kicking Droid’s butt!

      Part of this is because iOS works on the iPod touch, iPad, and iPhone. Even if we take just iPhone vs Android phones, iOS has twice as many users worldwide. But again, that’s a good thing. The fragmentation with Android is a huge problem. One thing the tech pundits shilling for Android don’t mention is that many Android phones sold now, such as ones made by Huwei, cannot run even half of the apps in the Market. Android devices have different capabilities. Some of them have such poor screen resolutions that most apps won’t even work… but they still count as Android sales. So if in a few years, you’re scratching your head as to why Android phones sell so much, but the Market has crap apps and limited profitability — that’s why. Android is fragmented and many of the cheap devices are so bad, they can’t run most apps… Android app makers can’t hope to make as much money on their Droid app as their iOS app. That’s a fact! The “high end” Droid devices (tablets) like the Xune (ha ha) run Honeycomb, which can’t run Android smart phone apps They have very few apps to use, whereas iPads, iPod touch, etc can run iPhone apps. The only exclusion is that the iPhone and iPod can’t run iPad-specific apps, but there are a lot of hybrid apps out there.

      Apple just did a better job. They spent more time on this OS and have more in-house experience. Google just throws money at the problem and hires a lot of top school grads with great grades, who don’t have a lot of experience. They put in some one-up boondoggle features that most consumers don’t care about. They also seem to be deficient at product management — they’re not good at figuring out what the customer wants. WIDGETS!!! No… Customers want security, video chat, content.

      The funny thing is if you look at the bug database for Android (which is public), some of the bugs are so bad that in some cases, the phone won’t work. Wow! Talk about bleeding edge! Yes, you have widgets and moving wallpaper, but maybe not a working phone that can make calls. Oops!

      No, if anything, this article is being too nice to the Droid. My advice — avoid the Droid.

      • Kevin Purcell says

        For both of the above, I’m just getting started. This was all about the first moments of owning an Android phone v. the first few moments of owning an iPhone. I haven’t even had time to find all of the great things that exist in the Android universe and for that reason can’t compare it to the great things that I enjoy about iPhone. We’ll get there. I just ask for patience.

      • flippedout says

        Wow…you need to chill out. You’re comments are just as factless and fanboy as they come – Pot meet Kettle. Its an OS, not world hunger.

      • rkl says

        Listen, you sound like you are in denial. The iphone is a great device, but the android OS is outselling it period. You can keeping creating manipulated stats to find a reason why Android OS is outselling IOS, but the bottom line is it is outselling it regardless of the reason. By the way, who watches an entire movie on a phone and why? Being able to watch a movie on a phone, any phone android or other, is one of those things that looks good on paper, but is rarley actually used. The bottom line is if you like the iphone then stick with it, but don’t write a book on why it is not being outsold by another OS when it is.

        • Lalq says

          clearly you don’t own a iPhone. you can watch it Netflix on your iPhone or plug it into your tv and watch it there. so yeahhhh you can use your iPhone or connect your iPhone to your tv. I would say that on paper that DOES look pretty good. it’s also VERY practical when you have your friends over with their delis iPhone wannabes and your watching a movie streaming from your iPhone to your tv.
          feel stupid much now?

  2. Macintexas says

    Harder to setup than ios? All I had to do was “enter one email address”…BAM – my Android is setup. PERIOD. And it’s I
    Instant OTA. Truly couldn’t be Simpler. No Plugging in – Straight-Forward SIMPLE !!!

    • Rkleblanc says

      Just to be clear since you are obviously can’t read the full reply that I was responding to. He was talking about watching a movie while waiting for public transportation not streaming it on hhis tv. No one needs an iphone to stream netflixs, any blue ray player or gaming device does that. His point was that most people will pass on the android OS because they can’t watch a movie (which you can by the way) and my point is he is wrong. I did have an iphone and switched to an android phone. It was a great phone, but for business purposes the notifications system is lackluster to say the least. I could give you a list of more reasons, but I don’t want to write a book as the guy did. I’ll tell you like I told the other guy, if you like your iphone than keep it, but don’t write a book trying to explain why everyone is saying that android is now the top OS for cell phones. The numbers speak for themselves.

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