iPhone 4S: 5 Concerns of an Android Switcher

I didn’t think this day would come, especially without a re-designed iPhone 5, but I am finally thinking of getting an iPhone 4S.

After using iOS 5 on my iPad for a long time, I am interested in trying out an iPhone as my main mobile phone. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t see myself quitting Android cold turkey, but iOS and the iPhone have caught up in enough areas to convince me to give it a shot.

Update: Find Out How My Switch from Android to the iPhone 4S is Going

For quick background, I’ve been an Android user since the Motorola Droid launched two years ago, and have used almost all of Verizon’s Android lineup.

I have outlined why I wouldn’t switch to the iPhone on several occasions, but with Siri, accessories and other features, I’m tempted to join the iPhone side.

If i do get the iPhone 4S, I would pick Verizon as my carrier since I already have a plan and good coverage. I don’t need tons of space to store music and movies on my device, but I will probably aim for the 64GB Black iPhone 4S, in order to accommodate large apps and the hundreds of photos and HD movies I will take.

Concerns of Switching from Android to iPhone

Android to iPhone

Can a Google heavy user switch to iPhone?

While my concerns about switching between OS X and Windows have been put to rest with my increasing reliance on web apps to get work done, I still have a number of concerns about the ability to use the iPhone as my main phone. I’m exploring, but since many of you have probably dealt with these concerns, or have solved them, I am sharing what’s keeping my from going to the iPhone 4S.  As a little more background, I use two Gmail accounts on a daily basis, and cannot mix inboxes.

Gmail – Priority Inbox

I love Gmail Priority Inbox. Even though I currently sit at Inbox 242, that represents a fraction of the email that would be in my inbox without the magical sorting of Priority Inbox. On my iPad I use Exchange to link up to Gmail, but usually default back to the mobile website to get the Priority Inbox experience I know and love.

I could almost get by with the web client but I want notifications for email in the new Notification center, but not for all email — just the important email.

Am I missing an obvious solution to this issue?

Google Talk

I spend more time on Google Talk these days than I did on AIM back in college. I rely on the mobile app on Android to notify me of new messages and allow me to chat with co-workers.

Android still doesn’t let me switch between two Google Talk accounts, but it has performed admirably in keeping me in touch and notifying me of new messages.

I would prefer a Google solution, but if need be I will use a third party app.

Smaller Screen

I’m not alone in my concerns with the relatively small 3.5″ display of the iPhone 4S. After upgrading to the ThunderBolt, it will certainly be hard to transition back to a smaller screen again.

I’m hopeful that the Retina display and higher resolution screen will make up for this. If you’ve switched, how is life on the small screen?


I’ve tried using the iPhone keyboard before, but it can’t compare to SwiftKey X. I’m worried that I will be slower at typing on the iPhone 4S.

Even with the last iPhone keyboard trick I discovered, I am still slower at typing on the iPhone 4S.

Perhaps Siri will help me overcome this issue, but it’s a big bet to make. (Read: What is Siri?)

Here’s a look at Siri’s abilities. If only she could give you directions.

Google Maps

The final sticking point is the lack of turn by turn navigation. It’s tough to justify paying for an app like Navigon, when I have great turn by turn navigation on my ThunderBolt that comes free with the phone.

Today, as I drove down to the Apple store to take my MacBook Air in for repair, an iPhone owning friend was along and he asked me to use Google Maps so he could find a local market for lunch. The iPhone map solution reminds me of the paper-oriented past. If there’s no turn by turn directions, I may as well be printing out Yahoo Maps.

Are the iPhone GPS apps better than Google’s free offering?

Help Me Out

I’m sure at least a few of you use these services on your iPhone. I know there’s no keyboard solution on the horizon, but how do you use these services and get around the limitations of the iPhone?