So you’ve decided that the latest iPhone isn’t for you. The Android side of the fence looks a lot more attractive, and it’s time to see how the other half lives. You are switching from iPhone to Android, which is great!
However, there are some very important things you need to know before jumping with both feet.
Switching takes some work and some things should remain behind
While Apple makes an Android app to help you switch to their phones, it’s no surprise they don’t offer one to help you switch to the competition. The good news is that what you most likely want to transfer from your iPhone to your new Android phone can simply be transferred using the cloud services.
For example, if you have Google Drive installed on your iPhone and you sign in to your Android phone with the same Google credentials, it will import your contacts, passwords and all other data that Google stores on your behalf on that new phone.
Files stored in your iCloud account can also be accessed from your new Android phone by simply logging into the iCloud website from a browser. From there, you can simply download the photos stored there.
The only things that cannot be transferred are applications. Except for apps that are tied to a subscription or cloud account, you will have to re-purchase all apps that also have an Android version. This can be a significant additional cost, so it’s worth checking out again how much your favorite Android apps will cost you.
No interface standard
Using any iOS device, be it iPad or iPhone, will give you more or less the exact same experience. There are some concessions regarding hardware and use cases for various devices in this lineup, but overall, all iOS devices look the same in terms of interface.
While there is a “standard” Android interface, almost no Android phone uses it. These are mostly Google’s own Pixel devices that provide a pure Android operating system. Other mobile phone manufacturers such as Samsung are developing their own Android user interfaces and modifications. Whether you like it or not is up to you, but two Android phones can seem so different that it’s hard to believe they’re running the same operating system.
However, some companies actually mimic the look and feel of iOS well. In particular, Xiaomi’s Mi UI, which really looks like a classic iOS device. In fact, this can be seen as a good transitional option for former iPhone users.
You will have to wait for software updates
As an iPhone user, you’re used to Apple announcing a new iOS update and then downloading it almost immediately upon release. In Android, things are very very different.
Google will release a new version of Android, and then each phone manufacturer will start their own modification process. This means that you will only get a new version of Android in a few months, if you have one at all, as some phones will be abandoned entirely.
The good news is that big companies like Samsung have started breaking their updates so that important security features and bug fixes are available quickly. You also have the option to “root” your Android phone and install standard Android on it, but this is an option for advanced users and not for the faint of heart.
Malware is a real concern
With the exception of jailbroken iOS devices, Apple has incredibly tight control over the app ecosystem on its devices. One of the advantages of this is that there are practically no malicious apps on the iPhone. On Android, which is an open platform, there is no such safety net.
If you’re using a reputable app store like Google Play, you’re likely to be fine when switching from iPhone to Android. However, even then, problematic applications can slip through. Therefore, never assume that the application is trustworthy and consider using some form of antivirus software on your Android device.
Intermittent Apple Subscription Services on Android
There are only two Apple apps on Android. The first is the aforementioned utility that lets you switch to iPhone. The other is the Apple Music app. This is it. If you love Apple TV +, Apple Arcade, or Apple Music, you may have a hard time on Android.
Apple Music actually works pretty well, but Apple TV is only accessible through a browser, which is very unstable. Apple Arcade is for iOS only and we don’t think that will surprise anyone. As mentioned above, iCloud can only be used through your browser and not everything works.
Apple Messaging Services End
IMessage and FaceTime have a dedicated fan base, but you won’t find an Android version of those services. Instead, you will have to switch to something like Skype or WhatsApp for good.
This probably won’t be a big problem for you, as you probably had these apps on your iPhone to communicate with non-Apple users.
You’re Under Control
Although iOS is more and more open to users, it is still not as open as Android. You have full access to the Android file system and can install software from any source. This includes alternative app stores or simply direct installation of Android “apk” packages. A practice known as side loading.
This is both good and bad, as you might end up installing software that causes privacy issues or data corruption. The good news is, on most Android phones, sideloading is disabled by default if you’re concerned about that. However, if you do decide to give it a try, make sure you are aware of the risks.
We’re not completely different, you and iPhone
Despite the fact that there are some important differences between iOS and Android, the phone’s operating systems are quite similar in day to day use. Most people will be up to date within a day or two, moving from one to the next.
So there’s no reason to worry about moving away from Apple’s walled garden when you switch from iPhone to Android. If you pick a good Android phone with one of the best user interfaces (or even stock Android!), You will immediately feel right at home.