Like many people, when I first watched the original iPhone announcement in 2007 I was awestruck. I was one of the many people who shelled out $599 for an 8GB model and it really was groundbreaking. Flash forward 5 years later and I am still an iPhone user. I had upgraded to the iPhone 3G and then the iPhone 4 and I found myself happy with my purchases. I also remember jailbreaking my first iPhone before official apps were even released. I ran the first emulators and games that became available and had fun doing it. I continued to jailbreak all my devices after every update and eventually found myself dissatisfied with the stock iOS experience. Jailbreak apps like Intelliscreen X and Bite SMS made it mandatory that I still had my jailbreak before I updated to the latest iOS update.
I had never really given Android even a chance in my mind. I was always interested in the OS and kept up on articles and events in the cellphone world, but from the few times I had used it there was always something that turned me away. My first experience playing with a Morotola Droid left me with a dull taste in my mouth. At that time no other company had come close to the perfection of the iPhone’s touch screen. Even simple things like scrolling and pinch to zoom felt awful. A year or two later I remember messing with my brother’s HTC Droid Incredible. The Android experience was better this time, but I still remember seeing an incoming call and that awful 96 x 96 pixel contact image come up on the screen. I thought to myself, how could such a low resolution be used on a phone and OS with such higher potential (a problem that is still occurring to this day I hear). This, along with Android fragmentation and manufacturer “skins” were another huge turn off for me. So years went by and myself, like many others, lavished in the iPhone experience. Everything was just so polished and worked perfectly. Yes, we had to wait for a few key features like copy and paste, airplay and a notification center, but everything that Apple included, for the most part, always worked and was extremely polished.
Then, a few months ago the buzz for the iPhone 5 started emerging. Also, new high end phones were starting emerging like the Samsung Galaxy S3, Galaxy Note and the HTC One X. On top of the new phones there was quite a buzz surrounding the new Android Jelly Bean OS. When the leaks for the iPhone 5 started emerging I was not very impressed. I, like many others, was hoping for a much larger screen, but also, many of us realized that Apple would never produce a larger screen because it would potentially scare away many average users that the iPhone has extended its reach to.
In my great hatred towards AT&T (I could write a whole other article on why) I decided I was going to switch providers when my wife’s contract was up. I decided to go the pre-paid route and order SIM cards from Straight Talk. Then, suddenly I thought since I am going prepaid; why not just try out an Android phone? If I went and bought an unlocked Android phone, I could try it for a few months on Straight Talk and if I didn’t like it, I could purchase a new iPhone 5 unlocked or go join Verizon since they have a good LTE connection in my neighborhood. The thought stayed in my head for a few days and I began to do research on some newer Android phones and even Jelly Bean. I was initially waiting for the iPhone 5 announcement before making my decision, but in the end I decided I wanted to get the most money for my iPhone 4 and get it on the market before it was flooded with potential upgraders. So before I knew it I had ordered my Samsung Galaxy S 3 with 16GB of storage. So here we begin the main part of the article, not only my experiences with Android and Jelly bean, but from the point of view of a 5 year iPhone user with almost no Android experience at all.
I hope you are good at researching topics on the internet, because you are going to be using it. I don’t think I have spent this much time reading forums since I decided to build a Ghostbusters proton pack for Halloween. Of course, with my Galaxy S3 in hand I could always go with a stock Samsung experience, but I already knew that this would not enough for me. My main reason for switching to Android was customization, and to get real customization requires installing a custom ROM on your device. Now I already knew what rooting was, but I had no idea about anything else. Lauchers, ROMS and kernels were all unknown to me at the time and I had no experience or even able to ask a friend for advice. Nearly all my friends were iPhone users and I had no one to turn to for advice. It was hours of research deciding which ROM I wanted to install and how to root my device.
This is where my first point comes into play. Since we are dealing with Android and a plethora of devices, you have to search for specific models and versions of everything. Unlike with the iPhone where you only really need to know which iPhone you had and what firmware you are running (not getting into bootloaders). I pretty quickly decided I wanted to install CM10 on my device. With all the wonderful things I have heard about Jelly Bean, I did not want to start out my first Android experience with anything other than the newest version of Android. So the day came when I received my S3 and luckily it was already rooted. A quick install later and I had CM10 running Jelly bean on my S3 and I was excited to play around all the new setting and experiences.
Oh the settings!
As I said, customization was one of the main reasons I wanted to try out Android, and boy did I get what I asked for. Even after spending two weeks with Jelly bean I am still finding more settings and adjustments to make. While the iOS settings app has grown over the years, as many know, it does not even come close to the adjustments you can make on Android. From adjusting the lock screen, status bar, power menu, themes and anything else you can think of. You can spend hours adjusting and fine tuning your Android experience to your liking.
NOTE: As I said I do not have any prior experience with Android so any of my observations are with the 20120911 nightly version of CM10 I am running and many not be a representation of a typical Android experience.
I quickly fell in love with the Android “menu” button on my device. The ability to call up advanced menu option at any time is something I had always wanted in iOS. On the iPhone I hated having to quit an app, open the settings app, and scroll to the bottom just to make an adjustment in an app. But in Android, this sometimes causes confusion. While in most circumstances you can easily bring up options or settings for whatever you are doing simply by pressing that button. What you’re looking for isn’t always there. Also, sometimes even within settings you can press the menu button again for even more settings! This can quickly get confusing and I often find myself spending time trying to find where I saw a certain setting I want to adjust. For example, I wanted to add the brightness button to the widget in the JB (Jelly Bean from now on) notification bar. While for seasoned Android users this may be second nature, but it took me a while to remember settings- system- notification drawer- widget buttons.
I honestly did not even know what the Android launcher was a few weeks ago. Some more research later quickly showed it was the initial screen you see when your phone is unlocked. This concept seemed foreign to me as the iPhone doesn’t have a launcher per say, it kind of does, and it doesn’t. Most Android users tend to fill their launcher with their most used apps and widgets. Need to get to an app not on your launcher? No problem, just search for it or open up the app drawer where it conveniently lists all your installed applications. I find this very helpful coming from iOS. On the iPhone, if you downloaded an app, you were stuck with it on your homescreen forever. Yes, you could hide it away in a folder, but for someone like me who obsesses with organization, I found it difficult to manage between the apps I used the most and having a nice and organized homescreen. While I did not want to delete a bunch of apps just because I may only use them once in a blue moon, I also did not want to have to search through a dozen folders to find it. That is why I love the idea of the Android Launcher so much. I can easily put my most used apps and widgets on my homscreen, while easily able to get to apps I may only use a few times. While there are a dozen launchers to choose from and everyone has their preference, I find the stock JB launcher to work just fine.
Widgets are one of crown jewels of Android users. While there are a few iOS jailbreak apps that include widgets, these don’t even come close to the widget implementation in JB. I love being able to put my calendar or RSS feed anywhere on my homescreen. It really makes the Android experience a true customization for the user. One of the new features in JB is the ability to move the widgets around the home screen and have the icons auto move around the widget and is a really a convenient feature.
What do you mean that is not built in, and more research too?
So here I have my new S3 playing around with it for a few days. So far everything is going well and I am easily finding most apps I used on my iPhone on the Google Play store. Speaking of the Google Play store, I will say that I am impressed with it so far. There are a number of free apps and even most apps seem reasonably priced. I really like the idea of being able to install apps from my laptop and look over and get that satisfying notification that the app was automatically download. While I believe iOS can do this also, the Apple app store from a browser is not the same experience at all.
Anyways, here I am on my laptop doing more research on apps to install on my fancy new phone when I start to run into some issues. First, I needed to print a pdf from my phone to my wireless printer. This was cake on my iPhone so I figured it shouldn’t be too difficult. First I attempted to open the pdf to find out reading pdfs is not built into Android. Easy enough, some research later I find out adobe reader is available and one of the better apps. Install, launch and try to print…..no option to print. Now that I think about it, no settings to print anywhere. Some more research about printing with Android. OK, it is not built in and I need to install an app. Easy enough….except that the most recommended app is $12.95, for a feature that is built into iOS. Luckily for me, my Epson printer had a free Android app that let me do the same thing (even though the app is ugly).
Next thing up was installing my new SD card. Since my S3 only has 16GB of built in memory, I ordered a 32GB SD card to give me some extra space. This was one of the reasons I picked the S3 over the HTC One X because it has an SD slot. So I got my new SD card, popped it in and found that it was recognized by JB. OK, now to move some larger apps and photos to the SD card. So I go looking through the settings and I can’t find this anywhere. I knew for a fact that some Android phones can move certain apps to the SD card and set the camera photos to save to the SD card. So why can’t I find this? Time for more research! Hours of research later and some trial and error I find out that I pretty much can not do this with my phone. They have plenty of apps that help move apps to the SD card, but apparently they are not compatible with my S3, and from what I have read this is a Samsung issue and not an Android issue. Researching more and more gives me a bunch of options for different ROMS and apps for moving apps to the SD card, but most of them did not work with my specific model of phone or they are overly complicated, even for me.
NOTE: I have the AT&T version of the Galaxy S3 (d2att) which is different from the quad-core i9300 international version which is also popular.
Another feature built into iOS that I ran into problems with on Android is resizing of images when sending an email. They recently added this feature into iOS where anytime you email an image in iOS it pops up with options to resize the image (or images) before it attaches them. When I first noticed that I was about to email an 8MB image I was surprised that this feature was not built into JB. I had to do some more research to find a solution. While I was easily able to find an app to fill this void, the implementation is not perfect and I am still unable to batch resize photos before I email them. This is something simple that really should be added into the OS soon.
Not that I mind doing some research every now and then, and it is hard to completely learn a new operating system in a few weeks, but that is one nice thing about iOS is its ease of use. Almost anyone can pick it up and figure out how to use it without too much difficulty. While Android is not overly difficult, and JB has made strides in usability, there is a line between ease of use and customization where you are going to lose some people. I guess that is where the manufactures believe they can fill that void, but we all know more times than not they only cause more problems for users.
Oh the notifications!
Everyone knows Apple stole the notification bar from android. While the iOS implementation of the notification bar is nice, Google has really perfected it in JB. Not only the notification bar, but also the status bar, which will display notification icons in real time. Everything that happens in Android has the option to be displayed the notification bar. The notification bar feels like a central hub for the OS. Not only do you get the nice widgets that are completely adjustable, but every action that happens in the OS has the ability to send updates to the notification bar. Downloading a file to the SD card from Chrome and want to switch to another app? No problem, it shows up in the notification center. I still meet iOS users that never use the notification center, or even know it exists on their phone.
I am a huge fan of podcasts and have certain podcasts set to automatically download when they are available. I get a cool little icon in the status bar that the download started and a list of all the episodes currently available. Now this may now sound like a big deal, but from a heavy iPhone user I can tell you that the notification center is not perfect in iOS. I would find plenty of times when apps were not getting notifications on time, or skipping certain events. This also plays into the fact that iOS does not have true multitasking. In Android if I set my podcasts to automatically download, I don’t have to think twice about the app being open or not, it just works. In iOS I would often find myself opening my apps often just to make sure it would be running and I would get my notifications. While I am not sure the technical specifications of push notifications in iOS, I can tell you that the Android implementation is much better. Even things like Titanium and Nandroid backups can be easily run in the background without any hiccup.
The likes and dislikes of Android
Like- Google Maps and Integration
This seems like an obvious factor here, but being an iOS user I forgot how much I enjoy all my Google services being truly integrated into the Android experience. I had slowly been inching towards more Google integration over the years even with iOS and it is only natural that going to Android would bring that all together. The Google maps experience on Android is very nice and the ability to save maps offline with JB is a real plus. I had no issues saving my whole city onto offline maps. My only wish is that I could save the maps on the SD card, but that may be available in the future. The whole Google maps experience is all there along with traffic, street view, local places and more and it all comes to together nicely in JB. This is all integrated in Google Now, which has the potential to be really great. Google Now is kind of a Siri competitor, but does a whole lot more than Siri does and is more widely integrated into the OS. Google Now will show you movie times nearby you along with restaurants and a whole slew of other things that I do not use. Also, from what I hear, Google Now will keep track of your meetings and their location and tell you if you need to take a different route to where you are going. This may be very helpful for people in a large city and commute, but for me none of these are very useful to me.
Dislike- Google Maps and Navigation
How can I dislike Google Maps when I just praised it? Well mainly two issues, which for me are huge problems with maps and navigation for Android. My first issue is a huge headache for me since I switched from iOS. In Google Maps for iOS if I open up maps and go to the search bar and type in a contact’s name, the name comes up on a list and I select it and it automatically shows me their listed address on the maps. This seems like a simple and logical process for maps and I have been doing this for 5 years on my iPhones. So I was very disappointed when I opened up Google Maps on my S3, typed in a contact name and nothing was listed. I was baffled. I thought something must be broken. I guess I could go to my contacts information and then click on their address, but why should I have to do this? What if I want to find the closest library near my friend’s house? I have to go to their contact info, click their address and then search, or memorize their address and type it in. The whole experience just seems backwards. I just don’t understand why this would be built into iOS Google Maps app for 5 years and not on cream of the crop JB.
So some more research later I find out that Google apparently wants you to use their Google Navigation app to search for contacts. While the Navigation app is sort-of the same as Google Maps, it is not. Navigation is built to be just like a standalone GPS, which is great, except that there is no reason to take a feature away from the maps program to push your Navigation app. Even the Navigation app itself is not perfect. The maps on Navigation look a little different and are not as sleek as Maps and even the icons are from an older version of Android, which can be visually annoying. Now I am not complaining about the built in Navigation, I am just saying it needs to be integrated better into Maps and features should not be cannibalized from Maps to put them in Navigation.
Like- JB Lock Screen
I was worried about the lock screen on JB coming from my jailbroken iPhone. I really enjoyed Intellisceen X on iOS 5. I could view my entire week calendar, all my emails, notifications, RSS feed and Facebook updates straight from my lockscreen. I had it set up just the way I wanted it and I was worried about how that experience would translate to JB. I am happy to say that while I have yet to find the exact same experience with JB, I am happy with the compromise. I love the JB unlock system with being able to assign up to 5 shortcuts to apps from the lock screen. While I have not been able to figure out a way to get my full week calendar on the lock screen, it is not as important because I just have a calendar widget set up on my homescreen. Also, notifications do not appear directly on the homescreen, but the notification center can easily be accessed and used.
Dislike- No Google Authenticator built in
A few months ago I made the switch to dual-authentication on almost all my accounts, most specifically my Google accounts. If you are unaware, dual-authentication is a way to add an extra layer of security to your accounts by requiring you to enter a passcode, on top of your password, whenever you access your account from an untrusted computer or device. This is typically done with an app or SMS message sent to your phone. I mainly use the Google Authenticator app, which is nice, but it is unfortunate that this is not built into Android. Whenever I am setting up my phone it always requires me to close whatever I am doing and open up the authenticator. With Google being one of the main companies pushing dual-authentication, it would be nice to see this built into Android.
Like- SwiftKey 3 and the Android Keyboard
Day one with Android it took some getting used to using the keyboard. I have heard of everyone praising Swiftkey as one of the best Android keyboards so I went ahead and purchased it. While I do think Swiftkey if far from perfect, I found myself typing quickly without thinking too much about my mistakes very quickly. The main revelation came when, a week later, I went to my iPad to access my favorite social app, Share, and began to type. I immediately realized how stupid the iOS keyboard is. When I say stupid I mean the ability of the OS to auto correct my words and predict my words while I type. I never even thought this was an issue with iOS, and I even thought I could type pretty fast in iOS, but it wasn’t until I went back to my iPad a week after I started using JB that I realized how often I had to back space and change my text. Both stock JB keyboard and Swiftkey do such a great job of predictive text that I am really enjoying the experience on Android.
Dislike- No unified Inbox
Really Google, really? No unified inbox, not even for my Google accounts? Like most people I do not simply have one email account. I actually have half a dozen accounts that I use for a variety of purposes, although I only use 3 for everyday use. For email, JB offers 2 email apps, one just for your Gmail accounts, and another generic “Email” app that can be set up for IMAP or POP accounts. While I do like the programs offered, I am baffled at why there is no unified inbox option. Even with the stock Gmail app I have to manually select which account I am looking at. Looking at the apps themselves, some small things are annoying like the differences between the Gmail and Email app. For example, the delete buttons are in different locations on each app so by habit, when I use the Email app my thumb is so used to pressing the spot for delete button in the Gmail app I constantly find myself looking for the right button to press. They offer apps in the Play Store that can fill this unified inbox void, but with K-9 mail being the most popular, I honestly find it ugly and lacking compared to the Gmail app. Most of my complaints are mitigated by the excellent Notification center which easily directs me to the right app whenever I get an email. It works so well I almost don’t even mind the complaints I had, although that does not excuse the fact that this functionality really should be built into JB, at least on the Gmail app. An app like Sparrow on iOS would be appreciated, and seeing that Google bought Sparrow a few months ago something similar might be happening.
Like- Notification Light
Spending 5 years with an iPhone, something as simple as a notification light never even crossed my mind. I am sure this feature has been around for years and has often been overlooked, but in JB there is this amazing feature that, while simple, has easily become one of my favorite Android features. My S3 has a LED notification light on the front of the phone that blinks whenever you have a pending notification. In JB you have the option of changing the LED color depending on which app has a pending notification. While this may not seem like much, I find it so convenient that just by a glance at my phone on the counter I can see by the color of the LED if I missed a phone call, have a waiting text message or simply have a Facebook notification waiting for me. JB lets you select the LED color depending on which app has a pending notification. For example for Facebook I have it set to a satisfying blue that is easily seen from a distance. While JB lets you select from a large range of colors, you will have to play around with the color selection, as the single RGB LED can only reproduce limited color options. Also, with CM10 it does seem a little buggy, but for the most part it works quite well and I am sure this will be fixed with future versions.
Like- Google Voice Integration
I am a big Google Voice fan and I have been using it for years. In iOS I used an awesome jailbreak tweak called SMS GV Extension which let me integrate my Google Voice number as my default SMS texting service and it was fully integrated into iOS. This was a lifesaver for me as I refused to pay AT&T’s outrageous texting fees and did not have a text message plan. With Android the Google Voice app can be integrated into the OS. If you wish you can select to use your GV number for all outbound calls, or select if you want to use your GV number or your default number each time you place a phone call. You can even select to integrate the GV texting into your stock Messaging app if you wish, all without any extra tweaks or plugins. My only complaint is that you cannot dial numbers from the GV app in Android like you could in iOS. While I mainly use GV for text messaging, a majority of the time I want to use my default phone number for outgoing calls. As I stated, the only options in JB right now is to dial all outbound calls with you GV number, or manually select before every call which number to use. I would prefer to be able to open up the GV app and dial a number with my GV number for the few times I want to use it. Also, it is confusing why the GV app on Android is called simply “voice,” but then all you can do is send text messages.
Let me be clear that I am not saying that the iPhone or iOS is at all inferior to Android. I think we all can agree that when the original iPhone came out in 2007 it was truly revolutionary. When I recently looked back at the 2007 iPhone unveiling that Steve Jobs announced, I still felt the excitement come back up watching it 5 years later. We also cannot deny that Apple makes some amazing hardware. The iPhone 5 is a beautiful phone and there is a huge consumer base that the iPhone is perfect for. Although things have also evolved since 2007 and other companies like Google and Microsoft have come a long way with both hardware and software in the cellphone market. There are a variety of choices now and everyone is going to have a preference as to what suites them best. For me personally, after 5 years I got bored with iOS. The hardware was something that I could live with, although I was dying to get a larger screen (even larger than 4 inches), but personally, even though as polished as iOS is, it has become boring and uninnovative for me. That is why I decided to take the plunge to Android when I did. Google has made so many strides since Android’s early days and I really think it is time for Android to shine. Android has become a great option for power users and consumers looking for that level of customization that iOS has never offered. That is why I decided to write this and maybe show some people that making the “switch” isn’t all that bad. Yes, Android still has some definite hurdles to overcome such as fragmentation and ridding itself of the image from much older versions of the OS, but with the arrival of JB I can truly say that I am happy with my decision to switch from iOS and I honestly don’t see myself turning back anytime soon.
A couple of things;
You should be able to print anything from Google Drive if you set up Cloud Print, though you seem to have alreayd found a work around.
Also interesting that you like the Menu button given that Google is trying to get rid of it and I hate Samsung for including one! Personally I much prefer having a Multitasking button and Action Bars are dynamic and just great!
But nice to see you’ve made thw jump.
Thanks for the feedback. I looked into Cloud Print, but at the time I thought I desktop had to be on for it to work, but it looks like that might possibly be a solution. Thanks
Your wifi printer has to have google cloud print intregraded, mine does and it works great, You don’t have to have a desktop on or anything.
Just so you know, most of the settings you refer to aren’t JB features, but Cyanogenmod features.
Also, you can get widgets on your lockscreen with widgetlocker.
File manager: Total Commander isn’t half bad. ttps://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ghisler.android.TotalCommander
You’re due for a little update, too. Couple of nifty new features got in lately. 😀
Yeah, I was going to update with the monthly which should be soon!
I think Solid Explorer is the best filemanager out there.
to Anon in this thread: everything is in the eye of the beholder. I like Total Commander because it reminds me of the “File Commander” file manager style in many Unices and Linuxes. It’s a personal preference, really.
to Author: You’ll probably like it. There’s an update manager coming in, too.
“So I was very disappointed when I opened up Google Maps on my S3, typed in a contact name and nothing was listed.”
Google’s model is that you just use the search box on the main screen of your phone; you don’t bother to open an app first. If I search for a friend’s name via the main search box (or by speaking their name!), it brings up the contact. From there, it’s a single tap to navigate to their house.
When I tried this it defiantly brought up there contact info, but it still involves an extra step to go to the map. I guess it is just because am so used to that from iOS it will take some getting used to.
That was a good read. I had an iPhone starting with the 3G up until my 4 broke. I decided to get an Android phone, specifically the Motorola Atrix, and I hated it. What a piece of shit phone. I recently decided I was going to get rid of it and get a newer phone. My options were pretty clear: I could wait for the iPhone 5 or get one of the popular Android phones. I was looking at the GS3, but I just couldn’t do it. I don’t want to have to root my phone to get a good Android experience. I want with the Galaxy Nexus. I can safely say the Gnex is the best Android phone on the market. It has great performance, a perfect sized screen, and the software buttons. The software buttons really changed everything about Android for me. Capacitive buttons were nice but not perfect. And the hardware home button on the GS3 is unacceptable. The menu button does not represent the new Android experience. It’s a huge mess. ICS and JellyBean fixed that problem with the software buttons. But yeah, in short, I highly recommend Nexus phones and only Nexus phones. They are the true Android experience.
This. Completley agree. I love my nexus running codename. I truely belive i own the best phone in the world.
how’s the camera on it though? i’ve seen that it’s only 5mp, so that doesn’t sound too good. And also it has a dual core CPU compared to the quad one on the GS3 and the One X, is it able to keep up with them?
The camera is actually a 8mp and is even comparable to the iphone 5.
Also, the dual core is plenty snappy. I have no complaints. Although it is not as fast as the quad core or the One X.
Thanks for the fair comparison. I’m a JB user and I share a lot of the same gripes you mentioned. I still could never go back to iOS though.
There is a unified inbox, just not in the shitty gmail app. Use the Email app that comes built in on the phone, and freeze the gmail app using TitaniumBackup. It sucks and I have no idea why they still include it.
This. I only use the standard Email app, you can add Gmail accounts to it, though they don’t support push notifications which is annoying, so you have to choose a sync interval.
I use this setup, and have my Gmail, work Exchange account and Hotmail account all sitting in a global Inbox. I have a fullscreen widget with this global inbox on my homescreen. Having access to all 3 of my accounts right on my homescreen is lovely, especially since you can resize it to full 4v4 (though, that said, why the widget is so small by default is beyond me).
I have to say, though. I can totally see why this possibility wasn’t readily apparent, and Google really need to make it obvious and more intuitive. I don’t understand why Google give us a separate Gmail app rather than simply building suitable Gmail functionality in to the Email app. I shouldn’t have to actively add my Gmail account to the Email app and then freeze Gmail, it should be like that by default.
I Love the gmail app.. i hate unified inboxes.. it get a mess if the shitton emails i get from the job.. at the end of the week i dont want to see all that work stuff!
In the Gmail app, my “inbox” label is essentially a unified inbox. I have Gmail set up to pull mail from all of my accounts. If you don’t want this experience on your desktop, you could use filters and labels to throw them all into a specific label for your phone.
Any of the file managers, root explorer or root browser are two good ones, will allow you to copy/paste and move any files from the internal storage to the SD card. I’ll test it out with offline maps and see if it still pulls up the data through the app. But I move things back and forth all the time, including manually replacing and fixing permissions on system apps.
Great read. Glad you’re happy with the switch. Made it myself after a couple years with the iPhone 3GS.
Re: contacts search in google maps. I guess it’s just what you’re used to. I had forgotten about that iOS feature until I read about it here. Now I just do a contact lookup and click the address.
Have a look at Widget Locker for Android. AMAZING power of customization for your lockscreen, including widgets, wallpapers, unlock bar etc. Great product!
You should give k9 mail a shot. It’s a fantastic mail app for android, and I believe it can have a unified mailbox as well. The stock android “email” app sucks major dong, no doubt about it.
Oh, one other thing. Just long press the Search key and say “navigate to John Doe’s house”. Better than all the other ways to navigate to a friend’s house.
Welcome to the Android community!
As a quick tip, I’d recommend against moving apps off your internal storage to SD card. A few years ago when phones had limited internal storage, this was more of an issue for those with a lot of apps; but now you’re only incurring memory read performance penalties by moving your apps.
Interesting that in CM10, integrating Google Voice with the standard messaging is built in… I have to say, I got a galaxy nexus because I swore off constantly updating my phone myself with all the rooting and whatnot, but you’re starting to really tempt me! Maybe I’ll put CM10 on my phone when it hits a stable, final release, and say that it’s stock, just not Google stock… lol!
You should look into Executive Assistant app, it does everything your intelliscreen lockscreen app did and more as far as i can tell (no experience with intelliscreen).
And yes while many of those features are Cyan features there are also things you didnt like that TouchWiz would have done for you like picture resizing for email and text.
Last but not least there are email applications with unified inbox’s, as well as some of the stock rom email clients that do.
Navigation, Maps, Latitude and Places are ALL the same app.. just diferent shortcuts.. 🙂
I was an Android user since the beginning. I’ve been on iOS off and on throughout the years. While I miss Android, I dont miss the crummy battery life. When handset makers can catch up to the iPhone in that department I’ll jump back.
Ever heard of the razr maxx? longest life battery of any phone. Android isn’t nearly as responsible for your former battery issues as your configuration of it and choice in hardware.
You think that I was wrong in my choice of hardware? Granted all of my android devices were before the Razr maxx came out, but I’ve had at least 7-10 different android phones. All of which were terrible in regard to battery life.
Most people on Rootz or XDA keep saying to turn off syncing this or that, or shutting off other features, I dont think that is an acceptable approach to configuring a phone.
I’ve heard that the razr maxx and the GS3 are great for battery. But I havent heard anyone that has one talk about it yet.
I get a solid 8 hours of heavy use from my S3 although I no longer have LTE on my S3 since I switched to Straight Talk. When I had LTE the life was significantly less.
If you make and Android phone as simple as an iPhone, the battery is great.
The problem I always see is that the user has 7 homescreens active, 2 auto updating widgets per homescreen, 30 apps with push notifications running in the background, and they say “Why doesn’t the battery last as long as the iPhone?”
Probably because it is doing about 30 times more even while idling…
“For example, I wanted to add the brightness button to the widget in the JB (Jelly Bean from now on) notification bar settings- system- notification drawer- widget buttons.”
Just FYI, CyanogenMod thing, not an Android thing. (though I’m hoping Google adds some of these awesome CM settings in the future)
“Some more research about printing with Android. OK, it is not built in and I need to install an app.”
The phone came with printing built-in, you removed it. 🙂
“set the camera photos to save to the SD card. So why can’t I find this? from what I have read this is a Samsung issue and not an Android issue.”
Not a Samsung issue, works fine out of the box, CM/stock JB issue?
“While I have not been able to figure out a way to get my full week calendar on the lock screen.”
Widgetlocker is a great app for this.
“Dislike- No unified Inbox”
We’ll have to agree to disagree here, that is the LAST thing I would want on my phone!
“Notification light settings”
Just FYI, those settings are CM, not Android.
Just a pro tip regareing the SD card “issue”…. You are far better off storing all your apps on your internal SD card, and dedicated your external SD card to music/movies/documents/etc.
That way you keep all the big data users off your internal storage which means its guaranteed safe during any factory reset, and it doesnt break widget function and some app compatibility when you for apps to spread data from internal to external.
16GB is HEAPS for apps.
I disagree, I downloaded a game the other day that is almost 2 GB. Games are getting bigger and I won’t buy another Samsung device after this. I bought the S3 and they should have to advertise that their phones won’t move apps to the SD card.
Which podcast app are you using?
When I found out the iPhone4s I’d bought for myself and my wife didn’t have Bluetooth they nearly went through the window (no, I don’t endlessly research the things I buy – I expect all the functionality to be there).
Impressive article, well written and objective. But what impresses me the most is the replies. No fanboy bashing/hating just pure feedback.
Really a great article, and Android UX team should pay attention to the various features and functionality you were used to on iOS… not to replicate necessarily, but to be responsive to former iphone users’ usability concerns.
re: your desire for your full schedule appearing on Lock Screen, along with widgets, AND get instant icon-based notifications of new emails, new facebook notifications, twitter and Google Reader, plus fully customizable color, opacity and display, and, really & truly a lot more depending on what you want, I agree with commenter Sinvex, above, when he/she recommended the App/widget “Executive Assistant” . A lot of longtime Android users actually don’t know about it, so they’ll tell you about various widget arrays where you can select multiple widgets and customize them. That is true, and for me, the best of that breed is “widgetsoid”, the most customizable and well-thought-through control-system I’ve ever seen in past 5 years of use of Android.
But I’m still recommending you look at Executive Assistant – I’ve used it on 3 different Android phones I’ve owned, and all it does it get better. On your lock screen it also enables you to have specific apps that you can launch even from a locked screen if you choose to. I use a Google Search icon (for speech) that way, so you can handle things quickly then put the phone away, and it’s already locked. …. Of course it may end up not being what you want… but you’ve written such a thorough article, I just wanted to make sure you check it out. 🙂
The reason why you cant search for a contact in google maps is because Apple sued for patent infringement for that feature. Thus is being removed from the Galaxy S3. Im so sick of Apple.
For your issues with email, first off the email app and gmail are completely separate apps. The email app is typically made by the OEM while the gmail app is google, so the fact that their delete button is in a different spot is because they are in no way related to each other. Also an easy work around for having multiple accounts is just forwarding all your email to one central account, that is what I do at least.
Pingback: Why I switched from iOS to Android and why I am never going back… | Le Shy Talkative
Hi. Where did you purchase the black version of the S3 from? I really hate the colors supplied by AT&T in the US. Are you in the US?
You need to check out Tesla Coils launcher and lockscreen.
The lockscreen app (widget locker) can do exactly anything you want it to! (And so can the launcher Nova Launcher). Look how nice you can arrange it:
Try groove IP. Its for making calls on Google voice over data
I just tried it and it works great. Thanks for the tip! My house gets horrible reception so this is perfect.
Thanks for this article. You’ve given me lots to think about…
You should look into the MIUI rom for the S3. Being an iPhone user, it will most certainly please you. 🙂
Reblogged this on Alanlund Digital Marketer.
One thing no one’s mentioned: If you want your iTunes stuff, go get Doubletwist. It’s basically iTunes for Android.
Download one of the newer builds of CM10! They fixed an issue with the lag and it’s buttery smooth now, the way Jelly bean was meant to be. God bless Android, and God Bless America!
If you use the stock email app there is an option (if you use multiple accounts) to view a “combined inbox”.
Thank you for the very informative article. 🙂 I switched too, yesterday.
Pingback: Follow-up: Why I switched to Android from iOS | Lookatthemonkeys
Thanks for the article, it’s helped me to break free from the oppressive ecosystem of iOS. I switch next week and can’t wait.
Great article – pretty much the same as my experience switching from iOS to Android. The only thing i am not happy about is the difference between the apps on iOS and on Android. The former gets more polished, updated and functional apps. For example – Plex Media server player on iOS is very smooth and bug free, but on the Android its barely as good an experience. I believe its the same with other apps. What do you think?
Very nice article (and follow-up is great as well)! I am spending my last days as an iOS user right now, and cant wait to try it all. Many thanks!
Great article in which I can relate to. Recently switched from ios after many good years to a Nexus $ and havent looked back
Excellent article! Congratulations and most of all, welcome into the real super user experience. If you want, I advice you to set your gmail account in order to get email from all other accounts and after that manage only one, the “main” account.
I am truly glad to read this web site posts which contains plenty of useful data, thanks for providing these
kinds of statistics.
Very rapidly this site will be famous amid all blog people, due to it’s pleasant articles or reviews
People who like jailbreaking are probably more suited to non apple devices really. Where do u find the time for jailbreaking anyway? Your article is really a glowing testament to iOS for most of us, in that u have been a fan for so long. The other 99 percentile can rest assured that if they stick with the original, they will be continuously rewarded with an iOS that does not cause them to visit forums on how to do basic things, is intuitive, pretty darn slick and can do more things than they could ever think of. Bring on ios7!
Hi good article. Here’s my 2 cents,I’m simlair in love neatness perfection and customisation,however I’ve been from android to iPhone,got bored ,switched back to android,then back to iPhone,ipad mini, then back htc one,still using it .all the time the customisation ie custom rooms sapped my life and I hate choices but strive for perfection too much, so now running htc one with viper rom it’s perfect.but here’s my point,phone apps are good on android,tablet apps on android are limited and not as polished generally.so I use android phone,and ipad for chilling out,the ipad apps are great,so best of both,even better stream stuff from my phone to my ipad allowing me to use the 16 gb ipad. Phone android,tablet ipad .thx.
Hi! I could have sworn I’ve been to this web site before but after looking at a few
of the posts I realized it’s new to me. Anyways, I’m definitely delighted I stumbled upon it
and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back frequently!