Mobile OSs Android or iPhone to use with iPad?

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by DCBass, Jun 14, 2012.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2004
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #1
    Hey Folks,

    It's approaching that time where my wife can upgrade their phone on AT&T. She's currently on a Palm Pre whose battery refuses to charge half of the time. Right now, she's leaning towards an iPhone 4 (or 4s), but she has stated that she's a little bored with iOS (she uses my phone a lot). I think it's worth it for her to at least explore getting an Android, but neither of us know much about it. FYI, she also has an iPad that she primarily uses for work. So, compatibility or syncing with iPad will be important.

    Any first hand experience, or links to resources for any of the below would be greatly appreciated! Please keep in mind that we will only be looking at Android 4.0 (ICS) devices.

    Here are her preferences:

    1. Needs to work well for music. It was very annoying that she couldn't find a reliable way to sync music and playlists to her palm pre. We tried many options like DoubleTwist and the like, but none worked as advertised. How does music work on Android? Is it easy to sync with iTunes? It would be ideal to have playlists (regular and smart) and ratings sync. She only has the basic data plan with AT&T, so it would not be good to have to 'stream' mp3s from Google Music.

    2. Documents. One of the very annoying things about iOS in both of our views is the lack of document managing. She's largely supplanted this with using Dropbox, but there are still some annoying spots, like not being able to attach documents from various places (like other emails) onto another email. How does Android handle this? Finally, how good is Android at reading MS Office docs out of the box? Will we have to buy an app for this? Any recommended MS Office-like apps? Any recommended PDF reading/markup apps?

    3. Email, Calendar, Contacts. She uses Yahoo for personal stuff, MS Exchange for work stuff. How are the stock apps in Android for these? To be honest, she's fairly untrustworthy of Google and doesn't use any of their services. So, while I know the Gmail app is supposed to be nice, I remember reading that the other Mail app is not that great.

    4. Are there any worthwhile ICS 4.0 phones on AT&T that do not have ginormous screens? One thing she like about her Palm was its size, and she already thinks that the iPhone is about as large as she'd like to go. So, definitely no Galaxy Note.

    5. Tasks. Are there any decent task managers that will easily sync between an Android phone and the iPad? For that matter, are there any decent (and cheap!) task managers that sync between iPad and iPhone? Omnifocus and Things are still too pricey, especially since you have to buy one for iPhone, and one for iPad.

    6. Notes. She is a huge fan of Notability on the iPad for work. Is there anything like that for an Android phone?

    7. No Hacking. Finally, she is not a tinkerer and just wants the phone to work. Though, I think she would like the widgets thing in Android. WebOS was even more flexible in this regard than iPhone, which she appreciated. So, any benefits from different ROMs, hacking, etc. will not really be considered.

    Thanks if you've read this far, and thanks in advance for the responses!

    Cheers,

    DCBass
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2012
    #2
    why would you want an iphone to go with an ipad? They're the same exact thing. One is just 10 inches and doesn't do calling
     
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2012
    #3
    In terms of syncing with the iPad, the iPhone is in many ways the only choice, as iCloud is an Apple exclusive, and the same apps work on both devices.

    Outside of that, you should try an Android forum with this post, as you'll get better answers from people more familiar with that platform.
     
  4. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2004
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #4
    Thanks, Dodge. Any recommended forums? Perhaps I should try TheVerge forums.
     
  5. macrumors 601

    tbayrgs

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #5
    Based on this logic, you should never get more than a single item from any manufacturer...

    "No, I can't get the 3-series sedan, it's just a smaller version of the X5 that can't carry as much stuff..."

    "I couldn't possible get that <insert manufacturer name> TV for our bedroom as I already have the larger model in the living room."

    That's some good advice. :rolleyes:
     
  6. macrumors 6502

    HiddenPuppy

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2011
    #6
    You do know that you cannot use an Android without having it linked to a gmail account? You do not have to use it as your primary source for contacts, calendar etc. but it will be linked to that gmail account. When I had Android there was no way around this.

    HiddenPuppy
     
  7. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2004
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #7
    Really? This is news to me. i've never heard this before. I thought it was an optional sign up thing like iCloud, which would then set up a bunch of stuff for you (gmail, gcal, contacts, apps, music, etc.). I didn't know it was actually a requirement.

    Hmm...
     
  8. macrumors 603

    nuckinfutz

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2002
    Location:
    Middle Earth
    #8
    This is going to be a problem. Android is a tinkerers phone. My advice, as someone who admittedly doesn't know Android half as much as some of the fans on here, would be to go with one of the Android phones that has the stock UI without all the Sense/TouchWhiz/whatevaSkin stuff.

    Don't know if there are many models that are small but i'm sure people will chime in.
     
  9. macrumors 68030

    rjohnstone

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2007
    Location:
    PHX, AZ.
    #9
    Not true.
    You can use any Android phone without a Google account just fine.
    You just can't use their store or Google apps that require a Google account.

    But thanks to Amazon and their Android store, you don't have to deal with Google at all.

    With all that said, if syncing with an iPad is a requirement, then an iPhone would be the logical choice.

    Sure you can do it with an Android phone, but Google services are required for most of the syncing features.

    The best forum for Android information on syncing compatibility is XDA.
     
  10. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2011
    Location:
    Dallas
    #10
    Alright... I'll see if I can help with this one.

    1.) I've never had a problem with DoubleTwist, it's always worked as advertised for me. But, there is an application called TuneSync that does the same thing, including downloading playlists. I also tend to just drag and drop my music into a folder and copy the folder onto my phone, but do whatever works for you.

    2.) For documents you can use Google Docs. Most Samsung Android phones come with QuickOffice, which is fairly good at editing and reading documents and PDFs.

    3.) There is a Yahoo mail app you can download from Google Play and there is also a MS Exchange app, but it is $19.99.

    4.) Now that's a tough one... Most phones already loaded with ICS are high-end large screened phones. There are some phones that will be getting ICS soon, such as the GS2 (4.3" screen), Samsung Captivate Glide (4"), and Motorola Atrix 2 (4.3").

    5.) You can try companionlink.com and see if that will work for you, it looks like it can do what you want.

    6.) Evernote or Writepad Stylus should be similar to Notability.

    7.) As long as you stick with a good quality handset, you shouldn't have to tinker.:)

    Hope this helps, if you have anymore questions, just ask!
     
  11. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2004
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #11

    Just to clarify on the syncing issue between a phone (android or ios) and the iPad... this probably isn't that big of an issue. Email, contacts and calendars are handled by Yahoo and Exchange, documents will likely continue to be handled by Dropbox for syncing, and there is little else to consider. Photos and Video are not a big deal. However, it would be good to know if there is a decent, and cheap, cross-platform task manager, but that is not a deal-killer.

    Thanks to all for the responses so far.

    Cheers,

    DCBass
     
  12. macrumors 68030

    rjohnstone

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2007
    Location:
    PHX, AZ.
    #12
    Drop Box can handle syncing all the photos and videos as well as the docs.
    The issue is you said she only has a basic data plan.
    Drop Box is a data plan killer if you sync a lot.
    It's the only thing I hate about it. You can't tell it to only sync over a WiFi connection.
     
  13. macrumors 6502

    HiddenPuppy

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2011
    #13
    Thanks for correcting me on that. When I got an Android a few years ago, it would not activate until I put in a google account. I did not have to use it, but had to have one and register it on the phone. Glad that is not true now.

    HiddenPuppy
     
  14. macrumors 68000

    Blakjack

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2009
    Location:
    Tallahassee Fl.
    #14
    What?!!!
     
  15. macrumors 6502

    HiddenPuppy

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2011
    #15
    According to post 9 my post is not true. Sorry to be wrong, but a few years ago when I bought an Android, it would not activate without me having a google account. I did not have to use it, but it had to be registered on the phone. Sorry to give incorrect info.

    HiddenPuppy
     
  16. macrumors 68030

    rjohnstone

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2007
    Location:
    PHX, AZ.
    #16
    You can now skip the Google registration process on most phones sold today.
    (all though it will nag you from time to time if you happen to trigger an app that requires a Google account.)
    Some do still force the registration.
    One thing to remember, you don't get any updates to any pre-installed apps if you skip this part.
    Techies understand this... your average user might not.
     
  17. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2004
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #17
    Just to jumpstart this again... any Android ICS users out there, I am curious how the music capability compares to iOS, as well as the other things I mentioned above.

    Cheers,

    DCBass
     
  18. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 14, 2010
    Location:
    South FL
    #18
    Agree with all except #3, the yahoo app is mehhh, just look at the reviews of it. Gmail app is much better which you can forward the account to Gmail to use it or one of the exchange services to setup for all. Or just use the web version of yahoo. I had times where emails didn't show but did on the computer, or delete or read something only to see it not reflected back on the computer etc. Then again I've had the same thing happen with email on the iPhone as well. Love the Gmail app, the yahoo app used to be great but the screwed with it, samething for regular yahoo mail on the computer, used to be awesome untill that new design and layout they did last year.... you can't even go back to the exact part of the inbox anymore so if you have a bunch of emails you have to scroll and figure out where you were and still can't open tabs of mail wtf... bunch of idiots at yahoo lol.

    Love Evernote, and yeh QuickOffice is great.
     
  19. macrumors 68030

    sulpfiction

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2011
    Location:
    Philadelphia Area
    #19
    I think your best choice is the iPhone. Especially to go along with the iPad. I have a feeling that your wife would hate android. I'm not bashing android, and I'm not an apple fanboy. Just get the feeling that an Android device is going to give her more headaches then solutions. Managing music is going to be so much easier through iTunes on the iPad and iPhone. Having the iPad and an Android device that she wants to sync a lot of content between is going to be a pain in the a$$. I'm a pretty techy guy and I still don't think Android is an easy platform to work on. Whereas iPhone is. JMO.

    If she does go with Android, be sure to post a follow up on what she thinks and how it is working for her.
     
  20. macrumors 68020

    LSUtigers03

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2008
    #20
    I use an Android phone and an iPad. I like having both platforms.
     
  21. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2004
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #21
    Many thanks for the detailed reply Jb07! It's good to know that you've had good luck with DoubleTwist. I almost bought QuickOffice for the iPad, but now I'm wondering if it might go free since Google bought it.

    It looks like the Galaxy S2 may be an option, but is that going to happen with AT&T anytime soon? The lack of updates leaves me weary of going Android, especially given the steady progress of iOS.

    Cheers,

    DCBass

    ----------

    Good to know about the Yahoo Mail app, SurferMan. Thanks!

    DCBass

    ----------

    Thanks for the recommendation, sulpfiction. We'll probably check out the selection this weekend. If we do decide to go Android, I'll be sure to give everyone an update!

    DCBass
     
  22. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2004
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #22
    Hi LSUtigers03,

    What do you like about having both platforms? Do you just enjoy being able to use different apps for both, or do you find having the mix to be particularly effective for what you need to do? If the latter, how so?

    Thanks,

    DCBass
     
  23. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2011
    Location:
    Dallas
    #23


    I would guess the GS2 will get ICS by the end of summer, worst case (I guess around Mid-July). There have been many ROMs leaked and T-Mobile just updated their GS2, so AT&T cannot be very far behind.
     
  24. macrumors 68030

    sracer

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2010
    #24
    I have a rooted Kindle Fire, Polaroid ICS tablet, and prepaid Optimus V for my Android fix. I appreciate having those devices to tinker and play around with.

    For the last 2 years, I had an Android smartphone while using an iPad (and now iPad 2) The greatest challenge was finding a set of applications that had OS-specific versions for Android and iOS or could interchange data. I wanted to have access to my personal planning data regardless of whether I had my phone, tablet, or notebook.

    That requirement greatly limited my options. (There are some good options like Evernote, Wunderlist, and Catch) Once I switched from a prepaid Android phone to a prepaid iPhone, data access and interchange became much simpler and I found myself using my devices more.

    I'm not advocating one OS over another but rather the same OS for all of your mobile devices. I could be equally comfortable and productive using an iPhone/iPad combo as I would an Android smartphone/tablet pair.
     
  25. macrumors 68020

    LSUtigers03

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2008
    #25
    I prefer Android for my phone because I like having a bigger screen, LTE, widgets, etc. I like that if I have a complaint about the keyboard, texting app, or really anything then I can change it. Amazon's free app a day is awesome. I've gotten a ton of very nice paid apps from that.

    Since I'm with AT&T I've had an iPhone for a few years since their Android selection was very bad until they lost exclusive rights to the iPhone. In those years I built up a big collection of apps. With the iPad I don't lose those apps even though I don't use an iPhone. I also think the iPad is the best tablet available. I like having both platforms because both do things better than the other and it's nice to be able to get the best of both worlds.
     

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