A helpful comparison: Galaxy s8 iPhone from poster whose only bought mac since the clamshell macbook

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by NeonKingKong, Sep 19, 2017.

  1. NeonKingKong, Sep 19, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2017

    NeonKingKong macrumors member


    Nov 14, 2008
    Portland, OR
    (Edit to add some screenshots I took during a conversation in this thread. This is where I am now. Home screen, and screen with full list of apps I get with just a two finger swipe up "since the list rises from the bottom it is like "natural" scrolling that way. When I need navigation bar I swipe bottom. Same goes for top and status bar. When I swipe sideways the apps spin around while their axis stays centered in the middle which is more elegant and less confusing in my opinion- you aren't jerked to the side of the screen just to return focus to the center again- you stay center.)

    Just the bottom:
    Screenshot_20170920-125906 (1).png

    Two finger swipe up


    (The line at the side is scroll bar)

    Hi. While the beggining of this post describes the Galaxy S8 it is in the context of Apple and the last half of it kind of relates these points back to Apple.

    I got the iphone 6 as soon as it was available and haven't upgraded till today. Was hoping to get an iphone (ofcourse) until I saw the 8 and X. Might have swung for 8 if it had OLED. X looks nice. Too expensive. OLED screen only 68% bright as S8 (verified.) the >1k phone stigma, elephant in the room.. (If the price was justified that wouldn't be the case.)

    Things to love about the S8 and what to miss from Apple:

    I love the screen! Really feels like the first time I turned on a retina macbook pro, first edition. An essential part of that is the Blue Light Filter is adjustable! Otherwise that amount of screen, with such a high pixel density (3k) and would be harsh with the amount of brightness you're getting. Honestly for my taste this is essential.

    The equalizer in mixing music is like the screen of a smart phone. It makes the most difference. Whether you qualitively value that less than other factors is variable imo. I went with regular s8 beacause more pixel density, just a plus that it's more portable.

    Default resolution was only half of what it's capable of, so crank that up. I prefer text and scaling at medium.

    Dissapearing beizel /curved screen is tasteful and smooth. I thought it would just be gimmicky but it's sweet. (Again adjustable Blue Light is key.) If you paint (if that's acceptable, or obscure appearance) the bottom beizel a different color the phone literally dissapears. This is because although quite small the symmatry of the top and bottom beizles call attention to them, while if the bottom is obscured or changed than they each become just a part of the screen you ignore- if that makes sense.

    Also this thing is comfortable as hell to hold.
    The back of it is not as nice to look at as an iPhone. But after using it I would prefer this to metal just because of how comfortable it is, having both to do with material and shape. And the weight distribution is very nice, makes it feel lighter to me than my iPhone 6. Without researching their actual weights what I mean is that in holding the S8 there are no points of uncomfortable pressure on the hand and less drag.

    What I regret not having: 1) True tone. I only demoed it once on an ipad in a store a while ago so while it's not fresh in my mind it's a desireable feature. However not having an OLED or 'super' kind of defeats the purpose to me.
    2) iOS keyboard although the android one may grow on me as I get use to it and experiment with the haptic feedback.

    (I'm still learning Android replacements and will update if I can't find some replacements for features i.e. airdrop.)

    In my opinion the chance is strong Apple will have another revolution soon similar to when they went to Intel for the first time. Think about how good that was for them. This change might be embracing things like open formats (hdmi, imac as a monitor?) especially as the groundwork is already laid with USB-C. It would be great if they opened up customizability for the advanced users. The X will come down in price. I'm not sure what it feels like to use, but my expectations were blown away by the S8.

    I hope this helps someone else who'se never looked at an Android before. Why am I taking the time to post here, of all places? Unless someone wants to ask, an explenation right now seems pedantic to me under present circumstances. Apple's not a bad company they just had the rug pulled out a little at the moment and it's not going to be difficult for them to aquire the tech they see fit.

    I always supported Apple because I thought they put philosophy before profit. (I had to buy a new mac recently after burglary, bought a 21" imac a few months before refresh.) Besides not being able to run an egpu because they didn't put thunderbolt 3 on the 21," or the baffling 1999 default hard drive, (high sierra, fusion?) the integrated graphics, and the lack of expandability (Apple is so good at design. If they wanted expandability, or even to use your mac as a display, they would do it.) I happened to notice that they went out of their way to remove the mounting holes in the iMac and make the stand non-detatchable. They went out of their way to do that. and I know that's not iPhone but combined with recent stuff and just in general I felt Apple's philosophical interest had strayed, for the time being. But easily fixed. It's turned into a company I admired as a kid because they positioned tech with soul and creativity, and maybe charged what they had to, and now charge what they can. But no worries they have a healthy reserve from which to innovate again and embrace their customers by doing nice things they like (such as expandability, which I feel is coming) instead of just what their consumers will let them get away with. So in this way I honestly thing my critique is healthy for Apple and belongs here because:

    If Apple doesn't feel pressure from it's consumers (fans) than it's nature as a company, board of directors etc, will drive it to take advantage of the consumer rather than cater to them. The latter of which naturally encourages innovation, the former innovative prices. ;) Lol or feats of bravery like my beloved headphone jack. Alright hope this has helped someone but I am also curious about responses, agree or disagree? Anything is fine.
  2. Peanut207 macrumors 6502


    Mar 2, 2010
    Apple is doing just fine and they aren't changing anything. I wouldn't worry about them. Glad you like the S8. For me, nothing beats iOS. I've been down the android route and came back home to iOS. No comparison imo.
  3. NateEssex macrumors 6502

    Aug 30, 2008
    I'm curious. How have you been able to work with your other iOS/Mac OS devices with an S8? I'm not sure if it's applicable, but if you have others in your household with iOS devices...Find My iPhone, iMessages, iCal, etc.
  4. NeonKingKong thread starter macrumors member


    Nov 14, 2008
    Portland, OR
    Good question. Honestly I haven't had the S8 that long so I've yet to see if I'll run into something I'll miss. But there is a find my mobile function through google, same thing as find my iphone. I synched my contacts to my gmail account via a third party app in ios (after I'd already taken out the simcard, I got to keep my iphone through the at&t deal so I will still have as media player.) And then the s8 automatically found and synched with it. I believe the process is the same or extremely similar with calanders, in iOS I think there is a setting to synch your calendars and contacts to a gmail account if you have gmail set up in the mail app, under mail preferences. I just searched the app store though and found an app dedicated to synching that also would do backup etc.

    As far as airDrop goes I'll be very interested to see the android version of this because I used that a lot but I haven't got around to looking yet.

    There are a bunch of music apps, I use Tidal to stream so I don't have a lot of data to migrate in general.

    I'm pretty sure google offers a heck of a lot free storage for photos and there should be a way to easily synch your photos to a google account.

    I was text messaging a friend with an iphone today with media and texts and they all went through. Texts with media get sent technically seperately but I didn't notice a super big difference. You still have the option to send read receipts or not and as long as you keep an option checked can trade large files (so it says, not sure the limit.)

    One thing I've noticed is that it's super customizable in a really awesome way. There is a learning curve, but not too bad. I still use my phone in the same way if that makes sense; I used the app switcher all the time on iOS and there is a similar one for android. The floating windows are a little closer together than I'd prefer but works the same. Next is to set a hotkey to switch back to last active app, which shouldn't be hard.

    I found it was very important to install what's called a launcher I think. Basically you can customize the iOS with 3 different modules, two for aesthetic: theme, icon, and one for overall robustness and navigation: launcher.

    Quick search found Nova was a very popular and fast launcher, much better than the stock samsung. Not that there was a lot of "bloatware" but it removes all of that and lets you customize hotkeys, gestures, etc, as well as user interface variables to an insane degree. The launcher costs about 4 dollars and themes, icon sets, wallpaper are a dollar each.

    For instance even though I can be quite verbose I prefer a minimalist aesthetic where you understand because it's super effeciant and straightforward. I'm thrilled I got it to look like this:

    Here is the home screen. The bottom five apps are stuck there just like iOS. and swiping to different panels you can put apps. I set it up to show the names of the apps if I double swipe up and get a list of all the apps.

    The only thing I would add is that this is much, much more like a computer than a 'phone.' But not more complex than OS X or anything.

    Home screen: (I removed the space buffer between the apps in the home screen page 1 and the apps in the dock so they'd look uniform. You can tweak and change just about anything and often there is more than one way to do something.)


    Full app list:


  5. Zenithal macrumors G3

    Sep 10, 2009
    Try SwiftKey for Android. It's better. Also, buy the Pro version of Textra. It's better.
  6. NeonKingKong thread starter macrumors member


    Nov 14, 2008
    Portland, OR
    That's an interesting experiance. I never used an android before so I couldn't compare. I've found one very important thing is to install your own launcher. Basically like there are different versions of linux. It removes the bloatware from the manufacturer and carrier and makes the experiance much better.

    My impressions so far have been that the default settings for android is really rough. Whereas iOS starts clean and straight forward android requires a tweaking process, but I after set up I don't see why it won't be as easy or reliable as iOS. But we'll see. I also can't compare any android experiance on any other phone, very may well be that S8 is the first time they got it right.

    Apple has experianced extreme commercial success the last 10+ years. I don't expect them to stop innovating but I don't expect them to do it at the cost of potential margins. Which just means it will happen but not as quickly. This has nothing to do with their quality of engineers or leadership as much as running a business, especially in a more unstable industry like tech.

    The new mac os will support EGPU's which is a huge step for Apple. Unfortunately Samsung is the main supplier of OLED displays which might explain why Apple's been waiting for that tech to get cheaper.

    Apple's not purposively holding back on tech and maybe planning ahead. The new chips in the 8 and X are apparantly crazy fast, I read making the S8 seem like a mid level chip, and the 3d face scanning is very high tech. Makes you wonder if Apple is positioning the iPhone to utilize that power, not crazy to imagine the iphone docking into a macbook body and being the guts of it one day.

    In that case I would recommend getting the X if you're willing to contract with your carrier if just for the screen but not everybody is as finicky about that as I, and not everybody cares about stuff I mentioned and in that case it could be that the iPhone is a much better phone for that, because it does what you want it to do easily and does it well. Whatever you choose hope you enjoy!
  7. The fudge macrumors member

    Sep 19, 2012
    Definitely invest in SwiftKey and textra
  8. mib1800 Suspended

    Sep 16, 2012
    I think this is a good time to move your stuff to Google. THen everything will be easy from then on. You can switch between iphone/android seamlessly.

    Can't airdrop (or wifi/bt transfer) from android to iphone. Take it up with apple why you can't do that. Other than iphone, S8 can BT/wifi file transfer with every other device on the planet.

    Double tap the task button will go to previous app. Long press task will split multi-window.

    Give the default launcher a try first. It offers a lot.

    Later, you can try the many things that are not possible with Iphone:-

    - WIFI Display (or miracast) built-in. Mirror phone screen to any wifi-capable TV without any additional setup/intermediate hardware (like apple tv). Coupled with a wireless mouse/keyboard via UTG to phone then you have pseudo-desktop.

    - DLNA built-in support : stream music/video to any DLNA enabled devices without needing any setup.

    - SIDESYNC : operate phone from any PC/mac within wifi network. Phone screen appears as a virtual window in PC/mac. You can use PC mouse/speaker/mic to make calls or continue an editing session or run any apps in the phone from the PC. Similar to Iphone hand-off/continuity but more flexible.

    - DEX docking station- transform phone into a full desktop.

    - Plug in portable disk/thumbdrive/mouse/gamepad directly to phone using usb cable. Quickly transfer out your files/photos/videos. Or just play a video off your portable drive. Or use a gamepad to play games. Or use mouse to interact with phone.

    Secure Folder - it is like a second login environment. It has a separate copy of system settings. You can install second copy of your app here and it runs in its own seperate data space. e.g. you can concurrently run 2 copies of whatsapp (one for work number and the other personal) and get notify at the same time. Or setup another Exchange account to sync work email which is only viewable in secure folder.

    Shortcut - create shortcuts to anything: one touch direct dial/sms, directly open battery usage in Settings, open specific screen of an app directly etc. Place shortcuts anywhere - in homescreen, notification, side panel etc.

    - auto set ring/network profile depending on situations (at home/work/outdoors)
    - auto send SMS when near pickup location (great if you pick up someone regularly)
    - redirect important calls to covering when you are engaged.
    - start call recording when calls from certain persons.
    - auto change wallpaper based on events.
    - mute/unmute ring based on calendar meetings.
    - timed ring profile.
    - tap on NFC sticker - initiated certain tasks.
    - auto send canned SMS to birthday
    - pull files from certain ftp/http locations to phone periodically or when certain parameters changed
    - selective sync from cloud storage to local folders
    - auto start/close apps when certain app is started.
    - start music app when headphone is plug in
    - start certain app(s) on phone remotely or using a SMS.
    -set screen to landscape when certain apps are launched.
    -auto read out received sms/whatsapp under certain preset conditions like driving/phone turned over/etc
    - and many many more.
  9. rasputin1969 macrumors 6502

    Mar 4, 2010
    Two apps I’d recommend:

    MySMS - send and receive SMS on your Mac or iPad. TBH i’ve found it more reliable than the native iOS solution!

    Samsung SideSync - get notifications on your Mac
  10. DNichter macrumors G3


    Apr 27, 2015
    Philadelphia, PA
    Seems like you are happy with the change, that's awesome. I think the S8 is good hardware, but I haven't found a reason to leave iOS. Happy where I am.
  11. ssl0408 macrumors 65816

    Sep 22, 2013
    New York
    Thanks for sharing your experience. I wish that mine had been as positive as yours. I'm currently using an S8 but I just don't like much about it other than the screen. I found the widgets interesting for about two days and then turned them off. The phone isn't as fluid as I'd like it to be. I haven't found a texting app that I like and I've tried them all.

    I realize that I like iOS better and I thought I'd have no problem switching. I have today ordered an iPhone 8+. I dont want to wait for the iPhone X because I cannot stand the S8 any longer. The fingerprint sensor location drives me mad. Maybe a pure Android device would have been better.
  12. konicky macrumors regular

    Mar 20, 2012
    Wondering about trying the S8 before switching back to Apple next year. iPhone 8 is boring and the X is too expensive!
  13. NeonKingKong thread starter macrumors member


    Nov 14, 2008
    Portland, OR
    Ah, thanks so much! I've been in a lot of situations where I'll be recording music and or video for 4-6-8 hours straight sometimes and having to constantly try and get data off the phone and take all these breaks so knowing I can just plug a hard drive in will make that much easier, I don't have to be near a computer and I can keep phone where it is. That rocks. Really glad to know about the quick switch with the task button. I had no idea about the USB devices or the wireless streaming, will definitely give those things a try. I may get a small tv in the future for the bedroom and this saves me from needing another roku. You've mentioned a lot of things I had no idea android did and I'll be interested in looking into those too. Thanks for such an informative response, cheers.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 20, 2017 ---
    Thank you I hadn't heard of those, Textra especially looks better than the default solution, I will definitely put it to use as well as SwiftKey.
  14. PhoneI macrumors 68000

    Mar 7, 2008
    So reading this thread I learned that to switch to Android I actually have to purchase a better keyboard replacement and purchase an app that allows me to text from my Macbook (if I want similar functionality that I have now).

    No thanks.
  15. NeonKingKong thread starter macrumors member


    Nov 14, 2008
    Portland, OR
    Sounds good to me! I felt like the messaging app was a little deflated, Textra looks good. I will give Swift Key a try as well, it hadn't occurred to me to change keyboards.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 20, 2017 ---
    Thank you, I've also found the messages app to be really awesome when it works but sometimes messages don't get through. I didn't know there were other apps that offered that, looking forward to trying it!
    --- Post Merged, Sep 20, 2017 ---
    Haha nice. My brother has the 7 plus as well and he swears by it. I think my 6 was just getting a little sluggish, for some reason I must have messed up with the icloud settings and I never had room on it and honestly I definitely put it through a bruising. Thanks, hope you are enjoying the apple watch! Apple devices definitely synchronize with a lot less hassle than the alternatives.
  16. coney718 macrumors regular

    Jan 5, 2014
    I have an S8 as well, had it for about 2 months and also use an iPhone 6s+. Like many people the hardware wow'd me at first which is why I got it. The screen is incredible, almost bezel less design is beautiful, camera is excellent but that's where it ends for me. Software is still Samsung's Achilles heel. While its the best version of Touchwiz yet its still not as fluid as iOS. Navigating through it can still be janky at times. WAY too many settings options. Android apps still aren't up to par with the iOS versions (I'm looking at you Snapchat) I started to experience weird battery drain that only a hard reset could fix. I'm not into customization that much anymore and just want something reliable and polished. The S8 is a great device but just not for me. Glad you're enjoying yours though.
  17. ronincse macrumors 6502


    Nov 2, 2013
    You could use the google keyboard which is free, and SwiftKey is actually free as well. There are also plenty of free texting apps and such so it's not like you HAVE to buy one. iMessage probably integrates better than any with a Macbook though
  18. NeonKingKong thread starter macrumors member


    Nov 14, 2008
    Portland, OR
    Hey, I found the default settings on the device to be not that good, in fact kind of like loaded with stuff you find in a demo unit at best buy and I get why people say androids have "bloatware." I'm glad you're getting a kickass phone with the 8+, it's definitely going to do everything you want it to do and more, apparently those chips are surprising like 150% of an S8.

    But if you're curious you might try these steps for the S8 and see what you think. I'm surprised there's not better quality control and this is up to the user, but, things I did:
    1) change resolution from the middle to the high setting. (There's basically 3 modes, default it's at 2, 3 is the highest.) I'm not an expert, maybe it's set up like this to use less battery, but to me totally worth it.
    2) Go to the google play store and look for a "launcher" called "nova" whatever the latest is. Apparently it's optimized and cuts a lot of that bloatware out of the way and makes everything easier, like makes icons all the same size, like it's not a jungle etc. But also all animations transitions etc are dependable and consistent, fast. Make sure you check the box to make it your default launcher, there should be instructions in the app store.
    3) Look for a "theme" that appeals to you. Can't really recall what specifically they are but I think it's generally how things look. The same goes for "Icon sets" which you search for icons skins in the store to your liking. But if you also like the default ones with Nova they are pretty standard I think.
    4. Now by long pressing anywhere on an empty space on one of the home screens you can access the settings for Nova. Think of this as kind of something that takes precedence over the regular android settings, although you would want to go through and tweak those too, but here you can customize how things are displayed, what's displayed, how you interact with them, how things are organized, admittedly it's a mess at first with all these folders and unnecessary clutter but combing through here should do the trick. Tip: If you change settings either in Nova that aren't showing up or in the android settings, in my case the icons weren't changing when I set their skins in the android settings, I went to the nova settings and had to toggle the icon skins there away from following the system to a default bundled with nova, then back to the system, for the changes I'd made in the system settings to show up. It can be confusing, I honestly don't have a 100% understanding of everything but I tweaked it to where I don't need to mess with it anymore.

    Also worth noting in the Nova settings is you can customize whatever gestures and hotkeys appeal to you to hide, show, go somewhere, etc. In my case I did two fingers swipe up shows me a list of all the apps, etc. I disabled show folders first, in fact I took all apps out of folders. Scanning through a list of apps is much easier to me than apps + folders.

    Also at first navigation bar is deff relied on the most. Not the best interface but 3 buttons, undo last action and return to where that was, show active apps, and home button.

    I've taken things a little to the extreme in making everything as simple and straightforward visually as possible on mine, as you'll see. But all the things you don't see I can quickly make appear with a fast gesture. This was just the best for me, it's a lot more like iOS, managed to find an icon skin and theme that worked great together, customized Nova until it looked exactly the way I wanted. For instance on the first home page it looks like just a grid of apps but actually the bottom 5 are the dock, they won't go away when I swipe. And when I swipe instead of the kind of confusing default transition where they all slide to the side is a less hectic spin like the line of apps was one thing that spun and when facing you again they've become that other page of apps. I also left plenty of "blank room" on the main home screen, the other ones are much busier but with apps I use less. If I need to know the name of an app or search by name, browse by name, I just swipe down with two fingers so I'll include screenshots of both.

    The irony is that from the most complicated and full of confusing, distracting things is now the simplest interface possible. Granted I went extreme but I haven't lost any functionality, I can swipe top, bottom, home button, double swipe, all these things to get any features I've hidden.
    Home Screen:

    (this is all at the bottom. So simple. Rather Apple like in some ways. Notice how this icon skin creates much more congruity between the icons than by default, something Apple is really good at.)
    Screenshot_20170920-125906 (1).png

    Full List of Apps: (Notice the red line on the side is the scroll bar, shows where I am in the list and so easy to see! (probably more important to me than other people: it looks good.))

    --- Post Merged, Sep 20, 2017 ---
    Thanks, one thing about the screen is that it can be improved right away! Default resolution is at 2/3.
    I wrote a very long reply to someone in the exact same situation as you, if you want to scroll to #18 in here. If it's a lot to read just look at the pictures I included, I also updated them in my first post at the very top. One is home screen and one is full app list.

    I have to agree with you that it's a jungle without customization, which itself is not very straightforward. I will never understand why Apple is the only one that gets this under control, it seems simple! And yes, it should not take as many steps to set up my phone the way I did, completely. But out of curiosity check out my setup and tell me what you think. Ultra minimal. But I still feel it's as functional as anything else, maybe even more because you're only presented with what you ask for, you don't start with 1000 different things all different sizes etc.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 20, 2017 ---
    While the apps aren't expensive, android definitely requires a bunch of tweaking when it shouldn't, why, god only knows!

    I think you're making a good point that the Apple experience is extremely polished, and very efficient. That this system or that one meets my needs more right now has much less to do with the differences in design and approach of iOS and Android as it does a difference in physical tech available at this moment. Given that the chip in the 8 and X is roughly 150% speed of the mighty S8, I'd say Apple has some really cool stuff they are keeping hidden for now. It makes you wonder when the 'macbook' is just going to be an empty laptop shell you dock your iPhone into. This is the point where Apple justifies it's premiums. This kind of integration is how they pioneered original iPhone. I wouldn't count it out in the future!
  19. Zenithal macrumors G3

    Sep 10, 2009
    They're the best, IMO. There are some settings in SwiftKey you'll want to disable, such as autocomplete, because it's a pain in the arse. I personally love changing the colors of the messaging interface with Textra. It has a breadth of options compared to other platforms. Plus, at $2.99, the Pro version is a steal.

    If you're like me, you can also change the color to the season:

    Orange-Red = Fall
    Green and Red = Winter/Christmas

    And so on.

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