Extremely Early first impressions of the iPhone 4s by an Android User

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by VydorScope, Oct 15, 2011.

  1. VydorScope macrumors regular


    Oct 12, 2011
    Yesterday I jumped the fence and retired my defective Nexus One Google Super Phone for an Apple iPhone 4s 16GB. I did not get much time with it, but here are my extremely premature first impressions of the phone coming from a long time Android fan.

    First, the notification bar, they copied this from Android because it's a darn good idea but they did not do as well with implementing it. In Android there are little icons on the bar that tell you there are notifications waiting, with iOS there is not. So for example, right now in my notifications I have 1 Facebook message, which I only know is there because I took the time to check. If I did not there is no visual indication that I have one waiting for me. Now the other place that notifications show is on the lock screen. Those are very nice, and I can see myself using them pretty heavily, but it does seem a bit odd that if the phone is locked I can read my texts just by glancing at them as the come in.

    Speaking of odd security things, if the phone is locked, all the voice controls still work. This is a setting you can change, but by default it is enabled. This means I can pick up anyone’s iPhone 4s and tell it to send nasty text messages to their spouse, or get information about their contacts and meetings with out knowing their passcode. This should be disabled by default.

    The voice control is a big step over prior generations, and Apple here shines in the way they do best. They rarely if ever invent anything, but they do take ideas and make them much better. Siri, which is the app that does the voice control, was a purchased program but I do not know what it was like before Apple got a hold of it. What I do know is that it works great. I really can say, “Text my wife and tell her I will be late” and the phone will do exactly that. I really struggle with voice controls in other mediums, such as Xbox 360, voice menus on phones, and even the voice to text on the Android phones. Computers never seem to understand me, but Siri does. I would currently guesstimate Siri at about 90% for correctly turning my voice into text. Siri does have a few limitations that I assume will be addressed later, for example they did not integrate it with Twitter so I can not say “Send Tweet to …” or “read me my latest mentions,” both of which I would have expected to be there.

    Installing software on it is Apple Easy. It is not that using the Android Market was all that hard, it just is that the Apple way is less clicks, less info dumps, more fire and forget. This is great for the average users, but I find it a bit annoying not knowing a bit more about what is happening. The same is true for iTunes syncing and backing up. I have not messed with iCloud because nothing else I run uses iCloud yet, but I suspect I will have the same feeling about it.

    General usability is a bit odd to me. This is probably because I am used to thinking like an Android. For example, there is no shortcut that I can find to contacts, I just need to know that I have to go to the phone app, and then click on the contacts tab. Same appears to be true of voice mail, but I have yet to set that up so that might not be fair. Also the lack of a “back” button and lack of a context sensitive “menu” button leave me confused in some of the interfaces on how to move around. This will likely clear up as I get more used to the iOS way of thinking of interface.

    The mail app on it is a bit different then that I am used to also. I have two Exchange email boxes set up on it. One is my Gmail account; the other is my Exchange account with my employer (Liberty University). They both work, but all email accounts share one mail icon on the screen so I can not tell which account has a new message. I am used to knowing at a glance which accounts have message waiting, so that will take some adjustment.

    The phone is fast and things seem to flow well from click to click assuming you are actually clicking someplace that it expects you to. The screen is beautifully clear, not that my Nexus had a bad screen it also had a great one, but this one does edge it out ever so slightly.

    One annoyance is I have yet to be able to figure out how much battery life I have left at any given time. Right now it is plugged in and charging, but I do not know how much it has left to go until it is done and during normal carry it around usage I do not know how to tell how much I have left.

    I will skip any thoughts on the look, or how it feels in the hands, because I put mine in an Otterbox Defender case before I walked out of the store. The case is a bit bigger then I expected and might or might not keep it. I am leery of the full glass design of Apple and my habit of breaking things. So I might just have to deal with a bulkier phone then I am used to.

    Today I plan to mess with the camera more and will post later how that goes. I also need to set up the voicemail and see how that works. I should probably try making a call or two with and see if it can do the job of a phone. I have been told that the grip of death issues are fixed in this model, bit since mine is in a case that does not apply so cannot say either way.
  2. Ivan P macrumors 68030

    Ivan P

    Jan 17, 2008
    Open Settings.
    Select General.
    Select Usage.
    Turn Battery Percentage to "On".
  3. VydorScope thread starter macrumors regular


    Oct 12, 2011
    Thanks! Much better :D
  4. 7even macrumors 6502a

    Jan 11, 2008
    For contacts, there's a Contacts app built in...
  5. VydorScope thread starter macrumors regular


    Oct 12, 2011
  6. pirarre macrumors 6502

    Feb 10, 2010
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A334 Safari/7534.48.3)

    Being a previous android owner myself, you made some pretty valid points especially when you spoke about Siri. Siri is so accurate it's crazy. Androiday have it first, but apple got it to be even better.

    I also have the otterbox case. It is a little bulky. However it's suppose to provide the the best protection. So I'm gonna keep mine and also buy a much classier case that I can use when going out with the wife.
  7. CheesePuff macrumors 6502

    Sep 3, 2008
    Southwest Florida, USA
    It is hidden in the Utilities folder on the second page of apps. Or it can be accessed in apps that use contacts such as Phone or Messages.
  8. duffman9000 macrumors 68000


    Sep 7, 2003
    Deep in the Depths of CA
    When you are installing something it's... installing. Do you need a list of packages being installed ala RPM? If it's been approved for inclusion on the App store I don't have to worry about what's installed.
  9. VydorScope thread starter macrumors regular


    Oct 12, 2011
    Hey, cool. thanks!


    It is all in what you are used to. When things are different then you are used to they stick out. I assume next year if I pick up a Android phone I will be like "OMG what the heck, just install it" :D
  10. Jason black macrumors regular

    Oct 12, 2011
    Best review i've read from an android user. I bought my iPhone from telesales yesterday and should be expecting it on Wednesday. I went to the apple store to play with the 4s there and on some screens, i kept pressing the the round button thinking it was a back button. I had to make myself get used to pushing the top left application icon lol. Also, i was sometimes also confused as to why theres no menu button... Just my mind playing tricks on me..
  11. Lone Wolf macrumors member

    Oct 10, 2011
    I am coming over from a Droid X and I agree with all your points. The OS is so much smoother and intuitive on the IPhone its not even close IMO..Loving it!:D
  12. Ninjiago macrumors newbie

    Oct 15, 2011
    Exchange account

    Foe two exchange accounts, go settings/Mai,contacts,calendar/
    And click each email account, change "Description" to whatever you like, such as "google".....
  13. VydorScope thread starter macrumors regular


    Oct 12, 2011
    I did that, and inside the app I can see what is what, but I was referring to the mail icon on the home screen.
  14. HXGuy macrumors 68000

    Mar 25, 2010
    I agree with you on the notifications part...there should be icons in the status bar if you have a notification waiting so you don't randomly swipe down to see if you have something waiting.

    About text msg appearing on the lock screen...you can shut off the preview in settings so it'll just say you have a text but won't show you the content.
  15. 88 King macrumors 6502

    88 King

    Jun 18, 2011
    London, UK
    Android phone user also thinking getting an iphone.

    I'd like to ask a quick question about the browser, is there an option to auto fit text to the width of the screen when you pinch and zoom in IOS5?

    The lack of this feature and not able to install 3rd party keyboard are the things holding me from picking up a 2nd hand iphone4.

  16. b24pgg macrumors 65816

    Jan 28, 2009
    Great write-up.
    This, no widgets, and no Google Navigation are what's keeping me on Android at the moment. Everything else is either a tie or advantage:iPhone IMHO. iTunes syncing is a huge advantage that I really miss from my iPod-owning days. Android syncing options suck so badly.
  17. Jason black macrumors regular

    Oct 12, 2011
    No google navigation?!!... I think i just made a big mistake... Hopefully telenav is provided...
  18. hakr100 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 1, 2011
    East Coast
    I also switched from an HTC android Incredible to a 4S, 16GB.

    Bought mine in southern Maryland. Got to the store at 8 am, and there were about a dozen folks in line in front of me, less than I expected.

    I expected there to be differences between my Droid and the 4S and of course there are. Some improvements, some annoyances I haven't resolved.

    One of these is how long the display stays lit on the 4S if there is no activity going on...this was adjustable on the Droid. I haven't found the adjustment if there is one on the 4S.

    The other is syncing regularly with my Gmail contacts. Doing so is counter-intuitive and involves using iTunes on my computer. Yikes! What a messy solution.

    I also haven't figured out how to adjust the volume settings for the various signals and warnings.

    It would be nice to have "widgets" on the home screen to turn Wi-Fi and Network on and off, and save battery time without having to drill down through menus. Also, I've found no "Call Blocker" that will work without jailbreaking the phone, which I do not want to do. Suggestions?

    There also was a good signal strength meter available on the Android called Real Signal. Haven't found one yet for the 4S. And where is the PDANet app?

    I do like the look and feel of the 4S. :)
  19. alex2792 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 13, 2009
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A334 Safari/7534.48.3)

    I ended up picking up the verizon 4s since hey offered to knock off $10 per month from the plan to get us to switch from Sprint. So far it's pretty good,but the tiny screen is a bit jarring after using Evo and Photon for the past 2yrs. However,the OS is very smooth compared to stock Android and apps are generally better looking. All in all I'm pretty impressed.
  20. tourada macrumors regular

    Feb 27, 2011
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A334 Safari/7534.48.3)

    Go to settings>general>auto-lock to adjust how long the display stays on (1-5 minutes or never).
  21. Ivan P macrumors 68030

    Ivan P

    Jan 17, 2008

    This gives you various selections for how long from the last interaction to when the screen turns off. The screen will also dim after around 30 seconds of no interaction unless it is set to "Never".

    Edit: Beaten to it!
  22. mojohanna macrumors 6502a


    Jul 7, 2004
    A quick double tap of the screen automatically scales the text to fit the screen on web pages. No need to pinch to zoom all of the time unless you are trying to zoom on something specific.
  23. hakr100 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 1, 2011
    East Coast
  24. VydorScope thread starter macrumors regular


    Oct 12, 2011

    Umm? Not having this issue. I told the 4s to sync the contacts in the screen where you config the exchange account, and it works perfectly. Near real time actually.
  25. aneftp macrumors 601

    Jul 28, 2007
    I am an original Android user myself (owned first G1 android os 1.0). Now I own a Motorola Atrix (gingerbread).

    I am also an original iPhone 2007 owner and have owned all versions of the iPhones including now the 4S.

    I agree with the OP for the most part. But would like to add a couple of thoughts.

    Android has advanced much more rapidly than iOS in terms of features. But than again the iPhone OS was the most advanced mobile when it launched in 2007.

    In terms of speed. The 4S is extremely fast. But my Atrix loads web pages just as fast.

    There are things Android needs to work on.

    1. Battery life is still the best on the iPhone. My Atrix is probably the best performing battery on any Android but the iPhone still beats it. (part of it is due to the true multi tasking of Android)

    2. Keyboard on iPhone still the easiest and fastest to use.

    3. Fragmentation is non issue if u have a nexus android google phone but hopefully with ice cream google will force manufacters to provide timely updates for 18 months.

    4. Better Eco system. Apple is the best. Not sure how google will address this. They have google music. And contacts will auto synch with google. But you have to use third party like drop box for cloud storage.

    Overall I like having both android and iPhone. It gives me the best of both worlds. I know not many people can have two lines at the same time.

    Overall iPhone is still the easiest to use for most people. I always recommend iPhone to new smartphone users because of the ease of use and apple' s great one year warranty. (assuming they live near apple retail store)

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