Feedback From a Long Term iPhone User About One Month Of Android Experience

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by robertpolson, Sep 6, 2016.

  1. robertpolson macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2011
    I’ll keep it short and to the point.

    I have been using iPhone since 3GS to iPhone 6 and upgraded every year. Before iPhone 4 was release I tried Google Nexus for about two months before realizing that I made a mistake and then switched back to iPhone 4.

    When iPhone 6S was release I did not see much reason to upgrade from iPhone 6. In July of 2016, my wife needed a new phone and I gave her my iPhone 6. Shopping for a new phone I decided to give Android another try with OnePlus 3, which is attractive in terms of value for the price you pay compared to an iPhone.

    First two weeks I was impressed with OnePlus 3 and Android in general. Most of the apps that I used on the iPhone, I was able to find in Google Play Store. I got so impressed that I sold iPhone 6 that I gave to my wife and got a second OP3. However, this is where the honeymoon ended.

    My experience with OnePlus 3

    - Good hardware
    - Good design

    Software is poor. I constantly felt like I was a beta tester of raw software. Instead of enjoying my phone, I spend hours on forums reading workarounds, tweaking the settings, and trying custom roms to get close to iPhone daily experience.

    For example:

    - Due to Doze bug, timer does not work if you set it for longer than about 30 minutes.
    - There is no built in Night Mode
    - There is no Do Not Disturb
    - Alert slider is useless to me as it only lowers the volume and the screen still lights up when someone calls. No way to achieve true Do Not Disturb Mode unless you turn on Airplane Mode.

    Support from OP3 is next to non-existent. Support reps do not address the issue in the ticket nor in the forum discussions. At least the problems that I had with my phone. I was constantly offered stripped phone reset solution for all of my problems. They did not admin that there was software problem on their end. Finally, Carl Pei replied to me and informed me that the issues have been fixed and will be released in the next update. It has been about 4 weeks now and no release.

    Android Experience

    I really really miss iMessage and the experience it provides. Using solutions like AirDroid, Pushbullet, and Mighty Text led me to experience many frustrations (e.i., delays, authentication, syncing problems, and other issues).

    I have learned that I prefer to use a desktop app like Photos and iTunes rather than web apps like Google Photos and Google Music. I like to handle things locally and have them sync via iCloud. Smart photo albums are also essential (e.g., findings photos not in an album).

    FaceTime Video and Audio are great and Google Duo cannot replace them.

    All of my family members use Apple products and I get disconnected with them. Yes, even Find My Friends is useful as I could not longer say “Hey Siri, where is my sister?”

    I finally understand what people mean when they say that iOS apps are more polished than Android apps. There many small things that are just better on iOS in terms of design and functionality.

    Positieve Notes About Android

    - Files manager and ability to download files from my NAS is cool
    - Great selection of Audio Books Player apps
    - Notifications are presented in a more useful way than in iOS9
    - Multitasking is indeed better.
    - Widgets are fun but not essential (for me)


    I really miss my iPhone experience. OnePlus 3 is up for sale and I will be buying an iPhone 7. I don’t care if it will be a minor upgrade and if the price will be CAD $1,200. I have learned that I am willing to pay more for a peace of mind, simpliccity, and day to day usability. Thank you OnePlus for teaching me that I am not rich enough to buy cheap products.
  2. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
  3. Chatter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 10, 2013
    Uphill from Downtown
  4. KentuckyHouse macrumors 68020


    Jan 29, 2010
    Lexington, KY.
    Nothing wrong with seeing how the other half live and now you know the iPhone is right for you.

    My only thing would be this. With the wide variety of Android phones out there, you chose probably the absolute worst for a "refresher" experience. Not that the OP3 is a bad phone, quite the opposite. But you said you felt like a beta tester...that's because you were. OnePlus is basically great hardware with beta software for the entirety of it's life span.

    Not that you'd have stuck with Android if you'd tried the S7/Edge, Nexus 6P, or HTC 10, but I can guarantee you you wouldn't have felt like you were in a beta test.

    Myself, I'm currently using the S7 Edge and Nexus 6P but I'll be coming back to the iPhone as my daily driver as soon as the preorders open up.
  5. Elisha macrumors 6502a


    Nov 21, 2006
    Oxygen OS is definitely a Beta product riddled with bugs!
    It's not really representative of Android.
  6. FrozenInferno macrumors regular

    Oct 27, 2013
    Every now and then I walk by the display counters and fall in love with the gorgeous screens on some of the Android phones, and for a brief moment I think "one day I'm going to give this a shot". Then after putting a pros and cons list together I always side back with iPhone. I don't want to deal with manufacturer and carrier bloatware, the lack of OS support, or needing to constantly play with settings to optimize things PC-style.

    OS support alone is a major factor that I think most iPhone users take for granted until they switch to the fragmented Android platform. You could have an excellent piece of hardware but you never know if it'll ever get a considerable software update, and if a major security issue is exposed you're a sitting duck unless you're manufacturer and carrier decide to put the effort into pushing an update. I like knowing that when I buy a relatively new iPhone I can expect at least three years of frequent OS updates that bring more features and security, OTA, the day they come out. The newest Android OS could very well be the best piece of software ever written, but how many phones will ever get to run it? Maybe 10% tops?

    I don't bash Android users, there are great things about the platform (and DAMN those screens are beautiful) but I enjoy far too many things about the iOS ecosystem to ever switch. As long as Apple doesn't do something colossally stupid that is.
  7. KentuckyHouse macrumors 68020


    Jan 29, 2010
    Lexington, KY.
    Damn, this is a really good, level headed post. And as an Android user, I completely agree. I usually have both iOS and Android, but I sold my 6S Plus to a friend a month or two ago (basically in preparation to get the 7 Plus). I'm really an Android guy at heart because I love being able to customize the phone from the launcher to icons and even as deep as customs ROMs on the Nexus. But I'm also tired of chasing the "perfect" phone/experience (and I realize no phone/OS is perfect and all of it is subjective). I've gotten to where I'm throwing good money at phones when all I really want is a stable and secure experience.

    I'll keep my Nexus 6P around for sure, especially since it seems it's going to be the last Nexus-branded phone, but the 7 Plus will be my daily driver once it arrives.
  8. Shirasaki macrumors 604


    May 16, 2015
    I like your post becaus of this.
    We could say this is how Apple adds switching cost to every single iPhone user. Once this cost is high enough, user will have a difficult time to switch.
  9. Flow39 macrumors 68000


    Sep 7, 2014
    At the Apple Store
    I always end up coming back as well. I've tried Android multiple times in the past, but iOS always welcomes me back with open arms and I gladly jump back. Both are really awesome, but I prefer iOS.

    For me, this is how I think of it: Android is more of a "vacation" OS where it's nice to get away from iOS for awhile, whereas iOS is the "home" OS that's stable and feels good when you come back to it from using Android. That may be just me though :D
  10. douglasf13 macrumors 65816

    Jul 2, 2010
    Great post. It reminds me of computers. I used to build my own PCs, but I've now been in an all OSX office setup for years, because, although it may not be as tweakable, it's just easy and works. My tech guy can't believe I only reset my servers once or twice per year. Lol
  11. Flow39 macrumors 68000


    Sep 7, 2014
    At the Apple Store
    I love to customize, but if it costs me a stable experience(which it does most of the time), I don't want it anymore. For me, the most important things in any device/car/object I own is stability, consistency, and reliability. There's a reason I use Apple products, and it's because they nail all of three of the main criteria 99% of the time in my experience.
  12. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    iOS just pisses me off and frustrates me MUCH less than Android.

    I hate the way Apple does some things some of the time, but I hate the way Android a lot of things a lot of the time.

    From using the UI to the way it looks Apple just does a better job.
  13. dragon671556 macrumors member


    Dec 29, 2013
    It was the opposite it for me. My first smartphone was the Motorola Atrix 1. I liked that phone until it overheated and had to reflash the ROM several froze and didn't get the update that Motorola promised. But I dropped it several times and it kept working. :). I switched to the 4S and haven't looked back. I like simple, apps that work and no overheating. Now I have had issues with my iphones but apple online support was able to solve them. No phones are perfect some "just work" better than others. I thought I would love being able to customize my Atrix...turns out no I didn't except for being able to easily upload my audio books.
  14. lah macrumors regular

    Mar 22, 2010
    That is correct. While pundits and journos are screaming that Apple doesn't Innovate etc., they seems to missing the big picture on how Apple is slowly locking in their users with each iPhone release. With iMessage alone they have me locked in.
  15. urkel macrumors 68030

    Nov 3, 2008
    I have NEVER felt a need to switch to Android. But this summer I wanted to try out "Free" MVNO carriers so I bought a $125 Moto G4 (the one with Amazon Ads).

    I have to say I was impressed. The things that I like best were:
    - Native Google Maps
    - OK Google actually works
    - Notifications
    - Widgets
    - Unlock phone options
    - Native Gmail
    - Google Photos

    Most of that stuff is in iOS already but Android simply implemented it better. So much better that I now carry BOTH devices. An $850 top of the line 6S+ (It's what I'm used to) and a $100 garbage Android using's a "free" 6GB Rigplus plan (for all the cool stuff).

    Again, I still strongly prefer iOS10. But i think the big lesson I learned in this time with Android is that Apple 's decision to keep FaceTime and iMessage native is strategic. Because if they allowed it to be cross platform then I could see a lot of people being tempted to switch.
  16. freddisier macrumors newbie

    Mar 11, 2016
    I have the total opposite experience for the google maps. It could have changed though but 2 years ago I was tempted to get the Galaxy Note 3 because of the bigger screen and I eventually did. OMG, the google maps app was such a disaster. Maybe it's a problem with Samsung but the GPS locator gets updated very slowly and erratically and just not right. This problem was also reported by a friend of mine on another android phone (i'm not sure which one but most likely Samsung). While on iOS, the app just works and your location is always correct. That was one of the many big frustrations that drove me back to iOS.
  17. douglasf13 macrumors 65816

    Jul 2, 2010
    Absolutely, from FaceTime to iMessage to iCloud, it would take something major for me to switch brands.
  18. thelookingglass macrumors 68000

    Apr 27, 2005
    I recently made the switch to a Samsung phone and I don't regret it at all. It works beautifully, the screen is amazing, and battery life has been great. BUT, it was not easy to make the switch. From re-downloading apps to learning a new interface to just fidgeting with Android until I got it just the way I wanted it ... the switch is difficult and for most people not worth the effort.

    Given how much more open Android is in terms of interoperability between apps and the better hardware, I'm not going back to an iPhone this year. But, I can totally see why most iPhone users would never consider switching.
  19. douglasf13 macrumors 65816

    Jul 2, 2010
    Yep, they've got me by the balls. Between a networked OSX office, iPads, iPhones, etc. it would take a lot to switch.
  20. GrumpyMom macrumors 604


    Sep 11, 2014
    The experience with iOS 9 and its many iterations has had me feeling like a beta tester at times. It's not been as smooth as I would have liked and was particularly hard to troubleshoot in conjunction with my Apple Watch. But I never felt wary of it. When I set my alarm on my iPhone at night I knew it was not going to do anything weird at night that would shut it down and it would wake me in the morning.

    Samsung's more refined version of Touchwiz on Note7 made my first foray into Android fun and painless. It had enough extra features that I didn't have a culture shock experience switching to it. And it was reliable, though not always predictable. It could be a little weird. My temporary S7 can be a lot weird.

    iPhones are that responsible dependable friend whom you go to for financial advice and advice on whether or not you should accept that marriage proposal. They're also the friend whose name you have in your emergency contacts list. Your next of kin if you don't have kin left.

    In my limited experience, I got the impression Android phones are that crazy clever friend who knows all the best fun places to spend that money your responsible friend helped you earn through wise investments and they are the friend who will throw you the best bachelor/bachelorette party ever before you marry that person you were wondering about. Or will happily and without reserve, live with you in a yurt for three months when you decide you're not ready for marriage after all and just want to be single and weird as possible when the engagement falls through.

    I would not expect my responsible friend to ever live with me in a yurt. I would not expect my fun loving carefree artistic friend to settle down and take up a "real job." I'd love them both and feel blessed to have them play different roles in my life. And who knows...they could surprise me and join me in a yurt or at jobs in the same company after all. But they're different and I love and celebrate that difference.

    But there's something to be said for a friend you would list as your emergency contact. My SE is that friend.

    Android needs to grow up more to be that friend to me. And Android phone manufacturers need to refine their designs and hardware quality more. :eek: Exploding phones...that's a bit too much excitement, though it could be useful in case of a robbery: "Drop your weapons. :mad: I have a Note 7 and a charger and I'm not afraid to use them!" :p

    I'm blessed to be able to have both an Android phone (S7 until I get my N7 back) and my SE. I'm also very lucky to have kind people in this forum who have helped and guided me to use both well. Thank you!
  21. urkel macrumors 68030

    Nov 3, 2008
    BUT... It is "possible" to switch.

    That is what is scary about Tim Cooks Apple. Only. A few years ago then most people would feel switching is impossible. But with Apple sacrificing User Experience, Innovative Features and Groundbreaking Design for Profits Profits Profits then many people are tied to Apple with much thinner string.
  22. bufffilm Suspended


    May 3, 2011
    Just to comment about DND...

    Apple's version, while better than none, is still flawed.

    And considering that DND is presumably an 'old' feature (anyone know was iOS version introduced it, btw), I'm a little surprised that this shortcoming was never added/fixed...namely, when creating an appointment or meeting on the calendar, you should be able to turn DND on for that entry.

    IOW, DND should have more granularity with when one turns it on/off.
  23. douglasf13 macrumors 65816

    Jul 2, 2010
    Ultimately, innovation has stalled with all phones, and they're all good enough these days, which is why Apple will be scrambling for something new. The only reason I'm considering an upgrade is that a drop ruined my rear camera. Just about anything would be fine, although I do want a headphone jack, so it'll probably be the 6s or SE.
  24. thelookingglass macrumors 68000

    Apr 27, 2005
    iMessage was an easy switch for me. Most of my friends are on other chat apps and only one group of friends was on iMessage. I switched our conversation over to another chat app we currently use. Family members have switched to other chat apps as well. For the lingering folks I used to connect with on iMessage, we now just use SMS. Doesn't really bug anyone in this day and age of unlimited SMS.

    FaceTime also hasn't been a big deal. Aside from not really using it a ton to begin with, there's the nice Google replacement, Duo, which I'm really impressed with.

    And now that I'm back deep into the Google ecosystem, I'm finding that I love it so much more because it's cross-platform. I never want to get stuck in a single platform again, like for instance iTunes movies and music (wasted so much money on iTunes movies which can only be viewed on Apple devices). I've now got all my camera roll photos uploading via Google Photos (and it works automatically in the background unlike the iOS app which only works reliably if you're opening the app frequently), all my key documents syncing very well via Google Drive, etc. Google Maps is also still heads and shoulders above Apple Maps in terms of POI breadth/details and Street View (!!).

    And the hardware. My God, the hardware. The Samsung I have has a glorious screen. It's very difficult to look at my iPhone 6S Plus after using my Samsung. And all the widgets and customizing of the launcher not only make Android more flexible and effective as a productivity tool, it just makes the overall experience seem much more personalized. I can't go back to an iPhone as my daily driver. I'll always have an iPhone around just because I carry two phones with me typically. But, Android is definitely my go to OS right now.
  25. Drag'nGT macrumors 68000


    Sep 20, 2008
    Well you killed my thoughts about the OnePlus 3 and changing to Android.

    I have been on the fence about this new way of buying phones and ditching Apple. Remember in 2008 when the iPhone 3G dropped to $199 BECAUSE people didn't want to buy an iPhone for $499 with no contract? Yeah, why have we regressed back 8 years? How have we fallen for a nicer lie from the carriers?

    There are good phones for less money than the iPhone but they are all Android and full of inconsistent features and experience. I keep hearing most people use 'stock Android' instead of the versions from LG, Samsung etc...

    With nearly every person I know using an iPhone, it's hard to imagine loosing iMessage, iCloud or FaceTime and I definately don't want the headache of finding the workarounds to make it almost as good. I don't have the time. I don't want to loose the security of Apple and their lack of interest in my info. I genuinely feel that Google has a motive to Android that I just can't put my finger on.

    But man do I like getting a new phone every 2 years. Maybe that is what I'll have to give up. Getting a new phone every two years might start being every 3 or 4 and Apple can only blame themselves and the carriers.

    WSJ wrote about this just yesterday:

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