iPhone 6 or Android phone?

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by wpautz, Nov 17, 2014.

  1. wpautz macrumors newbie

    Sep 28, 2008

    perhaps you can help me choose.

    My iPhone 4S is dying (battery), and my 3 year contract is nearly up anyway.

    I own a Macbook Pro. I'm considering switching to Samsung or another brand of Android phone. In Canada, the iPhone 6, 64GB, costs $375 with a 2 year contract.

    The Samsung S5 costs only $200 + extra to upgrade the SD memory card. The Samsung is water resistant and apparently has good battery life. This means a lot because I'm a snowboarder, and sometimes I ride in the backcountry. A working phone could save my life.

    I don't use Mac mail or the Mac calendar. I've used Gmail for years now, and sometimes use the Google Calendar.

    I'm wondering what cross-functionality I'll lose if I go to Android. I do use the Notes and Reminders apps a little bit. They recently started popping up on my laptop. I guess that's cool. Maybe I'll start using that more.

    The only other iCloud app that I hesitate to give up is the new iCloud Photos app, now in Beta. It forms a nice triangle with my iPhone photos and laptop photos.

    With Samsung, I'd have to use Google+ for my mobile photos backup. But that wouldn't tie into my computer's iPhoto.

    Any thought?


    And I'm not at my computer a whole lot. But it is also nice replying to text messages there in messages, rather than on my phone. So I guess I'd lose that as well.

    Or is there an Android app i could install on Macbook that would do the same?
  2. silverblack macrumors 68030


    Nov 27, 2007
    Looks like you are already leaning towards an S5, and just want ideas on finding Android substitutions on your commonly used iOS apps.

    Battery - s5 is great as you can buy spare battery on eBay at very reasonable price.

    Notes and reminder - you could use google keep or evernotes; and Google Now for reminder.

    iMessage - that's a tough one. That are 3rd party apps that would allow texting on tablets and computers. But none would integrate as nicely as iOS with macs.

    If money is the only reason, I would just get an iPhone 6. But if you value the features offered by an S5, then prepare to compromise by losing out on things only iOS can offer (integration within the Apple garden).
  3. wpautz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 28, 2008
    Yes. It's mostly about the money.

    And ALL the younger guys I work with have Androids. It's starting to look like the iPhone is for older people.

    Or maybe it's just that older people can afford the price difference.

    iPhone pros:
    - Better photo management/integration for macbook owners? via iCloud
    - iMessage and laptop Messages app

    Samsung S5 pros:
    - cheaper
    - water-resistance
    - better battery? especially in cold-damp West Coast snowboarding
    - better Google Calendars use
    - better Gmail use?
  4. sunking101 macrumors 604


    Sep 19, 2013
    Frankly, unless you *need* the Apple ecosystem and are tied to iMessage etc, or have hundreds of dollars' worth of Apple apps, I would go Android. The iPhone 6 is a huge disappointment. 1GB of RAM and a lousy, bug-ridden operating system have certainly tipped me towards Android. I'm debating between the Note 4 and the Nexus 6. Unless Android grabs me and keeps me, I'll see what the iPhone 6S/7 looks like but I'm definitely jumping ship until then.
  5. perezr10 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 12, 2014
    Monroe, Louisiana
    If it was me, I'd really miss the communications between the MacBook and iPhone for the messages and phone calls. Also, the no-hassle instant hotspot.
  6. Hookemfins macrumors 6502


    Jan 13, 2013
    I know older people who have an android and young who have the iPhone.

    A few people I know switched from the iPhone to Android only to switch back.

    I have 4 gmail accounts and work very well on both iOS devices and Yosimite.

    You also can use your Google accounts for contacts, notes and calendar on your iPhone or iPad. I use both Google and icloud for calendar and contacts.

    On Bkack Friday and I think on Thanksgiving too you can get an iPhone 6 for $100 off with a 2 year commitment.
  7. xraydoc macrumors demi-god


    Oct 9, 2005
    I'll have to disagree.

    Ecosystem aside, Apple tends to support its devices far longer than Android vendors do.

    Amount of RAM is less important since Apple optimizes the OS so much. Certainly it's not unimportant (or the iPad Air 2 would also have 1GB and not 2), but nonetheless apps still function as well if not better than their Android counterparts.

    Lousy, bug-ridden OS. I guess that's your opinion and nothing I say will help that. While iOS has a few bugs, they seem no more severe than what you'll find in an Android device. And with most Android vendors, you may wait far, far longer for a software patch.

    File system. I have a capable file system via OneDrive and DropBox. Not sure, for my uses, having a non-cloud-based file system would have any benefit.

    Photos. Automatic iPhoto syncing, as you mentioned, is killer.

    Notes, Reminders. Lots of Android and iOS alternatives, so it's a tie.

    iMessages and Mac syncing can be replicated on Android with MightyText and similar apps, though always felt like a kludge when I used it as compared to the integrated Apple solution.

    Gmail. The Google Gmail iOS app is a strong app, so nothing wrong with using it. The built-in Mail app, which works fine with Gmail, too, by the way, has some advantages too. And Google calendar is supported, too.
  8. sunking101 macrumors 604


    Sep 19, 2013
    I don't buy into the whole 'Apple supporting devices' thing. They slow your device down and the new iOS features are nothing special.
    Apps are usually supported for a number of years and Android Apps are designed to run on older versions of the o/s due to the fragmentation which exists. I'd sooner have an older version of Android and a phone performing like it did the day I bought it, than an older iPhone running the latest version of iOS which slows it to a crawl.
    None of the photo synching or iMessage stuff bothers me. I can happily live without it but I do understand that some can't.
  9. Starfyre, Nov 17, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2014

    Starfyre macrumors 68030


    Nov 7, 2010
    This feels almost like a no-brainer with Android's newest update....

    Reasons to Go Android
    - Notification light: The android has a notification light that lights up different colors (muted colors, not a random bright awkward flash) depending on if you get text, etc.

    - Material Design - This new design philosophy has got Google in the perfect realm of "simplicity" and "beautiful interface". Apple went too far on the "making things look super real" with skeumorphic, then went "lets go super super simple and go opposite of making things look like real items"... Google took the opportunity and found the balance between the two.. "Material Design". Make things look simple, but make them function "like" things in real life.. i.e. cards.

    - Email - It has squares with images or initials next to every email address. You only get "images" if you are using the 6+, and only in the contacts App, not mail app. You can't install Google's email app and expect to see what you see in android either. Its simple and sleek.

    - Better Notes App - Look at Google Keep, google it. Today's newest update to it makes Apple's notes app look like Notepad compared to the latest text editors out there, you can shove images, and even checkboxes/reminders into it. The only bad thing about it is you have to sync notes to google to get them off your phone, unlike Apple that allows you to sync the notes to your computer without touching Apple's servers.

    - Better Translate App - If your like me and need to translate foreign languages, with the Google App, you can take a picture of something with the foreign letters and translate the text using the Translate App. Google decided to leave this feature out of the iOS version, maybe to get people to go to the Google side.

    - Better Usage Graphs - If you look at the usage details on android phone, you get pretty graphs of everything and can even set a data usage limit and have it warn you when your about to hit it. Apple only keeps track of the usage per charge and its just the one number. Nothing that shows a graph of what happens over time.

    - Better Maps App - The maps app is much more solid in google and has street view, this seems to be a trend where Google leaves Apple versions of Google's Apps more limited...

    - Updates - The android phone seems to get updates every week with some improvement here and there to one or more apps. I find it hard getting used to Apple's iOS8 where there are barely any updates to the suite of apps used.

    - Face Unlock - This is so cool, patented by Google... you can unlock the phone with your face. Google uses image algorithms to recognize your face so that instead of punching in numbers or using your finger, the camera looks at your face and in a split second unlocks your phone. If it doesn't, you can unlock it with a backup pattern and you can train the phone to recognize your face in other situations where it can't.

    - Contacts App - OMG. This is the coolest looking contacts app that Apple has not got. The pictures of your friends actually take up a decent amount of real estate on the screen and looks simple and easy to use unlike Apples "listing of all your contacts without any photos". If you have contacts on your phone that you sometimes can't remember what they look like, Android makes so much more sense.

    Okay, before you go on thinking I might work for Google or am an Android fangirl, you may be thinking why anyone would want to go Apple?

    - Privacy - You don't have to sync everything to Apple servers if you don't want to, and you can get Notes off of it without having to sync to Google.

    - Better Camera - The camera is much more solid, takes better photos all around.

    - Battery Life - The way Apple handles processes is better than android, which leaves background processes running and eat up battery much faster. GPS is a much faster drain on battery with the Google than the Apple. Though Google's "Project Volta" is supposed to change that.

    - More Solid, Less Random Crashes - Everything works, the thing about Android phones is apps crash.. randomly, unexpectedly. With the iPhone 6, there have been 0 crashes, even with multiple apps open at the same time. Even though some Apps are not as full with functionality like Android's versions that actually look a lot nicer in some cases, you can be sure your going to have less negative randomness.

    - Music to Wake Up To - This may sound crazy, but you can't set a song from your library to wake up to with Android, you have to pick its standard set of sounds it comes with. If you want to be able to set an alarm with your music, then you want to get the iPhone.

    - Better Media Player/Unified Storage - I don't like microsd cards, its nice that everything is on the phone and you can store gigantic music collections onto it without any removable storage. Now this one could be a "plus" for android, but I like Apple's "one drive" solution, the media player also feels more slick and built for music.

    - Facetime/Video Chat - This is one of the most amazing things EVER!!!! You can video chat or call without using the phone, but just on wifi or any cellular connection. Skype exists, but it is horrible on iOS and is not all that great on Android and consumes more bandwidth and is more prone to crashing. Facetime is integrated into the OS without an App and it just works.

    - Health - The healthkit is pretty new, but you don't have to keep track of steps you walk without installing any third party apps, its built right into the OS! Android does have some nice apps that keep track of this stuff, but you have to install them 3rd party.

    - Fingerprint Sensor - This is another Apple plus, other phones have fingerprint sensors, but the Apple one is the best, It. Just. Works.

    - Lightning Cable - Even though this isnt part of the phone, it is neat to be able to plug in a cable without having to fidget with the direction or orientation your inserting it in your phone. MicroUSB is nice for the android phones, but you have to actually think about how you insert it.

    - Appstore - The Appstore is just so much more complete than Google's and all apps are reviewed, so the Apps are generally of higher quality and caliber unlike Google's where anybody can put anything up there and it'll get approved.

    - Siri - Talk to the phone, so many languages, its not Cortana, but its still pretty good. Sounds better than Google Now.

    Everything said... I have an iPhone 6, I love it... but Android is doing a good job wooing me back to their newer devices.
  10. geoff5093, Nov 17, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2014

    geoff5093 macrumors 68020


    Sep 16, 2014
    Dover, NH
    You're on a Mac forum, so obviously the decisions will be largely in favor of the iPhone. One note about photo uploads though, you don't have to use Google+, you can use Dropbox, Google Drive, Photobucket, Box, or any of many other cloud storage solutions.
  11. Born2bwild macrumors member


    Mar 18, 2012
    I live in Canada, and visit the US often, and around me the vast majority of people 20-30 have iPhones. Even the really cheap android phones are more common than high-end androids. The only people I see with high-end androids flaunting them are pseudo-techies (usually engineering people, sorry to generalize) who think paper specs make better products (hint: it doesn't).

    Back to the comparison, I think it's up to you to decide whether an extra $175 is worth it, but I think the iPhone will retain its value much better so you can resell it at the end of two years for $175 extra as well and recoup the additional cost.

    As for which device is better, I guess it depends on various needs, but the iPhone is the fastest (CPU, GPU), has the best app ecosystem, and a better battery and camera than S5. It also has better connectivity, better audio output and a better screen (much better color accuracy, brightness and contrast).

    The iPhone is reasonably water resistant as well... even though it's not advertised as such it can easily survive 10s+ when submerged into water.
  12. xiwong macrumors member

    Dec 9, 2013
    I'm surprised at how even this thread has been so far. As an iPhone user since the 4S (now with a 6) and Android user since 2010 (now with a M8) here are my comments:

    File System - Android has a file system like a computer. I can understand if you have always used an iPhone and don't find a need for one, but it truly is one of the things that disrupts my workflow. For example, sometimes I need to download a powerpoint file in a browser, edit, and upload. I can just download the file, find it in my downloads folder, open, edit, save, and then use any dedicated app (like Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.) to upload. There is no need to find a powerpoint file editor with cloud integration, multiple logins, or anything else. Its just as easy as on a computer.

    iMessage alternative - I'm on Verizon, so I use Verizon Messages (android) which I actually find better than iMessage because you can send SMS/MMS over wifi, meaning your phone can be completely off and you can still send messages through Verizon. I don't know if your carrier offers that, but there are alternatives such as MightyText which are pretty good but not as good as iMessage in OSX 10.10.

    Battery Life - Android definitely has more variability in battery life, but considering that the S5 has better battery life than the M8 and my M8 destroys the 6 in battery life (both in my usage and in many reviews), I think you will be happy. Since I've used Android for a while I generally rate battery life as screen on time, not the awake time on the iPhone which is overstated compared to the actual time you are actively using the device. The iPhone 6 gets me around 3.5 hours of screen on time, the M8 5-6 hours, and the Note 3 around 5 hours. While just like iOS rogue apps can kill the battery, it isn't like 2010 when you have to worry about every app you install. It is a rare occurrence.

    Fingerprint Sensor - Its better on the iPhone. Theres not much more to say. Thats not to say the S5's fingerprint reader is unusable but considering that Android has other unlock options, it depends on your tastes.

    OS Stability - For those who think Android is buggy and crashes a lot, I urge you to actually try to use a flagship device since Android 4.3. While I can agree Android was more likely to have issues during the prior to 4.3, I actually find it more solid right now. Besides the 8.0.1 release, 8.0 was released with many features disabled and by 8.0.2 features like custom keyboards, safari, notification banners, spotlight, and music sync were still buggy. 8.1 and 8.1.1 are better but the point is iOS stability isn't on a world apart from Android. I did not have any issues as major as those with iOS 8 with my Note 3 (starting on 4.3) nor my M8 (starting on 4.4). Apps don't crash constantly either, as some may tell you. Its really to the point where OS usability depends on your own tastes and not technical limitations.

    Camera - I still think the iPhone has the best general purpose camera. As in you can just pull it out and snap pictures without second thought. The S5 has a great camera (by reviews) as did my Note 3. But to really get the most out it, I feel you need to play more with custom settings.

    And finally, RAM - I do agree that older versions of Android needed more RAM than iOS to run smoothly. But since 4.4, which was designed to be used on as little as 512MB RAM, the difference has shrunk dramatically. On my M8 with 2GB RAM, I find it can keep significantly more applications open and active in RAM than my 6. I can have a browser with several tabs, a large PDF open in drive, Gmail, Music, Facebook, calendar, and evernote open without running out of memory. What I mean by running out of memory is when you switch to an app and it has to refresh like you open it from a cold start again. While the iPhone 6 can keep an adequate amount of programs open, having more RAM would only lead to a smoother experience.

    I think the S5 is worth a try. We can't tell you whether you will like it as much as an iPhone or note, but the reality is Android and iOS are both very capable platforms and plenty of people enjoy using both of them. You may as well.
  13. Born2bwild macrumors member


    Mar 18, 2012
    I agree with your points in general, but you do know that the reviews that show the S5 or the M8 have better battery life are flawed right? iPhone does not throttle nearly as heavily as the Android competitors, so by running a script, the iPhone goes through it more times than the android resulting in the degraded performance seen in phonearena, gsm, etc.

    If you conduct a usage test, where the amount of processing power is static, you'll find the iPhone is better easily, as seen in Anandtech.
  14. iolinux333 macrumors 68000

    Feb 9, 2014
    I'm torn right now. I'm waiting for the OTA of Lollipop to drop on my Nexus 7 and then I'll play with it for a while. If it's really really good, I'll pick up an Xperia Z3 or Z3c to replace my iPhone 5, but keep my 5s. If it's not that much better than KitKat, I'll probably just do nothing, keep my two iPhones (5 and 5s) and wait until next year when the 6s drops and reconsider iPhone vs Android vs ???. Right now I think iPhone 6 is ridiculous ripoff with outdated tech and restrictions that are stupifying... that bends.
  15. dstedman macrumors member

    Jul 5, 2010
    Just got my OTA Lollipop drop to my 2013 Nexus 7 FWIW - seems nice - different.
  16. cgull macrumors newbie

    Dec 21, 2013
    If you do go Android I would steer toward Google play edition devices. TW is a PoS IMHO.
  17. recklesslife85 macrumors 6502


    Sep 17, 2012
    Wales, UK
    Get a OnePlus One if you can, don't use touchwiz on the Samsungs.

    If it's about money then OnePlus One is the way to go and it's the smoothest Android phone I've used next to a Nexus 5. Beautiful device and shoes android in its best form. Battery life on the OPO kills the 6 and 6 Plus.
  18. buntym macrumors member

    Oct 14, 2011
    This is actually not true. I've owned 3 Android devices (Original Samsung Note, Samsung Galaxy S4 and Samsung Galaxy S5) and all three of them have let me select a song from my library to use as an alarm. Maybe this is just a TouchWiz thing as I've not actively looked for this feature in any other Android phone, but then you shouldn't generalize.
  19. kobajagrande macrumors newbie


    Oct 7, 2014

    Are you serious ? This makes me wonder have you ever used an android device longer than a day. It is super easy to change it, in many different ways. Please do google that up for yourself. ;)
  20. The-Real-Deal82 macrumors 603


    Jan 17, 2013
    Wales, United Kingdom
    Get the iPhone 6, its the best phone I have ever owned and have had a thoroughly satisfactory couple of months using it. If you can afford the extra, I'd get it. Or try both of them out and decide which you prefer rather than taking advice here. We all have different preferences at the end of the day. :)
  21. maka344 macrumors 65816


    Nov 4, 2009
    London, UK
    I have a Plus and love Apple however, I am becoming very tired with iOS fast. I want something new, I want that wow factor and; Lollipop looks like a fantastic operating system. In addition, the Nexus 6 looks spot on. But I love the Apple hardware, the feel, the slimness and the ecosystem.

    I convinced most of my friends and family to go iPhone and now nearly all of them use FaceTime and iMessage, it's a difficult trade up.

    I'd like the Nexus 6 as a work device and the iPhone as a personal device but my company doesn't allow Android devices to connect to Exchange.

    What would be good is if Apple took a real good look at iOS and innovated again, change it up, excite us. We've had the same tiles since the first release.

    Lack of excitement in iOS has made me start looking at Android 5.0 videos and the corresponding hardware, be it, I didn't know what I was looking for first, Note, Nexus 4.5 or 5.0 reviews, pricing etc.
  22. manusis macrumors newbie

    Nov 18, 2014
    about android phone

    i preferred only android phone because it is compatible with all application and software...Easy to understand all features and function anybody can handle it... Nice for giving this information about iphone and android phone.
  23. ArtVandelay29 macrumors regular

    Aug 12, 2014
    I wouldn't leave "water resistant" as a pro for the Samsung on your list just because of occasional snowboarding when you can get a case for the iPhone that will accomplish the same thing. Just sayin'.
  24. Madmic23 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 21, 2004
    Photo syncing is so much better with Google. This is coming from a guy with an iPhone 5.

    I use Google+ to auto backup all of my photos and videos. You get unlimited storage if you let Google resize the photos, or 15 GB with the standard amount of free space from Google. I have 25 GB free due to some bonus offers. Video storage is also free for videos under 15 minutes long.

    Google+ automatically enhances your photos, creates stories, and even edited videos to music. The videos are surprisingly good for being made with no human input.

    I've also started using Google Play All Access for my music. It's just so much easier to make a playlist in my web browser and have it in perfect sync with the Google Play Music app on my iPhone. For times when I don't have a network connection, I have certain playlists pinned to the phone (downloaded for offline use).

    I'm actually in a similar situation as you. My iPhone 5 has an annoying screen flicker right now. I'm eligible for an upgrade with Bell, but I don't want to lose my current $55 plan. In order to upgrade to an iPhone 6, the minimum plan cost will be $80 a month for only 500 MB of data (yep, that's our great Canadian cell phone plan pricing).

    I can buy an unlocked Moto G for $250 or a Nexus 5 for $350 and keep my current plan or maybe even get something cheaper.
  25. Tsuchiya macrumors 68020


    Jun 7, 2008

    You can still use iMessage on your Mac I guess. As for better photo management, Android does it better.

    I got nearly 50GB free Dropbox storage when I set up my Galaxy S4 and I think you get the same for an S5. Photo Upload works better than Photo Stream in that all your photos are uploaded rather than the last 30 days/1000 photos. I know iOS is introducing new features to allow for the uploading of your entire library but when I tried that last night on my 6+ it told me that the photos I synced manually would be removed first :confused:.

    You can also have iPhoto sync your Dropbox folder as well.

    I'd get the S5 if I were you. It suits your needs better. iMessage might be the compromise but the upside compensates for it.

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