Moved to Android from iOS - My comparison/impressions *Long, but to the point*

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by Cod3rror, Sep 20, 2014.

  1. Cod3rror macrumors 68000


    Apr 18, 2010
    OK, here's the thing, I've never had an Android phone before. Had iPhone, but was always interested in trying Android. I was not willing to pay a premium price for the flagship however, just in case I did not like it, but with the release of Moto G and it being so close to stock and so affordable with great specs, I decided to give it a shot and got it.

    Here are some of the observations from somebody who switched from iOS to Android.

    Before we go further I'd like to mention, I don't have an agenda for either OS and I don't have any loyalty for any company. I go where I get better options.

    - Phone Unlock - iOS/iPhone has the awesome TouchID, but if that's not there, there are not many options, just Pin and Password. On Android, you get multiple ways to unlock: Pin, Face, Pattern, Password. You can also control more things, such as if the power instantly locks the phone, or after what period should it lock (iOS has the same), enable/disable widgets on lock screen. If you have a bluetooth device, you can configure for the phone to auto-unlock if it detects it, although it'd be great if there was an option to unlock it when on a home Wi-Fi network.

    Small differences with Pins: On Android, you press the button, enter a pin and then you tap "Enter" on iOS, you press the button, slide the screen, enter pin and it unlocks. Same amount of moves, but different approaches.

    - Notes app - Android's Keep is MUCH better than iOS' Notes.

    - On iOS, I had a Dropbox Notes app that opened a specified folder in Dropbox and allowed editing of text files. On Android, you can just create a folder shortcut on the homescreen and you can edit text files right in Dropbox. So on iOS, I needed a separate app, on Android, I don't.

    - Each app on Android, has its own options - Such a vibration. On iOS if you turn off vibration in the options, it's off system-wide. Not so in Android. That surprised me at first.

    - Scrolling - I used to swear by iOS' scrolling. But I have to say, I MUCH prefer the way scrolling physics is done in Android. It's faster, feels better to flick up or down, it's great! On some apps, you can grab a scrollbar and scroll quickly (again, each app can have their own options). What iOS has that's great is tapping on the status bar to go to the top, that's a great feature! But since Android's scroll is so quick, you generally don't miss it.

    - Widgets - There are so cool widgets out there, personally, I am not a big user of them, so my homescreen looks like iOS icons. It's great to have an option for those that want it, but IMO iOS is fine without them on the homescreen.

    - Notification Centre - I like it more on Android, nice shortcut/switch button for quick toggles too. I like that nofication and toggles are kept in one menu. Better than iOS 7, although iOS 8 could probably match it.

    - There are no notifications on icons in Android - At first it felt weird but you quickly get used to the idea that the Notification Center is the hub of all the incoming information.

    - Centralized Audio Controls - on iOS you get centralized controls (FF Play/Pause, FB) in the Control Center. I was disappointed that Android did not offer the same. BUT! After trying apps on Android, I realize that Android does it better. In Android, each application puts its own widget in the Notification Centre that is suited for that app. If it's a music player, then you can put a widget with controls and the album art (some offer customization). So it's more flexible than iOS'. With iOS 8, music players and other apps will offer the same widget, I assume.

    As a side note, you CAN play audio from YouTube in the background. You need to get PVSTAR+ and it plays them fine, also puts a widget in the Notification Center, so you can control the playback while being in any application.

    - Status Bar - Android's is much better IMO. I like how the text appears on it when there is a notification. Although, there is no Internet activity icon, like there is on iOS, so you don't know when something is using the network. I like that on iOS.

    - Google Play - Wow! Despite it's stupid name, this is so much better in my opinion than Apple's App Store. It looks better, more organised, there is more information, there are more reviews with more informed people.

    - Application Installation - You can side load APK files (install files for Android, like IPA), Install from an SD card, install from any website you want.

    - You can download the APK files from Google Play, so you can have backups and you don't need any extra application for that. You can backup IPA files on iOS as well, but you have to have iTunes installed and download it, only using iTunes.

    Much more freedom!

    - Homescreen - I like Android's homescreen/drawer combination more. The smoothness is the same, and I like the panoramic wallpaper. You can keep all the apps in the drawer (organised alphabetically) and get whatever you need on the homescreen). I like the drawer's card style page switching.

    - Data usage app - Very useful! Apple should add something like this. It has warnings and data limits you can set, shows usage for both cellular and Wi-Fi.

    - Keyboard - I prefer Android's keyboard for typing, and I also like its sounds, and it has a lot more options, but things like shortcuts are not as consistent as on iOS. For example, you create a shortcut "ml" which fills in your email. On iOS anywhere you type "ml" a pop-up will appear with a suggestion, once you tap the spacebar, the field will be filled in with your email. On Android, shortcuts appear in the word suggestion bar (Quicktype on iOS) above the keyboard, the problem is, the word suggestion bar does not appear/work with all fields, so in some places you have to manually write in your email.

    - Cut, Copy/Paste - Better on iOS. Can't select text everywhere on android entry fields. Selection levers are clunky. Sometimes you want to select a word and it selects the whole sentence. But when you select a text, you also get a "Share" button, which is very handy! You can put that selected text into other applications, or just search good for it. As for the Paste, you have to tap and hold for the button to appear, again, I prefer it on iOS. One small thing that Android has is, if you select a word, you can tap the "Shift" on keyboard and it toggles (Title, lower, CAPITAL) the case for you, iOS does not have that.

    - Undo - Android does not have Undo! :eek: Super handy on iOS.

    - Dictionary - iOS has a built in Dictionary/Thesaurus, which is fantastic and very useful. You can select any word, anywhere and instantly get either a translation or explanation. Android does not have that.

    - Email app - It's decent on both. On Android you can two email apps, "Email" and "Gmail". Sometimes Android email does not fit bit emails properly (you have to pinch them in), unified view does not fetch emails - on iOS, when you switch to the unified inbox in iOS, it automatically checks the mail for you, on Android, you have to go into each individual inbox of every account you have to get new mail, if you don't have them on fetch/auto-check (which I have off in iOS, I just launch the Email app that starts in the unified inbox and it gets all the emails then). One nice option is that there is "show images" which you can turn on for any email (address) you want and it'll load images in the email.

    - Chrome - It's great and fast on Android, but strangely, does not have a back-forward history, when you tap and hold on "Forward" or "Back" nothing happens, on iOS it shows your history for the current tab.

    - Firefox - Great on Android. A resource hog as usual for Firefox, still fast and great. On iOS Firefox is pretty much gone and with them changing their sync service, the old apps that worked (you could get Tabs/Bookmarks/History), don't work any more. So if Firefox is your primary browser, you won't get integration with iOS. With Android, you get a great integration and sync.

    - Modularity - I love this in Android. System applications, everything updates independently and when it's ready, you don't have to wait for the annual whole OS update to update your email app or Chrome. If iOS did the same thing, Apple's iOS keynotes would be a lot shorter.

    - Hiding/Disabling Apps - Also love this. Don't need the app? Just go to options, disable it and disappears from everywhere. If you don't like a default application, download another one from Google Play, and make it your default one. Easy! You can replace anything.

    - Defaults - Awesome! You can set default applications and if you have a few that can handle a particular file format or a task, you get a pop-up with an optionto pick which app does the job (and you can set it to be the default from now on (you can change defaults in Options, anytime you want)). But, it can be a drawback a bit if not handled well by an app. For example, if you tap on a text file in Dropbox, you get a pop-up with multiple options (apps), BUT, there is no option to set one app as a default. So every time I open a text file in Dropbox, I have to tap on it, and then tap again on the Dropbox icon from the list, so it opens inside Dropbox... that's annoying!

    - Maps/GNSS - Google Maps is the same on both platforms, let's not even talk about Apple maps. I like maps in general, so I always try to get several apps that use different map sources (NAVTEQ, TeleAtlast, Google, OpenStreetMap). Both platforms have big GPS navigation apps: CoPilot (same quality), Sygic (smoother on iOS, although still does not use the stock iOS UI), TomTom (better on iOS), Navigon (haven't tried it).

    OpenStreetMap is different matter, both platforms have popular apps such as CityMaps2Go and MAPS.ME, but all the serious apps are outdated on iOS and are not being updated since around 2012. On Android on the other hand, there are many great maps apps, one of them is "Locus Maps", which is just an insanely feature rich application.

    On Android, you can can view satellites, how many are in view, how many are in use, which are they? GPS, GLONASS? etc... On iOS, such information is not provided. If you are not interested in GNSS technology, then you won't find this interesting but if you are, it's cool to have all this information... it'll be more useful once more GNSS constellations (Chinese BeiDou, European Galileo) go online.

    - Dialer - Better on Android. You get the same separate Dialer and Contacts apps as on iOS, but they are better on Android. Here is one of the places where Android's integration comes into play (I'll talk about it more below), when you tap on a contact, not only their phone numbers appear, but if you have them in Skype, Viber, Facebook, Twitter, any other communication medium, it all appears in their contacts. Basically you get a list of all the possible ways you can contact that person, which fantastic! And you can optionally create a shortcut on the homescreen for a contact to either dial the number of your choice directly on tapping, or to open up a card with all their information that you can scroll through and pick how you want to contact them.

    - Messaging - Currently, prefer it on Android, but iOS 8 will be better IMO. Android's messaging is simple, you can share lots of various media and you get delivery notes, which you still don't on iOS. Third party apps available for both, but on Android, you can make it a default one. Textra is great for Android.

    - App Quality - It's a hit and miss on both platforms. However, if both are premium, I prefer the Android version. Couple of examples: There is no good KeePass app for Android, there are several that are OK, but I like the iOS app better. Viber on Android, has favourites, on iOS there are no favourites. Ebay on iOS has "Reminders" that tells you who do you still have to leave feedback to (great if you order lots of things), on Android there is no "Reminders". CityMaps2Go has more functionality on iOS. Pin Drop is better on Android.

    Both have their own killer apps. For me, on Android the killer app is: Quickpic. I LOVE IT! Fantastic photos app. You can add cloud accounts, OneDrive, Dropbox, Flickr, etc...

    - Controls and Workflow - ANDROID! I love it, I LOVE IT! When other people mentioned how great and useful the Back button was, I always thought it was not a big deal, until I used it. Back button = HUGE plus for Android, it's great!

    I MUCH prefer Android's controls - Back / Homescreen / Switcher(Multitasking) buttons are so much better than iOS' Home button.

    General workflow, speed and cross-app communication/switching is better on Android. This is one area that I can say with full confidence that I like much more than iOS. Working with Android and doing things is faster and feels more "integrated"! Open an email app, click a link, browser opens, view, hit the back button, you're back in your email.

    Switcher / Multitasking view on Android is so much better than iOS 7's. I liked iOS 6's switcher, but iOS 7's cards, is terrible IMO. It's annoying that you cannot even tap on an empty field around card to the homescreen (you can on Android).

    I don't like iOS 7's overdone animations, it feels like the OS constant tries to slow you down, while with Android, you get animations but everything is quick, snap, snap, snap and you're done!

    - Integration / Cross-app communication - This could change with iOS 8 (depends on developers), but right now there is no comparison, Android is way ahead. You get that awesome "Share" that all the applications that can handle that specified data appear in. You can switch from app to app and hand off files, easily and quickly, and you can return quickly as well, thanks to that Back button. Here's one example: Viber, setting a profile picture. On Android: Go to OneDrive/Dropbox right from Viber, select a pic, set it. On iOS have to open OneDrive/Dropbox, download the app, open Viber, set the pic, go to Photos app and delete the downloaded picture. Although, as already mentioned, could be fixed with iOS' Extensions feature now.

    There is an "AppShopper" for Android as well and you can quickly add an app to it, from Google Play, just tap on "Share" choose "AppSales" a small window appears, tap "Add", done. Never even have to leave the Google Play app.

    - Filesystem / Management - Feel like this is the part where Android is very overrated. It feels a little bit messy.

    The problem is that Google has severely limited the access to microSD card. I was under impression that Android's file system and application work much like Window's ones; however that's not the case and a lot depends on the developer and manufacturer.

    For example, on Moto G, there is no way to make the microSD card a default save location for all apps. Each app has it's own settings... camera app for example, has an option to save pictures in microSD, but if you take a screenshot of Android, it saves it into it's internal memory and there is no option of changing that. So things save all over the place. You cannot make Chrome or Firefox save in a location of your choice.

    Some apps can see both the internal memory and the microSD, some can't (there are so music players that I liked that could simply see anything else other than the internal memory, and I have music on the microSD = application useless). So it's a hit and miss.

    In addition to no default saving options and Google massively restricting what can be done with a microSD - Android also does not support Mass Storage (UMS) any more - Which, I have to say a huge disappointment. You can't just plug it into your PC and drag and drop files to it as if was a flash drive. (While, UMS is gone though, there are applications such as AirDroid, which are fantastic and allow you to manage almost everything on your file from a browser window. You can drag and drop files, send messages, view images, etc... but still, no UMS is a big step back).

    Meanwhile, Dropbox has become a sort of a file system for iOS (without cloud storage services, the iPhone would lose a lot of functionality for me), plus it's in the cloud, so you can access it from anywhere. Because of the lack of file system in iOS, developers provide more backup/restore options (email, Dropbox, etc...) for their apps.

    If you've ever seen them, iOS' system folders (applications folders, etc...) have a better structure than Android's, they're more organised.

    The good on Android is that, yes, you can move files around, organise them. You can also access application installation folders (useful sometimes), which you'd need to have a jailbroken iPhone for.

    So I am a little bit disappointed in how files work in Android. I thought, drop in a microSD, select it as a default storage in options and everything I'd save, be it pictures from Chrome, a screenshot, or a download file, would go into it. And I was also under assumption that you could pick a save folder in pretty much any application.

    - OEMS add A LOT! Not all Androids are made the same. For example my Moto G does not have SIP support, even though Android supports SIP. You cannot remove homescreens. Each Android phone its own little functions and differences, each phone comes with its own experience... variety is great but similarity is also great, you can dictate exactly what to do to someone over a phone conversation on an iPhone, because they're all the same... with Android, they might have a different menu, etc...

    - Outro - In conclusion, both platforms have their strength and weaknesses, there is no perfect one. The thing is though, starting with Snapdragon 400 (I really feel like this chip marks the tipping point), and with Android's constant optimization, you no longer have to pay a premium price to get a great experience. I was concerned for the infamous "Android lag" etc... but even entry level phones are fast! Very pleasantly surprised, and it's only going to get better/cheaper. However, after trying Android, I have to say I would not have a problem paying a premium price for a flagship Android phone.
  2. HiDEF macrumors 68000


    Jun 23, 2010
    Miami, FL
    Good points.

    IMO, It's not about OS wars, it's about functionality. iOS is a great simple OS. If you want things to just work, it's the way to go.

    With Android, the possibilities could be endless. From automation apps like Tasker, to the simple things you mentioned in your post.

    I'm still undecided about keeping the iP6+; I've noticed that I do love the handset! But, iOS is limited--which could be a good thing for some.

    However, if I do get rid of the iP6+, I will miss iMessage and Facetime. :(

    Now, I do have a iPad Mini Retina, but it's not the same; I rather have an iPhone.
  3. superwoman macrumors regular

    Apr 25, 2005
    TS - you're a very observent person. I've used Android way longer than you, but you mentioned some things that are new to me.

    You did not mention Tasker. Have you tried it? Personally, Tasker and the Share feature are the two main reasons why I can't go back to iOS anymore.
  4. HiDEF macrumors 68000


    Jun 23, 2010
    Miami, FL
    Tasker is great! However, it takes sometime learning it. Your best bet is to search on XDA threads for help, if anyone is ever interested.
  5. Oohara macrumors 68020


    Jun 28, 2012
    This one is huge for me. Keep is simple yet so well designed. I love the color options and the quick alarm function. And it looks great both as an app and in computer browsers.

    Meanwhile iOS Notes is remarkably ugly and doesn't follow the rest of the slick look of iOS 7. It's really such a bastard child of an app. I'm surprised that Apple has left this one looking so foul, it even has the skeumorphic element that they supposedly worked so hard to eliminate. And the web interface looks unnatural and slows the browser down a lot.

    Keep is one of the apps I use the most, and losing it would be one of the major concerns I'd have with switching to iOS.

    Another thing I'd have difficulty living without is the freedom to choose other launchers. I use Nova Prime and what I'd miss the most is its home screen gestures, which really does a lot for the workflow:

    • swipe down from anywhere to pull down notifications without having to reach to the top (which is obviously a hassle on Note/6 Plus-size devices)
    • swipe up anywhere on the screen to open the app switcher (this will have a dedicated button on newer phones so I'll find another function for it)
    • two finger swipe down to turn off the screen (always feels very slick, especially when the phone is lying down)
    • two finger swipe up to access the file browser
    • double tap anywhere to open the app drawer (instantaneous on my Note 2)
    • swipe up from any icon to access a second function of your choice (I open Keep with swipe up from Chrome icon, gallery up from the camera icon, contacts is up from the phone icon and direct message to my gf is up from the message icon)

    Lastly widgets - and in particular how you can set up things like turning the WiFi hotspot on/off with one single icon press directly from the home screen. I use this numerous times every day, and doing it on my old iPhone by going several steps into the Settings menu was a hassle.

    Oh, and what I also love about Android is that you can access EQ settings directly from most music apps, whereas on iOS you have to exit the music app and go settings menu spelunking every damn time.

    What I really love about iOS is Control Center, especially how its accessible directly from the lock screen. One should be able to customise its functions though (turn on WiFi hotspot...).

    I also like TouchID, in particular now that you're able to use it for 1password and Apple Store purchases, etc. Samsung's fingerprint reader does not impress.

    iOS' Calendar also looks a million times better than Google's, with it's horrendous color scheme. I've been looking for a well designed alternative since I switched to Android but I've still not found any.
  6. gotluck macrumors 603


    Dec 8, 2011
    East Central Florida
    Nice post!

    There are definitely ways to make pin not required on certain Wi-Fi networks, but it requires third party apps.

    I know tasker can, along with crazy amounts of other automation, but there is a learning curve for sure .
  7. HiDEF macrumors 68000


    Jun 23, 2010
    Miami, FL
    In reference to calendars, try Today Calendar. It has a new L design which looks great!
  8. spinedoc77 macrumors G3


    Jun 11, 2009
    I couldn't live without widgets, they are hands down the best feature of Android. To have such an insane amount of live and ever changing information at a SINGLE glance is just incredible. Other than that I struggle to really think of anything iOS does better. Siri used to be better, and I think it still is for those core functions we use phones for, but Google now has improved remarkably in the past year. Apple still has an advantage with messages/MMS and facetime though, Google really needs to get off its duff and make Hangouts better.

    Another must live feature with android is Google voice integration, that's something I use for business and is incredible to have. It sort of works in iOS but it's a pain to use.
  9. thering1975, Sep 20, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2014

    thering1975 macrumors regular


    Jun 5, 2014
    Best post I have read on thus subject and spot on throughout.

    As above tasker is the best add on any smartphone could have, yes it takes a few practice sessions but then bang automation etc just flows.

    A good app not many use is switchr this is the best app switching app that just works and makes switching apps smooth and fun, I use in arc mode but choose your poision. That's shown in the attached PIC just swipe in from where ever you set the trigger point to

    The moto g great phone in fact we just brought a load for testing at work.

    If you ever root then xposed framework is your first port of call like tasker it opens you up to a whole new world

    Attached Files:

  10. gslrider macrumors 6502


    Nov 4, 2005
    Thanks for the detailed post Cod3rror. I've been a long time Mac user (20+ years), and even with the new Mac Pro design (which I'm not keen on, I prefer the previous Mac Pro design) I would probably stick with a Mac. I find the Mac OS suitable for my needs.

    It took till the 3GS (4 just around the corner) for me to get my first smartphone. Being an Apple guy all these years, I figured it was just logical to get an iPhone so that it works seamlessly with my Mac. And for the most part it was. I fell in love with the iPhone. iOS 3.x.x was great! No bugs, not glitches, no issues. At least none for me. Then iOS 4 came out. I jumped on it right away. BIG mistake. Went through 3 3GS's, before Apple decided to just swap me out with a new 4. My issues (big issues) with iOS 4 on the 3GS were gone on the 4. Lightbulb #1. But iOS 4.x.x wasn't great. Still had some issues. But tolerable. And each update after that, gave me issue after issue. Basically, since iOS 4, I've had issues with every update. And my only solution was to upgrade to the latest iPhone at the time. Lightbulb #2.

    I'm currently using the 5S. It was fine for me under 7.1.2, albeit some minor issues that I've just grown accustomed to. ie. constant spinning network wheel on the homescreen after using App Store app. Faster battery drain from the previous iOS update. But ever since updating to iOS 8, my 5S hasn't been as great as it used to. And nowhere near, the improvements I expected with iOS 8. Which brought back lightbulb #2. I still believe Apple rigs each update to force people to eventually conceded to upgrading their current iPhones for the latest ones. Too many experiences, too many coincidences to make believe otherwise.

    Now that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are out, I'm not every thrilled at their size. I personally think they are too big for my needs and convenience. I normally wait till the next generation of iPhones after the last major release. eg. I bypassed 4 to 4S, as well as bypassing 5 to 5S. The glitches and issues usually get ironed out by the next release of phones. However, if Apple keeps the newer iPhones that big, I've decided that I would start looking at smaller Android phones. Your notes are a great base for me to make my decision. I've always disliked that Apple has grown to have the mentality, "you take what we give you". I like options. The main reason why I've stuck with the iPhone for so long, is that it's camera (imo) is the best one on the market. I've tested the Android flagships' camera pic quality against the equivalent model of the iPhones I've had. Viewing them on one computer, on a calibrated monitor, I've found that the iPhone pics were better than the Androids'. Not by a huge margin, but enough for me to notice. Video was the same.

    But now, all things considered, I'm starting to veer towards settling for a slightly less quality with the camera, but with the trade off of a better functioning phone. A phone that I have more options to suit my needs. I have a year to dwell on this decision. lol
  11. stanw macrumors 6502a

    Aug 29, 2007
    How do you make a shortcut to a folder in Dropbox? I just tried long tapping on a folder in Dropbox and didn't see an option. Any idea if you can also do this for folders in Google Drive on One Drive?


    "On iOS, I had a Dropbox Notes app that opened a specified folder in Dropbox and allowed editing of text files. On Android, you can just create a folder shortcut on the homescreen and you can edit text files right in Dropbox. So on iOS, I needed a separate app, on Android, I don't."
  12. Oohara macrumors 68020


    Jun 28, 2012
    Some info bits I forgot the first time I replied to this:

    You can get them if you use NovaLauncher (maybe only paid option, I don't remember). At least for messages and email, they look very good and you get to choose the style.

    My Data Manager is my fave app for this on Android, and it's available for iOS too. Pretty good there as well but last time I used it you couldn't select a dark theme as on Android.

    Get Swype for android and you'll be in copy/paste heaven. This blows everything else out of the water IMO, including iOS. You have this quick command for cut/copy/paste and other stuff as well (as lowering the keyboard on command - more useful than you'd think) by swiping from the corner "Swype" symbol to different letters. I-N-C-R-E-D-I-B-L-Y useful and it elevates the work flow to just something else. (Swype on iOS doesn't have this yet.) Seriously, do yourself a favour and test this for yourself at least just a bit. Better than sex trust me and no I'm not a teenage virgin :cool:

    I think so too - but I'm not happy with where this is going in Android L. Safari card stack WTF? What's wrong with the awesome lined up "miniatures" view where you can for instance see you latest sum in the calculator, so that you could enter the app switcher to retrieve info without even having to enter the app? The new cards view in L is all fluff IMO, I can't see much of an advantage to that over the old multitasking view. I wish Google would have let this one be.

    Thanks! I used this for a bit but in the end it felt too similar to Google's own calendar. I still prefer iOS' calendar, still looking for an Android alternative. Thanks for the tip tho :)
  13. macrem, Oct 7, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2014

    macrem macrumors 65816


    Mar 11, 2008
    This is where iOS apps excel... just a simple Note app which is very clean. Notes are shared automatically between devices & can be sent as a message, SMS, email, to Twitter/FB, shared via AirDrop, etc. These services are not overlapping across apps, they are shared and tailored to the type of content.

    There are separate specialized apps which are simple and clean for todo lists, dictations, word processing for formatted text / complex layouts, etc.

    'Keep' is one of those Jack of all trades / Swiss army knife functionality remix apps that tries to do a mixture of things, you end up with a hodgepodge of overlapping features. It looks cheesy to see notes with black text on red backgrounds with poor contrast and readability. Then you need Quick Note for hand written notes, which also overlaps a lot of functionality found in Keep, which overlaps functionality found in built in apps, etc. It gets messy.

    But then people here proclaim 'look, we have a (notes) app with more features'.

    Can you start working on a note on your smartphone, grab your tablet or laptop and immediately continue working from where you left off in the note without having to perform any manual transfer steps with Keep? Can you tap to SMS that note from your tablet and it will send seemlessly via your smartphone's network with Keep?
  14. Oohara macrumors 68020


    Jun 28, 2012
    Different tastes mate :) I see it literally the opposite way.

    Sure Keep mixes a few different functions - but its exactly the right blend IMO. Checkboxes/list function can be activated or deactivated with a single tap which I find very handy. Being able to attach a photo or screenshot (when sharing a webpage to Keep for example) is something I've used a ton, which I didn't expect at the beginning. And the reminder function is perfect. I write something important and at the end I think Hm, I need to remember this stuff... Guess what? Just press that reminder button and choose between four preset times, or set it in detail manually, and that's it. Very intuitive and right there without having to go somewhere else to do it.

    I also find the browser interface for iCloud far more clunky and laggy than Keep's web ui. And the design of Apple's Note app is just horrid with that lingering skeumorphism and the clashing yellow/off-white colours. It just looks dirty and unfinished, and stuck in 2009. I mostly adore the look of iOS 7/8, mind you - but Notes really sticks out from the rest of the OS look. Whereas Keep is supremely clean and sharp looking. Sure the black text on red is hard to read, I use white 99% of the time anyway and only occasionally make a note yellow or blue when I need it to really stick out.

    None of this said to slam you or iOS though, mind you. I'm just stating my reasons for preferring Keep. For many other things, I wish that Android would look as good as iOS does. In fact I find Notes to be one of the very few exceptions to an otherwise utterly consistent and tasteful design language. Which is why I just found it funny that you had such an opposite view. :) We all have our tastes - good that there are alternatives.
  15. macrem macrumors 65816


    Mar 11, 2008
    Indeed, btw Notes looked better to me in iOS 6, the animation was very slick and smooth when deleting a note. Now it's just flat and clean.

    You can also use rich text like hyperlinks and paste images in notes. If I starrt a note and realize I wanted a list, I'd rather cut that info and put it in the todo list with other todos so that all todos are organized together rather than in different todo apps, then I can also do things like set a reminder notification upon arrival at a location.

  16. kevinof macrumors 6502a

    Jul 30, 2008
    I always thought Keep was light on features. It doesn't have a lot of options , certainly a lot less than other 3rd party apps. For me it's ideal to be able to take a quick note , no options to choose, just write and save (in fact you don't even have to save as it does that itself).

    Another feature I like (this is where android comes good) is using the voice actions to create a note - note to self and it will save to Keep in one go. I use it a lot when I'm on the move and it saves a lot of time.

    And yes Keep is synched across desktop and handset, all over the air. I often start a note on the phone on the move and then continue on the desktop when I get to the office.

  17. Oohara macrumors 68020


    Jun 28, 2012
    Haha nice, there's one point we can agree on then! I loved Notes in iOS 6. Maybe because I used it every day from iPhone 3G to 4S...ahh the memories...

    And I see what you're saying about organising todos. I'm more of a Keep slut, I just mix up everything in there and use the search function. BTW Keep has location reminder built in.



    Yeah same here. I tried using Evernote for a while but that just felt so overdone for the simple things I wanted to do.

    Cool, I didn't know about that. Though english is not my native language so I'd feel a bit off speaking english to my phone with others around me lol.

    Yep, I do this too. Though in honestly - I do get those 'conflicting saves' messages a bit more often than I'd like. Not that I've ever lost anything due to them by deleting the wrong save, but it is a little annoying.
  18. Zwhaler macrumors 604


    Jun 10, 2006
    Good read. Thanks for taking the time to write that!
  19. AustinIllini macrumors demi-goddess


    Oct 20, 2011
    Austin, TX
    I love the way the post is written. You really review the phone as as it fits in your life, moreso than a product for the masses. Any one of us could go in and replace your observations with our own and figure out what is right for us. Thanks for sharing!
  20. AustinIllini macrumors demi-goddess


    Oct 20, 2011
    Austin, TX
    My (albeit a bit shorter) version

    - Phone Unlock - You make a fantastic point about Android unlock. For me as a pseudo enterprise user, my employer will not let me user anything they deem less secure than a passcode. For them, that means I can use TouchID or pin on iPhone and only gives the pin option on android. I think overall TouchID is the best unlock method overall, but I was always a pattern fan, but my company does not permit it. So for me, iPhone makes the most sense.

    - Notes app - Android Keep is better, by quite a bit.

    - With regards to apps having their own options, it can go either way. Each app has its own settings (google plus settings has an app), but you can find additional settings in the main settings application. I think Android could use a more unified approach with an almost shortcut like interface where you can launch settings and use a shortcut to open individual app settings.

    - Scrolling - For me, I agree to disagree with the OP. Personally, I think the elasticity feel is the best solution for reaching the bottom of the page, but I also don't believe it should be apple proprietary. Advantage iOS for me, but YMMV.

    - Widgets - The iOS implementation of widgets in the notification center is more than enough for what I need. On my android devices, widgets were always something I wound up scrolling through and most widgets by developers weren't very good. Teevee on iPhone is the most useful widget I have used, and most of the time it's off my home screen so I can get into Apps.

    - Notification Centre - Overall I call it a wash, and I hope android L figures out that there are certain notifications that do not need banners by default. For example, on android L, weather wouldn't get cleared if you had wunderground show the temperature on top of the screen.

    - I can go either way on the iPhone notifications badges. There are some I use, like messages, and other I disable, like gmail.

    - Centralized Audio Controls - Android handles this well, but there are certain Apps, such as Audio Roadshow and, which break Android's app by app audio controls functionality. Generally speaking, on iOS, less audio applications fall through the cracks.

    - Status Bar - Take it or leave it

    - Google Play - take it or leave it. It's necessary on android, it's not on iOS. Wash for me.

    - Application Installation - I understand sideloading and whatnot, but I really never felt inspired to do anything of that kind with any SD card.

    Much more freedom!

    - Homescreen - I like iOS's implementation a bit better for only one reason. Force Quitting an app on an android phone is a pain natively. I have to find the icon in the app drawer, drag it up to the info area at the top of the screen, hit force quit, then answer a prompt verifying that's what I want. I know that's not particularly related to the home screen, but it's so obnoxious I decided to put it here.

    - Data usage app - Agreed Android is not only better, but the ability to cut off your data connection is a brilliant feature.

    - Keyboard - Android for sure, not only because Android has native swype, but its custom keyboards are more mature than the iOS versions currently.

    - Cut, Copy/Paste - Better in iOS for all the reasons you say.

    - Undo - Samesies.

    - Dictionary - Again, you are quite thorough.

    - Email app - I think for enterprise with Microsoft Exchange Servers, there really is no substitute for Apple's current offering.

    - Chrome - I think Chrome and Safari at this point are equal footing in the Browser market.

    - Firefox - It's cool you compared browsers, but I never find it necessary to use anything besides Safari. My wife is a big Firefox user, and it annoys her iOS doesn't allow her to hide or delete Safari.

    - Modularity - I like this on Android, too, but it annoys me the major releases usually come with a delay from OEMs. With iOS 8.1, 8.2, 8.3, I think we will see some major mid cycle updates.

    - Hiding/Disabling Apps - This would be more useful if I thought there was something on iOS that had a better App store counterpart, but I am annoyed certain Apps can't be deleted.

    - Defaults - Similar to my previous comment. I won't harp on this until one application does something significantly better than the Native iOS version.

    - Maps/GNSS - Google Maps is available on both, and Apple Maps is a lot better than its previous stigma. I reported a change of address for my physical therapist, and Apple updated it in about 15 hours. Google Maps is "better" on Android, but in terms of real world usage (satellite pictures notwithstanding), I'm not going to use any of the extra stuff.

    - Dialer - I am a huge fan of the Android L dialer. iOS works fine, too.

    - Messaging - I like iMessage a lot because a ton of my friends use it. I hated how my friends without google accounts would send texts and Hangouts would list the by phone number. iMessage for me.

    - App Quality - My impression is simple when it comes to apps. Android Apps tend to be free with some advertising, where as Apple Store apps tend to cost more yet give you an ad free experience. I find that if you plan on moving between platforms, Android makes it a bit easier as you spend less money on apps overall.

    - Controls and Workflow - The back button for me is kind of a mixed bag. It's annoying that the back and home buttons are always onscreen and shrinking the overall screen space, and sometimes the back button routes you to some strange places, but overall both are fine.

    I find the iOS homebutton to be universally more easy to use and understand, but I think Apple and iOS may be running out of non-abstract gestures.

    General workflow - I agree it's better on Android, but not necessarily something I need on a cell phone.

    Switcher / Multitasking - I prefer iOS 7's implementation, but the Android L one is also quite good when it isn't crashing. They'll fix it.

    - Integration / Cross-app communication - Android is better currently, but I think Apple's slower implementation may work out for security in the long run.

    - Filesystem / Management - Android's file system is quite messy, but available. That being said, I like that Apple's "file system" is only the folders you have on the home screen. I don't need anything else.

    You make some great observations about the SD implementation on Android. I really don't think I need an SD at this point on iOS, but 32 GB should absolutely be the minimum and it's not.

    I agree Dropbox has in some ways saved iOS. iCloud Drive should match it at some point, but it's a long ways off. In the past I would have expected Apple to purchase this kind of company to improve their offering.

    - I tend to lean on the leave it side of OEM involvment. I like pure vanilla android. That being said, when the OEM implementation is good, it's a welcomed addition. The Moto phones are perfect for this. HTC Sense isn't terrible, but I like Android better. Touchwiz, for me, is unacceptable from Samsung. To each his own.

    - Outro - Your conclusions are similar to mine. Personally, I feel like this is all a matter of taste by now, but I would spend money on a Motorola flagship phone (even though I don't love the new Moto X as much as the previous one), but I'm also comfortable with what I currently have. For me, the enterprise and the iOS ecosystem currently pushes iPhone over for me, but that could change going forward.
  21. SolarShane macrumors 6502

    Mar 7, 2014

    I've always just force quitted an app by removing it from the task manager. Doing that effectively removes it from the RAM.
  22. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 604

    Oct 27, 2009
    I've noticed on plenty of apps, they do have badge notifications on the actual icon. The problem is, the actual icon of apps are in the app drawer, not on the homescreen. The icons you see on the home screens are basically just static widgets/shortcuts.

    On iOS the home screens are basically the app drawer with the actual icons. This is why you can't put any icons of the same app into multiple folders like you can on Android.

    I'm pretty sure they had apps to put notify badges on the shortcuts too, but I never really looked or cared for it. I know the default email app on touchwiz shows badges on the shortcut icon.
  23. pdqgp macrumors 68020


    Mar 23, 2010
    Installing difference launchers such as Nova will provide this. I have Nova Pro and will get record counts on calls, voice mails, text messages and emails, live updated real time.
  24. Savor Suspended


    Jun 18, 2010
    Ten Android fans liked it. Add me as the 11th.

    I thought this would be another typical iOS fanboy thread experimentimg with Android only to run back to Apple's ecosystem. It only took a little Moto G and very little time for someone to see the light.

    My favorite part was the APP QUALITY. I think Android's app quality is vastly underappreciated and overlooked by long-time iOS users/Android newbies.

    App Backup & Restore
    All in One Gestures
    Nova Launcher Prime (w/ swipe gestures)
    Swipe Home Button (for my HTC One M7)
    Screen Off & Lock
    TubeMate (sideload app)
    ES File Explorer
    Du Battery Saver
    Wakelock Detector

    ^^ Many terrific apps I can't live without. And Pocket had a much better implementation of adding/sharing articles on Android than on iOS.
  25. mrex, Oct 9, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2014

    mrex macrumors 68040


    Jul 16, 2014
    yes, Nova Prime (paid).

    with emails, you can download an email app having unified feature - e.g. K-9.

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