Need Opinions from Those with a lot of Apple Products who switched to Android

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by robjulo, Apr 5, 2013.

  1. robjulo macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2010
    In our house we have 2 Iphones, 3 iPads, 1 Ipod Touch, 1 MBP, 1 iMac27. I am contemplating moving to the HTC One or Gal S4. IMO, iOS has fallen behind Android, significantly enough that I am considering moving.

    My biggest area of concern is the ecosystem. I would have one Android product and the rest Apple. How have others dealt with that, especially with music and photosharing.

    I understand I may have to buy some Apps twice, but I do not use alot of paid Apps. I use facetime a lot but it is not a deal breaker because I mostly use my iPad or MBP for that.

    I use imessaging a ton, but have an unlimited text plan - do I still get the benefit of things like group messaging with Android? Any major downsides to leaving imessage.

    Music - how do you best manage that. Most of my music purchases would likely be through iTunes, but there may be some spur of the moment through the phone. How difficult is it to keep everything "synced" for lack of a better word - ie purchases through iTunes on my Android and vice versa.

    photostream - this is a big concern. Often we take pictures with the various phones and as soon as we get home, they get on Aperture. What are the workarounds to make sure my Android pics also get on the photostream.

    Any input on those areas or other considerations would be great.
  2. Fernandez21 macrumors 601


    Jun 16, 2010
    For pictures I switched everything over to Dropbox, problem is though on iOS it won't sync unless you open the Dropbox app. So I sometimes have to remember to open that up on the other devices we have.

    For music I sync my iTunes library with Google music, but I do all my purchases in iTunes.

    Imessage is a pain because sometimes when my wife texts me it goes to my imessage account on my ipad and not to my phone. Luckily I carry my iPhone too so I still get it, but if your only carrying one it could be a problem.
  3. strausd macrumors 68030

    Jul 11, 2008
    My setup 6 months ago was a Mac Pro, MacBook Pro, iPhone 4S, and iPad 3. Now, I replaced my Mac Pro with a custom built workstation and I replaced my 4S with a Nexus 4. Now I rarely use my iPad. And I have loved my experience so far.

    I do all my contacts and calendar through Google.

    As for music, I use iTunes. All my music is in iTunes, I have always used iTunes, and I do not plan on moving away from iTunes anytime soon. And I am using 10.7 that is. 11 sucks balls.

    As for getting music on my Nexus 4, I use Google Music. Totally free and totally automatic. Just install the music manager and tell it you use iTunes. Then you are done. All your music, playlists, and podcasts will be in the cloud. And playlists and everything automatically update whenever anything is changed in iTunes. It is amazingly easy.

    For pictures, I have 2 things.
    1. Is Google+ automatic uploads. For free you get unlimited photos, although resolution is capped at 2K. But they all go to a single private album. You can obviously setup this album to be shared.

    2. Dropbox. This way I get full resolution. Then I use an app on my desktop called Allway sync to automatically backup my dropbox camera upload folder to a local folder on my hard drive. That way every now and then I can empty out the camera upload folder in dropbox and all my pictures and videos will still be on my hard drive in full resolution.
  4. tbayrgs macrumors 603


    Jul 5, 2009
    My situation as well (even more than yourself) and the initial move can take a bit of time/work but it's not difficult and once complete, should be seamless. In fact, it'll make it much easier in the future if you ever decide to go back to an iPhone (I flip-flop between the two platforms quite a bit).

    While there are third party solutions on Android (search for SmoothSync in the Google Play store) that allow for continued use of iCloud, I ultimately just moved my calendars and contacts to my Google account--allows for easier transitions back and forth between devices.

    I like iMessage a lot as well--my kids love being able to message me using their iPads/iPods but I also use an iPad so that benefit isn't lost when I use an Android phone. I'll let someone else comment on group messaging as I don't do that much and haven't noticed any problem either way. There may also be MMS limitations (restrictions on video size when using MMS vs. iMessage) but again, not certain.

    For music, I use Google Music. It's free, allows you to upload and stream your library to your Android phone if you'd like and the Music Manager app on your Mac can be set up to automatically upload any new music you add to your iTunes library. I streamed when I had a Nexus 4 due to the storage limitations but store my library on an SD card in my Note 2 and use the Google Music app on the Note to playback that music--completely your choice (stream or play music from the device). Works great.

    For Photosharing, we use Photostream on all iDevices (except for my iPhone). I used Dropbox on whatever phone I use (Note 2 or iPhone) as I prefer how it also will upload video (photostream will not)--works fine on both but is even nicer on Android devices because you don't have to open the app, does it as soon as my phone is on wifi. I set up an Automator action on my Mac to automatically import any new photos in Dropbox into iPhoto (can likely do the same with Aperture--cannot verify as I don't have it). Consequently, they are immediately available on any device using Photostream.
  5. ChazUK macrumors 603


    Feb 3, 2008
    Essex (UK)
    As I have 100gb free storage with Google Drive, I use CloudVault to push full resolution pictures to my GDrive

    In the flipside, I've moved my Photo stream folder on my PC to a location in my Google Drive folder so all Photostream pics are then pushed to my Google Drive when downloaded to my PC. not sure if you have the option to move the photo stream folder on Mac but if you can, the above method should work fine with SkyDrive or Drop box if not Google Drive.

    The advantage of my setup is my photos are then all available on all of my devices (android/iOS/Windows and ChromeOS)
  6. strausd macrumors 68030

    Jul 11, 2008
    Daaaaaaaaaang how'd you get 100GB free?
  7. ChazUK macrumors 603


    Feb 3, 2008
    Essex (UK)
    You get it "free" with a Chromebook. :eek:

    Not entirely free but I had the Chromebook already when they offered it and qualified for the offer.

    Only lasts for two years though I should add.:(
  8. maxosx macrumors 68020

    Dec 13, 2012
    Southern California
    Thanks to Google it's very easy.

    I really like all my Apple gear, and have for years. Yet that said, working in the industry & being an enthusiast of mobile computing & communications I've never "switched", I simply use a variety. Mac, Windows & Linux. Android & iOS.

    Every year it gets even easier as various software tools are developed to create convergence. Cloud services enhance ones choices. It's as easy as one is willing to make it. In my world nothing beats the enjoyment of experiencing all the best tech, along with the choices I thrive on.

  9. Isamilis macrumors 6502

    Apr 3, 2012
    Just curious, what you guys are using for sync between your Android with Mac? I still have no success getting my galaxy wired-sync to OSX, which stopped me moving to Android.
  10. nfl46 macrumors 604

    Oct 5, 2008
    Are you referring to something like this?
  11. Isamilis macrumors 6502

    Apr 3, 2012
    Yes, but it never worked with my Mac. Fresh install Mac, fresh install Android still no success. Just want to know, if anyone use other more reliable tools.

  12. daveathall macrumors 68000


    Aug 6, 2010
    North Yorkshire
    I must admit that I have not had any problems with file transfer using my MBP and Nexus 4. Do you have Kies installed? I did read somewhere that if Kies is installed, file transfer doesn't work. :)

  13. DoctorWho Suspended


    Jun 18, 2011
    Hobart, Tasmania
    I went from an iPhone 4, to an HTC one X, to an iPhone 5 and back to the One X. Considering getting the next version of the Galaxy Note when that comes out.

    If you go with an HTC device, download HTC Sync Manager. Hands down the best solution for syncing. Can also be used to drag and drop files. No crashes, no bugs. Available on Mac or PC.

    If you don't go with an HTC, I believe your only other option is Android USB. I didn't have a good experience with it. 95% of the time it would crash on me, and wouldn't transfer a lot of files.

    Most apps that you use will have an Android version or equivalent. Skype is available in place of FaceTime.

    As far as I know (I don't group message very often), I'm not sure you get group message. Correct me if I'm wrong. The only downside with not having iMessage is that I no longer get my messages synced with my iPad and Mac. You get used to it.

    Like you, I still buy all of my music from iTunes. HTC Sync Manager will take care of all of your music. The only thing I'm not sure about is syncing music from the phone - I've never bought music on my One X.

    Dropbox. You can set the app up so that it will automatically send the photos you take with your phone to your Mac, and vice versa. It won't send the photos to Aperture, but they'll at least be there.
  14. nick_elt macrumors 68000


    Oct 28, 2011
    #14 is an alternative to Dropbox. its faster and comes with 50gb for free for any new account. i haven't tried it out yet on ios but it's free and i haven't had any problem with android and my mac. as a whole I'm really enjoying android for my phone its a great change to the iphone which i had for almost 5 years. i still enjoy my iPad i think its great to have both.


    for music i use android file transfer, i like the speed of drag and drop.


    strange. i have never had any problems i find it very stable. do you have kies installed?
  15. wasimyaqoob macrumors 6502a

    Dec 23, 2005
    London, England.
    I think I could give you some honest impartial feedback,

    As someone who has been using Apple products for over twenty years and using iPhone since 2007, I have finally made the jump from iOS to Android by purchasing the new HTC One.

    The EcoSystem - personally I have no found it much of a big deal as I use Dropbox to sync the majority of my content across my devices, I did use iCloud with Calendar and Notes, however using GMail I managed to sync all my previous contact/calendar/notes entries over to Android and you can log into GMail with iCal so you can still keep everything in constant sync with Android/Mac/iPad/iPhone

    I also used to use iMessage a ton and still do across my iPad/Mac, however I do use WhatsApp Messenger with my contacts too so it does not leave me out of Group Messages.

    Music I cannot really comment on as I download my content from "third-party" sources :rolleyes:

    Photostream - Again I just use DropBox.

    Honestly I am so glad I've made the switch across and definitely not looking back
  16. mattopotamus macrumors G5


    Jun 12, 2012
    Just to mimic what everyone else said, the transition is very easy. For me personally, as long as I keep an iPad I can still keep using products in the ecosystem at home: airports, appletv, lockitron, lights, thermostat.
  17. mrschanah macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2012
    Music- Google Play.
    Transfer of music and ringtones- Airdroid. Airdroid was much easier for me since the Android file transfer for Mac wasnt working for me.
  18. Isamilis macrumors 6502

    Apr 3, 2012
    Thanks daveathall. I'll try without Kies at all.

  19. robjulo, Apr 8, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2013

    robjulo thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2010
    I appreciate all of the information.

    Regarding photostream, I found some instructions on how to use automator to get dropbox photos into the photostream.

    Info is here for anyone else interested:

    Since my wife will still have her iphone, I'd like to make sure her photos get to both dropbox and photostream so that I can see them on my Android device if I get it. Seems like the only way to do that is to install dropbox on her phone and enable camera uploads. Two issues I see with that. One, Aperture will have double photos - one from the automator workflow process (above) and one from photostream. Two, it appears she will have to manually open the dropbox app to get the upload to occur, probably way too much to ask.

    I did not see anyway to export or to get the current photostream pictures out of Aperture and into dropbox, that seems like it would be the best solution.

    Any ideas on how to get her photos to automatically appear on an Android phone, without her intervention, either through my Mac, or other third party service is fine?

    EDIT: I think I may have found a way by renaming the way Aperture saves photos and then using automator. If I can put photostream into one folder via Aperture, I can export that to dropbox automatically. I'll mess around with this tonight.
  20. ugahairydawgs macrumors 68030


    Jun 10, 2010
    Is it me or does this seem like an awful lot of work to try and shoehorn your way into a new phone?
  21. robjulo thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2010
    I'm not trying to shoehorn into the the phone. Simply trying to replicate one icloud feature - photostream, because it is one we use a lot.

    The most difficult part is my lack of knowledge of automator and aperture because I am fairly new to iMac. Once I found the information it took less than 5 minutes to set it up.
  22. 0dev macrumors 68040


    Dec 22, 2009
    Right now I have a MacBook Pro, iPhone 4, and Nexus 7. I don't have any real problems at all using all that stuff together. The only thing I've encountered is that movies purchased from iTunes don't work on the Nexus because of DRM, but I expected that beforehand anyway since Apple's DRM is proprietary.

    For sharing files (photos, music, etc.) between devices I just use Dropbox as others have suggested. For contacts and calendars I sync everything with Google.

    In fact I now hate having to sync the iPhone to get music onto it, on the Nexus I just get the copy of the song I uploaded to Dropbox and download it, much easier.
  23. JaySoul macrumors 68030


    Jan 30, 2008
    It's getting closer for me...

    Can see myself switching to Android within weeks!

    I'm a bit confused about which phone to get: Nexus 4, Xperia Z, GS4, Note 2, HTC One...
  24. nickchallis92 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 4, 2012
    Might sound a bit biased considering I've had the S1, S2 and S3, but...

    I've noticed a real rise in the polish of samsung's handsets since the S-range begun. It may be plastic and the software may strike as similar to that of the S3 but I can almost guarantee it will be extremely refined and work well.

    For that reason alone, I'm trusting samsung once again and will get the S4
  25. sentinelsx macrumors 68010

    Feb 28, 2011
    They are all going to be great.

    Test them out and see which interface interests you more.

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