Potential switch to android questions.

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by dazed, Aug 31, 2013.

  1. dazed macrumors 6502a

    Jun 23, 2007
    So I'm waiting till the 5S announcement to decide whether to stick with apple or give android a try (I really love the look of the galaxy S4, that screen is amazing).

    I'm curious who here currently uses android but also has a mostly apple ecosystem (iTunes, photo stream).

    How difficult was the transition from ios to android?

    Was it easy to copy over contacts/address book?

    How's best to tie into photostream? Do you copy photos to Mac and upload via iPhoto it? Or is there a better way?

    Does android play with iTunes at all or have you abandoned it?

    My house currently has 2 iPhones, 2 iPads and multiple atv's, so family wise we are embedded in apple and I don't want the whole family to have to switch over just for my phone :)

    Thanks in advance.
  2. hallux macrumors 68030


    Apr 25, 2012
    I never had an iPhone, and work gave me an iPad after I was an Android guy so I'm not a "switcher".

    I transfer photos from my phone to my Mac through Bluetooth, when I need them on my Mac. I use Google Music for streaming from my music library, with Google Music Manager for keeping my library up to date, though it doesn't change often and any new tunes are bought through Google so they're available in my library right away anyway. I still use iTunes for some music playing, especially using Home Sharing to listen on my Apple TV.
  3. AzureCloud, Sep 1, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2013

    AzureCloud macrumors member

    Jun 20, 2009
    Sorry, long-winded post here, but I am just trying to be thorough so you have an idea what switching is like and what options you have.

    I have an iPhone and am largely in the Apple ecosystem, but I purchased a Nexus 7 to compare to my iPad. The tablet transition is probably less of an "ecosystem shock" for a number of reasons; however, I still have some insight into the process.

    The experience of switching to Android will vary considerably depending on how much you rely on Apple specific services. The problem with iCloud is that it really just isn't ideal on any device outside of one made by Apple. If you want to gain any measure of platform independence, I would recommend switching away from iCloud (or at the very least, mirroring your iCloud stuff to a different service). Google's services are the most obvious choice, but there are others as well. I actually kept my data in iCloud and continue to use it so that everything syncs to my Mac from my iPhone, and I also keep a copy of my contacts, calendars, etc on Google for my N7. This increases the amount of maintenance you need to do to keep everything in order across two services, although there are some automated utilities that can handle it too. Here are a few tips (I'll focus on Google since I believe that is what most Android users choose, but these steps could equally be applied elsewhere):

    -Contacts: They are very easy to move over, just export them as VCards from your OS X Address Book and upload them to Gmail's contact list. You can also set up CardDAV syncing with Google on any of your iOS devices to keep everything syncing between iPads and whatnot and your Google account (and therefore your Android device).

    -Calendar: I don't believe there is a way to get iCloud calendar syncing on Android, but I could be wrong. Google Calendar works well on Android, and there is CalDAV syncing available for iOS devices. The one casualty is that shared calendars don't work across iCloud and GCal. There may also be some quirks syncing Google calendars to an iOS device.

    -Email: I personally use Gmail, which automatically gets configured on the Android device when you sign into your Google Account, but there may be a way, albeit a complicated way, to get iCloud Mail on there if you use it.

    -Music: I would definitely second Hallux's recommendation on installing Google Music Manager, pointing it at your iTunes library, and letting it keep everything in sync. Google Music works well in my opinion, and it is very nice no longer having to manually sync media over or have all that music taking up space locally on the device.

    -Photos: This is going to be the tough one. I know of no way to get Photo Stream or shared photo stream albums on Android. However, there are some workarounds off the top of my head involving automatic backup on your Android phone to either G+ or Dropbox (you can specify on Android to automatically upload photos you take to a third party app like Dropbox if the app supports it, without you having to open the app every time to get the upload started like on iOS), then grabbing those photos on your Mac into iPhoto and photo stream from there.

    -Apps: Android has all the apps I regularly use available on the Play Store, even if I feel that there are several apps that either outright work better on iOS or just feel better on iOS. I don't think it is a huge problem, but you'll lose those apps you have invested in on your iPhone. If you are keeping an iPad, then it won't be a total loss. Check out the Google Play Store on the web and make sure all the apps you need are there.

    -Browser Sync: As there is no Safari available for Android, your best bet here is to download Chrome on your Mac and your iOS devices, move your bookmarks to Chrome on OS X, sign in with your Google account and turn on Chrome sync on each of your devices, and let that handle your browser syncing needs.

    -Various Apple specific services: You may miss these most of all. iMessage, Find my Friends, AirPlay, Game Center, the simplicity of just using iCloud rather than having to also keep Google stuff current, AirDrop in iOS 7, Safari tab and bookmark sync if you use Safari on your Mac and iOS devices, iWork document sync, etc. I think there may be a few Android apps that claim to allow your device to use AirPlay, or you could get a Chromecast (doesn't totally replace AirPlay, though), but I haven't investigated any of that in any great detail. Just be aware that you'll likely not find complete replacements for these things. If you can convince friends and family to use Google Hangouts or FB Messenger or whatever other chat service, then the loss of iMessage may not be as bad as it would otherwise. Other than that, it just takes an adjustment period to get used to the lack of those Apple bits. You'll have an iPad to continue to use these services on, but do remember to disassociate your phone number from iMessage on your iPhone before trading it for the S4.
  4. GR33NIE macrumors 6502

    Jul 9, 2008
    How difficult was the transition from ios to android? >> 90% of the apps I used were available on Google Play, no issues really. If anything easier than I expected. Also a first time Android user picked up the device and within a couple of hours knew where I was at :)

    Was it easy to copy over contacts/address book? >> Export from iCloud, import into Google Contacts. Plenty of guides online, took me all of five minutes :)

    Does android play with iTunes at all or have you abandoned it? >> Download Google Music Manager and point it @ your iTunes library, all tunes then available on Google Play ;)

    My house currently has 2 iPhones, 2 iPads and multiple atv's, so family wise we are embedded in apple and I don't want the whole family to have to switch over just for my phone >> There is an app called Cloud Sync I think, so you can continue using iCloud Calendar on your Droid if you really need to. iCloud mail can also be configured quite easily but I dropped it for Gmail, much better too.
  5. skratch77 macrumors 65816

    Mar 20, 2013
    When you make a gmail account(prolly already have one)you get 50gb or 10000 songs free cloud space and can sync it with iTunes and all your paid iTunes songs will get uploaded to the Google cloud and you can listen to them on any device that is android based.

    Its automatic and the second you buy a new dong in iTunes it uploades it to Google also.
  6. T5BRICK macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2006
    For me, it was easy. I had actually started to transition all of my services from Apple to Google about 6 months before I switched. By the time I sold my iPhone, I had made a transition to other services.

    I exported my contacts from my iPhone and then imported them into gmail. It was really simple actually.

    I never liked photostream and have used dropbox to backup my photos since it was able to do so. I guess syncing your pictures from your android phone to iPhoto would probably be the best way.

    I use Google Play music. As others have noted, you can have it sync to your iTunes library. It allows you to store up to 20,000 songs. After syncing my music to Google Play, I've basically abandoned iTunes. I mean, I can listen to my music from my phone, or any device with a Chrome browser.

    I also picked up a chromecast for $35 to enable me to stream my music to my entertainment center.
  7. dazed thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 23, 2007
    Thanks guys, I appreciate it. I got some research to do :)
  8. robjulo macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2010
    You get use the auto camera upload to dropbox and then write an automator script to monitor your dropbox folder to import them to iphoto or Aperture. There are some instructions in a thread somewhere on here. It sounds complicated but is pretty simple.

    You can also use automator to monitor our iPhoto or automator folder to import those to dropbox.

    It works pretty well (but not perfect as I've had a few photos not show up in both directions on occasion).
  9. BigHonkingDeal macrumors 6502a


    Feb 8, 2009
    Fort Pierce
    There is also "gMusic" in the App store that works well with Google Play music on iPhone/iPad...
  10. adder7712 macrumors 68000


    Mar 9, 2009
    To get photos off my phone, I rely on Dropbox's Camera Upload. You can enable it to immediately upload photos taken with the camera to your Dropbox account.
  11. T5BRICK macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2006
    Yeah, I used that one. It works well enough, but I just wish Google would release an official app for the iPad so I can use it with my Chromecast.
  12. ReanimationN macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2011
    I use Melodies on my iPhone, I find it has a much more friendly interface for a smaller screen than gMusic. They both do the job though, who needs Android? ;)
  13. zedzded macrumors regular

    Aug 28, 2013
    Perth, Australia
    I'm due a new phone in October & am considering the swap to Android (Honami), I had a play with a Sony Android phone yesterday and to be honest hated it in comparison to IOS, but I can't see the Iphone 5s coming close to the Honami in terms of hardware specs. It's going to be a total PITA to have a house tethered to the Apple ecosystem and having an Android phone, but Apple haven't given me much choice. Although I hope coming Sep 10 I am proved completely wrong!

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