Primarily Android User Tries the iPhone

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by Stuntman06, May 27, 2014.

  1. Stuntman06 macrumors 6502a

    Stuntman06

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2011
    Location:
    Metro Vancouver, B.C, Canada
    #1
    I've been using an Android phone (as my primary personal phone) for three and a half years. I currently have a Galaxy S3 for almost 2 years. My work phone was a BlackBerry and it was upgraded to an iPhone 5S a month ago. Although I mostly use the iPhone for work, I took the opportunity to compare some things on the iPhone with what I use on my Galaxy S3. I didn't do much on my old BB other than phone calls, texts and email and I was not very impressed, so my impressions of the iPhone will be from a long time Android user's point of view.

    The first thing I notice is the size. Going from a 4.8" screen to a 4" screen is a significant change. You see less text on the iPhone and images are going to be smaller. On the other hand, it is easier to reach all 4 corners of the screen with your thumb when using the phone with only one hand. My previous phone was 3.7". When deciding on what phone to upgrade to, I was actually looking for a not so large phone before ultimately deciding on the Galaxy S3. Now, I don't think I can go smaller.

    The one feature that I really looked forward to trying is the fingerprint unlock. I currently use the pattern unlock because it is the fastest way for me to unlock the phone and it offers some security. I absolutely love the fingerprint unlock of the iPhone 5S. It works reliably almost every single time and is more convenient than pattern unlock. I also used face unlock on my Transformer tablet. Face unlock is not as reliable. The lighting has to be right. If there are any bright lights or bright background behind me, the face unlock fails. The fingerprint unlock is the one iPhone feature I really want.

    The iPhone keyboard is the same keyboard I remember seeing on the original iPhone. I was able to type fairly well on it. It wasn't difficult for me to type on the iPhone keyboard considering it is different than the one I currently use on my Android phone (Kii Keyboard). What I did have difficult with was numbers and punctuation. Kii keyboard makes it easy to type numbers because the layout includes number keys. Punctuation is easier as well because I can just long tap a key to get the symbol. The punctuation and other symbol is written on each key so I know which key to long press. I'm used to the many Android keyboards I can choose from with so many features such as multiple layouts and gesture typing. The iPhone keyboard works, but just feels so out of date.

    The apps that I primarily use on the iPhone to compare with Android are Pulse (a news reader), Google+, Yahoo! Weather and Gas Buddy (gas prices). These apps are on both my iPhone and Galaxy. Default apps I use or have tried are Safari, Mail, Message, Calendar and Apple Maps.

    When using these various apps, what I notice most on the iPhone is that before a page completes loading, I can often start scrolling. This is most prevalent in the web browser and Pulse. On the Galaxy, if the page hasn't finished loading, there is a delay before the page scrolls or you cannot scroll at all. I like the fact that if I happen to finish reading what is on the page, I can immediately scroll down some more on the iPhone. The effect is most noticeable on more complex web pages I am viewing. On some apps like Google+, I don't notice it much on my Galaxy.

    In terms of app quality, I have heard it mentioned many times that the app quality is better on iOS than Android. The apps that I use on both devices (Pulse, G+, Yahoo! Weather and Gas Buddy) I feel this is not the case at all. Google+ is better on my Galaxy. I would expect this since it is made by Google. Pulse, Yahoo! Weather and Gas Buddy are independent of Google. Of these three, Yahoo! Weather is about the same, but Pulse and Gas Buddy is better on Android.

    Yahoo! Weather has some minor differences between the iOS and Android version. The differences are really minor and overall, both work equally well. I didn't understand why there were differences. It just looks like the developers just overlooked something on each version.

    Pulse is one of the apps I use the most. The Android version is superior because it has a feature that makes it more convenient on the Android version. That feature is to set the default to display the articles of a particular feed in web mode. The iOS version does not have this feature and I have to press extra buttons. I'm not sure why it doesn't have this feature, but I find it to be a glaring omission.

    Gas Buddy also has a glaring omission in the iOS version. On the Android version, I have a list of favourite gas stations. There is no such feature on iOS. This makes it highly inconvenient as I have a points card for only certain gas stations and only go to those gas stations.

    I only have a short list of apps that I put on my work phone. I picked these apps because they are ones that I use often and are ones I can find on both iOS and Android. This certainly isn't a sufficient sample size to conclusively determine whether or not app quality is better on iOS or Android. Other than missing features and just different UI conventions, I just don't see much of a difference between the app quality on the two platforms.

    The UI conventions are different between the two platforms. The one thing that I really miss from Android when using the iPhone is the back button. After using the iPhone for a while, I realise how much I use the back button and how much I miss it. On iOS, the way you go back to a previous screen is highly inconsistent. Depending on the app and where in the app, the way you go back to the previous screen is different. You often see a button that has a lable of the previous screen or a button to close the current screen. However, these buttons are not on the same place all the time. Often they are on the top left (which makes it easy to reach on a smaller phone). Sometimes it is the top right or elsewhere. The way you go back/close the current screen is to try to scroll beyond the bottom of the screen. Drag the screen up and release. Sometimes you drag the screen right from the centre of the screen. Sometimes you swipe inward from the left edge of the screen. There are just so many ways that even after a month, I still get mixed up and use the wrong gesture sometimes. On Android, the single back button is used.

    For other UI differences, they are just different and just takes some getting used to. I'm used to Android, but other than the back function, I feel I can get used to it.

    There are a number of things I can do on Android that I cannot on iOS. These have been discussed many times already in great detail and there is no need for me to rehash it.

    I did take this opportunity to really use an iPhone to see if I would like the iPhone enough to consider one when it is time to upgrade my Galaxy. Unlike trying one at a store, I got to install some apps and sign in with my own account and spend a lot more time with it. After my experience with the iPhone, I would not choose to get one at this time if I have to replace my current Galaxy. As much as I like fingerprint unlock and being able to scroll web pages without waiting, I feel that I would lose a lot of other funcitonality. I would not have a choice of using my favourite keyboard, have no choice of default apps, no widgets, etc. For me, the disadvantages of iOS just outweigh the benefits.
     
  2. KUguardgrl13 macrumors 68020

    KUguardgrl13

    Joined:
    May 16, 2013
    Location:
    Kansas, USA
    #2
    An interesting and insightful review. My experience with android is very limited to store tryouts and watching friends. My phone before my iPhone was the failed BlackBerry Storm2. I do use Google services and Chrome on my Macs.

    It's interesting to my that you have varied experiences with how to go back in an app. I checked my most commonly used apps (different from yours but commonly downloaded such as Facebook, Twitter, CNN, etc.) and observed that "back" is usually in the upper left corner, often accessed by scrolling up just a bit, or it's permanently there. Another option is swiping from the left, usually with apps optimized for iOS 7. It was present but uncommon in previous versions of iOS until Apple added it to Safari.

    App differences seem to be either the developer deciding to have some different features on each platform or requirements from Apple or Google (usually Apple). As for defaults, it's to be expected that Apple would push (and require) their apps over others. You can download things like Google Chrome, Gmail app, etc, but there is no way to set them as default.

    I hope that your experience with Apple and the iPhone continues to be positive. It should certainly be better than BlackBerry! I was not a fan and was very happy when mine bricked itself when I tried to download BlackBerry News. The company known for its enterprise devices should have never tried to make a touchscreen phone that parents bought for their kids.
     
  3. cynics macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    #3
    I've had similar experiences with apps. I found apps on Android to generally be more powerful because they can interact with other apps better.

    Also a file system. It's nice to be able to email an attachment like on a PC/Mac rather then ios's limits. I'm forced to use Android at work for this reason.

    However add some other Apple devices and have friends with Apple devices and the iPhone becomes a lot more attractive. At this point I have no desire to switch back to android.
     
  4. Stuntman06 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Stuntman06

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2011
    Location:
    Metro Vancouver, B.C, Canada
    #4
    I do find the button to go back is in the upper left corner. I generally don't use that because it is the most difficult part of the screen to reach when using the phone with just the right hand. On Android, I found that I rarely have to use that part of the screen.

    The back seems to be application dependent. In Pulse, going back is a swipe inward from the left edge. On Google+, it's all over the place. When viewing a post in G+, going back is swiping from the centre to the right edge or going right to the bottom of the post and then trying to scroll down more and then release. It's the opposite of refreshing where you try to scroll up when at the top. When viewing an image, going back is tapping the X on the upper right.

    In comparison with Android versions of these apps, just the back button is used. I tried using these exact same iOS gestures in the Android versions of these apps and they don't work at all. It's just the back button.
     
  5. jrswizzle macrumors 603

    jrswizzle

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2012
    Location:
    McKinney, TX
    #5
    This was the #1 reason I went back to the iPhone. Messaging, sharing, syncing, streaming - its just easier with all Apple devices.

    I also much prefer the way iOS handles notifications and the uniformity throughout the OS. I have no desire to use widgets or change default apps.

    I'm looking forward to Apple updating the way we attach files to emails though - that's my biggest problem with iOS currently.
     
  6. Stuntman06 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Stuntman06

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2011
    Location:
    Metro Vancouver, B.C, Canada
    #6
    I do agree that iOS devices work really well with other iOS/Apple devices. I just don't really have control over the devices my friends or family have. They have a mix of Android and iOS devices. For communicating with friends and family, the services I use are available cross platform such as WhatsApp and Hangouts.

    Facetime is nicely integrated into iOS. Making a video call is about as easy as making a voice call on the iPhone. My wife uses it to make video calls with her family who has iPhone. However, if they have to use Hangouts instead if they want to make a video call to anyone who does not have an iOS device.

    ----------

    I found it interesting that this thread got moved out of the iPhone forum. My original post was about my iPhone experience. I guess to much non-iPhone discussion crept in. :confused:
     
  7. SpoonCody macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 28, 2014
    #7
    Actually, the back button is a really interesting thing to consider for the future of the iPhone.

    If the iPhone gets larger, up to 4.7" or even the rumored phablet sized 5.5", how will the back button work then in iOS?

    Even with a 4" screen, the back button at the upper left corner can be difficult to reach... I can't imagine how much harder it'll be to reach for a 4.7" or 5.5" phone.

    Wonder what Apple will do. Will there be universal swiping? It makes perfect sense that Android offers a back button since their devices/screens have always been larger.
     
  8. Switchback666 macrumors 68000

    Switchback666

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2012
    Location:
    SXM
    #8
    The dedicated back button on android its something i always miss when im using iphone or ipad, i hope apple use a universal gesture in the future.
     
  9. SpoonCody macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 28, 2014
    #9
    I agree. That would be nice.

    I own an iPhone 5C and I have to agree with the OP that the inconsistent location of the on screen back button in iOS leads to some frustration. Sometimes I'm already reaching for the upper left corner before I realize it's actually upper right or at the bottom or something.
     
  10. SpoonCody macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 28, 2014
    #10
    I wish there was a more discrete way for iOS to give you notifications. My personal phone is an iPhone 5C, but my work phone is a Moto X. I find the method of notifications on the Moto X much more intuitive and helpful. While the iPhone lights up with a notification, if you aren't actually looking at it at that moment, once the phone dims again, that feature is virtually useless. This is when a small notification light might come in handy for the iPhone. The Moto X lights up too, but even after dimming, if you go to pick it up, the screen lights up with the latest notification. This is quite nice and I hope Motorola plans to expand on this feature.

    And when the device is awake, I much prefer Android's notification system. They make very good use of the top bar by providing information that is easily seen. The badges on iOS I find kind of useless unless you're already on the home screen. The badges also don't provide much information other than just a red flag. I also get frustrated when the banner drops down while I'm in the middle of a game or an email or something. It's a cute animation, but it is also quite obtrusive. I hope Apple finds a way to improve upon the banner drop down. Maybe with the rumored bigger screens, they'll find a way to make the banner drop down less obtrusive.


    As for mail, I personally would wish for more than attachments (though that's a big wish for me, too). I find Mail to be a bit clunky to navigate and use. I find it a little slow with searches too. And when I'm without service, I wish I could still queue up mails that would send automatically, or I wish I could access my Sent mail column without needing service. On my Moto X, my inbox, my sent mails, and even my other labeled mails (for work) all seem load automatically without necessarily requiring service. Not sure if I'm the only one that notices this.

    I'm hoping iOS 8 brings more improvements to other things too like OP's mention of the keyboard. I really enjoy swyping on my Moto X.
     
  11. jrswizzle macrumors 603

    jrswizzle

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2012
    Location:
    McKinney, TX
    #11
    What's not discrete about iOS notifications? You have a number of options available as far as alerts go and from which apps.

    And after the display dims, all it takes is one tap of the home button and you can see everything missed right there on the lock screen. No notification light blinking various colors - which might tell you what you missed (text, email etc) but won't give you any indication as to the nature of the missed message or its importance.

    I've said this multiple times throughout these forums and I'll say it again here - for Android, the notification light is useful because there is no robust lock screen notification system.....but with iOS, it'd be next to worthless. Its a highly overrated feature.

    If my phone isn't on my person, I likely don't want to be bothered with it. A notification light does nothing for me except show me there are notifications waiting - which I could care less about if I'm not looking to be contacted. If I am open to communication, I'll pick my phone up and all the notifications will be right there with short previews so I can prioritize which to respond to. Far more useful IMO.

    ----------

    I always thought all those badges made my notification bar look super cluttered....wasn't a fan. Again - if I've unlocked the device, I already know there are notifications waiting for me to act on. I can simply swipe down and see the ones I've missed/haven't gotten to yet.

    I get the banner animation - they could thin the animation a bit I think.


    Depends on how its set as far as queuing up mail off network. I have mine set to sync EVERYTHING. Might take up extra space, but worth it for me. My problems lie with Outlook....its wonky when it comes to the sent mail folder. It won't sync most recent sent mail and I have no idea why.....always bugs the entire mail app out too....don't have that problem with other types of email.

    I'd be up for a swipe keyboard on the iPhone as well - really enjoyed that on the Android phones I had last year.

    ----------

    I want them to standardize the gestures.....I don't know if that's simply a dev thing or if Apple has kept that feature for itself.
     
  12. TechGod macrumors 68040

    TechGod

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    Feb 25, 2014
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #12
    Apple does indeed use swipe to go back gesture in iOS 7.

    ----------

    I actually agree here. I loved how my iPhone handled the banners and the LS notifications. I could tap the banner of a notification and it would launch that app! Best thing.

    However the notification centre in Android is better due to being expandable and have swipe to dismiss.
     
  13. The Game 161 macrumors Pentium

    The Game 161

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #13
    I just couldn't go smaller again.

    Love that back button too.
     
  14. tbayrgs macrumors 603

    tbayrgs

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    #14
    I actually love this aspect of iOS, just wish it was universally available in all apps. As often as I would find myself reaching for the back button when using an iDevice, I would also try to use the swipe from the left to back or from the right to go forward on my Android devices.

    Completely agree here--my ideal notification center would have elements of both. I like the banners and lock screen notifications of iOS as well as the different tabs but also find iOS desperately needs a 'clear all' option and the ability to clear individual notifications. I'd also like the ability to take quick action on emails right from the notification tray as can be done on Android. I also do like the icons in the notification bar for a quick view but also like the uncluttered look of iOS.
     
  15. TechGod macrumors 68040

    TechGod

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    New Zealand
    #15
    #NeverSettle


    :D
     
  16. Robster3 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2012
    #16
    I have notifications on my lock screen there is apps for that, and i prefer a notification light so i don't have to push the home button 100 times a day. Especially when i have the phone on silent.
     
  17. jrswizzle macrumors 603

    jrswizzle

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    Aug 23, 2012
    Location:
    McKinney, TX
    #17

    Huh? I push the home button when I need to use my phone...
     
  18. gotluck macrumors 603

    gotluck

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    Location:
    East Central Florida
    #18
    How do you know when you have pending notifications?
     
  19. jamezr macrumors G4

    jamezr

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2011
    Location:
    US
    #19
    Exactly.....The great thing about the notification light on Android is you can customize it to whatever you want. Just by looking at my phone i can tell if there is a notification and what type of notification. I have mine configured so
    flashing blue light = text message
    flashing green light = email
    flashing red light = missed call
    flashing white light Facebook
    All without having to touch my phone.......
     
  20. jrswizzle macrumors 603

    jrswizzle

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2012
    Location:
    McKinney, TX
    #20

    If my phone is with me, it vibrates and shows on the lock screen. A quick glance tells me exactly what it was.

    If it's not with me, there's a reason. I see what I missed when I pick up the phone to use it. All missed are on the lock screen for me to see and prioritize.

    Pretty simple really. I fail to see where a blinky light would enhance my experience. I had an Android phone - various ones last year....never did anything for me.
     
  21. gotluck macrumors 603

    gotluck

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    Location:
    East Central Florida
    #21
    I like it for times when I walk away from my desk, or times I just don't hear or feel it. I found I would frequently turn the iphone screen on to see if I had missed anything.
     
  22. jrswizzle macrumors 603

    jrswizzle

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2012
    Location:
    McKinney, TX
    #22

    Wow! Guess what - with ONE touch, I can see all the things you mentioned PLUS I know if anything is urgent or pressing because I can see exactly WHO has texted me or emailed me or WHAT that Facebook notification was for.

    I don't find it terribly useful to know I have notifications waiting but not do anything about them.

    Different strokes for different folks I guess....

    ----------


    Hmm well I guess different use cases. I set my phones on my desk at work or on the table at home. 9 times out of 10 I'll see what comes in. For the times I miss something, I just attend to it later. I guess I'm near my phone a majority of the time so I don't see the need for a light....

    Anyhow, I've made these same posts a dozen times in various threads. Agree to disagree. :)
     
  23. gotluck macrumors 603

    gotluck

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    #23
    Eliminates some unnecessary phone checking, don't see why anyone would complain about having it.
     
  24. jamezr macrumors G4

    jamezr

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2011
    Location:
    US
    #24
    Good for you.....But most of us like to have options. Like others have pointed out...walk away from your phone.....just glance at the flashing light and know if it is something I need to address or not. But if you don't like to have options.......Different strokes for different folks i guess.....
     
  25. Robster3 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2012
    #25
    You don't get it, without a light you have to keep pushing your home button to check, with a light you can leave a room or have your phone on silent and see the blinking coloured light for different messages.

    Not different strokes you must be a button pusher:)

    ----------

    Can you do that now with your rooted M8? I hated that HTC only blinks for 5 mins.
     

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