Straddling the fence.

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by rvinny, May 22, 2014.

  1. rvinny, May 22, 2014
    Last edited: May 22, 2014

    rvinny macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    #1
    I'll start by saying I am a simple guy. I work in tech all day and the last thing I want to do is mess with devices on my own time. Despite the commenters who consider iOS users simple-minded, unintelligent and iSheep, I choose iOS because it does just_work. When compared to others, the Apple ecosystem offers the least involved and best user experience out of the box.

    However, like others, I have a wandering eye. A recent stroke of luck landed me a free N5 and I have been using it for the past 4 weeks. In a nutshell, I really, really, really like it. Will I switch permanently? I can't yet say. Especially with WWDC right around the corner.

    I will share my comparisons;

    Ecosystems - Apple vs. Google -- Like I said, I'm simple. I don't want to download 10 different applications and create a patchwork of tweaks to make something work. I much prefer a streamlined experience to the point that having extraneous or duplicated apps drives me nuts. All my devices are Apple. All my media is in some sort of Apple format. All my inner circle people are on iDevices. Truth is, it's a cozy place to be. I don't care if its Google, Microsoft or Apple. I want all my stuff under one banner. I just happen to think Apple has done a better job of creating harmony than the others (right now). Getting people to follow me somewhere else will be next to impossible and I will be doing this alone. That means extra steps.

    What I use on iOS and my Android equivalent:
    First things first, transition to cross-platform apps as much as possible while on iOS.

    Contacts and Calendars -- Get the Android app Smoothsync. Works great and I haven't missed a thing.

    Phone storage -- All my stuff is in the cloud. I don't need external SD cards or extra storage. For me, the N5, Moto X, HTC M8, are perfect.

    Music -- I use iTunes Match and stream everything from there. I will do the same with Google Music. I am already a Slacker user so nothing lost. The one thing I find lacking is a good Podcast app. All of the recommendations I've seen on Android are fussy and not as polished. I am resorting to using Sticher but it sucks that my Podcast subscriptions will no longer be in sync.

    Movies -- I use a Synology NAS and stream from that. Plex is a great runner up. I use Netflix for everything else.

    Photos -- I currently use Photostream and the family subscribes to my shared streams. I think Flickr will be the best bet because there is a native AppleTV app that they can still subscribe to on their end.

    Messaging -- iMessage on OSX has Jabber integration so I currently use that. I guess Hangouts will have to be the new platform but I still expect to miss some SMS messages this way.

    Books -- this one sucks. I bought everything in iBooks. From here on out, I am only using Amazon and Kindle.

    Everything else -- Did I emphasize cross-platform apps? I am making the transition from Notes to Evernote. For Todo, from Things App to Wunderlist. Etc. Etc.

    The Holdouts -- FaceTime & Airplay. I hate Skype and not enough people in my circle are Google users for Hangouts to be the standard. This one will be tough. Since I am keeping the iPad and Mac, I'll probably stick with FaceTime.

    Airplay is the big one. I have a Chromecast but it just isn't the same. Plus I have Airport WiFi routers around the house and frequently stream music to them. I can't see this being easily replaced without spending a lot of $$. The AppleTV is a cord-cutters dream because everyone from the grandparents to a 5yr old can figure out how to use it. Sending the same content to a Chromecst takes a ton of extra steps where the average user would just give up. Something like a Roku is just not as user friendly. The Amazon FireTV is maybe a possibility but still, with iCloud, I have my Podcasts, Music, Movies, Photos *and* App sharing all on one box and one interface.

    The N5 is great. So much so that I thought I would sell it with my 5S and get a new M8 outright. However, it's really not as simple as just swapping your phone. I have a whole world tied to this device. Right now, I am feeling like it'ss not worth all the trouble. I will probably give up and stick with Apple. Which sucks.
     
  2. mclld macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2012
    #2
    Break the slavery chains of limited formats like ibooks, sooner the better
     
  3. rvinny, May 22, 2014
    Last edited: May 22, 2014

    rvinny thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    #3
    I'm learning. I naively thought Apple would play good citizen, open all of this up to the masses, be cross-platform, etc. I think that is where they let me down the most and why I am shifting my spending to other companies.
     
  4. mclld macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2012
    #4
    You can "airplay" from your Android to an apple tv
    http://www.androidcentral.com/how-airplay-music-and-video-android-your-apple-tv

    I also disagree about it being a chore or hard to stream to a Chromecast. IMO it is extremely simple, especially when you get your music library added to Google Play. In case you dont know, Google will let you add 20,000 songs from your collection(itunes or whatever) and you can stream it from any device or browser
     
  5. ozaz macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    Podcasts - Have you tried Pocket Casts? I really like it & it syncs between Android & iOS.

    Photo backup and sharing - this is something I struggle with. I want it to be cross-platform and likely to last many years. iCloud is a no go for me because it's Apple only. Google+ Photos looks great & very smart, but it really annoys me that they don't support Windows devices & don't support sharing to Facebook. OneDrive is truly cross platform, but doesn't have much in the way of photo organisation features. So I'm also leaning towards Flickr. Not sure who else I could trust to be around for many years.
     
  6. rvinny, May 22, 2014
    Last edited: May 22, 2014

    rvinny thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    #6
    Maybe I am doing it wrong but my issue with the Chromecast is you still need another device to send stuff to it. If I'm not home, how would someone else pull up my media, Netflix, etc.? Pull vs. Push - that is where the AppleTV takes it a step further. For sending however, yes, it is very easy.

    My quest is to have as many services with the least amount of devices. This is why for me, the Apple ecosystem is so seductive. (e.g., I can stream music over the same device I use as a router, etc.) -- based on this, the next closest alternative I can think of is Microsoft. Yet, I don't think using a Lumia Phone, MS's Live services, a Windows PC and an Xbox One for instance would be as harmonious?
     
  7. jeremiah256 macrumors 6502a

    jeremiah256

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2008
    Location:
    Southern California
    #7
    Best of Both Worlds?

    I'm an iPhone user but my tablet is a Nexus 7. I'm also very tempted by several Android phones, but if I switch, I'll trade my Nexus 7 in for an iPad Air.
     
  8. dizmonk macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2010
    #8
    I had/have all my stuff in Apple also. I switched to the Nexus 5/Android as I found the iPhone boring. (I also got tired of riding the subway and seeing everyone have the same device that I had... )

    I did find the initial switch a little hard. The hardest part was the music as my library is too large for iTunes Match. Overall I'm very happy with the switch.
     
  9. RickInHouston macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 14, 2014
    #9
    Thought about uploading your library to Google Music. Free service. Accepts flac files or mp3s.
     
  10. TechGod macrumors 68040

    TechGod

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2014
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #10
    Use pocket casts for podcasts
     
  11. rvinny thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    #11
    Thanks for the recommendation. Pocket Casts and Stitcher aren't bad.
     
  12. mattopotamus macrumors G5

    mattopotamus

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    #12
    always keep an ipad. I also have a ton of apple products inside by house. I constantly change my phones, but always having an ipad keeps my eco system intact.

    ----------

    That is nothing like traditional airplay. That is only for local content. There is no android fix for true airplay.
     
  13. Stuntman06 macrumors 6502a

    Stuntman06

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2011
    Location:
    Metro Vancouver, B.C, Canada
    #13
    Chromecast is rather limited to a number of services you can use with it. It works with Netflix and YouTube quite well. It also works with the Chrome browser on a PC. There are some other services that work with Chromecast, but I only use the ones I mentioned.

    Netflix is easy. Any device with Netflix can be used with Chromecast. On the phone app, there is a button to stream to Chromcast. The same for the web site. If you use a PC and use your browser to use Netflix, you will see a Chromecast icon on the screen. Just select it and select the Chromecast device and start streaming there.

    YouTube is exactly the same as Netflix. There is a button on the app and one on the site if you use a browser.

    If you use the Chrome browser (on the PC), you can stream whatever you see in your Chrome browser tab to Chromecast. This is useful if the video player on that web site doesn't have Chromecast integration. When streaming this way, it taxes your PC. I find my fan on my laptop is always running when streaming to Chromecast via the Chrome browser. The PC is using a lot of CPU cycles because it has to run the video player in Chrome plus stream everything to Chromecast. With Netflix or Youtube, these services stream directly to Chromecast bypassing the PC.

    ---

    FYI, I have been an Android user for a while and had the opportunity to really try out the iPhone. I am rather heavily invested in Android already and am very comfortable with it. Like you, I don't see myself switching platforms anytime soon.
     
  14. jmm007 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2014
    #14

    Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't the Smoothsync for cloud contacts broken in HTC one phones including the M8. I think the calendars app works however.


    HTC One users please check out this site first:

    http://dmfs.org/wiki/index.php?title=HTC_Sense_issue
     
  15. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    #15
    The fact that I can't read iBooks on anything other than iOS devices (at least when they were first introduced) has kept me from buying them.
     
  16. fredaroony macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2011
    #16
    The only thing iOS (phone) has over Android in my experience is backup. It's so much easier to swap an iPhone after a backup than an Android device.

    It also doesn't "just work"...try attaching a file to an email to an existing thread. This is a basic email feature!

    Try setting default apps for a task

    Try sharing files with other apps

    Do Not Disturb feature is half baked...if I have have a contact in my favourites then why can't I hear the SMS come through but I can hear the ringtone?!?!?

    Why do alerts go through a bluetooth headset device? If the phone is not set to vibrate then it should alert via the loudspeaker.

    Not saying Android is perfect but to say iOS just works is very wrong.
     
  17. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    #17
    The Do Not Disturb feature works this way on my HTC One (M7). It is very annoying.
     
  18. rbrian macrumors 6502a

    rbrian

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Location:
    Aberdeen, Scotland
    #18
    There are ways of getting at your iBooks in other formats, including Kindle - search for Calibre. It isn't easy, there is some question as to its legality, and it needs lots of extra steps, but once done it's done. I settled on Kindle since it's the de facto standard, supported more or less everywhere.
     
  19. fredaroony macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2011
    #19
    That's dissappointing and I only hope that it's works better in Android L
     
  20. jrswizzle macrumors 603

    jrswizzle

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2012
    Location:
    McKinney, TX
    #20
    Yup - never purchased an iBook. Kindle all the way....especially since I read mostly on a Paperwhite.

    Though I buy all my movies and music through iTunes (music works cross platform and I prefer the digital format for movies and streaming to AppleTV is my number 1 need - I like having access to them in iCloud as well).
     
  21. fredaroony macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2011
    #21
    Plex works quite well on the ATV3 with Plexconnect.
     
  22. jrswizzle macrumors 603

    jrswizzle

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2012
    Location:
    McKinney, TX
    #22
    If you haven't been able to gather by now, I'm all about simplicity and ease lol. iCloud movies require no set up. Just click, buy and watch anywhere. It works for me because I don't have a fragmented device lineup. All my main stuff is Apple.
     
  23. SpoonCody macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 28, 2014
    #23
    Latest iPhone 6 renders. This is probably the closest thing to the real deal:

    https://www.behance.net/gallery/18081199/iPhone-6

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    Thoughts?

    I'm sort of on the fence with the design. It's sort of nice, but sort of boring too. I don't know. Kind of nice, kind of ugly at the same time. Not a home-run like in the past, I think.

    Also, I wish they didn't compromise battery size just for the thinner profile. Latest rumors says the battery size will only be a modest increase. Something like 1900 mah only for the 4.7" one, and 2500 for the 5.5" one. I predict it'll continue with the standard 8 hour battery life claim.
     
  24. Dmaynard83 macrumors 6502a

    Dmaynard83

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    #24

    Waiting for a couple things.

    Improvement to Siri
    Touch less controls (similar to moto x)
    Better battery
     
  25. gotluck macrumors 603

    gotluck

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2011
    Location:
    East Central Florida
    #25
    waiting for jailbreak before considering :p
    those renders look good, I will miss the sd card if I ever do switch back, since Im quite averse to getting gouged on the storage pricing
     

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