Trying Android for the first time after 7 years iPhone..

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by petvas, Apr 15, 2014.

  1. petvas macrumors 601


    Jul 20, 2006
    Mannheim, Germany
    Yesterday I got my HTC One M8 (silver) and I have been playing with it the whole day

    I would like to post my first impressions. Please remember, I have been using iPhones since the beginning, but before that I had Windows Mobile devices for as long as I can remember..

    I work as a Microsoft IT Pro, so I am not a typical consumer that doesn't care to understand something very technical..

    When I got the device my first impression was wow, is that a huge device!! Coming from a 4" iPhone this was a shock. The big screen has advantages and disadvantages.
    I turned on the device and after a relatively long boot time (more than two minutes - this is something that the iPhone does better), I went through the setup wizard of HTC. This wizard is ok but lacks polish. I configured my Exchange account and to my surprise I found that HTC supports Exchange Tasks out of the box. The device started syncing my almost 3GB mailbox (I choose to have all mails with me, as I did with my iPhone). Syncing didn't work very well for mail. After 5 or 6 hours I decided that it is not very reliable. Of course I know that most people would choose to sync much less data and in that case sync would be better..
    The mail client was my first negative experience. The way it renders html mails is just bad. I compared the same mails with my iPhone and the iPhone was better all the time. Despite the smaller screen I didn't have to scroll right to see the whole mail, something that I had to do on the HTC One. Anyway, on Android changing the mail client is not a problem. On the iPhone that would be a big issue, since I cannot change the default apps..Of course, this kind of user experience is bad for normal consumers and HTC/Google should really work on improving their mail clients...
    After a bit of a research I downloaded Touchdown, which worked great, much better than I ever dreamed of! It supports all features of Exchange, including categories, rules, S/MIME security, etc..I was amazed by it! I bought a license immediately and was excited by the widgets, which I installed immediately.
    Having widgets for the first time was like a breath of fresh air! I configured 5 pages, on the main page I have the standard time/weather widget, google, plus some apps I need to quickly access. On the second page I have all my Exchange widgets, on the third my social network feeds and on the rest pages I have apps grouped in folders.
    I already had Google Music sync my iTunes library, but to be honest I need my dynamic playlists and they don't synchronize. I bought iSyncr and used it to sync all of my music to an SD card. It worked great. Actually I was very much impressed by the real time multitasking that Android has. I was copying 13,000 songs, synchronizing 3GB of Exchange mailbox, installing apps all the time and browsing the web, and the device never slowed down a bit. Really impressive!
    Surfing the web isn't as good as with Safari on iOS. Reader Mode is missing, and that makes many websites difficult to read, even on this big display.. I will try to find a solution for this problem. I use Chrome on the HTC to surf, and apart from that it worked very well. My bookmarks were already there, since I synchronize them through desktop Safari on my Macs..
    So, up until now we have music, bookmarks and mail covered, but what about my pictures? Well, this is the biggest disappointment so far. As a Mac user I would expect as a minimum support for iPhoto and Aperture, but unfortunately this is not possible. Even using double twist (which I also purchased) doesn't help. Syncing pictures is a big pain up the $$$$
    Imagine having a novice user, a typical consumer with his Mac, buying an Android device and trying to copy his albums on his new smartphone. A nightmare! Anyway, I downloaded Picasa, exported my 12,000 pictures on my hard drive, imported them in Picasa and enabled Google+ automatic sync...Now, every time I import pictures to Aperture, I need to export them also on the hard drive, so that Picasa picks them up and uploads them on google+. Really bad! This is an area where I would appreciate your thoughts, or solutions.
    I do not intend to stop using Aperture on my Mac, it's out of the question.
    The gestures used to turn on the device are great and the news feed is also nice (Blinkfeed I think it's the name).

    For twitter I downloaded the official app and Tweetcaster, which looks nice, but I have to check more tomorrow.
    I downloaded OneNote and I was glad to see that it also offers a widget to quickly create a new note. I am not used to that stuff!

    The device itself is really nice, the quality matches the iPhone and I really liked it. It is really tall and twice it almost slipped my hands. I need to get used to it. I believe a 4,7" size would be better.
    Yesterday night I found an app called AirDroid and was so impressed about it! I can manage my Android device remotely from the Internet, copy files, and basically do whatever I want. Amazing!
    I also downloaded MPlayer Pro and even watched an mkv tv series. Very nice!

    So, to summarize my first day with an Android device, I would like to point out the positive and negative stuff:

    • Multitasking
    • Widgets are great
    • The Touchdown Exchange client is amazing and well worth the money
    • The fact that I can change default apps is great.
    • The display is amazing
    • Unlocking the device by using my live image is cool
    • Notifications are so much better on Android than on iOS. I enjoyed a chat session on Facebook today with a friend. The way it works you cannot have it on iOS.
    • Amazing ways to configure and control the device

    • Syncing from iPhoto/Aperture doesn't work at all. Unacceptable for a consumer perspective. Google should understand at some point that people with Macs use iPhoto or Aperture (and some use Lightroom). very few use Picasa!
    • The OS is not as polished as iOS. This can have an impact to consumers, which see better graphics, more polished apps (very often but not always).
    • Android is not consumer friendly. Lots of customization options are geared towards power users.
    • Chrome is not as good as Safari on iOS.
    • No standard podcast app (but plenty available to download)
    • No way to disable the Sense UI (without rooting). Actually it's a bit sad that Google allows skinning the UI.
    • The standard mail, calendar and tasks clients are mediocre. The iPhone provides a much better out of the box experience.
    • The out of the box experience for consumers is much better on the iPhone. People that want to research and take some time to get to know Android will appreciate it though.
    • No iMessage, no FaceTime (but I was expecting that)
    • I would like more internal storage. I also have a 32GB SD, but it would be better if I had this storage internally.

    So, where does this leave me? Am I going to jump ship and move to Android? Maybe! I still need to think about it, but I think I might as well do that..
    I hope I didn't tire you with another long post!
  2. Robster3 macrumors 68000

    Dec 13, 2012
    How did you do this below?

    I use Chrome on the HTC to surf, and apart from that it worked very well. My bookmarks were already there, since I synchronize them through desktop Safari on my Macs..
  3. MRU, Apr 16, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2014

    MRU Suspended


    Aug 23, 2005
    I can import into Aperture, make sure you change to PTP transfer.

    As for disabling Sense UI, you can use any other launcher or download Google own experience launcher, but if you wanted stock android you have the option to buy the Google Play Edition.

    Podcasts is the best podcast app of google play store

    Sense UI - Calendar is a lot better than stock androids actually, which is so bare bones. Though Google are working on releasing a new Calendar app. Also a stock android phone doesn't even come with a separate tasks app, you have to use a third party.

    There are benefits of expandable storage via SD card. If it's built in from outset with no expand ability you can never increase it, whereas if it's expandable via SD card you can at least increase size as and when you need it, without feeling your stuck with small size for duration of the device.
  4. petvas thread starter macrumors 601


    Jul 20, 2006
    Mannheim, Germany
    Three ways to do that. You can use marks to sync bookmarks, or use a Windows desktop with iCloud control panel to sync to a windows browser.
    Of course you can also manually import everything to the desktop chrome browser.


    Here in Germany the device is not available in the Google play store.
    I will check the podcasts app, thanks for the tip.

    So, you are saying I could prevent sense from launching?
    For PIM I use Touchdown. It costs a lot of money but it's worth it if someone is using Exchange.
  5. spriter macrumors 65816


    May 13, 2004
    There are other 'launchers' that will change how your homescreen looks. Search the Play Store.

    I don't particularly like Sense (HTC's launcher) on my M7 so run Nova Launcher which is lighter and more closer to stock Android. There's plenty of others with fancy trimmings or scaled back for speed. MIUI is more like iOS and it's easy to install/try/uninstall to see what options there are. Search the Play Store for launcher and you'll see.

    Going further there will be no doubt ROMs available which is like installing a new OS but that's a whole other ball game more suited to XDA than MR.
  6. Fireblade macrumors 65816


    Jan 25, 2011
    Be sure to test out Nova Launcher, fast and very customizable.
  7. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Syncing was my biggest gripe with Android when I was on the platform.

    I guess moving over to WP8 is similar but I've learned a lot from my days on Android and that's helped my transition over to that. :)
  8. MRU Suspended


    Aug 23, 2005
    Yep and Nova Prime is worthy of the extra fee (for the options it gives you)

    Also you can download the Google Experience Launcher

    It won't replace things like stock dialler and contacts but its worth checking out.

    If you don't like the stock email app or fancy some of the other stock kitkay apps try
  9. Oohara macrumors 68020


    Jun 28, 2012
    Power Toggles is another recommendation. I use this to put these very small, simple and clean looking on/off toggles for flight mode, wifi, wifi tether and flashlight on my homescreen. This is incredibly handy and looks very good.

    I find that using Pocket makes up very nicely for this. I tend to surf the web in bursts where I share any page I want to read thoroughly to Pocket (two taps, very fast, I do this also from Flipboard) and then open Pocket to read it all in one place with very nice formatting. That way I also get any articles/site/YouTube videos etc saved in one place for later reference.

    I'm not 100% on the features of AirDroid because I had some issue with it the first time I tried it, so it may already cover these, but - I can also recommend MightyText for SMS/MMS from the browser, Wifi File Transfer Pro for an ultra quick file transfer connection phone <> computer via WiFi hotspot, and Pushbullet to get your notifications to show up on your computer (you can dismiss them from there too). With these, I barely have to touch my phone whenever I'm working at the computer.

    Is that site trusted? I've never sideloaded any app on my Note 2 but I sure wouldn't mind having the KitKat dialer app on it! Will it install despite TouchWiz?
  10. Alfuh macrumors regular

    Mar 31, 2009
    I saw MacRumorUser suggest podcasts and I believe he meant Pocket Casts which seems to be the consensus best podcast app. I use it and its well worth the couple bucks.

    For a twitter client you should check out talon, which seems to be pretty nicely designed.

    To best understand a launcher... The app tray is pretty much akin to the top layer of iOS: a grid of apps. Android has a launcher that is a skin that sits on top of that so you can place whatever widgets, apps, folders etc for you to see on your home screens.

    As others have mentioned Nova is a good launcher and if you look around you can find a lot of unique ones to try.

    Good luck with your setup!
  11. petvas thread starter macrumors 601


    Jul 20, 2006
    Mannheim, Germany
    Thank you for the link. I enabled the Google Now launcher..Much better now!
  12. viskon macrumors 6502

    Oct 20, 2012
    One of my must have apps is Executive Assistant +. Very handy to get all my appointments, email, Feedly news feed, Twitter and Facebook in one tabbed, scrollable view.
  13. Tarzanman macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2010
    I suggest that you get through your head is that Android is not iOS, nor is it trying to be iOS. Your comments seem to ignore that fact.

    The first thing you should do is find alternatives for all of your Apple apps. Apple is a closed system and they do not build functionality for rival platforms except where it will make them a lot of money (see Itunes or quicktime)... and even when they do, their ports are slow, bug ridden, lack features and best avoided altogether. Long story short, don't criticize Android for Apple apps not working properly. Apple makes it difficult on purpose. That is what you get for supporting a closed platform... leaving becomes difficult.

    Picasa is halfway obsolete and Google's photo backup is geared towards sharing rather than archiving. You should probably choose a platform-agnostic photo archival application.

    I'm going to ignore this ridiculous, untrue statement. New Flash: It isn't 2010 anymore
    Android is plenty consumer friendly, but I can understand how someone who has been using iOS for years would be intimidated by it. In your above post you claim to be some IT person that has more tech saavy than the average consumer and then you make this statment about how Android is too complex.

    I know plenty of people who don't know megabyte from megahertz that get on just fine with their Android phones. A manual transmission probably looks pretty complicated when you've been driving automatics for your entire life. Nuff said.
    Dolphin, Firefox, and Opera are just 3 of many different web browsers that you can choose from. It seems strange to complain about an app that you don't have to use. Google Music is better than Itunes and Google Maps is better than Apple maps, but I didn't see you listing those as a 'positive' for Android.
    Google killed off their 1st party podcast app a while ago. People stopped using it because there were much better alternatives. If this happened to apple, they would have copied the interface and rendered the developer's efforts obsolete.
    They either buy a Nexus or Google Play Edition phone. Would you buy a red phone and then complain about how it should be blue instead? Google UI enhancements are an advantage, especially if you plan to keep your device for many years.
    This is very true because Google wants you to use Gmail instead (and I don't blame them). Gmail is the best webmail service in the world once you have learned how to harness all of its features.
    Mmm, no. Android works just fine out of the box. Your contacts are synced immediately and you don't have to set up any accounts other than your Google account for everything to work on your phone or on your web browser or tablet.
    Again, blame yourself (or Apple) for getting stuck in a closed system in the first place.[/quote]
    WTF does this even mean? "I want more storage" -Then buy an SD card "I want the storage to be internal" -Then don't buy an SD card. If you are trying to say that "I want 64GB of internal storage" then say that, but that is a nit-picky thing to complain about with the current speed of MicroSD cards.

    I firmly believe that people like you should just stay with Apple. Android doesn't need you and you will probably be happier not having to complain about a platform that doesn't talk like, walk like and act like Apple does. They make decent phones and you can spend the rest of your tech life happily living in their walled garden.
  14. Oohara macrumors 68020


    Jun 28, 2012
    Wow, you're being really unnecessarily hostile here. The guy is actually being quite fair in his post, and in no way passive aggressive in the style we're used to from the typical covert haters that make their "initial impressions" threads just to bash on Android. How about offering some constructive recommendations instead of just slapping his fingers for giving Android a shot?
  15. kuroe macrumors newbie

    Dec 19, 2013
    For photos, I'd say use dropbox. It has automatic photo upload functionality from Android devices (any pics you take automatically uploaded when on wifi), and syncs across all devices. You can use it in combination with the recently released Carousel application, and best of all, dropbox works across all platforms (rather than just Apple's ecosystem).

    In other words, you can get your pictures on android, ios, osx, windows, linux, etc. It's much better than picasa.

    The only potential issue is the amount of storage you get with dropbox. I believe you start off with 2gb, and after getting some free additions, it goes up to 17gb. Getting to the 17gb is tough, but you get more than 3x the storage space of iCloud (which comes with 5gb for photos).
  16. The-Real-Deal82 macrumors 603


    Jan 17, 2013
    Wales, United Kingdom
    Indeed I thought the same thing. I enjoyed reading through the OP and it was pretty well thought out and appears to be an honest account of a user's experience. The hostile response from a user who evidently prides themselves on disliking Apple (see sig) was unnecessary IMO. I always check to see what Android are offering to see if it is worth being tempted back so its great to read an honest account of a user's experience. Credit to the OP for taking the time! :)
  17. petvas thread starter macrumors 601


    Jul 20, 2006
    Mannheim, Germany
    WTF does this even mean? "I want more storage" -Then buy an SD card "I want the storage to be internal" -Then don't buy an SD card. If you are trying to say that "I want 64GB of internal storage" then say that, but that is a nit-picky thing to complain about with the current speed of MicroSD cards.

    I firmly believe that people like you should just stay with Apple. Android doesn't need you and you will probably be happier not having to complain about a platform that doesn't talk like, walk like and act like Apple does. They make decent phones and you can spend the rest of your tech life happily living in their walled garden.[/QUOTE]

    Wow, calm down! Why so hostile?
    If you hate Apple then you have no right to be here...

    My OP was about the experiences and impressions of someone that has been using iPhones since 2007 and who has now gotten his first Android device..What's negative about it?
    My comments about consumer friendliness were not about me, but generally. I have no issues with the lack of polish or automated ways to do things in Android..

    You totally misunderstood my post. I am not even sure you read it thoroughly..


    Dropbox is definitely an option, since I have 100GB of storage there. My big problem is my workflow. I import all pictures from my camera to Aperture, so Dropbox isn't involved at all..I would have to export all pics from Aperture to Dropbox. Unfortunately that cannot be automated, but it's better than nothing.


    Thanks :)
  18. Tarzanman macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2010
    You guys have a strange definition of hostile. Saying that I think someone's opinions have little objective merit (which is basically exactly what I did) is a far cry from being hostile. There were no insults or namecalling, etc in my post. Maybe my directness was what you had a problem with? If so, then I have no counsel to offer you. The OP was frank and to the point with his opinions and observations; so was I.

    Indeed, it is an honest account, but it is an account from a skewed, subjective perspective. I don't understand what is so offensive about telling someone that their opinion/post/whatever demonstrates a bias. Afterall, they did put it out there on the internet for the world to consume.

    Seems poor form to turn around and complain about it when someone disagrees with your conclusions.
  19. The-Real-Deal82 macrumors 603


    Jan 17, 2013
    Wales, United Kingdom
    With all due respect it seems your own opinion on this demonstrates a bias, and this is evident from your signature too at first glance. At least the OP gives positive and negative observations from using both types of device, whereas yours simply offers a negative opinion as to what the OP was using before the switch. Your ending paragraph was less than constructive and demonstrated that you are not exactly commenting from an impartial position yourself.

    You may not have agreed with some of his observations, but the way in which you dismissed them and felt the need to ridicule Apple just sounded like sour grapes to me.
  20. Oohara macrumors 68020


    Jun 28, 2012
    Read your own post:

    These remarks are hostile, rude, and unfair - not direct. The only effect this has is to invite more hostility from other users and bring the discussion down to a less useful level.
  21. Tarzanman macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2010
    Unfair? Definitely not. I evaluated and responded to the post on the merits of and content within the post. Hostile? No. Disdainful or critical of are much better characterizations of my response. Rude? I can hardly tell anyone what they themself find offensive so there is no legitimate defense against that comment especially given that some people find it rude to be disagreed with (no matter the context).

    Now *that* statement certainly is unfair given the self-fulfilling nature of your prophesy.
  22. petvas thread starter macrumors 601


    Jul 20, 2006
    Mannheim, Germany
    This is an Apple forum, so of course the post was intended for people that use Apple products and never had any experience with Android. It presents my own impressions and opinions, thus it is of course subjective. Nobody claimed that I spoke universal truths here...
    When I said that iOS is more consumer friendly, I believed it (and still do), because for a typical Mac user that works with Apple software, going to Android makes things very difficult, depending on the know-how of each individual..That doesn't mean that Android is bad, but it means that it is not as consumer friendly as iOS is.
    As I also wrote on my OP, Android is much more powerful...I don't see where the bias is here. I tried to explain everything I wrote. If you still don't understand it, then please, don't make this discussion take a path that it doesn't deserve...
    I wanted to start a constructive discussion about the two OSes..Nothing is perfect in this world and everybody is also different..
    iOS appeals to lots of people, and so does Android. Both are good OSes.
    Can we go back now to where we were before you started being so hostile? Thanks.
  23. soulreaver99 macrumors 68020


    Aug 15, 2010
    Southern California
    What issue did you have with exchange? The native mail client works great on the M8 for exchange. Use Push instead of that stupid smart sync that it has on default. If you want to use a third party mail client, I suggest using Nine because touch down, to me looks outdated and has an ugly interface.

    As for podcasting, I suggest using Dogg Catcher. The podcast app on the iPhone is a joke, and this is coming from someone who actively uses both devices.

    Anyway, give it a week. Turn off your iPhone while you try it out because you will drive yourself crazy going back and forth. With android, you need to think different ;)
  24. Oohara macrumors 68020


    Jun 28, 2012
    OK, "disdainful" then. Is that any better? And did his post really deserve a disdainful response? He spoke in a friendly manner and held up both positives and negatives with Android, a much better alternative to the trolling we often see in these kind of OPs.

    That's why I responded to your post. I was so happy to for once see one of these threads not built on trolling, but you responded to it as if it had been. All that does it give the rest of us Android users a bad name, and invite more of those troll posts that sometimes make this forum unreadable.

    Sorry, but the thread had already gone downhill before I posted. I'll leave it now though so as to not derail it further.
  25. petvas thread starter macrumors 601


    Jul 20, 2006
    Mannheim, Germany
    I have turned off my iPhone and I try not to look at it :)

    My biggest issue at the moment is the big size of the phone :) I am afraid that I will drop it, because I continue trying to use it one handed, and sometimes that is difficult..
    Touchdown has great Exchange integration and I love it. Yes, the interface could be better, but I don't really care. (I am a Microsoft Exchange architect so I know when I am saying that Touchdown has a great integration :) )
    Thanks for the podcast suggestion. I will have a look at it. There are certain many good options out there.

    So far I love Air Droid. It provides a great and easy way to remotely control my device..
    I love the widgets too...:)

    The issue I had with Exchange is that after 6 hours it couldn't sync my 3GB mailbox (I know I shouldn't have synced everything, but I was trying to see how well it behaves since the iPhone can do that easily). Touchdown works much better

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