Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Why I won’t switch from iPhone to Android

Photo by etnyk, used under a Creative Commons License.

Yesterday I typed out my thoughts on the new iPhone 5, and how I was planning to upgrade to it when it’s released in a week’s time – probably. What I’m not planning to do is buy a different phone from a different manufacturer.

This is despite the fact that there are a number of good non-Apple phones out there – Samsung has the Galaxy S3 and the Galaxy Nexus, and there’s the HTC One or Nokia’s Lumia series. And they are good phones. But they’re not for me. Here’s why.

I’m a Mac user

Generally speaking, Apple products are very good at working together, and indeed the iPhone works very with a Mac. I have my music, podcasts, contacts, calendars, notes and photos all synchronising between my iPhone and my Mac, through iTunes. It’s simple to set up, and works well with very little effort.

If I had an Android phone, then the syncing gets a bit more difficult. Contacts and calendars will synchronise via Google, and notes can use any IMAP email account, like Gmail. Photos can be done automatically via Dropbox as well. But music would need third party software on my Mac such as DoubleTwist (for which the Mac download links seem to have disappeared…), so it’s not nearly as seamless. And let’s not talk about the abomination that is Samsung’s Kies software.

I’ve spent a fair amount of money on iPhone apps

Looking through the iPhone apps that I use at least once a month, there’s £20 of apps that I’ve bought. Not only would I no longer be able to use them on Android but in some cases (1Password, Geocaching) I’d need to buy replacements. If Android manufacturers are serious about converting iPhone users, maybe they need to work with Google to offer some kind of app replacement scheme where you get free Android apps from Google Play that replace their iPhone equivalents.

I’m happy to pay more for a better experience

I’m not convinced that Android phones will offer a better user experience to my iPhone. Sure, you can do more with an Android phone, as apps aren’t bound by Apple’s rules, but I don’t think that they’re easier to use. They may be cheaper, and have more impressive technical specifications, but are they actually better to use?

I’m aware that not everyone agrees with me – not even my partner Christine who prefers Android phones and will almost certainly choose an Android phone when she too upgrades this year. And I have looked at iPhone to Android switching guides, such as this one from Lifehacker. But I feel like I’ve got too much to lose by abandoning the iPhone platform, that I’ve made such an emotional investment in over the past couple of years.


  1. Basically, you’ve already got your foot in the bear trap so unable to switch. You’re a lost cause…

    • Well to be fair, there’s nothing in his post that says he *can’t* switch it’s that there’s no real compelling reason to do so. If the user experience isn’t going to be any better, why not stick with what works best for you?

  2. And the same would apply to you?

  3. I’m not wondering around the closed garden looking at the outside world; i’m in that world. 😛

  4. RE: Android Music… Google Music, feeds off iTunes, uploads new iTunes songs and syncs to the clouds to my phone, or work laptop. and if I want to sync stored music there is a little app called isyncr which syncs back plays and ratings to iTunes from my phone, again can be done wirelessly but I prefer the USB method. Doubletwist was, to be frank, a worthless piece of crap.

    I was once like you, but Apple shafted me when I moved back to the UK by refusing me to update my iPhone apps as I moved store account to the UK as I wanted to legally buy an album, just 1 album. Something about taxes and cost of apps between countries.

    After the initial shock period I’m pretty sure Android is just an easier method to live in. New phone? plop in my SD card which has everything I need to carry with me., infact I just bought the Nexus tablet and with one global login and all my settings (actual settings like wifi passwords and such like, nevermind bookmarks in chrome etc.) were synced across all ready to go as soon as it started up. No need to plug in to anything to sync, everything was just there thanks to Google Music, Play store auto installing my favourite apps, Calendar, Email, Contacts, Photos via Picasa/Google+

  5. Luckily I haven’t locked myself into that kind of prison so am free to choose. I also like the fact that when I buy an album on google play I get to download the mp3’s and burn them to a cd that I can take with me or put the mp3’s on any device I desire. better then being locked into a single platform or device in my opinion.

    • To be fair, when you buy an album on iTunes, the same applies, albeit with AAC rather than MP3 which is widely supported nowadays. Music from iTunes hasn’t had DRM for a few years now.

    • And also to be fair, you don’t *have* to buy AAC based music from the iTunes store. At all. Ever. You can still buy MP3s from Amazon (or anywhere else) and import them into iTunes. Or not. Heck, you can still kick it old school and rip your CDs to MP3 if that’s your bag.

  6. Good choice. I switched from Iphone 4 to Galaxy S3 and even though the 1st couple of months were great. I really miss IOS and my iphone. Android is so unstable and the battery is not very good.

  7. as for “abomination that is keis” I only saw it on my tablet once. though since androids show up as external devices like any normal phone should i stoped using it pretty fast. prefering drag and drop file transfers.
    everything else is synced wirelessly through google/outlook anyway.