Have you ever considered making the switch from an iPhone to an Android smartphone? There are many reasons why you may want to do this. But for many the thought can be pretty scary. Today, I thought I should discuss why after years of using iPhones why I decided to make the switch to Android.
My Smartphone Background
Now, I have owned a lot of iPhones over the years. I started with the very first iPhone ever to be released, commonly known today as the iPhone Edge because of that old, slow network that it would use. Since then, I regularly updated as I became eligible for upgrades. Here are the iPhones I have owned:
- iPhone Edge
- iPhone 3GS
- iPhone 4S
- iPhone 5
- iPhone 6S
As you can see, there are no shortage of iPhones in my past. However, during this time I was always fascinated with the Android platform. It’s openness and open source nature is what first attracted me to it. When the iPad came out, I had to have one. Then, not long after, tablets powered by Android started to hit the market. It was here that I got my first real taste of Android with an ASUS Transformer tablet. I loved that tablet. While I may be using a Samsung tablet today, in many ways I think that will always be my favorite tablet.
Eventually, I decided it was time to consider making the switch to an Android phone, although after years of using an iPhone, my world was Apple based and I was hesitant. Finally, one day I decided to make the change. There were many reasons why. Today, I thought I would share those reasons so you can decide if you should make the switch.
Reasons I Switched
Below I will list each reasons why I finally made the switch to Android. My hope is that by seeing my reasoning, you will be able to better understand if Android or iPhone is right for you.
1. Amazing Customization
First and foremost, I’m a computer guy. Sure enjoy writing blog articles, but my primary world is working on and fixing computers and other electronics. It’s what I love. Because of this, I tend to prefer a little added control and customization with my software. Your iPhone will let you change your background and move your apps around, but not much else. Yes Apple has gotten better with this, but they still have a long way to go if you ask me.
On Android I can customize almost everything. I can change backgrounds, add apps to multiple screens, add widgets to different screens, and much more. On top of that, I can even customize what apps I use for certain tasks. I’m not stuck using a particular messages app if I don’t really like it. Personally, I switched to Textra for SMS messages and Outlook for email instead of the default apps that came on my Samsung device. The point is, I am able to tweak and customize everything with both my Android smartphone and tablet. This allows me to create a user experience that is tailored to what I like and need. Try doing that on your iPhone.
I love widgets. I always have. Widgets are these little apps that give you useful information in a very pretty way right on your home screen. Apple has something similar that they call widgets, but they just aren’t the same. Android will allow me to add widgets to any home screen and move them around as much as I would like. Widget creators have made all kinds of customization features so you can create a view that you like with relative ease. With widgets, no two Android devices will look alike, as all users can customize them the way they want. If you run an iPhone, you don’t get this kind of freedom. Heck, you don’t even get widgets such as these. If you like widgets and the features they can bring to a mobile platform, a smartphone powered by Android is really what you need.
3. Plethora of Apps
Now I’m sure some of you would argue with me over which app store is better. No doubt, the Apple App Store is great and there are thousands of high quality apps to choose from. However, the Google Play Store is the largest app store in the world with the number of apps dwarfing all other app platforms. On top of that, when you have an Android device, you can install apps from other app stores and you can even install apps that you find on the Internet.
Of course, with this type of freedom, you must be responsible and careful. Malware is a more common problem on Android because of its open nature. Sometimes, this type of software can be hidden in apps found outside of the Google Play Store. Still, for me and my money, this is a small price to pay. I can find all sorts of useful apps both on and off the Play Store, giving my device much more use than an iPhone ever could be.
Just be careful when you download and app, as you could end up getting more than you bargained for.
4. Expandable Storage
If there is one thing that has always driven me insane about the Apple iPhone and the iPad, it is their severe lack of storage. Sure you can buy one with 128GB of storage, but you will really have to pay for it. Currently Apple doesn’t offer its users any way to expand the storage on their device. That means once you run out of space, you just have to delete some stuff.
I really hate that. Considering how much space movies and music can take on your device, having more space is always beneficial. Once you combine all your apps, email, documents, movies, music, pictures and everything else, you can quickly run out of space on your device. If you have an Android smartphone, chances are it comes with a microSD card slot so you can really expand your device. Think about it. You buy a device that comes with say 64GB of storage space, but then on top of that you add a 128GB microSD card to it, and you end up with a total of 192GB of space. That’s tons of room.
To give you an idea, I have 160GB on my smartphone right now. My last iPhone had 64GB and I really had to pay to get that. Every time I think about the storage I’m so happy I went with an Android smartphone.
5. Great Hardware
If you are looking for the absolute fastest hardware out there, then the Android platform is where you need to look. You will find phones with the fastest processors and the most RAM so you can do just about anything you want on your device. While the iPhone has strong hardware, the specs are still lower than most of the modern Android phones. You have to be careful here, however. There are many budget Android smartphones out there that have low end specs. You will have to check out the premium smartphones if you want the very best of the best hardware.
6. More Choices
Given that I have already talked about customization on Android, you can probably guess that I like freedom of choice with my smartphones. Android is an open source software made by Google. That means that any company can take the software and use it when producing a smartphone. Because of this freedom, there are tons of Android smartphones out there to choose from.
Now I realize that more choice isn’t always a good thing, and there are a lot of crappy Android smartphones made. However, you will also find some truly amazing smartphones that are a real joy to use day in and day out. Currently, Google and Samsung probably lead the pack when it comes to high end smartphones, but other companies such as LG have also created some really impressive Android smartphones that you will love as well.
The extra choices that you have means you aren’t stuck with just one or two models to choose from that are, in many ways, identical to each other. Instead, there are a variety of devices out there designed for many different types of users. Chances are, you will easily be able to find an Android smartphone that is right for you with just a few minutes of your time to research the different options out there.
What Phone Did I Choose?
So you may be wondering what Android powered smartphone I chose. Ultimately, I went with the Samsung Galaxy S7. Now some of you may think that is just the iPhone of Android smartphones, and with good reason. Samsung has managed to create an Android smartphone that is every bit as beautiful and easy to use as an iPhone. I, of course, made a few tweaks to the system for my liking. But that is the beauty of Android.
I started with a smartphone that was beautifully designed with great hardware and a nice custom UI, and then I tweaked it to my liking. Today, my smartphone from Samsung runs better than ever. Despite recent Samsung problems, I think I will be sticking with that company for quite some time for my tablets and smartphones.
Are you a recent iPhone convert? If so, which smartphone powered by Android did you choose instead of an iPhone? Tell me which phone you chose and why in the comments at the bottom of this article.
Do I Regret It?
I often get asked if I regret making the switch to Android or if I miss using an iPhone. I have to say that outside iMessage, I don’t really miss it all that much at all. In fact, I love using both my Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge as well as my Samsung Galaxy Tab S2. Both of these devices have served me very well and I’m very glad I made the witch from Apple’s iOS environment to Android.
It can be hard to make the switch from one platform to another. However, for many of you, that switch may just make more sense from a user perspective. For me, making the switch to Android gave me the control and customization options I longed for on iOS and the access to a wider selection of apps from a variety of stores has been truly great. But your mileage may vary. For you, the walled garden of iOS could make more sense. It really comes down to you and your usage habits.
That being said, I encourage everyone to look at how they use their phones and what they would like to do before they upgrade to their next smartphone. When you look closely, you could find that Android makes more sense than an iPhone or vice versa. Still, I have loved the freedom that Android has brought me with my devices and unless things change drastically, I will be a dedicated Android user for many years to come.
Which platform do you prefer? In the comments below, tell me what you think of iOS and Android and which one you would rather use for your smartphone. I would love to hear from all of you out there.