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5 Reasons to Ditch Your iPhone for an Android Phone

posted by Christina DesMarais on January 23, 2012 in Phones and Mobile, Cell Phones, Guides & Reviews :: 29 comments

Not iPhone 4While smartphone users tend to be polarized—iPhone lovers who hate Android, or vice versa—there are those who walk the fence and appreciate the merits of both. While I’ve been a happy iPhone user since the smartphone’s genesis, I recently jumped ship and went over to the other side. It wasn’t anything Apple was doing wrong. In fact, I’d say the company does everything well and the iPhone interface is incredibly intuitive.

So why change? Even though the iPhone is great, Android phones offer some things the iPhone doesn’t. Here’s a short list.

1. The iPhone’s Screen Isn’t the Best for Browsing

Although Apple has changed little things in its form factor since introducing the iPhone in 2007, it has kept the screen size at 3.5 inches. For people like me who do a lot of Web browsing, this is far from the best option available. I’d even go as far as saying surfing the Internet on the iPhone is a miserable experience all because of that small screen. On the other hand, you can get an Android phone with a huge display. Check out the Samsung Galaxy Nexus as one example.

2. Turn-by-Turn Navigation is Amazing on Android

Sure, the iPhone has Google Maps, but it only makes sense that it works infinitely better on Google’s own operating system. Android’s free turn-by-turn navigation is nothing short of phenomenal, and the lack of it on the iPhone is a big sticking point with a lot of people. Tell your Android phone where you’re going and it will track your exact location in real time with your next turn indicated on the top of the map and a voice that audibly tells you when to make it. It’s nearly as good as a Garmin but it won’t set you back a penny.

3. Other Google Products Work Great on Android Too

Take a look at Gmail, for example. On the iPhone, you access your Gmail account in the same way you get to a Yahoo or Hotmail account—by setting up an account through the iPhone’s mail client, which provides the same interface regardless of where your mail is coming from. And it’s greatly inferior to Gmail on an Android device. There is a Gmail app you can get for the iPhone that is an improvement, but it's not great.

YouTube and Google+ are better on Android, as I imagine pretty much all Google products would be. And if you make a change to your Google Calendar on your desktop it updates to your phone over the air.

4. You Don’t Need Siri

While Apple’s voice assistant, Siri, has gotten a lot of attention since last October, Android phones actually have had voice commands for a while. You can call a business just by saying, “Call (name of business) in (city, state)” and it finds the number in an instant and makes the call with only one touch. Or you can say “Navigate to 1234 Holly Street in Sarasota, Florida” and Google Maps Navigation will launch. And you can search for anything on the web just by saying, “Search for…” So even though Siri might be smarter or more fun to play around with, when it comes down to the making your most common tasks easier, Android voice commands work just fine.

5. Android is More Open

In addition to providing greater hardware choices, it’s also much easier for developers to publish their apps to the Android marketplace compared to Apple’s App Store. While this does raise some security concerns, it also means you can get apps on Android that you can’t on iOS.

High-tech whizzes also like to customize their Android phones by removing preloaded “bloatware” installed by carriers or installing custom versions of an operating system (also known as ROMs) created by developers who have optimized the stock version in some way. These custom ROMs usually involve more frequent updates that fix bugs and new features since developers can be more nimble than huge cellular carriers and handset manufacturers. But if all this sounds Greek to you, leave your phone alone. These kinds of changes to your system can render a phone useless if you don’t know what you’re doing.

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No iPhones for me

From Brian on January 23, 2012 :: 10:28 am

I currently use an iPod Touch for music and podcasts, an Android Droid (the original), a Samsung Galaxy 10.1 (replaces my laptop) and a WinTel PC at home.  I really wanted to switch to the iPhone so I could consolidate/eliminate the Touch.  My job (banking)requires that I receive office calls on my cellphone and receive work email.  Unfortunately, our IT deptartment could not get the iPhone to meet the security requirements that are set out in our policy.  So -I am upgrading and it looks like a Moto Razer. 

Sign me - I tried to switch but failed.

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Thanks for sharing your experiences.

From Josh Kirschner on January 23, 2012 :: 10:35 am

Thanks for sharing your experiences. We reviewed the Motorola Razr and found that its battery life was unacceptable. Something to consider when making your choice. You can read our full review here: http://www.techlicious.com/review/review-of-the-motorola-droid-razr-verizon/

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Android Love

From Jeanne on January 23, 2012 :: 10:36 am

I’ve had my Samsung Galaxy phone for about a year and I must say it was love at first site! It is fast and the larger screen is definitely a bonus.
as you said, voice commands are awesome for texting, searching, etc. Just now getting into using the Google sync. - shows lots of potential. I used to be jealous of those with iPhones, since my service provider doesn’t offer them… no longer jealous. Android is great!

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just switched to the iphone

From Stella on January 23, 2012 :: 10:37 am

I found it interesting to read this post today, because I just switched to the iphone from an Android phone (Samsung Galaxy Epic 4), which I had for a year. Not a bad phone, but the screen and the touch screen sensibility for the iphone is superior and gives a better experience. I started with the Android, because I am a sprint user, and didn’t want to change providers. but, I just got my iphone and I am feeling happier so far… (True that the google products run better in the android, but not sure this is a switching reason, compared to the drawbacks…)

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From Angie on January 23, 2012 :: 10:39 am

When Apple wanted 80 bucks to replace the cracked glass on the phone, AND I could not replace my own battery I decided to stop using the iPhone and got an Android Galaxy - very pleased!!!

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android vs. i-Phone

From Angie on January 23, 2012 :: 10:39 am

When Apple wanted 80 bucks to replace the cracked glass on the phone, AND I could not replace my own battery I decided to stop using the iPhone and got an Android Galaxy - very pleased!!!

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Love the Android but....

From Cindy on January 23, 2012 :: 10:40 am

Screen size is great and I love the google maps as well…no Garmin needed! The screen size makes games for my preschooler much simpler to navigate. The only downside? I am tiny….so all my clothes have small pockets usually unable to hold my phone; not enough reason to switch!

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Teetering on the fence

From Cristie Ritz King on January 23, 2012 :: 10:52 am

I’ve had an Android since before we were sure what android was. I started with the “Google Phone” and have had a few other phones since. I’m currently using the LGG2X which I hemmed and hawed over because I thought I should just switch to the iPhone. The reason I stay is that there isn’t anything I feel like I’m missing. Except instagram, everything I’ve wanted from iPhone has eventually showed up in the Android market and I get more on my android then my husband on his iPhone as far as google and flash.
The big reason though is money. I have all the same as far as data/speed and network as my husband and I pay half as much a month not to mention much less for the phone. I am not saying I’ll never switch, but it will be purely for the “cool factor” of iPhone and not any reason I should be proud of.

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Thanks Josh. BTW -

From Brian on January 23, 2012 :: 10:53 am

Thanks Josh.  BTW - the URL in the email you send for follow-ups to my post is incomplete/wrong:

Quote:
You can see the comment at the following URL:
/guide/5-reasons-to-ditch-your-iphone-for-an-android-phone/#comments

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My biggest reason to favor Android....

From Nat Gildersleeve on January 23, 2012 :: 11:09 am

iTunes

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iPhone

From Barb on January 23, 2012 :: 11:37 am

Just too loyal. It will take more than that to make me switch. And let’s face it the iPhone still has the ‘cool factor’ the droids haven’t yet obtained!

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I switched from an iphone4

From Laney on January 23, 2012 :: 11:49 am

I switched from an iphone4 to an Android simply because Apple doesn’t make a 4g phone yet..My carrier is Verizon & personally I think it has been proven that Verizon has the fastest, most reliable 4GLTE network..I like the screen size on my Droid better than the screen size on the iphone..I know Apple has a lot more apps, but the Android market has enough apps. for me..The voice commands on my Droid work great for me so why would I need SIRI..?? Basically I like my Droid a lot better than I liked my iphone, however if Apple comes out with a 4GLTE phone I might consider switching.I think iphones are overrated & over priced just because it’s an Apple product..

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Haha

From William Jacobs on December 13, 2013 :: 2:14 am

you know Apple has more apps. plz tell me thats a typo. Android has millions more apps than Apple could ever hope to have. though ill admit a lot of Android apps are crap. like all the lead apps for whatever function are wonderful but there are 20 horrible ones of the exact same app. not complanning though

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android phone

From Caroline Ruth Molloy on January 23, 2012 :: 12:00 pm

started with the Motorola droid and now have the
Samsung droid charge.Have been very happy with both,but enjoy the droid charge much better.It’s faster than the Motorola and the screen is alot clearer.

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Very timely article

From Sherrie Johnson on January 23, 2012 :: 12:45 pm

I realize my URL may be wrong.  Sorry about that.  I’ve had a Droid X for 1 1/2 years.  Love it.  My adult kids and thier spouses and most older grandchildren all have iPhones.  My husband and I have been discussing switching to the iPhone.  We found your article very interesting indeed.  I got my iPad 2 as a birthday gift this past June and love it.  I also have a 82g Zune mp3 player.  Hate to give up the music I have on it (over 8000) songs to switch to iPod.  Use my iPad for everything and love the facetime feature.  However I also love the Skype on our computer.  But I’d never use this feature on my phone….nor do I watch movies or listen to music on it.  So….I use it as a phone first and foremost.  Therefore, I believe I’ll stick with it, especially after reading your article.  Wish I had had this info before purchasing the $225 Garmin this past May!!  I actually love the navigation on both my phone and iPad. Could have saved $$$.  Also, I didn’t know about the voice command on my Droid.  My Son-in-law demonstrated it while family was here for Thanksgiving.  My phone was as popular as all the iPhones! Now I’m a happy camper after reading your article!  And I’ll be staying with my Droid X.

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I have the Droid Razr

From Laney on January 23, 2012 :: 1:16 pm

I have the Droid Razr & the Droid Bionic..The Razr is still the thinnest smartphone out yet..Love both of my Droid’s..They have all the features plus more than I will ever need to use..I think if Apple doesn’t launch a 4GLTE phone soon a lot more people will switch to Droid’s..My Droid’s are lightening fast on the 4GLTE network..

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Also a Verizon Wireless Rep..told

From Laney on January 23, 2012 :: 1:19 pm

Also a Verizon Wireless Rep..told me the Droid Razr is waterproof..But still yet I am not going to give it a bath just to find out..But that is nice to know..

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Neither of them

From Diane on January 23, 2012 :: 1:53 pm

About 3 months ago I switched to Android and I have to say I am not impressed. I am even less impressed with iPhones. In my opinion the Blackberry operating system is far superior. The only reason Android took off so fast is because of Google’s marketing and because Android is open source. Free doesn’t mean better.

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???

From KJH on March 04, 2012 :: 12:31 pm

You’re the person still using an AOL Account.

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Siri called to me...

From Cindy on January 23, 2012 :: 2:26 pm

I have to say, when the iPhone 4S came out, I was intrigued.  I am a current Thunderbolt user and really like it but Siri was calling to me.  Then, I tried it.  First of all, if there is ANY background noise, Siri won’t understand you.  Also, she must not like my NY accent because even when it was quiet, she didn’t understand me.  Yes, owning an iPhone would be nice for the sync functionality as I am an avid Mac and iPad user not to mention the “cool” factor but I just can’t seem to make the switch.  Android apps that I love are free and aren’t on the iPhone and the screen, well, no comparison on the size.  For now, Androids will be for me.  Would love to know more about the voice commands on Android and how they compare to Siri though….perhaps I am not aware of all that the Android voice function can do?

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List of Android voice commands

From Josh Kirschner on January 23, 2012 :: 2:50 pm

You can get a list of standard voice commands for Android here: http://www.google.com/mobile/voice-actions/

There are also third party apps, such as Vlingo, that offer additional/more advanced voice capabilities.

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Apple is a Big Bully

From Victoria on January 23, 2012 :: 2:31 pm

I have always felt that APPLE was the Big Bully in the School Yard!  I have had Sprint in the Fort Worth area for 5 years and travel.  I love my SlingBox and FLASH. Been very happy with my HTC.  Put an extender battery on it and runs like a champ.  I am so sick of the manufacturers having accessories for “just” Apple.  You go in hotels…iPOD housing.  Hello…the world does not revolve around APPLE!!!  Give me Android anyday…FLASH RULES!

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Keeping iPhone

From Pam on January 24, 2012 :: 12:29 am

I would love to switch but all my music is on my iPhone and iTunes. How would I be able to keep it all without buying another i-thing?

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At one time, music bought

From Suzanne Kantra on January 24, 2012 :: 12:45 am

At one time, music bought through iTunes could only be played by Apple devices, but that’s no longer true. When you buy tracks, they’re regular MP3 files, which can be read by Android devices. You can use the Amazon MP3 app and Cloud Drive or Google Music to search for your iTunes purchases and they’ll automatically import them for you.

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You could always try Google

From Laney on January 24, 2012 :: 12:57 am

You could always try Google Cloud…You can have 20K songs on Google Cloud..

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Droid vs iPhone

From DBallou on January 24, 2012 :: 7:41 am

My husband just got the droid.  Loves the big screen and uses the GPS for his business.  However it does not hold a charge very well.

I had a Samsung Galaxy (my first SmartPhone) and I traded it in for the iPhone 4.  Voice recognition is not good.  I try to speak clearly but often it does not do what I want.  Yes, I agree that the screen is small, but I also have a Nook Color which has a bigger screen so I can surf or read on that no problem.  The iphone takes fabulous pictures and video.  Soooo much easier than my old Galaxy.  The iphone holds a charge beautifully….I am amazed at how long it lasts.  Plus my children all have iphones and we can do facetime on it.  I can talk to my grandchildren and see them.  I love it.

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I just got the Galaxy Note

From Michelle on April 06, 2012 :: 1:52 pm

and left my ipHone 3Gs.  I needed the bigger screen for all the reasons the author describes.  It seems to do everything I need and I don’t regret my switch.  I do however wish I could have jsut gotten a 5.3” iphone!  It takes 6 guesses to find how to do things on the android that took 2 guesses to find on the iphone.  then when i do find it it is frequently inconvenient and dumb.  too many steps to activate the camera, to turn sound off, to turn wireless on and off.
have to work so hard to make the battery last that I have to keep turning off the voice control and wireless and bluetooth

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One of the advantages of

From Josh Kirschner on April 06, 2012 :: 4:22 pm

One of the advantages of Android is that you can customize the screen far more than on iPhone.

You can pin a camera shortcut (or any other app) right on your homescreen. Just hold your finger down on the app icon in Applications and you’ll be able to drag it to anywhere you want on the homescreen. Turning sound on and off you can do directly with the volume buttons on the side, or add a shortcut on your homescreen. Wireless can be turned on and off directly from the dropdown menu. Justr swipe down from the top of the screen and you should see the options for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, etc.

The battery should last you at least 24 hours, based on our experience with the Note. Check you Task Manager to make sure you don’t have apps running that shouldn’t be. It’s also an unfortunate fact the LTE uses more power than older networks and AT&T doesn’t provide an option to tune it down to 3G or HSDPA+.

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DOn't think so...

From 2dOpinion on December 13, 2013 :: 9:46 am

iOS is a superior OS. Who needs a thousand options.  It’s a phone, with Apps, email, music and pictures.  That’s it…  Also don’t want the malware headaches:  See: http://www.mcafee.com/us/resources/reports/rp-quarterly-threat-q3-2013.pdf (Page 12 bottom).  McAfee is a highly respected Anti-Virus authority for those unaware…

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Malware is a non-issue for most

From Josh Kirschner on December 13, 2013 :: 12:17 pm

For the vast majority of U.S. users, Android malware is a non-issue. The huge increase in malware is largely driven by off-market app stores, especially in Eastern Europe and Asia. Those concerned about malware can also install one of the many free Android security apps from reputable providers, such as Symantec and Lookout.

There may be other reasons why someone chooses iOS over Android (or vice versa), but malware shouldn’t be a big driver.

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