Friday Diary: Moving from iPhone to Android Part 2

Part 2 of moving from an iPhone to an Android: (click here for part 1 in the series)

 General or Pre-Installed Apps:

The calendar, camera, camcorder, messaging, market (Android market), and maps are fine with me.  The calendar uses Google Calendar and that is what I use, so for once I didn’t have to do a lot of set up. It pretty much recognized my account right away.  One minor critique is if you have only one thing listed on a day, in the monthly view it appears as if that day is open/available.  Only by clicking on that day do you see that one thing.  So you either have to change your view from monthly or click on the day to make sure.  Maps uses Google Maps and it is very good.  It is more robust than the standard maps app I had on my 3G iPhone.  Google Maps does not speak/talk to you like a GPS might, MapQuest has a free app that does that.  Both MapQuest and Google Map are very similar except for the audible directions feature.  I am testing both out on my way to/from work and errands so that I can see which one I like the best when the time comes that I really need a map.  The Android market is very similar structurally to iTunes, but ther seem to be a lot of comments about apps working/not working depending on various Android operating systems.  (That is just kind you get with an Android.)  Additionally, whenever you download an app you get several warnings about what that app can/will do to your phone and what systems it affects.  Some of the warnings are nice to know but sometimes they are overwhelming and don’t always make sense to average users. Heck downloading a simple stopwatch app had a few warnings.

Clock and Keyboard:

The clock is one of the pre-installed regular apps on my phone that I was disappointed with.  Really how hard is it to have a clock app that also has a stopwatch and timer?  Clearly the developers don’t have kids or stay close to their oven when they are cooking.  I used the timer feature on my iPhone all the time.  I would set the timer for 15 minutes and tell the kids when it rang it was time to clean up, go home, give somebody else a turn, etc.  I would also use it a lot for cooking.  I am no master chef but the timer on my oven is quiet, so in addition to setting it, I would set the timer on my phone.  That would allow me to go upstairs, go outside and watch/play with the kids, etc.  I am just befuddled that somebody creates a clock app for a phone but can’t include a timer and stopwatch.  Stupid. But I did find a good free app called StopWatch & Timer.  It is simple and does exactly what I need it to do.

The keyboard on my Triumph is touch screen, similar to the iPhone.  But it behaves slightly different.  I can’t explain it exactly, but two things I noticed are the keys are a different size and they touch each other.  The iPhone keys are slightly smaller and there is some space (not a lot) between each letter.  I was having some real problems typing on the Android keyboard, but I figured this was just something I would have to retrain my fingers on.  However, the one thing that I loved that wasn’t on my Android was an auto corrector & spell checker.  Now, I know some people (like my husband) HATE the auto corrector & spell checker on the iPhone, but I really liked it.  For all of the funny mistakes my iPhone’s auto corrector made, I came to rely on it and adjusted my text/typing style to deal with it and use it to my advantage.  For example, I would just hit the space bar twice to get a period at the end of the sentence.  The Android had some sort of auto suggestor on its phone, but it didn’t replace words, it didn’t do the double space bar period thing, and its vocabulary was very limited.  Combine that with the slightly different keyboard buttons and it was taking me twice as long to write/text something with a bunch of spelling errors in it.  It was out of my desire for an auto corrector that I found the A.I.type Keyboard app.  Not only does it have an auto corrector but it also allows you to change the style of your keyboard to an iPhone.  While the auto corrector is not as good as the iPhone, it is better than nothing and I am doing better at typing.


Oh I have such a love hate relationship with Google.  I love its email, calendar, docs, search engine, and I think I like G+.  But I absolutely HATE, HATE, HATE having my Google Contacts as my phone contacts.  UGH! What a freaking nightmare and the worst decision for Google to force more people use Google.  If I was more paranoid I would start to believe Google is amassing this information for some nefarious reason.  Why does Google need my mom’s phone number?  I have people in my Gmail who should stay there, not to be duplicated in my phone’s contacts. I also don’t want all of my phone’s contacts moved to my Gmail.  For example, my online bill pay companies all came over into my phone contacts.  Additionally, if you synced your other email accounts and your FB account on your phone, it moves those over as well.  It was and still is a total organizational disaster.  Now there are settings that say only put people in contacts if they have a phone number.  I checked the box, but still I got my online bill pay sites in my contacts.  Additionally, if you have a contact listed in multiple places it duplicates all of their information.  For example my mom’s email address is in my Yahoo and Gmail address book.  When I clicked on her name in my contacts list there were 2 email listings (all the same address) under her contact name, but I couldn’t delete them from my Contacts because they were being imported from my Yahoo and Gmail.  In addition to having multiple people with multiple emails, I had multiple phone numbers listed 3,4,5 times under the same person.  The winner for having the most duplicate phone numbers and emails is Mike.  He has 6 duplicate emails and his cell number is listed 3 times under his name.  His work and our home phone aren’t listed even though I synced those before I moved.  The best part is I can’t easily delete all of these duplicates.  Not only is this frustrating for me personally, but it kills my voice recognition system with my car.  I have a new Ford Flex and one of the things I love, love, love is that it uses Bluetooth so that I can answer my phone or call somebody completely hands free. My phone could be in my purse in the trunk and if somebody calls me I can answer it by tapping a button on the steering wheel.  (The conversation is public, it is heard through the car’s speakers.)  If I want to call somebody I tap a button and say, “Call mom at home.” It then dials my mom’s home number.  Well if you have multiple phone numbers listed under a person that all say home the system gets confused. 

I don’t know what was worse, setting up and fixing all of my contacts or syncing my email systems to the phone.  However, I think I am leaning toward contacts as being the worst feature on my phone so far.  The email syncing took 2 hours and 2 beers.  The contacts mess is taking several days to figure out and work on.  I have yet to find an app that fixes this mess, if you know of one that is free please let me know.  I almost feel like it might be faster if I nuke everything and start loading my contacts from scratch again.  I think I might have to undo or nuke my email and FB syncing to fix it too. This mess with my contacts has almost caused me to run back to Best Buy and return everything and go running back to AT&T.  It also led to a huge fight in my house on how to the damn thing working the way I want it to work. 

DoubleTwist for my music player:

The Triumph does not come with a music player, which actually is kind of good for me.  I already have a lot of songs in iTunes.  I loved using my iPhone as my iPod so I definitely wanted to use my Android in a similar fashion but I just heard of nightmares trying to move your iTunes library into WindowsMedia.  DoubleTwist is a free software and app combo that uses your iTunes library.  You download the DoubleTwist software onto the computer that has your iTunes and you download the app to your phone.  DoubleTwist is like a shell system over your iTunes that builds and syncs your iTunes library to your Android phone.  You still download songs through iTunes, create play lists, and amange titles using iTunes, but DoubleTwist makes it possible for your iTunes work on your Android.  I am told that everything you ripped from CD to iTunes will work on iTunes.  However, if you purchased music on iTunes prior to iTunes Plus (January 2009) that music won’t come over to DoubleTwist due to DRM issues.  But you can make those older songs available on DoubleTwist by paying an extra .30-.60 cents per song. 

Downloading my songs to my Android was where I had my first experience with my memory card.  Memory cards in phones are new to me since iPhones didn’t come with them. You bought an 16GB iPhone, you got about 16GB of memory.  The Triumph comes with a 2 GB mini SD card and wow that is not enough memory.  I wasn’t able to sync all of my songs because I ran out of room.  Had I really thought about memory cards and phones I would have realized this before I even tried to sync my songs, but I forgot.  Thankfully I had an old 8GB mini SD laying around from an old camera that went belly up.  I used that and that worked.  When I get around to it I will probably buy a 16GB mini SD for the phone, or maybe if my 8GB one is doing fine I might just wait around until the prices of a 32GB come down a bit.

Hopefully next week I will have my contacts straightened out and I will let you know that disaster resolved itself.  I intend on looking at a few medical apps that I used to have on my iPhone and see if they are available on the Android and how they work.

8 thoughts on “Friday Diary: Moving from iPhone to Android Part 2”

  1. I also recently switched to Android. I am enjoying your comments as you explore your phone. Have you tried the Navigation app? It came installed on my Android phone. I use it for speaking navigation all of the time.

    Also, I agree with your comments regarding the calendar views and contacts. By far, Android has the worst contacts of any phone I have ever had.

  2. This is not making me want to switch from the iPhone.

    Hope all the bugs are worked out soon.

  3. Eh really the only things that have totally sucked and caused me to yell at it are the email syncing and the contacts. The rest is the growing pains of a new device. I think if I hadn’t had an iPhone and been seduced by the Apple side, I would be fairly happy with the Android. Ok the contacts thing would still anger me. But I am also saving $1200/year just by having my husband and I on a new carrier. I can overlook a boat load of issues at that kind of savings (even the contacts debacle). Now if I were single, I would be saving about $450-$500/year (Mike and my service plans are not equal.) and things get murkier.

  4. The Droid X that I got this past May is my first smart phone, so I started with an Android. And I agree about contacts–absurdly kludgy. Looking forward to your next chapter and hearing if you find a good resolution! Thanks!

  5. Hey Michelle,

    Thank you for posting about your experience. I actually the exact opposite from you with regards to iPhone and Android. I have always used Android and never had an iPhone. I only recently started using an iPad for the library to learn more about the Apple operating system to help my patrons when they have questions. Although at times I keep lamenting the loss of Android features.

    First a disclaimer. I currently use a DroidX running Android Version 2.3.3. I have used Android version 2.0 through the current Gingerbread version. I have tried other Android phones (Droid2, Droid Pro, etc.) but have only owned the DroidX.

    So for the items you mentioned above I have a few suggestions. Whenever you switch anything it takes time to adjust. Well here goes nothing but a few notes and suggestions.

    The Google Calendar: I am not sure why this is happening. It might be a screen display. When I look at my calendar for the month there are colors on the side of the days indicating there is an appointment. No I cannot see the appointment, which would be very tiny writing if I could, but the color on the side lets me know something is there. So I am not sure how to resolve this one without being able to see the issue.

    Google Maps: For navigation as Dominique says try the Navigation App. It is built for your needs. I like the two different apps. One provides the option for reviewing a map without starting the navigation. Now when you start looking at creating a travel itinerary on Google Maps on the web and then want to send it to your phone… its just not possible unless you are using Google Chrome with a specific app. As my niece would say “Seriously Google.” I think Google could do much better with items like this. I mean it is their Google Maps… why can I not save it as one of my maps and have it switch over to Google’s Navigation???!??? Why Google… why!

    Android Market: Yes there are several items to review and approve before downloading apps; however, I like this. It provides transparency and allows me to see everything an app will do before downloading. If a Wallpaper App needs access to my contacts, I am going to question why and probably not download the app. Again, I like this added feature for transparency. Or you can just ignore it. Make sure though that you have a good anti-virus software on your phone. AVG is a good one and there is a free version.

    Clock: The basic clock on the Android phone does not have a timer or stopwatch; however, as far as I have seen all Android phones come with the Alarm & Timer App. It has a great alarm clock with several different settings. I really like having my phone as my alarm clock. I haven’t had a regular alarm clock on my nightstand for months. The timer on the phone is great. I can change the settings for the sound, volume, and back-up options on the timer. It is quick and easy to set. Unfortunately, there is not a stopwatch on this. So if you use a stopwatch to time how fast or long you do something then this is not possible without an additional app.

    Auto-correct and spell checker: You don’t have an auto fill or spell checker? There must be something in the settings turned off. This has been on all the versions of Android I have used and all the phones I have tried. You can even go in and edit your “user” dictionary for words you have added to the dictionary. Again, this is another “I’d have to see it to figure it out thing.”

    Keyboard: You can make changes to the keyboard settings. You might want to try some different settings to see how you like them. Also, you might like the voice-to-text feature. It is great for quickly saying a text or search.

    Contacts can be a little frustrating at first. The change to include all contacts (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) came out with a recent version of Android and I wasn’t happy with it either.

    First for multiple listings of the same person, you can link (actually it’s called “join” on my phone now) the accounts. So if you have your mom’s information from your phone, Google, Facebook, etc. you can link all of these together. Simply open the contact, then click the button that opens the “more” option. On my phone it is the button with 4 squares on it but this could be different for your phone and based on your settings. Then click “edit” contact, then click the button again (again mine was the four squares button) and select “Join.” This is where you can merge contacts together. Yes it is an extra step. Google will not automatically merge accounts. You have to do this basically confirming it is the same person. Now the only thing I did not like is when I merged my contact for “Mom” in Google with my Mom’s Facebook account, it changed the name display from “Mom” to her name. Bummer. I am sure there is a way to fix, but I didn’t see one.

    You could do this for all of your contacts until they are completely merged/joined/linked, or you could make another change. You could change the Display Options for your contacts view. When you open your list of contacts, click the button (again mine is the button with 4 squares on it) and then select “Display Options.” This is where you could say display only contacts with phones. It is also where you could “turn off” the display of your Facebook and Twitter contacts. If you have “groups” set-up in your Google contacts you can even change which groups display in your contacts.

    To me having the option to display all contacts from every network, or only a select network is very useful. I personally like having Facebook display since I have family members on Facebook that I do not have contact information for in my phone. It saves time and clicks.

    Sorry this is getting long, but we are getting towards the end!

    Alright, music. This is actually one area I haven’t played with much. I have heard people say there needs to be a better way to get access to their music from iTunes. I had not hear of DoubleTwist and will have to check it out. You might also want to look at Google Music Beta. I know another Google product, but it is a Google operating system on the phone.

    Finally, the SD card. Only 2GB? Man… I would have blown through that the first week with my phone. The DroidX came with a 16GB card that I have considered upgrading but like you am waiting for the prices to go down. Yes it is not as straightforward and requires a little bit of thinking ahead. If you buy an Android phone you could get none, 2GB, 16GB, etc. The great thing here is you not only have options when you purchase the phone, like you do with the iPhone, but you are not stuck afterwards! So you can keep upgrading your card as you need instead of having to constantly upgrade your phone.

    This is the same for the fragmentation of the Android. It is frustrating to have so many different phones running several different systems but it is also nice. You have options. Yes it makes it harder for someone, like me, to try to explain features of the Android system to someone who has a different phone. But the fact is that you can have a different phone. If you like the Blackberry type keyboard, then you can have this with the Droid Pro. If you want a qwerty keyboard its available on the Droid2 (I think, at least it was). The list goes on.

    My biggest complaint right now is the lack of a viable Android Tablet. Yes there are a few out there right now, but nothing I am eager to get just yet. I know it will change soon, hopefully, but it is a little frustrating. I basically want to enlarge my phone with a few changes/ additions. For instance, a better camera. I’m not sure about the camera on the Triumph but the one on the DroidX is ok…not great.. just ok.

    Well this response has turned into a book. I look forward to your future post as you continue the switch and good luck!


  6. I’m one of the developers of the A.I.type keyboard, and we are really interested in what our users have to say about our product. We’re proud of it because it works! However, we are in a stage of always improving it and adding the features that our users would like to see. You mentioned that the auto-correction is not as good as iPhone. If you’d be willing to share some specific examples, that would be great for us. Plus any other things you’d like to see, we’ll definitely consider. thanks.

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