Make the IPhone to Android Transition Smaller (and Vice Versa)

Many of us will receive new phones this holiday season, and some of us may even switch to operating systems in the process, making the rare leap from Apple to Android (or vice versa) in search of better mobile apps. If you’ve recently (or are planning to) switch from iOS to Android, or Android to iPhone, these tips might be helpful along your journey.

In many ways, iOS and Android are mirrors of each other. Both operating systems include standard applications for messaging, mail, notes, and more; use many of the same third-party applications; and get a smart assistant, be it Siri or Google Assistant. After all, a smartphone is a smartphone, it is a smartphone, and iOS and Android behave more similarly than we think. Of course, small differences can confuse you.

This article is not intended to be a complete step-by-step guide to migrating from iOS to Android or vice versa; rather, I want to point out some common uses for each platform and explain how these areas will change (or not change) when you switch. Hopefully this guide will make the OS transition a bit easier.

Messages are either easier or the path is more complicated

If you switch from iPhone to Android and have a lot of iPhone friends, your messaging life will become hectic : all those blue iMessage bubbles will disappear and you will become one of the awful green bubbles that collapse. all group chats.

However, if you have other Android friends, you can use RCS . RCS is essentially the next generation of SMS; It includes modern messaging features like encryption, Wi-Fi and read receipts, no separate or third party app required. However, currently the most reliable way to use RCS is by using the Google Messages app . If you have a Pixel, this app is already installed by default. However, if you have another Android device, you may need to download the app first.

Hope for your iPhone friends you can agree on a third party chat app that everyone will agree with. You can, of course, stick to SMS – this is a limitation, but it is suitable for one-on-one chats. Group chats will get more complex, however, as images and videos are heavily compressed using SMS, and you will see many iMessage responses recorded in long form.

Notifications are more similar than before

In the past, Android notifications were simply better than iPhone notifications. Apple had a reputation for a clunky notification UI that made it harder to keep track of important notes than it should have.

However, in 2021 Apple will catch up. The notifications are grouped more intelligently , the settings are more robust, and overall, everything is much cleaner.

However, many people prefer the Android way of notifications. Aside from offering a clean, logical, and easy-to-manage system, Android still provides unique notification features that iOS simply can’t match. Take chat bubbles , for example, which allows you to turn chat notifications into fun and easy-to-use bubbles on your display, if your application supports it.

The gestures are the same across platforms.

While Android has used its iconic buttons for most of its existence, recent versions have moved to gesture-based controls. These controls are not exactly the same as in iOS, but they are similar. If you pick up a new Android device after using an iPhone, you will still find the same general gestures:

  • Swipe up to get back home
  • Swipe up and hold the app switcher
  • Swipe down to switch apps individually

Of course, if you switch from iPhone using the Home button, these gestures can be confusing. Unless you’re a big fan, you don’t need to use gestures because, as I explain below …

Android still has buttons

Although gestures are available on Android, you don’t have to use them. Instead, you can go back to the classic three Android buttons that appear at the bottom of the screen.

The settings may be different on all phones, but you’ll probably find these options under the System Navigation section. On my Pixel 4, it’s Settings> Gestures> System Navigation . Here, if you choose ” 3-button navigation “, you will return the buttons.

For the uninitiated:

  • Back button (triangle) : This button is contextual; Most often, it allows you to navigate backward through pages in the application, but it also allows you to go backward in other ways, for example, through the web history in Chome.
  • Home button (circle) : This button allows you to return home, but also activates the Google Assistant with a long press.
  • Application Switch Button (Square) : This button allows you to switch applications; you can quickly return to the last used application with a double tap.

You can also return the softkey to iOS in much the same way; it won’t do everything the old clickable button did (no Touch ID of course), but it will do the most. It’s actually an iOS accessibility option, but it’s useful for anyone who’s missing out on how the button used to work on their phone – whether they’re switching from Android or an older iPhone with a physical button. Find the setting under Settings> Accessibility> AssistiveTouch . Turn on the AssistiveTouch option and the button will appear on the screen; you can move it however you like.

Android lets you move apps anywhere

In iOS, Apple forces you to design your home screen according to its guidelines. Of course, iOS now has widgets, but widgets and icons have the same layout: from left to right, starting from the top left corner downwards. You can hack it if you are ambitious , but for the sake of simplicity, you are locked in this grid.

There is no such grid on Android. When you switch, you can host your apps wherever you want. Fill in several rows of apps at the bottom of your phone to keep them at your fingertips, or arrange them as you like on the home screen. The system even gives you guidance on how to move the app so you know exactly where it might go.

Android App Drawer is an iOS App Library

On Android, most users are familiar with the app drawer; swipe up from the home screen and you will see that all the apps on your phone are conveniently sorted. If you switch to iPhone, you won’t be able to find your apps by swiping up; rather, you will need to swipe left to the app library. This feature groups apps into different categories, but that’s not all; swipe down and you’ll find an alphabetical listing of your apps, just like the Android app bar.

There is no doubt that Apple’s system is as user-friendly as Android. One swipe access to your app library from your home screen would be ideal. However, Android users benefit from knowing that they don’t have to completely abandon this type of app sorting when moving platforms. What I like to do on iOS is to keep only one home page for the apps I use the most; then all it takes is swipe left with one finger and I have access to my app library for any other apps.

Default apps are now in iOS (sort of)

In the past, having default apps was an advantage for Android. Apple wouldn’t let you change your default mail app or web browser, for example, while Android has simplified it.

Recently, however, things have improved on iOS. If you’re migrating from Android, you should be right at home, changing your default mail app and web browser to whatever you want. Alternatively, you can tell Siri to play your music through a specific app ; While not a perfect solution, it will teach iOS that you want your default player to be, say, Spotify and not Apple Music.

In-app settings and general settings

Both iOS and Android share a common Settings app. However, on Android, many apps store most of their key settings within the app, which means you won’t be leaving the app to change those settings. However, on iOS, these settings are often shared between the app itself and the Settings app. The number of options shown in the app versus the Settings app varies from app to app, making it a bit inconsistent. This is definitely an area where Android excels, although it doesn’t really matter for day to day use.

All iPhones come with the same software; not android

Keep in mind that Apple is the same hardware and software company. This is usually not the case on Android. Google creates the Android OS, but leaves everything else to the discretion of the manufacturer of a particular smartphone, how exactly it will work. Samsung devices use One UI, while OnePlus, for example, uses OxygenOS.

These “skins,” as they are called, mean that while all Android devices are inherently similar, there are many variations and differences that make the interaction between devices heterogeneous. While iPhones differ based on their specific features, iOS is iOS and you’ll find pretty much the same experience no matter which iPhone you choose.

App Store, Play Store, and unpublished app downloads

On both platforms, you download apps through the official store. On iOS, it’s the App Store, and on Android, it’s the Play Store (you can also find smartphone stores like the Samsung Galaxy Store). Simple enough.

On Android, however, you are not limited to the Play Store. You can download any app from the Internet and install it on your device in a process known as downloading unpublished apps. This practice opens up a whole world of Android apps that simply don’t exist on iOS.

However, there is a reason why Apple is blocking the download of unpublished apps on its platform: it can be a risky business. You can unknowingly download an app that will end up infecting your device with malware. This is why it is highly recommended that you only download unpublished apps from trusted sources like APK Mirror , and always be wary of the data the app asks for from you.

How are you doing with the switch?

There is much more to be said here. So we’d love to hear about your personal experience: have you ever switched from iPhone to Android or vice versa? What were the differences and how did you adapt to them? Let us know!


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