Not a transport post.
After much dithering, I’ve made the switch to iPhone.
I’ve used Android phones for ten years. If I’m honest a lot of that was due to the price. Midrange Android phones seemed like better value for money.
But they also have a short life. 2 years then you replace them because they get too slow and/or are no longer supported and patched. I’m far more conscious now of eWaste, so after thinking about it for probably far too long, I’ve decided to jump ship. If I spend twice as much money for an iPhone that lasts 4+ years or longer, that seems like a win.
I almost bought an iPhone 12, given the 13 is said to be only an incremental improvement. During the Black Friday sales, neither were discounted, but there was a $70 Apple Gift Card on offer for the 12, and increased cashback via CashRewards, which brought the effective price down a bit.
But I eventually figured I might as well buy the latest given (even with the indirect discount) the cost differential wasn’t that much, and I wanted to prioritise longevity.
The 13’s screen is roughly the same size as the Moto G7+ I’m switching from; just slightly smaller. I bought a case (well, a bumper really) for it to try and protect it – when I eventually upgrade again, another benefit is old iPhones in good condition are actually worth some money, unlike most Android phones.
Apple provides an Android App to help the transition across. This failed the first time, but I switched off copying of photos and calendar items (they’re all in the cloud anyway, and I copied the photos onto my computer as well). Then it seemed to work.
Contacts weren’t moved across. I think Android was storing these as part of the Google account. Installing Gmail on the iPhone and switching on sync fixed that.
For now I’ve still got one foot in the Google camp, so apart from Gmail, on the iPhone I’ve also installed Google Photos, Google Maps and Chrome. For the latter, it was surprisingly easy to change the default browser setting to use it – I think I imagined in iOS that would be more difficult.
Finding and adding the equivalent apps was interesting. The App Store is such that often you’d search for something and the top result is a massive ad for something related, but different. Perhaps I thought Apple would be above that, at least for COVID essentials such as the Service Victoria app. Nope.
Most things have been pretty smooth. I wondered if Face ID (unlocking the phone via facial recognition) might be problematic but in fact it’s very good. In these days of frequent hand washing, Face ID is probably more reliable than the Moto’s fingerprint scanner, though a mask will defeat it.
On my old Android phone I had installed an app that could provide a one touch lock, without using the side lock button – for ease of use, and on because on some previous phones I’ve had the button eventually stop working, making the phone unusable. iOS has an almost-equivalent built-in – Assistive Touch can be set to lock the screen with a single tap.
There are potential pitfalls with text messages. I was asked by someone why I didn’t respond to a message. It’s because I never got it! Android now automatically enables encrypted messages, if both parties are using the Android Messages app and Chat features are enabled. It looks like the problem is that if one party switches to iOS, the other party still thinks it can send messages encrypted… and they never get through.
To fix it, the new iOS party needs to send a message back to the Android user – then it’ll be switched off and messages will get through again. Another option is turning it off at the Android end. The whole thing sounds like a bit of a hack.
Other than that, the switch has gone very smoothly. I’m fast getting used to the way it works, and the phone itself is very responsive, which was a big problem with the 2-year-old Moto.
Hopefully this iPhone has many years of usage ahead of it.
Update: In case anybody is reading this later, the one thing I miss is that Android has good built-in spam filtering for calls and text messages. iOS has neither. You have to find a separate app to do it for you.