Here's why it's so hard to switch from Apple to Android

  • iPhone users have a hard time switching over to Android because they’re integrated into Apple’s ecosystem.
  • Apple’s software, products, and accessories keep users locked in.
  • However, Google is making the switch to Android a little easier with the Quick Switch adaptor for the Pixel.
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Following is a transcript of the video.

Michelle Yan: Being part of Apple’s ecosystem has its benefits. For one, you can enjoy the beauty of iMessage. It syncs seamlessly across all of your Apple devices. But switching to an Android means you’ll have to say goodbye to iMessage. In order to get rid of iMessage and finally get texts on your new Android, you need to turn off iMessage on all of your Apple devices and deregister your phone number from iMessage on this specific website. And once you successfully turn off iMessage, your texts may get all messed up. If someone sends you an iMessage, you won’t receive it, and if you’re in an iMessage group message, you’ll need to make a new one for SMS. Why is it so hard to make the switch?

iMessage is just one of many ways Apple keeps users in their ecosystem. Take iCloud for example. It’s Apple’s built-in cloud storage space that automatically keeps all of your notes, calendar events, Safari bookmarks, and photos. You can seamlessly access all this information on any of your Apple devices, but not on your new Android. There’s no iCloud app for Android, meaning there’s no easy way for you to transfer all of your iCloud data to your Android. Of course, if you’ve been using Google as your main ecosystem, then you may have an easier time going back and forth between your iPhone and your Android.

But then, what about your photos that are stored on your iPhone that aren’t backed up on iCloud? How do you transfer those? The easiest way is to ask if your phone carrier can do it for you. Otherwise, there are several apps that can help transfer your photos from your iPhone to Android.

And speaking of apps, you may have trouble transferring those too. For the most part, you’ll have to redownload them individually, and you might need to repurchase iOS apps on the Play Store. But if you used a Facebook login or email registration, you might be able to get around that. The Play Store does have more apps than the App Store, but some iOS apps you’ve used might not be available on the Play Store, like Bear or Rent the Runway.

I should say, Google is making this transferring-data process easier with the Quick Switch adaptor for the Pixel. But even if transferring photos and apps are made easier, it’s hard to say goodbye to AirDrop. You’ll no longer be able to conveniently send files from your iPhone to your MacBook, to your iPad, or to another person’s Apple device. But hey, at least you’ll stop getting weird AirDrops when you’re on the train.

Switching to Android also means losing all of Apple’s preinstalled apps. There may be a good chunk you don’t use, but think about FaceTime. You’ll have to use another app to video call people, like Facebook Messenger or Google Duo, which also means getting whoever you want to call to use those apps as well. You’ll also be losing Apple News, Voice Memo, Podcasts, Health, Wallet, and Apple Maps. Just kidding, no one uses Apple Maps.

You aren’t just saying goodbye to Apple’s software. Think about all your other Apple products and accessories. If you have an Apple watch, it will basically become useless. If you have AirPods, you can still use them on Android, but it won’t be nearly as seamless or customisable. And all your chargers, adapters, and dongles that you bought will begin to collect dust.

And as Android phones keep coming up with more innovations that iPhones lack, like better cameras with wide-angle lenses, it doesn’t really make sense for Apple to help their users jump ship. So yeah, iPhone users are in a walled garden. But have some sympathy, it’s way easier to enter Apple’s ecosystem than it is to leave it.

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