Apple is good at what they do. They make products that are easy to set up and use, but, before you know it, you feel entirely trapped in their ecosystem. Now, for many of us, that’s not so bad; the ecosystem has a lot of perks, and life seems pretty good here. But for those of us looking for another tech opportunity, it can seem, well, impossible. You might want a Galaxy Z Flip, but your texts would all be — gasp — green. Even still, just do it. Go ahead, switch to Android.
Listen, I get it — making the jump from iPhone to Android seems monumental. Apple is strategic, putting real-life obstacles in your way when swapping SIMs. Right off the bat, the second you connect your number to a non-Apple phone, you lose the ability to send and receive iMessage and FaceTime calls to those digits. If you have other Apple products, your friends can still use those methods to get in touch with you, but they have to be reaching out via your connected Apple ID email.
That’s a pain in the arse, for multiple reasons. Chief among them, your non-iPhone Apple devices are likely not as connected as a smartphone is. Unless you have a cellular iPad, you’ll need to connect to wifi before receiving the latest iMessages in the group chat, or being around to answer a FaceTime call. Even if you kept your devices connected to your new phone’s hotspot, the setup is magnitudes less convenient than just having an iPhone connected at all times.
Speaking of other Apple devices, get ready for your phone to no longer work with them. If you’re used to convenient features like AirDrop, Handoff, iCloud, and other Apple connectivity perks, those are going to go away with an Android. Plus, most things you’ve bought on your iPhone through your Apple ID are stuck to the platform, so you’ll have to rebuy apps and games like Minecraft or FiLMiC Pro.
But, honestly, so what?
You can make do just fine switching from iPhone to Android
If you want to try another phone; if there’s a new piece of tech that looks so cool; if a company offers features Apple simply can’t, then do it. It won’t be the end of the world. You likely know people who have turned the group chat green, who have made every iMessage reaction spelled out in text. And sure, there’s frustration, there are jokes, but your phone is cool. It does things your friends’ phones can’t. Also, it’s yours. Who cares?
But here’s my advice: Do your best to convince your friends to agree on a third-party chat app. That can be challenging; switching chat apps isn’t something people enjoy doing, especially en masse. It can help, however, if you pick a platform that most, if not all of them, are on already. In many cases, that’s going to be a Meta property — WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger are likely your best bets to rich text and video calls no matter what phone everyone has.
If you use a Google Account for your digital life, you’ll find the switch all the easier. Since Google makes Android, it’s a bit like already having your toe into the Google ecosystem. If you already use services like Google Photos, Gmail, Google Drive, you might feel right at home on your new Android. Plus, most subscriptions you have through iOS can be accessed on their Android counterpart without any extra costs, which is definitely one perk to everything being free to download these days.
I’ve outlined some tips for switching between iPhone and Android here, to make the transition a bit easier.
Look, there’s a whole world of phones out there. Google, Samsung, OnePlus, Motorola, and even Sony make unique, interesting devices that add new features and options each year. If you’re in the market for a new phone, and one of these catches your eye, go for it! You can always switch back to iPhone if you miss it.
If more of us buy the phones we want, rather than stick to specific platforms, perhaps it’ll inspire Apple to make their OS a bit less exclusive. I don’t know if we’ll ever see true iMessage on Android, but if Apple could simply support RCS, we could have easy text chats among all phones.