Why are Android users switching to Apple's iPhone?

Android users reveal why they switched to the iPhone

With the release of larger iPhones and the Move to iOS app, Apple has made a concerted effort to get Android users to switch over to iOS devices. So far Apple's efforts seem to be bearing some...er...fruit as the company has increased its market share lately.

But what is making Android users switch over to iOS? A recent thread on the Apple subreddit was chock full of interesting comments from former Android users who made the switch over to the iPhone.

Here's a sampling of comments from that thread:

Konnnn: ”Ye olde Apple cliche for me: Everything just works. When I had a Android, I waste too much...time trying make my phone some what bearable.”

FrozenDragoon: ”You can do more on Android, it's true. But all of that takes time, and tweaking, and trial and error. And that's fun. For a while. After a while, you just want it to work. I don't want to get my phone out and try and take a pic or send a message and have to jump through hoops for whatever reason. Just let me do x without messing with it.

Lag, but that may be more TouchWiz (Samsung) than Android as a whole. And the camera. I had an S4, and the camera could take amazing pictures, if everything was right. But how often is everything "just right"?”

JPB705: ”Just a change of pace really. Used the OG iPhone and then the 3GS before switching to Android until just now. Haven't received my phone yet so I can't quite comment, but it was mostly just for a refreshing feel. I also dislike carrier and manufacturer skins and none of the Nexus phones had a great camera. It was a lot of picking and choosing as far as where to sacrifice.”

SweetMojaveRain: ”/r/android[1] - "androids have so many options to tweak man, if you just unlock the boot loader and manually activate band 12, on the international version of the phone that is only available in Brazil, it's just a short couple steps to tweak some modules I got from XDA. 2 hours, tops. That'll get u another half hour of SOT and less stuttering when you switch from the calculator to your contacts. And don't mind the daily reboots, the boyz at XDA are on it and will have a patch for that in a jiffy!”

Greatcaffeine: ”There were obviously a lot of little problems that led up to me switching back to an iPhone, but the absolute last straw was having to restart my Note 4 every 3-4 hours to get MMS messages working. I was completely unable to send or receive MMS messages (required for group texting) after a certain amount of uptime, and restarting was the only way to work around the problem. Not only does MMS work fine when I need it to on the iPhone, but iMessage is a million times better anyway.”

KozzyKozak: ”The last straw for me was charging my phone 3 times a day and also HTC refusing to support my HTC One M7 any longer (suffered from camera issues and horrible battery issues).

Very happy with my IPhone 6s+ right now, getting 8 hours of usage and 31 hours of standby is amazing for me coming from android lol”

Chrissura: ”I had a Verizon Note 3 and it was filled with so much bloat, vzw tones, vzw maps etc I hated it. Also when I finally got the lollipop upgrade it would get crazy hot and reboot randomly. Every android phone has some level or a skin on android that forces you to learn how to change a simple setting on each manufacturer handset.

I tried a one+ and there was no bloat but had a disappointing camera.

I tried a s6 and it was nice but I really hate touchwiz now I tried the iPhone and it just worked and got out of the way so to speak.”

Bassitone: ”I still love Android too, but what did it for me is a combination of things:

Battery life. Holy shit, I had to be plugged into a charger to more or less actually use my phone. I had tweaked it to get incredible standby time, but when I needed to actually use it the charge level dropped like a rock. With my 6s+ I have thus far been able to use it as much as I would like to and plug it in just before bed with still around 20%.

Updates. I'm a cybersecurity student, and not being able to patch my phone after a critical exploit was made public is unacceptable. Apple isn't perfect I'm sure, but they seem to be a lot better so far on that front”

Greenthing: ”There are always issues with android and I got tired of debugging my phone. Had a N5 and Google released 5.0 with a massive memory leak and couldn't get more than an hour of SoT through a day. 5.1 fixed it but I had to wait weeks for it to be pushed to my phone. I know there is ADB but I shouldn't have to.

Then got an S6 and the only redeeming thing it had was a good camera. But it was plagued with: overheating, bad battery, apps crashing, no multitasking because of their RAM management, group messages would come in >10 minutes late, and lag, LAG EVERYWHERE, my S3 didn't lag as much. Someone told me I may have had a defective device but the option with that is to send it off for 2 weeks for repair.

Currently finding that the 6S does every single thing I need it to, and does it with no compromise. Don't miss the customization at all. Only thing I miss is Twilight but using the zoom screen dim is fine.”

Rodneyck: ”I loved my Sony Xperia Z3 compact. The battery life would last for 2+ days (I miss that!) The camera was good for an android phone, but nothing close to the iPhone...and I really wanted a good phone camera. The biggest turning point was the constant battle to tame apps running amok in the background on Android. iPhone has this nailed down...and it saves battery life big time. Plus, I had a MBP, so it made sense to switch...for the handoff and text/phone ability on any device!!”

More at Reddit

So there you have it, an interesting range of reasons why some Android users have made the switch to iOS and the iPhone. Reasons for switching seem to range from simplicity to the iPhone's camera, to security updates and even instant messaging.

My own reasons for choosing the iPhone over Android

Reading through the thread on the Apple subreddit reminded me of my own reasons for choosing the iPhone over Android years ago.

Here's a brief list of why I use an iPhone rather than an Android phone:

1. Apps - There are some iOS apps such as Day One that still aren't available on Android. Using an Android phone would mean having to give up some of my favorite apps. I also like the overall selection of the iOS app store compared to what's available in the Google Play store.

2. Security - Android has had a pretty bad run lately in terms of security issues, and while no operating system is perfect, I feel safer inside of Apple's walled garden than outside of it with Android. Security is also a reason why I never jailbreak my iPhone, it's simply not worth the risk of having my data compromised.

3. Software Updates - As some of the folks in the Reddit thread noted, Android is still a mess right now in terms of software updates. Some models of Android phones will get the latest version while others languish for a long time or forever without it. With iOS, I get all of the software updates when they are released and for years after I buy an iPhone.

4. iCloud - iCloud is another important reason why I prefer the iPhone. I also work on an iMac and sometimes a Macbook Pro. So being able to use iCloud for syncing and storing data is very important to me and would not be available on Android. Other cloud options such as Dropbox don't have much appeal for me because iCloud does everything I need the cloud to do on my devices.

5. Handoff and Continuity - These two features in iOS and OS X mean that I can start something on one device, and then switch to another device and pickup where I left off. And I can even take phone calls on my Mac if want to though I don't do many phone calls these days (see #7 below).

6. Simplicity - It's not that I can't appreciate the things that Android has to offer, particularly the customization options. But the simplicity of the iPhone really outweighed any attraction I had to Android. I need my phone to work, and I don't have the time or energy to tweak it, customize it or otherwise spend time fiddling with it.

7. FaceTime and Messages - Two of the best things about using the iPhone, iPad or Macs are FaceTime and Messages. Messages is a terrific app for all of my messaging needs, and FaceTime has mostly eliminated my use of traditional telephone calls. Why make a phone call when I can do a free video call on my iPhone over Wi-Fi? Between the two apps, most of my communication needs are covered.

So some of my reasons are the same as the former Android users who've switched over to the iPhone. And I think it speaks well of Apple's ability to create a terrific experience on their iOS devices and Macs that meets the computing needs of most people in a comfortable, easy and reliable way.

Tim Cook must be very happy about the Android switchers

Comments like the ones posted in the Reddit thread must be enormously pleasing to Tim Cook and his executive team. They show how far Apple has come in terms of making their iOS devices appealing to some of the folks who had previously picked Android as their preferred mobile platform.

It will be very interesting to see how Google responds to all of this over the next few years. The company can't possibly be unaware that some of the folks using Android have defected over to the iPhone, and I'm sure that doesn't sit well with them at all. But it remains to be seen what - if anything - they can do about it over the long term.

One thing for sure is that competition between iOS and Android has certainly taken a new turn over the last year or so with the advent of larger iPhones, iOS 8 & 9, and other developments. Apple seems to have the upper hand for the moment, and only time will tell if Google can win back some of the Android switchers.

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