Thursday, February 20, 2014

Migrating to Android from iPhone

My iPhone4 got the "people can't hear me" problem. I've exhausted all the possible trick to solve it that does not require opening up the hardware. There is little-used s3-mini laying around so I decided to try to migrate to it and see what happen.

I expected some limitations when moving to Android from iOS since I have been accumulating many apps and it has quite integrated to my daily workflow. However, after sometime, I can say that the migration is quite seamless. Most of my usage can be transferred to Android plus some more Android-specific goodies (I think widget is cool). More about this below.

The Apps

At this point, almost all the well-known apps have both iOS and Android version. So, for apps like Evernote, Springpad, Pocket, Feedly etc. I don't have any problem at all. There is slight differences here and there but for my personal usage there is nothing significant that I find missing.

For less well-known apps I usually can find the comparable counterpart. I have to say though, the apps on iOS feels more "elegant" somehow. However, if you care mostly for the function, it's quite negligible since Android now has large number of well-written apps.

Surprising Finding on Navigation Apps Department

I have Garmin Indonesia on my iPhone and it is sad to see that there is none of it on Google Play Store. I have searched for the alternatives on several occasion with no luck until I stumble upon Polnav EasyDriving app. It's quite "hidden" from my previous search, probably because it's google playstore page uses non-latin characters mostly.

Surprisingly, it works really well. I used Indonesian map from (which is a really great crowdsourced map, BTW) and it is loaded very nicely. The navigation screen is clear, fluidly updated and give me several notification when getting close to turn to make sure I don't get past it. Really cool!. And what is even more surprising is that is free which is quite unusual for offline gps navigation app nowadays.

The search for address is really good but somehow there is no POI-based search that I can find. This is quite unfortunate and hopefully it will be there on future versions. Aside from that, I have no complain for it.

What is Missing

One thing that I miss quite a lot is a good freeplane-compatible mindmapping app. There is iThoughts in iOS but none that comparable to it on Android. Fortunately, I have been "flattening" my data recently and many has been migrated as Evernote or Springpad data. Some of it are still on freeplane format though and for those I still have iThougts on iPad. So it's not really a critical issue actually but it will be nice if I can still accessing my mindmaps on the smartphone too.

My iPhone4 is not going to retire soon though, I still have it laying around and use the apps on it occasionally. It basically now function more as and iPod than an iPhone. For example, I still use Garmin on it although I already have Polnav on Android as mentioned above. It is still useful to use GPS on separate device on some circumstances.

So far I quite enjoy the migration and I can't say it's better or worse. It just different, I guess.

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