Moving from Android to iOS - Experiences

Hi there!

After ten years of Android (Samsung Galaxies S4, S6, S8+, S10e), I went back to iPhone a couple of weeks ago. I thought I’d share my story and experiences. The TLDR is: despite the over-sized hype around everything Apple, Android users are not missing much. I am posting this here in the Android section, because some of you might be Apple-curious. I am here to tell you: meh. Grass always looks greener. :slight_smile:

Why I made the switch

  • Size - Since my Galaxy S8+, I really wanted to get away from large phones. The S10e was the smallest Android at the time and now, the iPhone 12 mini is even smaller.
  • Business model - While I switched away from my iPhone 4 to the Galaxy S4 due to Apple products feeling much to constrained, the Google business model has grown to feel creepier and creepier. Apple is still constrained, but the model is more customer friendly - there I went.
  • Broken apps - Android has become better in terms of the app market, without a doubt. But apps like Lastpass still do not really work seamlessly and consistently EVERY SINGLE TIME. They work about 90% of the time. Did not work at all with the newest Firefox. That gets old.
  • Curiosity - I wanted to see how the iPhone had evolved.

More or less critical experiences

  • Curiosity - Over 10 years, the iPhone feels like it has evolved exactly zero. It feels like the most lackluster development effort I have ever seen. Kind of like a Porsche 911 - all advances inside, hardly any visible. Which may be high praise, but the overall perception between an iPhone 4 and an iPhone 12 mini is … … hard to spot. Sure - the chip may be faster, but if you’ve had the chance of simply keeping the same apps - who would have noticed?
  • Speed - People are fainting left and right about how fast the chip of iPhones and the new Macbooks are. My subjective impression: perfectly negligible. If you are using your phone for phone stuff (I have around 4 1/2 hours of screen on time per day which might make me slightly more than average intensity user), the chip is … there. It works. That’s it. It does not feel faster.
  • UI Design Decisions - Sure, why not pick on that. What people hold most dearly? Well - it’s Apple. It’s sleak with a slight tendency to stubbornly follow boneheaded ideas. Sort the app drawer? Heaven forbid! Rotate the home screen? What are you, savage?
  • Screen - The screen feels eerily desaturated compared to am Samsung. In Samsung land, reds are RED and blues are BLUE - in Apple land, the screen looks more tired. Which is great for reading in bed, but the rest of the day, you wonder where the colors went.
  • Touch - Increase the touch-sensitivity of your screen to work with touch-screen gloves? Hmm seems like a no-no on the iPhone. Would be very welcome. Either that’s a specific characteristic or iPhone screens are simply less responsive.
  • Speakers - Less loud than the S10e. Which matters when taking a shower and listening to TWiT.
  • Notch - is one of those things that makes the iPhone simply feel like its stagnating.

More or less positive experiences

  • Contacts and Calendar observing open standards - I know, right? What a weird thing that Apple is better in allowing CalDav and CardDav but Android is not. This is actually useful if you want to move to your own solution for contacts and calendars like a NextCloud.
  • Solutions - Some solutions appear more evolved thatn on Android. E.g., the screen time feature feels thoroughly developed and nicely illustrated. Also, the iPhone comes with a host of included Apple apps that feel like tentacles reaching out to grab and hold you down in a comfortable, easy state of submission - from health to finances, from fotos to TV. The perfect, complete cult phone.
  • Lastpass - Apps that require special access work better on iOS, in my experience. Here, it works 99% of the time and if it does not, it is more clear that the page to log into is at fault.
  • FaceID - …works well.
  • AppQuality - You get a sense that most developers really like developing for Apple and some appear to rather have to develop for Android, too.
  • Switching to iOS seems easier - … than switching out. I do remember the painful first year out of the Apple ecosystem. That took a while. Coming back feels easier.

I will give the iPhone 12 Mini a good chance over the next couple of months. But with some luck, Samsung comes back with a lovely, oversaturated small phone next year and I shall switch back. But then again, that would be wasteful and not very responsible, so I shall not do that. Let’s see how strong those Apple tentacles are and whether I will remember why I changed away from Google. How I wish there was a third, independent mobile OS…

Hope some of you found this experience helpful in deciding whether to go for a switch these holidays. Of course, this is only one opinion of one user. Many are quite literally over the moon about this phone. I have to say that the reality distortion field has grown weaker.

No matter which choice: have fun with it! :slight_smile:


I switched to iPhone a couple of years ago due to lagging updates on Android - I had mainly use Samsung phones and didn’t like the Pixel phones. The tipping point for me was third party password manager support. In my opinion, iOS did integration right; using LastPass is pretty seamless with FaceID. Having the Files app is also very handy too now, though still not quite as easy accessing files as on Android, but at least there is USB drive support now!


Fully agree - isn’t it remarkable that an app integration like LastPass can sell a phone by Apple (slightly overstated)?

1 Like

Thanks for the post @carbonga. I have been mulling over switching when my Pixel died and went off support last year. The updates for Android phones varies too much between vendors, I have rant somewhere here about LG not updating unlocked phones.
And Google only supports their phone for 3 years, whereas Apple is still supporting the iPhone 6 I think for going on 6 years.

It is looking better, but the price is still a bit high for me since it also means updating my wife’s phone, so even more money. So far I have been happy with Motorola. Updates are a bit slow, but they are only a few months behind. I have tried flashing ROMs on other phones like my Samsung S4, but that gets to be a pain as all issues require a wipe and reinstall, and once the dev moves on new ROMs stop.

Once 5G is more of a thing and I want to upgrade, will have to give Apple another look.


It goes to show that I completely forgot about 5G. In my book, it’s the most marketing fluff I have ever experienced on a phone. There is simply zero point to it, it turns out. LTE is more than fast enough to surf, stream, video conference, and anything else that I’d like to do on phone.

The problem is not even that 5G would not be around: it seems that my town is already quite well covered in 5G. It’s simply that there is currently no use case that would benefit in any shape or form from the technology.

So, especially there, you are not missing out on anything. Impressive how the big new technology step turns out to be so much less important than being able to make the phone disappear in a pants pocket due to a manageable size or have the password app work consistently.


Agreed, I get 300Mbps+ on LTE. 5G sub-6Ghz will be a good radio efficiency improvement when all carriers are on standalone 5G. I’d give 5G a couple of years yet.

1 Like

The big takeaway for me after moving around across iOS, Android, and Windows Phone was that switching ended up not being that difficult, and that I ended up settling into a new groove with whatever device I had. Over time I simply found new and different apps that I enjoyed, and I developed new habits.
p.s. I agree 100% about LastPass on iOS.
p.p.s. Integration with my iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and AirPods make me doubt I’d go back to Android full time again.


I use a Yubikey 5 NFC for security on my LastPass account, does Apple now let LastPass use the NFC interface for unlocking?

My old company phone is slowly expiring and I had to order a new one. We are now all-iPhone, so I will be getting the SE 2020. It will be my first iPhone since the 3GS.

Edit: NFC was always Apple’s Achilles Heel. Where I could walk into the meeting room at my previous employer and hold my Android phone against an NFC tag and it set up the Wi-Fi for the meeting room, iPhone users got a piece of paper in the middle of the table with the name of the SSID and the 20 character passphrase…

I use my Sparkasse app for mobile payments on Android, but that also wasn’t available on iPhone last time I looked.

You are lucky, I don’t even get Edge at work! Generally 0.001mbps on Vodafone DE. I’m switching back to congstar, that is “only 50mbps”, instead of the “up to 500mbps” that Vodafone offers, but at least I get around 3mbps at work!

Yes, some of the later Yubikeys will work over NFC - 5/5C NFC and Yubikey Neo according to Yubikey’s web site.

Not sure about connecting to wifi via NFC, but you can certainly use a QR code, which may be preferable in some cases as you can do it at a greater distance

Yes, Sparkasse is available for iOS:

No Edge!! 2G has been switched off in Australia, so I guess no Edge here either!

That is the app for managing your account and making online payments. There is a separate app on Android for NFC payments at terminals in shops. That isn’t available in the Apple app store, it seems (I followed your link and did a search).

I always liked the Android way, I can pay directly from my bank’s app, I don’t have to go through an intermediary, like Google or Apple.

As to Edge, I am “lucky” that 2G is still turned on, otherwise there would be absolutely no coverage from Vodafone here. If I walk 300M to the end of the road, I can get 10mbps LTE, but I can’t just leave the office and walk up the road every time I want to see if the family has sent me a message!

I’ll be glad when I get my new SIM for congstar in January, then I’ll be able to use my phone properly at work!

For NFC payments on iOS it is Apple Pay or nothing. Almost every bank here has Apple Pay and basically just use them for the tokenisation service. One handy feature on Apple pay is to select my payment network on the dual network cards. I use the Australian Eftpos network for payments in shops as it costs the merchants less than going through Visa/Mastercard for debit card payments.

That’s rough about the mobile connectivity. Where I work, my office is located on the 13th floor and I get one bar of LTE and speeds are poor, but I don’t think it’s down to Edge speeds!

Sorry to hear that… :confused: It’s really a weird world in which cities are showered with an abundance of offers instead of more rural areas being brought up to a reasonable internet speed. Sadly, we all know the commercial reasons, but it still does not satisfy.

1 Like

I work in 49577. If you look at Vodafone’s map, all looks good, at high level. LTE everywhere.

The devil is in the details. My office is directly in the middle of a not-spot a street in every direction has LTE, just not the 200M or so where our office is!

The same for the drive to work, 30% no coverage (rural), out walking the dog? I tried streaming music a month or so back, it took about 55 minutes to stream one 4 minute song!

…it seems we need a national carrier pigeon Leistungszentrum for those streaming jobs in the rural areas. Drop-shipments of cassettes. Kidding aside: hope this gets developed soon. Given that the area is not particularly hilly, it seems that all it would take is a few towers. Of course, that’s the assumption of a consumer…

1 Like

It’s been 2 years and no improvement and we had Vodafone here to give a demonstration of their wireless hotspots (we wanted them for another site) and they were rather red faced, when they couldn’t give a demo!

It is one of the reasons I am going back to D1 with congstar, at least I know, even if the maximum speed is only a 10th of what Vodafone “could” offer, the minimum speed is actually several orders of magnitude more that Vodafone can offer!

Even in Osnabrück, the nearest city, I can’t get more than 25mbps of the promised 500mbps.

  • Lastpass - Apps that require special access work better on iOS, in my experience. Here, it works 99% of the time and if it does not, it is more clear that the page to log into is at fault.
  • AppQuality - You get a sense that most developers really like developing for Apple and some appear to rather have to develop for Android, too.

On these two, LastPass has become a PITA on both iOS and Android recently IMO. Not sure what’s going on. On iOS my wife is forever unable to logon to sites on her iPhone. I’m fighting with OneDrive and BBC logins this morning. The passwords are getting rejected - but it works on her mac using the same LastPass vault? Android form filling rarely works now, pretty much always have to go back to cut/paste.

On the app quality, something I’ve noticed is the apps for smart devices do seem better on Android. Perhaps they have more access to OS ‘stuff’? Ring for example, my Android will connect to the doorbell, show vid, I can be talking while the iPhone still hasn’t connected. IKEA smart stuff more reliable too.

So we cover the bases. I’m Android, wife iPhone.

1 Like

Most of the time when I’ve had trouble with LastPass is because there’s a sneaky second invalid entry that the app has glommed onto and you have to do some manual intervention to select the correct one. Not sure if that is the case here. On the whole it has been working well. I have had some sites and apps that wouldn’t fill unless I focus onto the password field, but that is a minor issue.

1 Like

Yeah, I’ve had that before but not the case here. Just reset the passwords and refreshed LastPass everywhere and all good. Weird, she says she hadn’t changed any passwords. The phone seemed out of sync with her vault.

On Android, I’m getting an issue where apps draw a login screen over the interface, but LastPass sees it as ‘Android System’ and there doesn’t seem to be a way of telling it to fill the app’s ID and password. So this aspect is better on iOS.