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pinchvalve (Forum Supporter)
pinchvalve (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
7/15/22 9:58 a.m.

Hello, my name is Pinchvalve and I am a Mac-aholic. (group responds: Hello Pinch)

It's been 4 years since I owned a Macbook and I am totally fine with what PCs can do these days. I am still connected to the Apple ecosystem because of my iphone and icloud stuff, but ready to sever the Mac cord completely. I know this has been discussed here before, but I could not find the threads. 

The computer side is easy, I have PCs and all is good. The icloud stuff is coming along, I am backing things up and moving stuff off the cloud. I have also found replacements for Apple apps that I use, such as moving from iPhoto to Google Photos. This was a big part of my motivation to move, Apple products only work if you have a Mac. You cannot search for photos or files online for example, only browse. WTF? No thanks. 

The last piece of the puzzle is my phone. There are MANY reasons I want to move to Android, including that I can use it to start my car. My contract is about up and I am not going to get another iPhone. (I had the first one, and every gen up to 12.) My question is, do I just get the best Samsung there is and move on? Will that put me into a Samsung ecosystem? It is better to look at an ATT phone or Google phone...or something else? Is Nokia still a thing? Is the Blackberry dead?  Once I move to Android, what are the first 5 killer apps that I should know about? 

 

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
7/15/22 10:10 a.m.

IMHO, stay away from phone manufacturers who load up their versions of Android with their own extra crap.  It essentially never does what you want, it takes up space, it increases the amount of time you have to wait for security updates, and you usually can't delete it without reimaging the entire phone.  What you want is vanilla Android.  The easiest way to get that is a Pixel from Google.

 

 

Beer Baron
Beer Baron MegaDork
7/15/22 10:13 a.m.

In reply to pinchvalve (Forum Supporter) :

I say Samsung and buy whatever is 1/2 - 1 generation old unless there's some brand new feature that you just *have* to have. Usually pretty solid savings for minimal tech advancement.

On my Samsung, I mostly run critical apps in the Google ecosystem (mail, drive, docs, etc.). Pretty much all of which came pre-installed. No proprietary B.S.

"Critical" apps I had to download myself are pretty obvious ones: Spotify, whatever social media you use, banking and insurance apps, Uber. I also make heavy use of "ColorNote" which is just a nice, simple, clean, free, ad-free notepad and checklist app and is probably the only thing I've wondered why there wasn't a similar function already installed on the phone.

pointofdeparture
pointofdeparture UltimaDork
7/15/22 10:40 a.m.

In reply to codrus (Forum Supporter) :

Absolutely agree that the Pixel phones are the way to go if you want to be on Android.

Samsung hardware is good but their custom Android distribution sucks.

SKJSS (formerly Klayfish)
SKJSS (formerly Klayfish) PowerDork
7/15/22 10:48 a.m.

I'm probably the last one to answer this because I'm not a tech guy.  However, how much do you use your phone?  I use mine for very basic stuff...maps, text, video calls, light internet surfing.  I have a very limited number of apps on my phone that I use, less than 10 for sure.  My phone is a Motorola that I would assume is 1-2+ generations old, I paid $90 for it a year ago.  It routinely outperforms my wife's Apple time and again.  She will be switching soon.  To say I'm not an Apple fan is a huge understatement.  I guess my (worthless) point is that the more you rely on the phone, the better droid you should get.  I've had Motorola for a while and never had any issues.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
7/15/22 10:50 a.m.

Motorola handsets have nearly zero manufacturer customization of the Androind operating system too which is nice.  In general, the Motorola G-Series are nice mid-range handsets.  Where they usually lack is picture taking quality.  But, I have carried a Motorola android of some sort for the past 10 years + and they have always met my needs.  A good-enough model tends to cost about $200 so what is that now, about 1/5th to 18th of an Apple phone. I tend to get 1-2 years out of them before I break the screen, at which time I just spend the $200 on an entirely new unit.  

I buy them unlocked, either via the Moto website or by just walking into my local Target Store and buying one off the shelf.  I even got Target to price match the Moto website price once.  

bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter)
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
7/15/22 11:00 a.m.

Apple is Apple and they are better at extracting money than at building phones. But android is everything else now so lots of choice. And you can buy a cord at the 7-11 for 5 bucks instead of the Apple store for 105 bucks. I cut the cord generations ago and would never go back. And if you are not married to Apple there are some pretty neat phones out there, all compatible with each other. I have a Unihertz.

MattGent
MattGent HalfDork
7/15/22 11:06 a.m.

I dislike all the skins / overhead Samsung puts on their devices, but to be fair I haven't had a recent one. 

I kicked apple to the curb for a Google Pixel. Prefer the straight android setup to any oem stuff on top of it. 

The phone has been good but not great, a few bug issues.  It works well, but my iphones were rock solid (until the last one, which failed an antenna).

I prefer the Google ecosystem for storage backup and apps too. 

dclafleur
dclafleur Reader
7/15/22 11:09 a.m.

I'm going to toss a vote in on lightest android install possible I used Galaxy phones for years but the last two had problems with their version of the Android OS and I switched to a Pixel, the other option I was exploring at that time was a Motorolla with a similar light install.  The Galaxy hardware is nice the software had some of the same issues I have with Apple phones in the more recent incarnations.

Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter)
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
7/15/22 11:11 a.m.

There are essentially two major Android phone makers in the US in 2022, Samsung and Google themselves (Pixel). Motorola has become an also-ran, and some of the Chinese brands like OnePlus and Huawei are gaining share, but are still niche players in the US (though they are much more popular overseas, especially in Asia).

I have owned them all, starting with the OG Motorola Droid in 2010. I have had Motos, LGs, HTCs, Pixels, and various Samsungs. I keep coming back to Samsung. Every single time I've bought a non-Samsung, my next phone was a Samsung. They consistently have the best hardware, they are popular and well-supported with things like cases and accessories, their cameras are excellent, and since you can buy them anywhere for any carrier, they have models for every part of the market, there are always deals to be had. In short, Samsung is the "easy button" when it comes to Android.

Several other folks on here have mentioned the value of stock Android. Well, things have changed in that area. IMNSHO, Samsung's One UI is actually superior to stock Android in a lot of ways. It's not 2015 anymore, and TouchWiz is dead and buried. Samsung also supports their phones for 4 years now, whereas Pixels are only guaranteed three years of OS updates. Both offer 5 years of security updates. Also, stock Android is no guarantee of less issues, as the Pixel 6 line has had a TON of problems.

I know I sound like a Samsung shill, but I'm really not. I've just had better experiences with Samsung phones over the past 12 years than any other brands. But by and large, Pixels are great phones, too. I strongly considered a Pixel 6 Pro last fall when they came out, but ultimately it didn't offer enough differentiation to be worth the money. My wife has a Pixel 5A, which is just an outstanding midrange phone that we got for $350 on Black Friday. It's been 100% rock solid and has none of the issues of the Pixel 6 line. Highly recommended, although the Pixel 6A will be out soon, so you may want to wait.

One other thing, when you go to make the move, grab the "Switch to Android" app on iOS to make the transition easier.

Mndsm
Mndsm MegaDork
7/15/22 11:16 a.m.

I've been a OnePlus stan for a minute now. I had two Samsung phones and was wildly underwhelmed for the price. Prior to that, I was a Nexus user. If you need a hot rod phone, the OnePlus 10pro is a great machine. Even going a few generations old back to like, a 7 is a lot of phone for the money. 

dculberson
dculberson MegaDork
7/15/22 11:26 a.m.

A bit of a tangent, but I think it's sad that there are basically only two ecosystems. Here you claim to be escaping a cult, but you're just joining another - google. They provide your phone os, pc web browser (unless you use Firefox I guess) and photo hosting. You're not escaping anything just choosing a different walled garden. 

Trent
Trent PowerDork
7/15/22 11:28 a.m.
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) said:

Every single time I've bought a non-Samsung, my next phone was a Samsung.

 

^

Those are my thoughts put much more concisely than I could have

pinchvalve (Forum Supporter)
pinchvalve (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
7/15/22 11:43 a.m.

In reply to dculberson :

Oh no doubt, but I toured the new walled garden and could do more of the things that were important to me. Things in the new garden are also cheaper. 

RevRico
RevRico UltimaDork
7/15/22 11:57 a.m.

Everything else has really been hit on.

I'll mention KeepNotes. Might even be a Google installed program I don't remember. But it's great for keeping notes, sharing lists with people, lightweight, easy to use.

Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter)
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
7/15/22 12:12 p.m.
dculberson said:

A bit of a tangent, but I think it's sad that there are basically only two ecosystems. Here you claim to be escaping a cult, but you're just joining another - google. They provide your phone os, pc web browser (unless you use Firefox I guess) and photo hosting. You're not escaping anything just choosing a different walled garden. 

Google's walls aren't quite so high, though. For instance, you can only use an Apple Watch with an iPhone, whereas a WearOS or Tizen (Samsung) watch will work with either. iPhones use a proprietary, Apple-only connector (Lightning), whereas Android phones use an open industry standard (USB-C). Android can be customized, iOS cannot. Apple also keeps a much tighter leash on what apps make it into their app store than Google does. On the other hand, there's no free lunch. Google gives a lot of stuff away for "free", but as the saying goes, if you don't have to pay for the product, you ARE the product. Apple makes money selling hardware and software. Google sells those things at a loss or gives them away because they make money on advertising.

But I 1000% agree about the "only two choices" thing. It's a shame things like Blackberry and Windows Mobile died. More competition would certainly improve consumer choices. It might also eliminate some of the idiotic "monkey see, monkey do" that happens in this industry, like headphone jacks going away. Apple pioneered it, but then the Android OEMs followed right along and did the same thing.

RossD
RossD MegaDork
7/15/22 12:17 p.m.

I had a few Samsung phones in a row and switched to a Pixel 6 recently. There are a few features that I miss. Mostly just tweaks stuff. But any app in the Pixel is available for all Android phones but if you want a samsung app you need their phone, probably.

Nice thing about andriod is things like https://f-droid.org/ 

02Pilot
02Pilot UberDork
7/15/22 12:40 p.m.

As I'm waiting for my Prime Day-deal Pixel 6 to arrive, I'm not thrilled to hear about the issues that seem to exist, but I suppose we'll see once it gets here (strongly considered the 5A, but it didn't go on sale, so the 6 was only $50 more).

Anyway, just to throw one more name into the mix, I've had a Nokia 6.1 for the last ~4 years and it's been really good for a low-mid range phone. Android One, so zero bloatware (my previous Samsung was sufficiently annoying in that regard that I didn't even consider them this time around, but perhaps I should have). The current Nokia line doesn't seem to be quite as compelling as it was a few years ago, but I think they have some new stuff in the pipeline, and if you need a ruggedized phone the XR20 seems to be very well regarded.

MiniDave
MiniDave Reader
7/15/22 12:58 p.m.

I've had my One Plus 7 Pro for 3-4 years now with absolutely zero issues. The thing just works, and I like that I can pair it to my PC and text or make/receive calls on the PC with it too. (Maybe they all do this now, I don't know but it was new to me)

Mostly I'm really impressed with the camera - amazing quality for both stills and video and easy to upload to the cloud or to my PC. At this point battery life has dropped off a bit, used to be about 2 days, now it's more like one.....

I no longer bother to carry a camera on trips or to car shows as I can get the shots I'm after easily with the phone.

For a non-techy person like me it's been a breeze to learn and use. 

But then the phone I replaced with it was a Win phone!

(What? Windows made a phone??? Yes, indeedy do and it worked a treat till they stopped supporting it)

ProDarwin
ProDarwin MegaDork
7/15/22 1:02 p.m.

I have an apple phone but use most of the Google walled garden.  Drive, photos, maps, notes, docs, etc.

I had many androids and they were terrible enough that I own an Apple device now.  It works a lot better.  Are there androids that work as well?  Maybe, but its a crapshoot.  With Apple there are only a few options and all of them are excellent from a hardware/performance standpoint.

No Time
No Time SuperDork
7/15/22 1:12 p.m.

I can't help with the phone suggestions, but I will point out you don't need to leave one cult for another right away. You can participate in rituals from the new cult while still belonging to the old cult, until you find the right parish. 

Im running apple hardware but have been using google apps (photos, docs, mail, drive, etc) for years. I did finally pay google for extra storage since a $2/month subscription was a better use of my time than trying to remove unneeded photos and files. 

So, I'm not saying you shouldn't leave the cult, but you can make a gradual swap until finding the right hardware.

Andy Neuman
Andy Neuman SuperDork
7/15/22 2:27 p.m.
ProDarwin said:

I have an apple phone but use most of the Google walled garden.  Drive, photos, maps, notes, docs, etc.

I had many androids and they were terrible enough that I own an Apple device now.  It works a lot better.  Are there androids that work as well?  Maybe, but its a crapshoot.  With Apple there are only a few options and all of them are excellent from a hardware/performance standpoint.

This is how I feel. We use a lot of Samsung android tablets at work, everyone is just so slightly different interface its frustrating to me. When I get a new apple phone I just log in and it puts all my apps, messages, settings loaded right into place.  I'm a basic phone user text, email, call, take photos, videos and browse the forums not sure I need it for anything else. 

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH MegaDork
7/15/22 3:06 p.m.
dculberson said:

A bit of a tangent, but I think it's sad that there are basically only two ecosystems. Here you claim to be escaping a cult, but you're just joining another - google. They provide your phone os, pc web browser (unless you use Firefox I guess) and photo hosting. You're not escaping anything just choosing a different walled garden. 

I second not getting into the Google ecosystem, but it is possible to escape all these systems, let me explain.

The easiest way to break out of the Matrix entirely can be done on an Android phone, ideally a rooted one but it's OK if it isn't, and install the F-Droid app store. Here you can get free quality open-source apps that will not lock you into things, get as many of your apps from here as you can. The only thing that's really hard to break out of on an Android phone is backups. I've done this but it's hardcore nerd stuff. If you only have your backups and email going through Google you've already won 9/10ths of the battle. Generally you need to avoid anything that only works with one platform or requires an online account. I'm running damn near to 100% FOSS, my phone has no connections to Google and I could even ditch the rooted Android OS for something like SailfishOS at this point (I'm planning to do that with my next phone and could've done it with my current phone if I'd done more of my homework).

mad_machine
mad_machine MegaDork
7/15/22 11:41 p.m.

The biggest issue I had with Samsung phones was not the phones or the android operating system, but the carrier.  When I had sprint, they would load your phone up with so much crap that is slowed things down.  Longer you owned the phone, the more apps they downloaded onto it.  Apps you cannot get rid of without "jail breaking" your phone.  I don't think I used the nascar app even once.

I have T-Mobile now as they bought out sprint.  They do not seem to have the same issues with propriety apps you must have.

Advan046
Advan046 UberDork
7/16/22 2:10 a.m.

In reply to pinchvalve (Forum Supporter) :

I made the change many years ago. I will say that you will have withdrawal and need to accept that you will feel it.

I did lose some photos and videos in the transition. But it shouldn't be a problem nowadays. 

I would go pixel first. Best to live core google world to start. I have a Samsung now but find the google doppelganger Samsung apps. As in Samsung calendar versus Google calendar. The Samsung calendar has some cool features but also causes some odd duplication of events and sometimes I can't delete some events without logging into Google calendar on my laptop. I keep assuming it is because I don't have something set right but I have been in Android years before I went Samsung, so I guess I accept it for now until I figure out the Samsung ecosystem tweaks. 

That is why I suggest to stay hard-core Android and do a pixel. Two years on you can try Samsung which I agree seems to have better hardware and accessories support. 

 

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