Just before Christmas I moved from iPhone after 9 years, tempted by the Google Pixel XL and a slight disenchantment with an increasingly sloppy-feeling iOS. Several friends considering the same move have asked me about the experience, so I thought I’d post my last reply for easy reference.
How was swapping your data/profile across from iOS to Android?
Time consuming. The automatic tool basically didn’t work. I was quite embedded in Google apps anyway, so that made the fundamentals easier. But it took ages to install and set-up all the other apps I use. Although it was also a good opportunity to sort them out!
Is the difference from iOS noticeable? Any annoying items of UX that are or aren’t present?
I got used to Android very quickly. It’s really good these days. Better in some respects. There were a few little things I missed at first (like tapping the top of the screen to scroll to top) but I don’t anymore.
What’s battery life like, and is it a unique, weird charger type?
(Remember, I’m talking about the Pixel XL here.) Battery life is good, I get a long day no problem, and it has a great battery saver mode that ekes out the last 5%.
The charger is USB-C, which will probably be the new standard but is currently quite rare, so you can’t reply on friends or Uber drivers having one. But, becasue of the good battery life, I’ve rarely needed one.
Is there really unlimited cloud storage?!
For photos? Yes. Although using Google’s proprietary compression. I’ve elected to pay a little to keep them uncompressed.
Any good/bad bits you’ve noticed about interacting with non-Android users / incompatibility issues?
Not being able to use AirDrop, but that’s hardly a hassle. I’ve kept my old iPhone 6 alive with a giffgaff SIM for testing new apps, which still tend to be iOS first. But none of the 100 or so apps I use regularly are missing. My new Here One earbuds (which are amazing) miss a few features when connected to Android vs iOS but not a showstopper.
Any cool features you’ve discovered?
Android: Notifications are so much better. Google Photos is brilliant as the default photos app. Google Assistant is much better than Siri.
Pixel: The camera is amazing.
I’ve had a few problems with the phone crashing in the last week, but I think I’ve traced it to a dodgy compass app that wasn’t updated to Nougat. (That reminds me, I missed not having a compass or level built in to the OS! Whodathoughtit?!)
In summary, some effort to move across, and differently good.
For me feels Android feels better, tighter than iOS at the moment, but it’s marginal. The Pixel is expensive so maybe consider the One Plus 3, which seems equally good for around half the price.