Should you go with Android or iPhone when you own a mac?

Let’s first talk about why I even considered purchasing a Galaxy s3 vs. upgrading from my iPhone 4 to a 5.

Here are the reasons I like the Samsung Galaxy s3:

  •  Larger screen

This reason holds the most weight. The larger screen is more appealing and makes reading easier. Pictures and icons are thus larger making navigation easier. Also if you use the phone to play games, this should be a big plus.

  • Turning off running applications

Most will think this is minute but I say the devil’s in the detail. In order to turn off applications that are running on the galaxy, there is an option after holding down the home button to “delete” all. On the iPhone, after clicking the home button twice, you are left to turn off applications one by one. This is important if your data plan is not unlimited so that apps using 4G/LTE do not constantly consume.

  • Widgets

In terms of widgets on the android, you can customize everything. The iPhone seriously lacks in this aspect. Now we know why most say that the iPhone is “one size fits all.” Jailbreaking would allow for ultimate customization on the iPhone if you want to go that route.

  • Internet vs. Safari

iPhone comes stock with safari which cannot be removed (this is the issue, its cluttering the first page) although any browser you wish to use can be added via app store. If you are like me, I prefer less apps = less pages = easier find =  faster navigation.

  •  Back button on Galaxy

This button allows for simpler navigation especially when playing games (you can skip advertisements using the back button).

So what is better on the iPhone?

  • iMessage

This feature is unavailable on the galaxy, you can download a third party option but it doesn’t compare. Also I have heard about glitches on the android version of group messaging; I know for a fact that apple’s group texts run flawlessly.

  • Universal Search

I believe no one does it better than apple with the universal search (swipe left on iPhone). It lets you use key phrases to even pull up year old texts within seconds.

  • Disabling LTE 

After I bought my iPhone 5, I was gravely disappointed to find that the battery life on my 4 was much better than on the 5. I attributed this to the LTE network vs. 4G. On the iPhone there is a simple way to turn off LTE if you do not feel up to charging your phone thrice daily, Settings> General>Cellular>Enable LTE (on/off). With the galaxy, as far as I understand, you have to go through a process that involves shutting off your phone and removing battery/SIM card as well as dialing a magic code.

So here are a few advantages of owning apple products together…

  •  Locator

This is pretty great if you are absent minded. Via iCloud you can locate your Mac, iPad, iPhone using any of your apple devices as long as location services are enabled.

  • Airplay Mirroring

If you have apple TV, you can mirror whatever is on your phone, iPad or computer to the TV (for almost all devices released 2011 and up).

  • Messages

I learned about this feature recently, shortly after my latest software update on Lion. Your iMessages can show up on your computer. This is handy if your phone isn’t around.

  • iCloud

Last but definitely not least. It keeps all your devices in sync. With iTunes being in the cloud, any music downloaded shows up on all apple devices (my favorite part of iCloud).  The days of plugging in your phone to your laptop, syncing or drag/drop are over.

Is it easy to use an android phone like the s3 with a mac?

The AT&T sales people told us that it would be effortless, but in reality, it is time consuming to learn how things will work (or rather not work) together. Optimally, what I wanted to do was transfer music directly from iTunes to the galaxy.

A big thing to keep in mind is that when you plug in an s3, your newly purchased MacBook Pro most likely won’t read it. The salesperson at the store specifically stated that it shows up as an external drive that you can drag and drop into…FALSE. Even if it did show up as an external drive in Finder, you would not be able to drag and drop without a third party application like Kies or Android File Transfer.

After I downloaded and tried both of these separately without success, I was close to calling up the salesperson to tell him just how wonderful I thought he was.

Android File Transfer “could not connect to device” and Kies wasn’t working either. Uninstalling Kies did not make Android File Transfer work (might work for some but not in this case). Switching between MTP mode and USB mass storage also offered no resolution to the fact that the phone simply would not show up on the mac.

So this is how I fixed the problem…

Every third party program was fully uninstalled from the mac. To uninstall a program and its associated files on a mac go to Finder and type the name of the program in the search box, click on + > choose “other” > system files > change to “are included” and then you can select all and dump in the trash.

AirDroid [bingo, a working program] was then installed. The phone was connected via web address and it finally showed up wirelessly on the computer (phone must be nearby for this to work). Now you can navigate through your phone apps on the computer.

You have to convert the files you purchase in iTunes to MP3 files for this to work. Go to iTunes>Preferences>Import Settings>Import using MP3 encoder. After you download a song, you should be able to right click (two fingers on mac) and then the option should come up allowing you to create MP3 version. Once this is done then you can drag and drop the converted music from iTunes into the Airdroid music folder therefore making the content available on your galaxy.

Even if you love apple but in terms of a phone you think android offers more variety and would suit your needs better, go for it.

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