Potentially moving from iOS..!General

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  1. andy9l

    andy9l Well-Known Member

    Hi all,

    Recently been looking at various phones to replace my iPhone 4. I have personally always thought that the iPhone 3G, 4 and 4S were the best phones available at the time of their respective releases. With that in mind, I waited 8 months past the end of my iPhone 4 contact date for the announcement of the 5. I'm not impressed, and I think this year has seen the first phones that truly compete with the iPhone. Personal opinion, all of this stuff!

    The S3 caught my attention a couple of months back now, but I was so hopeful for the iPhone 5 that I ignored it. I have since come round a bit more to the idea of an Android device, and the S3 looks the part at the moment.

    I have a few questions I'd appreciate some answers to, and also any guidance you might have regarding the S3...

    1. I find complaints about "Touchwiz" all over the place. I'm not 100% sure what it is, but I understand it as the UI customisations that Samsung has put over Android? Is it that bad?

    2. I understand that Android devices often come with some bloat ware, much like Windows. Does this have any real negative effect?

    3. Anyone here who has previously been bought into the iCloud "stuff" - how easy was it to get used to the S3? Any particular work arounds?

    4. How does an S3 play with a Mac? Friendly?

    5. Should I wait for this "new S3" we've been promised? I'm in the UK, if that makes a difference. I don't care much for LTE/4G since we're still struggling with 3G in some places I go to. God knows how long it'll take us to catch up with 4G!

    Apologies for the long post and probably tiresome questions. It's quite a lot of money to be spending on a phone, and I don't want to regret it for 12 straight months. I will be purchasing a SIM free handset only. It's hugely cheaper for me to do this and do a rolling contract than to get a 12 month contract.

    Thanks for any replies, g'night for now!


    (Typos/grammar errors courtesy of iPad)

  2. Damar1979

    Damar1979 Well-Known Member

    Hello! And welcome to Android!
    1. Complaints about touchwiz have actually been based on their first two versions with the s1 and s2 respectively. Touchwiz for the s3 is a lot less intrusive. For any company based user interface (UI), its actually been deemed as the closest to vanilla android stock feel (original). The thing to know beforehand about android as opposed to iOS is that its not as simplified as the iPhone. Android phones are designed to be customizable and distinctive to the user. So it actually takes some time to adjust it the way you want it. But once you do, you will realize all of the things that android can do well beyond iOS. I also used to have the iPhone.....haven't looked back.
    2.) Bloatware depends on the carrier. Some have more than others.
    3.) Really easy to get used to the s3 once you are aware of what it can actually do.
    4.) No idea. But you obviously don't need iTunes to do anything as far as file exchange goes. Its actually a matter of drag and copy.
    5.) Go to your retailer and actually play with one yourself. Get a feel for it. Various publications said that the s2 was phone of the year last year. For good reason. The s3 is much better and I'm sure will be in the running. Lol its giving iPhone problems for a reason, because its THE threat because its that good. But different phones for different people. Try it for yourself and see if you like it. because you have to live with the phone you choose for the next two years.
  3. Covart

    Covart Well-Known Member

    1. Touchwiz is an overlay over the Android OS put the by Samsung. If you get an S3, first thing you do is go to Google play and download Nova or Apex Launcher. Set this as you primary launcher and then set your folders and icons up. This gets Touchwiz out of your way.

    2. Bloatware is added by your carrier. Simply go into Settings, click on App Manager, click on any orange, O2, Virfin, Tmobile, 3 bloatware app, then click either disable or uninstall updates, then disable. Bloatware is now saved on the phone for OS update purposes, but you will never see it, you won't get update requests for the apps, nada. You won't even know they exist.

    3. ICloud is the same as Google. If you have Gmail, use Google Docs, Google Calendar, Picasa, etc, they all sync across all devices, even macs.

    4. There are some issues with Macs, but download an App called Airdroid. Done.

    5. I lived for several years in the UK, just outside Cambridge. I will be amazed if 4G ever comes. The sheer amount of health and safety inspections, city council meetings to clear trees, etc... is a friggin nightmare.
  4. M331

    M331 New Member

    I would switch. I have been an iPhone owner since the first phone. I'm moving to a Galaxy.
  5. gingersnapgirl

    gingersnapgirl Well-Known Member Contributor

    I'm a recent convert from iOs to android (Galaxy S3), so while I'm not an expert by any stretch of the imagination, I feel that I'm qualified to answer at least a few of your questions.

    1. Being new to android, I can't really touch on how good or bad touchwiz is compared to earlier versions or other "flavors" of android, but I've had no trouble with it. I haven't struggled to find anything yet or figure out how things work - and I appreciate the ability to customize.

    2. I haven't noticed any major issues with bloatware. I've disabled most of the Samsung apps that I didn't find useful.

    3. I found the transition from iOs to android/touchwiz very painless.

    4. Not a mac user, so I can't speak to this one.

    5. I'm in the U.S., so I'll let others more qualified in this arena address the final issue.

    I'm glad I made the switch, but I've always been a bit of a tinkerer when it comes to my tech gadgets, and the iPhone, while it did have its advantages, was always frustrating in this area. Jail-breaking always seemed to slow it down almost to the point of uselessness, and even then I was never truly satisfied with what I could do with it.
  6. andy9l

    andy9l Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the quick replies everyone! I'll try to comment on each of your responses...

    1) That's some good news. I must say when I was using the S3 in the shop yesterday, one of the things I loved was the interface!

    2) Sure, from other people's responses it looks like you can just disable any junk software anyway? Treat me like a complete newbie here please(!) - I had no idea you could do this! I'm used to having stock iOS apps stuck in the way all the time. Hiding them in a folder is the best you can do without jail breaking.

    3) I'm sure I'll pick it up. My main concern was the keyboard, but I had a go with it yesterday without any real issues. They've sped up the autocorrect since I last used Android.

    4) Sure, I'm sure it'll work just as a normal USB device would...or I'd hope so! If not, I've got Windows on both my Macs for development reasons so I could use that if it came to it.

    5) I had a good look at it (20-30 mins alone) yesterday in an O2 shop. Remember, I'm not buying a carrier specific one - it'll be SIM free, contract free. Just a brand new handset from a high street retailer which is almost as cheap as Amazon. I will likely only be keeping the phone for 12 months.

    1) thanks for the tip!

    2) So will my SIM free S3 have less bloat ware from stock? Since you're in the UK you will know who Argos is - this is where I plan to get the SIM free, contract free handset. I've got a rolling contract with O2 which I managed to niggle down dead cheap so I'm using that SIM card in the S3. Already verified with O2.

    3) Sure. I mean, I just want my iCloud email on there - which I assume is possible?!

    4) Always some issues with this type of thing! Sure i'll be able to find some work arounds. Thanks for the tip.

    5) Oh yes, it'll be a while yet!

    1) That's reassuring!

    2) I was unaware you could do this - this is a huge persuasion on my decision. What exactly does "disabling" an app do? Is it just gone and unavailable until you go somewhere to re-enable it?

    3) Again, reassuring to hear. I didn't hit any "what do I do here" moments yesterday. My girlfriend has had a Desire for 18 months so I have at least some understand of the 'menu' and 'back' buttons which are new to us iOS users.

    4) No probs!

    5) Honestly, it'll take the UK so long to get on the 4G bandwagon I can't say I'm too fussed about it. We are impressively slow when it comes to stuff like this.

    Completely agree with you about Jailbreaking. My iPhone 4 is currently jail broken and all I do is hide some of the stock icons, and get rid of the dock so the full page is icons - ie. a 4x5 grid which moves entirely on page flicks. Simple customisation, which I think some of you Android users would laugh at!

    Thanks again all :)
  7. Crafty

    Crafty Well-Known Member

    1) Yep touchwizz is the UI overlay, sometimes called a launcher. On HTC phones its called Sense.
    Earlier versions of touchwizz were apparently not that great, but the S3 has a newer version and its much better. I prefer it to Sense hands down.
    You can download other launchers, this does not require rooting or new ROMs (that may invalidate warranty).

    2) Two levels of "bloat". 1 is from Samsung and imho isn't really bloat, but added functionality that Samsung have added (gesture control for example).
    The 2nd level is what your carrier adds - Vodafone for example aren't too bad, just a few apps that can be uninstalled or hidden. Orange remove certain things from the phone! If you go to a third party (carphone warehouse for example) you avoid the carrier stuff.
    Just re-read and saw you are buying outright - carrier stuff wont affect you then as retailers just sell the phone as it comes from Samsung.
    "Hiding" apps is possible in ICS. The app is still installed but it will disappear from menus etc so doesn't clog up your app drawer. No root/jailbreak etc needed.

    3) Can't help there, but your best bet is to move everything to google services..

    4) Can't comment, don't have one.

    5) imho don't wait - if you wait there be something else just around the corner, then you wait for that, then there are 2013 phones coming out, so you wait for those.. etc etc
  8. sherlock5545

    sherlock5545 Well-Known Member

    I'd like to add my cents to what the others said about TouchWiz. It isn't only about the Launcher, TouchWiz is much deeper than that, the entire UI is based on it. You can change the launcher but that doesn't get rid of it, it only replaces the home screen, the dock, and the app drawer.
  9. andy9l

    andy9l Well-Known Member

    1) Ah, I wasn't aware of that - that's pretty neat. I mean, I have nothing to compare TouchWiz against so I don't know if it's better or worse than regular Android. I don't really care, if it works smoothly and can be customised! Better than being trapped in iOS where all I can do is change the wallpaper...

    3) Not sure I could do that! I have an iMac, a MacBook Pro and an iPad 2 on top of my iPhone I'm looking to replace. If I can get my email on my Samsung, I don't care for the rest. I'm happy to plug my Samsung into the Mac to grab photos from it etc.. iCloud is nice, but it's better for syncing across my Macs and iPad...I kinda treat my phone as a separate device because, well, it's a phone at the end of the day.

    5) This is what I keep saying to myself. I had planned to run into town today, but it's a long walk wherever I park and the weather is, typically, terrible!

    But do you see it as a negative, a neutral, or a positive integration?
  10. sherlock5545

    sherlock5545 Well-Known Member

    It is positive, I mean many features it comes with are based on TouchWiz. I just like having a nicer launcher, that is why I use Nova, but beside that, TouchWiz isn't bad.
  11. andy9l

    andy9l Well-Known Member

    Excellent, thanks for the tips :)
  12. Crafty

    Crafty Well-Known Member

    Ok ref sync - email should be no problem at all.
    You could use dropbox to sync photos (its pretty good and you get a free 50gb account for 2 years with the S3).
  13. Wisheezy

    Wisheezy Well-Known Member

    I'd suggest using SwiftKey if you find the stock keyboard to be a let down. It's definitely enhanced my typing experience.

    Best of luck :D
  14. andy9l

    andy9l Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the heads-up regarding email. That's a good idea using Dropbox. I'm a reasonably heavy user of it, it just never crossed my mind, thanks for the tip!

    Thanks for the tip :)
  15. andy9l

    andy9l Well-Known Member

    Hey guys, sorry for bringing this post back up - got a quick question I didn't think needed its own thread...

    Will my SIM-free UK SGS3 get fully featured Google Now when the JB update arrives (which is hopefully soon)?

    I read that SIM-free will get the update first, which suits me fine, but JB is what made me think about Android in the first place. I'll be really disappointed if one of the main features is dropped for something like S-Voice!

    Haven't bought the S3 yet, but there's one in stock nearby - and I've got spare time tomorrow...! ;)
  16. Wisheezy

    Wisheezy Well-Known Member

    Yes it will get Jelly Bean first (before carrier ones) :D I've got SG3 sim free with Orange in it. It'll have google now, everything in jelly bean!
  17. andy9l

    andy9l Well-Known Member

    Excellent, thanks for the reply! I'll be putting an O2 SIM in, purely because I've been with then for so long now that my rolling contract is so damn cheap!

    Off to town I go...
  18. cxs6957

    cxs6957 Well-Known Member

    I haven't even read this entire thread yet because I won't have time, but if you haven't made your decision, I would like to ask you: how important is it that your mobile device bend almost completely to whatever you ask of it? How important is personalization? Are you enough of a "geek" to appreciate little details with an OS?

    iOS is decent, and if Apple ever manages to have a judge ban Android it will take every ounce of willpower to make myself choose a "dumb phone" or Windows Phone over iPhone, because while I've grown to despise Apple and their way of conducting business they make decent products... If you are okay with having them put so many limitations on their devices.

    I loved the iPhone until I met my current boyfriend, who at the time worked for Sprint and introduced me to Android via the HTC EVO and I've never looked back.

    Android is simply the best thing to happen to the mobile phone discount world. It's like having a PC in your hand. It's so customizable that a year and a half later I still have a thousand things to learn, but I enjoy doing research on Android because a phone is something almost everyone needs and will buy, and Android pays for itself a billion times over. I have managed for over a year after my laptop caught on fire with just my phone because Android does whatever I want. No iTunes or computer required. And with every new version it makes SIGNIFICANT improvements, not minute and nearly meaningless ones that Apple does. Google has made Apple look like a total asshat of a corporation, and Apple is now desperate enough to sue everyone they can. Apple fans can defend until they are blue in the face but for anyone who cares more about user experience than a brand name, going with Android is a no-brainer. And what's more, Android is not limited to a single device which allows you to pick which hardware best suits your needs.

    The best Android phones available now are the GS3 and the HTC One X, EVO 4G LTE for Sprint customers, and I love my GS3... Also planning to buy off contract EVO because I love HTC, love Android and I am willing to pay just to have it for a WiFi use only device at home.
  19. GoldenDiamond

    GoldenDiamond Well-Known Member

    while we are on advice, don't forget that if you buy an app such as swiftkey, google play store gives you 15 minutes to refund it if you don't like it.

    Cancellations - Google Play Help

  20. andy9l

    andy9l Well-Known Member

    That's pretty much what I've come round to thinking. I've always been an Apple user, really. I'm relatively young - at 21 - but since 15 I've only ever bought Apple devices (computers, phones and an iPad 2). I've never been hugely into hardware, only software, so I guess Apple is, or was, a safe place to go. If you don't know how to make the most of your computer, or how to maintain a device properly, Apple is perfect. PCs require a tonne of maintenance compared to Macs, and the updating, etc., etc. gets frustrating for the average user. A "geek", however, knows which programs to use to minimise these issues and how to constantly maintain rather than worry when it grinds to a halt. With that knowledge, and a custom built PC and Windows, you could have something quicker than a Mac for sure.

    I see that PC/Mac example as the same with Android/iOS. iOS just keeps going, safely and smoothly. Limitations are in place to keep it that way. Android is a more customisable OS, thus requires slightly more interaction and perhaps a better knowledge/understanding of software to get the most out of it. To get the most out of iOS, you just need to learn the App store, because that's all you can do. For technophobes, or people with little time to mess around on their phone, iOS is bloomin' brilliant. It never fails.

    I've become more interested in hardware, or perhaps more "what I'm actually getting for my money". I'm getting seriously fed up with Apple seemingly releasing the absolute minimum they can get away with so that in 12 months time they can add an extra 0.2GHz (slight exaggeration) and give that device just one "nice-to-have" feature that all predecessors cannot utilise because of "low spec". It's annoying, and it would get inexplicably expensive if I was a sucker for anything they produced.

    Honestly, I used to defend iOS because I didn't like Android back at version 2 when I first played with it. I still stand by my opinion back then - it was just getting started. The point is - I'm a "geek", I'm studying Computer Science right now at Uni. and I'm a huge Apple user, I used to really dislike Android, but I'm about to go and buy an Android phone. This is one of the reasons I'm buying the phone - if Android has progressed that much (to completely flip my opinion) in the time that iOS has just comparatively stood still, well anyone with some sense can see which is likely to be better in the future. Personally, I think they're probably both on par about now with Jelly Bean. Excluding customisation options, thinking like an average person, they're both pretty robust and get the same jobs done. I think Google Now is the beginning of Android becoming a genuinely more advanced mobile OS (innovation-wise), and we'll see what happens with the next big release of both. At the moment, my bets are on Google coming up with the next big thing before Apple - and you wouldn't have seen me saying that a couple of years ago, no way.

    I did not know that - thanks! :)

    Edit: On the subject of Google Play - payment methods? I've always been in my AppleID shell, protected from the world of mobile app payments!
  21. ldivinag

    ldivinag Well-Known Member

    Want a simplistic launcher? Check out "launcher 7"...

    It mimics the windows 7phone interface. Lets face it. How apps to we use on the daily basis...

    And wouldn't you like to have them there in big ol squares rather than their teeny equivalent in other launchers?
    There is a free version and a paid version. Trust me. When I found this almost 2 hears ago for my then dell streak running froyo I thought the UI was just perfect for me.
  22. andy9l

    andy9l Well-Known Member

    Well, I did it guys. I bought a white S3 yesterday. Took me about 1 hour to decide on the colour...sad I know! Just wanted to say thanks to everyone who has made a reply to this thread - genuinely wouldn't have gone ahead with it without your advice.

    Finished getting it all setup last night and have been playing around further today.

    So far, I've done:

    • Updated Android + Firmware
    • Had O2 change my bolt-on from iPhone data to regular Smartphone data to enable mobile data again. Getting full HSPA+ in my area, which is fantastic for the UK!
    • Went on a bloatware rampage, disabling most things that are safe to do so - used list on XDA. Much tidier.
    • Transferred contacts from iCloud to Google. Worked a treat, and synced to my phone before I launched the app, photos included! Wasn't expecting such a smooth transfer.
    • Setup iCloud email on the S3, sorry GMail.
    • Went through most of the settings to customise the phone
    • Built my homescreens
    • Downloaded necessities from Play Store - Facebook and the likes
    • Organised my app drawer, and continued to play with settings/wallpapers

    Totally love the phone. It's not as smooth as an iPhone 5 (nothing to really write home about), but the functionality is just unbelievable. Absolutely no regrets. Haven't looked at the iPhone 5 once since getting this. iOS needs a serious upgrade, I can see that now.

    Now to master the keyboard...after 4 years of a 320 (or 640 @2x) pixel wide screen, it'll take me a while to adjust to the S3's wider screen.

    Eagerly anticipating Jelly Bean - especially since I'm SIM-free!

    Thanks again everyone, really.

    Edit: I might add, I'd never heard of HSPA+ until I got this phone. I just Googled why my S3 was saying H+ instead of 3G. What a nice surprise!
  23. naviwilliams

    naviwilliams Well-Known Member

    Most carriers offer a 30 day return policy. I say buy one, use it for a few weeks, ask as many question as you'd like on these forums, and see how it goes :)

    I bet you don't revert to the iPhone - LOL
  24. gingersnapgirl

    gingersnapgirl Well-Known Member Contributor

    Link please? :)
  25. Stuntman

    Stuntman Well-Known Member

    Personally, I find that the phone is a little big for my comfort. I generally type in landscape mode and find the landscape keyboard too wide. I found that Thumb Keyboard has a split keyboard layout where the keys are closer to the sides of the screen instead of the middle. I don't like the standard keyboard and chose to download Thumb Keyboard instead. If you don't like the standard keyboard, you could try Thumb or even SwiftKey.

    HSPA+ is faster than 3G, but not as fast as LTE. Not sure who your carrier is. I recall that some carriers in the US was working with Apple to show 4G on the iPhone instead of H+ when using HSPA+ (which isn't 4G).

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