So it’s been a while since I posted about a new phone. The last time I mentioned a new phone was the Nexus 6 back in 2015. Since then I have owned the Pixel XL 1st gen and the Pixel 3a XL. Both solid phones and both met almost all my needs in terms of personal apps and business apps, music, current news, stocks, and messaging. At the end of the day, I have been using Android since 2011 (nine years) when I purchased my first Android device the Motorola Triumph, and haven’t looked back to any other non-Android device. So moving to Apple has been a change for me but has also been a solid decision.
Today I want to talk about the iPhone SE 2020. While I don’t consider myself a professional of IOS compared to Android, I do feel like I have a pretty solid understanding of the OS and also settings even though I have only been using the device for five days.
So the first thing was getting all my music out of Google Music and into iTunes I started this adventure before the new iPhone arrived. I am sure I went the long route as I know there are services that will transfer the music but I decided to export one album at a time and import it into iTunes on my new Mac Mini to make sure I didn’t miss anything. I also signed up for the iTunes Match so I can sync all my music between all my devices as I have been buying music strictly from Google Play for nine years so my collection has grown over the years and I didn’t want to pay for it again. Also with the syncing, it’s nice as we (my family) can enjoy the music over Apple TV with our Dolby 7.2 setup and all my albums are all there. Once I got all my music into iTunes I then went back and created my only playlist manually which again could have been imported using another tool but I choose to go the manual route to again make sure it was done right.
Apple has made transferring settings from Android to IOS fairly straight forward. I used the IOS app transfer application which I installed on my Android Pixel 3a XL and it moved all my text messages over, and almost all my apps. I skipped all my pictures as I have them all stored in Google Photos. Once the transfer was done I was missing a handful of my apps but lucky for me they were all in the Apple Store and so far they all seem to work as good if not better on Apple IOS. Since I don’t play games on my phone except for Chess (chess.com) and Words With Friends 2 I didn’t have to pay for any apps. And since I have Touch ID it’s nice to be able to still log into all my apps just like when I using the fingerprint scanner on the Pixel 3a XL.
App Drawer, where art thou App Drawer?
Coming from Android land I have always loved my app drawer. It keeps all the apps hidden and then you can make groups on the home screen of the apps you use most or crash the party and slap them all over the screen. I always group my apps and keep them together but for the apps that I don’t use much, I like them hidden away in the app drawer. With IOS there is no app drawer it’s just all over the screen and then you need to move everything to groups if you so choose. For me, it was a little different but after some organization, I have all my apps condensed to a single screen as I hate clutter and swiping from screen to screen trying to find my apps so it works, and honestly, I haven’t missed the app drawer at all.
Since I have used the stock Android for years I have also stuck with the stock Google Now launcher and also calendar widgets which can be placed on any screen I want. With Apple’s IOS, the widgets are to the left (right swipe) and from there you only have one screen to manage them all, be it a calendar, news, stock ticker, or whatever else you want. At first, I didn’t like it much as if I swiped right on Android I had my Google News feed and then swipe left I had my personal calendar and one more swipe my work calendar. I do like the way Android handles widgets but after being in IOS it feels cleaner and I only run personal Calendar, Stocks Widget, and Google news. While Apple has it’s own news app I felt it focused on Apple news and as a techie, I like to see news from Android, Windows, Linux, etc. so I stuck with Google News which also has learned my pattern of news.
“OK Google”…um I mean “Hey Siri”
I have not really taken advantage of Hey Siri much yet, or even tried to use her much. Except for Car Play which I will touch on in a while. I used “OK Google” for everything in terms of quick information, setting appointments, and reminders. I have not yet leaned on Siri as much for a few reasons mostly due to the Rrrrrrona and I am at home and don’t have anywhere to be or being reminded to go to XYZ store etc. So right now I have not really leaned on Siri but I expect that will change in the months to come. I did ask her to tell me a joke and I will say Google has better slapstick jokes in my humble opinion.
To be honest I think Apple has a better message platform. I am sitting here typing on my Mac Mini and just received a text from a good friend and I am responding right from the Mac Mini and didn’t even need to unlock my phone. I know Google offers text messages from a PC as well but where Google lacks is being able to get out of a group MMS which you can do on Apple. So for me, that is a win! Also, my iPad popped up the text message as well so that was also a nice feature as I don’t need to be plugged into my phone just to respond to a text message.
Everyone gets spam calls and it’s just never going to stop. I will say Apple fails on this front. On the Pixel 3a XL, it would show spam right off the bat and I could block it right from the screen without picking it up. On IOS it just shows its a call, and then you need to go into the call log to block. It’s more steps and also no warning if it’s Spam. Something I think Apple could work as I think their current solution is weak at best. Also just on a funny note, I received a call from Apple on my Android before moving to the iPhone and it showed it was a spam call. I love the little digs Apple and Google take at one another.
Coming from a 3700 mAh battery and moving to an 1821 mAh battery I was expecting a lot worse outcome. From the first boot, I ran the phone 3 days without a charge and have also been using Low Power Mode. Now mind you I wasn’t using my phone like I do on a normal basis but still rocking music via Bluetooth, checking my stocks, and reading news. Also, the quick charge doesn’t take long at all to get to 100%. So far I am pleased with the life of the battery even though it’s almost half the size of my Pixel 3a XL however the screen is much smaller as well so it doesn’t consume as much battery as the Pixel did.
I am still learning the Apple camera app and all its many settings. I can’t vouch for overall quality compared to the Pixel 3a XL but for the few photos and slow-motion video I took, I have been pleased. I am not a professional photographer so I am not breaking down the colors and whatnot that others post about. I point and click and a picture is taken, if I don’t like it rinse and repeat.
Here is where I can say I am over the moon. Android auto has been nothing but a pain with its many bugs connected to my 2019 Nissan Altima SV. Multiple users will tell you it’s been a headache but this is effecting Honda, Nissan, Chevy, Ford, etc. With Apple Car Play not only does it work, but it also works well with no more music skips which would drive me bananas on my normal 45-minute drive to and from work. Also, Siri responding to text messages has been amazing compared to Google’s assistant which has again nothing but bugs and issues and has for multiple months.
My final thoughts are I have been very pleased with the iPhone SE and I am glad to have it as my new daily driver over Android. The multiple integrations Apple has with its ecosystem has been very nice. From using Apple through IOS, OSX, and also Apple TV it’s been a win. Not to mention all my normal apps from Google still work just as well as they did on Android if not better on the iPhone.