Back To Android

Last September, after spending a month on sabbatical in Europe, I decided to try the iPhone after being on Android for many years. My plan was to start switching back and forth between iOS and Android every six months. So I got an iPhone 6 and used it as my only mobile device from early October 2014 until this past weekend. I continued to use a bunch of Nexus7s we have in our homes but the iPhone was the only thing I took with me when I left home each morning.

After a few days on iOS I wrote a post about what I liked and did not like about iOS. Reading it now after six months on iOS, it is still pretty accurate. But now that I am back on Android, the two things I really miss about he iPhone are TouchID and iMessage. If Android had both of those two things, I wouldn’t miss anything. I don’t totally understand why Apple doesn’t make an iMessage client for Android. They have the most popular messenger in the US (maybe the world) and they aren’t taking advantage of it. They are doing the same thing with iMessage that Blackberry did with BBM.

I will also miss the apps that are iOS only. I am keeping my iPhone6 and will use it on wifi in my home and office to stay connected to five or six apps that I use that are iOS only. Hopefully this will make it easier when I switch back to iOS in six months.

But now I’m back on Android and happy to be back. I am using a Nexus6. I am not sure I love the 6″ form factor but I’m getting use to it. The switchover is a pain in the butt. Getting the google apps working on the phone is a breeze. I just sign into the Android device with my Google login and they are all working. That part is really sweet and way better than what I have to do on iPhone. But getting the rest of the apps I want on my phone is a pain and then logging into all of them is a real chore. I use strong passwords and 2-factor wherever possible and so that process for close to 100 apps takes hours. I spent a fair bit of time this weekend getting the phone set up the way I want it.

So what are the things I missed about Android? Here’s my list:

1) gmail with offline sync. this is a huge one for me. i’m on the subway, planes, places with no public wifi and bad cell service a lot. gmail on iOS doesn’t do offline email very well. gmail on android does it beautifully

2) google calendar. there is no google calendar app for iOS. the google calendar app for Android works perfectly for me. i missed it.

3) notifications. i thought that iOS had caught up to Android in terms of the way notifications work. but it hasn’t. android still does notifications way better. and certain apps, like twitter, work way better with notifications on Android than iOS.

4) widgets and launcher – i didn’t realize how much I would miss the ability to customize my home screen with third party launchers and widgets. Android does this way better than iOS.

5) google maps and chrome as defaults – i never was able to figure out how to direct all my apps to use chrome and google maps as defaults. so i found myself using two browsers and two maps apps on iOS. on Android I only have one and all the android apps use them as defaults. this works way better for me.

But, as I said last October, these two mobile operating systems are pretty similar to each other. There are differences for sure, as I’ve outlined, but they are actually pretty minor in the grand scheme of things. Switching back and forth is pretty easy except for the part about downloading all the apps onto a new phone and logging into into them and customizing the screens. Once you do that, it’s more or less the same experience on both devices.


Comments (Archived):

  1. Anne Libby

    It seems like Dashlane might help with PW migration between devices? I haven’t made the android/iOS switch, so don’t know this.

    1. fredwilson

      i use dashlane. maybe i’m using it wrong but i was helpful as a repository of information but i didn’t provision the logins directly on my phone. as i said i may be using it incorrectly.

      1. Anne Libby

        Someone here is sure to be a power user!

      2. Alexis Fogel

        Happy to count you as a Dashlane user. We released recently an in-app autologin on Android (see this video: You can enable it in the settings of your Dashlane app on Android.

      3. John Revay

        Curious why did you decide on dashlane vs 1password, for some reason I thought 1password worked better w/ Venmo on iOS.

  2. marclafountain

    Hey, Fred. Interesting thoughts as always. Google finally released a Google Calendar for iPhone app in early March and it’s well done:

    1. fredwilson

      fuck. just as i was leaving. well that will be awesome for me when i return. thanks for letting me know.

      1. Telak Azmi

        As they say in the middle east poetry, one should never replace their cows, wife and ofcourse cellphone these days.

    2. awaldstein

      perfect, downloading and installed!

    3. Jan Schultink

      Thank you my friend!

    4. Daniel Taibleson

      The answer to my prayers! Thank you for sharing!

  3. kenberger

    Re TouchID: I am using a demo Samsung S6 Edge that’s about to be released, and the fingerprint recognition feature is FANTASTIC. Just as good/maybe better than iPhone, and a big step up from previous Galaxys.I’m reluctant to promote Samsung devices with their proprietary approach, but this is definitely one of a couple features that does make it almost worth it.

    1. fredwilson

      hmmi am reluctant to use a device that doesn’t come out of the box with stock androidi can’t be bothered to put a different version of the android OS on the devicetoo much work for me

      1. kenberger

        hmm is right: i’m not sure what you mean? The Galaxys have stock android, albeit not as completely non-bloated as a Nexus/AOSP device, but you can still easily just ignore the carrier & samsung apps. And in the case of the new S6 and S6 Edge, they’ve put way less extra apps than ever before (to my surprise). The European unlocked version I’m holding doesn’t have any extra at all.When I say that I still don’t like the Samsung proprietary feel, it’s a mindset and approach thing– in reality it’s actually easy to still use them as “stock android”. They are stock android. And like i said, they’ve actually seem to have gotten LESS maverick with the S6’s.So I’m not sure if I gave the wrong impression. I just backed up my Nova Launcher settings to Drive from the Nexus 6 that I was using, signed in to gmail on the new S6, restored the launcher settings, and the 2 phones’ setup and use are much the same.

        1. fredwilson

          Ok. Then I may switch. I’d love to get T-Mobile wifi calling back. I got my iPhone from T-Mobile and might buy a Samsung from them if its free of all of their crapps

          1. JimHirshfield

            CrApps….brilliant word

          2. kenberger

            S6 (forget the Edge version) is highly recommended if you want almost a spittin’ image iPhone 6 size. It has Lollipop 5.0.2 right out of the box now. Camera is amazing; does wireless charging.Note 4 also great for “big phone” folks, BUT they still don’t have Lollipop! I use Cyanogen quite happily on it now though, which gives me this.That’s the thing w/ Samsung phones– super frustrating if you keep them more than even 6 months; you’ll wait forever to get future Android updates unless you’re cool with modding. Then again, the Nexus 7 2013 still doesn’t have the new android 5.1, while other older models do.As we discussed in another recent post, this time next year I predict a good chance I’ll be on Chinese phones, but for now Samsung still rules my Android world.

        2. William Mougayar

          So the Nova Launcher is like an iTunes that remembers your Apps regardless of the handset you use?

          1. kenberger

            not quite. The launcher simply remembers what your home screen looked like, so you don’t have to setup your multi-page homescreen every time — at least that’s all I use it for; it probably does much more.So when I switch to a new phone, or reset to factory to load a new ROM (back and forth from cyanogenmod and stock, for example), I first login to google and let the new phone load up all the apps– android does this if you have both phones set to backup the apps you use.When that’s done, I then use Nova’s backup home screen function on the old phone, save to GDrive, then restore from drive on the new phone. Migration finished.

          2. William Mougayar

            i see. i’ll try it! thanks.

      2. William Mougayar

        Fred, since you’re on a hip hopping spree, maybe consider a Xiaomi at some point. There is more to Android than a Nexus, and it might give you a chance to experience a pretty good up-and-comer in that space.

        1. Mario Cantin

          Yeah I thought the interface looked good on your Xiaomi phone when you showed it two weeks ago. It has a good “first impression”. I hadn’t realized they worked in Canada yet.

          1. William Mougayar

            It’s an unlocked phone, so you just pop a Rogers SIM card in it, and that’s it. I bought it on eBay from a Taiwanese distributor, and it arrived via FedEx International sealed in the box, 36 hours after it shipped. I wrote about that here:http://startupmanagement.or

        2. fredwilson

          If i go Chinese it will be the one plus

          1. William Mougayar

            Hmm. Why?Then you wouldn’t be able to experience the MIUI.

          2. Reddy_s

            I agree with William, as a top tier VC and fanatic user/blogger of IOS & Android “Fred Wilson” should try Xiaomi/MiUi experience first hand as phone user ( If not primary phone, but at least on Office Wifi) to understand what makes Xiomi most valued VC funded company at $46 Billion Valuation…You May Never Use Xiaomi’s Phones, But They’ll Change Your Life Anyway:

          3. Reddy_s

            I subscribe to this Wired article points what is coming to US Android phones in coming years:…The SERVICES Layer: For users in China, Xiaomi location-aware system offers everything from Uber-style ride-summoning to train ticket purchases, medical appointment bookings to movie tickets.As Xiaomi gains leverage in defining the favored approach to Android, other handset makers will no doubt try to replicate Xiaomi’s success. In the process, US consumers will likely wind up getting a major dose of Xiaomi in how its Android phones are designed and how they work, even if they aren’t Xiaomi phones themselves.Xiaomi’s user base is expanding around the world. It doesn’t have a pressing need to come to the US. But the US may soon have to come to it—or at least its way of thinking about the business of mobile.

          4. kenberger

            The oneplus One is not the ‘droid you’re looking for.Give them time to survive and make a “Two”– and watch for a few more other killer Chinese top shelf phones coming up in the year ahead.Some brand names may not even be recognizable now, but these are the phones that will make even me switch.

          5. Reddy_s

            I agree One Plus leads Xiaomi in quality and over all experience for US users at this time .1) With hundreds of millions in bank as VC backed at $46 Billion valuation 2) with their SERVICE Layer approach 3) being third largest worldwide Volume leader, Xiaomi staying power in business for years to come may eclipse not so well funded One Plus (even on quality ) SOON .…As a top tier VC and a fanatic user/blogger of IOS & Android, you should try Xiaomi/MiUi experience first hand (at least on Office Wifi, If not already!!!) to understand what makes Xiomi most valued VC funded company at $46 Billion

    2. muratcannoyan

      I was thinking of swapping out of my iPhone 6 for the S6 Edge. Great to hear you like the fingerprint recognition I know I would miss that feature. Do you recommend the curved screen?

      1. kenberger

        Great direction, but forget the Edge and go for the regular S6. Edge curves are silly and make it impossible to pick the phone up from a table, more expensive, and these exotic variants always see less frequent rom support down the road.The 1 cool thing for me is an edge can display a bedside clock at night.

        1. muratcannoyan

          Thats helpful thanks!

  4. LIAD

    I was a monogamous iPhone user since the day it launched in the UK back in 2007.I took a punt on android on the back of a post here a few weeks ago where people raved about the OnePlus One. I fancied a change for a long time but the handsets never got me amped. OnePlus One form factor and Cyanogen got me over the line.First 48 hours I felt sea-sick. Reminded me of my ditching windows for OSX all those years ago. Had no idea how anything worked, nothing in the right place, endless customisation options. Was very close to ditching and reverting to iPhone.Now me and android have bonded. We’re good friends. I understand it and it understands me. Losing iMessage and FaceTime were the only noncircumventable switching costs.Love:- Customisation- App-store flow- General control of O/S- NotificationsFor first time my phone feels like a computer that I can manipulate and meld to my wants and needs, rather than a take-it or leave-it casted block.Feel more empowered with android than iOS, and I like feeling empowered.

    1. fredwilson

      this is a fucking advertisement for Android. hits all the high notes for me. google should come out and video you and put you on TV!

      1. William Mougayar

        That’s exactly one of the issues that Android has: No marketing. Only its raving users will say good things like LIAD, you or me, whereas for iOS, both Apple AND its users are marketing it. The top Android manufacturers (like Samsung, Xiaomi, etc.) market their handsets, but they never market Android proper.

        1. Joe Cardillo

          Though, it could be argued that a product that functions well and is updated with care is its own form of marketing. If they were to do a marketing blitz it’d be “Android: It works when, where, and why you need it to.”I’ve actually never had an iPhone. Was late to the game and I’ve never had any reason to try something other than android.

          1. William Mougayar

            If the top Android manufacturers and Google could smarten up and launch an “Android is better than iOS campaign”, that would help them. A lot of users go straight to iPhone because they hear horror stories about Android’s UX and some crappy handsets.

          2. Tommy Chen

            Samsung has plenty of Galaxy/Android is better than iPhone/iOS ads. It’s hard for any manufacture to just do a straight up Android ad because it could hurt them more than help. And Google only does it for the Nexus line because that’s the only handset where they know what they show will be there.

        2. Bala

          Maybe it is a feature and not a bug?

          1. William Mougayar

            It is what it is, but it’s hurting Android and benefiting iOS/Apple. Android’s balkanization is a known problem, despite its openness. I guess you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

          2. Bala

            again maybe a feature and not a bug on misdirection. Google would do anything to keep its monopoly on search even throwing the handset manufacturers of Android. To show it is a multi-product company.

          3. William Mougayar

            Agreed, but a bit of marketing on top of that shouldn’t hurt.

          4. Bala

            it should not hurt given the $64B cash on the balance sheet of $GOOG

          5. William Mougayar

            If I was an Ad agency, I would be proposing that to Google/Samsung/Xiaomi/LG now. It’s a $1B+ ad campaign, which means $50-100M to a clever ad agency.

        3. Matt A. Myers

          Good point. They likely were happy enough with the gains from phone manufacturers pumping out about it.I always thought a Google-Android Stores near Apple Stores, where they showcased all the best Android phones, would lead to Android taking a large share. They could upsell all of their Google services too, and more. I know they recently launched at least one Google store, however from photos it didn’t look like it was structured to sell or showcase product.Perhaps their waiting until they have a better Chromebook offering to go along, or perhaps they’re taking a different route of selling devices without the markup required to pay for stores and staffing.

        4. JaredMermey

          No data on this, but feels like when you see iPhone ads they are selling the whole package –> software/hardware/experience. Obviously because Apple owns all three.With Android, you generally get ads by OEMs speaking to hardware or some sort of software gimmick to differentiate. It doesn’t market the core utility of Android that @liad:disqus and @fredwilson:disqus speak to.

          1. William Mougayar

            exactly. apple has the bundling advantage. but that could be countered by integrated marketing.

        5. LE

          Part of the problem is it’s marketed by gearheads. And for example Fred thinks this is good ad copy but things like this would fall flat on end users:OnePlus One form factor and CyanogenAndroid is a lousy consumer name, despite people in the biz loving it. The market is larger than people who watched Star Trek and know how to use a soldering iron.

          1. Jonathan Libov

            +1I find it bizarre that the Android brand is fronted by a command-line green colored dystopian robot.

        6. Travis Henry

          Android does have that really cute TV ad with the different animals all playing together… though I’m not sure that exactly conveys the power user adaptability of the platform

        7. Chris Grayson

          Ugh.The point missed here is that you’re all using top-of-the-line Android phones. You’re investors, tech entrepreneurs, and engineers. The very top-of-the-line model of Android phones you use make up a rounding error of market share of all Androids in use. The Android market is dominated by the cheaper bargain models.Apple doesn’t make cheaper bargain models, so all iPhones in use are top-of-the-line iOS phones. While the phone you’re comparing them to represents a tiny percentage of the Androids in market.Hence, you misleadingly believe that:a.) Your Android represents the larger Android experience (it doesn’t).b.) That other people buy Androids for the reasons you do (they don’t).Most people buy Androids because of high price sensitivity, and they buy cheaper models than the one you’re holding.Further, smartphone preferences are much like the clock on old VCRs. Engineers wow over all the customization features on Android that are not on iOS, but among the general buying public, people seldom change anything from the default settings.It’s not a marketing problem.Apple owns the top of the market, and they don’t really care about selling to anybody but the top 25%. They own the low-price-sensitivity, high(er) income end of the market. And that’s why they have a smaller piece of the pie but capture all the margin for the industry and all the Android handset makers compete on price with razor thin margins.Apple computers and devices — iMacs, MacBook Pros, MacBook Airs, iPads, etc. — own a similar piece of the computer hardware market (the profitable piece). People that can afford to, have Apple across the board (unless they’re an engineer). So the iPhone seamlessly plugs into their Apple eco-system. Why would they possibly use something different just for their smartphone? They won’t and they don’t. You can talk to you’re blue in the face about how easy it is for you to use your Android phone with your Mac laptop, 99% of people don’t give a damn — they’re sticking with one unified platform. Apple owns it.Fred, about a year ago at TechCrunch Disrupt you made a 5-year prediction that Google would be the most valuable tech company, and that not only would Apple not be the most valuable company in the world, but that they wouldn’t even be in the top three most valuable tech companies in the world … four years to go 😉

          1. William Mougayar

            Well, the counter argument would be: Why couldn’t Android take more of that 25% top of the market share, if you’re saying it only has a small share now? That’s who the campaign would target. The price sensitive segment goes to cheaper Androids on its own. They don’t need to be marketed at, because there are no other choices.

          2. Ted_T

            “They don’t need to be marketed at, because there are no other choices.” AOSP is an obvious one, at least a ~50% share of todays Android. Especially its Chinese share has no influence or control from Google. It may end up getting forket at any point.As far Apple losing the 75% share of the top profit market share — sure, nothing is impossible – but this is in the very highly unlikely department. Unless you believe Tim Cook is making it up when he says that the iPhone 6 has an absurdly high customer satisfaction, their best ever, who are these people that will be abandoning it for high end Android?

          3. William Mougayar

            People like me, LIAD, Fred and many others.

          4. Ted_T

            That I don’t dispute: but you guys are already among the 25% share of buyers of high end Android phones. Most of you are highly committed in all of Google’s software. Clearly, there are millions of you — it’s not like you are like the dying breed of US BlackBerry owners. Many of you are also unique in buying multiple phones within two years, often multiple phones under a year. The typical customer (me included) buys one at most once every two years – each 24 month.The question is whether there will be a fundamental change in the current shape and direction of Android vs. Apple. Chris Grayson quotes Fred as having predicted that Google will be the most valuable company within 4 years, and Apple wouldn’t even be in the top three.For that to occur, the success in the high end of iOS vs. Android would have to change fundamentally: keep in mind that right now Apple and Samsung are making the entire profit from phone sales, Google make theirs overwhelmingly from it’s search site advertising, not Android.How could things change? On Apple’s side they would have to make changes of policy that reduce their sales: they would for instance start releasing leading software like iMessage, which help promoting their sales, to competitors like Android (no wonder Fred is promoting it, as it would hurt Apple). Their future products (like the about to be released Apple Watch) would need to flop, to equivalent new products coming from Google. Anything is possible: some things are less likely then others.

          5. William Mougayar

            Why keep asking Apple to change their products and not ask Google/Android to better their marketing?

          6. Ted_T

            I agree that changing the marketing is very helpful, but it is far from easy. After all, until very recently Samsung alone was spending *10 times* more on advertising than all of Apple. Clearly it did not help Samsung as their profits and phone sales actually went down against Apples.So yes better marketing could help, but so could superior products. Also, it isn’t clear to me that following Microsofts 1990s success of selling software via multiple hardware manufactures can be imitated by Google for Android. They may need to follow Apple’s success of covering both software and hardware by themselves.

          7. William Mougayar

            “covering both software and hardware by themselves.” then it’s not openness anymore, which is Android’s feature. Note Xiaomi who built a layer on top of Android to make it easy for users (MiUI)- that’s an interesting approach.

          8. Ted_T

            I agree that for most posters here Android “openness” is indeed Android’s feature. I think that for the vast majority, hundreds of millions of Android device buyers, openness is not of any interest whatsoever.Ultimately were Google to become the most valuable company in the world, they would have to concentrate on products that have nothing to do with openness. Keep in mind that vast majority of Google’s current profits come from search/advertising which have no openness whatsoever. Google keeps its search business as closed as possible.To the extent that Android is open, it has more to do with the adoption of Linux’s open source code, rather than following the Microsoft multiple manufacturer for Windows PCs approach which has nothing open about it whatsoever.

          9. Chris Grayson

            Because it is not a marketing problem.

          10. William Mougayar

            I believe it is.

          11. Jim Peterson

            Hi William. Marketing 101 says the insurgent must be dramatically better to overtake the leader. The high end consumer does not have time or energy or desire to investigate or try to fix a problem they don’t think they even have.

          12. William Mougayar

            I disagree with that statement.

          13. Jim Peterson

            Ouch. An old fashioned smack down.

          14. howardlindzon


      2. JimHirshfield

        Hahaha. But The OnePlus’ OS is a highly modified fork of AndroidOS from Cyanogen, which intends to compete with Google. And looks like OnePlus and Cyanogen are parting ways. So OnePlus has built (in Beta) their own OS fork of Android.

        1. LE

          End users aren’t looking for “highly modified fork of AndroidOS from Cyanogen”.

          1. Druce

            Cyanogen was the Google Android for people who got crapware OEM versions that never updated. If you were willing to root your device, you got an up-to-date, clean Android experience with a few hacker-oriented enhancements. I’m not sure what it means if they’re pivoting to being a non-Google Android. Maybe they think the root market is too small or OEMs are going to block it, and the only way to sign up OEMs is to fork it and become the non-Google Android. But I would never get an Amazon Fire, because I want to run all the apps seamlessly. That’s not what Cyanogen is, it’s a better Google Android, so if where Cyanogen is going is a non-Google Android like Amazon Fire, I would never get that.

          2. JimHirshfield

            It’s not a UI wrapper, like some Android mods, which I agree, no one wants. It’s more like an extension of settings and customization to the known/recognized Android UI. OnePlus has gotten high accolades and demand for their product.

        2. 0.8ight

          You should at least first learn the definition of a fork before you decide to write a comment. OnePlus’ OS is not a fork. In fact it is as having pure stock Android without the Nexus name, like the Moto X.

          1. JimHirshfield

            OK. Fine. Thanks.

          2. 0.8ight

            You’re welcome.

      3. LE

        I’d love to see Liad in a TV ad. However normals wouldn’t respond to half of the things in that ad copy.

      4. Daniel Taibleson


      5. Wael Mahmoud

        IOS has way better privacy control than Android, I had the oneplus for sometime but was super paranoid with every app deciding to access all my data with no finer control like IOS, Google needs to solve its horrible privacy controls.

      6. Jonathan Libov

        Cyanogen != GoogleI do prefer the iOS world to the Android world, but even if I didn’t my preferred mobile OS choice would be:1. Cyanogen Android2 & 3. iOS or Windows Phone4. Google AndroidI am not a privacy nut, but every time i open Gmail (I normally use email clients but I use Gmail if need to do a complicated search through my inbox) I think to myself, “Man, I’ve _got_ to wean myself off this Google stuff”. Hosting my own email has been on my to-do list longer than anything.This isn’t to say that Google is evil and everyone else is benevolent, but rather that, as an Apple/iPhone person, I tend to tolerate iOS’ worst qualities (draconian and inconsistent App Store policies, bizarre bugs that go unfixed for months on end, mediocre cloud services) while taking comfort in knowing that Apple is more sensitive to user privacy and less incentivized to monetize users’ personal data than Google.And if you’re a Google person, you tolerate Google’s worst qualities (they’re not particularly sensitive to user privacy and are more incentivized to monetize your personal data) while taking comfort in knowing that Google isn’t as draconian with developers as Apple.I completely get and respect both perspectives, so I wouldn’t argue that either is right or wrong. But I don’t love the Android way of doing things, so I’m happy that Cyanogen exists in case I ever want to switch from iPhone.

      7. howardlindzon

        gents the problem if there really is ojust ONE for Google is they cant do US retail or wont even try hard. They DO NOT have a genius bar and appple does. You cant trust verizon and ATT to be your sales force for something so intimate as your freaking smartphone. The apple stores get more valuable every day. The watch as well just might have a chance because of the store. That would be another huge blow to droid.

    2. Tim Daubenschuetz

      Exactly my thoughts.Ever since I use an Android phone I feel like I’m having a mini computer im my pocket.You can do literally everything with it, hell there’s even a terminal app that lets you connect via SSH to your desktop computer 😀

      1. James Ferguson @kWIQly

        Once in demo mode at a major client my CTO did exactly that to clear up a sever config issue.There is something very cool about summoning a server instance into existence and setting up a demo from your phone in the five minutes while others grab a coffee.Did I mention – My CTO Rocks !

      2. Dale Allyn

        For SSH work on iOS see Panic Software’s excellent Prompt app (now Prompt 2). Others will also provide SSH, but I’m a big fan of Panic.For FTP I like FTP Client Pro on iOS.

        1. Cam MacRae

          Prompt is brilliant. The Android equivalent is JuiceSSH which is likewise outstanding.

    3. ErikSchwartz

      OnePlus One is the best Android(ish) phone out there.Curious to see where they go and how they do with the split from Cyanogenmod.

      1. Pete Griffiths

        I like it a lot. I replaced it with a Nexus 6, which I think is even better.

    4. Frank W. Miller

      I’m about to switch to Android from iPhone. I’ve been using the iPhone exclusively ever since there have been smartphones. Here’s another reason for you. I can’t develop iOS apps on Windows, at least not without a virtual machine. I’m a Windows guy, never used MacOS and don’t want to. My next phone will be Android so I can write apps for it on Windows.

  5. Guest

  6. David Semeria

    How do you find the Nexus 6? I’m on verge of buying one but I think it might be too big. Size isn’t an issue outside of the summer months because I generally wear a jacket and I keep my phone in the inside pocket, but in the summer I just like wearing a shirt.

    1. Bruce Warila

      I just got the Nexus 6 (Verizon).. No problem with pocket storage or size (but I have big hands). It’s good device. My only bitch: (switching from a Samsung Note) is the lack of an LED notification light (there isn’t one unless you want to hack the phone).

      1. David Semeria


    2. fredwilson

      I’m getting used to the size. I can type fine (which is an issue on the Nexus7). Its just big. I can’t say much more detailed than that

      1. LE

        On the iphone6 I started to use siri to dictate text messages (recently) and have had a near flawless transcription. It’s a huge time saver vs. using the keyboard. Also use it to schedule reminders and calendar events and am super pleased.

  7. kenberger

    luckily (w/ the Nexus 6) you’re at least going from a nanosim device to another nanosim device, so no need to chop or use adapters.Hopping all over Europe and carrying multiple phones, I’ve amassed *piles* of micro- and nano-sims that need to be cross-adapted.

  8. Jon Michael Miles

    My friend put it perfectly: “You can do anything on an Apple product. As long as it’s what they want you to do.” Despite being a Mac loyalist on the desktop for decades, for mobile it was always a google world for me. I use google apps in every part of my life from Keep to Calendar.

  9. William Mougayar

    What Android needs is an ITunes-like desktop app just for organizing them. I need to clean-up 11 screens of Apps I’ve tried at various times, and it would take me a couple of hours to do, so I’m avoiding it.Second thing I’d like is an App that tells me which my Apps usage stats, so it would say “You haven’t used these 16 apps for the last 4 months: do you want to delete them”? Zap!

    1. Joe Cardillo

      Hmm this makes me think someone could get ahead of the game and develop an app to manage apps that manage apps = )I do like that second point, sort of the ephemeral snapchat thing at work since we don’t naturally hang on to or use everything.

      1. William Mougayar

        Just found an App called “Smart App Manager” – trying it now.

    2. RichardF

      Can’t think of anything worse than ITunes for desktop 😉 shocking piece of software

      1. William Mougayar

        of course it’s awful, but it does the job for backing-up and restoring. I think i was wishing there was something similar but well done for Android, and it seems that Tommy Chen says there is.

    3. Tommy Chen

      I’ve looked in to iTunes-like desktop apps for Android in the past and there’s actually a lot of them. I settled on iPubsoft Android Desktop Manager and I think it’s only available for the Mac. I’ve also used an app on Android called Clean Master that can help you mass delete apps you don’t use very often. Maybe you can give these a try.

      1. William Mougayar

        wow….i’m trying both now. Thanks a lot! iPubsoft looks iTune-ish.

  10. Mohammed

    Switched from Samsung S5 to iPhone 6+ around Nov last year. I miss most of the things you’ve listed in Android, including the back button! People don’t know how efficient the back button is until they’ve used an Android phone.I’m particularly fond of Apple’s Touch ID, superior to Samsung’s crap Finger Scanner; I almost always get locked out 25 seconds on my S5.

    1. Erin

      Oh my god, yes- the back button. The delete button and an undo button too. Also Samsung takes 10x better pictures and has way better phone quality.

      1. Mohammed

        The problem I had was that most apps can’t handle S5’s pic/vid quality; eg Instagram pixelated the shit out of the pics.

        1. kenberger

          check the new S6. Way better than they’ve ever had (see my other comments here).

        2. Erin

          Right. I might have an old phone, but even looking at pics in the very photo album that comes with the phone, I’m like really? Some of them are so grainy.

    2. Tommy Chen

      Check out the S6’s. The finger scanner is finally as good as the iPhones.

  11. Pranay Srinivasan

    I used a Blackberry / Feature phones till I switched to iPhone in 2012.The Oneplus really helped me get adjusted to Android. I feel that Android has been underserved by crappy 3rd party hardware and the right Mods can make it a beautiful experience (lightweight, responsive and really elegant).I use both interchangeably – Android on travel (burner SIMs) and iPhone (main phone)

  12. Stan

    Text message locking, contact groups, etc.

  13. Dale Patterson

    I have always used an iPhone. This week I’m going to try an Android. I’m sure I will miss the iMessage and Touch ID as well.

  14. JimHirshfield

    Next time you switch, it will be easier because you won’t have to install 100 apps; they’re already on the iPhone (unless you opt for a new iPhone in 6 months).

    1. William Mougayar

      iTunes can reconcile that by transferring them back to a new iPhone- that’s if you’ve done the Apps back-up properly prior.

      1. JimHirshfield

        Good point.

      2. Dale Allyn

        This is correct, William. I’m not sure how smoothly it goes in the Windows version of iTunes, but on Mac OS it’s a breeze to add phones with the same configuration, upgrade to a new phone, or setup an iPad to mirror much of your iPhone.Thing is: too many people don’t back up regularly to iTunes, or at least right before an upgrade or addition of a device.

        1. William Mougayar

          hi Dale! it’s been a while. Good to see you back 🙂

          1. Dale Allyn

            Thanks, William. Mostly in lurking mode lately. Arriving late mostly, so there’s plenty for me to read and not much for me to add.

          2. Guest

            Hi William, thanks! I’ve been lurking lately. Have been arriving late so there’s plenty to read and little to add. 🙂

    2. Charles

      Or you can back up to iCloud, which will remember all your preferences and save your data and logins. You don’t need iTunes.

      1. JimHirshfield


  15. Tal Lev

    iMsg is evil. When you switch to android, Apple hijacks all your iMsg conversations, INCLUDING NEW MESSAGES on all threads that were previously on iMsg. I.e., if say Fred and I both had iPhones and were texting, the thread most likely automatically switched to iMsg, and – if Fred didn’t disable iMsg before deactivating his old iPhone – Fred will not see any new txt I send him, and neither of us will get any warning.The only way to get msgs from your ex-iMsg contacts is to ask THEM to manually purge all their prior threads with you (including all multi-party threads). Incredibly annoying, stupid, and possibly FTC / FCC / class action material. Bad, bad Apple!Having recently switched to android, the only feature I miss is having one unified email app for gmail & non-gmail accounts. Otherwise my Galaxy S5 is so superior to my old iPhone that it’s not even funny.

    1. fredwilson

      Hmm. My duaghters texts arrived on my android fine after switching and they use iMessage almost exclusively

      1. Tal Lev

        iMsg may have been disabled before you deactivated your old iPhone. It’s definitely a “glitch.”…….it turns out someone preempted me and already sued Apple: :)…

    2. Tommy Chen

      Strange. I switch between Android an iOS every couple of months and haven’t encountered this either.And regarding email, the newest version of Gmail on Android supports unified inbox and non-gmail accounts.

      1. Tal Lev

        Thanks re gmail update. Tho it still doesn’t allow you to easily change the “from” address. Eh. Just shows how little there is to miss!

  16. alicht

    Great post Fred- what are the the 5-6 apps you’re going to miss that are iOS only?

    1. fredwilson

      Mostly ones in private beta

    2. kenberger

      Meerkat and Periscope right now jump to mind.

      1. Pete Griffiths

        yes – i was frustrated I couldn’t try them on my nexus.

  17. jake abramo

    I know you will all laugh at me bit as a heavy email user I am still tied to my blackberry. It does the one thing I need much better than android or iOS: email.For example while trying out the iOS mail client I received two emails with the same subject name from different unknown senders. The client lumped all the emails under one thread causing me to miss the second email.Everything about BB is bad except for that though so I am toggling between an older nexus 4 and iPhone 6 because of all the other apps it has and also the camera.But then I fall back into the rabbit hole and plug away at my old q10 and am amazed at the productivity difference it causes.

    1. Thees Peereboom

      Hear hear and I thought I was the only one here – having both a Galaxy Note 4 and a BB Z30 it’s just as you say: The hub is just doing what it should. Apps is a problem, but most have html5 sites that work ok. And a lot of ported Andoid apps – a threat disguised as an opportunity.

  18. William Mougayar

    How about missing the Search Spotlight on iPhone? I still miss that on my Android. You need to have an app for it or search by the GooglePlay store to find an app. Google Search is clumzy for app searches, and so are the Launchers that include that.

  19. Michael Ferrari

    Many people choose iPhone because of the perceived quality of the actual phone itself. It’s materials. Construction. How it feels in your hand.Apple is no doubt genius marketers. They make you feel good about owning their products. But the OS is often secondary. Most of your post talked about software, with the exception of TouchID which is perhaps a bit more hardware relevant. Any interesting hardware insights? Meaning, I didn’t see any comments from you on battery life, the camera, speed, quality, etc. The one thing I always loved about Apple products, was the product itself.

    1. William Mougayar

      That’s a very good point. I’ve got a 4.5 year old iPhone 4 that still works well and doesn’t show its age. In contrast, a 3-year old LG started to show its age. Too early to tell on the Xiaomi, but it doesn’t feel as sturdy and tightly put together as the iPhone.

      1. Ben Whately

        I’ve got a Xiaomi note, and I’m very impressed with the build quality – certainly *way* better than my old Samsung S5. I’ve only had it a couple of weeks, but it really does feel every bit as good as the iPhone to me, so I’ll be interested to see how it holds up. Which Xiaomi were you saying wasn’t as tightly put together as the iPhone?

        1. Pete Griffiths

          interesting – where did you get it?

          1. Ben Whately

            On ebay. I’m very impressed with it. Only hitch was when I updated the OS and it erased all google-related apps – play store, gmail etc. Took an anxious hour on Xiaomi forums before I found the “google installer” app that brings it all back. Now that that is all working it has hands-down the best phone I’ve ever had.

          2. William Mougayar

            yeah, you need to be patient on the upgrade. i thought i lost something but it was all there when it came back. trick is not to interrupt it and let it complete thoroughly.Mi Cloud works well though.

          3. Pete Griffiths

            Which model would you recommend?

          4. Ben Whately

            The Note is hard to fault – I’d love to know what the Note Pro is like, but I couldn’t find it on eBay.

          5. Pete Griffiths


        2. William Mougayar

          I’ve got the Mi3. It’s good, but every time I drop it, I pray that it comes back ok.

          1. Ben Whately

            Interesting – the note feels like it would hold up pretty well…

    2. jake abramo

      So are you saying perceived quality or are you saying that the phone DOES have good quality construction?I feel its the latter – the qualify of build on it is top notch (so is the price)

      1. Michael Ferrari

        Yes latter.

    3. Tal Lev

      Apple is great at creating the PERCEPTION of quality, tho among “insider” hardware circles it’s in fact notoriously stingy, resulting in LOW performance. Check the iPhone’s WiFi effective range vs the S5… ’nuff said.

      1. LE

        In many areas of marketing the perception of quality (or another attribute) is just as important as whether that attribute even really exists.

    4. fredwilson

      i’m a software person. it’s what i care about. hardware isn’t

      1. SubstrateUndertow

        <blockuote>”They(Apple) have the most popular messenger in the US (maybe the world) and they aren’t taking advantage of it.”</blockuote>That is what the iWatch is all about.hardware/software integrative-disruptionAtomized quick-glance data-noun/messaging memes with a simple/transparent gesture-driven endemic API palette of actionable verb-response/messages.I think Benedict Evans is really onto something with the idea that messaging is emerging as a pivotal platform in its own right and that it may well get baked into the OS?Messaging and mobile platformsthe medium is(=) the social-messagetransposingthe message is(=) the social-mediumAfter all the whole reality stack is built on layers of endless message-response/method orchestration that object-oriented programming was meant to mimic and that object-messaging paradigm is now moving up the stack to become our pivotal social-algorithum organizing-tool.

  20. Druce

    I’ve been an Android user for 5 years, pondering going to iPhone.I love my S3 with Cyanogenmod but it’s getting long in the tooth.I’m not sure if Cyanogenmod is going to be available on a phone I want, like the S6. It’s not available for Note 4 for Verizon for instance. The OEMs seem to be making it harder to root.Really not keen to get the full Samsung + Verizon crapware cramdown.Without Cyanogenmod or a native Google Android, updates can be rather sparse.The phones with cleaner Androids, Motorola, Nexus, OnePlus are not as nice as iPhone/S6 (and OnePlus not available on Verizon)The Google apps are more refined on Android, but pretty much everyone else puts a lot more effort into iOS apps. A lot of long tail apps, like apps for pilots, they don’t even bother putting out on Android. I’m surprised if you use 100 apps, that the Android ecosystem isn’t a big drawback. I despise the whole mobile privacy model, where every 2-bit app wants all your contacts. So I tend to limit apps and use more web services, and Cyanagenmod lets me turn off permissions to particular apps, even if the Play Store required them to install.When people see Android, they think you’re a cheapskate or a gearhead. I’m not really that into the fashion statement aspect, but sometimes it’s not the impression you want to create.Wouldn’t mind messing around with Apple Pay and the Apple Watch.I think Tim Cook has been making the right noises around encrypting your data on the phone. Android still doesn’t encrypt by default. On Cyanogenmod, encrypting broke some auto-updates.Will probably agonize for a little longer LOL, but have been leaning toward iPhone.

  21. Scott Sill

    Fred, you should take a look at 1Password from AgileBits for password management. It does a great job of generating strong passwords, handling two-step authentication and app specific passwords, and most importantly runs on iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows. It’s been a god-send for me as I’ve switched from one device to another.

  22. Jordan Elpern-Waxman

    Why are you using a Nexus 6? My Samsung Galaxy S5 has a fingerprint reader that I believe works more or less like TouchID. Combined with LastPass in theory I can even use it to fill in passwords in any app or website (though theory works better than practice).

  23. RichardF

    Welcome back from the darkside…

  24. Richard

    I’m reminded of the male dominance on AVC. With millenial women’s strong preference for the iphone and these same women the next wave of moms, seems like the iPhone has the wind on its back.

  25. Dan Bailey

    Does Android not remember all the apps you had previously, in a similar manner to icloud?Would save some download time, albeit not helpful for authentication.

  26. Tommy Chen

    Check out the new Samsung Galaxy S6. It has an iPhone-like finger print sensor.

  27. Salt Shaker

    The fact Android’s offering is fragmented across multiple OEMs works to Apple’s advantage. Apple’s message is singleminded, while Android at best is relegated to ingredient product status (sort of like “Intel Inside,” but w/out any marketing support.) Unless the buying public is informed otherwise, Android is viewed and treated as a commodity w/ out distinct benefits. I can’t imagine handset manufacturers endorsing (or even underwriting via co-op dollars) an Android marketing campaign as it only reinforces the commoditization of their competing hardware. That’s the consequence of licensing to multiple OEM’s. The deck is stacked in Apple’s favor. iOS is monogamous while Android sleeps around.

  28. Pete Griffiths

    I’ve had precisely the same experience. Seems to me that claims of major advantages for one or other platform are exaggerated. Android is certainly easier to setup, particularly if you – like Fred and myself – use a lot of google apps.

  29. Laura Yecies

    Offline google mail and calendar with sync work well in the iOS client.

  30. rocksolidpower

    Thank you for a fascinating post. You’ll be happy to hear that Google launched Google Calendar last month. I use the iPhone but have used Android in the past. I’m looking forward to seeing how the world will react to the new Samsung Galaxy S6 this Friday. I enjoyed the interview you had with Mark Suster last month. Thanks for sharing.

  31. mcd78

    I used Android for 4 years with that last being a S3 that I gave up for an iPhone 5 a friend gave me in November. I miss a lot about Android, but I don’t miss app gliches running down the battery in the background or the phone getting hot randomly. If Android was as stable as iOS and had as good a camera, I would go back in a heartbeat. Do you guys think the new Android phones measure up?

  32. d

    Hi – I’m curious why you haven’t written anything regarding the Ellen Pao trial or VC-culture in general. Seems intentional that there’s no explicit reference from your blog.

  33. Semil Shah

    The hardware combined with the OS is where the real differentiation takes place. Each phone enables basic interactions, but Watch will be the first (of a few) where iOS lock-in in their ecosystem starts to take place.

  34. ShanaC

    I miss my android phone for basically this reason. it was way better at a lot of little things. I often feel the iphone actually can’t keep up with little android niceties, especially in a more web based world.Ironic, isn’t it, how the closed garden approach from the start pushed apps and design in a specific direction that now just feels, off.

  35. William Mougayar

    Then you see articles like this one that exagerate how bad Android could be http://www.businessinsider….

    1. Cam MacRae

      He didn’t buy an “Android” he bought a Samsung. The biggest problem with Android is that not all Androids are equal. I recently switched too and think my Moto X (2014) is a work of art.

  36. David Luu

    Maybe you should evaluate a third entry of a Windows Phone? There may be things you like there over iOS and Android and things you hate (or find lack thereof). I’ve tried all 3 and each has their pros & cons. Windows Phone may not have high market share, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth evaluating.

  37. Tim

    iMessage just works. Hangouts just works. Group chat (MMS) across iOS/Android is basically a disaster. How awesome would it be if Apple and Google decided to cooperate and seamlessly send messages between Hangouts and iMessage?

  38. Varun Narang

    Fred, love your posts — I look forward to reading them everyday!I’m trying out the Nexus 6 as well. Things I miss most about my iPhone 6:- FaceTime over cell network, which is great for working with overseas teams from anywhere- iMessage, specially the integration with MacOS, that allows for texting using a full-size keyboard- Smaller size (and thinner, too!) that I can use with one hand, and fits perfectly into my running shortsBTW, there’s a Google Cal app that released on iOS recently:…Wonder if there’s a service that takes all your iOS apps, contacts, settings and applies it to your Android device — and visa-versa.PS. Tiny nit on #5, you obviously meant to write “Google Maps and Chrome” 🙂

  39. OurielOhayon

    Fred, Google launch calendar on iOS 3 weeks ago.

  40. Paul

    Picked up the Samsung S6 Edge yesterday and so far the fingerprint is on par with my touchid experience. Although i can tell already that Samsung went too far by also copying Apple’s non removable battery.

  41. Jeff Ramson

    I agree with this point.

  42. Cath

    Interesting! Most people I know are committed iPhone users with old Android-to-iPhone converts having no interest in converting back. Is this now the beginning of divergent thought? Is it time to make a switch?After years of being an iPhone user, I used a Xiaomi Mi4 during a week visit in China. It is a great phone and their own flavor of Android makes it super easy for an OS user to adapt to….Verdict: Not going to convert. Why? I’m compelled by offline gmail, google calendar and google maps (3 of my favorite apps) but I’m too invested already. I’ve spent >$1,000 on itunes/app store so it’s not only the learning curve, it’s the friction costs also being so incredibly high. If someone gave me a free Android I still wouldn’t use it – I’d need it to make my life 5x better.

  43. Dan G

    glad you like pure Android, or at least the pure Android look, like me. I had the GNex; now, the 2013 Moto X. I wish more OEM’s have them. My s.o. on the other hand, started on Touchwiz with the S, then 3, now on the Note 4. I guess most folks stick to the familiar. Bodes well for Android in general, as overwhelmingly, most people’s first smartphone is an Android.

  44. fredwilson

    i don’t use iTunes and haven’t for about 10 years now. so i don’t miss it at all. i gave up on mp3s a long time ago. they are a pain in the ass. i prefer to stream all of my music

  45. fredwilson

    that’s why i said “maybe”they could hurt whatsapp a lot if the put iMessage on Android

  46. awaldstein

    What do you use for movies?

  47. kenberger

    ever since you wrote that post re the death of file-based systems, I agreed and made the same change.

  48. Tal Lev

    Streaming doesn’t work for CLASSICAL MUSIC for me. But switching from iTunes to android was incredibly painless and automatic and smooth with DOUBLETWIST, G-d bless them. Including all metadata pulled from iTunes xml files. Wow. With 120GB+ of mostly classical music, this was my biggest fear and hindrance switching from iOs, but thanks to DoubleTwist turned out to be a total non-issue.

  49. fredwilson

    netflix, hbogo, amazon, google

  50. awaldstein

    i need to buck up and make the switch. so so many movies on itunes owned.

  51. fredwilson

    how do you watch movies offline other than bittorrent?i’ve never done that

  52. kenberger

    Plex rules (desktop and mobile), for content you’ve stored offline or in your clouds.

  53. William Mougayar

    That’s when you’ll need to download the Videostream app for doing exactly that. Do you have a Chromecast? Get one 🙂

  54. awaldstein

    in this my friend we agree completely!finally a meeting of the minds.

  55. kenberger

    Plex is so awesome, and seems to do so much more. I wonder if videostream has any advantage, other than being very simple.

  56. Pranay Srinivasan

    I use Spotify premium – works like a charm

  57. fredwilson

    Aha. I sync my music via the streaming apps to my phone

  58. fredwilson

    Amazing. Not sure I’ve ever seen that around these parts! 😉

  59. William Mougayar

    Haha…It’s a win for Videostream 🙂

  60. Jason Moore

    And even better, we have an iOS app on the way 🙂

  61. awaldstein

    Siskel and Ebert agreeing on Godfather 1 & 2. The Car Talk guys on NPR agreeing that adjusting the timing on a 67 Chevy was the one thing that bonded dads and their kids in that era.

  62. fredwilson

    I love it

  63. Chris Sutton

    What advantage would that have for Apple? Ie how does that help them sell more hardware?heres how keeping Apple-only helps sell devices:

  64. William Mougayar

    oh does if you’re watching downloaded videos. but you need a chromecast, that’s it. it will find all your videos automagically both on your smartphone and desktop or USB drive, and shows you a playlist. just hit play. Plex is clumzy 🙂