How To Quit The iPhone And Convert To Android
First, you'll have to pick your phone...
We think the Samsung Galaxy S3 is the best Android phone on the market.
The Galaxy Nexus is a close second. Its more controlled by Google, so you'll have faster access to newer Android software. You can buy it directly from Google's Play store.
We recommend you go with Verizon as a carrier, if possible.
Next, upload your contacts to iCloud.
Without your contacts, your phone isn't much of a phone per se, and more like a mobile media device. That's OK, but you'll want to use an Android phone to keep in touch with all your friends.
To start, back all your contacts up to iCloud. You can do that in the settings of your iPhone.
While iCloud is mostly a back-end service, you can access all that information from the web on iCloud.com.
That includes your address book!
And not only can you view and edit your address book from the website, you can also download your entire list of contact. So do that now with "export vCard" — make sure you have all of your contacts highlighted at once.
If you haven't already set up a Gmail account, now's the time to do so, because it's probably the best email service out there.
You'll upload all your contacts directly into your Gmail account, so remember where you saved your vCard from your iCloud export.
Now for the easy part.
Click on the "import contacts" section. It'll take you straight to a prompt to select the vCard you built from iCloud.
After that, your contacts will automatically be populated by the contacts in your iCloud database. Easy, right?
You'll want to synchronize the same Gmail account you uploaded those contacts to your Android phone.
When you first buy an Android phone it'll ask you to synchronize a Google account, but if you haven't done so already, you can find that option in the settings.
Go ahead and add your Gmail account now.
You can jump straight into your messenger and send a text to one of your friends to check it out.
Their number will automatically pop up if it's in the contacts you synchronized with your Google account.
Now it's time to get your mission-critical apps.
We'll suggest a few that will make your Android experience, at least in part, superior to the iPhone.
Head on over to the Google Play store to get started, or fire up the Google Play app on your phone.
This will change the whole experience of typing on your phone.
It automatically detects how you've typed in the past — from text messaging, mail, chat, Twitter and a few other services — and serves up suggestions on what you're going to say.
The suggestions are incredibly accurate. As a side bonus, you can start tapping the suggestions right away to figure out what your most-commonly typed phrase is. (Mine is pictured to the right.)
One of the best features Android has over the iPhone is the use of widgets — little apps that basically run on your home screen.
Your phone probably comes pre-loaded with a clock or with a weather widget, but there are widgets for just about anything you might need — battery life, a way to disable 4G or GPS, a Google search bar, or anything in between.
Having widgets turns your home screen from a simple launch pad for apps into an actual home screen, giving it a lot of utility over your iPhone's home screen.
Your Android phone probably comes pre-loaded with a run-of-the-mill browser, but you'll want to pick up Chrome immediately.
It's one of the fastest and smoothest mobile web browsers out right now — and it's a much smoother browsing experience than Safari.
You can swipe quickly to the left and right to jump from tab to tab, and set it to automatically load a web-based version of the website.
Chrome is available on the iPhone, but it is reportedly hamstrung compared to the Android version.
The first, and obvious, choice is Spotify's mobile app. It's the best streaming music experience available right now.
But if you simply can't stand using Spotify, or don't want to pay a monthly subscription, you can store up to 20,000 songs on Google Music for free.
Google's music player is a little more flexible than iTunes and offers a lot to heavy music listeners that have songs that just aren't available on Spotify.
Path is a small-scale social network that actually looks much better on bigger Android devices than on the iPhone.
Same goes for Foursquare, which benefits from having more screen real estate. You can also fire the GPS up or turn it off from the notification window.
Instagram actually looks and behaves a bit more fluidly than its iPhone counterpart.
Google+ is a gorgeous-looking app, but your mileage is going to depend on how many friends are actually using the service. We're going to assume it won't be many.
Facebook and LinkedIn both have pretty-looking apps for Android, but you'll have to pick which social network you prefer.
One issue with Android phones is they tend to have runaway battery drains from time to time.
To get around this, you can install an app like Easy Battery Saver and track which apps are using an insane amount of your battery.
You should also turn off 4G in the notification tab when you aren't using it. Obviously this is kind of a hassle, but you aren't using 4G while it's in your pocket — and the speed trade-off is well worth the extra step.
Aside from the standard stuff — better maps, closer synchronization with your web presence with Gmail — Android has one other thing going for it: it feels new.
Most of the best apps available for the iPhone are also available for Android. The reverse isn't necessarily true: you can't get SwiftKey on the iPhone, for example.
Google also appears to be moving closer to a "consolidation of pockets" law — as in, they are trying to make it to where everything that sits in your pockets (keys, wallet, phone, music player) fits neatly into a single device.