Have an iPhone, thinking about a Samsung S4, what do I need to know?

Discussion in 'Android General Discussions' started by Sacheltry, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. Sacheltry
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    Sacheltry New Member

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    Hi there,

    This is my first post, so be gentle...

    I've had iPhones since the 3G and have been happy with them and I currently have an iPhone 4, which is now feeling slow to me. I don't have a Mac or any other Apple product. Although my wife and daughter both have an iPhone 5.

    I have AT&T and I can get a Samsung Galaxy S4 for free, by turning in my current iPhone. All except two of my apps are on Android, the only tiny reservation I have is that my family uses Find My iPhone for locating each other. It has come in very handy when giving them directions (long story) and a general sense of comfort when my daughter is out with friends. I know I can still use it on my computer, but having it on the phone is so convenient. The only other very minor irritation is that we won't be able to tell when we read each other's messages, using iMessage. Additionally, I really don't like iTunes, especially because I am a Windows user and I find it so clunky.

    What software and general things should I know and be aware of when I get the new phone? For example, what application is good for syncing with Outlook? What application is good for moving and organizing music (ala iTunes)? Can I sync with more than one computer? I hate that I can't with iTunes.

    Something else that may be useful to know is that I am a developer. Mostly databases and some C# applications. So I'd like to (humbly) think that I am a step ahead with configuring my phone than the average user. I may even develop an Android app at some point (once I get a good idea).

    Thank you for the help and guidance.

    ~Sacheltry
  2. leeshor
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    leeshor DF Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Welcopme to the forum Sacheltry
    I can't answer the question regarding finding your family as I'm not certain how that works on the iPhone, but, AT&T S4s come with a family finder that may work the same. You may want to ask AT&T

    I do have a good solution for the iTunes if you live in a country where it is available. Google Music, (free for 20,000 songs/files) has an app for the PC that will sync all the iTunes music, and any other music on your PC with the Google cloud and it would all be available on your S4 (and your computer(s). If that isn't supported where you live there are some other options

    The best app, imo, for a true sync between Outlook and Google is a program called GSyncit (not free), but it will sync EVERYTHING. Google used to have an add-on that would do that but they don't support it any longer for some reason.
  3. Sacheltry
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    Sacheltry New Member

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    leeshor,

    I really appreciate the response and great information. Funny enough, I recently synced my iTunes music to Google Music.

    As far as GSyncit goes (or any other syncing application), you mention that it syncs between Google and Outlook. That looks great, but since I am still stuck in the iPhone mindset, how does that work as far as Contacts and Appointments go? For example, when I sync Outlook (from work) to my iPhone, I am only syncing in terms of Contacts and Appointments. I think of it as I have my Outlook appointments (which contain both work and personal) and that is then placed on my phone, so I have it handy.

    I am getting the feeling that the Android phones are very Google-centric (which makes sense). That when I sync my contacts and appointments, it is syncing to the phone but is really also syncing to my Google account. Do I understand that correctly? Also, as I write this out, I am getting the sense that GSyncit would update automatically and my phone would do the same. Meaning I don't have to physically connect it like I do with iTunes. So I make an appointment in Outlook and during the next sync my phone would be updated and vice-versa. Do I have that correct? If so, I'm so excited!

    Thank you again for your response.
  4. dezymond
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    dezymond Tech Support Mod Staff Member Premium Member

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    Yes everything you set through Google gets synced to your gmail account. So if I make an appointment on my Nexus 7 tablet, I'll see it on my phone as soon as it's entered. You will never have to plug in your phone to sync anything, it's all tied to your gmail account.
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  5. leeshor
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    leeshor DF Super Moderator Staff Member

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    ^^^^^^^ What dezymond said. GSyncit will keep everything up to date both ways.

    Yes, since Android is a Google product it is Google centric much like Windows is Microsoft centric and more and more so every day, especially with newer versions of Office.
  6. Sal R.
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    Sal R. Member

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    Yep, everything is wireless.

    All your mail, calendar events, contacts, notes on outlook are synced to your Google account and then synced to you phone and vice versa via internet.

    Can't speak to the other stuff. Sorry.
  7. wcjeep
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    wcjeep Member

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    If you go wireless Qi charging, consider an insert vs the stock gs4 back.
  8. dezymond
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    dezymond Tech Support Mod Staff Member Premium Member

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    I'm highly considering this as well. The Qi receiver goes for roughly $10-$13 on ebay, and you can pretty much use any Qi charging base. They have alot of the combo going for around $35-$38 I think.
  9. ambrown
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    ambrown New Member

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    Welcome to DF!

    Hopefully I can offer some solutions. I agree with what leeshor said about trying AT&T's finder service. I'm on Verizon and I know they offer a similar service, though I've never used it before. There are definitely a number of finder apps though so you may have some options. Sorry but my knowledge is limited beyond that in this topic.

    As far as music syncing I've heard DoubleTwist is a popular app to sync and move files to Android so that's one option. My wife is big on iTunes and has a huge collection (I don't use iTunes) and the way I got her collection to her phone is via Google Music. You can download the Google Music client and it will copy your entire music library (up to 20,000 songs anyway, but any music purchased through Google Play doesn't count toward that 20,000 I think), and it doesn't matter if it's in Windows Media player or iTunes or other places. You just choose which library to sync when you start it up and it will copy all of it. The downside is this takes forever. But the plus side is it's automatic and starts up in the background whenever you have your PC on so you could just let it go in the background over a few weeks and your collection should sync. If you have periods of slow performance then just exit the client and you'll be back to normal, and it won't start again till you either restart or resume. You can of coarse choose to not have it start automatically, but I found it more helpful than not.

    If you go the Google Music route then to access your music you just download the Google Music app and sign in with your Google account, and you're good to go! You will, of coarse, be streaming your music collection, but you can have your music cached to your device in local storage for offline listening, which is helpful for those of us with limited plans. Just be aware of this so you don't stream your entire collection and then wonder why your data plan went out the window. Otherwise I've found Google Music to be the most straightforward way of keeping my whole digital collection in one place, and having it all available without taking up precious space on my phone. Just cache what I need and then add stuff as desired.

    As far as using MS Exchange I'm not sure what is best since I don't use Exchange. Many of the basic email apps on Android should support it out of the box (I've heard HTC phones do this very well with their stock app) but there are third party apps that you may end up liking better. I do use the Outlook.com Android app and it's just as good as the Gmail app in my opinion. I think it may support Exchange, but I'm not 100% certain of that. But if you have a Microsoft web email the Outlook.com app is the best you're going to get on Android.

    Next, since this is your first foray into Android I'd recommend these apps to get you started:

    AirDroid: It's a file syncing service that allows you to do some remote operations, and even transfer files. It's best to use over Wifi, but it can be used over 3G/4G too.
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sand.airdroid

    AndroZip: A file manager that does well with zipped files. Both compressing and uncompressing files. And it always helps to have a good file manager to find downloaded files.
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.agilesoftresource

    Any.do: An excellent planner, checklist type app. It is great because you can set reminders, and it has pretty dynamic controls, such as being able to send a call reminder right into the dialer.
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.anydo

    BeyondPod: Podcasting app. It's good.
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=mobi.beyondpod

    Alchemy: Fun, addicting, challenging, puzzle game.
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=me.zed_0xff.android.alchemy

    Amazon app store: This is an alternate app store that you have to download separately. It's worth noting since it has a few apps that you can't get via the Play Store. This is a link to the download instructions:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?ie=UTF8&docId=1000626391&ref_=amb_link_363093842_2

    BSPlayer: It's a video playing app, but it plays pretty much any format you throw at it, and it has some pretty cool gesture based controls while in-video. Swipe vertical on the left side and screen brightness adjusts, swipe vertically on the right side and volume goes up and down, etc.
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bsplayer.bspandroid.free

    Chess Free: Best chess on Android. That I'm aware of anyway.
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=uk.co.aifactory.chessfree

    Color Zen: Fun puzzle game. It's very pretty.
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.largeanimal.colorzen

    DroidForums: Because of course you're here:)
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.quoord.tapatalkdrodiforums.activity

    Dictionary.com: Best dictionary app in my personal opinion. And the widget is awesome!
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.dictionary

    DocuSign Ink: App that lets you create a signature, and paste it to PDF files. You can even make check marks and print dates right from your phone. It takes a bit to get used to, but it's invaluable for modifying PDF files without having to print, physically sign, and rescan the document.
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.docusign.ink

    Fing: Gem of a network tool. It gathers info about all devices on your wifi network. Perhaps more advanced for your typical user, but I found this app invaluable, and if you do a lot with networks then this is a must have.
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.overlook.android.fing

    Google Keyboard: As you may already know, Android allows you to swap out the stock keyboard for a third party keyboard. I've tried Swype, SwiftKey, SlideIt, and others. And I'd say SlideIt is my second personal favorite, but man, Google really did it right with this keyboard. And now they made it an app so you can download and use it on the S4. Swiping to type is just so much better than tap typing once you get used to it.
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.inputmethod.latin

    Kingsoft Office: There are some really great Office apps on Android, and I've tried many of them. But Kingsoft is free, and that means it's $14 cheaper than most comparable apps. Kingsoft also does well with compatibility. It includes reading and writing on Word, Excell, Powerpoint, and PDF files. (most office apps have read only for the free versions)
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=cn.wps.moffice_eng

    Newegg: PC hardware shopping. I just had to include this because it's one of the most well done apps I've ever used. I'm a big PC hardware guy too though so it may or may now have any appeal to you.
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.newegg.app

    Nova Laucher: Another great thing about Android is being able to use apps that differ from the default experience. Nova Launcher makes phones like the S4 feel more like stock Android, and it adds more functionality that the stock Android launcher doesn't have. Obviously this may or may not appeal to you, since some of Samsung's features can't be used in other launchers. But hey, it's free so try it out at least and if you hate it you can always delete it and go back to the stock launcher.
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.teslacoilsw.launcher

    Outlook.com: I already mentioned this above.
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.outlook.Z7

    PicsArt: Best third party photo editing app I've used so far.
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.picsart.studio

    Google Music: Already mentioned this too.
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.music

    Vlingo: This is the only app on this list that can only be found in the Amazon app store. It's worth the download though. It does voice commands and has a very helpful "In Car" mode that does great with navigation, and will read your incoming texts to you, and allow you to respond, all without even touching your phone. It's missing some features, but there's Google Voice Search to help fill that void. Sadly, you will miss some things about Siri. But Vlingo and Google Voice Search together also do a lot that Siri can't, so trade offs there I guess.
    Amazon.com: Vlingo - Virtual Assistant: Appstore for Android

    Hope this list helps. I know it's huge, but you don't have to use it all. I did want to include some of the better gems I've found over the years though. Some apps may be in the Apple app store so you may already know and use them. I did try and include some lesser known apps, and apps that I know aren't in the Apple app store. Still, there may be some crossover. But if you do like the looks of these suggestions then you can download all of them very easily. Just click the link, sign into your Google account, choose install, and choose your device (likely just your phone, unless you have any tablets or other Android devices tied to your Google account), and bam! You're set! The app should install remotely no matter where your phone is. It should also verify payment if needed, but all the apps on this list are free so it'll just have you accept the download.

    Hopefully this is a good starting point though. If you have further questions feel free to ask.
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  10. leeshor
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    leeshor DF Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Nice post, thanks for going the extra mile.
  11. wcjeep
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    wcjeep Member

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    My Qi inserts arrive today. I'm going with the LG WC 300 base. It comes with a 1.8amp AC plug. Also uses micro usb. $40 at Verizon, $50 on Amazon. Samsung does have their Qi bases listed at half off right now. They do not include the wall plug.
  12. dezymond
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    dezymond Tech Support Mod Staff Member Premium Member

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    Wall plug in for Samsung's works directly with the one that came with the phone I believe, so no issues here. I got a bunch of spares lying around also. Good info for others though
  13. Sacheltry
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    Sacheltry New Member

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    Ambrown,

    WOW! That is an amazing list. I really appreciate you spending the time writing all that out. It is a big help and a huge time-saver for me. Plus it makes me feel more comfortable making the switch to Android.

    Since I have an iPhone 4, I don't have Siri, so that is not a loss to me. Plus I have used Vlingo on my iPhone.

    Again, thank you for the great amount of information. I hope to pick up my S4 this evening.
  14. Sacheltry
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    Sacheltry New Member

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    Thank you to everyone for the great responses. I really look forward to getting my phone and start using Android.
  15. wcjeep
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    wcjeep Member

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    There's an app that will emulate the IOS software look. Wife's coworker just upgraded from an older Iphone to the SG3. After two days of being lost she returned to the Vzw store. One of the workers downloaded an app (name unknown). The phone now looks exactly like an Iphone. However, she can do talk and data at the same time.
  16. Holyeffenwow
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    Holyeffenwow New Member

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    The S4 comes with Svoice which from what I can tell from playing with my kids iphone 5 is very similar to siri and works well

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk 4
  17. ambrown
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    ambrown New Member

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    From what I've seen S-Voice isn't even close to Siri. But hey, that's what's great about Android; you can use the stock apps that come with the phone, or you can use third party apps if you prefer something different.
  18. Caesars
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    Caesars Well-Known Member

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    Personally I think the voice controls on all platforms need some major work. The only thing I can reliably use them for is setting alarms and navigation startups.

    GS4/iPhone5
  19. dappwl
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    dappwl New Member

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    Thanks for all the information collected in this post, it is very useful.
    Personally, I believe it is very difficult to grasp the differences. You just need to try it out!

    I've seen tech-savvy people loving the change from iOS to Android, but I've seen (even some of the same) people change from Android to iOS and say: "wow, it's so much easier".

    It depends on your personal tastes, but I say Android all the way :)
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