iOS → Android

Jul 18, 2017

I have finally pulled the trigger and bought an Android phone; my trusty old iPhone 5 was getting less trusty, and since iOS 11 will not support iPhone 5’s (for very good reasons), I figured it was time for a new phone, so about 3 weeks ago I bought a OnePlus 5, and I’m loving it.

Bye bye Apple, it was good while it lasted.

I find Apple hardware far less compelling now than I did about 5 years ago when I last bought hardware from them, so it was an easy choice, and yes, my laptop is also that old, and it also needs a replacement soon, finances permitting, and it’ll be a PC running Linux, OpenBSD or FreeBSD.

Changing operating system is a major deal. Changing from iOS to Android is mostly quite easy though, many of the apps I rely upon also exist in Android versions, so that part was straightforward.

In the end only 6 apps were troublesome.

iBooks

DRM. We hates it. But with iBook Copy ($29.95) it was super easy converting the DRM infested books to clean .ePub files, and then go to Google Play Books and upload them, they automatically become available in the Play Books app on the phone. Obviously you need to have a Google account set up, and the phone associated with it, for this to work, but that’s analogous to the need for an Apple account on iOS devices, to get the most out of it.

The reading experience on the OnePlus 5 is very good, it’s got a “Reading Mode” you can trigger for specific apps, which changes the colors on the screen to make reading better, somehow. It works. It took some time finding the right settings to make it happen automatically.

2-factor authentication apps

I use Duo MFA on my WordPress site, and used the iOS app as authenticator, but it had some annoyances for me, so I decided to migrate to FreeOTP instead, and I’m quite happy with that choice.

Migrating the Duo setup was incredibly annoying, and I am quite convinced it was because I did something wrong, so I will not hold it against them. And the OTP migration was … time consuming. Going to each website and figure out the steps for each wasn’t so much fun. And I don’t think there’s a fast way, but I’d love to hear about it if there is.

Podcasts

I really liked the iOS Podcasts app, and used it a lot, and I had got the impression that a lot of people used Stitcher on Android, so that’s what I went for, but I found the experience extremely underwhelming. Enter alternativeTo, and a search for podcasts, and I saw Pocket Casts come out on top, and that is well deserved. I like it, and I am real happy with it.

SSH client

I liked Prompt on iOS a lot, but it’s iOS only, so I had to find an alternative. JuiceSSH fits the bill, and it also supports Mosh, which makes a lot of sense on a mobile device. JuiceSSH works great, especially combined with the much larger and better screen on the OnePlus 5, and I can see myself doing almost actual work on it, if I really have to, and that is more than I could say for Prompt on iPhone 5, but that is almost entirely because of the larger screen (nearly twice the area and ⅓ higher pixel density).

Meditation Timer

Now we’re getting into the slightly obscure parts.

I’ll just plug the Meditation app. It’s super simple. You set a timer, it says a pleasant ding when time’s up, and that’s it. Oh, and it puts up a notification every morning that remind me to meditate, which I have not done yet today, by the way, so I’m getting duly nagged.

Perfect.

I also use the eponymous meditate.io app some times. It’s great too, but it’s the same as on iOS.

Soulver

I’ve written about Soulver a few years ago, and I still love Soulver, but it only exists in the Apple universe, which I am leaving. That’s the only thing I really worry about, as I’ve found no true alternative. I will just have to code my own, I guess.

According to alternativeTo, Wolfram Alpha is the best replacement, and by “best” I mean least bad. It can do a lot of things, yes, but nothing like the speed and ease of use that I’ve grown accustomed to with Soulver. Wolfram Alpha is more of a knowledge app than a calculator.

So Soulver will be the only real loss I incur by going away from Apple, towards a more open source aligned selection of software.

I think I’ll manage.

And the OnePlus 5 is incredibly sweet hardware. I can only recommend it.


Last edited: Jul 18, 2017