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Multiple questions about switching from Apple/deciding on phone model

Last response: in Cell Phones & Smartphones
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November 30, 2013 11:14:03 PM

I’m helping my friend with purchasing a new phone, as he is less technologically literate than I am, despite similar knowledge levels about iOS and Android. He currently has a four year old non-smart phone (Samsung Gravity 2) which is failing and thus needs replacement, along with a similarly old iPod Touch which is also showing its age. Given the advancements in mobile technology over the last four years, it seemed logical to essentially replace both with a modern smartphone. His initial inclination was to procure an iPhone, given his familiarity with iOS and small hands (as a reference, he deems the flagship Android handsets too big for comfortable texting), but he is on T-Mobile and doesn’t want to spend $400+ on a new phone, nor is he a fan of the iPhone 5/5S. Because even an unlocked iPhone 4/4S through third party retailers is $400, I decided to look at so called “budget” Android phones, and found a couple promising models. He’s interested, but has a host of questions about migrating from iOS to Android that I can’t answer and can’t find good answers for through Google. In addition, I’m not sure which phone he should go for. I’ll list the software questions first as they are more pertinent, and then compare the two phones below to ensure that I make the proper hardware recommendation.

Software:

1. What is the compatibility between Android and iTunes in terms of music, movies, apps, and podcasts? I read that utilities exist to sync an Android phone with iTunes, and that they work with any DRM free content, but would like confirmation of that. Moreover, I saw nothing adequately describing how apps are transferred. If he’s purchased an app that also has an Android version, is he able to get the Android version without purchasing again? Is there a way of transferring his “purchased apps” from his iTunes account to his Google Play account?

2. How does the Android music player compare to the iOS music player? Is it as convenient and easy to navigate?

3. Can a Google Play account be established without storing a credit or debit card number (he would prefer to simply buy gift cards for himself rather than associate his Google Play account with his debit card)?

Hardware:

The two phones I’m looking at are the Samsung Galaxy Light (a T-Mobile exclusive that is presumably their version of the S3/S4 Mini) and the recently released Motorola Moto G. The Galaxy Light apparently has a faster processor (1.4Ghz vs 1.2Ghz), LTE, a microSD slot, and is smaller (4.78 inches tall rather than 5.12 inches), but the G has a larger screen and a less mangled Android 4.3 rather than TouchWiz flavored Android 4.2.2. The Galaxy Light with a 32 GB microSD card (giving 40 GB of storage) is $255 (thanks to Newegg’s beautiful Black Friday sale), while the G with 16 GB is $200. At this point, given that the phone would ideally last 3+ years, and that he has liked the Galaxy Light when trying it at the store, I think it makes the most sense to go with that. However, I want to make sure I am not overvaluing the perceived hardware advantages of the Galaxy Light. What are your thoughts on this?


Thanks in advance for any helpful responses; I greatly appreciate them.

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November 30, 2013 11:55:09 PM

IMHO: His obvious comfort with Apple products predlicts any solutions you may come up with. He just needs to suck it up and spend the money, that is the cost for Apple and its support it provides, so...

1) NO Android / Apple are TWO different COMPETING flavors, if you buy on one you don't 'automatically' get its opposite 'free' application / music / etc. If something is DRM it is LOCKED (as is the point) to that side of the aisle. So if he bought stuff on iTunes it is STUCK (realistically) on iTunes only and won't 'transfer' to Android (normally especially for a "less technologically literate").

2) From my experiances it is simple and straight forward, but if your used to 'iTunes' then of course your going to have 'issues' because it isn't the same thing (common responses from "less technologically literate" customers).

3) As far as I seen BOTH systems (Apple and Google) require either a CC or charge your phone service (which charged your CC) as the normal method (no gift cards) to 'establish' the account because they want to ensure they 'properly' charge you for your requested services. While there is Gift Cards to use, they are NOT to 'establish' a account.

As for the tech comparisions your spot on for those reasons, but really it comes back to 'what does the customer (your friend) care about'. Does he need alot of storage room or is he more worried about 'real estate' (size of the screen) or how 'fast' it 'feels' (though .2Ghz isn't going to be a real change to worry about IMHO). It is normally best (like mice and keyboards) to take him to 'touch and feel' the things in BestBuy/etc. and see what he likes. I had plenty of people buy expensive hardware (no limit costs) and then completley HATE it just for personal reasons, and 'settle' for a much cheaper model later because it 'feels better'. This is also the case.
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December 1, 2013 1:06:05 AM

Tom Tancredi said:
IMHO: His obvious comfort with Apple products predlicts any solutions you may come up with. He just needs to suck it up and spend the money, that is the cost for Apple and its support it provides, so...

1) NO Android / Apple are TWO different COMPETING flavors, if you buy on one you don't 'automatically' get its opposite 'free' application / music / etc. If something is DRM it is LOCKED (as is the point) to that side of the aisle. So if he bought stuff on iTunes it is STUCK (realistically) on iTunes only and won't 'transfer' to Android (normally especially for a "less technologically literate").

2) From my experiances it is simple and straight forward, but if your used to 'iTunes' then of course your going to have 'issues' because it isn't the same thing (common responses from "less technologically literate" customers).

3) As far as I seen BOTH systems (Apple and Google) require either a CC or charge your phone service (which charged your CC) as the normal method (no gift cards) to 'establish' the account because they want to ensure they 'properly' charge you for your requested services. While there is Gift Cards to use, they are NOT to 'establish' a account.

As for the tech comparisions your spot on for those reasons, but really it comes back to 'what does the customer (your friend) care about'. Does he need alot of storage room or is he more worried about 'real estate' (size of the screen) or how 'fast' it 'feels' (though .2Ghz isn't going to be a real change to worry about IMHO). It is normally best (like mice and keyboards) to take him to 'touch and feel' the things in BestBuy/etc. and see what he likes. I had plenty of people buy expensive hardware (no limit costs) and then completley HATE it just for personal reasons, and 'settle' for a much cheaper model later because it 'feels better'. This is also the case.


I meant "less technologically literate" in that I'm far better at picking up and understanding technology concept, not in that he is a typical Apple user that is unable to process the change from Apple to Android. He bought an iPod Touch 4+ years ago because it was the obvious choice for an MP3 player at the time, not because he's an Apple fanboy. The whole point of this is to ensure he can use an Android phone with the content in his iTunes, and can use a Google Play account in a similar manner to the iTunes account. I've gathered from your responses the following:

1. Yes, iTunes can sync content with the Android phone assuming it is not DRM locked (which most isn't)
2. He has to buy apps again even if they are cross platform (which is absolutely ridiculous but I suppose not a massive issue, he doesn't have a lot of apps)
3. The Android music player is not an abomination and thus is usable with slight adjustment from the iOS player
4. The Google Play account is established in the same manner as an iTunes account, but doesn't need a card number to be stored thereafter

Would this be an accurate characterization of your answers to my software questions?

With regards to the tech comparisons, thank you for the insight. I'll wait for others to corroborate, but you've certainly confirmed my intuition that its best to just go with what he's played with and liked. Indeed, he tried the Optimus F3 (on paper another equal competitor) and hated it, so I immediately discounted it. Sadly the Moto G isn't in stores yet, or this would be less of an issue than I've been forced to make it here.

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December 1, 2013 1:33:15 AM

yep
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December 5, 2013 3:28:04 AM

Good, thank you for that clarification, it basically assuaged all his concerns. I think he's ready to make the switch to Android.
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