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[Guide] Switching from an iPhone to an Android phone

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Cyber Warrior #1

Cyber Warrior
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Posted May 18 '13 @ 5:06 AM

Making the Switch: iPhone to Android

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Some Buying Tips
If you're coming from a slick iPhone, you're going to want to feel like you upgraded. Go for a 4.3-inch or greater LCD, a dual-core 1.2GHz or greater processor, and a high-resolution screen—especially 720p, which compares well with Apple's Retina display on the iPhone 4 and 4S.

Get a 4G LTE or HSPA+ 42 phone if possible. And without question, make sure it runs at least Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich" out of the box, if not Android 4.1 "Jelly Bean," and try and find out when it will get Jelly Bean if it doesn't already have it.

While some of the budget models are quite good these days, there's a reason for getting a higher-end Android phone. There's a dramatic difference in the feel and responsiveness of the OS between, say, a low-end T-Mobile Prism and a high end Galaxy S3. High end doesn't necessarily mean, go out and buy the most expensive phone but if there are two phones you're considering and one is $100 more with better specs, then go for it.. remember, chances are you'll be with the phone for the next two years on contract.

Getting Started
Change your home screen
On Android, unlike the iPhone, it's all about how you set up your home screen. Don't just stick with the standard icons: Install your favorite programs and useful widgets, and set up layouts using multiple home screens you can swipe between. Don't miss the three touch buttons along the bottom of the screen: the Home and Menu buttons in particular are your friends, and help will clarify almost any confusing situation on the screen itself.

Move your data to the cloud
Some of Android's best characteristics are its various over-the-air synchronization options for Google contacts, calendars, and email. Many Android devices also let you combine Facebook, Twitter, and Microsoft Exchange contacts with your phone's built-in address book. While there are ways to synchronize local Microsoft Outlook data with an Android phone, they're cumbersome and often unreliable.

Sync your media the right way
With the iPhone, it's all about iTunes. On Android, you have several options, including streaming services like Spotify and Google Play Music, swapping microSD memory cards, wireless syncing with doubleTwist, and dragging and dropping files directly over USB. None is really superior; it comes down to personal preference. If you have a lot of older song purchases in your iTunes music library, you'll need to upgrade them to iTunes Plus (unprotected) to play them on your Android phone.

Google Maps GPS Navigation
Any phone with GPS and Google Maps can direct you around on foot, or display step-by-step driving directions that a passenger could read for you in the car. But Android phones go one step further, and can act as actual, voice-enabled, turn-by-turn navigation devices. Google Maps Navigation even includes features many standalone GPS devices lack, such as an animated satellite view, photo-realistic street views of destinations, and a flexible voice input mode that understands complex instructions like "navigate to the museum with the Picasso exhibit in San Francisco."

Talking to your phone
The navigation app isn't the only one that understands voice instructions; you can also run voice searches in Android. Download the Voice Actions app from Android Market; it lets you send text messages, cue up music tracks, call contacts or businesses, and compose email messages using your voice.

Google Voice
Google Voice lets you control as many phones as you want from a central number. You can make and receive calls from within Gmail, manage your text messages and voice mail on your PC, and block individual numbers from calling you. If you have an Android device, you can load the Google Voice app, which integrates directly with the OS and lets you make calls out using your Google Voice number as caller ID.

The Google Play Store
You can now browse the Android market at play.google.com/store in a Web browser, as well as on your phone. You'll find that most iOS apps have Android equivalents, like Netflix, Hulu, Instagram, and top gaming franchises. Take note of the various customization apps; you have much more leeway in modifying the OS than you do with an iPhone, including installing alternative keyboards like Swype. You can also do things Apple would never approve of, such as download and install retro game console emulators.

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Cyber Warrior #2

Cyber Warrior
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Posted May 18 '13 @ 5:06 AM

Switching from iCal to Google Calendar

Syncing iCal with Android and Google Calendar
Apple has done its best to keep you from setting up proper syncing between Google Calendar and iCal. There are options within iCal to one-way sync your calendar events from Google Calendar toiCal, but not vice-versa.

Third-party options like SpanningSync do a good job of facilitatating two-way sync between iCal and Google Calendars (and subsequently, with Android), but they cost money.

In truth, it’s just much easier and cheaper to move your calendar workflow to Google. Here’s how:
  
Import iCal Events to Google Calendar
Moving to Google Calendar doesn’t mean losing all your iCal events. Do a one-time export of your iCal and import all your events into Google Calendar so you won’t miss a beat (or an important meeting with the boss) when you switch.
 
In iCal:
  • Under the On My Mac heading on the left, highlight the calendar you wish to move to Google Calendar.
  • In iCal, go to File > Export... > Export...
  • Choose a save location and hit Export.
  • Repeat these steps for each calendar you want to export.
Tip: It may seem like a good idea to just use "Export... > iCal Archive." However, going this route, all your calendar events will be lumped into one. Better to individually import your individual iCal calendars, re-create and the import them into Gmail.
 
In Google Calendar:
  • Log in or create a new Google Account at Google Calendar.
  • Click the cog icon in the top nav bar and choose Settings.
  • Click on the Calendars tab.
  • (Optional but recommended unless you want to have all your events on a single calendar): Click on Create new calendar. Give it a name, set location information etc..
  • Go back into Settings > Calendars and click Import calendar.
  • Click Choose File and navigate to the calendar (.ics) file exported from iCal.
  • Select the calendar to import to using the pull-down menu then click Import.
From now on, rather than opening iCal every time you get an event invitation, open Google Calendar instead. Better yet, switch to Gmail as your email client and optimize that work flow too...

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Cyber Warrior #3

Cyber Warrior
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Posted May 18 '13 @ 5:08 AM

Switching from Mac (or other) Mail to Gmail
 
Switching From Any POP3 Inbox, Yahoo! or Hotmail:
Making the switch from one free online email to Gmail is super simple. It seems Google realizes it’s in its best interest to make it so. To import all your mail and contacts:
  • Go into Settings.
  • Click on the Accounts and Import tab.
  • Click on Import mail and contacts.
  • Click the checkboxes to import contacts, import email and, to give your email contacts time to make the switch, import new messages. Save.
It’s a good idea to set up an auto-responder in your previous email inbox to let people that email you know you’ve made the move. 
  
Using Gmail as your Inbox with a Corporate or Personal Account:
If you want to use Gmail but don’t want to lose your other email address(es), that’s easy to do too. You can use Gmail as your inbox for just about any other email account you may have. You can send and receive from Gmail on behalf of your other email account or you can send through a mailserver (i.e. smtp.whereyouwork.com or mail.whereyouwork.com) such that no one ever needs to know you’re working in Gmail.

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Cyber Warrior #4

Cyber Warrior
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Posted May 18 '13 @ 5:09 AM

Moving from Mac Address Book
 
Chances are good that all your contacts came along for the ride when you migrated your email. If you relied on Mac’s built-in Address Book app exclusively though, you’ll want to bring all your contacts into Gmail. Fortunately, that’s very easy to do.
  • Open the Address Book app.
  • Ensure All Contacts is selected under the Group list.
  • Go to File > Export > Export Group vCard.
  • Save the file wherever you want. The desktop is fine; we’ll be deleting it soon anyway.
  • In Gmail, go to Contacts.
  • Click More then choose Import. 
  • Browse to the file on your desktop and hit OK.
  • Click Import.

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Cyber Warrior #5

Cyber Warrior
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  • Location: New York
  • Device: GS4 N7

Posted May 18 '13 @ 5:09 AM

Ditching iTunes
 
Actually, we’re not ditching iTunes.... we’re just finding a different way to interact with iTunes. We could ditch it altogether if we wanted, and any music purchased through iTunes could come along for the ride. If, however, you have DRM-protected music from before the age of iTunes enlightenment, this is a little complicated.
 
Better to continue using iTunes if you like it and to find a way to get your iTunes tunes onto your Android handset...
 
There are several different options here. If you’re married to iTunes and can’t let go, the best option is Salling Media Sync, which also does a great job of pulling down cover art for your albums, syncing podcasts, iPhoto pictures and more. It requires as opposed to takes advantage of iTunes. Salling Media Sync is free if you’re willing to settle for the hamstrung version that syncs more slowly and always does a full sync as opposed to only syncing new items.
 
The better option is doubleTwist. This app also syncs with iTunes and is completely free for USB syncing. However, iTunes isn’t required. If you find a solution you like better later on or if you begin purchasing music through another service like Amazon, you’re covered.
 
You can purchase an add-on pack that enables AirSync for syncing over your home wireless network and a couple of other upgrades available for purchase, but they’re entirely optional and the doubleTwist works beautifully without you dropping a dime. We’ll focus on it for this how-to.
 
How to get iTunes Music onto your Android Phone:
  • Go to the doubleTwist site and download the latest version.
  • Install the software by double clicking doubleTwist.dmg then dragging the doubleTwist shortcut to your Applications folder.
  • Connect your Android device to your computer and put it into USB Mass Storage mode (stock Android, Samsung, LG and most other Android smarthones) Media Sync mode (Motorola Android smartphones) or Disk Drive (HTC Android smartphones).
  • Launch doubleTwist.
  • You’ll see your Android phone turn up in the left-hand navigation panel under Devices.
  • Click on the various categories (Music, Photos, Videos) to browse media already on your phone.
  • Click on your phone name in the left-hand panel to set up sync for Music, Videos and Photos.
  • Click the aforementioned categories to choose whether or not to sync as well as what music / playlists / videos / photos you want to sync.
    and / or
  • Click on Music, Photos or Videos under the Library heading.
  • Drag and drop any file in your Library to your phone and it will be synced across.

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