Switching from IOS to Android for the busy professional

PranavLal's picture

I have recently switched to an Android phone namely the Motorola Moto-g Third Generation phone. My iPhone 5 was showing its age and I want to wait for the iPhone 7 before returning to that platform. I have a full time job so need to get up to speed quickly.This means that I have to duplicate as much of my iPhone experience as possible on Android. Yes, IOS and Android are different operating systems but I need to be able to get the same things done with equal facility.
By the way, I chose Motorola because they appeared to be providing a close to stock Android experience and their updates appear with reasonable frequency.

Getting my contacts:
The first thing I had to do was to export my contacts from IOS to Android. The easiest way I found was to backup all my IOS contacts to a virtual card file (*.vcf) and pull them into Android.
I used the following app to get all the contacts on my Iphone.
I e-mailed the file to the Google e-mail address I wanted and then opened it in the default mail app of my Moto-g Third generation phone. The contacts were imported.
The SIM card:
The iPhone takes a nano SIM while the Moto-G takes a micro SIM. A colleague had a SIM adapter which I used to insert the SIM.
Starting Talkback:
The tip about placing two fingers that are slightly apart until you hear Talkback does work on the Moto-G. Keep them towards the middle and a bit on the left. One good thing about this phone is that it will vibrate when it powers up.
The keyboard:
The next thing I had to do was to enter the key to my wireless router. Typing is similar to IOS but the symbols you get when you change the keyboard mode to symbols are different. You will have to learn this the hard way. Be warned, if you have special characters, learn their different names. For example, I had brackets in my wireless password. I was used to "left bracket" and "right bracket." I had to revise the different terms for brackets. Android calls them "left square bracket" and "right square bracket."
The touch screen:
This is one of the biggest differences. In IOS, you can swipe with a large part of your finger. In Android, use the tip of your finger for maximum accuracy. The screen does feel different and I am not sure how or why that is but it is something to get used too.
Explore by touch is handy and I tend to do more of this on Android thanks to the bigger screen.
Answering calls:
This is a tad tricky. On the Moto-G third generation phone, you need to do a 2 finger swipe to the right a bit above the home key. This is true for other phones as well. In settings under accessibility you can configure the home button to answer and lock button to hangup if you have physical buttons and not softkeys like the moto's home button. . Disconnecting a call with the power button works nicely and can be configured from within talkback.
Use Aqua Mail at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.kman.AquaMail&hl=en
to get a stable connection to a Microsoft Exchange account. If the default mail app (GMail) works, great if not, go for aqua mail. I was not getting a stable connection to exchange so I want for aqua mail. The other advantage of aqua mail over the default mail app (GMail) is that you can handle meeting requests. Handling attachments is also different. You apparently need to find the file name of the attachment below the subject header and double tap it. You can then download or save the attachment. You then launch the helper application of choice. If there is a better way to do this, feel free to tell me.
Whats app messenger:
There is a problem I am facing here which is that I am unable to work with emogies effectively. When I run my finger over them, they are not spoken. However, when I enter, it is spoken. Until the problem is solved, I am avoiding the use of emogies. Reading messages is different too. Swiping up works better but that way, I get the messages in reverse order. In addition, deleting chats is more involved. You need to open a chat then go into more options and to more options and then clear the chat. If there is a shorter way to do this, let me know.
A word on notifications:
I am still configuring the way I want notifications. There are differences from IOS. You need to set parameters for each application.
Outdoor Nabigation:
Google Maps is good for turn-by-turn directions. It is installed by default on the phone. However, to know what is around you, there are a host of apps. One of the more promising ones is
Nearby Explorer Online at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.aph.nearbyonline&hl=en
I am trying other apps in his space.
Indoor navigation and scene reading
I use the vOICe from http://www.seeingwithsound.com/android.htm for general inbuilding navigation and scene reading. (This is not a typo.) I need to dodge a fair number of people and to avoid filing cabinets etc.
Reading spreadsheets:
As of this writing, Google Sheets is more accessible than Microsoft Excel on Android. Use it to read spreadsheets.
Reading files:
Voice Dream Reader exists on Android and that is what I have been using to read books.
I will probably update this section as I do more of this with the phone. As of now, to navigate character-by-character when in an edit field, use the volume key. Lowering the volume takes you backwords while increasing the volume takes you forward.
Contacts and 3-way conferencing:
The contacts app takes getting used to. I have been unable to find all my contacts by browsing but searching for them works reliably. The recent calls, contacts to call and missed calls are on top of the screen. One thing that has changed is that you see all the phone numbers of a contacts as you scroll so be careful about which number you call. AAs regards 3-way conferencing, it works similar to how it does on the iPhone, You hit the "add call" button and should be placed in contacts. I kept hitting the dial pad button so had to back out of the dial pad and reach contacts. You can then call the contact and merge calls. The mute check box works as described. As always, all this works much better when you use a headset.
A strange thing I found was that if you have a contact that you have configured to dial a conference bridge and have a dialin string as a part of the phone number then if you want to redial the bridge, you must open the contact and dial. If you go to the "recents" item in the phone app and dial from there, the dialin string will not execute. On the iPhone, the dialin string does execute irrespective from where you dial.
Buying apps and the play store:
I buy apps from my desktop. I find it easier that way. I go to the play store, search for the app, and get it. My phone is connected to my home wireless network so gets the application automatically.

A huge thanks to the staff at inclusiveandroid and the members of the eyes-free Google group who continue to answer my questions. My transition to Android would have significantly harder without your help.