Ditching My iPhone For The Samsung Galaxy S6

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Let The Internet Shine In

I’d been meticulous in preparing my Galaxy S6 for entry to the Big Bad Internet, I’d shown patience and resolve in working out the device’s basic functionality and that of its Android Lollipop operating system. And I was not the least bit naïve about how much my new and so-cozy personal digital world would change once I threw open the doors and windows (not Windows) to let the outside in. Soon I would welcome some old friends, trusted and familiar, as well as others better characterized as acquaintances of necessity. And to carry the metaphor too far, I also knew that there would be others, strangers yet unknown…strangers who would offer tastes of the new, or who would in some cases be there to take the place of apps and services that required iOS’s rarified air to survive…er, function.
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First I signed into my Gmail account, which alone led to significant change in my Galaxy S6’s heretofore closed Android environment as this easily enabled all of the Google apps and services already resident on my device. Tapping Maps, for instance, no longer led to a sign-in screen from the get-go, but instead mapped my location. Nice. Not unexpected, but still…nice. And because I’d been careful to always keep my Apple-based contacts synced with Google, suddenly I could effectively use phone and texting service. The bookmarks from my Chrome browser install on my Mac synced over to the GS6, my Google calendars all rolled into Touchwiz’s S Planner app, and…you get the idea (you probably got it at "signed into my Gmail account").

The smooth and easy — and fast! — success I experienced in getting my Galaxy S6 set up with planet Google pushed me to see what else I could find in the Google Play Store, and I soon had my GS6 buzzing with numerous downloads and installations. Reading apps? Pocket, Flipboard, Amazon Kindle…onboard and configured. Social media? Facebook, Twitter, Instagram…my legions of fans and followers would suffer no longer from my absence. Skype, DropBox, Shazam…I was filling the GS6 up but good, but why rely on memory when I could instead fire up my soon-to-be-wiped-and-reassigned ancient iPhone for guidance and inspiration.

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One aspect of moving to a new phone operating system that is worth noting is how it causes the user to rethink their roster of apps. Skimming over my iPhone for must-migrate apps brought to light just how many digital dust bunnies had collected in its nooks and crannies over four years of daily service. In some cases, in fact, seeing long neglected apps left me with feelings of fond remembrance of their moment of loading, the promise those once seemed to hold. Sure, I was going to use my iPhone for recipe collecting. Really, I was, and I fully intended to prop my iPhone right up next to my hot stove, too.  And I just knew that essential household inventory app I grabbed on the App Store was going to change the value perception of my books and CDs and DVDs and whatever other space-occupying whatnot I deemed worthy of entry. Apps dedicated to my favorite music artists and sports teams? An app to turn my iPhone into an external speaker to which I could throw sound? Grocery list apps?

In the end, my iPhone pass-through netted five apps I wanted for my new Galaxy S6 beyond those I had already added and configured. And of those five apps only the weights-measures-currency conversion program qualified as ‘essential’. The developers of that particular app —imaginatively named ‘Convert’ — have yet to offer an Android version, though, so I had to suss out an alternative. Curiously, in moving to Android from iOS I was sure there would be many cases in which I would need to find such alternative apps, but in the end I only needed to do so twice, for Convert (hello, Unit Converter) and for Remote (an iOS app used to control iTunes…I have the supremely-capable Retune performing that function on my GS6).

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Having reached a point where my shiny new Galaxy S6 was loaded for bear, settings well-tweaked and a good and healthy set of apps ready for tap-tap-tapping, I was ready to dig into the Samsung Galaxy S6’s camera function, the feature that in my reading and early hands-on had the most to do with moving me from wildly curious to avid purchaser.


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