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I just switched from Android to iPhone after 9 years — and I'm never going back

iphone 13 pro display on in hand with wood background
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

If you told me a year ago that I’d be writing a story about buying my first iPhone, I would have called you insane. After all, I’ve been on Team Samsung Galaxy for almost 10 years. 

But here I am, the proud owner of a brand new iPhone 13 Pro. It's a little hard to believe given my long relationship with Galaxy phones. But this is real, and let me tell you, I’m glad I made the switch.

But why did I ditch Android for Apple? I was all but ready to get the Samsung Galaxy S22 only a few short weeks ago. As I'll detail below, though, the time was right for me to make the jump from Android to iPhone. And while I’m still getting acquainted with my new device, I already know it’s one of the best investments I’ve made. I may even be in love.

Before we start, I want to say this isn’t an iPhone vs Android opinion piece. I deal with enough console war nonsense on Twitter to jump into another Big Brand debate. The purpose of this op-ed is to share my story and to let Android users know what it’s like moving from that platform to Apple. It may be the best decision you could make — it has been for me.

Here’s why I switched from Android to iPhone and why I’m never going back.

iOS provides a smoother experience over Android 

As Tom’s Guide’s computing writer, I’ve had the chance to review Android and Apple products such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra and iPad Air 5, respectively. I’ve also used the MacBook Pro 14-inch at various times. The latter was my first real experience with macOS and it was somewhat of an eye-opening encounter.

iphone 13 pro display on laying on desk

iOS is snappier and more responsive than Android. (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Reviewing Android and Apple devices has revealed how clunky the Android interface actually is. I’ve heard this complaint many times in the past but, since I’ve mostly only used Android devices (Samsung’s phones and tablets), I didn’t see a problem with Android. Now I understand what people have been telling me all this time.

For example, my Android phone and tablets would occasionally lock up or randomly restart. Apps could also become unresponsive and sometimes require me to uninstall and reinstall them. I’m a Windows user and face these same issues on PC. Android’s hiccups seemed perfectly normal. Operating systems are naturally messy, no?

Maybe I was being willfully ignorant, but looking back, I haven't faced these issues on Apple devices. While being a computing writer has let me become more familiar with Apple, I’m not completely unaware of the company’s devices. I used the first generation iPod touch for many years and also own the 7th Gen iPad released in 2019. Both provided smooth and seamless experiences. 

These Apple products just worked, which is something I couldn’t always say about my Galaxy phones and tablets. In retrospect, I knew the iPad 7 was superior to the Galaxy Tab A. As an Android user, I just didn't want to admit it.

The iPhone experience 

iphone 13 pro back in sunlight with assorted junk in background

The iPhone 13 Pro is a gorgeous device. (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Acclimating to iOS 15.4 wasn’t hard. In fact, it has been a natural transition since I’m already so familiar with the operating system's basic functions. Aside from downloading and logging in to all the apps I had on my old Android phone, it didn’t take long for me to use the iPhone 13 Pro as if I’ve owned an Apple phone for years. Then there are the new (or new to me) features that have enhanced the iPhone experience.

FaceID is easily my favorite iPhone 13 Pro feature. Instead of manually entering a password to unlock my phone or to log in to apps, I can just look at my phone. I’m surprised how well this feature works. In fact, it’s kind of scary. FaceID has worked when I’m checking my phone at night with the lights off, while wearing a mask, and even when I’m glancing off to the side. The technology is borderline magic.

MagSafe is another “how the hell did I live my life without this?” feature. I bought Anker’s MagSafe charger and I love how it magnetically locks to the back of the iPhone 13 Pro. Best of all, I don’t have to remove my Spigen Tough Armor case for MagSafe to function. I’m glad this is a viable charging option because, for reasons unknown, iPhones still use Lighting cables… but I won't rant about that here. I also like using the Spigen MagSafe wallet. While it only holds three cards, it’s a great accessory that spares me from having to carry both a wallet and a phone.

Here's why you'll want Apple's new MagSafe wallet

MagSafe is one of my favorite iPhone features. (Image credit: Apple)

Presently, I only have two complaints with the iPhone. Apps aren't listed alphabetically like they are on Android. Moving apps around on the phone screen is surprisingly cumbersome. Doing so feels like playing one of those sliding puzzle games from when you were a kid, only more annoying. 

I also wish there was a blinking light that told me if I had notifications. But considering how I'm no longer distracted by a constant notification light, perhaps I shouldn't complain.

Customization? I don't need it

One of the main reasons people prefer Android over Apple is customization. Where Apple keeps its ecosystem under a tight leash, Android allows for a deep level of customization. In all honestly, I've only ever used Android’s basic features. I have no inclination to manually install programs not found on the Google Play Store or to dive into the operating system and tweak things. Apple’s operating systems being restrictive isn’t an issue for me.

With that said, it’s not like I wasn’t able to tailor the iPhone experience to my liking. I use Google’s various platforms for work and my personal life. The first thing I did with my new phone was to install every Google app I needed, such as Google, Chrome, Drive, Maps, Photos and so on. I removed Safari, Apple News, and the built-in calendar from the home screen and replaced them with Google’s equivalents.

Goodbye, Android 

I’ve owned an iPhone for just shy of two weeks but I can safely say I won’t be going back to Android phones any time soon. Though Android is a perfectly viable platform that continues to improve, it still isn’t up to par with Apple’s operating systems. And as I said, I don’t care about customization. I just want a device that works and doesn’t give me headaches.

Galaxy S22 vs. iPhone 13

Android phones are great, but I'm sticking with iPhone for now. (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Managing Editor Roland Moore-Colyer said that the iPhone Pro 13 is boring in his I ditched Android for iPhone — and these 5 things keep annoying me article. I understand where he’s coming from. The iPhone 13 Pro doesn’t have the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s S Pen or Dex mode, nor does it have the Pixel 6 Pro’s Magic Eraser and the AI-focused Tensor chip. The iPhone is pretty basic, all things considered.

But as far as I’m concerned, basic isn’t bad. I like black coffee, vanilla ice cream, ketchup-less fries and plain cheese pizza. Sometimes, simple is best and that’s exactly what I get with the iPhone. So until Android becomes as user-friendly as Apple’s operating systems, I don’t see myself going back.

Before I go, I want to apologize to all of the iPhone users I’ve texted over the years. I shouldn’t have subjected you to those garish-looking green text bubbles. Sorry for making you put up with that.

Tony Polanco
Tony Polanco

Tony is a computing writer at Tom’s Guide covering laptops, tablets, Windows, and iOS. During his off-hours, Tony enjoys reading comic books, playing video games, reading speculative fiction novels, and spending too much time on Twitter. His non-nerdy pursuits involve attending Hard Rock/Heavy Metal concerts and going to NYC bars with friends and colleagues. His work has appeared in publications such as Laptop Mag, PC Mag, and various independent gaming sites.


  • Ken_G
    admin said:
    I recently bought an iPhone Pro 13 and the experience has been so good that I don't see myself ever returning to Android.

    I just switched from Android to iPhone after 9 years — and I'm never going back : Read more

    I thought the same thing when I went all in with the iPhone 11 Pro Max and then again with the 13 Mini but here I am with the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. Never say never.
    Reply
  • kelpa32
    using ipad air 4 (first apple product), totally missing most notifications. Even with Ipad large scree estate, not showing any notification icons (counter argument will be apps icon badge)
    Reply
  • M Hector
    We have both Android and Apple phones. I don't find either ecosystem lacking in any outstanding way. I prefer Android for a couple of reasons. One is the navigation. After all these years, I still am not used to the single button navigation with Apple. I just feel like a monkey smacking things until something happens close to what I was hoping for. The other is in fact the narrow set of customization options. I like my Microsoft Launcher and my tiny fonts and my custom icon pack.
    Reply
  • MJza
    Hi Tony,

    I have been using an iPhone for 12 years now, a year ago I bought an Samsung S21 as most people I know was ranting about how great android is etc.

    Luckily I kept my iPhone 12 device and currently use both in tandem.

    Your article and comments are spot on and I fully share your opinions. I am of opinion, experiencing both worlds now, that the ranting about Android is only because of users not knowing what they are missing out on iPhone. Yes Android is customizable but who really cares, customization on my Samsung only made the the already anoying problems worst being battery life and app/system crashes and lag.

    iPhone is just in another class at this stage.
    Reply
  • Friendly Supporter
    I just woke up to find Google feed recommending this article and I had to sign up and say what's on my mind.
    It's sad to see you have such an adamant opinion about Android without ever trying a Pixel phone - that one true Android experience, even more so since you seem to prefer the Google apps to their Apple counterparts. I must say I've owned only Pixels in the last 4 years and I don't believe I'm ever going back to any other phone maker (although I am tempted and curious) because of all the reasons you mentioned you love on an iPhone (the smooth experience, apps not crashing, phone never turning off or needing to restart).
    I also believe it's a bit too soon for you to say NEVER GOING BACK to an OS after using a phone for only 2 weeks, which in the long term is rather insignificant. Trust me, you will encounter hiccups along the way, it's only natural and nothing is perfect.
    Oh, that you don't need customization and that the iPhone better suits your needs (with MagSafe and all) that's a totally different thing to talk about.
    But don't forget, people are different and there's a bunch of us who love Android for the free hand we're given, for the liberty it allows for other companies to build on, for the possibility to innovate, this giving Apple the way to implement features years and years after they've proven their use and value to the market.
    I love Android because you don't have to pay a bag of money for apps and services and because I don't feel like I'm always a monkey in a cage, not being able to go my own way if that means it's different from the company's direction.
    Reply
  • XxMTOxX
    Ive had both samsung and apple products and also work in a electronics repair shop fixing both products. Both of them have their problems but I gotta say that apple products are the most problematic. Ive gone through lot of iphones that get stuck in update and dont want to boot to os, resulting in complete loss of the iphone. Also their customer support is so bad. They even try to evade your questions and concerns and are not much of help. Samsung on the other side has been more helpful on customer support. I once sent a galaxy s10 plus (broken screen) and a galaxy watch 3 (not turning on) for them to be fixed with warranty expired. After talking with them, they were able to fix them for free and I saved a total of $157 for the phone and $135 for the galaxy watch. And I have lot of more stories but these are the ones that I would like to share and let people know that is not only about the OS or functionality but also is important to consider hardware and customer support
    Reply
  • Dloh
    admin said:
    I recently bought an iPhone Pro 13 and the experience has been so good that I don't see myself ever returning to Android.

    I just switched from Android to iPhone after 9 years — and I'm never going back : Read more

    Did you enjoy migrating your WhatsApp archive over too? I also switched to iPhone last month, after a decade of Android too.
    Reply
  • Oops!
    I miss my customization so much I can’t wait to switch back to android when my iPhone is paid off.
    Reply
  • andtheniwokeup
    admin said:
    I recently bought an iPhone Pro 13 and the experience has been so good that I don't see myself ever returning to Android.

    I just switched from Android to iPhone after 9 years — and I'm never going back : Read more


    Your first mistake was being on a Samsung to begin with. I've never in my past 3 pixel phones run into any of those issues unless it was on a beta edition of Android. But I see where you're coming from. Going from a Samsung S3 to a Pixel, back in 2016 I had a similar experience. Going to Vanilla Android was too good of an experience to ever go back.
    Reply
  • DanDanger
    Aren't Samsung's buggy as hell. With alot of bloat

    A pixel or Sony Xperia are better user experiences of android imo
    Reply