Talking tech since 2003

Years ago, PC users and Mac users were in pretty clearly divided camps, with devotees of each platform decrying the shortcomings of the other. It was basically “Yankees vs. Mets,” but with computers. These days, most computer users are pretty level-headed about the platform schism, despite the fact that there are even more divisions to be found in the mobile space. But is there a war between Android and iOS? If there is, it’s taking place mostly in the minds of executives, as evidenced to a guide published by Google’s Eric Schmidt on how to convert from an iPhone to an Android phone.

On the face of things, the guide is extremely helpful for folks who have switched from the iPhone to an Android device. It offers step-by-step instructions for moving as much data and account information from iOS to the new Android operating system—stuff like your contacts, photos, and even “most iTunes libraries.” For someone who’s legitimately interested in making the switch, this is a great way to make that happen.

But at the same time, it’s questionable as to who will actually use this guide, isn’t it? At least, it is to me. It appears to be meant for someone making a switch mid-contract, as it includes the transfer of a SIM card at the end. That means that someone paid full price for the device—so somewhere in the $500 or $600 range, or so—or was given the device as a gift, and may not actually want to switch. Moreover, Schmidt doesn’t touch the issue of apps with a ten-foot-pole, which makes sense, as that’s the biggest issue with switching platforms. In short, if you go from iPhone to Android—or vice versa—you’ve probably invested a decent chunk of change in apps. And even if those apps are on the other platform, you’ll almost certainly have to pay for them again.

I don’t know why this guide gets my goat. Maybe because it feels like it’s trying to stimulate a platform rivalry that isn’t there? Perhaps it’s because anyone who actually switches platforms would probably just have the clerk at their cellular carrier transfer over all this data. Or maybe it’s just that I’ve only ever met one person who’s switched—and he just went with the phone that had the best deal at his carrier.

What do you think? Did you or anyone you know switch from one mobile platform to another? Why’d you do it—and do you wish someone had written a guide like this to help you through the transition?

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