How sticky is the Apple Glue?
4 min read

How sticky is the Apple Glue?

Now that I have decided to replace my iPhone with the Google Pixel, it is only prudent to evaluate what that transition looks like and what changes are required as a consequence of my decision. Replacing hardware is more manageable than finding replacements for software and services that one has become accustomed to for years. Because I am not leaving the Apple ecosystem entirely, I need to find software that works well on Android and within the Apple ecosystem.

Me

The following only impacts me:

Things 3: if I need something done, it has to be in Things 3. It’s simple and beautiful, and it works. Based on preliminary research and my previous notes, Todoist is the likely replacement. It is primarily web-based, and I wouldn’t say I like that. Positively, it has attachment support and location-based reminders, which I still do not know how I live without.

Fantastical: is my favourite calendar app and exclusive to the Apple platform. Realistically, this one is easy to replace because I could switch to using Google Calendar on Android, which would sync with Fantastical. Therefore and thankfully, I can continue using Fantastical on Apple devices.

Parcel: this one is super useful, especially its integration with Amazon. Again, one of those features I have yet to find on Android. I suppose my deliveries will still be tracked on my Mac and iPhone. I could use the web version on Android.

Tot: I moved to Tot from Drafts a few years ago. Drafts was getting too complex for my needs, and Tot was dead simple. It syncs via iCloud. I have yet to find a simple scratch pad that syncs between platforms. SimpleNote is one alternative.

iCloud Drive: I have been looking to replace this for a few months anyway. I find the syncing between devices is super slow. Google Drive seems reliable, and I could quickly move all my documents/pdf from iCloud to Google Drive.

iCloud Contacts: A non-issue because I can quickly transfer to Google contacts which will work on both Apple and Google Platforms. YAY - finally, an easy problem to solve.

AirPlay: my entire house is blanketed with SONOS devices, and I mostly use them as AirPlay endpoints. Android doesn’t have AirPlay. It has chrome cast, which SONOS does not support. If I want to listen to podcasts from Android on SONOS devices, I have no convenient Android solutions.

Safari: it is my default browser on all my devices. Extension support is limited, but its extensions are crucial to my browsing experience: 1Blocker and Keyword Search. Google Chrome is the native Android browser and does not support extensions. Further research is required. Perhaps, Firefox is an option.

AirDrop: this has been the least reliable for me, but when it works, it makes me smile every time—no real alternative on Android.

iMessage: Although I use this semi-regularly, thankfully, this will be the easiest to move away from. Everyone in my family uses WhatsApp and Viber. Therefore, I am only using iMessage for SMS and testing out iMessage-related features.

Due: a super nagging app that ensures I do my exercises, take out the trash and take my medications. Again, one of those apps that are not on Android. The apps that are on Android do not sync with Apple devices. It seems to be the theme here.

Opener: this is a handy utility. It allows me to open links in the relevant app. Over the years, with the addition of the safari extension, its usefulness has decreased, but it is still used almost daily.

Ulysses: I rarely write on my iPhone, but I use it to jot down ideas and proofread my blog posts. I suppose switching to iA Writer may be sufficient, but Ulysses is better for my use case.

Little things:

  • Automatically copying and pasting OTP from SMS into Safari browsers.
  • Moving from one iPhone to another is very convenient thanks to direct transfer
  • Finding iPhone using your Apple Watch
  • tight integration between AirPods and iPhone
  • Apple News+ subscriptions unavailable on Android

Family

The following impacts my family:

iCloud Calendars: anything family-related events go into a shared family calendar. It will not be easy to move everyone to Google Calendar. Also, unfair to them that I am carrying only because of issues I have.

iCloud Reminders:the family grocery list works exceptionally well. Again, unlikely the family will change.

Find My:another family favourite. We all know where everyone is. In addition, now we know where our wallets, suitcases etc. are also located—no alternative on Android that works with the Find My network.

Shared Photo Albums: although Google Photos does this better, we are using Apple Photos because it’s convenient and everyone can access it.

FaceTime:even though we primarily use WhatsApp for chats, strangely, for video calls with family, we use FaceTime. Not having this on Android will be super inconvenient.


What already works and requires no change:

  • 1Password
  • August
  • Calm
  • Day One
  • Eero
  • Endel
  • Feedbin
  • Firefox
  • Google apps
  • Headspace
  • HEY
  • iA Writer
  • Kindle
  • Libby
  • NextDNS
  • Notion
  • Raindrop
  • Readwise
  • Sonos
  • Spotify
  • SnapChat/Viber/Whatsapp

The above list gives me comfort.

Where to from here?

A couple of pathways are presenting themselves:

ONE: I carry my iPad with me everywhere I go so I can live without many apps that are not on Android. This will ensure that the impact will be limited and allow me to give Android a go.

TWO: Do nothing and hope that this feeling eventually disappears in the coming weeks

Currently, I do not have the mental energy to deal with this. My decision is impacting my family as well. Perhaps, it’s time I finally spoke to someone about losing my loved one. Maybe, I still am struggling to come to terms with accepting that he is no longer in my life. Also profoundly regretting that I could not visit him since 2019 (due to COVID).

I am just not in the right frame of mind right now to decide what to do. I think I am going to park this for now.

I am frustrated, upset and sad. I know this is temporary, and that is my silver lining here.