Android/iPhone families

My two tweens just got new Android phones, which I selected based on my own preference for Android. Now I find out that for no additional cost we could switch them out for iPhones.

I’m a little reluctant because, well, Apple. But the family already has iPads and iPods, and the kids say they’d be more comfortable with iPhones. The carrier (Verizon) says there would be no plan change needed, no additional costs, etc.

Oh smart Dopers, is there any reason we shouldn’t make this switch? We have four days to decide.

I think the most specific question I have is whether there are any cross-platform issues I should know about with respect to changing. The kids basically text like their lives depend on it, and that’s included in the plan. They both have Gmail accounts, and I know how to set that up on iPods so I’m assuming that’s the same with an iPhone.

We have a limited shared data plan so I need to know if it’s possible to require apps that move music and pictures to use wifi rather than the phone network. I’m assuming that’s do-able, but don’t know for sure. Anyone?

You already asked your kids and they said they want iPhones. Why are you asking us?

Just FTR, Verizon always lets you return your phone within 30 days for a new phone. I assume that’s what you’re talking about. It’s not that it’s some special upgrade to the iPhone.

I’ve only had Android phones and really haven’t spent any time with an iPhone so I can’t comment on that. The only thing I really know is that on an iPhone virtually all apps cost money (usually 99¢ if what I hear is correct) whereas on the Android platform, most apps are free. In all my years with Androids, I’ve bought one app, because I couldn’t find a good, free Podcast app. Yet, I’m always hearing my sisters say “It was only 99¢”. I’m sure in their 4 years with iPhones, they’ve probably spent at least $50 (each) on apps (not counting music).
The other nice thing about the Android system is that any app you download (and/or pay for) will go to all the devices on your account. So if you get a tablet, you can send all your apps over there. You have a few apps that you paid for and you get a new phone…it gets all your apps too (for free). I don’t know if that’s true in the Apple world.

I’m asking you in case there are technical issues that may arise I haven’t considered. I’d always thought of a phone plan as being either/or, so what might we encounter with both types of phones on a single family plan? Any downside to going this route?

One argument for the iPhone; if you associate it with the same Apple ID as your iPad, all of the apps you’ve already bought will appear on the iPad. So if you’ve got a bunch of apps you already bought, you don’t need to repurchase them, as you would if you get Android phones. (Now if your iPad apps are the HD versions, I don’t think you can get the iPhone versions for free.)

To clarify that, you’re saying that if you have a iPad, the apps will transfer over to the iPhone. As I mentioned earlier, if you have a Google Tablet (Nexus 7 or Nexus 10 or another Android phone for that matter) the apps will transfer to the new Android phone as well. What Apps won’t do, however, is transfer from an Apple product to an Android/Google product.

And that’s the crux of it. If you already have a bunch of media/apps/what-have-you from the Apple Store you won’t be able to port that to an Android phone and vice-versa. Once you’re committed it becomes a headache to switch platforms.

translation: “we want iPhones 'cos all the kids at school we want to be like have iPhones.”

It’s actually that they already have iPods and are used to the interface. I didn’t think about their learning curve in going to Android, and now I’m seeing the error of my ways.

aren’t old people supposed to be the ones fixed in their ways? I’m almost 40 and I’ve had zero problems going between Android, iOS, WebOS, and Windows Phone.

If you already have ipods and ipads it would seem getting the iPhone to be a more prudent choice. I am no fan of apple, but they do make great products and all sync fluidly with each other. If you are already invested with other devices, you may as well continue with the iPhone and reap the benefits.

Just in case this is worrying anyone, you might like to know it’s a load of hooey. There are thousands of free apps on iOS. I only spend money on an app when I want that exact app.

ETA: And if they already have iPads, yes, their apps will transfer to the iPhone, which makes financial sense. And if they have iPads, they already know the ins and outs of how their iPhone will work since iOS is 99.9% the same across both devices.

I’m no huge fan of Apple nor do I own any iOS devices myself, however, it seems in your case you should let your kids have their iphones. Unless they don’t deserve them, muahahaha.

Why don’t you ditch the Ipads and upgrade them to Google Nexus tablets?

And it is done. The younger child decided to stay with her Droid, making mama happy. Elder went with an iPhone 4, paying the unanticipated $35 restocking fee herself. Pros are her ease with the thing and familiarity with iTunes and the App Store. Plus whatever coolness factor might come with it. Cons are: insurance costs more and has a higher deductible, less storage (8g), and fragility (no Gorilla Glass? That’s crazy!) But she understands and accepts these risks, so there we go.

Now the trick is getting used to the $300 monthly tab. Argh.

The biggest disappointment for me with the iPhone is no Swiftkey. It was so intuitive and became essential that I didn’t imagine for one second that it was an Android only app.

I can’t believe apple hasn’t got an app like that

meh my kids have a mixture of android and apple smartphones but they all have iPads of some kind due to them needing iOS for school apps. So keeping iPads makes sense. They really only use the phone for well a phone and texts and facebook.

I must admit I have an Android phone, an iPad, WIn Phone and a Windows slate but then again I do work for a telco!

It’s pretty much a sure bet that the iPhone 4 uses Gorilla Glass, so there’s another pro for you.

Yes, the iPhone uses Gorilla Glass, but it’s still fragile. glass is glass. Gorilla Glass is basically surface hardened glass that is extraordinarily resistant to scratches and nicks (at least as far as glass goes) but it’s still pretty much as brittle as any other glass. A sharp impact will still shatter the screen/back.