Took some time since I declared abandoning iPhone back in March to actually execute the plan. I’ve been now using Pantech Vega R3 running Android as my phone for a few days. Here’s what I’ve learned of migration from iPhone.
1. It is not so simple and straightforward as you’d like it to be. Main reason is Android but also Apple and the Korea Telecom specs of my Pantech have taken their toll.
2. Google has to support a lot of different devices and modifications like Microsoft has been doing for PC hardware in the past. The result is tons of incompatibilities, which may make the use of some key feature or service impossible or very difficult. It does not help when the Android phone is a Korean one, not sold anywhere else, localized to be used with a Korean telecom operator. If you want to get the device running you may need to install little third party apps, hack and customize the phone to make it work properly.
3. Apple is a closed, proprietary platform as we know. It also reminds me of Microsoft with the fact Apple does not support all open standards so actually taking your key data out from an Apple device may require you to install some “unofficial” third party hack that circumvents Apple’s DRM and opens their proprietary protocols.
4. I first tried my best to migrate everything from iPhone to Google’s cloud. I thought it should be straightforward then to download everything from Google to the new phone. I tried various methods. Google support Exchange (originally a Microsoft protocol) to share contacts, calendars and browser data. I tried my best but was never able to upload the stuff from my iPhone to Google’s services. I downloaded and installed latest iOS, version 6.0.1. No luck. I also went to try open protocols Apple has added support for, CardDAV and CalDAV. No luck there either. Everything was configured okay and there are options in the latest iOS interface, but iPhone just didn’t do anything. Data never uploaded. Maybe some protocol incompatibility. Who knows. Then I tried to do the same via my Mac. Based on some blog screenshots iTunes has apparently had the option to upload data to Google but looks like that option is no longer there. As far as I could see, iTunes could upload the contacts, calendar etc. data only to Apple’s own cloud. Thanks. — As an afterthought maybe this announcement explains the problems I had with Google’s cloud. If their Sync “service” does not work with such a basic device as iPhone they just shut it down?
5. So I went the route of uploading everything (and now it worked from both iPhone and iTunes on my Mac) to Apple’s very own iCloud. Then on my Pantech downloaded and purchased two apps: CardDAV-Sync and CalDAV-Sync which I used to sync the data from Apple’s cloud.
I had to go to forums to find out the right configuration info as Apple does not openly share iCloud server addresses. They are different to both contacts and calendar. Maybe it will be impossible to sync to iCloud later with Android but at least it works for now… so finally with these it worked out. I got my contacts and calendar notes migrated. Phew!
6. Then I wanted to also sync music, photos and videos from iPhone to Pantech. Found out there is basically just one popular solution and that one is DoubleTwist, the thing from DVD-Jon’s company. I downloaded and purchased DoubleTwist AirSync.
It should do the job but turns out it doesn’t work, at least all the time. It did not recognize the phone until I had it plugged in via USB. After some trial and error I got it finally working, even over the air, but only for a short time. Turns our doubleTwist works from time to time and does not work at other times. There are no crashes or explanations, usually it just does not connect. Also transferring files is quite strange as there is no good progress bar to check how it goes and while the transfer is ongoing you cannot add anything in queue. Syncing is not like you’d just sync your iPhone content; the application tries to do the whole iTunes library, not just the stuff I have on my iPhone… — As an afterthought here maybe all this has something to do with the fact doubleTwist and the company website don’t look like ones that are updated that often lately. Are they in trouble?
7. Of the many little annoyances after taking my Pantech into use I have to mention one. When receiving calls Pantech cannot show the right contact in the address book where everything has the international country code (e.g. +358 50 … or +358 40 … for Finnish numbers while they come in as 040 or 050). I had to install and configure another app called Prefixer to deal with that (remove 0 and add +358 instead). This does not work outside Finland of course; then this app must be disabled. I bet that some other Android manufactures have fixed this problem.
8. Setting all the migration hacking aside Pantech is a really cool device that generates tons of curiosity to try new things after that revolutionary device once titled Jesus-phone became all-too-boring over the years. My Pantech is right now possibly the fastest specd Android shipping anywhere. It has quad-core Snapdragon S4, crystal-clear 5.3″ screen, 13 megapixel camera, and it plays the sharpest Gangnam style from any device I have seen. The last few days have been kinda getting back to the excitement when I had to first root iPhone to see it running in the first place…