The reason I am replacing my iPhone with an Android smartphone

Google, of course.

15707819731_fc5c9b4118_b photo credit: iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus vs iPhone 5S via photopin (license)

Don’t get me wrong. I really like the iPhone. Last year I upgraded from the 4S to the 5S, and I was seriously considering purchasing an iPhone 6. The plethora of apps that allow you to create and share original content is impressive. Being able to take a picture and have it synced with iCloud, available both on my iPad and my MacBook Air is very nice. And it is not like I will be giving up my iPhone. I’ll still use my 5S like an iPod Touch when wireless is available, which is helpful when controlling our Apple TV at home, or as a remote for a Keynote presentation at a conference.

But Google has become such a part of my professional life. Our district adopted Google Apps for Education about five years ago. The Apple versions of their apps work fairly well on iOS, but the experience is much better within the Android operating system. I will be getting the Motorola Droid MAXX. Playing with it at a local cell phone location, the navigation and transitions between Drive, Google+, Gmail, and Chrome are very efficient.

A lot of communication and collaboration that occurs for me as an administrator is now housed within Google Apps. For example, our elementary level administrative team houses all of our minutes, spreadsheets, and schedules in Google Drive. Sometimes I need to bring certain documents up quickly. The native environment provided by an Android phone is certainly a plus in these situations.

I’ve also gotten better about saving images in Google Photo. These pictures become much more accessible when I want to write and share a post on our school blog, housed on Blogger. These images are also accessible within Google+, a social media platform I am finding more helpful to me as a professional every time I use it. Beyond the Community I formed for my book last year, I am a part of a number of other Google+ Communities focused on digital tools, as well as local and global educational organizations. These more focused spaces for learning have become communities of practice for me.

Another benefit is Google Calendar. The iPhone worked fine for the functionality, as it connected well between both platforms. But again, it comes down to practicalities. By choosing to use an iPhone because I love the content and creativity it provides for me, am I giving up time and organization as I try to get things done efficiently using Google products on a platform that is not optimized for that product?

I am sure other professionals have (and may be currently dealing with) this dilemma, which probably seems minor if I were to gain more perspective. Nevertheless, here it is. What are your thoughts on this topic? Please share in the comments.

Author: Matt Renwick

Matt Renwick is an 18-year public educator who began as a 5th and 6th-grade teacher in Rudolph, WI. He now serves as an elementary principal for the Mineral Point Unified School District ( Matt also teaches online graduate courses in curriculum design and instructional leadership for the University of Wisconsin-Superior. He tweets @ReadByExample and writes for ASCD ( and Lead Literacy (

11 thoughts on “The reason I am replacing my iPhone with an Android smartphone”

  1. Hi Matt,

    I too use many Google products but am not finding any limitations using my iPhone to access those services. I open and edit documents via the Drive app, access and create calendar entries, and also take part in Google+ communities. The apps that Google has created for iOS are very well designed and work very well for me on iOS. I also have a foot in the Android world too, with 60 Nexus 7 tablets deployed in the building. My experience working in both environments has left me with the impression that Google alone would not be my main reason for choosing a phone.

    My main consideration is moving between phone, laptop and tablet. Much of my work is accessed via my MacBook, so having the integration between iOS and my Macbook is the most important factor for me.

    I enjoy your posts.
    Tim Lauer

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Tim. I appreciate your perspective. Has your district adopted Google for email, cloud storage and communications?


  2. I agree I made the switch 6 months ago to a Samsung from rhe iphone and with the new Google photos app I now can easily access my android photos on to my iPad
    the smart switch app from iTunes was also a really convenient way to move over to the android platform
    I love the quality of the photos I can take with my S5 and the smooth integration with my GAFE accounts makes my work flow easier

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Melissa for sharing your experience. I have not heard of the Smart Switch app; I’ll have to check that out during my transition.


  3. This is great timing for your post, as I am a die hard live in the Google ecosystem kinda guy, but recently my Nexus 5 has crashed on me. I took the leap the other way and bought an iPhone 6, and so far the only thing that I miss is Google Keep. Other than that, as Tim mentioned above, I have yet to find a reason to not be an iOS user who relies on Google products for both work and personal use.

    I just got the new Photos app on my iPhone, and through IFTTT, it sends all of my photos to Google Drive automatically, which in turn show up in Photos.


    I work on IMac at home, have an iPad for work, and so far it’s all working for me.

    Your post sparked some thoughts though – as I never thought I’d ever be an iPhone user… but with my wife having an iOS device, it just made sense knowing that I could pretty much ‘Googlefy’ my iPhone. If i couldn’t, I wouldn’t have at all.

    Great post though – got me thinking, especially since it’s only been a week since I’ve been an iPhone user, and so far with no regrets.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peter, I appreciate your perspective. To provide a bit more context, our district has gone all Google now. However, I have not used the iPhone 6. My wife is upgrading to that version, and I am sure she will be very happy with it. Maybe I will switch back some day. I’m glad I am familiar with both operating systems.


  4. When I first got a smartphone many years ago, it was an Android. I loved it. But then my classroom received a set of 1:1 iPads and it just made more sense to have an iPhone in order to facilitate pictures, documents, etc. in my classroom. Now, being out of the classroom as a Tech Coach, I rarely, if ever, use my iPad. Then, when my iPhone 4s started to slow down when iOS 7 came out, I had to decide between iPhone 6 or a Samsung.

    I chose the Samsung Note 4 and could not be happier. The camera is amazing. I have more choices about what it looks like and how it is organized than I did with my iPhone. The screen is enormous so when I am online or looking at documents, the picture is crystal clear. The battery holds out much longer. I have a stylus to make notes on pictures or documents. It is fantastic!

    I recently also started using my Samsung Galaxy tablet. The ONLY thing that I wish both had was Notability. Other than that, I have been able to find everything I need with my Android devices. We are a GAFE district and I sing Google’s praises even more after dealing with a 1:1 Apple deployment.

    Liked by 1 person

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