Google's Schmidt Pens Guide For iPhone Switchers

Google's board chairman offers an in-depth tutorial to help smartphone owners ditch their iPhones for Androids.
Samsung's New Gadgets: Visual Tour
Samsung's New Gadgets: Visual Tour
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With consumers primed to begin their holiday shopping in earnest this week, Google's chairman, Eric Schmidt sat down and wrote a post Sunday on Google+ explaining why and how iPhone users should put down their iDevices in favor of smartphones running Android. Eric's Guide offers step-by-step instructions -- in just 15 short bulleted points -- outlining how easy it is to make the switch.

"Many of my iPhone friends are converting to Android," said Schmidt. "The latest high-end [Android] phones have better screens, are faster, and have a much more intuitive interface. They are a great Christmas present to an iPhone user! Like the people who moved from PCs to Macs and never switched back, you will switch from iPhone to Android and never switch back as everything will be in the cloud, backed up, and there are so many choices for you."

Schmidt's not wrong. Choice abounds in the Android ecosystem. Devices range from small to large, from cheap to pricey, and from manufacturers near and far. At last check, analyst firms pegged worldwide adoption of Android at about 80%. iOS's share of the market is closer to 12%.

[ Is there really still room for expansion? See Smartphone Sales Poised For Rapid Growth.]

Android can thank the diversity of hardware and software experiences for its success around the globe. There are only three iPhones available, the new iPhone 5s and 5c, and the outdated iPhone 4S. All three feature the exact same user interface and software, meaning the experience is homogenous no matter which device you pick. That can be either a weakness or an advantage, depending on your point of view.

There's no shortage of irony in Schmidt's guide on how to switch, however. According to him, setting up a new Android device requires at least 15 steps (four major steps, with a handful of substeps) to get Gmail, contacts, and calendar synced, as well as set up music accounts and transfer photos. His entire post is more than 900 words long.

At one point, Schmidt wrote, "If [your] old [iPhone] photos are important, send them to Gmail [from your Mac] and download into the Android phone or upload them to Google+." Because that's so intuitive. (It's interesting that Schmidt assumes all iPhone users have Macs, as he doesn't offer any advice to help PC owners on how best to switch.) Schmidt doesn't say anything about switching from an iPad to a Nexus 7 or Nexus 10. Perhaps that post is scheduled for Tuesday?

Moving email to the cloud has lowered IT costs and improved efficiency. Find out what federal agencies can learn from early adopters. Also in the The Great Email Migration issue of InformationWeek Government: Lessons from a successful government data site. (Free registration required.)

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