iPhone, Mac and Apple Watch is a great set of gadgets. They are compatible with each other, and you can effectively and simply solve a variety of tasks with their help. These tools remain very secure having only tiny malware issues that can be easily solved.
At the same time, there are a number of reasons why it makes sense to pay attention to other devices, such as Android-based smartphones or Windows-based computers. The main argument in favor of the transition is that staying with the Apple family is incredibly expensive. Just look at current MacBook Pro prices. Even basic models cost over 1000 USD, although, in the past, the MacBook Pro could be bought cheaper.
However, it is not so easy to quit using Apple products, especially when you cannot find anywhere else some of Apple’s useful functions.
Below are some tips for those who still want to make this move.
1. You will need new devices
If you regularly use not only the web browser but other software, the choice can be made in favor of a Windows 10 laptop. Here are some interesting models: Acer Aspire S13, Dell XPS 13, HP Specter x360, Samsung Notebook 9, etc. All of them are cheaper than the new MacBook Pro, but at the same time, they have better technical characteristics.
If they still seem too expensive, you can find a great laptop costing about 700 USD, of course, it will not be so powerful, but it can quite suit most of us.
If for 99% of the tasks that you perform on your Mac, you only need a browser, think about buying a Chromebook. These devices use the Chrome OS operating system, which is essentially a Chrome browser. Such laptops are much cheaper than laptops with Windows 10.
There is a huge number of smartphones that use the Android platform. One of the good options is Google Pixel. This is the quintessence of what Google puts into the very notion of a smartphone. You will receive all the latest Android updates and security settings directly from Google immediately after their release, and not in a few months, as the owners of most other Android smartphones.
Bad news: If you own an Apple Watch, you cannot sync them with third-party gadgets, they are compatible only with Apple devices. So if you need a smart watch, consider buying Samsung Gear S3 Classic or Frontier. They are compatible with most of the latest Android smartphones. This South Korean gadget has a huge advantage: you can use the Samsung Pay function – that is to pay in all stores where there are terminals for reading credit cards. Unfortunately, having bought an Android smartwatch, you will lose the useful function of Auto Unlock, only available for Apple users. It allows you to unlock your Mac laptop with Apple Watch.
2. Get a new account and transfer all contacts, photos, videos, and notes
If you want to leave the Apple ecosystem, you will have to join a new one and very often it is going to be Google. Even if you chose a device manufactured by Microsoft, you will certainly want to use various useful Google services. If you do not have a Google account yet, get one. This is one of the best ways to transfer your contacts, photos, videos, and notes.
Download Google Drive to your iPhone to sync your contacts, photos, videos, and posts.
All the data stored on your iPhone can easily be transferred to a new Android smartphone. In fact, you need to download Google Drive, register or log in and make a backup in the application. Then, when setting up a new smartphone with Android, you just need to sign in to your Google account.
Do not worry about the fact that photos may eat all the free space of the device. In Google Photos, you can store an infinite number of images taken with a 16 megapixels’ camera (or less) and video in 1080p format. If your photos and videos have higher resolution, Google Photos will automatically reduce them to the desired size and they will still be of excellent quality.
3. Transfer information from a Mac to a new computer
You can use an old trick with a hard disk.
Just stick a hard drive into your old Mac, transfer all the files and folders to it and then copy them to a new laptop. However, all this works only for Windows computers, and Chromebooks owners should better resort to Google Drive assistance.
If you have subscribed to Microsoft Office 365, you have some free OneDrive storage, with which you can transfer files and folders from your Mac to a new Windows laptop.
If you are subscribed to programs such as Word, Excel or PowerPoint in Office 365, you get one Terabyte of free space in OneDrive for free. This is more than enough to transfer all files from the Mac machine. To transfer the entire contents of the laptop, go to OneDrive and log in with your password to Office 365. Then click on files and folders in your Mac’s browser and drag them to the repository.
If you purchased a Chromebook or want to transfer the contents of an old laptop to a laptop with Windows without subscribing to Office 365, use Google Drive, which provides 15 GB of free space.
In your Mac’s browser, go to Google Drive by logging in with a Google account. Then click and drag files from Mac to Google Drive. If 15 GB (free) is not enough, you can buy extra space. It’s not very expensive: 100 GB per month will cost only 2 USD.
4. Switch from Apple Messages to some universal options, for example, Google Hangouts.
With the help of your Mac, you can send and receive text messages that are duplicated on your phone. After the release of OSX Yosemite, Mac can exchange not only iMessages with other Apple devices, but also receive regular SMS messages. Most likely, you will be sorry to part with this function.
Unfortunately, Windows 10 does not have the same pre-installed application that will work with Android smartphones, synchronizing the exchange of text messages. However, there are good third-party applications – for example, mySMS, which received quite good feedback from users.
In order to quickly exchange messages with friends using a computer and a smartphone, it’s best to install a cross-platform messenger. The easiest way is to use the service in where most of your contacts are registered: Google or Facebook.
Google Hangouts is an excellent messenger that has both voice and video chats. This is not exactly the same as receiving calls to your cell phone number but also a good option. In Hangouts, you can chat from Gmail, from the Android app, or from https://hangouts.google.com/. Facebook Messenger also works on all devices and has voice and video chats.
Use Android Pay instead of Apple Pay.
Most modern Android devices support the Android Pay service, which is almost similar to Apple Pay. You can Android Pay in the same places where Apple Pay is accepted because both services use NFC technology for the mobile payments.
And if you bought a Samsung smartphone that provides the Samsung Pay function, then it’s even better than Apple Pay and Android Pay, because you can pay in all stores where there is a device for reading standard credit cards. The MST (magnetic secure transfer) technology used in Samsung Pay simulates the magnetic stripe of a credit card, so Samsung’s smartphones are compatible with regular payment terminals, not just those that support NFC technology.
5. Apple Music and iTunes can be replaced by Spotify
Spotify – this is a great alternative to Apple Music, perhaps even surpassing it. However, many of you probably already downloaded a lot of music through iTunes and now do not want to give up all this. Don’t worry, you can upload all the music from iTunes, which is stored on your laptop and iPhone, into Spotify on your Mac. Or, if you’ve already switched to a laptop with Windows or a smartphone with Android, you can do it there too.
Unfortunately, you will not be able to copy Mac applications and other programs to new devices. You will have to re-download and install them on your new Windows laptop again. In some cases, you will even have to purchase them again.
Guest article written by: David Balaban is a computer security researcher with over 15 years of experience in malware analysis and antivirus software evaluation. David runs the Privacy-PC.com project which presents expert opinions on the contemporary information security matters, including social engineering, penetration testing, threat intelligence, online privacy and white hat hacking. As part of his work at Privacy-PC, Mr. Balaban has interviewed such security celebrities as Dave Kennedy, Jay Jacobs and Robert David Steele to get firsthand perspectives on hot InfoSec issues. David has a strong malware troubleshooting background, with the recent focus on ransomware countermeasures. Contact: Google+, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn.