These days, so much of our lives are intertwined with our smartphones. They store our contact lists, photos, music play lists, videos, documents and wallets. They are used for everything from ordering our finances to ordering our pizza.
By implication, much of this personal information is caught up in the Google (Android), Apple (iOS) or Microsoft (Windows/Lumia) ecosystems.
Given this, switching from one platform to another can feel like a daunting task. The good news is that it’s not impossible.
In fact, thanks to Bonnie Cha’s two-part guide at Re/Code, it’s easier than you might think.
Sometimes things just don’t work out. You invest a lot of time and energy (and money) into the relationship, but you’re not getting what you need. Or you fight constantly about everything, even though you’ve created some wonderful memories together. So, you decide it’s time to break up … with your phone.
But making the switch from the iPhone to Android or vice versa might give you pause. You’ve got all your personal data on one platform, and transferring it to the other seems like a lot of hassle.
I won’t lie. It does require some work on your part, but it’s not as daunting as you might think.
In this guide, I’ll walk you through how to transfer your contacts, calendar, music and photos from your iPhone to your Android device. For several categories, I’ve outlined a couple of different methods to get the job done. I should also note that some carriers and Android phone manufacturers (HTC and Motorola, for example) offer all-in-one migration software, so you may want to give those a try if you’ve purchased one of their handsets.
Bill Gates’ freakishly accurate vision of the future
Finnish business blogger Markus Kirjonen recently read through Bill Gates’ 1999 book Business @ the Speed of Thought. Despite being written in the days of dial-up internet and Windows 98, Kirjonen was shocked at how accurate many of Gates’ predictions of the future turned out to be.
To put the year of release into perspective, it was not until a year later in 2000 that Telstra, Optus and Vodafone hammered out a deal allowing people to send text messages from one network to another.
Despite this, Gates predicted someday we’d have smartphones:
People will carry around small devices that allow them to constantly stay in touch and do electronic business from wherever they are. They will be able to check the news, see flights they have booked, get information from financial markets, and do just about anything else on these devices.
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Long before Siri, Google Now or Cortana, Gates predicted “personal companions” were coming:
“Personal companions” will be developed. They will connect and sync all your devices in a smart way, whether they are at home or in the office, and allow them to exchange data. The device will check your email or notifications, and present the information that you need. When you go to the store, you can tell it what recipes you want to prepare, and it will generate a list of ingredients that you need to pick up. It will inform all the devices that you use of your purchases and schedule, allowing them to automatically adjust to what you’re doing.
Software that knows when you’ve booked a trip and uses that information to suggest activities at the local destination. It suggests activities, discounts, offers, and cheaper prices for all the things that you want to take part in.
While Facebook would not be launched until February 2004, Gates predicted that:
Private websites for your friends and family will be common, allowing you to chat and plan for events.
Here’s Gates prediction of online marketplaces such as Airtasker, 99Designs and Canva:
Companies will be able to bid on jobs, whether they are looking for a construction project, a movie production, or an advertising campaign. This will be efficient for both big companies that want to outsource work that they don’t usually face, businesses looking for new clients, and corporations that don’t have a go-to provider for the said service.
Have you ever used Twitter while watching QandA or a footy match? Gates thought you would:
While watching a sports competition on television, services will allow you to discuss what is going on live, and enter contest where you vote on who you think will win.
Television broadcast will include links to relevant websites and content that complement what you are watching.
Residents of cities and countries will be able to have Internet-based discussions concerning issues that affect them, such as local politics, city planning or safety.
Last but not least, here’s Gates’ prediction on advertising:
Devices will have smart advertising. They will know your purchasing trends, and will display advertisements that are tailored toward your preferences.
Smartphone ad wars: Google and Apple battle for your mobile ad dollars
As predicted by Bill Gates back in 1999, mobile is becoming an increasingly important sales channel for small businesses. Beyond getting the basics right, targeting users on their mobiles also involves some form of advertising.
Of course, this raises a question: Should you rely on Google’s mobile ad efforts, or Apple’s? Or should you choose a cross-platform solution, such as Facebook advertising?
Over at Forbes, Ewan Spence examines some new figures that shed some light on whether your business should focus its efforts on Android or the iPhone:
The latest edition of Opera’s regular ‘State Of Mobile Advertising’ report was released today. It shows a market where Android has overtaken iOS in terms of mobile advertising revenue, with Google’s OS taking 45.77% of the revenue on offer, against Apple’s platform taking 45.44%
The report uses numbers generated by Opera’s own mobile advertising network, so it is a limited sample which should be taken into consideration but the long-term trend points to the slow rise of Android’s revenue.
Apple’s value offer to developers has always been a tightly focussed ecosystem that makes it easier to reach the users who are willing to spend money (or time) in mobile applications, and these users were more valuable than Android users in generating income.
Why Android and iPhone apps on Windows 10 is a dangerous move for Microsoft
Finally, here’s a piece of news that not even Bill Gates could have seen coming.
Back in January, Microsoft made some major announcements about the next big version of Windows, known as Windows 10. Under Windows 8, apps that were written for the company’s smartphones couldn’t run on its tablets and PCs, and vice-versa.
This will chance with Windows 10, with a new class of apps – known as Universal apps – able to run on everything from your smartphone and PC to a holographic headset and your Xbox without modification.
At its recent build conference, Microsoft went a step further, announcing that apps written for iPhones or Android will be able to be easily modified into Windows 10 apps.
It’s a bold strategy, but as Ars Technica’s Peter Bright explains, it’s also likely to be quite risky for the company:
This immediately felt like a dangerous move. Windows will not be the first operating system to run foreign applications. Famously, IBM advertised OS/2 as a “Better Windows than Windows” in the 1990s, boasting that its platform would run all your existing Windows applications with greater stability and performance. More recently, BlackBerry 10 included support for Android applications, with BlackBerry licensing the Amazon App Store and using it as its gateway to a world of Android-compatible software.
Neither OS/2 nor BlackBerry 10 has made a success of this capability. There are two major problems with supporting foreign applications on a niche platform. The first is straightforward: it removes any incentive for developers to bother with the native platform. Investing in developing for a minor platform is already something of a gamble, and by telling developers “Oh hey, you can just use your existing Win16 or Android program…” as IBM and BlackBerry (respectively) did, you’re implicitly sending them a message. “Don’t bother learning our platform or writing native apps for it.”