8 Useful iPhone Tips for Ex-Android Users

Seven years ago, working on a video web series shot in Puerto Rico, the director told me they liked the footage I’d shot on my smartphone. The problem was I could not figure out how to get it off the phone. My devices—an Android phone and an Apple laptop—were in a fight, just like my marriage. I thought, “Can’t everyone just get along?” But no, it doesn’t work that way.

I had to use a software bridge to transfer between the phone and the computer, and every time there was an upgrade on either side, the transition became uncertain. I used Commander One, Android Transfer, anything I could find. Nothing worked consistently, especially with large video files. My cohost asked me, “Why are you living in two universes?” While I thought he was referring to the fact that I had recently left my husband on another continent, he actually meant: Why did I have a Nokia phone and a MacBook Air?

Shortly after that film shoot, I ditched my husband for good, but I went on to have seven LG phones, as their cameras and video quality kept improving. On any group trip, everyone would agree to let me take the pictures because my camera was just better. It seemed worth the struggle to keep the dual status because the image quality was far superior.

Early in the pandemic, a film director for the Discovery Channel told me he had switched to the iPhone12 Pro Max. Shortly after, LG announced it was leaving the phone business. I asked myself, “What could make my life easier?” and went to Costco to get a new phone. I knew that swapping would have challenges, but I told myself Costco always takes things back and walked out with a new iPhone 12 Pro Max.

My iPhone friends said, “Welcome to the Dark Side” as they anxiously waited for my chat bubbles to change from green to blue. I was a rookie, and it felt like a rocky new relationship at first, but eventually I found my bearings. Here are some of my favorite features and a few cool tricks for Android users making the switch—some of which have even made friends who are loyal iPhone users say, “How do I do that?”

Working With Photos and Video

My main goal was to have my photos appear on my laptop easily, instead of struggling to move them over from Android. Initially I needed some help with this, so I made an online appointment to speak to Apple Tech Support, and after some back and forth, my devices were able to speak to each other. Tech support helped me redirect the photo library. To work with my photos, all I do now is select a group of photos, create a new album, and Airdrop them from my phone to my desktop. The photos are also in the Photos app on my laptop and backed up immediately in iCloud. When I make movies from an adventure, like my recent excursion with bears in Ketchikan, Alaska, I can move the videos from the desktop into iMovie, and it is seamless, painless, and so much easier than it used to be.

A Built-In Magnifying Glass

Good news: An iPhone can make you feel younger. My doctor takes her reading glasses everywhere, and it makes her feel old. With one step, I taught her to turn on Magnifier.

In your iPhone or iPad, go to Settings > Accessibility. Tap Magnifier, then turn it on. Now tap the button on the right side of the phone three times and the powerful magnifier will open. My doctor can ditch the reading glasses at the market or on a date because she already has her phone. She has had an iPhone for 14 years but never knew it could help her read small print. With Android, you need to download a special app, and while there are plenty to choose from, it’s nice having the feature baked into your phone.

Easy Screen Recording

Screen Record, as its name implies, allows you to record a video of your screen. To do so, swipe diagonally down from the upper right corner to get to the control center and then press the screen record button. It will give you a countdown of 3 before it starts, so make sure you are open to what you want to record BEFORE you press the button.

When I wrote a Thrive Global article about brand expert Aliza Licht, she made a video of the article and tweeted it.

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