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4 tips to survive a mobile platform switch

It was the least-ideal scenario for choosing a new phone:

First thing on a Monday morning, my iPhone® 4 up and died. I don’t have a landline at home, and I had my kids the next two nights. I had to replace it … IMMEDIATELY.

Here’s the thing: I’d had an iPhone for a couple of years, and have had an iPod touch® and iPad® even longer. For me, Apple® products were like a pair of perfectly broken in-sneakers. But I’m not a super user with a laundry list of requirements. And some rapid-fire research (and a couple of conversations with tech-minded colleagues) made me wonder if the grass was greener on the Google side of the fence.

So I traded my iPhone for the Samsung S5.

Whichever way you leap, going from a familiar mobile platform to an unfamiliar one takes a little effort—but here are some things you can do to smooth the transition.

1. Have really thick skin.

There are going to be plenty of “you’re going to the dark side” comments. Welcome them—they might help inform your decision.

At the same time, take all outside input with a grain of salt; be very objective and realistic about how you use your phone and which features truly matter.

For example, I don’t like apps … and certainly don’t care about having the latest ones. And while I own other Apple products, it doesn’t matter to me if my phone is in that brand family.

I do need a great camera, however. And a speedy connection.

2. Prep your current phone.

If my phone hadn’t died so suddenly, here’s what I would’ve done.

First, the basics: Transfer contacts, photos and videos to the new phone; here’s how. (It’s pretty easy, whichever way you’re switching.) If the information is in the cloud, you can use an app to automate this and save time. Second, if you’re going from iOS to Android, too, deactivate iMessage. I’m still dealing with a quirky bug that prevents iPhones from recognizing that I’m no longer on an iPhone; so, my Apple-loving friends have to manually change every message they send me from an iMessage to a text.

3. Be patient with the new interface.

It took me five full minutes to figure out simply how to access my first text message. I wish I were kidding.

Once I discovered the back button (no judging … it’s in a very different more subtle location than on my old phone), my world got much easier.

Even so, for the first week or so, I felt very out of sorts. Imagine cooking in a kitchen that kind of looks like yours, but the cooking utensils are where you kept flatware, the glasses are where the plates were, etc.

This experience was exactly like that. It’s hard not to feel slightly panicked and wonder how much effort and money it would take to fix your “mistake.”

But once I got the lay of the land, I couldn’t imagine things being organized any differently. And it helped to have friends and colleagues nearby who are well versed in Android.

(Side note: Because the Android interface is a little more personalized and complex, my phone is now all mine! The kids can’t figure out how to use it.)

4. Have a photo shoot.

My phone is my camera—and I know I’m not alone.

My first night with the new S5, I brought out the “dress-up bin” and had the kids model for me. It gave me a chance to play with the camera’s many settings and options (new filters—omg!), so when I really NEED to take a photo, I’ll know exactly how to get the perfect shot.

Also, as you transition, keep this little nugget of wisdom that a colleague gave me in mind: Avoid comparing your new phone to your old phone—and suspend all judgment—until you’re at least a week into the switch.

P.S. Whatever phone you choose—iPhone or an Android—you can put the Progressive App on it. Score.

Android is a trademark of Google Inc.

Apple, iPhone, iPod touch and iPad are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

IOS is a trademark or registered trademark of Cisco in the U.S. and other countries and is used under license.