As a Mac user, how locked am I to the Apple ecosystem? The answer turns out to be "very."

douglerner

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While I am greatly enjoying the Nexus 7 so far, I think the answer to one of my original questions: "How locked am I into the Apple ecosystem" turns out to be "very locked." More than I thought.

This is all due to there not being a Mac equivalent of iTunes for the Nexus which deals with music, photo albums and backup/restores.

For example:

(1) I can sync music with my Nexus 7. This is perhaps the easiest of the tasks. You can use the free Google Music Player. If you can download it.

Note for non-U.S. people: You must be in the U.S. or a supported country for the initial download of the Mac app, and have a U.S. credit card to sign up for Google Wallet, for extra verification, even though it is free. I did this via VPN from Japan, and have a U.S. credit card. Otherwise doing it from here would have been impossible.

Once you have Google Music Player installed the sync works well, and is fast, and Google Music attempts to match with its library for minimal actual transfer of data. You can stream your playlists, or touch "pin" to store any albums or song on your Nexus 7 for offline listening.

But this only works as long as you don't have a lot of DRM protected music purchased pre-2009 from the Apple store. If you do, you have to unlock the old purchases. I did that by burning CDs and re-importing them. Apple has a paid Match service for this, but a lot of the older purchases were NLA (no longer available) so this was the only way. Also, this only works for playlists, so you have to create playlists for whatever you want to sync. But it does work, and isn't too bad. It's quite nice actually.

(2) I can transfer iPhoto albums to my Nexus 7, via the free Android File Manager app for the Mac when connected via USB. But this has drawbacks, including exporting albums and wasting disk space, and isn't really a sync solution.

(3) There is no included automatic backup of the entire Nexus 7 to an iCloud equivalent, or the ability to do a complete backup on your computer. I hear there are some 3rd party solutions for this, but haven't tried them yet.

These solutions are not terribly challenging, but I would say they are not for beginners either. It turns out that iTunes and its ability to sync and backup and restore are actually very powerful features, and so before anybody changes from an iOS device to an Android device my best advice is to consider the implications of this. Android really needs something equivalent to iTunes. iTunes is perhaps under-appreciated. At least it was by me.

DoubleTwist is a 3rd party solution which looks, on first glance to be an iTunes replacement. But it does not sync iPhoto albums, like iTunes does. Nor does it deal with complete device backup and restores. And you must use it via an extra paid wi-fi app, because DoubleTwist does not support the Nexus 7 via USB.

I will be posting more later. I actually think the Android UI is better than iOS and I like using it more. I'll be writing about my reasons for saying so later on with some examples. And I think hardware wise the Nexus 7 is better than the iPad Mini.

My main issues are just what I mentioned here - syncing music, syncing iPhoto albums and backup/restore capabilities. So it is something to consider if you have been using the Apple "ecosystem" for a long time.

doug
 
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GMC MaXx

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Re: As a Mac user, how locked am I to the Apple ecosystem? The answer turns out to be "very."

You have some valid points about being tied to the Apple ecosystem, but you may have better luck if you stop trying to force your Nexus to act like an idevice. Android is a different animal.

Posted via Android Central App in Partnership with Verizon Galaxy Nexus-ish
 

dmcincubus

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Re: As a Mac user, how locked am I to the Apple ecosystem? The answer turns out to be "very."

You have some valid points about being tied to the Apple ecosystem, but you may have better luck if you stop trying to force your Nexus to act like an idevice. Android is a different animal.

Posted via Android Central App in Partnership with Verizon Galaxy Nexus-ish
Not sure how wanting to easily access his music, files and photos on his nexus 7 is treating his device like an idevice. I think this is simply just a helpful post for someone passing through who might be considering crossing platforms with a plethora of their stuff in an 'i-eco system'.
 

douglerner

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Re: As a Mac user, how locked am I to the Apple ecosystem? The answer turns out to be "very."

Right. I want to be able to sync some things like photos (and preserve photo albums) and music. And it would be really reassuring to have a standard way of backing up and restoring. But inside my Nexus I am perfectly happy with "letting it be a Nexus." :)

doug
 

tflash

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Re: As a Mac user, how locked am I to the Apple ecosystem? The answer turns out to be "very."

Not sure how wanting to easily access his music, files and photos on his nexus 7 is treating his device like an idevice. I think this is simply just a helpful post for someone passing through who might be considering crossing platforms with a plethora of their stuff in an 'i-eco system'.

copy C:\*.* D:\

:D:D
 

Belcebu

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Re: As a Mac user, how locked am I to the Apple ecosystem? The answer turns out to be "very."

The problem isn't the Android device, is Apple's tightly closed ecosystem. And yes, it is something to consider if you want to switch platforms.

Enviado desde mi Nexus 4 usando Tapatalk 4
 

anon(847090)

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Re: As a Mac user, how locked am I to the Apple ecosystem? The answer turns out to be "very."

All my photos are auto uploaded to Google+ downloading and uploading to any service(even Apple) is easy
All my Music is uploaded to Google Music, Again downloading and uploading music to any service is easy
All my files are on google drive, same rule apply like above

Helium is a good app&data backup application. read the description if you are not rooted.
https://forums.androidcentral.com/e...ils?id=com.koushikdutta.backup&token=gQeQALMW

app data backup is the only one i do manually. that problem could be solved if i buy the premium helium app but I am ok with it
 

carbon fibre

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Re: As a Mac user, how locked am I to the Apple ecosystem? The answer turns out to be "very."

All my photos are auto uploaded to Google+ downloading and uploading to any service(even Apple) is easy
All my Music is uploaded to Google Music, Again downloading and uploading music to any service is easy
All my files are on google drive, same rule apply like above

Helium is a good app&data backup application. read the description if you are not rooted.
https://forums.androidcentral.com/e...ils?id=com.koushikdutta.backup&token=mushzosP

app data backup is the only one i do manually. that problem could be solved if i buy the premium helium app but I am ok with it

Just checked out Helium. Not good enough for me. You have to attach your device to a PC and trigger a backup.
With iOS, I simply plug my device into a wall socket for its evening charge. It automatically backs up. Before this direct to cloud backup I would go weeks without a proper backup.
 

jerrykur

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Are you sure you need a PC for a backup? The screen snaps imply GoogleDrive or other cloud locations. To me this would be better than backing up to a PC.

Update. I just noticed you need pro version for cloud based backup. Still $5 seems pretty cheap for a little piece of mind so I bought it. Can't wait for the release with scheduled backups.

Posted via Android Central App
 

titaniumSS

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Re: As a Mac user, how locked am I to the Apple ecosystem? The answer turns out to be "very."

Just like Still1 said, Google+ backup for photos, but I also use Dropbox (due to free 50GB from Samsung, plus some from way back when) for the same.
 

douglerner

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Re: As a Mac user, how locked am I to the Apple ecosystem? The answer turns out to be "very."

Are you sure you need a PC for a backup? The screen snaps imply GoogleDrive or other cloud locations. To me this would be better than backing up to a PC.

Update. I just noticed you need pro version for cloud based backup. Still $5 seems pretty cheap for a little piece of mind so I bought it. Can't wait for the release with scheduled backups.

Posted via Android Central App

I might also give it a try. Not having any backup at all is too risky. Fortunately this is not a main production device yet. I mostly got it because I was curious. Still, it's one thing to consider if you are coming over from a Mac environment. The sync on the Apple system is overall better I think it's fair to say. However I am enjoying using the Nexus, & I think there are many things about the Nexus which are better than the iPad. I do think it's good to be aware of the entire situation though.
 

smoledman

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Re: As a Mac user, how locked am I to the Apple ecosystem? The answer turns out to be "very."

I'm kind of shocked Android 4.3 doesn't have full device backup to your Google account like the iCloud.
 

apquijano

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Re: As a Mac user, how locked am I to the Apple ecosystem? The answer turns out to be "very."

Very interesting views. I always saw Apple devices being locked down by iTunes. While it is convenient, I like to be able to manage the contents of my phone myself without having to go through a program like iTunes.
 

douglerner

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Re: As a Mac user, how locked am I to the Apple ecosystem? The answer turns out to be "very."

When trying to run helium it said I have to enable USB testing in my settings. But I can't find a setting for that. Anybody know? In the meanwhile, I saw this information. It seems like a lot of information does get backed up to Google servers and can be restored. So that is a bit reassuring anyway.

From help:

You can back up settings and other data associated with one or more of your Google Accounts. If you need to replace or factory reset your device, you can restore your data for any accounts that were previously backed up.

These options are available:

Back up my data. If you check this option, a wide variety of your personal data is backed up automatically, such as app data, Wi-Fi passwords, and other settings.
Backup account. Displays the Google Accounts whose information gets backed up. You must sign in with one or more of these accounts on a new or reset device to retrieve the associated information.
To add a new account, touch Backup account > Add account.

Automatic restore. Check this option to restore settings and other data when you reinstall an app. This feature requires that you are backing up your data with your Google Account and that the app is using the backup service.
Factory data reset. Touch this option, then Reset tablet or Reset phone to erase all your personal data from internal storage, including information about your Google Account, any other accounts, your system and app settings, any downloaded applications, and your music, photos, videos, and other files.
After resetting your device, you'll need to re-enter the same information requested when you first set up your device. If you've been backing up your data to a Google Account, an option during the setup process allows you to restore it.
 

dannyd86

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Re: As a Mac user, how locked am I to the Apple ecosystem? The answer turns out to be "very."

As somebody who has a blackberry 10 smartphone, PC as my laptop (soon to be a macbook) and just recently a nexus 7 as my tablet. I suggest you use as much 3rd party as you can. Use Evernote for notes, box for pictures videos and documents. And itunes for music (plus pair it with a music player of your choice on android). Theres an ap https://forums.androidcentral.com/e...?id=com.jrtstudio.iSyncr&hl=en&token=1J78ycP_ Works for syncing your itunes to your android device over wifi, on a schedule.

For music I have a bit of a routine, I collect it from whatever source. Organize it into a folder inside my box sync folder. From here Ill edit the tags or whatever then toss it into an itunes playlist. From that itunes playlist you can easily sync to all your devices since its pretty much a standard. Even my blackberry desktop software will sync itunes.
 

douglerner

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Re: As a Mac user, how locked am I to the Apple ecosystem? The answer turns out to be "very."

Helium. Ugh!

You have to go into developer settings and set USB debug mode. To get to developer settings you have to unhide it by going to About This Tablet, and tap 7 times on the build number. OK. It's nice to see the settings. But what are the implications of having USB debug mode on all the time?

Worse, you have to change your USB Connection settings so you can no longer use the Android File Transfer app! I don't want to do that.

Plus the Mac gives a security warning about Helium not coming from a recognized developer which means it wasn't properly code-signed.

I've uninstalled it.

There must be a better way.

doug
 

douglerner

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Re: As a Mac user, how locked am I to the Apple ecosystem? The answer turns out to be "very."

As somebody who has a blackberry 10 smartphone, PC as my laptop (soon to be a macbook) and just recently a nexus 7 as my tablet. I suggest you use as much 3rd party as you can. Use Evernote for notes, box for pictures videos and documents. And itunes for music (plus pair it with a music player of your choice on android). Theres an ap https://forums.androidcentral.com/e...?id=com.jrtstudio.iSyncr&hl=en&token=vUjENXUk Works for syncing your itunes to your android device over wifi, on a schedule.

For music I have a bit of a routine, I collect it from whatever source. Organize it into a folder inside my box sync folder. From here Ill edit the tags or whatever then toss it into an itunes playlist. From that itunes playlist you can easily sync to all your devices since its pretty much a standard. Even my blackberry desktop software will sync itunes.

It seems like Google Music Player is doing a decent job of syncing with selected playlists in iTunes. So I'm basically ok with that. I don't see any need to do anything with Box for that.

Why do you suggest Box for pictures? I have a Box account, but haven't done anything with it yet. It came with 50 GB which is the main reason I created the account. They are basically like DropBox, right?

You would think there would be a simple way to sync photo albums with Picasa, since it's such a long standing Google product. And there seems to be some sort of iPhoto plugin for Picasa, which I haven't investigated yet.

Thanks,

doug
 

oldtimer42

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Re: As a Mac user, how locked am I to the Apple ecosystem? The answer turns out to be "very."

I wanted to say thanks to douglerner for posting your questions and learning's as I'm learning with you.

Personally the main reason I started with the Nexus 4 was to break free of the Apple ecosystem. Now I'm hooked to the nexus family.

I never figured out how to get my music to my Nexus 4 but now have a solid idea of the best way to get it to my N4 and N7.

Now I need to learn how to VPN and get Google music running in Canada.

Keep it up. Cheers.

Oldtimer42


Sent from my Nexus 7
 

douglerner

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Re: As a Mac user, how locked am I to the Apple ecosystem? The answer turns out to be "very."

I wanted to say thanks to douglerner for posting your questions and learning's as I'm learning with you.

Personally the main reason I started with the Nexus 4 was to break free of the Apple ecosystem. Now I'm hooked to the nexus family.

I never figured out how to get my music to my Nexus 4 but now have a solid idea of the best way to get it to my N4 and N7.

Now I need to learn how to VPN and get Google music running in Canada.

Keep it up. Cheers.

Oldtimer42


Sent from my Nexus 7

Did you try to get the Google Music Manager? Maybe it works from Canada without a VPN. The download link is here:

https://support.google.com/googleplay/answer/1229970?hl=en

doug
 

bearda

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Re: As a Mac user, how locked am I to the Apple ecosystem? The answer turns out to be "very."

Did you try to get the Google Music Manager? Maybe it works from Canada without a VPN. The download link is here:

https://support.google.com/googleplay/answer/1229970?hl=en

doug

+1 on this. Google Music Manager is THE way to bridge iTunes and Google Play Music. You may still have issues with music that has since been removed from iTunes, however. I was able to get the vast majority of my music un-DRMed through iTunes Plus or uploading to iTunes Match, deleting the local copies, then redownloading. Anything that doesn't exist on Match may still be a problem, though. I seem to remember some of my old 128-bit iTunes content still being picked up my Google Music Manager, though.

BTW, Helium is a pain, especially comparing it to iCloud backups. It's not that the backup process is bad, it's the process you need to go through to "Unlock" the ability to backup (the USB stuff) is bad. Once you do it you're good until you reboot the phone, but I came to the same overall conclusion you did. Not worth it.
 

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