Saturday, 17 March 2018

Apple to Google Migration

Apple to Google Migration

For the past couple of months, I have slowly been transferring my loyalty away from Apple to Google. For more than a few years, I have lived on a balance between Apples closed platform and Googles more open view on life.

You might ask why, well as a blogger, lecturer and Technologist, I liked the Google system, sharing was easy, I liked the interface and apart from just a few small quirks, I happily used Drive and all it offered. Apple, on the other hand, apart from the excellent MacBook Pro, upset me a lot, with their closed shop mentality, and high pricing.

Another player in my life that I might add at this stage was Dropbox, who I used to store all my office documents, and although I liked their system a lot, I meant I had filed in Google, Dropbox and a little on the Mac cloud, not a good state of affairs, but I lived with it, until I saw just how much I was paying for storage on all three systems, the volume of which could easily fit onto one. So I made a choice, based on my best preference working environment and Google won hands down, the migration started.

I used Mac mail for a long time and although it was fine, I just prefer Gmail, so that was the first major transfer, and luckily this turned out to quite simple, just add Gmail to Apple mail and start, dragging folders into Gmail from Apple, and wait for the sync to complete.

Next was my writing, and at this stage I still had a legacy of old files in pages, and Numbers, and Keynote, there was no workaround here, just time spent transferring them to a common format, Google would not read Apple files but would see Microsoft, it took a while but it works, ok a small amount of reformatting and pagination sorting, but after just a week, I had all but cleared out all Apple files into the Google Cloud.

Next I did much the same for Dropbox, here it was mostly my business files and a large proportion of these were CAD files, a simple transfer to Google, Google has no CAD program, so opening these was interesting, but as long as I opened the files from the program, I use two, Autocad and Vectorworks, it was not a problem.

Clicking on a file within Google Drive did cause a few problems but I managed to get Google to know what to open on my Mac to run the file, although by now I was ok to just use the program to open the files.

Next close down Apple cloud and Dropbox, in both cases this was just an easy subscription problem and lowering my status to that of free on Dropbox, and a minimal on Apple, I still had at this stage my music and some films left I wanted to keep.

My iPhone now demanded replacement, I tried changing the battery, and by now cracked screen, but it just begged for replacement, so a Pixel 2 came into my life, Whoooo was this a change and transformed life from the slow, ok old iPhone to a fast new system that saw life in a different way, and as all my files were now Google, I could work in one system.

Next, I was offered a great deal on a Chromebook, this was just too good to miss, the Mac was slowly being replaced. For most of my work, this was just not a problem, all life was Google and it just worked, much as the Pixel had done, easy. But one aspect just stopped me leaving Apple and this was CAD, there is just no CAD on Chrome. But on another front, mainly my University teaching, Autocad was pushing my beloved Vectorworks to the back, and yet another migration was slowly looming, most of the University machines I used, have Autocad running, but not Vectorworks, Google ran fine so the marriage was complete, CAD was and now is Autocad. Another Cad program has also loomed that runs within a browser and uses dwg, the Autocad file format, and trials are underway if it works, then this side of life will complete the transformation and Apple will be regulated to a distant memory.

Sadly I will miss the Apple way, I started on Mac Plus and stayed with it all the way through troubled times and beyond, thinking the return of Jobs would cement life as Apple, sadly Jobs passed away, and I just lost confidence in their ability to move forward, Google, on the other hand, has no problem in moving forward at a vast rate of knots. My collection of old Apple machines, lives in my garage, the odd cupboard, and shelf, what to do with them is not a major problem, I just need to think on it and make that big move.

A major trial of Google came in a trip to the Antarctic, on a cruise ship, armed with no Mac just a new Pixel, and a Chromebook, almost no WiFi and a partner who was insisting I had a holiday with no computer. Well, that was not going to happen, we both needed to move the vast number of photos we were going to take into the Cloud, after sorting and deleting the odd bad take.

No Wifi was the first hurdle, could a Chromebook exist, the simple answer is yes, ooooh yes. Onboard Wifi is not cheap, but after 4 days at sea with no port call, U succumbed and logged in. The Chromebook performed as expected, syncing all our photos and by now docs.

Google have sorted out the lack of no WiFi, before leaving on this trip, I read up the google help files and adjusted my settings, and it just worked, I wanted to make a trip diary, so each day I loaded up the Chromebook, and added notes and comment, it was like being in contact,  but with no search, all the files I wanted were there, and as soon as I logged into the ships system whoosh it updated. OK so I started to write a paper but slowly the holiday got the better of life and that was quickly dropped,

So here I am, on the verge of Googleification, the MacBook Pro is in one room with its dual screen, the Chromebook is in the study, awaiting its dual-screen, my pixel 2 has its Bluetooth earbuds, a cheap £6 pair from Amazon, not the overpriced products Google sell, all is well. My Mac is two years old and works well, I still use it, but now leave it a home and travel with the Chromebook, I have my eye on the new Google Pixel book, come laptop that folds into a tablet and at under £1000, that's half the price of a new Apple machine. Oh and I also purchased a google home mini, that's interesting, my partners keep asking who I am talking to !. Transfering all my music was equally easy, but my library of films remains in Apple, a pain really but all new films are Googles, Chromecast work sooo well.

The transfer is complete, it’s taken about three months, of interrupted migration sessions, each one lasting a portion of a day, the biggest was the Emails and associated contacts, the longest, the pages and other Apple files that needed so much time. Gmail was just pickup, drag, leave and do something else.

I am now exploring the Android world, for the replacements of my Apple iPhone apps, which I seem to have done easily, including adding a few new ones I found, both to my Pixel, but also the Chromebook.

I miss the simple Apple ecosphere but love the Google open way, the Apple store is in my local shopping centre, and what was a must call shop, I now walk past, the Google online help system is good, is it a replacement for the Apple genius bar, it seems so, yes, every Google problem I searched for has an answer, I almost never had a problem with Apple machines yet still purchased the expensive guarantees, who the Google machines last only time will tell, but the cost of the Chromebook was less than the Apple guarentee, your wotk it out.

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