iPhone and Android: Can they co-exist in the same house?

Even before the Surface Duo(my current phone) was rumored to exist and run Android, I had been thinking about switching over to Android from my iPhone.  When Google announced the Pixel 3a, it was a lower cost device with stock Android that would help with the transition away from iPhone. Up until this point, my wife, my teenager and myself all had iPhones and used some of the Apple ecosystem for shared calendars, and other things family's should use for communication and collaboration. I hadn't used an Android phone since the first Android phone launched on Verizon, the Moto Droid, so switching to Android would present some challenges.   I prefer to use apps and services that work across any type of device, especially since I like to tinker and play with all the different kinds of phones/tablets/computers.  I am known for switching back and forth between phones, which drives my wife and teenager crazy, since there are a few annoyances between interoperability of iPhone and Android.  

The big one...lack of iMessage support on Android.  The kids call this the ugly green chat bubble, and I'm told you can be removed from friend groups simply for having an Android phone in group chats(very harsh).  This is a hassle, even to this day.  Sending pictured between android and iPhone typically result in very low quality images and video being sent back and forth.  The work around for this is to use something like Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, or one of the many other messaging platforms that works on both iPhone and Android. Until Apple adds what is called RCS support into iMessage(because they will never bring iMessage to Android), this will continue to be a pain point for me and anyone who has an iPhone.

For shared calendar access, we are using Google Calendar.  Everyone already had a google account, so linking them together in a family and setting up a shared calendar was the obvious choice. Setting up alerts is still work in progress and notifying the family of a new calendar event is done through email instead of notification.

For shared grocery list access, we were using Wunderlist, which is now Microsoft To-Do.  There are a lot of to-do/list making apps.  I wanted one that would work with our Google Home smart speakers, but couldn't find one I liked(I may have to revisit this).

To use Apple's Find My service, I created a web link app button to go to iCloud.com and from there I can login and use it, just like if I was on an iPhone.

Another missing element is access to the Apple TV remote control software on iPhone.  I have not been able to find an app that fixes this issue, but did find a hardware/software solution to solve it.  I purchased a Logitech Harmony Companion Remote and programmed it to control my TV, Apple TV, sound bar and even my Xbox. Using the app, I can control all of these device with a single interface, instead of finding the remote for each of these devices.

It is possible, with some cooperation with the rest of your family members, for iPhones and Android phones to co-exist in the same house.  I'm pretty sure i will never get the rest of my family to use anything other than an iPhone, and that's ok.

If anyone has any tips they would like to share about this topic, feel free to leave them in the comments. 


  1. AnyList is a good grocery list app that is available for both Apple and android. Similar sharing options to wunderlist. Has Alexa and google assistant support. Also it organizes items by category for food such as deli or bakery to make shopping easier.


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