7 ways the iPhone crushes Android phones

Tech News posted on 1/25/2020 1:33:42 PM by christina , Likes: , Comments: 0, Views: 1009

7 ways the iPhone crushes Android phones
iMessage, AirPods and timely software updates are just a few of the features that give the iPhone bragging rights over Android.

I recently covered seven things Android phones are capable of that iPhone users could only dream of having. Features like being able to organize the home screen however you want, the benefits of a superior Google Assistant and better multitasking. 

But iPhones have their perks, too, with plenty of valuable features that Android phones lack. iMessage, FaceTime and regular OS updates for nearly every iPhone are some top examples. 

Here are my favorite iPhone features that Android users are missing out on.

iMessage gives you that blue bubble feeling

Perhaps the biggest feature that Android users don't have, and likely never will, is Apple's proprietary messaging platform iMessage. It seamlessly syncs across all of your Apple devices, is fully encrypted and has a ton of playful features like Memoji.

When you send a message to another iPhone and you see the chat bubble turn blue, you know that the person on the other end of the conversation is using an iPhone, too. That makes you part of a club, sure, but it also includes certain benefits, like chatting over Wi-Fi and being able to share high-res videos and photos with the person on the other end of the line.

iMessage also lets you request or send money via Apple Pay, and pepper the message with extra colorful animations, for example, which makes for a more robust conversation than using standard SMS on the iPhone. You'll know you're in typical texting mode when the chat bubbles are green. 

iMessage  iphone

Google recently rolled out its own take on iMessage as part of its Messages app. It uses something called rich communication services that let you send higher quality photos and videos, and see read receipts and even typing indicators so you know when they other person is replying. While Google's RCS brings huge improvements to chatting on an Android phone, it's not as widely used as iMessage right now and doesn't have Apple's full set of features. 

Wireless headphones and earbuds are a breeze to set up and use

Pairing the wireless AirPods ($129 at Amazon) earbuds to your iPhone is a seamless experience that makes Apple's system leagues ahead of Google's. One of the most impressive benefits is being able to use the same AirPods with your Mac or Apple Watch ($399 at Apple) without having to pair them again. 

Samsung's Galaxy Buds ($109 at Amazon) try to recreate that magical experience, and they come close, but lack the range and ease of use across multiple devices. Google's Pixel Buds 2 are Android users' best hope for recreating that magic -- but you'll have to wait a little longer before they start shipping. 

The AirPods have plenty of features and tricks you'll want to learn, like sharing audio and asking Siri to read your incoming messages. The AirPods Pro do even more. 

Every eligible iPhone gets software updates at the same time

Software updates have always been a shortcoming of the Android platform as a whole. Unless you own one of Google's Pixel phones, you never really know when you're going to receive a security update or major feature release, because that timing is up to each individual phone brand. Some are more consistent than others. 

iphone updates

On the other hand, when Apple releases a software update for the iPhone, every single user has immediate access to that update as long as their iPhone is still supported. Here's a current list of supported devices that goes back to the iPhone SE ($349 at Apple). When iOS 13 arrived in September, iPhone owners were able immediately to update. When iOS 13.1 came out a few days later, everyone was once again able to update at once. 

You just don't get that kind of consistency and assurance on the totality of Android phones.

Video calls with iPhone are as simple as a phone call

FaceTime is one feature that Android has never been able to match, despite Google's best efforts with its Duo app. FaceTime works so well because it's encrypted and ready to use the moment you set up your new iPhone. 

Like iMessage, FaceTime is for many people synonymous with video calls. It's the only app they want to use and they don't have to log into a third-party app or search for contacts to set it up and start a call. It's just automatically linked to your contacts, camera and dialer to do all the work. It's this ease that makes FaceTime one of the reasons that family groups stay rooted to the iPhone. 

Seamless backup and restore

I've set up hundreds of Android phones, and the process has never been as painless as it is when I set up a new iPhone. With the iPhone, I log into my iCloud account, tap on Restore and then wait about 20 minutes. That's not the case with an Android phone. 

Google's backup and restore service does a decent job, but more often than not there are apps I need to reinstall or log into, setting to adjust, and disappointment to manage when the phones frequently fail to restore my home screen layout exactly how I had it. The Restore feature is supposed to save time, but I still spend a chunk of it fine-tuning the Android devices I set up this way. 

Meanwhile, my iPhone backs up to iCloud every night (as long as it's connected to Wi-Fi and charging), and completely restores installed apps, accounts, home screen and settings without fail. 

Shortcuts + Siri = time saved

Apple's Shortcuts app is preinstalled on the iPhone and lets owners create and share automations for common tasks, like checking the spelling for a document, viewing the Amazon price history for an item, or converting a video to a GIF with a couple of taps. 

I use Shortcuts on a daily basis, and more recently I've been giving Siri voice commands to do things like combine recent screenshots into one image or even used the Stats app and telling Siri to "warm up my car." 

For years, Siri had a bad reputation as being inferior to Google Assistant and Alexa -- and rightfully so. Apple's personal assistant was behind the competition for far too long. However, I use Siri on a daily basis for common tasks ranging from playing music, trivia questions and weather forecasts -- all of the same stuff I use Alexa for -- and Siri's results and capabilities match Amazon's assistant. 

The addition of Shortcuts support to Siri's repertoire has only strengthened it. Indeed, Google Assistant has routines and the ability to automate certain aspects, but the flexibility and on-device automation of Shortcuts makes it an indispensable tool.  

What bloatware? 

Bloatware, crapware. Whatever you want to call it, it doesn't exist on an iPhone. Apple doesn't allow carriers to install any apps before you get the phone, unlike Android devices that are loaded with carrier-specific apps from the moment you first turn them on. 

Yes, you can delete or hide those apps in just a few minutes on your Android phone, but it's not something users should have to deal with. Who really needs the AT&T locker app? Or random games pushed on you because the developer struck a deal with your carrier? I know I don't. Not to mention, researchers have found that preinstalled apps are prone to bugs and security issues. In my opinion, the owner of a phone should have control over what is and isn't installed. 

If you're looking for more features that make the iPhone better than Android, look no further than this long list of features Apple added in iOS 13, and if you're still not convinced, here's a healthy list of hidden features.