Switching from Android to iOS — the Pain and the Pleasure

Back Story

My Pixel 3 stopped making calls unless I rebooted it. This quickly got old. Additionally I was angry with Google that after only three years Google is not releasing any more updates for the Pixel 3. Time to go back to iOS after five years using Android!

Notification Management

One thing I noticed right away is notification management. I got a notification from the cat game I installed for my five year old. I immediately want to block all future notifications from the cat game.

Facial Recognition versus Fingerprint Sensor

For Android I used a Google Pixel, which offers only a fingerprint sensor for biometrics. Fingerprint sensors have some serious drawbacks. I’m at the gym and my finger is sweaty — too bad, the Pixel’s thumbprint reader won’t work. Hands damp from washing dishes or washing your hands in the bathroom? Too bad — the fingerprint sensor won’t work unless your finger is fully dry. I often end up pounding out my six digit passcode.

I’m at the gym and my finger is sweaty — too bad, the Pixel’s thumbprint reader won’t work.

Wet hands? Apple’s facial recognition doesn’t care. Occasionally I get a failed attempt from it, but the retry is painless enough and it is pretty rare.

Icon Placement

Let’s say I want to put my Wodify app in the lower right hand corner, so that every time I hit the gym I go straight to the bottom right and open Wodify. I also want to have some open space on my front page because I don’t like the cluttered feel of a page full of icons.

SMS Messages Via Computer

As a person with a PC, I really miss Google Messages. If I got a phone message while on my PC, I could see the message straight from the computer without picking up the phone. If I was on my PC and found a news story I thought was interesting, I could paste the URL right into Google Messages and SMS text it to my wife. I could paste in screenshots of an interesting picture. All you need is a web browser.

Side Loading

Apple says this is forbidden fruit. All software installed must come through their golden gate of the App Store. Ka-ching!!!

Long Term OS Support

When I bought the Pixel 3 I thought I would get eternal security updates from Google. Here we are three years later and they have already abandoned updating it further. Now they are promising five years for the Pixel 6.

Price

Yes, you can save $100 or $200 buying a flagship Android device from Google or Samsung. But is it really much money over three years when it is 10% to 20% of the device cost? I don’t think it is meaningful, and judging by phone sales in America, neither does the average American. iOS is running on nearly 60% of all phones.

File Transfer

My wife has used iOS for a decade or more. It has never been easy getting her pictures off her phone to a PC or a cloud storage of my choice. Apple has not made it easy. At least now you can pay money for Apple’s cloud offering and use their cloud as an intermediate way to move pictures.

Messaging

As an Android user I constantly got jealous that iOS users could “love” a message and attach a heart to it. On Android I could see that heart, but had no way to attach a heart of my own. I would have to send back a message that appended to the whole thread instead of being able to “love” a single message in the thread.

iMessage example

Downloading an MP3 File to Your Phone

Another walled garden restriction from Apple. Maybe I bought an MP3 file about the history of Genghis Khan and I want to move it to my phone? Instead of being able to download it straight from a web browser to my phone, I have to download it to Dropbox and then make it available offline.

Summary

This is by no means exhaustive, but it is the stuff that mattered the most to me. Almost 60% of Americans use Apple devices according to the statistics I could find, so there must be a strong preference for iOS. What is your most loved or most hated feature of either one? Leave it for me in the comments.

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Lindsay Leeds

Lindsay Leeds

I am an IT guy by trade, with interests in investing and personal finance.