One of the oldest debates of the digital age is the iPhone vs. Android. My very first iPhone was the iPhone 5S, and I fell in love with it. It was small, elegant, and easy to use. However, Android manufacturers have released some neat features that aren’t available on iPhones, and this got me wondering if it was time to make a change.
The more I explored, the more I realized that Android is more customizable and gives users more control over what they can do with phones and tablets. Ultimately, switching to Android seemed like a smart choice. Fortunately, I do like my Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, but switching was a learning curve.
I’ll share my experience with you so that you can make a well-informed decision before taking the leap. The following sections will tell you everything you want (and need) to know.
Is Android Worth It?
Yes! Android is great. Although, I must say, at one time, I was anti-Android. This was chiefly the result of having owned one for a few short weeks, years ago. Unfortunately, I didn’t know a lot about smartphones and operating systems at the time, and I struggled to understand Android. I thought the entire platform was just awful.
If that sounds like you, or you’ve heard Android horror stories from people just like me, let me explain why I hated Android and what happened when I changed my mind.
Why I Hated Android at First
My relationship with Android came to a head when I received a phone call while I drove down the road. I couldn’t answer the phone because my home screen was filled with advertisements! That’s right, random ads were popping up on my screen over the Answer button. I immediately went to my cell phone carrier and bought another iPhone.
The reason I was receiving ads on my screen was that I’d downloaded a bunch of spam applications and gave them screen overlay permissions. What I didn’t realize when I purchased my Android smartphone was that the Google Play Store was an open-source app store. At the time, I didn’t know that Google didn’t monitor apps in the store, and, therefore, anyone could, and apps weren’t reliable. Google has since fixed this problem. However, it certainly left a bad taste in my mouth for many years.
Fortunately, Google does monitor apps in the store now and this isn’t a massive problem anymore. Moreover, Android lets you change many app permissions in the Settings.
Learning to Embrace Android Over iPhone
After years of repeatedly saying iPhones were better than Android, I finally succumbed to the appeal of one feature: The camera. There just wasn’t any way to deny it anymore. The cameras on the Google Pixel, the Samsung, and even LGs seemed to be so much better than anything the iPhone has given us in a decade.
Furthermore, Android devices allow us to make changes to our phones that the iPhone doesn’t. For example, we can side-load apps on Android that aren’t available in the Google Play Store. Apple doesn’t let us install applications on our iPhones that aren’t in the App Store, so Android gives us more freedom.
I’ve learned to value the freedom Android offers over the simplicity of Apple. If you can work through the learning curve, you’ll likely enjoy it, too.
Coping with the Things I Lost Switching to Android
I wouldn’t lie to you. There are a few things I miss about my iPhone. Naturally, you’ll lose blue texts and FaceTime. However, those only ever worked with other iPhones, and Android now has the same features for its phones. Furthermore, you can always opt for a third-party service like Facebook Messenger for video chats and read receipts.
Fortunately, Android devices these days have similar features, so losing a few iPhone-only features isn’t a deal breaker for me.
The only issue I haven’t been able to overcome is Airdrop and texts on my Mac. The Android is still great, but if you use a Mac regularly, this may be a deal breaker for you.
How Is Android Different from an iPhone?
Sure! Androids and iPhones are similar in this regard. Both devices work perfectly fine, assuming you know how to use them. As I mentioned above, Google has worked out a lot of the kinks I didn’t like, and it’s now an excellent platform with a lot of features.
Not only do Android devices get really neat features before the iPhone (like the ability to install apps from other sources), but they’re also incredibly customizable. For example, if you don’t like the home screen, you can install a launcher and make it look any way you’d like.
Moreover, I can tweak more settings and install more applications on my Android than I ever imagined on my iPhone. Unfortunately, this also means I have to be more diligent about what I do with my phone now. Whereas I could feel at ease downloading any app on my iPhone, I now read app reviews and investigate the developer before installing anything on my Android.
Using Android vs. iPhone
iPhones are easy to use by nature. You have all your apps on your home screens, and there aren’t many things you can mess up. Android devices, on the other hand, have many more places to store applications, features, settings, and functions. Unfortunately, things can get lost in translation, and before you know it, you’re spending hours reading History-Computer tutorials and figuring things out.
When you get the hang of things, Android is great. However, it’s that learning curve that pushes people back to an iPhone. The following sections will give you my insider tips for using Android instead of an iPhone.
The first thing I want to address is one of the most significant differences between iPhones and Android: the apps. From where we can install them to how they act and where they are located vary greatly between operating systems.
You can easily side-load apps or install them from other sources on an Android. For this reason, you must be mindful of the apps you’re downloading. Otherwise, you risk getting viruses and other problems with bad applications and software.
Next, your apps will be located in the app drawer rather than on the home screen. You can access the app drawer by swiping up from the middle of the screen. Furthermore, you can move apps to your app drawer or back to your home screen.
Storage and Cloud Services
Another thing that takes some getting used to is how you store your data. iPhones have the iCloud. Everything on your device is neatly stored in one cloud, and you can restore all your content to new devices. Unfortunately, Android doesn’t make things this easy.
However, you have many more options to store information in the cloud. Some manufacturers, like Samsung, have their own cloud services that are similar to iCloud, but not all of them offer a backup service. You also have Google Photos and Google Drive, which you can get on iPhones, too.
I opted for a Samsung, so I got the Samsung Cloud. However, I also use Google Photos to keep all the pictures and videos on my iPhone. Of course, you will need an app like Smart Switch to transfer content from your iPhone to your new Android device.
Note: Many Android devices no longer have SD slots. If you want the option to expand your device storage, ensure the model you buy still has that option.
Devices and Prices
Another significant difference between iPhones and Androids is the devices you can purchase. Only iPhones have iOS. However, many manufacturers offer Android devices. You can choose a variety of phones with the same operation system and functionality.
Furthermore, you can choose to pay more money for high-end Android phones, or you can save money and go with something simpler. No matter your budget, there is an Android device out there for you.
It took a long time for me to get used to Android. Once I did, however, I grew to love everything about it. Years ago, Android wasn’t a cohesive operating system. The Play Store was awful, and you had to be tech-savvy to use it.
Google has made excellent upgrades to the operating system over the past few years, and now, it’s an excellent platform that’s easy to use and customizable. I’m not upset about leaving iPhones behind. As a matter of fact, I’ve embraced all the things I can do with an Android.