Aug 03

An update on my Android vs iPhone experiment. At the start of this year I purchased a Google Pixel phone for review and I ended up keeping it because it was so good. So how am I feeling about it 6 months later? The novelty of the Google phone is wearing off but I still prefer it over the iPhone – just. I have however switched back to the iPhone simply because it’s easier to stay in the one ecosystem. It was educational to use an Android phone for 6 months.

In the end it doesn’t come down to hardware features like camera resolution or processor speed. It seems to be the small details that swing me one way or the other. Turning silent mode on and off. Getting back to the home screen easily. Copying a text. Changing a setting. The feel of typing. Apple and Google would do well to learn some lessons from each other in these areas instead of trying to outcompete in the larger areas.

Here’s what I’m finding are the most noticeable differences after 6 months of use.

  • I love the software activated silent mode on Android. (The Pixel phone will allow you to turn on ‘silent’ mode for 1 hr, 2hrs etc. It will then turn silent mode off automatically.)
  • There have been a couple of times I have missed an important text that simply did not come through on the Google Phone. This has never happened on the iPhone.
  • Apple have just introduced the ability to send a group text on an iPhone. 
  • You still can’t copy a portion of a text message on the iPhone (for example a code or a phone number).
  • You can drag icons wherever you want them on Android.
  • The 3 Android buttons to go back and switch apps are great. Apple only has the one home button.
  • Google is more intrusive. It notices I am on a train and asks if I want a timetable. It notices if I’m at the airport and asks if I want a map. It notices if the destination I am heading to in maps will be closed after hours and warns me. Apple probably err more on the side of privacy in this area, but I like the phone guessing what I might need.
  • I’m not missing being locked out of Apple Pages documents on the Pixel Phone. I’ve learned to get around it.
  • ‘OK Google’ activation doesn’t work as well as ‘Hey Siri’.
  • Google’s correction for dictated text is much better because the suggestions are based on what was dictated. Apple’s correction is based on the mis-recognised word.

All of the above issues are software differences. It’s interesting to see how close the two phones are.

The software plays the bigger part in determining the user experience and Google seem to be slightly ahead of Apple in terms of features but Apple win here in terms of reliability.

 

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