An Android fan spends a month with an iPhone: Week 3 – Dive deeper into the platform

So this is week 3 of my experiment on how the other half lives and this is starting to feel like a new normal to me. Some of the analogies I have been given for Android vs iOS have been really interesting (depending on what field you are in). The two that feel best fit are both related to cars with the former:

  • Android is like driving your car at the airport: it’s your car, configured for you, you like it, you are happy with it and you have full control over how to get to your destination.
  • iOS is like taking an Uber – it could be a really nice car, you could have a really nice driver, and you could be really happy in the end. But along the way, you’re not in complete control because you’re not driving. The air conditioning may be too cold, the route may not be what you would have chosen, or it may just be a battered 15-year-old Toyota Corolla. But it doesn’t matter, because regardless of the option you are given, you will arrive at your destination.

The second that I particularly like is an authentic luxury car (Android) versus Tesla (iOS). Where for Android you can choose from hundreds of optional extras to tweak every little thing to your liking, or the Tesla where you have 3 patterns and 5 colors to choose from.

This leads me to the fact that after a little more time on the iOS platform and being a little more familiar with the OS in general, it’s time for a deeper dive into iOS.

Configuration, settings and software integration

From a very simplistic perspective, the basics of setup are very parallel to each other on the iOS and Android platforms. General connectivity (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and mobile data) is all there, as is the ability to turn your phone into a hotspot with a difference. If you have invested in the Apple ecosystem, you just need to activate your hotspot for all your Apple devices (provided they are on the same Apple account) to connect.

The same can be said about the general configuration for sound, notifications (although there are still problems here), the screen and the security configuration. I have to say though that while I’m not a huge fan of face unlock, being the main method without a fingerprint reader present, Apple has provided a very reliable option. Siri and Me – The relationship is a bit rocky

I’ve tried, really‚Ķ I can’t stop changing the default “Hey Google” that comes out of my mouth to “Hey Siri”. Sometimes I’m even a little baffled by how simple things like weather can be quite significantly different between the two, in most cases it’s one or two degrees. One day, for some reason, Siri told me it was going to rain when both Google and Alexa clearly told me otherwise.

Eventually I found this particular change a little too much to deal with for a short-term review. If I were to start from scratch (i.e. without 9 Google Assistant-driven devices in my home) in terms of smart devices, while it would be highly unlikely to spend over $ 2,500.00 on Home Pods to get smart connectivity through my home, I might as well take consider a different path.

Google on iOS

Yes, you heard me … Google on iOS, that’s one thing! There are many iOS users who use Gmail as their primary email provider and use other services such as Google Drive. Honestly, in some respects, Google apps that are on iOS actually offer a better user experience than those on the Android platform. There really isn’t much in it but they just have a more refined look, respond a little faster, and are a little easier or “more intuitive” to navigate.

So far, I haven’t found a single one of Google’s apps that doesn’t offer as good, if not better, a user experience than Android apps. I find it very interesting on a couple of fronts, which keeps users on Google’s radar by offering a great experience on the Apple platform and also fits the common theme of new features appearing on iOS before Android. Keychain Vs Google Smart Lock

Both options are quite viable, both options do the job. The difference is, perhaps unsurprisingly, for users who have invested in Apple, Keychain just works. Google Smart Lock is also somewhat cross-platform, but it relies on using Google’s software, e.g. Google Chrome for web access.

Some readers may begin to see a theme in some of my comments; that, which of the options you choose will be the best choice to align with your mobile platform.

The App Store

Apps are the core of any mobile device experience; a good range of good quality apps can spice up the experience. Lack of scope or quality will interrupt the experience. So with Apple having such a strong market in the app store and a huge network of developers, even coming from the Android platform, this is a highlight of the iOS experience.

Software integrations

As a closing point for this week, diving into iOS is the frankly outstanding job Apple has done integrating other functions into the operating system. Apple Music is there (although, in my case unused), Apple TV is there, books and podcasts are there. The reality is that this is not just a mobile operating system, iOS is a well-integrated and thought-through communication and entertainment platform.

There are some areas where I still feel that Android is the right platform for me in terms of mobile phone, but iOS has certainly impressed me over the past three weeks. In the next and final installment of my iOS experiment, I’ll answer some of the questions I’ve been asked over the past few weeks and close some reflections on the experience.


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