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Why I'm going back to Android after using the iPhone for 5 months

Posted: , by Joe M.

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Why I'm going back to Android after using the iPhone for 5 months

“I'm going to be holding onto my iPhone 7, and at the time of writing this editorial, I don't have any intention of switching back to Android at any point in the foreseeable future. If this does change though, and I find myself getting tired of the acclaimed Apple, I'll be sure to write an additional piece explaining why I switched back.”

This is how I ended an editorial that I wrote back in November of last year titled “After using Android my entire life, I decided to switch to iOS.” In that editorial, I gave a few reasons as to why I had made the choice to give up my Moto X Pure Edition in favor of the iPhone 7 so that I could finally get acquainted with Apple’s acclaimed mobile operating system. It’s been about five months since I made that move, and as I sit here and type out this latest editorial, I’m looking over at my OnePlus 3T and grinning with joy at the fact that I decided to get rid of my iPhone and head back once again to Android.

What caused me to go back though? After a good deal of thinking and meditating over this 5 month trial, I’ve come up with a few main reasons behind my reasoning for abandoning the Apple.

Here they are.

iOS is offensively boring


In my previous editorial, I said that “the limited customization options [of iOS] keep me on-task.” While I did find myself not playing around with my phone as often as I usually did with Android handsets, this wasn’t out of will; rather, it was a result of iOS being so insanely limited and closed-down.

This isn’t news to anyone’s ears, but it’s something that I didn’t really get a solid understanding of until I had finally gotten over the honeymoon phase with my iPhone 7. This was my first time using an iPhone as my daily driver, so everything about the operating system was new to me. As a result, I didn’t really care about the limited customization features. The entire UI was a vast departure from what I had been using with Android smartphones, and because of this, iOS felt fresh and exciting.

At least that’s what I thought at first.

After a couple of months of using the iPhone 7 as my daily driver, I started to notice little things here and there about iOS that just didn’t make a whole lot of sense. Why can’t I organize apps on my home screens in any which way that I want? Why is there no option to change the appearance of the app icons? Why can’t I simultaneously run two apps at once? Why for the love of god can’t I set Chrome as my default web browser or Google Maps as my primary navigation system?

iOS might look good, but it's lacking in a lot of key areas

iOS might look good, but it's lacking in a lot of key areas


All of these little annoyances eventually started to pile up, and what was once a breath of fresh air was now a regular pain throughout my day. There’s no doubt that iOS is extremely smooth and very well-refined, but at what cost? Competing handsets such as the Google Pixel and OnePlus 3T offer a very similar level of smoothness and refinement, but also give you all of the customization options that you come to expect with Android.

Apple has had an upper-hand with iOS by being able tout it’s reliability in day-to-day use, and while reliability definitely appeals to the average consumer more than being able to apply a custom icon pack or install a third-party launcher, this is something I don’t necessarily see as a point that Apple has an advantage of over Google any longer.

High-end Android smartphones are just as reliable as any iPhone, and with companies like Google focusing on software optimization rather than winning the eternal spec race, this is only going to become more and more prevalent as time goes on and more manufactures take note.

Notifications need a complete overhaul


Similar to my previous complaint, this isn’t something that immediately irked me about iOS. It took me some time to download all of my regular applications and get signed into said apps with the correct credentials, but once I had finally settled into my iPhone, I started to realize that notifications aren’t handled well at all in Apple’s mobile OS.

With the Android 7.0 Nougat update, Google nailed notifications on the head. Although they still aren’t perfect, the concept of bundling multiple notifications from one app in a single chunk is a brilliant idea. Get a lot of Instagram notifications? On Android, all of these updates are bundled into one single Instagram card, and while you can easily dismiss all of these notifications with one single swipe, you also have the option of expanded and interact with them on an individual basis. It’s simple, works well, and keeps your notification drawer from getting overly cluttered.

On iOS, you won’t find any such bundling. Every notification — even if you have multiple from a single app — are displayed as their own separate thing. Even worse, notifications you receive can only be displayed in the chronological order that they occurred. While having your most recent notifications at the very top sounds like (and is) a good idea in theory, this doesn’t work when these updates aren’t also organized by the app they came from.

Unfortunately, we’ve only hit the tip of the iceberg here.

Notifications on iOS are considerably lacking when compared to the way that Android handles them


When it comes to dismissing notifications on iOS, you do so by swiping to the left. However, after you swipe a notification, you then need to then press a “Clear” button in order to actually get rid of it.

Why in the world is this a two step process?

I’d understand this a bit better if Apple added other options aside from clearing the notification, but that’s literally all you can do. There’s no reason dismissing a single notification should take two separate steps, but it does. This might sound like nitpicking to some people, but if you’re someone who deals with a lot of updates from multiple apps all day long, this is something that quickly grows to be a huge pain that’s incredibly unpleasant to deal with.

In addition to this, Apple also has an odd way of handling the way that notifications are presented on both the lock screen and regular notification tray.

Google got it right with the concept of bundling similar notifications in Android Nougat

Google got it right with the concept of bundling similar notifications in Android Nougat


Let’s say that you get a few notifications on your iPhone, and you turn on the screen and decide to interact with one through the lock screen. You 3D press on a text message notification to quickly reply to it, jump to your home screen, watch a YouTube video, and then lock your phone again. However, just as you locked your phone, you realize that there was another notification you wanted to look at. When you press the power button to go to your lock screen, nothing is there; it’s completely blank.

Even if you had 20+ notifications on your lock screen when you interacted with that text message, they all disappear once you lock the screen again. You can view all of your notifications by swiping down from the top to access your tray, but I simply don’t understand why any unread notification doesn’t remain readily accessible on the lock screen.

These issues on their own may be small, but when they all pile on top of one another and you have to deal with them on a daily basis, you begin to dread interacting with any number of notifications. This can absolutely be changed with a software update, but for the time being, it's not entirely functional and needs a lot of improvements.

It may “just work”, but at what cost?


One of the big reasons behind my initial to switch to iOS/iPhone was the fact that everything “just works.” Living inside Apple’s ecosystem with multiple Apple products truly is magical at times, and while the iPhone does a great job at living at the heart of that ecosystem, the amount of restrictions and yellow tape that come bundled with that isn’t something I was properly anticipating.

Being able to seamlessly get SMS conversations on my iMac and MacBook was fantastic. Having the ability AirPlay my iPhone’s screen to an Apple TV worked surprisingly well with hardly any lag or latency. Having my MacBook automatically detect my iPhone as a mobile hotspot when out and about was a simple joy.

All of this stuff works incredibly well, and you really don’t have to do anything to get it to work. For a lack of better words, it just works. This is a theme that I absolutely loved during my early days with the iPhone, but as time progressed and I really got to thinking about things, I came to realize that a lot of this has to do with Apple’s famous Reality Distortion Field.

Why I'm going back to Android after using the iPhone for 5 months

Have an Android phone and want to have SMS conversations on your smartphone, smartwatch, and desktop? Download Pulse from the Google Play Store and pay a small one time fee of around ten bucks to do so. Like the idea of casting your phone’s display to a TV? Google Cast has made some massive improvements over the years, and while it may not be quite as seamless, it still works about 99.99% as well as AirPlay.

Apple's services work incredibly well, but the restrictions they bring with them aren't worth it


Despite what Apple tries to market to you, it’s very possible to live in a world where your technology “just works” even if your phone doesn’t have a fruit logo on the back of it.

And this brings me to my next point.

If you get bored or tired of your iPhone in between release cycles, you’re kind of screwed. Right now, you can choose between the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus (and technically the SE, but I’m not talking about simple releases). These are the only phones that run iOS, and as such, they’re the only two phones you can pick from if you want to be immersed in that glorified Apple ecosystem. 

Now, let’s say that you have a Samsung Galaxy S7 and decide that you’d like to choose something else. Sure, you could go for the newly released Galaxy S8, but you could also go with the Google Pixel, LG G6, HTC U Ultra, OnePlus 3T, Huawei Mate 9, etc. The point here is that with Android, you have a wide array of smartphones to choose from. And, if you do decide to purchase something else, you’re still living within the same mobile operating system with all of your data, information, and content readily available for you to access.

Wrapping things up


To begin the conclusion process of this editorial, I want to say that the iPhone is not a bad smartphone. For people that have been living in Apple’s ecosystem for a number of years and have dumped a heap of money into iTunes, it makes good sense to stick with the hardware and software that you know and are comfortable with.

Nonetheless, Apple will need to make some serious changes before I consider going back to iOS.The actual hardware of the iPhone is fantastic — in fact, some of the best that you can currently find in a smartphone. In all honesty, it’s the software that caused me to find home once again with Android.

Apple revolutionized mobile software in 2007, but it hasn't changed a whole lot since


I understand why Apple is so restrictive with access to its various services, and while this makes sense from a business perspective, it creates for a real drag from the point of a consumer. You’re enticed, encouraged, and expected to devote your entire digital life to Apple’s library of media when using an iPhone, but if you haven't done this already, it’s an incredibly tough sell.

Why should I spend hundreds upon hundreds of dollars for movies, TV shows, games, and more that can only be accessed through a small number of devices when I can do the same thing through an ecosystem that supports thousands of different gadgets?

This is something that I really battled with while using the iPhone, and between this and the other irritations I have with Apple’s software, I ultimately decided to go back to Android (the OnePlus 3T more specifically).

Although I’m happy that I exposed myself to something new, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t glad to be back with Mother Google. The OnePlus 3T is the first phone that I’ve really gotten a chance to be familiar with Android Nougat, and with Android O already promising to make some big improvements on top of it, I’m ridiculously excited for what the future of Android has to offer.

Why I'm going back to Android after using the iPhone for 5 months

With handsets like the LG G6 and Samsung Galaxy S8, 2017 has already been a massively exciting year for smartphones. However, even with these two top dogs soaking in the limelight, there’s no doubt that all eyes are directed to what Apple’s move will be with 2017 marking the tenth year anniversary for the release of the original iPhone. We’re expecting big things from the Cupertino giant, and while we’re bound to feast our eyes upon a spectacle of a smartphone, I’m fairly certain that I’ll be staying with my operating system of choice.

Besides, having software named after tasty desserts is stupidly whimsical.
 
Now, could someone please get me an Oreo?

152 Comments
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posted on 21 Apr 2017, 09:39 9

1. applesnapple93 (Posts: 53; Member since: 06 Jan 2016)


I have dabbled with going back to an iPhone. Only thing swaying me towards it is iMessage (because RCS rollout is painfully slow). and kinda sorta facetime.... but duo just as good and the fact that if theres a girl in the room theres a charger in the room (not as big of a deal after getting the pixel). But to be completely honest iMessage is the only reason to get an iphone at this point IMO

posted on 21 Apr 2017, 09:43 17

6. juandante (Posts: 608; Member since: 23 Apr 2013)


And still... The paid iPhoneArena will give the iPhone 8 the 9.5 out of 10 points.

posted on 21 Apr 2017, 10:01 3

14. rubyonrails3 (Posts: 312; Member since: 01 Oct 2014)


You have to agree S8 did 2 things bad. 1 performance. And fingerprint and these 2 things you will notice every day as S8 is pain to unlock even with so many ways.

posted on 21 Apr 2017, 10:05 20

17. marorun (Posts: 5029; Member since: 30 Mar 2015)


I never get an ios device again i just sold my ipad air 2 to get a Sony Z tablet and i am happy.

As its was said in the article with android i can switch OEM as i want and keep all my stuff.

This is simply priceless!

posted on 21 Apr 2017, 10:06 21

18. marorun (Posts: 5029; Member since: 30 Mar 2015)


Really? i used the S8 and its butter smooth ( and i dont like samsung much so i have no reason to lie )

posted on 21 Apr 2017, 10:11 7

22. nique0201 (Posts: 42; Member since: 28 Nov 2011)


Not true at all.. my Iris scanner unlock in about 1 second flat and work in day and pitch black. Don't make a comment until you have tried something yourself. I'm 4 days in

posted on 21 Apr 2017, 10:16

29. justrt (Posts: 411; Member since: 10 Jul 2014)


HAHahah. I was going to say that the author is going back to Android because of all the hard time readers are giving to PA, however even if that was the reason... you can't fool them Joe M, you can't.

posted on 21 Apr 2017, 10:16 7

30. tedkord (Posts: 13235; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


I see no reviews or evidence of bad performance. Now, as I've said all along, the fingerprint scanner placement is just pure stupidity.

posted on 21 Apr 2017, 10:20 5

35. tedkord (Posts: 13235; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


You might need to bleach soak your tighty whities to get the blood stains out of the back.

posted on 21 Apr 2017, 10:39 3

49. Youngquenga41 (Posts: 35; Member since: 03 Apr 2017)


Performance? You own an s8?

posted on 21 Apr 2017, 10:39 1

51. epic_ninja420 (Posts: 86; Member since: 18 Nov 2014)


What? No performance issues here and i play Clash Royale and SW Force Arena daily. Forget the fingerprint scanner, the iris scanner is just as fast and doesnt require anything but you looking at the screen.

posted on 21 Apr 2017, 10:54 2

57. marorun (Posts: 5029; Member since: 30 Mar 2015)


I work for a carrier... i got all the device i want ;)

Been using the S8 since 1 week and half now. ( not the + model its too big )

posted on 21 Apr 2017, 11:10

73. T.Law (Posts: 418; Member since: 10 May 2014)


And how is that relevant to the thread?

posted on 21 Apr 2017, 11:14

76. joeytaylor (Posts: 870; Member since: 28 Feb 2015)


Not really

posted on 21 Apr 2017, 11:19

79. Mxyzptlk (unregistered)


First hand experience tedkord?

posted on 21 Apr 2017, 11:23 5

81. tedkord (Posts: 13235; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


Well, I have made you bleed from the rear end on many occasions here.

posted on 21 Apr 2017, 11:50

89. adi90 (Posts: 367; Member since: 21 Dec 2015)


People have not used s8 for even 7 days. How do you know it has bad performance ?

posted on 21 Apr 2017, 11:50

90. pixel8or (Posts: 67; Member since: 10 Jun 2010)


I agree about iMessage. I was android only until last Oct when I went with iphone 7. I love the hardware, and iMessage just works better since my family are all on iphones, but there are so many things I miss, like being able to quiet my phone for a couple of hours, and then having the ringer be enabled again. Just works.

posted on 21 Apr 2017, 11:51 1

91. Unordinary (unregistered)


Did you not just read this article, lmfao. TOTTALLLYYYIPHONEARENAOMGOMGOMGOMG!!!! GET THE PITCHFORKS OUT!

posted on 21 Apr 2017, 11:54 2

93. adi90 (Posts: 367; Member since: 21 Dec 2015)


Articles like this are called "Safety Valve" . Throw these articles to keep android fans content. In the meantime, never compare good mobiles like s8 with iphones in fair manner.
Presume that s8 will become laggy in future and lower its rating.

posted on 21 Apr 2017, 12:22 9

97. Mreveryphone (Posts: 1158; Member since: 22 Apr 2014)


The performance on the S8 is crazy nice!! You can tell that 10nm 835 is handling business!! The fp sensor is faster than the previous generation and my finger has already been trained to reach for it with no issues... The iris scanner and facial recognition are laser accurate and add another level of security. And even further if you train google now to your voice you can unlock it and go straight to your home screen... Please turn your hate down ruby... you sound ridiculous...

posted on 21 Apr 2017, 13:26

105. MrHate (Posts: 272; Member since: 09 Feb 2015)


I mean. You are already hating on something that isn't even announced. Sad life.

posted on 21 Apr 2017, 13:35

108. Nine1Sickness (Posts: 353; Member since: 30 Jan 2011)


Grab them *itches by their chargers.

posted on 21 Apr 2017, 15:07

112. galaxius (Posts: 47; Member since: 06 Sep 2014)


I have tried the fingerprint sensor and I don't think it's that bad
Sure if it was in middle it would be better but I can easily use the fingerprint where it's now
It's exaggerated
This phone is pure pleasure

posted on 21 Apr 2017, 17:07

124. Mxyzptlk (unregistered)


You should really stop shoving Galaxy devices up your rear.

Btw, what you just said sounded really gay.

posted on 21 Apr 2017, 20:04

128. sgodsell (Posts: 4518; Member since: 16 Mar 2013)


Performance is top notch on the S8. I don't know where you pulled that one. The rear finger print scanner is not nice in this implementation. However a number of other devices that do have rear finger print scanners are actually better than Apple front finger print scanner.

posted on 21 Apr 2017, 21:27

130. Jason2k13 (Posts: 1283; Member since: 28 Mar 2013)


I agree on the fingerprint scanner but Performance? in other words you don't own an S8.

posted on 21 Apr 2017, 22:17

134. ECPirate37 (Posts: 217; Member since: 14 Jul 2011)


Same here. I actually don't like Samsung, but got the s8+ (my first Sammy in over a decade) and it is an amazing phone. There are still things I like better from my Huawei, but the S8+ is a smooth operator.

posted on 22 Apr 2017, 04:36

140. ColinW (Posts: 223; Member since: 04 Jun 2014)


You have never used one. I can say after 3 days of use that it is very fast, smooth and the various unlock features are great. So no I would not agree, you are jusr plain wrong.

posted on 22 Apr 2017, 11:30

143. Scott93274 (Posts: 5231; Member since: 06 Aug 2013)


Umm... I know it's not what you meant, but when I read your comment, I got this mental image of a prison cell roommate arrangement. Blah!!! full body shiver.

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