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

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.

“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?


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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?

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136 Comments

151. krystian

Posts: 423; Member since: Mar 16, 2016

Part of why I liked MS and windows mobile. It was always ahead of its time. The notification system has always been stellar. Though I wouldn't say perfect. Windows 10 mobile shares similarities with windows 10 notification system. So you can prioritize apps, customize how many notifications max will show in an app notification bundle, etc etc.. But I found myself watching netflix at a really loud volume and I didn't want to put quiet hours on. When notifications cam in they were loud. I had ti disable sound for each and every app separately. There was no way to just mute the sound of all notifications. Still isn't available, yet makes so much sense.

150. Ironboned

Posts: 77; Member since: Jun 16, 2016

Sure iPhone arena will give over 9.5 to iPhone 8. Yet Apple is still way behind of all other companies in the case of technolog, one simple example is VR and AR. Still no customizable OS and still horribly high price. I bet new iPhone 8 in base price gonna hit 900€ to 1000€, as expensive as a motorcycle or a used car. Deal with it

149. Jyakotu

Posts: 868; Member since: Dec 12, 2008

I had used Android for 7 years before making the switch to iOS and I couldn't be happier. This is during the span of me using everything from low-end models to even flagships. However, as time went on, I became unsatisfied with Android because Google has no idea how to handle the ecosystem. With iOS, everything just works. It's more streamlined and even older models get current updates. I am still so surprised how smooth everything runs on my iPhone SE and I couldn't be happier with its performance. At the end of the day, whatever mobile operating system you use is up to you. Each one does something different and not everyone is looking for the same thing. Android users love that there is so much choice, but honestly, the only viable options for Android are flagships, which are becoming more and more costly as specs get better. Granted, iPhones are just as expensive, but the user base can at least expect to get support for iOS updates for longer periods of time and really, the only reason to upgrade iPhones is if you just want to have the latest and greatest hardware. To sum it all up, I switch from Android to iOS and I don't regret the decision. The iPhone SE is a perfect fit for me with it's buttery smoothness, great hardware, and it's pocket friendly size. I do miss some things about Android, but for now, iOS just works for me and I couldn't be happier.

146. nhkvarma

Posts: 1; Member since: Apr 22, 2017

Well, after using iphone for 3 years and samsung s8 for 6 months, i decided to never buy another samsung or android device. Just 6 months and phone is dead slow, poor battery. Frequently should clear ram. While in iphone was able to play real racing with no glitch even with only 512mb available memory left.

152. janoliverv01

Posts: 1; Member since: Apr 23, 2017

Wow, I didn't know the S8 came out 6 months ago.

145. skyline88

Posts: 702; Member since: Jul 15, 2013

pretty much explains why there is a big pile of used iPhones in my mobile shop, and Huawei Vivo Oppo Asus Oneplus selling like hotcakes for the past 2 years.

148. poptart574

Posts: 223; Member since: Feb 29, 2016

Great phone makers just mentioned. Owned and enjoyed using all of them. Huawei ui has a learning curve to it but offers so many options while I found both oppo and one plus to be simple and straight forward. Vivo on the other hand offered the same template as its siblings yet had more customization and more useful features as well as a more premium build and better camera.

141. Moose

Posts: 418; Member since: Jan 05, 2015

Great, insightful review, very detailed and thorough, comes across as more objective than most such comparisons. Well done. I used to be an Apple Fan Boy - had an iMac, Powerbook, iPhone and iPad. Switched to Android, partly because of the reasons you state but my biggest reason was Apple's collusion with publishers to push up the price of e-books. That so enraged me that I vowed never to use any Apple product again - something like people who will never fly United again, some actions you just can't tolerate or forgive.

137. bklm1234

Posts: 5; Member since: Sep 28, 2012

I also just came back to Android after about one year with iPhone SE. IOS is missing many useful features I use all the time e.g. clipboard for copying and pasting text, seamless app to app to send content from one app to another to read it out aloud (iOS screen read is inconsistent, sometimes only reads one screenful), 3rd party keyboard support (poor on iOS, often blank keyboard shows up), etc. And what's best on iPhone doesn't seem to be there. I'm talking about faster performance. I picked up a Sony Xperia x compact, not even a flag ship. That little thing flies. My day to day usage shows equal or better snappiness. Maybe it's Naugut. I'm very happy with Android now

136. sunnyfpy

Posts: 297; Member since: May 12, 2013

Iphone for simple folks,,, android for messy folks!!! Haha,, enjoy it anyway!

133. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

iOS simply wasn't and still isn't worth sh*t to me without jailbreak. But prior to 2014, it was the least compromising option for me (with jailbreak), due to Android being this privacy invading haven where you could have a flashlight app tracking your location, speech, text messages, etc without consent. As of 2014, with the OnePlus One around with Privacy Guard, it just made 0 sense to stick with the pointlessly restricted, and planned obsolescence haven iOS officially is and keep worrying about jailbreak availability to make it worthwhile. Now I've learned Android and how to secure it (XPrivacy + DisableService at least, Privacy Guard is similar to the former), have no reason to ever look back to iOS...

131. kishore3k

Posts: 102; Member since: Mar 11, 2016

Well if you still need IOS like Android that lets you handle notifications at system level and customise then you got to try MIUI

129. poptart574

Posts: 223; Member since: Feb 29, 2016

I use my phone alot for entertainment. Download lots of movies and music at a whim. Have lots of Anime as well. Don't need to connect my phone to a computer in order to fill my phone with the sort of entertainment that I'm looking for. Use kodi to catch all the latest live sporting events as well. So yeah, I guess I'll never have a need for an iPhone ever. Unless

127. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

in the next 3-4 months another writer will make article about "...I switch to iOS...."

122. ithehappy

Posts: 48; Member since: Apr 24, 2014

LOL all the points are obviously valid, but you knew most of them before making the move didn't you? You can't rearrange icons, you can't pick a default app, you can't do split view and stuffs like that are known to almost everybody, so no real point of mentioning them again. But I am not sure how much the statement is true, that Google's ecosystem now offers same level of smoothness as iOS does. I used the Pixel for over three months, and while no doubt it was the smoothest phone I have ever used there were still a lot of frame drops, which I didn't like, at all. So I am on the verge of making the move to iOS now. At the end of the day more than 90% of the time all I do on a phone is use some app, either this app or that app, and app quality as a whole is better on Apple's ecosystem, that is pretty much a proved point, so let's see if that works out for me. The reasons which in my dictionary are major letdowns are the lack of 3.5 mm audio, no fast charging on iPhone (though heard it charges fast with iPad charger) and an inferior camera than Pixel and stuffs like that. Lets see. After using Android from Froyo days I feel like I need a change. I love Android for its customisation, even though all I do is slap Nova and root and use AdAway, still if I ever wanted to do something I could do it, but no time or interest any more. I do feel like Google's ecosystem needs much more polishing anyway. They push updates ever so frequently, and each update fixes something that's good but also brings along another bug, which has become extremely annoying. Also Pixel is Google's product and they don't even have any confidence in it and in most places its out of stock, or even refurbished products are sent to users who need a replacement, that's very uncivilised. If you can't stand behind your own product, first or not, then its hard to believe in that company. Though in all fairness I loved the Pixel and especially its camera and the overall software experience too, but it has some hardware issues, so had to sell it but probably will buy it back again or simply go the iPhone route.

120. fyah_king unregistered

It was boring to me as well. That's why i got rid of my 7plus.

121. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3109; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

How's your private island?

138. fyah_king unregistered

No man is an island and no man stands alone. I'm here to fulfill my purpose on earth. Salvation is worth way more than your pants and your shirt. Hey Plasticsh1t , put away the hate and keep the faith alive. To find salvation you dont have to go to church, (Righteousness) from birth.:)

139. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3109; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

Wut?!

119. monoke

Posts: 1213; Member since: Mar 14, 2015

Ios is no where near as interesting and customizable as android.. unless it's jailbroken. People who've used both know this well. Both have their pluses and minuses

117. mariosraptor

Posts: 195; Member since: Mar 15, 2012

Hahahaha. This article really made me laugh. If you're a kid go with android. If you want to have work done buy yourself an iPhone. And before anything is said. I am an senior member on xda from 2006. Yes then and many years after I tinkered with android. But as you grow up and have your own business and want things DONE then you realize android is nerd friendly.

115. ayylmao

Posts: 34; Member since: Mar 10, 2017

i have owned both android (samsung s6) and ios (iphone 6; i ditched my iphone 7 since i needed money); i could say is that both have their respective pros and cons. i love ios' fluidity and simplicity (camera, to soem extent) but i find much of my time fiddling my s6 more, since it is much more of an "entertainment" device for me. i guess it's more on personal preferences basically.

111. Valdomero

Posts: 708; Member since: Nov 13, 2012

I purchased an iPhone 6 plus for my girlfriend to replace a broken Note 3 she's got a couple years ago, I personally don't like iOS closed environment and many pay walls at all, but I have to recognize it's one of the best optimized OS's ever. (I mean, running and OS with 2GB in 2017 is very good IMO), timely updates regardless they have one-two models per generation, they still consider the old iPhones which is something to give a thumbs up. I have a Nexus 5x as some may know and I will never change to iOS unless it's necessary (work). That being said, I kinda feel what the author says, this is my GF's first iPhone ever and she asked me the same things the author complained about (she's not tech savy). She felt kinda frustrated during the first week of ownership, so I told her, "you still have time to get another Android if you want" she said she wanted to keep the phone, so now I'm struggling to transfer her whatsapp chats from her Android to her iPhone, it's a real pain in the butt. I think it all depend on taste, specially on how much you want to mess with the configuration of the phone. Now, being a troll saying an OS is better than the other is the most stupid thing I will ever see.

110. PHYCLOPSH

Posts: 657; Member since: Jun 28, 2014

"Why I'm going back to Android after using the iPhone for 5 months" Because you're done being an iDiot.

107. sissy246

Posts: 7129; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

I like what I like, you like what you like. It doesn't make me or you better then the other.

82. Hama22

Posts: 60; Member since: Jul 17, 2015

Oh finally someone stating the fact that Android isn`t stuck in like 2012 and that Android phones nowadays are as reliable as iPhones! but what can I say man a lot of ppl talk in a way that makes u feel like Android is so hard to operate and use that it needs the user to be a genius!

85. Spyro

Posts: 334; Member since: Mar 29, 2017

It's not really hard though. It's just that iOS is a much more simpler OS than Android.

86. Hama22

Posts: 60; Member since: Jul 17, 2015

I know I use Android myself and u r right, I know ppl who be like oh I`d never learn how to use Android or my dad or mom would never learn it iOS is much simoler and easier and stuff, a lot of ppl simply see extra features as extra hardness to use.

116. galaxius

Posts: 82; Member since: Sep 06, 2014

Ios makes people lazy For dumb people that's all I can say No really

118. kiko007

Posts: 7525; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Does punctuation exist in your reality?

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