Grass is greener on the other side; are Pixel users considering a switch to the iPhone?

Grass is greener on the other side; are Pixel users considering a switch to the iPhone?
The other day we told you that the Pixel line was the fastest-growing smartphone brand in North America during the first quarter with a 20% year-over-year increase in the number of Pixel handsets shipped. The only other line to show a gain on an annual basis was the iPhone which had a 2% increase in shipments in North America from January through March. As good as those numbers look for Google, the total number of Pixel units shipped in Q1 paled in comparison to the number of iPhone units shipped in the quarter.

And now that WWDC has started and Apple has revealed some of the improvements coming to iOS 17, there is a certain malaise that affects Pixel owners. I know because I come down with it too; it's called "The grass is always greener on the other side-itis" It's around this time of the year, only three months before the new iPhone 15 line is released, that Pixel users take stock at their devices and ask themselves if they are really happy with their phones. And in the back of their minds, they contemplate switching to the iPhone.

Apple has made iOS a little more "Android-like" over the last few years

Apple has made iOS a little more Android-like over the last few years and have taken some features that Android has been known for and made them even better. Take home screen widgets, for example. A case could be made that Apple's widgets, while late to the party, are better than the ones on Android. And with iOS 17, some of Apple's widgets will feature elements that will allow users to interact with them.

And Apple is borrowing a little from the Pixel playbook with Live Voicemail which will allow an iPhone user to see a live transcript of a call that has gone to voicemail; if the user sees anything in the transcript that needs to be discussed immediately, he can quickly connect with the caller or call him back.

And when a Pixel user is in the grasp of the "The grass is always greener on the other side-itis," even Pixel features like Photo Unblur don't matter anymore. That's because the iPhone trumps the Pixel line in one important spec: Battery Life. What good are useful Google Assistant features like Hold For Me and Direct My Call if the phone is going to run out of battery life soon?

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And personally, I can feel myself reaching more for my Wi-Fi-connected iPhone 11 Pro Max when I'm at home instead of my Pixel 6 Pro. Interestingly, when that iPhone was my Daily Driver, I found myself playing around with my Pixel 2 XL at home using Wi-Fi which led me to switch tot he Pixel 6 Pro. I tell you, the grass is always greener on the other side!

But I can always rationalize this disease when thinking about a return trip to the iPhone. That's because the extra battery life of the iPhone Pro Max models is a real thing. And other Pixel users are surely upset as once again Google delays the release of the June Pixel Feature Drop just as it did in March. Is Google taking its eye off the ball? With the Pixel Fold expected to be released in three weeks, this is not the time for Google to lose its focus.

And now Apple is adding small things to iOS 17 the way that Google used to add small features to its Pixel phones. With Standby, those charging their iPhone can put the phone in portrait orientation and it turns into a smart display with the time, calendar, weather, Apple Home controls, and more. When a relative or friend arrives at a specific location, an iMessage can be dispatched to your phone so that you know the person arrived safely.

Outside of the Fold, Google doesn't seem to show much passion toward the Pixel line

If Apple makes iOS more like Android every year, things like the battery, delayed updates, and shattered camera bars are going to play a big role in deciding what Pixel users do each September. Personally, I'm leaning toward a return to the iPhone and if I had to come up with the reasons now, they would include the better battery life, the little improvements in iOS (which will include the ability to set multiple timers for the first time!) and Google's attitude toward the Pixel line.

Sure, the Pixel Fold is nice, but I don't feel the passion from Google for its handsets like I do from Apple. And the Apple ecosystem remains well above the nascent Pixel ecosystem.

I'm sure that I'm not the only Pixel user who is thinking about switching to the iPhone later this year.

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