10 things I miss about my iPhone now that I'm on Android

10 things I miss about my iPhone now that I'm on Android

Summary: While my new Android phone made my old iPhone feel old, there are some things I actually miss about having an iPhone. Here are ten that might surprise you.


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  • 2. Consistency

    Every iPhone looks and works the same. Yes, it's true you can't customize the launcher, but you can't customize the launcher. That means when your mom calls with a question about how to use her iPhone, you can answer knowing her phone works exactly like yours does.

    When it comes to Android, there are a bunch of different candy coated names (Jelly Bean, Ice Cream Sandwich, Honeycomb), and even different launchers, not just dependent on which phone maker you have, but also those you might add on your own. It gives a ton of freedom, but it's sure not the best for predictability.

    Personally, I still like tweaking my new Android, but there is something to be said for consistency of home screens.

    Image courtesy my same-ol-same-ol iPhone.

  • 3. Microsoft Office 365 support

    While it's pretty obvious why Microsoft hasn't given in and offered a version of Office for the iPad, they have provided a version of Office for the iPhone that's functionally identical to that on Windows Phone. As an Office 365 user, I would like to have had that feature on Android, but it's not available (at least for now).

    I miss that. Sure, there are a lot of Office clones on Android, including one that came with the phone, but it's not the same thing as running real Office Mobile for my Office 365 account on my phone.

    I miss that.

    Image courtesy ZDNet's Matthew Miller.

  • 4. My Kindle app won't dim the screen as much

    I know this is a nit, but since I read on my phone every night before going to bed, it's one I feel keenly. I read in the dark and the Kindle app on the iPhone would dim down to almost no light.

    By contrast, even by fiddling with Android and Kindle settings, I can't get the screen to dim down enough. I suspect there's an app that would do it, but I also suspect I'd have to root my phone just to get screen dimming. I'm not about to root my phone, and so I miss the screen dimming ability of my iPhone.

    Now, that's dim! Image courtesy the iPhone Kindle app.

Topics: Mobile OS, Android, Apple, Google, iOS, Smartphones


David Gewirtz, Distinguished Lecturer at CBS Interactive, is an author, U.S. policy advisor, and computer scientist. He is featured in the History Channel special The President's Book of Secrets and is a member of the National Press Club.

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  • I Know Microsoft Is Fragmented, But Apple Too?

    Is it really that hard to write an app for IOS that works across different form factors, like you can on Android?
    • Pretty Much

      iOS apps are written for specific screen resolutions. And they have split (eg, fragmented) the market between iPad and iPhone/iPod apps... iPhone apps run on an iPad, but in a box -- they don't adapt to the resolution. iPad apps do not run on iPhones.

      On Android, of course, there's a layout manager that factors in both the size of the screen and the resolution. We don't get the very precise bitmap graphics that Apple has*, but an Android app can adjust to the device. So there's no need to buy two, one for your tablet and one for your phone. And no need for developers to build different apps... the same app goes into "Tablet" or "Phone" mode.

      * Apple's main reason, apparently, for going to a fully bitmapped interface was this whole skeuomorphic UI -- the idea that things on the screen should look exactly like things in real life. You can do pretty much any GUI with vector graphics (as do most desktop OS, web browsers, etc), dress them up with the occasional bitmap if needed, but you can't do what Apple does very effectively without locking it to bitmaps. And if they did support both phone and pad in the same app, they would need (based on Apple's guidelines, anyway) separate bitmaps for each screen (some developers do scaling, but they're not supposed to). So applications, already huge, would get gigantic.

      Note that iOS 7 promises to remove at least some of the skeuomorphisms built into the OS. No word on whether they'll start to offer vector UI and scaling like everyone else.
      • Re: No word on whether they'll start to offer vector UI and scaling like ev

        Thanks for the civil reply (so unusual on these forums). Just a note that, while Android includes a vector graphics API, it doesn't actually support any scalable graphics format like SVG. The reason given is that scalable vector graphics don't necessarily look the best below about 300dpi, which is why apps should provide hand-tuned PNG bitmaps at various standard pixel densities for icons and other related UI graphics.
      • Try developing on iOS before attempting to criticize it

        "So there's no need to buy two, one for your tablet and one for your phone. And no need for developers to build different apps"

        You can easily write one app in iOS that runs on both iPad and iPhone. Many times, I've built one app that runs on both devices. Apple's support for this is built right in to the Cocoa framework. With a tiny amount of planning and forethought, you can easily support both devices with one app. You have clearly not done any development work on iOS, or if you have, you did it very badly. So please, stop spreading misinformation.

        BTW, the layout manager you're talking about scales apps made for Android phones up to tablet size and does so very poorly. Only when you set the bar as low as Google and their partners have with Android, do you find developers and users finding such gawky and weird UIs acceptable. That's not necessary on iOS. With iOS, you can easily create one app that runs as if it were written for phones on the iPhone and runs as if written for tablets on the iPad. It's beautiful and explains why companies like Netflix, Vine and various gaming companies can quickly and easily support both iPad and iPhone with one app while supporting only a pitiful handful of Android devices.
        Andre Richards
        • Re: You can easily write one app in iOS that runs on both iPad and iPhone

          If it's so easy, why wasn't Microsoft able to manage it?
          • Microsoft? Seriously?

            You're kidding me, right? Since when is Microsoft the yardstick by which we measure competence in technology? Did I miss a memo?
            Andre Richards
        • iOS programming is so 90's

          low level hard coding of UI. The fact that the app needs to be aspect ratio and resolution aware just means it lacks scalability.
          Then these iOS developers try and port 90's style programming to a proper multitasking, scalable VM and wonder why it doesn't work well.
          • 2090s maybe...

            There's no low-level hard-coding of the UI going on. What are you talking about?
            Andre Richards
          • hard coding

            It doesn't matter if your tools are high level. If you develop the UI based on absolute screen values like most apps are, then you end up with a hardcoded UI which cannot scale.
            It's just like writing Visual Basic apps, screen by screen.
            yeh sure, you can avoid doing this and actually code scalable UI but the reason a lot of apps don't do this is because it is not designed to be done that way especially if they use xcode and follow Apple's recommendations.
            The proof is the fact it is easier to port Android apps to run on any iOS device than it is to port iOS apps to run on any Android device.
          • hard coding?

            "The proof is the fact it is easier to port Android apps to run on any iOS device than it is to port iOS apps to run on any Android device.”

            It may be easier to port Android apps to run *VERY BADLY* on any iOS device than it is to port iOS apps to run on any Android device, but that isn’t saying much.

            A scalable, universal Android app, that works well on a small-screened Android phone, will just look ridiculous on a large Android tablet.
        • QQ Gaming...

          Did you just mention the words "gaming" and "Apple" in the same sentence? I think that is illegal in many countries.
          Nashville Webnet
      • Not really

        If you want something that scales generically, you can write an html5 app for anything.
        If you want a custom polished look and feel, that maximizes real estate without going over, something android apps lack, then yes, you have to write specific feels for different resolutions.
      • no need to buy two apps - is there on iOS?

        "So there's no need to buy two, one for your tablet and one for your phone" - you're implying that there is the need on iOS. I haven't bought many apps on iOS, but I never had to buy the same app twice, just because I wanted to run on both phone and tablet. So your statement is wrong for at least a subset of all iOS apps.

        As far as developers having to support both devices - apparently that isn't terribly hard as more than 1/2million tablet optimized versions of apps exist (and corroborated by another poster who seems to have actual iOS development experience). From an end-user's experience, I'd rather use an app that is "perfect" for the device I'm using than one that's "good enough" - and that's what you get with lots of Android phone apps that have been "blown up" to tablet dimensions.
    • Good post

      just as Larry responded I'm alarmed that a single mom can make ($)7030 in 1 month on the internet. did you read this web link... c­a­n9­9.ℂ­ℴ­M
    • It's simple

      In fact, writing an iOS app for different screen sizes is dead simple. I've written apps that run on both iPhone and iPad. It's a no-brainer. In fact, the same executable runs on both, but adapts to the screen size. Where did you heard that it's "really that hard?"
      Andre Richards
      • 300,000 tablet specific iOS apps

        proves the scalability issue
  • Missed one

    You missed this one...you may be able to replace the battery but the iPhone charges at about 4x the speed of the Android phones.
    • mmhm.

      Maybe that explains why it drains 4x faster.
      • Background apps drain battery life

        You know how Android fans love to brag about Android running apps in the background? That kills battery life and it kills it fast. I've owned 2 Android phones and 3 iPhones and it's not even close: the iPhones destroy Android on battery life.

        Always loved looking down at my Android an hour after leaving home with it fully charged to find it down to less than 10%... something that would happen when I wasn't even using it. Crazy that people defend that sort of shoddy tech.
        Andre Richards
        • not exagerating of course!

          yeh, ALL android phones have batteries that only last an hour.
          You speak crap.