Things I've learned from my summer love affair with Android

Are Android smartphones better than the iPhone, or just different?
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

Don't tell my iPhone, but over the past few months, I've been turning to Android smartphones more and move. And I like what they have to offer. But are Android smartphones better than the iPhone, or are they just different?

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Rather than make baseless "yes Android is better than iPhone," or "iPhone is the best" comments, I'm going to focus on things that I've learned and noticed during my time using Android.

The first thing I've noticed is just how powerful, well made, and high-quality premium Android handsets are. Handsets such as the Huawei P30 Pro and Xiaomi Mi 9 are exceptional, kitted out with gorgeous displays, powerful silicon, cameras that can capture striking images, and amazing battery life.

The hardware is attractive.

Very attractive.

And it's not just attractive; it's also highly functional. The in-display fingerprint readers on Android devices feel better and more convenient than Apple's Face ID/Touch ID. The cameras deliver better results. I know "better" is somewhat subjective, but I've been experimenting with iPhone and Android photography for work, and I find that handsets like the P30 Pro give me photos that either needs less processing or when they do need processing, they give me more to work with. This is my experience, and your mileage will vary based on your needs and demands.

The ability to charge using USB-C, using the same cable I use for charging my MacBook, is handy. One cable for both laptops and smartphones. It's a small thing, but it makes a difference.

I also like Android. It has some sweet little features that I quickly fell in love with. I like the way Google Maps shrinks to a small window that floats over other apps when navigating and using another app. I like chat heads in Facebook Messenger. I like widgets. I adore the split-screen feature. I find these little things truly useful, and it amazes me that iOS has nothing like this on offer.

It's not all love, though. Switching between different Android handsets means having to navigate a slightly different user interface. Not vastly different, but different enough to trip me up sometimes. Also, outside of plain vanilla stock Android, I find bundled apps annoying, especially if I can't delete them.

Minor annoyances, but an annoyance nonetheless. But in many ways, I feel I can overlook these little things.

But there's one big obstacle.


This is quite an obstacle as there is no way to get iMessage to work with Android. A migration would leave me with two options – turn off iMessage and completely abandon it, or leave it on and deal with any messages I get when back at my Mac (which may mean quite a delay). I'm not sure what to do here. Overall, I've been cutting back on how much I use iMessage, but I still do use it, and the thought of losing access to it makes me a little uneasy.

But only a little.

Is this limerence I'm feeling towards new, shinier hardware, or is Android better suited to my daily needs?

I guess I'll find out.

Have you tried switching to a different platform (maybe from iOS to Android or vice versa, or between Windows and Mac? What did you think? Let me know below!

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