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

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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1 of 11 David Gewirtz/ZDNet

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

Last week, I went mano-a-trollo discussing the 25 things my new Android phone does that makes my iPhone feel like it comes from the 1990s. The article stemmed from my recent move off of my aging iPhone 4S to a new Samsung Galaxy S4.

There are, in fact, many things the Android phone does that make my iPhone feel old. However, we're all about full disclosure here on DIY-IT, and so in all honesty, I have to tell you that there are some things I do miss about my iPhone.

That's what this article is about.

Image courtesy David Gewirtz.

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2 of 11 David Gewirtz/ZDNet

1. Too much crapware

While it's true that the iPhone comes with it's own crapware (the Newsstand icon that you can't even put in a folder comes to mind), there's no comparison to the rather considerable amount of can't-delete crapware that comes with the Android phone. I'm not even talking about all the Google Play apps. Do we really need Play Books, Play Magazines, Play Movies & TV, Play Music, and Play Store?

Oh, no. I'm talking about the crap Verizon and Samsung added. Apple has managed to keep the carriers' garbage off their phones, but when it comes to Android, you get a never-ending stream of junk. You also get a pile of upsells, like NFL Mobile and Caller Name ID (which is caller ID, but costs an extra $5 for names).

Image courtesy the crap loaded on my phone by the carrier and the manufacturer.

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3 of 11 David Gewirtz/ZDNet

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.

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4 of 11 David Gewirtz/ZDNet

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.

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5 of 11 David Gewirtz/ZDNet

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.

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6 of 11 David Gewirtz/ZDNet

5. Simple, easy device-wide search

Bizarre as it may seem, search is easier on the iPhone. Sure, you can tweak the Google search system to search everything on the phone, including apps themselves, but it's far from obvious. You don't turn on searching for apps in the phone settings. You don't even turn on searching for apps using the Google Settings app. You have to go into the Google app and select Settings.

Now, let me ask you this? Why couldn't the Google Settings app be the same as the Google app's Settings page? Seriously? Does it have to be this complicated?

In any case, on the iPhone, you simply go to the left of the home page and search. It all comes up automatically. I miss that.

Image courtesy a lot of digging in not-obvious places to find a settings screen not part of the Settings app.

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7 of 11 David Gewirtz/ZDNet

6. Insane variety of accessories

It's a little hard to quantify this, since the Samsung S4 has replaceable backs, built-in inductive charging options, and replaceable batteries, but even so, the iPhone has a much wider variety of add-ons, ranging from the fun to the frivolous (and a few that aren't suitable for a G-rated show like this).

Good examples can be see at iHealthLabs, a company that makes blood pressure monitors, wireless scales, wireless activity monitors, and even a wireless pulse oximeter. These are great tools, but they only work with apps running on iOS.

Image courtesy iHealthlabs.com.

 

 

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8 of 11 David Gewirtz/ZDNet

7. AppleCare and the Apple Store

I've never been a big fan of the Apple store (the closest one to me is in Orlando and feels much more like the Trenton bus station than an upscale shopping experience). That said, a lot of people love Apple Stores and have had good experiences there.

I have to say that our local Verizon store has been pretty supportive and while I've had issues with our AT&T store, I've been assured by AT&T execs that the issues I outlined have been resolved. That said, the scope of services, from the Genius bar to the wide variety of classes are quite a win. I've sent many people to their local Apple Stores for help, and universally heard back positive things.

The Tice's Corner Apple Store, in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey (photo: Apple Inc. and Jason Perlow)

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9 of 11 David Gewirtz/ZDNet

8. Wide availability of training resources

While we're talking about support, you also can't beat the training resources available for the iPhone vs. Android. While there are quite a few Android development training resource, the selection of end-user training is pretty minimal. There are a few videos on the Google site, and a large number of YouTube videos, but formal training resources like Lynda.com have no end-user Android training and rather excellent end-user iOS training.

Image courtesy Lynda.com.

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10 of 11 David Gewirtz/ZDNet

9. Fewer security breaches

While the Android environment gives you additional freedoms over the iPhone, that freedom can come at a price. Malicious actors have been known to gain access to millions of Android phones, corrupt them, and turn them into botnet nodes, steal identity information from their owners, and rack up huge charges against owners' bills.

Say what you want about Apple (and I've certainly said a lot), there volume of disruption is far lower for iOS consumers than Android consumers, even accounting for the differing sizes of installed base.

Image courtesy my webcast On-demand Webcast - Mobile Data Security: Why the Industry Must Improve…Or Else.

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11 of 11 David Gewirtz/ZDNet

10. That sickly-sweet feeling of superiority

Somehow, Apple even manages to make brown splotches look good. I had food that looked like this back when I was single. It wasn't stylish. It was moldy.

Say what you will about Android pride, no one holds a candle to the Apple fanbois. Apple products have a je ne sais quoi, an intangible quality that makes them like no other. My Android device may feel decades more modern than my old iPhone 4S, but my iPhone 4S feels far more special. That said, I've had my fill of feeling special and I'm much happier with a spare battery, a replacement launcher, and a huge add-on memory card.

Image courtesy Apple (and possibly the insides of someone's fridge).

 

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