I'm an Android user. Over the course of the past seven years, I've owned ten different smartphones—all of them powered by Android. This isn't due to some blind trust in Google or some unfounded hate for Apple, either, because I've always made sure to get my hands on each iPhone iteration along the way to see what it had to offer.
But just this last April, I finally got my very first iPhone. It's an iPhone 6, so it's not the latest and greatest, but it does run the most recent version of iOS. This has finally afforded me the chance to really compare the two operating systems, as opposed to my previous method of researching and copping five-minute sessions with in-store demo units.
I'll do my best to stay away from the obvious things like Siri vs. Google Now, the lack of custom launchers, and the locked down interface on iOS, since those issues have been covered ad nauseam. Instead, I'll take a closer look at some of the minor frustrations one encounters while using iOS, and all of the small things that Android does better than iOS.
#1 - Finicky Brightness & Volume Sliders
My first gripe with iOS is a minor one, but it's one of those little things that can grow to be infuriating the more you encounter it.
With Android, when you want to adjust brightness or volume, you simply tap the slider at the point where you'd like it to be set, then the indicator jumps to meet your fingertip. iOS, on the other hand, actually forces you to drag the tiny indicator to the position you want, wasting precious seconds every time you adjust one of these primary functions.
#2 - Back Button Issues
I've read many accounts of users switching to Android after years of being tied down to iOS, and one standout that's easily agreed upon is that Android's back button is a godsend.
iOS actually has a really nice feature that lets you swipe in from the left edge of your display to go back one screen in the app you're currently using. But the problem here is that it's up to app developers to implement this feature, and most don't.
So the majority of times, you end up having to do thumb yoga to reach and tap the back button way up at the top of your screen, which gets old really fast, and has probably led to a lot of broken screens. There is the Reachability feature that helps with this somewhat, but that's more work than I'd like to do.
#3 - Spotlight Search Is Terrible
With Android being created by Google, it was destined to always have a better search experience than other mobile operating systems. But the problem with iOS goes beyond the fact that Apple uses Bing as its default search provider in Spotlight Search (Google is sill the default in Safari), even though that was an obviously terrible decision.
Spotlight Search, the all-inclusive search function on iOS, has its priorities out of whack. Any search you perform is cluttered with irrelevant suggestions from Siri, apps you've installed, apps you might want to install, and then way at the bottom, there's a link to just search the web—which then opens an entirely different app—using Safari to search Google.
You can disable Siri suggestions and individual apps from appearing in Spotlight, but that's about it, and doesn't help clear up most of the mess.
#4 - You Can Toggle Settings, but You Can't Access Them Easily
The Control Center on iOS is analogous to Android's Quick Settings menu in almost every way—it's where you go when you want to quickly toggle settings or adjust brightness, for instance.
But on Android, when you want to dig a little deeper and perhaps connect to a different Wi-Fi network rather than just turning Wi-Fi off, you can expand these Quick Settings into mini-menus, or even access the entire Settings menu in one tap. With iOS, you have to head to your home screen, find the Settings app, then dig around to do anything aside from toggling these settings, which gets frustrating fast.
#5 - I Have No Idea What Kind of Phone I Have
Maybe this is more of a gripe with Apple than with iOS itself, but when the folks at our main office sent me this iPhone, I didn't know if it was an iPhone 5, 6, or 6s. So one of the first things I did was try to solve this mystery, obviously—but nowhere on the phone or in the "About" menu did it say exactly which iPhone I was holding in my hand. Sure, model numbers are present, but nothing states the common name.
I admit that my situation here was a bit rare, but when you consider all of the used iPhones being sold on Craigslist and the like, it would be nice to have some sort of official confirmation in the software that you're actually getting what you're paying for, rather than the easily-altered print on the back of the device. Sure, I could Google the model number, but why should I have to?
#6 - You Can't Clear All App Data Without Jumping Through Hoops
Sometimes, apps act up. Their data becomes corrupt for one reason or another, which can lead to crashes or other bugs. When this happens with an Android app, you just head to the "App info" page and clear the app's data, which allows you to start fresh. Or, you simply uninstall the app, which removes all associated data, then try again after a reinstall.
With iOS, you never truly "uninstall" an app—instead, what's actually happening is you're simply deleting the main package file and some app data. In many cases, a lot app data will be left behind, so even if you reinstall the app, you could have the same problems. The only way to fully remove all app data on iOS is to delete any iCloud backups, then factory reset your device, which is something nobody wants to do.
#7 - App Refunds Are a Convoluted Mess
Getting refunds for app purchases on Android is simple—as long as you're within the refund window, you just go back to the Play Store page where you bought the app and press "Refund"—similar to the way things work in the real world.
But with iOS, the App Store itself doesn't provide an easy method for refunds, and instead, you have to visit a separate website and fill out a report, or dig through menus in the iTunes app for Mac or Windows—that's like going to the corporate Safeway office to get your money back for the spoiled milk you bought at the local Vons.
#8 - You Can't Hide Apps from the Home Screen
Even if I hadn't grown accustomed to Android first, I'd probably still be annoyed by the inability to hide icons from the home screen on iOS. I like a clean home screen free of distractions, but even without regarding personal preference, the simple fact that you can't remove certain apps or their icons would frustrate just about anyone.
True, there are workarounds that exploit bugs to hide apps on iOS, but none persist through a reboot. As it stands, I can't shake this feeling that the iPhone's home screen is just one giant app drawer.
Note that in iOS 10, Apple has addressed this issue by allowing you to remove most apps from your home screen, excluding apps such as Photos, Settings, App Store, Messages, etc.
#9 - One Button Does 5 Things
Possibly even more annoying than the single-button mouse Apple uses with its iMacs is the lone human interface button on iOS.
The "Home" button on iPhones is all over the place, to the point where it can easily lead to confusion. A short press takes you home, a long press opens Siri, a double press takes you to your recent apps, a triple press triggers accessibility shortcuts (if enabled), and a double touch shrinks your screen for Reachability (which is very easy to accidentally trigger)—that's quite a lot to ask of one lonely little button.
Now you may see this as a personal preference, which I suppose it is. But for every person clamoring about "iOS is easier to use than Android," what exactly is easy about having to memorize five different gestures to perform basic tasks? Compare that to Android's back-home-recents trio of buttons, and—actually, don't bother comparing, it's obvious which implementation is more user-friendly.
Apparently, I'm pretty passionate about my buttons, because I can't bring myself to stop there. One final issue I'd like to address here is more of a hardware thing—the physical button on iPhones actually has to be clicked. Most Android phones, on the other hand, have on-screen buttons that are tapped, just like the rest of the interface. Think about it—you want to open an app, you tap the icon. You want to go back, you tap a button. Tap, tap, tap away, but when you want to go home or perform any of these other gestures? CLICK. It's a terribly inconsistent experience.
#10 - There's Only One Rendering Engine (Safari)
Apple uses something called UIWebView to render webpages in Safari. It's nice, it's fast, and it's all you really need in a browser—unless, of course, you want something else.
The problem here is that even third-party web browsers like Google Chrome have to use this UIWebView to render content on iOS. This means that even if you install your own browser, you hardly get any of the benefits, because you're really just using Safari with a different interface.
Like I said at the beginning, I'm an Android user, so of course I'm carrying some bias here. Nonetheless, I tried my best to look at both operating systems objectively before writing this article, and now that I'm done—I'm still an Android user first.
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Even I am a android user and I really find i phone annoying, the functionality is complicated when compared to android
Couldn't agree with you more Dallas. Nothing can beat the simplicity of an Android. Well written and very smart!
Amen. I can't use a mac b/c I don't understand their mouse and I can't use an iphone b/c of all the reasons you stated. What does Apple have against BUTTONS??
even they talking about security or crap .. they dont even care and still upload they nude pic to i cloud dumbass iphone user
I wholly agree!!
I've done the exact same thing you did with Android. I was puzzled why people thought android was so much better, so I've tried out android phones and experimented with the features. What I discovered was that certain features and user interface were different, depending on which phone I picked up. For example, try finding the feature about how to block a caller on Android. It's a different process depending on the phone. I like Apple because you come to trust the look and feel and similar process of how every phone and every app and feature works. My sense us that android users like being able to create their own control over the device. So you gain this extra control by losing some consistency.
iOS is different. There are certainly more than 10 things about Android that iOS users don't care about so why do these 10 things annoy Android users? You don't use iOS so why spend the time caring so much?
Having only ever had iPhone (from 3G to 4 to 4s to 5 to 6) I really don't understand the criticism of some of these things. The multi use home button is genius and I never get confused or forget the uses as it just come naturally. Your pony on sliders is hilarious, yeah because I lose so much precious minutes in my life siding a slider. I actually think like a dimmer switch you can see the brightness you want as you slide, therefore saving you time bashing at a straight line multiple times until you get what you want.
I have picked up various Android phones over the years and never found any of the evolutions very user friendly, in fact I have found the interface alienating. It is not like I have tried, I have also bought android tablets but never got on with them and soon after sold them or left them in a draw.
And why would you want no apps on your home screen? If you really want this you could move them all to the 2nd page.
Happy iOS User
Very good post. I used to work at AT&T and people would always ask what system I prefer. I would tell them Android and why I prefer it. I hate the fact that most apps on iOS are paid, no app drawer, no back button, lack of innovation, small batteries, lack of SD card support, etc. The list goes on.
But, I did tell the customers it was them using the phone, not I. As long as they were comfortable with their decision, I was good with it. I saw lots of people switching from iOS to Android because they were tired of the lack of innovation and the same tired home screen.
You're so correct on these points. I've always been an android user all my life and I recently got an official phone, an iPhone 6?7?...gosh i'm not even sure of the version, its not written anywere on it (or in it)! It's been 4months now, and I still find the interface very unfriendly despite trying to be as open minded as possible.
In addition to all you've mentioned, my greatest grievance is the annoying call app interface. It's so scattered. Recent items are on a different tab, the dialpad is on a different tab and contacts are on another. After years of using HTC phones with all those features on the same page, where you can use the dialpad to instantly get suggestions from your call list and phonebook based on number or names, all in one page! Nothing beats that.
It has always puzzled me why android users have been so aggressive against Apple. Hell, Samsung takes shots at Apple in their damn commercials. Apple is such an innocent company and it baffles me how many people are out for Apple's blood. I am a happy IOS user that currently owns the iPhone 8, and have had almost zero problems with the phone and if I had they were from my cluelessness and mistakes.
I also find many of your points hilarious like the slider one. Like cmon man, you aren't wasting that much time sliding a small circle across an LED screen. And the multi-use home button is very useful and "at your fingertips". And the point about the refunds kind of disgusts me. If you're gonna make a 1-5 dollar purchase just stick with it. You aren't gonna plunge yourself into poverty by not getting your precious 2 bucks back. Unless you truly got false advertised/BSd from a shady company then you shouldn't feel the need to get a refund. I feel like you should stick with Apple's phones and see where it takes you. When you get used to it you'll get a newfound joy in owning an iPhone
A happy "iPhone cult"
One of the bigger issues i have with iphones and apple is this innocence you mention, its a facade. Quite often i turn on the tv and find an apple advert flaunting a feature that google users have had for years like its a new discovery. Also ive never seen google pump out an os version to a device that couldn't handle it, but ive seen a fair few iphones killed after downloading apples 'latest and greatest' with no warning that there is some script to ruin old gen iphones. Taking a look in the apple store just frustrates me more where i see charge cables and plugs available for £20 each!! The premium aspect of apple has been stretched too far in my opinion and has spread to charging more for things which have no 'premium experience' associated with them.
I'll accept the iphone has some nice features but i cant quite bring myself to accept that its an innocent company. Theres some serious marketing and business trickery at play here
A once unhappy iphone user now turned happy android user
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