Its been a decade since I got a smartphone for myself. Right from the Treo 600/650, XDAs to the Nokia E series, I happened to use all the pre-iPhone era devices. But for a good part of this last decade, I have stuck to the iPhone. So far I have tried twice to move to Android with a lot of conviction. First with the Galaxy Nexus and second time with the Moto X 1st gen (I moved to a 5s from there as hinted here). One of my complaints from Android phones I owned always has been the poor camera, but that can be excused given that I never bought a top of the line Android phone for myself. May be my experience would have been different had I got something more mainstream like the Galaxy S5 / S6 or the Nexus 5x (priced Rs 26-30k – it fits my budget) today.
But the camera issue aside, I have been trying to figure what habits of using an iPhone has me locked down into this iOS world? There are a few small things, moving away from which would mean a bit of a learning curve on Android. Perhaps that’s what makes me fret every time I think of moving to Android.
- The ringer / silent switch. This little button instantly lets me put the phone in silent mode. It has been a habit for me right since the Treo days.
- Tap the top of the screen to scroll to top. This is very useful when browsing just about anything. A little iOS feature that I keep yearning for on Android. The GIF above shows this in action with the photos app.
- The fingerprint sensor (Touch ID) on the home button is another habit forming addition to the iPhone (even though it is used only to unlock the phone in most cases). Of course, newer Android devices have it too. So I may not miss this one if I think of switching. But this sure is a feature that I love.
- Universal Search. Apple has this brilliant universal search that let’s me search apps, contacts, emails etc right from the home screen. I use it extensively and haven’t been able to do the same on Android. I am told this is due to Apple nuking this feature from Android with a patent lawsuit.
- Deleting apps. Hold an icon, delete. On Android I have to find that app in the drawer, hold it, drag it to the top and delete. It is just cumbersome.
- On the iPhone 6 this new gesture, Reachability. It let’s me just soft tap the home button twice and the top of the screen will come down half way. This lets me do better on a larger screen when operating with a single hand.
- Shake to undo. Unless you have used iOS, you won’t understand how awesome this little feature is. You can shake the iPhone to undo any text change you made.
- Some apps like Tweetbot, Infinity Blade etc are exclusive on iOS. I do miss them on Android. But I am sure there are several good apps & games on the Android now. Still, being an avid Twitter user, there is some amount of compromise for me when moving from iOS.
Apart from these, iOS has this sturdy feeling and even if the phone is a couple of years old the software updates are right there! The stability iOS provides is something I care for. Imagine not even a single Android phone from 2011 has the latest Android version, not even the Nexus. The iPhone 4s from 2011 gets runs iOS 9, right alongside iPhone 6s.
While in recent years iOS has not really been invincible and Android has some terrific abilities (like fully featured Truecaller) that I would love to have. But it is just the overhead of retraining myself for a new OS that perhaps holds me back. Plus add to that the burden of buying a somewhat expensive Android phone to get the camera that I would love. I somehow take the safe route by sticking to an iPhone with known drawbacks and delights 🙂