After 4 Years of iPhone, I Switched to Android: Here's What Happened
I am not a fanboy but I was enjoying Apple ecosystem. The first Apple product that I bought was MacBook Pro Mid 2014 and I was excited about using it due to its user experience. I loved my Macbook's TrackPad than anything. Apple then introduced Hand-off feature which insisted me to buy an iPhone. I bought an iPhone 6 Plus as soon as it got released. I've been using the same device for 4 long years and then I switched to Samsung Galaxy S7 which was running Android 8.0 Oreo, and it totally changed my life.
I started loving Android much as it has a lot of capabilities than iPhone where Apple can do it but still they did not. I found few of the capabilities silly and cheap about Apple for not including such features in iOS.
When I switched to Android, I missed certain features on Android which I used to get seamlessly on an iPhone.
What I Missed After I Switched to Android?
As I was having a Macintosh, I missed the continuity feature or the hand-off feature. I was not able to receive and talk calls from my laptop. My Apple Watch became useless. Android did not have Safari on its Play Store and hence I moved all my bookmarks and browsing data to Chrome. And, as you know, Chrome was consuming a lot of memory and also the battery on my laptop.
I missed FaceTime and iMessage a lot. The fun we had with friends on iMessage is a big thing to be missed. iCloud KeyChain was useless and I had to move to some other password manager. In one word, I just moved from iCloud to Google's ecosystem. Apple Photos to Google Photos and some similar migrations. I badly missed Notes app where I save personal notes protected with Touch ID and password which can be accessed on both Mac and iPhone, and it also synced seamlessly. Now, I had to use Microsoft OneNote as it provides the capability to protect notes. Google Keep does not have the ability to protect notes yet. OneNote is free for all my devices but the app is heavy, not as light and snappy as Apple Notes.
What's Best About Android?
Android is a competitor to iOS and to be honest, it is packed with more than the feature that Apple has packed on iOS. Some of the basic features that Apple is capable of providing on iOS is still not found on iOS to date. Whenever I go on a trip, I used to take videos, I get a feature to pause the recording just like my old Nokia phone. I badly missed this feature on iOS but I never cared. However, when I saw this feature on Android, I realized it was an important feature that iOS lacks.
Google Assistant is better in recognizing my voice than Siri and it has a lot of answers with humour to satisfy my query. I was able to customize the way the icons look on the app screen and able to add several useful widgets on my home screen. I was even given the ability to have a separate app menu screen or change the home screen as an app screen. There were themes and animated lock screen wallpapers.
On Android, I got freedom! I did a lot of customizations and I liked it a lot. To be honest, I felt like I was jailed on iOS. File Manager was one of the best apps to organize my files just like on my desktop computer. On iOS, I felt its a phone, but on Android, I felt it as a computer on my palm. Oh, Apple! Please don't get offended, Files app on iOS is not really better than Android has.
Syncing files between laptop and Android was easy and I no longer need to wait until it syncs fully. I connect my Android just like a pen drive and copy paste files that I need to and fro. That's an easy way to sync files that I need. Syncing iPhone through iTunes was very slow. I even had to copy files to specific apps and hit on the Sync button so my iPhone syncs with iTunes. WiFi sync is great, but it was slow.
What's Alarming About Android But Not on iOS?
Apple always gives respect when it comes to privacy. Only after switching to Android, I realized how vulnerable Android users are. You need to be careful about installing any third-party apps on Android. Unlike iOS, Android has a way to easily install apps from APK files. You can port apps on iOS similar way but you need a Mac with Xcode installed on it, so it's not that easy. Apple not only respects users' privacy but also artists privacy. Apple's iOS does not encourage you to download music or video by default but encourages you to use its music streaming app, Apple Music which is a premium service. It not only protects privacy to music and apps but also encourages such artists and developers to publish more music and apps.
I was browsing around the Google Play Store and realized that I can record calls. A third-party app can actually listen to your personal calls. Even though it is cool to have an app to record calls, it disrespects the privacy of over-hearing your phone calls. iOS does not let any apps to communicate with another app. This is one of the reasons why Android is alarming and the users are vulnerable to personal data theft. Also, I could see other apps requesting permission for managing phone calls, like Speedtest.net by Ookla to identify the carrier. You really do not know whether they are just getting the network carrier or recording phone calls, however, they claim that they do not manage phone calls. Android should really differentiate between both.
Since the recent release of Android, the company has made to show any apps running on the background to stay in the notification area. This is one of the ways to make the user realize that the app is doing something in the background, but still not letting any apps to at least access Phone app would be great to respect users' privacy.
As a whole, Android is an open operating system with limited capabilities to protect the privacy of users and which is why there are a lot of features and customizations compared to iOS. However, certain silly features which is no way related to privacy can be incorporated on iOS, like pausing recording while capturing video. Both platforms, Android and iOS have their own pros and limitations. If you are using Android, be careful about third-party apps stealing your data and enjoy the openness of the platform. If you are an iOS user, you are actually paying a lot for the device as Apple is trying hard to protect your data although competitors are impressing the consumers with certain features by exposing the data, while Apple is not.