I do not know about you, but most of the people in my extended circle are iPhone users, including almost my entire family and many of my closest friends. Some of them are hard-haired, Apple until they die, Steve Jobs went on water types, but most of them have just chosen a phone and an operating system and stuck to it because it works.
That’s what most of us do because it’s easy and comfortable. I get it completely and it is a completely legitimate choice for anyone to take. But after reading a piece by Mike Sorrentino on CNET earlier this week about his experience switching mobile operating systems, I was reminded of an underlying anxiety I’ve felt ever since I started using Android phones as my primary devices. My Apple family just looks at me a little differently now. I do not mean to say that they are downright rude or offensive, but there is certainly a superiority in their questions or comments about my daily choices.
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Unlike CNET’s Sorrentino, I approach this from a slightly different angle. While switching from Android to iOS, I came from iOS to Android. My colleague Michael Hicks has a large number of posts about his experience of recently switching from iOS to Android. While he does a fantastic job of highlighting the fun new experiences he has uncovered, I have no doubt that he has also encountered the not-so-subtle eye-rolling and even outright contempt that many iPhone users have. has for Android fans. And you know what? It stinks. It’s unfair. And I’m tired of it.
Debunking of common Android reviews from iOS users
No platform, service or device is perfect, but based on what I have heard from iOS cheerleaders, both directly and indirectly, you would think that Android was and always has been a second-class citizen. That is simply not the case.
Design and build quality
One of the first criticisms of Android that I remember hearing from friends and family was that Android phones were cheap and poorly constructed shit. That is undoubtedly true too some Android phones, but in my experience, it does not reflect the reality of the smartphone landscape.
Some of the best, most innovative designs and technologies come first or exclusively for Android phones.
Many (actually most) of the highest quality, most premium, most well-built smartphones are actually Android phones. Technologies such as AMOLED screens, high refresh rates, biometric scanning and even foldable screens have debuted or have long been exclusive to Android phones. And while there is no shortage of good, cheap Android phones, most of the best Android phones are as premium as any iPhone you find.
And while the prevalence of repairable phones has dropped over the years, the simple fact is that tinkerers and those who want to extend the life of their phone have more options to do so in the Android ecosystem. In fact, some of the people and companies most active in this endeavor are Android users.
Security and privacy
The next bank on Android that I have repeatedly heard is that it is not a secure platform and that if you really care about privacy, you should avoid it at all costs. But as my colleague Alex Dobie recently wrote, it’s a bunch of BS.
Some of the most secure phones you can buy run Android, including Google’s Pixels and Samsung’s Galaxy devices. To be clear, security and privacy are not the same thing, but if you’re worried about being hacked or having your data stolen, it’s just as likely to happen on an iPhone as it is an Android device. Most Security leaks occur when an app or game developer or third-party hardware vendor itself is compromised, not because of malicious code that suddenly appears on your phone.
Android users have more control over their personal data than ever before, including having the ability to remove Google completely.
Google’s apps and services actually collect a lot of your personal data, but you also have a lot of control over what data is stored through your Google account. For example, you can manually or automatically delete things like your search history or map trips from Google’s servers whenever you want. Google is also building even more privacy controls in Android 12 to help users better understand and control which apps are trying to access their data.
And if that was not enough, you can go the extra step and install an alternative Android-based OS on your phone as / e / OS, which does not send any data to Google and tells you which apps are trying to collect which data, so you can decide if the trade-off is worth it for you or not.
Integrations, apps and features
iOS followers often like to point out how indispensable iMessage and Facetime are to their digital lives, and it’s not hard to understand why. These apps are preloaded on every Apple device and they work beautifully. But as confusing as Google’s messaging app strategy has been, there are plenty of amazing messaging apps on Android that also “just work”. Google Messages continues to improve and now supports end-to-end encryption between Messages users (like iOS), and you can use it in any web browser or Chromebook. I’ve even had quite a bit of success convincing most of my friends and family to use an alternative messaging platform like Signal or Telegram so iMessage doesn’t lock me out of their circles.
Facetime comes to Android (and Windows) with iOS 15, and while it may not be the same experience as on an iPhone, it opens up new ways for Android and iOS users to connect, and that can only be good.
iPhones can integrate seamlessly with Macs and iPads, but so can Android phones with Windows PCs and Chromebooks.
Finally, my Apple friends may like to talk about how their iPhones work seamlessly with their Macs and iPads, but many of the same people are not aware of how good the experience of using an Android phone with a Windows phone is. pc is. Even before the inclusion of Android apps in Windows 11, PC users could take advantage of robust services like Microsoft’s Your Phone app or Samsung’s increasingly competent Dex setup. And the Phone Hub feature is something I use every day on my Chromebooks to handle incoming notifications and messages from my Android devices.
Let’s learn to be together, not the same
As if that was not clear by my choice of career and my employer, I am a technical nerd. I love experimenting with all sorts of operating systems, platforms and devices. I have no problem jumping back and forth between Android and iOS or between Chrome OS, macOS or Windows, but I recognize that I’m in a unique position to do so. For reasons of inertia, preference, or privilege, most people tend to cling to what they are familiar with and not venture to the other side of the digital fence. I have no bad feelings towards those who chose the technology that suits them and their needs. You do.
If you’re an Apple fan, that’s fine – I do too! Apple manufactures some of the absolute best technologies in the world, and there is a reason why it is a leader in every category it enters. Both platforms regularly influence and push each other to get better, and sometimes they copy each other best features out. I just want my Apple-loving friends and family to realize that using Android (or Linux or Windows, etc.) is a valid, legitimate, considered, and reasonable choice, and that we do not “settle” or be misled. We can do everything you do just as well, and in some cases even better.
One of the things I love most about Android is that it consists of a vibrant and diverse ecosystem of developers, device manufacturers and users. So let’s celebrate the diversity of technology that we should in our daily lives.
Have a good Sunday and I’ll catch you next week.