I’m an Android user for all my life and I’m an Android developer too. So I know a huge amount of things about Android but very little about iOS.
I wanted to know more about iOS and to get the feel, I purchased an iPhone and used it for about a year. Then I switched back to Android as iPhone doesn’t suit my needs.
Here are the things that I really liked about iOS.
- Animations - Opening and closing apps in iOS are really nice and smooth
- Battery - Battery life is insane compared to Android
- Notification permission — For new apps, you have to explicitly grant permission to receive notifications from them. This was very helpful as I don’t want notifications from most of the apps and in Android, I have to go to individual app settings and disable them manually.
- Universal clipboard, attending phone calls through Mac — These are all very nice features and I very much miss attending my phone calls through Mac after switching back to Android
- Autofill — Android also has an auto-fill feature, but iOS is more polished here
- Camera — the camera quality is very good, but I like it more for the fact that I can open the Camera app without any delay. In Android, unless the device is brand new, it would take seconds for the camera app to be opened and be ready to take pictures/videos. And by that time, the moment you want to capture would be lost. I still have my iPhone only for this case, to take pictures and videos.
Here are the things I really hated about iOS which eventually pushed me back to Android
1. Can’t run anything in the background
iOS is basically like a kiosk mode OS where we can use only one app at a time. Google Photos can’t run in the background to sync photos automatically, even Apple's own iMovie won’t run in the background and it explicitly asks to not put the app in the foreground when we export a movie.
This wasted a huge amount of time as I can’t use the phone when I upload my photos in Google Photos and download movies on Netflix, or Prime. Anyone who values their time can’t use iPhone as we have to spend a huge amount of time doing basically nothing and just staring at the phone.
2. Recent call history
For some reason, the call history shows very few recent dialed numbers. With Android, I can go back to months or even years of call history. This was very useful for me when using Android as I often identify dates of some important occasions from the call history. Limiting this intentionally in a “smartphone” is just ridiculous.
I guess everyone heard about this. Notifications are a mess in iOS. Though in recent days notifications are being grouped, not all of them are grouped and if I want to clear all notifications at once, I still can’t do that. The “Clear All” button doesn’t show up for a few top notifications for some reason and I have to clear those manually.
And pulling down to view notifications feels heavy as if opening a separate app for this, whereas in Android it would feel very lightweight.
It is not easy to dismiss an individual notification too. It requires more work than Android.
And notification quick actions. In Android, it is a very much usable feature. But in iOS, its like they don’t want anyone to use it. It is hidden in layers.
4. Display brightness
It is funny since Apple advertises brightness as one of the key factors when introducing the iPhones. But the iOS automatically reduces the brightness based on the temperature and the reason people are saying was, to not overheat the phone. You can’t turn this off as there are no settings for this in the OS (this is not the usual “adaptive brightness” I’m talking about).
I live in a country where most of the time the temperature reaches above 30 degrees Celsius and due to this strange iOS behavior, I can’t use the iPhone at all in direct sunlight, as nothing will be visible. Even inside my house, it would dim the brightness sometimes. It didn’t feel like they made this phone to be used in all countries and in all climates.
5. Low power mode
Low power mode is also present in Android, just with a different name. But in iOS, the behavior is extreme. I would play music from the YouTube Music app and turn off the display. Now if I pause the music using my headphone and try to play the music again after say 30 seconds or so, it wouldn’t play. When I turn the display on and check, the YouTube Music app would have been killed by the iOS. I haven’t checked this case with other music apps as I have a premium subscription only for YouTube Music.
So iOS basically kills the music app even if it was just playing music while in low power mode. This is the final thing that pushed me off to Android as I travel a lot and I would like to hear music during that time, but to conserve battery I will enable low power mode.
6. No touch id
This is just plain stupid. Although they released Face ID before Covid, they didn’t give touch id for the models that launched during Covid. I had to uncover my mask in crowded areas a lot of times just to unlock this damn phone.
Siri is just worst compared to Google Assistant as most of the time Siri will not interpret things I say correctly.
8. Weird audio routing
By default, phone calls will be routed through the phone even when Bluetooth headphones are connected. We have to enable a setting to route audio to headphones. I can’t understand what is the thought process behind this decision.
9. Artificial delay between touch events
For some reason, for each touch interaction in iOS, there is an artificial delay induced by the OS before processing the next touch interaction. This is not some milliseconds delay, I actually counted this on certain occasions and it was more than 2 seconds for a lot of cases.
You can see this easily on all iPhones. Just swipe down from the top to view the control center. Now long press Wifi or Bluetooth and the model window will be opened. Now tap in an empty area multiple times to close both the model window and the control center itself. For the first tap, the model window will be closed and further taps won’t do anything until after a few seconds. And then, the control center will be closed. Here we are forcefully being waited on the control center screen due to this artificial delay.
In another case, swipe down from the home screen to view the search bar and try to tap the suggested apps at the top as soon as they are shown. It won’t open until after few seconds after the search bar has appeared. Although this issue didn’t happen all the time.