iPhone vs. Android is one of the biggest rivalries in the tech world. Switching between the platforms is not something people take lightly. I recently made the switch, and you know what? It’s really not that big of a deal.
After using Android phones exclusively for over a decade, I’ve been using an iPhone for a few weeks. A lot of differences between the platforms have jumped out at me, but one big thing I noticed was making the switch wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. You might be overthinking it too.
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A Smartphone is a Smartphone
There are obviously a lot of differences between how things work on the iPhone and Android phones. Some are small little quirks, others are pretty major philosophical differences. However, I think we forget that at the core, the two platforms are very similar.
What do you use your smartphone for? You probably take photos, make calls, send text messages, read emails, get notifications, browse the web, check social media apps, and maybe play a few games. I’ve got news for you—both the iPhone and Android can do these things.
Crazy, right? Sarcasm aside, I’m not sure many people think about it like this. They focus on the differences instead of the similarities. In reality, the differences are mostly surface-level. The core of the smartphone experience is very similar on both platforms.
Apple vs. Google
Where things start to get more complicated is when we move outside of that “core” smartphone experience. It’s not just about the basic functionality, it’s about who controls those functions. In this case, we’re mainly talking about Apple and Google.
The good news is Apple and Google play nicer nowadays than they have in the past. Google, especially, supports the iPhone really well. Gmail, Google Photos, Google Maps, YouTube, and many other Google services you love are available on the iPhone and the apps are quite nice.
Apple doesn’t support Android nearly as well. Apple Music and Apple TV are the main services it’s made available on Android. Services such as iCloud, Apple Podcasts, Apple News, and many others are simply not available on Android at all. Not to mention the whole iMessage debacle, which I’ve already talked about in-depth.
Does it Go Both Ways?
All of those services are ultimately what make switching platforms so intimidating for a lot of people. As an Android user who primarily uses Google services, it was fairly simple to quickly find everything I needed on the iPhone. Does it work in the opposite direction?
That really depends on your willingness to adapt. For example, something like Apple Podcasts can very easily be replaced by Pocket Casts, a great podcast app available on both platforms. Apple News can be replaced by Google News (if you don’t care about News+). There are also methods for doing things like transferring your iCloud library to Google Photos.
You don’t have to be locked to Apple’s services; nearly all of them have equal or better alternatives on Android. It’s even possible to receive FaceTime calls on Android now. Plus, the beauty of switching away from Apple services is it will be that much easier to switch back to an iPhone in the future.
I mentioned iMessage briefly above and I can’t gloss over it here. iMessage is probably the one Apple “service” you can’t replicate on Android. Technically you can if you have a Mac, but it’s not something most people are willing to set up. Of course, you’ll still be able to text your iPhone friends to your heart’s content, but it will be as a green bubble.
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You Can Do This
The point of this editorial is not to get you to switch from Android to iPhone or vice versa. You should know it’s probably not as big of a deal as you think, though. The two platforms have converged on a lot of things over the years.
Apps only being available on the iPhone is not really a big thing anymore. Android phones have caught up and surpassed the iPhone’s camera prowess. Things like mobile payments and wireless charging have finally been added to the iPhone. Apple and Google even have apps to aid you in switching.
If you’ve been interested in trying the other platform but it’s felt like a monumental undertaking, there’s a good chance it’s not as hard as you might think. Don’t be afraid to change things up once in a while. At the end of the day, it’s just a phone.
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