After 5 years of using different Android phones I switched to an iPhone. In 2009 I bought an HTC Hero, which was replaced by the HTC Desire a year later. Then my former employer gave me a Samsung Galaxy S2 which was replaced by the S3 after I switched jobs. I was about to switch to the Sony Xperia Z3 but I decided to go for an iDevice: the iPhone 6.
What do I miss in iOS so far?
I miss the back button on the phone. In iOS it’s up to the application to provide a back link somewhere in the screen. Usually in the top left corner, but sometimes it’s not there. That top left corner is hard to reach with one hand and Apple has created a workaround for that: tap (not click) the home button twice and the screen goes down so you can reach this button. Adding that extra physical button would have been easier. Another difference is that the back button is only within the context of the current application while the Android back button can bring you back to the previous application if that had opened another application.
No widgets on the home screen
When I opened the S3 I saw the latest weather information on my home screen. On the next screen I had an monthly overview of my calendar. On the iPhone there are only app icons. The weather and upcoming appointments for today are in the Notification Centre. It’s not in my system yet to open the Notification Centre or the Calendar app to see what’s on my schedule for the next week/month (and yes I already forgot an appointment).
It was one of the first apps I bought, but unfortunately there’s no dictionary available for Dutch yet. Let’s hope that’s just a matter of time, because Swype supports many more languages in the Android version.
The S3 had a blinking LED to notify me of unread messages: dark blue for mail and SMS, light blue for WhatsApp and green for Telegram and purple for MeetUp. It kept flashing until I took action to read the message or remove the notification. The iPhone blinks shortly when a message arrives, but that’s it. I don’t have my phone on me all of the time and sometimes I don’t hear or feel it, so that blinking LED was handy.
What is better?
Integration with iTunes
Samsung, I like your devices but Kies sucks. Most of the time it starts, but not always. When it has started it may or may not recognise the phone. After sacrificing a goat to the gods of Samsung it may also finish a back up successfully. More often it failed in the back up (luckily I never needed a restore) or didn’t recognise the phone. The KiesViaWifiAgent was turning my MacBook into a heating fan. iTunes just works. It recognises the phone, makes back ups and installs iOS updates.
The US department of Homeland Security took prints of all my fingers when I wanted to enter the US. The Dutch government wanted 2 finger prints for my new passport. Now Apple also has a finger print of me to unlock my phone or authorise purchases (but I have no clue what else they do with it).
I didn’t switch because of the Apple logo. Although I’ve been a fan of Apple’s desktop OS since System 6, I’ve never been attracted to the iOS. The main reason I switched from Android to iOS are the permissions apps get. In Android it’s an all or nothing decision. For instance the Facebook app wants access to my contacts, calendar, SMS and call history (and a lot more). If you don’t want to give permission to let the app access your SMS history, then you can’t install the app. This is different in iOS, where you as user can control whether the app gets access to your contacts or calendar (SMS and call history are normally inaccessible by apps). More information is in the article iOS Has App Permissions, Too: And They’re Arguably Better Than Android’s.