What are the features that Android just do better than iPhones at?

Android and iOS have been locked in intense competition for over a decade now.

Both operating systems have their own strengths and weaknesses.

While iOS is often praised for its simplicity and optimization, Android offers more flexibility and customization options. There are some key areas where Android phones tend to outperform iPhones.

1. Customization

One of Android’s biggest advantages is the high degree of customization it allows. Android phone makers implement their own flavors of Android with additional features and design tweaks. Samsung’s One UI, Xiaomi’s MIUI and OxygenOS by OnePlus are examples of such Android skins.

You can customize almost every aspect of the interface on an Android phone. Want to change system fonts, icon packs, themes and even boot animations? No problem, Android makes it easy. iPhones offer minimal customization in comparison due to Apple’s tightly controlled ecosystem.

2. Default Apps

Android lets you choose default apps for key functions like web browsing, maps, email etc. If you don’t like Chrome, just make Firefox your default browser. Don’t like Google Maps? Switch to Waze or Apple Maps instead. On iPhones, you’re stuck with Apple’s default apps like Safari and Apple Maps.

Being able to change default apps to alternatives that may suit your needs better is a big plus for Android. You aren’t locked into any one company’s apps if you don’t want to be.

3. App Drawer

The app drawer is a signature feature of Android that keeps your home screens tidy. All your installed apps are neatly tucked away in the app drawer, accessible with just a swipe up or tap of the dedicated button. Your home screens only need to contain shortcuts for frequently used apps.

iPhones have no app drawer, so all your apps end up cluttered on the home screen pages. You can organize them into folders, but the experience isn’t as clean.

4. Advanced Multi-tasking

Android offers true multi-tasking with the ability to run apps in split-screen mode. Many Android phones even allow you to run multiple apps at once in freeform windows. This is handy for referencing information from one app in another.

The multi-tasking capabilities on iPhones are relatively limited. You can only view one app at a time. Apple only recently introduced basic split view for iPads, but not for iPhones.

5. Greater Choice of Phones

The Android ecosystem offers consumers far more choice when selecting a smartphone model. Handsets come in a wide variety of sizes, capabilities, prices and designs.

Want a phone with a massive 10,000 mAh battery? Get a Doogee S97 Pro. Fancy a phone with a second display on the back? Try the Nubia Z20. These types of unique models are possible due to Android’s open platform.

With iPhones, you’re limited to the few models that Apple releases each year, all following the same design language.

6. Expandable Storage

Most Android phones allow storage expansion via microSD card. Insert a 512GB card, and you’ve got enough space for thousands of songs, videos and photos. iPhones still don’t offer storage expansion, though base storage sizes have increased.

Having the flexibility to add more storage as you need is a big perk. No need to pay a premium just to get a higher storage tier iPhone.

7. Always On Displays

Always On Displays or AODs allow Android phones to show date, time and notifications on the screen even when the device is asleep and not in active use. This is handy for quickly glancing at the time or checking notifications.

iPhones do not have an Always On Display feature. You have to tap the screen or press the power button to wake the display. It’s a small but useful capability that is standard on many Android models.

8. Fast Charging

Most Android flagships support fast charging technology that can get your phone from 0 to 50% in 30 minutes. This allows you to quickly top up when you’re short on time.

The latest iPhones still take over 2 hours to charge fully. While Apple improved charging speeds slightly with the iPhone 11 series, Android phones continue to offer superior fast charging capabilities.

9. Google Assistant

Google Assistant on Android is widely considered to be superior to Siri on iPhones in both speed and accuracy of results. Google has leveraged its strength in AI, internet services and search to develop Assistant into a truly helpful digital companion.

Siri seems to lag behind in areas like natural language processing, localized results and integrations. For the best virtual assistant experience on a phone today, Android has the edge.

10. Greater Variety of Price Points

Android phones are available at more price points to suit diverse budgets. Handset makers offer high-end flagships, mid-range models and low-cost budget options. The cheapest Android phones start at under $100.

The iPhone’s premium pricing leaves cost-conscious buyers with limited options. Apple offers previous year’s models at reduced prices, but they can still be prohibitive. Overall, Android offers greater choice at affordable price bands.

11. Superior Notifications

Android provides a more robust and configurable notifications system compared to iOS. You get more control over notification behavior, blocking, importance and privacy. Interactive notifications allow quick actions without opening the app.

Notifications are more limited on iPhones. You can’t customize or interact with them much. Overall, Android offers a better notification experience.

12. Better Sharing and Integration

Sharing content between apps is seamless on Android, and apps integrate tightly for connected workflows. For instance, you can share a photo directly from the gallery to WhatsApp or email without much friction.

iOS compartments apps more, making sharing across apps feel slightly disjointed. The Android sharing experience feels more unified overall.

13. More Privacy Controls

Android gives users granular control over app permissions, allowing you to selectively allow or deny access to privacy-sensitive components like location, storage, microphone etc. On each new version of Android, Google adds more privacy options.

iOS still takes an all-or-nothing approach to app permissions in many cases. You can’t fine tune what apps are allowed to access. Android provides more privacy control to users.

14. Superior File Management

Managing files is seamless on Android thanks to direct access to the filesystem and support for external storage. You can easily manipulate files without needing an app.

The restrictive filesystem access on iOS makes file management more circuitous. Want to transfer a photo from an app to storage? You’ll need a dedicated app for that. File management remains a weak point for iOS.

15. More Hardware Variety

The Android ecosystem incorporates smartphones with unique and innovative hardware you rarely see on iPhones. Options include in-display fingerprint sensors, high wattage fast charging, retractable selfie cameras, IR blasters for controlling appliances and more.

Hardware diversity is more limited on iPhones. While quality and performance are excellent, distinctive hardware features are uncommon due to Apple’s centralized design approach.

16. Superior Gaming Performance

With flagship phones like the Asus ROG Phone series, gaming performance on Android has exceeded that of iPhones. These speciality phones have features tailored specifically for gaming, like advanced cooling systems, multi-touch shoulder triggers and faster refresh rate screens.

The iPhone still offers an excellent overall gaming experience, but Android models take the lead when it comes to maxing out graphic capabilities in mobile games.

17. Greater Repairability

Many Android phone makers make it relatively easy for users to repair devices themselves or through third-party shops. Things like replaceable batteries, modular components and unrestricted access to diagnostic software enable repairability.

Apple intentionally restricts end-user repairs on iPhones. Replacement parts are difficult to source outside of Apple, and software locks discourage third-party repairs. Android is the better choice if you want greater repairability.

18. Lower Cost of Ownership

Over a typical 3-4 year period, Android phones tend to have lower total cost of ownership compared to iPhones. The higher initial purchase price of iPhones, lack of expandable storage and restrictive repair policies result in higher long term costs for iPhone users.

With Android, buying an affordable phone, adding cheap microSD storage as needed and opting for third-party repairs can save you a lot of money over time.

19. Sideloading Apps

Android allows you to install apps from outside the Google Play Store through a process called sideloading. This allows accessing apps not available on Play Store or testing early beta releases. Developers can distribute apps easily without the Play Store.

There is no simple way to sideload apps on iOS unless you jailbreak the device, which most avoid due to security risks. Yet another example of Android being more open.

20. Launcher Customization

Android launchers offer extreme levels of customization not possible on iOS. You can completely transform the home screen and app drawer interface with launchers like Nova, Evie, Niagara etc. Change icon packs, grids, scrolling effects and overlays.

iOS 14 finally brought widget and some home screen customizations, but you still can’t change fundamental interface elements. Android launchers provide unmatched personalization.

21. Call Recording

Many Android smartphones allow you to record voice calls, depending on regional call recording laws. This can be useful for capturing important calls as records.

It is currently not possible to natively record calls on iPhones due to system limitations. You would need a specialized app and adapter hardware to work around it.

22. Improved Messaging

Android phones support RCS messaging that upgrades the traditional SMS texting experience with features like read receipts, typing indicators, high res photo/video sharing and more. RCS delivers capabilities more comparable to iMessage.

Without RCS, communicating with non-iPhone users results in a degraded messaging experience. Android’s support for RCS helps close the messaging gap with iOS.

23. Crowd-sourced Real Time Data

Google leverages crowd-sourced data from Android users to provide real time information about places, events and locations in Google Maps. This can help others with info like how crowded a place currently is.

Apple has not tapped into crowdsourced data in the same manner for real time insights. The openness of Android allows Google to aggregate data to improve experiences like Maps.

24. Third-party Keyboard Support

Android phones allow installation of third-party keyboard apps like SwiftKey, Grammarly and others. This allows you to utilize alternative keyboards with different features and benefits.

Custom third-party keyboards are not allowed on iOS. You are limited solely to Apple’s default keyboard on iPhones, reducing choice.

25. App Cloning

Some Android launchers support app cloning, creating a duplicate copy of an existing app on your phone. This allows you to be logged into the same app with two different accounts, which can be very handy.

App cloning is not possible on iOS. Managing multiple accounts on the same app requires constant logging in and out, which is inconvenient.

26. Scrollable Screenshots

Android natively supports taking long scrollable screenshots of content that extends beyond one screen length. Everything gets captured in one long image.

iOS still hasn’t enabled scrolling screenshots on iPhones. You need to stitch together screenshot snips manually if you want to capture long content.

27. Dual Apps

Some Android phones allow you to clone social media apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram etc so that you can use two accounts at the same time. The dual versions operate independently.

There is no analogue on iOS devices to run cloned dual app instances like this. Getting dual apps on iPhone requires roundabout workarounds.

28. Split-screen Multitasking

As mentioned previously, Android enables true multi-window split screen multitasking on phones. Two apps run simultaneously side-by-side.

The iPhone does not support split view multitasking despite the large screen sizes. Only one app is visible at a time, with no option for side-by-side use.

29. Improved Tablet Experience

Google has optimized Android more for large screen tablet use with features like a reimagined interface, multi-window support and more.

iOS provides a more enlarged phone experience rather than rethinking tablet-focused use cases. Android excels better as a tablet OS.

30. Greater Accessibility

Over the years, Google has added many advanced accessibility features to Android to assist users with disabilities. Options include Live Transcribe, Lookout screen reader, conversation captions and more.

iOS offers good accessibility but Android’s open development environment has allowed even more comprehensive assistive capabilities.

The Verdict

While both operating systems have pros and cons, Android provides more flexibility, customization and integration capabilities versus the siloed nature of iOS. However, iPhones excel at providing simple, optimized and consistent user experiences. The choice comes down to your specific priorities and use case needs.

In areas like notifications, multitasking, default apps, repairability and file management, Android platform capabilities are ahead. But iOS leads Android in other spheres like privacy, processor performance and messaging.

Hopefully this comparison helps showcase some of the key differences between using an Android phone versus iPhone in the day-to-day experience. Pick the OS that aligns better with your needs and preferences.

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