iMessage’s blue bubbles may look better, but Android is still superior

October 22, 2020 — by Bill Yuan

With the release of iOS 14, iPhone users all over the internet are freaking out about ways they could customize their home screen in ways they couldn’t have before. Sorry to break it to you guys, but all you had to do was switch to Android.

While Apple just got around to allowing widgets to be customized by third-party applications and creating an app library to store unused apps, Android has had this level of customization for most of its lifetime. In addition to third-party widgets and an app library, Android even allows for third-party launchers that let users customize their home screens with animated backgrounds and custom app icon packs.

But even beyond simple customization, I wouldn’t be able to survive a day without Android’s other unique features. Apple users may be fawning over their newfound customization powers, but they have no idea what else they’ve been missing out on.

For one, Android’s setting app is much more accessible than Apple’s. Instead of having to search through all of your apps to access Settings, Android allows you to swipe down and click the settings button on the notification bar to quickly access it.

Google’s keyboard also has much more functionality than the iOS keyboard. Personally, I use swipe-typing often, a feature that allows you to type words by swiping across the keyboard to different letters instead of having to press each letter individually. I find this both faster and easier, as it can be done with one hand. Though this feature is in iOS, it’s less accurate than Google’s, and many iOS users don’t even know it exists.

Listing superior features for Android is pretty easy, but iOS indeed has it perks. So, it’s time to answer the greatest philosophical question of our time: Apple or Android?

In terms of hardware, Apple, Samsung and OnePlus have some of the best high-end options, coming with hefty price tags. While Apple wins out on raw processing power, Android phones generally have a higher resolution, a higher refresh rate display and a better-looking cutout for the selfie camera.

For the average consumer, though, it makes more sense to buy a mid-range phone, priced from around $500-700. The options at this price range for Apple are limited to the iPhone 12 series or iPhone 11, which are not at all bad options. However, Android has many more options at this price range, including the Pixel 5, Samsung S20 FE and OnePlus 8T. 

In terms of software, iOS is a more restrictive operating system, with the main benefit being security. The UI is simple and has little to no learning curve, making it better for less tech-savvy users. Apple has also built a better ecosystem, which means that all Apple devices are designed to work with each other. If you already have an iPad and a MacBook, getting an iPhone is probably the best option.

Android, on the other hand, allows for lower-level access, meaning that you can do more with the software. There are many enthusiast features that the average consumer would never make use of. For example, apps can also be installed from sources on the internet, unlike iOS, which is restricted to an App Store. If you’re a tech nerd who wants to get the most out of your phone, Android is the way to go.

Incidentally, I’m a tech nerd, so of course, I use Android. The $500 OnePlus 7 Pro has an edge-to-edge, 1440p, 90 hz, curved display with no camera cutout. How? The selfie camera is motorized, which pops out whenever in use. Additionally, it has 8 GB of RAM and an in-display fingerprint reader.

I really like this phone because I value a good display and speed, and this phone gets me both for a fair price. The operating system also allows for my desired amount of customization; I have an animated home and an icon pack.

Although I regret losing iMessages’ beautiful blue bubbles and playing 8-ball on iMessage, I’m happy to make the sacrifice in return for good hardware and amazing features.

 

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