Android vs iPhone: 14 Reasons Android is Still Better

Android vs iPhone: 14 Reasons Android is Still Better is a post by Josh Smith from Gotta Be Mobile.

We’ll explain 15 reasons why Android is better than the iPhone with a 2017 Android vs iPhone comparison that looks at where Android is still King.

We’re seeing more Android Nougat updates the Samsung Galaxy S8, Galaxy Note 8 and the LG G6 are all here and the LG V30 is on the way.

On the other end of the spectrum, Apple’s iOS 11 update, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X close the gap in some key areas this year, building on the iPhone 7, but there are still a lot of areas where Android is hands down better than the iPhone and iOS.

Why Android is better than iPhone in 2017.
Why Android is better than iPhone in 2017.

Ultimately you need to figure out if an Android phone is better than the iPhone for your needs and your preferences, but if you are trying to decide this list of things that Android does better can help.

Apple caught up to Android in many areas with the last several updates, but there are still many closed off parts of iOS that are wide open to customization and control on Android.

While Apple updated, Google did not sit by without adding to Android devices. There are a plethora of great Android smartphones that deliver features you will not find on the iPhone and iOS 11. After you read the Android vs iPhone comparison you still need to pick the right Android smartphone or the right iPhone.

Some shoppers may not care about every reason, but knowing what the competition offers makes it easier to decide which smartphone you should buy in 2017.

More Choice with Android

Apple offers more choice than we’ve seen from them before with the iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 8 and the iPhone X — but you still only have three screen sizes and two designs to pick from. The iPhone SE does still fit in, but with no iPhone SE 2, the 4-inch screen size is all but gone from Apple. You can still find good Android phones with smaller screens. Android delivers more options with waterproof phones, different screen sizes, more colors, different materials and other differentiating factors.

With Android smartphones users can choose a modular design with Moto Mods, and better waterproofing on the Note 8 as well as a variety of looks, styles and configurations. .

There is also support for a huge screen with a built-in stylus with the Note 8. In addition to these big names, there are many other options from Motorola, Huawei and if you include last year’s releases a number of other interesting options.There are also options to buy some Android phones a replaceable battery, something that isn’t available without adding a case to the iPhone.

Users can pick the phone size and design they want, and they can also pick a phone that offers a replaceable battery, a great camera or another feature without limiting to just three phones for the latest features and user experience.

Micro SD Card Support

Even the new 64Gb iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus don’t offer enough room for some users, and that is the amount of storage you are stuck with until you buy a new iPhone in two years. if you want to buy more storage off the bat, you’ll spend $150 more for 256GB.

Many Android phones support a Micro SD card that can store photos, videos and some apps so that you can easily add more storage for $15 to $30 with a small memory card.

Even 16GB Android phones offer more use thanks to the ability to add a Micro SD card to the mix. Some phones support up to a 128GB Micro SD card and almost all current Android phones with a Micro SD card slot can handle a 64GB Micro SD Card.

Google Maps is Better on Android

Use Google Maps easier on Android.
Use Google Maps easier on Android.

You can install Google Maps on the iPhone, but you cannot make it the default app.

This means Siri will always get directions in Apple Maps. The Apple Maps app is better than it was at launch, but it is still missing many points of interest, complete streets and neighborhoods and it still sends on on weird routes very often.

On Android, Google Maps offers transit directions in more cities, better driving directions, a deep point of interest search that works more often and it is integrated into the phone so that addresses open into Google Maps unless you choose to use an alternate mapping service.

Easy to Clear Cache to Get Space Back

Quickly reclaim space on Android faster than on iPhone.
Quickly reclaim space on Android faster than on iPhone.

Apps often download photos, videos and other pieces of information to your phone as you use them. If you look at the size of an app like Vine or Instagram on the iPhone or Android you’ll likely see a lot of storage space in use. This is because the app can keep data related to the photos and videos that it downloads.

On the iPhone you need to delete the app and re-install it to get that space back. If you are using a 16GB iPhone, you may do this once every month or two.

On Android the app often includes an option to clear the cache, even if the iPhone version doesn’t. If that doesn’t work you can also clear the cache of an app in the Android software.

Android Widget Support is Better

Widgets on Android are better than on the iPhone.
Widgets on Android are better than on the iPhone.

On Android users can choose widgets to show on the lock screen and on their home screen. This puts weather information, a live calendar and other information that each user finds important with a glance at the screen.

On the iPhone users can add some widgets with iOS 8 and that are still in iOS 10, but they are only in the Notification Center and Apple is notoriously picky about what the widgets can do and what they cannot do.

It’s easier to tap a widget on the home screen than it is to open the Notification Center, count to three for all the widgets to load and change the location of the one you want to tap, and then tap it.

Android Customization Blows iPhone Away

Users enjoy more customization on Android than on the iPhone. On Android users can install a new launcher that changes the overall look of the home screen.

Many Android versions include small options to change themes for color and other tweaks. Samsung and other companies are even going further with themes that change more than just the main color of the phone.

If you want more control over what your phone looks like without the need to jailbreak, Android is the better option.

Android Default App Choices Are Better

Choose a default Android app. You cannot do this on iPhone.
Choose a default Android app. You cannot do this on iPhone.

On the iPhone Apple does not let you choose new default apps. Safari, Mail and Apple Maps are the default and unless you are in a third-party app that lets you choose which browser to use there is no real choice. Deep linking helps you stick in apps you like, but it’s not as good as setting your favorite browser, mail client or other app.

On Android users can choose a default app to handle almost any task. This includes picking an app to watch YouTube links, Twitter links, send email with, browse the web and much more. Users can choose a new default and reset the default app later if they need to choose new one.

Split Screen Multitasking on Android

The top Android phones from Samsung and LG offer the option to use two apps on-screen at the same time. This multitasking makes it possible to chat and look at a document or work and watch content without a second device.

On a small phone screen there are limits to the usefulness, but it is an option that we enjoy on Android.

The iPhone does not support running two apps on the screen at the same time so you need to switch back and forth if you are talking to someone about a webpage or document. Apple added support for this to the iPad, but so far it is not available on the iPhone.

Multiple User Support on Android

Switch users on Android phones easily.
Switch users on Android phones easily.

We don’t share our phones with others the same way we share a tablet, but it is nice to have a multi-user mode on Android phones running Android 5.0 Lollipop and higher.

This includes the option to create an account with limited access for your kid, a guest account so you can lend a device without sharing your info. There is even an option to pin a screen so that when you hand someone your phone they can’t see more than what you are showing them.

The iPhone offers no support for multiple users and no real kids mode without going through a complicated process to lock one app to the screen.

Install Android Apps from Any Source

Unless you jailbreak the iPhone or rely on shady user profiles there is no way to install apps on the iPhone outside of the App Store.

On Android you can choose an option that lets you install apps from any location. You can side-load an app that is not on the Google Play Store so that you can use any app you need to.

This also makes it possible to run apps not specifically designed to work with your phone.

 

Download Movies & Music From Anywhere

You can download music, movies and shows from almost anywhere.
You can download music, movies and shows from almost anywhere.

If you want to add music or movies to your iPhone you need to download them on a computer and sync with iTunes or purchase them inside an app and only use them in that app. Yes, the iPhone lets you download Spotify music, download movies from iTunes and other movie services without a computer, but on Android you can download right from the web.

On the iPhone it is not possible to download the Louis CK comedy special right to the device, so users need to stream it. On Android a user can download this file to the phone or Micro SD card to watch offline without needing a computer. There are similar benefits to buying music online if you don’t want to buy through iTunes.

Google Now & Google Assistant Beat Siri

Hey Siri is useful, and Siri can finally connect to a variety of third-party apps, but it pales in comparison to the connectivity that Google Now and the Google Assistant offer.

On many Android devices users can say, “OK Google,” or a custom command to wake the phone up for voice control without touching it or it being connected to power. Users can also choose which app Google Now should use for an activity. Instead of restricting users to Google Music, a command to play an artist can open Spotify or another music app.

Google Now also does a great job of showing useful and relevant information for users on the Google Now home screen. With the Pixel you also get Google Assistant.

More Mobile Payment & NFC Options

The iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus include NFC to let users make mobile payments, but that is the only function and there is only one option — Apple Pay.

On Android phones users can use NFC to control phone settings, trigger tasks like turning on car mode or setting the phone to home mode.

Android phones also support Android Pay for payments and other options like Samsung Pay. Some of these only support limited banks, like Apple Pay, but you do have more options.

With Samsung Pay, you can even pay on normal credit card machines without advanced NFC chips.

Android Notifications Are Appealing

On the iPhone Notifications stack up in the Notification Center and quickly turn it into an unusable mess because clearing a notification is an annoying double tap procedure that involves small touch targets unless you have a newer phone with 3D Touch.

On Android users can swipe to the side to remove a notification and on many devices you can see deliver incredibly useful notifications on the lock screen that let users see what the notification is about at a glance.

Android vs iPhone: 14 Reasons Android is Still Better is a post by Josh Smith from Gotta Be Mobile.

Android distribution for July shows Nougat in double digits

On a regular basis, Google releases statistics for its Android versions, showing just how far the newest version is moving along in adoption. It also shows the other versions inevitably getting smaller in numbers, but for most that’s good news.

The newest report shows that the latest version of Android, Nougat 7.0 and 7.1, has officially made it into the double digits. Specifically, Android 7.0 is now sitting at 10.6%, while Android 7.1 is at 0.9%.

Meanwhile, Android 6.0 Marshmallow is still reigning supreme on the list, sitting at a comfortable 31.8% and actually growing 0.6% from last month’s report. Android 5.0 and 5.1 Lollipop has a combined adoption of 30.1%, while Android 4.4 KitKat is now at 17.1 percent.

Android July 2017 distribution

At the bottom of the list is a tie between Android 2.3.3 – 2.3.7 Gingerbread and Android 4.0.3 – 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich, both at 0.7%.

All of this is pretty typical, with the newest version of Android slowly gaining ground on devices out there in the wild. It’s a slow process, but the numbers continue to grow. Android Nougat will get a big boost after Android O, the next major version of the mobile operating system, launches later this year, too.

Which version of Android do you have on your daily driver?

Here’s how to get Google Assistant on Android 5.0+ Tablets WITHOUT Root

Google Assistant is Google’s answer to Amazon’s Alexa – a smart, personal service that has evolved in numerous ways and has expanded to multiple new platforms since its initial unveiling during last year’s Google I/O. Although initially exclusive to the Google Pixel and Pixel XL phones (and available in a more limited manner in the Google Allo app), the awesome users on our forums were able to get Assistant running on any rooted Nougat phone. Back in March, Google announced that they would make Assistant available for all smartphones running Android 6.0+ in certain countries. A surprise, to be sure, but a welcome one.

Google Assistant on Android Smartphones

Since then, even desktop and laptop PCs can take advantage of Assistant thanks to the release of an official SDK. Those among us who own an Android Wear 2.0 compatible smartwatch, certain Android TV models, and some vehicles with Android Auto can also take advantage of Assistant. But there’s one device that is notably missing from this growing list of Google-blessed devices – tablets. A Google spokesperson confirmed that the wider Assistant roll out back in March would not include Android tablets running 6.0+.

That’s never stopped us at XDA from trying to figure out ways around (in our eyes) these arbitrary restrictions. Thanks to XDA Member Nikhilkumar038, we now have a way to use Google Assistant on any Android tablet running Lollipop, Marshmallow, or Nougat without needing root!

I’ve tested this on two separate devices – a Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2 running Android 5.1.1 Lollipop and a Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 running Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. This should theoretically work on smartphones running Android Lollipop as well.


Google Assistant for Tablets Tutorial

The way this method works is by launching a hidden (but thankfully accessible) activity within the Google App called com.google.android.apps.gsa.staticplugins.opa.hq.OpaHqActivity. This can easily be done by using an application that can list and then launch all available activities from your installed apps. Activity Launcher is one app that is dedicated to this purpose, though the well-known Nova Launcher has a built-in function to launch activities in case you already have this launcher installed. Update your Google App to the latest stable version if you haven’t already.

Method 1 – Using Activity Launcher

  1. Open Activity Launcher
  2. Tap on the “Recent activities” tab up top and select “All activities.” Wait for all activities to load.
  3. Scroll down until you find the Google App. Tap on it to expand all available activities under the Google App.
  4. Find com.google.android.apps.gsa.staticplugins.opa.hq.OpaHqActivity. You can either tap on it once or create a shortcut to it on your launcher.
  5. You’ll now find yourself within the new Assistant “explore” screen where Google categorizes available integrations, how to use them, and quick access to make custom shortcuts.
  6. Swipe over to the “Your Stuff” tab up top.
  7. Tap on “Add Reminder” to trigger Google Assistant. What this action does is launch the activity com.google.android.apps.gsa.staticplugins.opa.OpaActivity – which normally can’t be accessed on your unrooted device.
  8. You’ll now be taken through the hotword setup process. Teach it to recognize your voice, and you’re done! Now you can access Google Assistant by saying “OK Google!”

Method 2 – Using Nova Launcher

  1. Find an empty spot on your home screen and long-press to add something new.
  2. Tap on “Widgets.”
  3. Under “Nova Launcher” tap and hold “Activities” and drag it to your home screen.
  4. Scroll down and find the “Google App.”
  5. Tap on it to expand it, and select com.google.android.apps.gsa.staticplugins.opa.hq.OpaHqActivity.
  6. This will add a new “Google Assistant” icon to your home screen which is a shortcut to this activity. Tap on this icon.
  7. You’ll now find yourself within the new Assistant “explore” screen where Google categorizes available integrations, how to use them, and quick access to make custom shortcuts.
  8. Swipe over to the “Your Stuff” tab up top.
  9. Tap on “Add Reminder” to trigger Google Assistant. What this action does is launch the activity com.google.android.apps.gsa.staticplugins.opa.OpaActivity – which normally can’t be accessed on your unrooted device.
  10. You’ll now be taken through the hotword setup process. Teach it to recognize your voice, and you’re done! Now you can access Google Assistant by saying “OK Google!”

Caveats

The first, and most obvious caveat, is that you can’t access OK Google by long-pressing on the home button. Long-pressing the home button will instead launch Google Now on Tap. I know many of you would actually prefer having Now on Tap as well as Assistant available, though, so I can’t knock too many points off for that. Though, this does mean that you’ll have to live with using your voice to access Assistant, which I would imagine isn’t too much of a problem considering where most people keep and use their tablets (at home). If you want, you can keep the home screen shortcut we made in this tutorial and tap on “add a reminder” anytime to manually bring up Assistant, but it’s less convenient this way.

Next, there’s the unfortunate reality that Google may patch this method in a future update of the Google App. This wouldn’t be the first time that a company has removed unofficial functionality after we publicized it, so I would recommend getting this set up while you can. Fortunately, you can just refuse to update the Google App if you really wanted to, which is far more realistic than never updating your Samsung Galaxy S8 if you were planning on using the original Bixby remap method.


Stay tuned to the XDA Portal for more tutorials like this! Thanks again to XDA Member Nikhilkumar038 for publishing this method on our forums!

Android O Redesigns Emojis – Get Them Now on Android 5.0+

During our earlier coverage of what is new in the first public Android O Beta release (Android O Developer Preview 2), some users noted that we had forgotten to mention the new emojis. No, we didn’t forget about our little blob friends. We wanted to wait so you can get your hands on the new, more round emojis right now!

Say Goodbye to the Blobs

Gone are the blobs of old. In their place are a generally more round set of emoticons. Emojipedia got a first hands on experience, but anyone can try the new emojis out by either installing the latest update for their supported device or by installing them manually (more on that below).

Nearly every single emoticon has been redesigned. Furthermore, Android O now supports the entire catalogue of emojis in the Emoji 5.0 Unicode standard.

No more blobs in Android O

If you want to take a look at the full set of emojis that are now present in Android O, expand the gallery images below.

Credits: Emojipedia

Emojis for All

Google has also introduced the EmojiCompat support library which will allow developers of applications targeted for API level 19 and above (Android 4.4+) can add the support library so users of their apps can enjoy all of the latest emojis even if they aren’t on the latest software version.

But that does mean that individual app developers will have to add this library so you can see all the latest emojis, so some older, less frequently updated applications may not allow you to see all the latest ones. That is, if you haven’t already gone and installed them yourself.

Skip the Wait – Get the New Emojis Right Now!

Why wait for applications to update or for your phone to get Android O? You can install the latest emojis right now on Android 5.0+ thanks to XDA Recognized Contributor linuxct. He’s included two ways to install the new emojis – through a flashable zip that you can install through a custom recovery or through a Magisk Module. The former replaces the font files on your system partition while the later installs the new emojis systemlessly.

Feature Image Credits: Emojipedia

Samsung Galaxy S6/S6 Edge: Android update tracker (Update: Nougat for T-Mobile variants rolling out)

Update (6/5): T-Mobile’s @askdes has confirmed that Android 7.0 Nougat for the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge has been approved. The big update should start rolling out to T-Mobile-branded S6 and S6 Edge handsets within the week.

Welcome to the Samsung Galaxy S6 Android update tracker page. This article covers updates for both the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge on the four big U.S. carriers as well as the unlocked international version. We’ve got a quick reference table of available versions and a detailed log of updates for all S6 models.

This page will be regularly updated with the latest Galaxy S6 update information, so feel free to bookmark it and revisit regularly for all your Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge update news.

Galaxy S6 Android update: U.S.

Samsung Galaxy S6/S6 Edge updates - USAndroid 5.0Android 5.0.1Android 5.0.2Android 5.1Android 5.1.1Android 6.0Android 6.0.1Android 7.0
VerizonNoNoYesNoYesNoYesYes
AT&TNoNoYesNoYesNoYesYes
T-MobileNoNoYesNoYesNoYesYes
SprintNoNoYesNoYesNoYesYes

Samsung-Galaxy-S6-Edge-26

Android 7.0 Nougat first available: August 22, 2016

Android 6.0 Marshmallow first available: October 5, 2015

Android 5.1.1 Lollipop first available: May 7, 2014

Verizon Galaxy S6/S6 Edge update (SM-G920V/SM-G925V):

  • April 24, 2017, Verizon became the second manufacturer to roll out Nougat to the S6/S6 Edge.
  • August 17, 2016, Verizon pushed an update for the S6 and S6 Edge fixing various problems with Wi-Fi and HD Voice calling.
  • May 24, 2016, Verizon pushed an update that removed bloatware and added a RAM manager.
  • April 1, 2016, Verizon rolled out Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow for the S6 and S6 Edge.
  • August 13, 2015, Verizon released Android 5.1.1 for the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge.

Number of days it took Verizon to update to Nougat, 246; Marshmallow: 179; to Android 5.1.1: 98.


AT&T Galaxy S6/S6 Edge update (SM-G920A/SM-G925A):

  • May 3, 2017, AT&T rolls out Nougat to the S6 and S6 Edge.
  • May 17, 2016, The Android 6.0.1 update went out to the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge on Sprint.
  • September 25, 2015, AT&T rolled out Android 5.1.1 for the S6 Edge and Galaxy S6.

Number of days it took AT&T to update to Nougat: 255; Marshmallow: 225; to Android 5.1.1: 141.


T-Mobile Galaxy S6/S6 Edge update (SM-G920T/SM-G925T):

  • June 6, 2017, T-Mobile’s Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge will receive Android Nougat within the week.
  • August 26, 2016, The T-Mobile Galaxy S6, S6 Edge and S6 Edge+ are all confirmed to receive Android 7.0 Nougat.
  • June 28, 2016, T-Mobile rolled out an anti-theft update with bug fixes and the June security patch.
  • April 11, 2016, The T-Mobile Galaxy S6/S6 Edge update to Android 6.0.1 arrived.
  • June 15, 2015, The Android 5.1.1 update dropped for the T-Mobile S6 and S6 Edge.

Number of days it took T-Mobile to update to Marshmallow: 189; to Android 5.1.1: 39.


Sprint Galaxy S6/S6 Edge update (SM-G920P/SM-G925P):

  • April 12, 2017, Sprint becomes the first US carrier to update the Galaxy S6/S6 Edge to Android Nougat.
  • March 10, 2016, The Sprint Galaxy S6/S6 Edge got the 6.0.1 Marshmallow update.
  • June 30, 2015, Sprint updated the S6 and S6 Edge to Android 5.1.1 Lollipop.

Number of days it took Sprint to update to Nougat 234; to Marshmallow: 157; to Android 5.1.1: 54.

First carrier to roll out Nougat for the Galaxy S6/S6 Edge: Sprint (234 days).

First carrier to roll out Marshmallow for the Galaxy S6/S6 Edge: Sprint (157 days).

First carrier to roll out Android 5.1.1 for the Galaxy S6/S6 Edge: T-Mobile (39 days).

International Galaxy S6/S6 Edge update (SM-G920F/SM-G925F):

  • March 9, 2017, After delays, the S6/S6 Edge Nougat update rolled out in Europe to unlocked devices in the UK, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy.
  • August 10, 2016, The unlocked S6 Edge received a patch for a “critical security vulnerability”.
  • March 18, 2016, Indian owners of the S6/S6 Edge got the Android 6.0.1 update.
  • February 10, 2016, The S6/S6 Edge in Poland were the first international customers on Marshmallow.
  • January 30, The very first Samsung device to get updated to Marshmallow was the South Korean Galaxy S6.
  • June 22, 2015, Android 5.1.1 started appearing on international unlocked versions of the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge.

If you’ve received an update we’ve missed, hit the comments below or Tip Us!