iOS6′s tired, old staleness was one of the main reasons I switched over to Android. Now, a green iPhone 5c test device running iOS7 is making me seriously consider going back to iPhone. When I returned to my trusty Nexus 4, there were five major aspects that I missed dearly from using iOS7 on an iPhone:
1. App Quality
The quality of apps is noticeably superior on iOS; most of them look and run better than on Android devices. This is mostly due to Apple’s uniform line of devices, user base, and relatively grueling app screening process. For Android, app developers need to account for a huge variety of devices with different screen sizes, OS versions and hardware from numerous manufacturers, which creates fragmentation that is difficult to manage. Also, there are so many third party Android apps that do different things, and some of them are really great, but going through the Play Store feels a little bit like dumpster diving; you’ll find a gem after filtering through a lot of trash.
Side note: I am genuinely amazed how the Play Store has no (free) NYC subway apps that look good, work well, or aren’t full of crappy ads; I was pleased and relieved to get reacquainted with my old NYC subway apps on the iPhone.
Messaging is fine on Android, if a little utilitarian. iMessage on iOS7 is cleaner, more fluid and visually more appealing. Also, you can text friends and family who have iPhones overseas without outrageous international charges.
I wasn’t quite sure if I liked iOS7 at first. But when I started using apps that weren’t yet optimized with 7′s new design features, such as keyboard, border colors, and screen buttons, you get a glimpse of what iOS6 was like. That’s when you really start to realize how iOS7 is that much nicer. The bright, clean and colorful design has won me over. Not only does it look better than iOS6, it looks better than Android 4.3, too.
4. iPhone Design
It might not be “revolutionary,” but when you’re holding an iPhone, you just know it’s the best feeling phone out there. Even the plastic-clad 5c feels surprisingly solid. The combination of the front’s classic, black sleekness contrasted by one of the bright plastic back colors is fantastic. The bright colors reflect on certain surfaces (even my hand!) and emit an aura where the phone is resting. I hate to say it (because I’m a large display fan), but the iPhone’s relatively small, 4-inch screen ensures that the phone also remains relatively small, which adds to that feeling of sturdiness and comfort to hold and use. Many Android phones are also built with premium materials, such as the HTC One and its aluminum body, but their larger form factors slightly diminish that sense of solidity and fit-like-a-glove sensation you get with an iPhone.
The 5s looks and feels almost exactly the same as the 5, bar the accent around the home button, and the camera light at the back is taller.
5. Visual Voicemail
I use Google Voice on my Nexus 4, which is honestly a terrible visual voicemail provider, but there are some good apps on the Play Store, like YouMail. However, YouMail is pretty damn ugly. Also, if I wanted to use the visual voicemail service that comes stock with many Android phones, I have to pay around $3/month to use a carrier’s servers to store my voicemails. Apple really got visual voicemail down with form and function. Not only that, but voicemails are stored on their own servers, so no ridiculous monthly fees for visual voicemail.
So there you have it. These are the major things I missed about iPhone when I use my Nexus 4 and I may have just convinced myself to go back to iPhone. Coming up: Five Android Things You’ll Miss If You Switch Over To iPhone.
Did you make the switch from iPhone to Android? What do you miss that’s not on here? Comment below.