Android VS iPhone power users – here's why we made our choice
Android power user
Which Android phone are you using and why?
As a tech enthusiast and reviewer, I have also often temporarily used other Android and iOS smartphones, from the budget to the high-end, but am just too comfortable with my Mi Max 2 to switch entirely. I'm about to start using the Google Pixel 4 as my daily driver, although if I am to recommend a phone, the Samsung Galaxy Note would likely make the perfect Android smartphone for most power users. If you're interested in having absolute power and versatility, invest in a Galaxy Note 10+.
Why do you prefer Android as a power user?
I can always make my phone feel fresh by customizing it
I can have widgets for several email accounts, on my home screen
I can multitask effortlessly on Android
I can access most files and folders on my phone
The average Android phone has the potential to replace a computer
I can even run Linux on my Android phone if I want to
I can choose my default music player
iPhone power user
Which iPhone are you currently using and why?
Why the iPhone? Well, two reasons — iOS and the camera. Let’s unpack them one by one.
Does the iPhone have the best cameras?
What is it that I really like about them? They are extremely consistent and predictable. I could be looking at a scene with my two eyeballs and I can already imagine how the iPhone is going to capture it.
Android phones will sometimes… surprise you — it may be pleasant, it may be a shock.
This is extremely useful for me since I use the iPhone as a tool. I often record B-roll footage (even A-roll before I bought a camera) for my YouTube channel with just the iPhone, since I don’t often lug my camera around. I can get some cool action shots with the ultra-wide lens, I can bring subjects closer with the telephoto. I AirDrop those to my Mac and they are ready to be imported in Final Cut.
And yes, I have used various Android phones for the same purposes before. Sometimes I captured footage that just looked better than what the iPhone would do, sometimes I got a jittery, color-confused mess. I don’t like surprises.
Granted, many Android phones come with great manual modes on their camera apps. On an iPhone, you need to fish for a good video recording app if you want more advanced features. But chances are — you will quickly find a solid, stable, feature-packed app, which gives you everything you need.
I’ll talk more about apps in the next section —
Why do you prefer iOS (iPhone) as a power user?
OK, it doesn’t have customization — but to be fair, I hardly care about icon packs. My Windows PC has had the same wallpaper since 2010-ish. My MacBook still has the stock Catalina wallpaper. Guess how much I am invested in “customizing” my phone.
I will say, I am still super annoyed by how iOS insists that app icons be ordered in strict rows and doesn’t allow for empty spaces so that you could better arrange your apps thematically. But that’s a pill I’ve learned to swallow.
iOS gives me the apps I need
And, as infuriated as you might be right now, I’ll ask you this — can you find me an Android video editing app, which supports keyframes? Let me save you some time — there are two. One is KineMaster, the other one is VivaCut. Yes, they technically support keyframes, but only for animation — you pre-program linear movement or resizing for your layer… and that’s it. You can’t have it dynamically change filters, brightness, contrast, et cetera between keyframes.
And I am not even going to talk about how clunky and cumbersome these apps feel to use.
To top it off, VivaCut is a shameless 1:1 copy of Enlight Videoleap — a video-editing app that’s currently only available on iOS and it’s actually pretty fantastic. I use it for all my quick edits on the iPhone or iPad and it has everything I need, proper keyframing included.
OK, what about other apps? Let’s take a look at another hobby of mine — music and, more specifically, guitar playing.
For years, Android was battling an audio latency issue, which simply made it impossible to have proper real-time audio for musician apps on the platform. Apple has had these since what… 2010? The iPhone 4? Wow.
Nowadays, if you buy a midrange Android and launch an app like Tonebridge (guitar effects app), you will be greeted by the message “You may experience audio latency while playing” or something along the lines. Well, if you buy an iPhone SE (2020) for $400, or an old, beat up iPhone or iPad off of Ebay, you will still get ultra-low latencies and the gadget will be perfectly usable as a makeshift guitar processor or demo recording workstation.
3rd party developers have taken note of that and there is a plethora of musician accessories and apps for iOS and iPadOS. For Android… yeah, you have a few options, which are kind of meh, and may or may not work satisfactory.
I’ve gone to rehearsals with just a guitar, an audio interface, and an iPhone. I recently made an entire song using only an iPad Pro, just to see if it’s possible. I could’ve done it on an iPhone, too, though with more fidgeting on the small screen. But I can’t do any of that on Android.
I don’t really miss split-screen
While it’s sometimes annoying that the iPhone can’t split its screen, so I can do a quick check of something and get back to what I was doing, it’s not a game-changer. Let’s be fair, most of the time we want split-screen from our phones, it’s because we want that YouTube video to keep playing while we do something else (respond to an email) real fast.
Prolonged use of split-screen or floating windows on that tiny display? Yeah… I don’t think that’s something I enjoy doing nowadays.
Pairing with accessories
For some reason, some phones in Android land still have some issues when it comes to Bluetooth pairing. Samsung seems to be the biggest offender here — I’ve had most trouble pairing to a 3rd party smartwatch or action camera with Samsung phones than any other brand.
iPhones on the other hand… well, “it just works”. I will note, that it’s often not automated, which is cumbersome and annoying. For example, you need to go into Settings and hook up your iPhone to your action camera’s Wi-Fi signal manually, then you need to go back into the action camera app and proceed with what you wanted to do from there. GoPro has fixed this in recent years (the app now has control over the iPhone’s Wi-Fi and will hook up to your GoPro camera automatically), but some other cameras still haven’t caught up.
Bottom line — it’s an issue with previous experience and “reputation”. Whenever I see an interesting accessory that supports both Android and iOS, I am 95% sure it’ll work flawlessly with an iPhone, but concerned about pairing it to an Android.
- Does this tool have the features I need?
- Does this tool fit into my workflow without disturbing it?
- Can this tool add value to my process?
For me and what I do, the iPhone answers “yes” to all three questions. Does this mean it’s the end-all-be-all smartphone for everyone? Most certainly not. Which phone answers “yes” to all three questions for your use case? Comments section is open!