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Android vs iPhone
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All the things you can do on Android phones (but still can’t do on iPhones)

iPhones are the pinnacle of smartphone technology. Apple constantly raises the bar on battery life, capability and camera quality, but an iPhone can’t do everything. Tap or click here for four new iPhone features we love from iOS 16.

You have a few perks over iPhone users if you’re an Android user. Let’s look at what your Android can do that an iPhone can’t. iOS users reading this, be on the lookout for Apple to release some of these features for iPhones in the future.

Gain access to internal files when plugged in

Android is about accessibility. You get a prompt on your screen when you plug your phone into a PC or laptop. Choose whether to charge your phone via the USB connection, but you can also allow media transfer.

This way, you can open your phone’s folders on your desktop using Windows File Explorer. Pull your photos out of your phone or add music if you wish. This makes it wholly accessible and easy to transfer files to and from your phone.

You get access to your photos and videos when you plug your iPhone in, but not all internal storage. Android has a leg-up in this regard, especially if you use your phone to transfer individual files when you don’t have access to a USB thumb drive.

Access multiple users on the same device

On Android, you can switch between different profiles. Log out, hand the phone over to your child or friend, and let them log into their profile. Multiple users can each have their apps downloaded that aren’t visible to other users.

If you share a phone with friends or family, they don’t know what your in-app purchases are. They also won’t have access to your private files, even if they’re stored on the same device.

We’re all constantly monitoring our budgets in these financially uncertain times. This feature could save you money each month if you can share a phone with someone you trust.

Ditch the default apps (yes, really)

Do you use WhatsApp instead of the regular phone app to make calls? You can make sure your device defaults to third-party apps of your choice. Google doesn’t put a harsh restriction on it.

If you find a third-party app with a better UI or enjoy the service more, switch it out with whatever’s on your home screen for quick access and make it launch by default. This is especially helpful in small ways, like looking up a local business number and tapping it to make a call.

Root access

Fancy yourself a developer? Android devices allow you to enter root access, where you can install custom ROMs, customization and even overclock your screen to boost above its maximum refresh rate (sort of, it’s complicated).

Root access is either a hit-or-miss depending on how you use your phone. However, it can’t be ignored that having that type of access to your Android phone is unparalleled to the restrictions Apple puts on iOS devices.

In root access, you can:

  • Upgrade OS: Want a different operating system instead of Android? Sure, go for it.
  • Delete bloatware: This refers to apps that come pre-installed on your phone that you don’t want. They bloat your free storage space, but you can delete them.
  • Replace firmware: Firmware is categorized as permanent software that’s programmed into read-only memory. You know, unless you have root access.

Full customization to your home screen

We’re not just talking about backgrounds. Apple has launched a few options on iOS that try to mimic what you can do on Android, but not to the same effect. Because the home screen is a big part of Apple’s branding, they don’t want it to look like an entirely different device from what they’re selling.

With Android devices, you can customize a lot, including:

  • Icons: Change out the stock icons with thousands of free packs (and some paid) in the Play Store.
  • Grid: Don’t like the 6 x 4 grid on your phone? You can change it easily.
  • Notification counts: Don’t want a bunch of the same notifications in your push tab/tray? Change it so they stack with numbers instead.
  • Launcher: Change your launcher so the home screen is completely different from the startup.

Apple is still a bit behind in these regards. You can make your Android phone your own.

Use always on display to view basic information

Trying to check the weather but don’t want to wake up your phone fully? You can use the always-on-display option to see your battery percentage, local weather and app notifications without burning through your phone’s power.

Energy efficiency will vary depending on your phone’s screen tech. Whether built-in or a third-party app, an always-on display generally doesn’t use much power. You can also set the always-on display to work on the lowest brightness settings. When you wake up your phone, it will use your default screen brightness, so you don’t have to adjust it again.

Which team are you on?

Android devices have more utility, but do these features speak to you and what you value in a smartphone? Did you read this before switching to iOS to see what you’d be missing and don’t mind the lack of features?

We found two low-priced options, one Android and one iPhone, so you can make the switch without jumping into a big purchase.

Read more

7 hidden iPhone features you wish you knew before now

10 clever iPhone and Android features you forget to use

We may receive a commission when you buy through our links, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.
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