Being an Android user can sometimes be a lonely experience. All your friends are using their Apple Pay in stores and sharing silly pictures of you with AirDrop. They even use their Apple Airplay to send all the songs that you are sick of hearing directly to the speakers at that company party you nearly missed.
Of course, the invites were sent out through the iMessage app.
The good news is that there are many features and apps that are unavailable on the iPhone or require a subscription to a third party app to access. Some of these can be really useful.
Let’s take a look.
Better third party caller ID functionality
A popular app called Truecaller is available on Android as well as iOS, but its most useful feature is only available on Android. With Truecaller on Android, users can see the names of incoming unknown callers. Using this app on Android will also enable the call log feature, so the app can access your phones call logs and let you look up and call back unknown numbers from the past.
A similar feature that is unique to Android exists within the Truecaller messenger app, which can access your SMS messages and identify unknown numbers. It can even categorize spam messages so you do not have to see them.
Back up all photos using Google Photos
Both Android and iOS have the ability to back up photos to a cloud service. The difference here is that Android and Google just do it better. While you can pay for iCloud plans that start at $0.99/month for 50GB of storage, and go up to $19.99/month for 2TB of storage, Google Photos is completely free and offers unlimited storage space for backups.
With iOS, you can still access the Google Photos service through an app, but using this method will not allow your phone to perform tasks such as uploading content in the background, or while the phone is asleep. With Android, you can even set up a custom rule that automatically backs up your photos at certain times of the day, or even whenever you are charging your device (recommended).
The list of useful features for Google Photos is immense, so even if you have an iPhone, this is simply the best cloud photo service currently available.
Two apps at the same time
This is a feature that is available on the iPad but has not yet made it to the iPhone. But for Android users, there is a multi-window feature built right into the OS. This can be incredibly useful when juggling two apps at a time, like talking to someone on a messenger app while checking out their newest Instagram post.
There is an additional feature that will be very useful for Windows users familiar with the alt+tab hotkey, by tapping the multitasking button you can easily tab through multiple open apps. The iPhone X does have this feature that activates with a swiping motion. Every Android device running the 7.0 Nougat OS or above can already do this.
Record phone calls
The iOS API’s do not allow users to record phone calls, and although there are some tricky hack ways to get around this, Android makes it simple. Download the Automatic Call Recorder app. This is a free app that will automatically record up to 200 phone calls (more if you have a pro account) that can be accessed through cloud storage in several different formats. Recording your phone calls can be a lifesaver for many legal or personal reasons, and there is currently no easy way to do this using an iPhone.
Share your device with others
Multi-user access can be very useful. Similar to the computer experience of logging into a guest account, that functionality is available with Android. Finally, you can lend a visiting relative your phone for a day without worrying that they are snooping through your text messages. Similarly, some Android devices have a “child mode” where the permissions can be set to control access to apps, texts and even unknown callers.
More intuitive file management
This is a function that Windows users will be familiar with. Each file on the phone is saved in a specific folder location that can be modified and renamed just like folders in windows. Apps then access these folders to retrieve information, just like programs on Windows. On iOS this is different. iOS files are held within specific apps, so if you saved a PDF using one app, you would have to access inside that particular app, or “share” it with the other app to access it. In a similar situation on an Android, you could simply navigate to the save location to find the PDF and open it from there.
Bonus: What about the headphones?
The newer iPhone devices do not have access to a headphone jack. That’s in contrast to their Android counterparts that do have one.
The newer Android devices have a Micro SD slot for expanding storage space, and a USB-C port for added connectivity.
Many Android devices conceal a useful electronic stylus pen for taking notes and doodling. You can use a “live message” feature to record your doodles as a GIF and send them to friends and family in your favorite messaging app.
The newest iPhone does not have a fingerprint scanner, nor does it have an iris reader. For those of you familiar with the fingerprint feature, in particular, you have probably found that it is incredibly useful for quickly unlocking your phone, logging into your bank website, and many other security-related tasks.
Check your phone for these apps that are secretly tracking everything you do
If you are interested in exploring the full functionality of your phone, you are going to need to download apps.