I switched back to an iPhone a few ago after several years being on Android. Here are a few first impressions and thoughts:
- Battery life on the iPhone 11 Pro is insane. I get almost two days on a single charge compared to less than a day on my Pixel 3. This has been the most noticeable difference so far.
- The iPhone camera is great but doesn’t feel like an upgrade from the Pixel. In fact, when it comes to the software part of the camera the iPhone is clearly a step back. Portrait mode looks like a poor Photoshop job in 9 out of 10 cases. I’m surprised this isn’t highlighted more in iPhone vs Pixel reviews.
- Notifications on iOS are a hot mess. It’s wild that Apple still hasn’t solved this. I don’t get why they don’t simply copy Android’s notification center design?
- I miss having a Google search bar on my homescreen.
- I haven’t used Siri even once – but I never used the Google Assistant much either. This still feels like a solution looking for a problem.
- Similarly, I was looking forward to the Shortcuts feature on iOS but have barely used it so far. Any recommendations for useful shortcuts?
- The quality of (third party) iOS apps is noticeably higher than that of their Android counterparts: Less bugs, nicer animations, even features I wasn’t aware existed.
- I keep on accidentally turning on the flashlight (apparently I’m not the only one). Why can’t I remove this from the lock screen or – better even – replace it with something useful (e.g. notes)? The lack of customizability on iOS is frustrating.
- Another example of this: Why can’t I freely arrange icons on my home screen the way I want to? (some on top of the screen, some on the bottom, for example)
Thinking about it, it’s pretty crazy that the design of home screens (or desktops) hasn’t really changed since the 90s. This is an area where Windows Phone was really onto something.
- I was happy to see that pre-installed apps on iOS are finally deletable … until I realized that deleting apps doesn’t actually mean you get rid of them. You are permanently locked into a variety of Apple services that are vastly inferior to 3rd-party apps.
- Why can’t I replace Apple Maps with Google Maps in 3rd party apps?
- Why is it not possible to use another assistant but Siri?
- Why am I not able to make back ups with Drive instead of iCloud?
- Why do iPhones still have physical mute buttons? Feels unnecessary.
- The Screen Time statistics feel better designed than Google’s Digital Wellbeing app. I wish Apple would make it harder to keep using apps which have reached their daily time limit though.
(Also: My name number one feature request for both Screen Time & Digital Wellbeing is an API so I can export data and set up more sophisticated IFTTT-type rules)
- Face Unlock works better than I expected but isn’t as convenient as a finger pint sensor:
- Face Unlock requires two actions: Holding the device in front of my face plus swiping up. Unlocking with fingerprint on the other hand is just one action (You simultaneously tell the device that you want to unlock it and authenticate yourself).
- Face Unlock doesn’t seem to work as reliably as the fingerprint sensor on my Pixel (I’d guess 90% success rate for Face Unlock, compared to 95%+ for fingerprint)
- As I’ve written before, the fingerprint sensor is underrated as a secondary interface. Android only used it to pull down the notification center, but I think you could do so much more with it.
- The Apple Wallet app is great, especially at the airport. Surprising that Google has never built something similar.