- Part 1: Introduction
- Part 2: All the Little Things
- Part 3: Google’s Assistant and Other Apps
- Part 4: Third Party Software
- Part 5: Performance and Stability
- Part 6: AirPods
- Part 7: Notifications
- Part 8: Conclusion
The differences between Android and iOS are considerable, and I hope anyone considering making the switch from iOS to Android read at least a few of the previous parts of this review to understand what they’re getting into. iOS 11 seems to have some people on the edge of trying out the other side of the fence, and if you have the means to do so, I say go for it! It’s not always feasible, which is why I put so much time and effort into this review: I want everyone to be an informed consumer.
I don’t regret my decision to buy and use a Pixel 2 for a few months so that I could formulate a first hand opinion about both platforms. I understand this review can not act as first hand experience for anyone else, and could be seen as just another tech writer’s biased experience, but I have strived to make this review as fair as possible and present the Android experience from a fresh perspective.
In part 1 of this review I wrote:
Your mileage may vary, but the abysmal third party software available for the platform, poor inter-app communication, and countless stability issues make Android a place I only want to visit for a month or two per year, not something I can see myself using full time.
Honestly, if I could run all of my iOS apps on the Android operating system I think I’d feel a lot better about Android. It’s a lack of consistent quality software on the platform that really drives me away. The vast difference in quality software from non-Google companies is just depressing for someone coming from the iOS world. Websites like MacStories exist almost completely to talk about third party apps on iOS, and there is enough new and exciting software coming out on a regular basis that they can make a business of it. You simply don’t have that on the Android side, as Android-centric sites instead focus mostly on hardware, sales, and what updates Google themselves are making. In the past 2 months with the Pixel 2, the only “exciting” app releases have been AR Stickers for the Pixel 2 camera app and a new file management app made by Google.
As I return to iOS full time, I do intend to keep carrying the Pixel 2 with me for a while. I’ll carry it mostly for the camera, which is indeed quite excellent, but there will also be a few Android features I’ll miss. I’ll miss the superior notification management. I’ll miss the far superior do-not-disturb options. I’ll miss having Google Assistant as my main digital assistant. And I’ll miss picture-in-picture on my phone. I will miss these things, but as I think is very clear by now, I’ll miss those things less than I missed all the goodies iOS brings me.
Android is not a good fit for me, but it may very well work out well for you. I’ve had my SIM card in an Android phone for about 3 months since last Christmas, using a few lower end phones last winter1 and the best of the best Android phone this fall2, which makes this the year I spent the most time on Android since I simply did not own an iPhone back in 2014 when I used the HTC One M8 all year. The Android of today is far better than it was back then, but it still pales in comparison to iOS in my book.
I hope the past 13,000 words3 have helped you understand what it feels like to use Android as a long time iOS user. Whether you agree with my opinions or not, I hope this series has helped you understand what the important differences are and whether it would be a good move for you to make the switch.
Oh, and congrats on making it to the end 😋