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Home / Tips and Tricks / iPhone beats Android phones in these seven key ways. Each. Only. Time.

iPhone beats Android phones in these seven key ways. Each. Only. Time.


iPhone has a leg up on Android.

Óscar Gutiérrez / CNET

I recently covered seven things Android phones iPhone users could only dream of . Features like being able to organize the home screen the way you want, the benefits of a superior Google Assistant and better multitasking.

However, iPhones also have their benefits with lots of valuable features that Android phones lack. iMessage, FaceTime and regular OS updates for almost every iPhone are some of the best examples.

Here are my favorite features for iPhone that Android users lack.

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iMessage gives you the blue bubble feeling

Perhaps the biggest feature that Android users do not have, and probably never will, is Apple's own messaging platform iMessage. It seamlessly syncs across all your Apple devices, is fully encrypted and has lots of playful features like Memoji.

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There is a lot to like with iMessage on iOS 13.

Jason Cipriani / CNET

When you send a message to another iPhone message and see the chat bubble turns blue you know that the person at the other end of the conversation is also using an iPhone. It makes you part of a club, sure, but it also includes some benefits, like chatting over Wi-Fi and being able to share high-resolution videos and photos with the person at the other end of the line.

iMessage also lets you request or send money via Apple Pay and pepper the message with extra colorful animations, for example, making a more robust conversation than using standard SMS on iPhone. You know you are in typical text mode when the chat bubbles are green.

Google recently launched their own take on iMessage which is part of the Google Messages app. It uses something called RCS (rich communication services) that lets you send higher quality photos and videos and see reading receipts and even write indicators so you know when the other person is responding. While Google's RCS provides huge improvements in chatting on an Android phone, it is not as widely used as iMessage right now and does not have Apple's full set of features.

The AirPods experience is second to none.

Angela Lang / CNET

Wireless headphones and earphones are a breeze to set up and use

Pairing the Wireless AirPods ($ 129 at Amazon) headphones to your iPhone are a seamless experience that makes Apple's system leagues ahead of Google . One of the most impressive benefits is being able to use the same AirPods with your Mac or Apple Watch ($ 399 at Apple) without having to pair them again.

Samsung Galaxy Buds ($ 109 on Amazon) try to recreate the magical experience, and they come close but lack variety and ease of use on multiple devices. Google Pixel Buds 2 is the best hope of Android users to recreate that magic – but you have to wait a little longer before they start delivering.

AirPods have many features and tricks you want to learn, such as that shares audio and asks Siri to read your incoming messages . AirPods Pro does even more .

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iOS 13 is a pretty big update for your iPhone.

Jason Cipriani / CNET

Every approved iPhone gets software updates at the same time

Software updates have always been a failure of the Android platform as a whole. Unless you own one of Google's Pixel phones, you never really know when you will be getting a security update or a larger version of the feature because that timing is up to every single phone brand. Some are more consistent than others.

On the other hand, when Apple releases a software update for iPhone, each user has immediate access to that update as long as their iPhone is still supported. Here is a current list of supported devices going back to iPhone SE ($ 349 at Apple) . When iOS 13 came in September, iPhone owners were able to update immediately. When iOS 13.1 came out a few days later, everyone was able to update again at once.

You just don't get that kind of consistency and insurance across Android phones.

  ios-13-facetime-attention-correcting "data-original =" https://cnet1.cbsistatic.com/ img / cuoMp2mE6ZyHN4j-k0m55Oxv038 = / 2019/07/22 / 84d55368-dda5-4864-afd5-d1051d64931d / ios-13-facetime-attention-correcting.jpg [19659036] ios-13-facetime-attention corrective [19659016] Facetime is easy to use and requires no special installation or extra accounts. </p>
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Jason Cipriani / CNET

Video calls with iPhone are as simple as a phone call

FaceTime is a feature that Android has never been able to match, despite Google's best efforts with its Duo app. FaceTime works so well because it is encrypted and ready to use the moment you configure your new iPhone.

Like iMessage, for many people FaceTime is synonymous with video calling. It's the only app they want to use and they don't have to log into a third-party app or search for contacts to set it up and start a call. It is only automatically linked to your contacts, camera and caller to do all the work. It is this ease that makes FaceTime one of the reasons family groups remain rooted to the iPhone.

Learn how to make group video calls or have fun with Animoji in FaceTime .

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Backing up your iPhone is easy.

James Phelan / CNET

Seamless backup and restore

I've set up hundreds of Android phones, and the process has never been as painless as it was when I created a new iPhone. With iPhone, I log into my iCloud account, click Reset and then wait about 20 minutes. That's not the case with an Android phone.

Google Backup and Recovery Service does a decent job, but more often than not there are apps I need to re-install or login to, settings to adjust and disappoint to manage when the phones often fail to restore my home screen layout exactly how I had it. The restore feature is supposed to save time, but I still spend some of it to fine tune the Android devices I created this way.

At the same time, my iPhone backs up to iCloud every night (as long as it's connected to Wi-Fi and charging) and restores fully installed apps, accounts, home screens and settings without fail.

Make sure you have taken all appropriate steps to ensure that your iPhone backs up .

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Jason Cipriani / CNET

Shortcuts + Siri = saved time

Apple's shortcuts app is pre-installed on iPhone and allows owners to create and share automation for common tasks like checking the spelling of a document, look at Amazon's price history for a object or convert a video to a GIF with a couple of taps.

I use shortcuts daily, and recently I've given Siri voice commands to do things like combine new screenshots into a picture or even use the Stats app and tell Siri to "warm up my car."

For several years, Siri had a bad reputation as being inferior to Google Assistant and Alexa – and rightly so. Apple's personal assistant was behind the competition for too long. But I use Siri daily for regular tasks, everything from playing music, entertainment issues and weather forecasts – all the same things I use Alexa for – and Siri's results and capabilities match it.

The addition of shortcut support to Siri's repertoire has reinforced that. In fact, Google Assistant has procedures and the ability to automate certain aspects, but the flexibility and automation of the device makes it an indispensable tool.

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You do not need to remove pre-installed apps from the iPhone. Ever.

Jason Cipriani / CNET

What bloatware?

Bloatware, crapware. Whatever you want to call it, it's not on an iPhone. Apple doesn't allow carriers to install any apps before getting the phone, unlike Android devices that are loaded with carrier-specific apps from the moment you first turn them on.

Yes, you can remove or hide these apps in just a few minutes on your Android phone, but it's not something that users should have to deal with. Who really needs the AT&T cabinet app? Or random games pressed on you because the developer struck a deal with your operator? I know I don't. Not to mention, researchers have found that pre-installed apps are prone to bugs and security issues . In my opinion, the owner of a phone should have control over what is and is not installed.

If you're looking for more features that make the iPhone better than Android, look no further than to this long list of features that Apple has added to iOS 13 and if you're still not convinced, here is a healthy list of hidden features .

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