The war between Android and iPhone users will probably never come to an end, with each side having its own bragging rights. For example, Android users boast about the customization options, Google Assistant, and superior multitasking.
On the iPhone side of things, iMessage, FaceTime and instant software update availability are just a few of the features that give the iPhone users bragging rights over Android.
In my opinion, i’d argue that Android phones are better suited for a wider variety of users. Below, I’ll explain what I mean by detailing 10 things Android does better than the iPhone. Check out this article, though, for an argument the other way.
1) You have a lot more choices in Android hardware
The biggest advantage of Android over iPhone is actually in hardware, not software. When you’re in the market for a new smartphone, Apple offers four hardware choices (unless you’re willing to buy last year’s model for a minuscule discount). The current iPhone lineup comes in two sizes, big and bigger, and two price ranges, expensive and really expensive. And those devices are rarely discounted. The most affordable iPhone that Apple offers is the iPhone SE (2022), which is a fantastic device with phenomenal performance for just $429, though its design is dated, and its screen will be too small for some.
By contrast, the sheer variety of Android smartphones from manufacturers like Samsung, OnePlus, Motorola, Oppo, LG, Huawei, Google, and others is staggering. Your Android choices cover a wide range of sizes, shapes, feature sets, and price points.
Sure, Apple has a few sizes to offer, but size is really the only differentiator there. The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus, for example, have pretty much the same specs, the main difference being screen size and resolution.
2. More affordable options
This naturally follows on from the first point on our list on why Android is better than iPhone. A wide variety of devices with different designs and specs means that Android has something for you at just about any budget. Though some Android phones can cost as much as Apple’s offerings, you can find phones that are hundreds of dollars cheaper. Phones like The $349 Google Pixel 6A and $450 Samsung Galaxy A54 5G are some of the best phones for those who just need seriously great affordable smartphone. If you want more power but want to remain under $1,000, the $799 Samsung Galaxy S23 or $999 Google Pixel 8 Pro are some of the best Android phones out there.
The most affordable Apple phone is the iPhone SE (2022) which currently costs $429 on Apple’s online store. The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus start at $699 and $799 (respectively), while the new iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max cost $799, $899, $999 and $1,199, respectively. Even if you find these phones at discounted prices, they’re still very expensive.
Affordability is always an important aspect to consider, especially given the current state of the world’s economy. Because of that, some of the moderately priced Android phones could be better for those seeking a new smartphone. No matter how much you can spend, chances are you can find an Android device that fits your budget or offers exclusive features.
Android’s back button has been a staple part of the system’s navigation since its inception, and features on every single Android phone ever to exist. The physical button may be long gone, but the function is still there — whether you prefer the gesture of the virtual on-screen button.
Apple has no such equivalent. Sure Apple did add a backwards gesture several years back, which can function much the same way. The major caveat is that it’s not universally implemented across iOS. Apple’s own apps and the system settings have the gesture, as you would expect, but it seems like there’s no expectation for third party developers to do the same.
One of the unspoken heroes of the Android OS is that no matter where you are or what you’re doing, it’s possible to jump back to the previous screen with the flick of your finger. What’s more, the gesture is paired with a subtle bit of haptic feedback for that added reassurance.
Switching over to an iPhone is a very different experience, and honestly it’s pretty infuriating to have to deal with. To be browsing Reddit and find the image I opened can’t be dismissed with a single swipe to the screen? Trying to do so makes it almost jiggle back and forth, and closing the image means navigating to the big X in the top left corner.
In fact that corner is where most of the iPhone’s reverse navigation seems to be, even when gestures are possible. Frankly I find it a pain to get to, even on a regular-sized iPhone, and that’s before you account for the failed back swipes caused by muscle memory.
4) You want a headphone jack? No problem
Raise your hand if you’ve ever prepared to plug a set of headphones into your iPhone and discovered that you left that pesky headphone dongle back on your desk. Thankfully, there are plenty of Android phones (including the new Pixel 3a) that still come with 3.5mm jacks. That’s a big deal to people who still love to use their trusty old wired headphones.
5) Settings are never more than a swipe away
Android and iOS offer similar shortcuts to get to some common system settings. On an iPhone, you swipe down from the top right to get to Control Center, which has a selection of shortcuts you can use to turn on Airplane Mode, adjust screen brightness and volume, use the calculator, and so on. The shortcuts make excellent use of the Force Touch feature.
But you know what you can’t do from Control Center? You can’t get to the main Settings page. So, you can turn Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on and off, but if you want to pair a new device or connect to a different access point, you have to exit Control Center, find the Settings icon, and open it.
Swiping down from the top of an Android screen, by contrast, shows a half-dozen common Settings icons above the current notifications. Swipe again to see a bigger assortment of Settings icons (customizable, of course). Tap the label beneath the Wi-Fi or Bluetooth icon to jump straight to the relevant Settings page. Or click the little gear icon to open the full Settings list.
6. Innovative features usually land on Android phones first
Sure, Apple’s coffers are pretty stacked. However, it is just one company, with one philosophy. As a result, iOS can be slow — or at least slower than the Android community — to adapt to emerging technologies.
With so many companies building Android phones, it’s little surprise that Android partners tend to beat Apple to the market with innovations in the mobile space. Wireless charging, fast charging, NFC, 4G LTE, 5G, OLED displays, in-screen fingerprint sensors, water resistance and multi-lens cameras all landed on Android devices before iPhones, as well as software breakthroughs like true multitasking, copy and paste and multiwindow support.
Of course, this isn’t to say Apple hasn’t delivered breakthroughs of its own. The iPhone X wasn’t the first phone with face recognition, but it was the first with one that worked reliably and securely. However, far more Android phones are released from a variety of vendors every year, so it’s just a matter of scale that hardware running Google’s platform is swifter to adapt.
7. You can customize your home screen just how you like it
Apple’s approach to the home screen is still locked to placing all installed apps in a rigid grid, although you can now add widgets to the home screen and use custom app icons to mix up the overall look. However, the home screen on Android devices don’t follow a grid layout, allowing you to place apps anywhere you’d like. Both platforms let you make folders containing groups of apps.
The benefit of Android’s approach is that you can customize the home screen by arranging app icons in any pattern of your choosing.
8) The volume control is far more flexible
No matter who makes your mobile device, it will have Volume Up and Volume Down buttons on the side. It will also have separate, software-based volume controls. But iOS and Android handle those controls in very different ways.
On an iPhone, you can adjust the ringer volume independently of other sounds by going to Settings > Sound and Haptics, and turning the Change With Buttons option off. Choose a volume for the ringer, and you’re done. In that configuration, you can silence the ringer with the switch just above the volume controls, but the Volume Up/Down buttons will affect only system sounds and apps.
Android, by contrast, has the option to allow different volume settings for calls, media, notifications, alarms, and ringtones. That’s especially useful on long road trips, where you can mute notification sounds so that they don’t interrupt the music you’re listening to.
Android offers independent controls over different types of sounds; iOS doesn’t.
9. More storage options
—some Android phones have a microSD card slot that lets you expand the amount of internal storage available for apps, photos, and movies. That’s an amazing benefit, given the exorbitant prices that Apple and other phone makers charge to double or quadruple storage when you buy your handset. Why tack on another $100 to $150 to the price of a new phone just for an extra 128GB or 256GB of storage (that you’re not even sure you’ll need) when you can just drop $70 on a 512GB card later?
Apple’s iCloud service can be used to offload photos and videos, and iOS offers a few other tricks (like deleting rarely used apps and games without losing your saved data) to save space. But you still can’t add local storage to any iPhone after the fact, and Google’s free Google Drive tier gives you 15 GB of cloud storage (shared between Google Drive, Google Photos, and Gmail) for free compared with Apple’s 5 GB.
10. There’s an actual file system (with drag-and-drop support on PC)
Most people don’t need to get their hands dirty with their smartphone’s file system. Still, it’s good to know that Android gives you that option, if you desire it. Even better, when you plug an Android handset into a Windows PC, you can very easily drag and drop files into folders, as if the device were just another drive.
That means your media libraries and documents are a snap to carry over and store locally, and you don’t have to subscribe to a monthly cloud service if you have an especially large library. iPhones obscure the file system from the user for everything except photos, which can be very frustrating for dealing with music, documents and other forms of media.
Some Android phones, like the Galaxy S23 Ultra, even have special PC or display projection features, that let you use view and use your device in a desktop capacity. Samsung’s DeX interface is one such example of this. With such versatility, a high-end Android phone could legitimately function as a replacement for one of the best Chromebooks or similarly ultraportable laptops.
We’d love to hear from you on why you think Android is better than iPhone. Are your motives for choosing Android covered above, or did something else attract you to the platform? Conversely, for those rocking an iPhone, what’s keeping you from Android — are there specific features, updates, etc? Post a comment and let us know.