|Is it? Image: ZDNet|
If you know a bit about me, you'll know that my first smartphone was the iPhone 4. Prior to that I was "training" using an iPod Touch I guess you can say, so I had about 3 years of experience using iOS before making the switch to Android. During that time, I was under the impression that Android was too complicated to use, while iOS "just worked". Now, after slightly less than two years on Android, I still think Android is more complex than iOS, but it's not too complex. In fact, there are some things that I feel are actually easier to do on Android than on iOS. That's what this post will be about, 5 things that are easier to do on Android than iOS.
We may be moving towards more and more wireless technologies, but at the end of the day nothing is more reliable than a good old wired connection. Charging your phone or transferring data between your phone and computer can easily be done wirelessly, but sometimes using a wire/cable is the only viable option, or just a bit more convenient in certain circumstances. But that convenience is thrown out the window the moment proprietary cables are introduced. If you use an Android device, it doesn't matter if it was made by HTC, Samsung, LG, Sony or any other manufacturer, they all use the same industry standard microUSB connection. But if you use an iOS device, you must find another iOS user if you want to borrow a cable. Even then, you need to find someone who uses the same type of cable. If you use any of the newer iOS devices, you can only use the lightning cable; if you use an older device, you can only use the 30-pin connector. Industry standards, learn them Apple.
|Four phones made by four different manufacturers, |
all with the same micro USB port. Images: GSM Arena
Our smartphones and tablets are basically computers. Computers that over time, will house more and more of our files. Photos, videos, documents etc. Eventually (or better yet, right from the beginning) we are going to want to manage our files. Move them from folder to folder and keep them organised. On iOS, as far as I can tell the only way you can do that is via iTunes. And even that is restricted, I don't think you can create folders for your files and move them around freely. On Android however, you can. You can connect your device to your computer, and manage the files just like you would in any other external storage device like a thumb drive. You can even do so on the device itself with a file manager app. So if you like to keep your files organised, it's definitely easier to do on Android.
|My file manager of choice, ES File Explorer|
Play Store vs App Store
Apps are what make our devices worth the money we spend on them. Without apps, our smartphones and tablets couldn't do anything. So of course, the Play Store and App Store play vital parts in their respective ecosystems. In the Apple ecosystem, you need iTunes to be able do download apps using your computer, and once that's done, you need to then sync those apps to your iOS device. On Android, all you need to do is go to the Play Store in your browser on your computer (no need to install any other software), hit the "Install" button for the app you want, and the app will be on your Android device in a few seconds. Easy.
|Instantly installed on my device from the web version of the Play Store.|
Sharing between apps
Sometimes, we may want to take something from one app, and use it in another. We could be in our browser, and may want to share a URL link with a friend via WhatsApp. We may be in our gallery, and will want to open an image in a photo editor. Or we could be in a note taking app, and want to share the note with someone via e-mail. On Android, all we need to do is open the menu, hit share, select the app and recipient, and it's done. On iOS, it's not so straightforward. If you want to share a URL for example, you need to manually copy the URL, leave the browser and open your intended app to share the link with, and then paste it. Not as easy as on Android for sure.
|Android's sharing framework makes data exchange between apps easy|
On both ecosystems, we have various alternative apps to the ones we get out of the box. We have alternative browsers, note taking apps, gallery apps, navigation apps and so on. When we need to to a certain task, we will pretty much want to use our favourite app all the time. So on Android, when you have various apps that can do the same thing - like various browsers that can open links from your friends - you will be asked once which app you want to use, and you can set that app to be the default every time you want to do the same task in the future. So the next time you open a link from another app, it will always open in your preferred browser. This functionality doesn't work on iOS. If you open a link from iMessage for instance, it will only open in Safari. If you want to open it in another browser which you like more, you will need to copy and paste the link manually in the alternative browser, every single time.
|After selecting "Always", the app will be set as your default |
and will always be used for future tasks. Image: Appslova
iOS may be easier to use than Android overall, I mean, it is very simplistic in nature, while Android is a lot more sophisticated and complex. But with that sophistication comes a lot of functionality that actually makes doing certain tasks in Android easier than on iOS. So the next time someone says iOS is easier to use than Android, educate them a little.