Upon the launch of it’s latest generation of iPhone (the iPhone 6 Series) and it’s latest iOS 8 software update, Apple has introduced a host of new features that once were not available to iPhone users. And though these updates are very substantial in the context of what the iPhone is capable, that being said, they are all features that have been standard for Android platform phones for quite some time. For example, the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will be Apple’s first generation of smartphones that will come standard with NFC (near field communication) – a technology that allows phones to talk to each other via short-range radio. This essentially means that you can share data and make payments simply by tapping your iPhone against a compatible device. This has been something standard on the Android platform for some time – however, it is now something available on the iPhone platform. But there are still plenty of things Android phones can do that iPhones cannot.
Many Android phones, such as the Droid Razr and the Samsung Galaxy series, allow you to remove the battery from the back of the phone by removing the back cover of the phone. This opens up the availability to swap a low-charge or failing battery with either a new one, or a higher capacity battery. This is an immensely helpful feature for many reasons. Sometimes the battery is well secured with micro screws, but there are plenty that allow you to simply just pop the battery out like a flip phone. The iPhone on the other hand still doesn’t allow you to access the interior of the phone. The iPhone still relies on a single lithium-ion battery pack that can only be removed or replaced by Apple technicians.
10. Opening Multiple Applications
Software layering is an immensely useful feature; many manufacturers will layer their own software over the plain version of Android, which often includes them adding their own features. For example, on Samsung and LG phones you can open more than one application up and run it side-by-side simultaneously as another application. On LG phones, you can even move the apps around and reposition them in such a way to make some applications more transparent or opaque than others, resize them, and do much much more. When you’re doing GoToMeeting on your phone and need to reference a presentation without losing the window, you can open that presentation and view it simultaneously – something that can really come in handy.
With each major overhaul of the iPhone, from the 3 to the 4 to the 5, and now to the 6, you have had a changed charging port-type, requiring a completely new charging chord. The Lightning port is a great charging mechanism, however, with just about any Droid, regardless of manufacturer, all you really need is a micro-USB port, which has served as the charging mechanism for several years now. There’s no change that’s on the books for the charging mechanism, and every single manufacturer seems content to keep it that way.
Some Android phones come with micro HDMI ports, which allow you to hook your smartphone directly up to your television. This isn’t all that common in most flagship products, but many Motorola phones come with this capability. The only ports that you have on your iPhone are your headphone jack and your Lightning jack. Not to say that this is a huge deal; when you think about it, in all smart televisions, you can wirelessly impose your screen on to your television through an Airport type of mechanism – which eliminates the need for this type of port in the first place completely. But, if, say, you don’t have a smart television, then maybe having a micro HDMI port to show your favorite Youtube video on a large screen could come in handy.
The Moto X, one of the more superior Android phones in my opinion, is a feature called “Touchless Voice Controls”. In the device’s settings, you can configure them so that Google listens for your voice to perform search queries, set reminders, get directions, and so much more. On most other phones, you would likely need to hold down some kind of button, such as on the iPhone with Siri, or a microphone voice controls application would need to be opened. With the Moto X, you can train your phone to answer to your voice specifically, when it hears some kind of trigger phrase.
Androids allow you the ability to replace existing SD cards for ones with greater capacity. Generally phones, when they are first issued out with SD cards that don’t have a great deal of capacity – and generally the amount of storage capacity is directly related to the price of the smartphone. So, you can get away with getting a cheaper Android that has limited space, and then bulk it up with a larger SD card separately. Androids will generally come with a separate SD card slot to add a larger card, but with the iPhone, you’re limited to the amount of local storage you have based on the type of iPhone you purchased. You can always store files in iCloud and upgrade once that’s full, but there’s no expandable storage option for the iPhone’s hardware.
5. Shortcuts to Settings
Most Android phones, specifically those made by Samsung and LG come with a ton of “quick settings”, similar to on most Mac-type of devices, that are accessible when you swipe down from the top of the screen. The Galaxy S5 comes with 20 quick settings, including power saving mode, Bluetooth/Wi-Fi Buttons, and controls for proprietary features such as Stay and Smart Pause. By comparison, the iPhone comes with roughly 10 shortcuts when you swipe from the bottom-up, and none of them are customizable.
4. More room for Customization in General
If you’ve ever used both platforms before, then you know that the Android is basically just a much more customizable smartphone on the whole. Essentially, if you’re somebody that likes to customize their phone, then Android is just simply a better option for you. Apps like Aviate and Buzz Launcher, you can actually change your Andriod’s interface entirely. In Aviate, for example, apps are arranged alphabetically in a more list-like format rather than the standard grid layout. With Buzz Launcher, you can decorate your smartphone in such a way so that your design capabilities are boundless.
This is huge. The fact that the iPhone cannot support widgets yet is ridiculous. Embedding widgets directly into your phone’s home screen, and then being able to move them and shape them as you please is a pretty fantastic feature. It allows you to get the information you need, without even having to open an application – which is sort of where everything is going at this point. Embedding a widget in your home screen also allows you to give your phone a little more personality. With iOS 8, there are some widget functionalities, such as with the calendar and notification drawer, but you can’t move them around or put them on your home screen.
2. You Can Use Your Droid as a Remote Control
The HTC One, Galaxy S5, LG G3 and other flagship Android products come with an infrared blaster – which is exactly what your remote control is, essentially. This means that you can set it up as a remote control to control your television, instead of using a regular remote, which are big and not nearly as much fun. But the fun doesn’t stop there, you can also use it to replace the remote for your air conditioner, speaker, and nearly any other household device.
1. Swap Out the Back Cover
Like I said earlier, you can’t remove the back of your iPhone. How are you supposed to put on an awesome back cover for your phone, while also keeping it naked without a case? You can’t. But, if you want a transparent back to your phone, you can do that with your Android product pretty easily.