Google surprised everyone earlier today with the very first preview release of Android N — the next operating system update for Android devices — which anyone savvy enough with the right hardware can try out now for free even before Google’s upcoming I/O developer conference. Included in the first preview version of Android N are many new features that catch Google’s mobile OS up with Apple’s iOS 9 like split-screen apps and picture-in-picture mode. Like Apple, Google’s even launching a public beta program for consumers soon. Check out the full details at 9to5Google and see how each feature compares between Android N and iOS 9 below:
If you paid attention in 2014, you would have seen a record number of Android owners have switched to iPhones. Apple sold about 14 million iPhones to former Android owners in the last quarter — and that’s a sign of good times ahead, according to Apple chief Tim Cook. That is nearly 30 percent of Apple’s 48.04 million iPhones sold in the July-to-September 2015 quarter went to customers coming from an Android handset.
After seven years of Android and eight of iOS, why is that?
As for myself, after four years with an Android phone, I switched back to iOS last month removed the SIM card from my Samsung Galaxy S5 and popped it into a brand-new iPhone 6S. I liked my Android phone, but the smartphone experience is very much a matter of details, and diving into today’s iPhone makes me realize how great a job Apple has done.
But for most former Android users, what is making them switch over to iOS? Still, there are several reasons that explain the growing rate of Android switchers moving to iPhones.
1. Apps still come to iOS first
The iPhone app ecosystem is markedly better. Google Play and the Apple App Store both have about 1 million apps, and most major apps are available for both platforms, but, developers still tend to develop apps for iOS first. For example, the live-streaming app Periscope was available on iOS two months before Android; Facebook’s Paper app and new Sports Stadium are only available for the iPhone, as is the the NYT Now app. The BMW Connect app that allows me to operate select smartphone apps from the car’s control screen supports Pandora and Stitcher on iOS and not on Android, and it just works better on iOS.
2. For fast software updates and security
As some of the folks in the Reddit thread noted, Android is still a mess right now in terms of software updates. Besides, the latest operating system, Android 6.0 Marshmallow, was released in late September and is found on less than 1 percent of Android devices. However, the software updates for iOS are available around the world, simultaneously, to all supported iPhones regardless of wireless carrier. That’s a big deal when it comes to security as Google is now realizing. Android has had a pretty bad run lately in terms of security issues, and while no operating system is perfect, Apple makes you feel safer inside of it’s walled garden than outside of it with Android.
3. The iPhone camera is the best
Apple has been renowned for smartphone camera quality for years. The iPhone 6 is one of the few handsets (almost the only one) that was rated up to 9.0 on Cnet. It generates photos as good as taken on DSLR Camera and literally drives the digital camera out of the market. The latest 6s and 6s Plus promised not only higher resolution, but better all-around pics, 4K video, and more. However, in practice, I really couldn’t see a great deal of difference between the iPhone 6 and the 6S in terms of picture quality.
4. The iPhone user interface is much more polished
iOS really is a pleasure to use. It’s so simple and yet so versatile. The platform itself is characterized by a minimalistic look and it really couldn’t be more simple to navigate. The stage is set perfectly for apps, the most important part of the smartphone experience.
5. It’s time to ‘Move to iOS’
Apple is getting more aggressive in getting Android users to switch over to its side. A somewhat hidden feature not spoken of directly during today’s WWDC keynote is a new app for iOS 9 called “Move to iOS “, which will allow current Android users a hassle-free migration experience from their Android phone to the iOS ecosystem. But, the Move to iOS app transfers only photos, messages, contacts, bookmarks and google account and is rated only 2.4 stars on Google Play.
Nevertheless, before the ‘Move to iOS’ App was released, there already has had Android-to-iOS transfer tool in the works, such as Syncios Data Transfer, Leawo, Dropbox, etc. What’s more, the third-party app, such as Syncios Data Transfer, sync more types of data than the Apple’s switching app, including contacts, photos, videos, music, call logs, SMS, MMS, etc and even the iTunes playlist. Undoubtly, all of these convenient data switching tool, has accelerated that trend.
Any other points we missed that caused Android users switching over to iOS? Share them below!
comScore today has shared its monthly report on both smartphone and app marketshare. The data released today reflects the three-month average ending in December of 2015. The report breaks down the top smartphone platforms, manufacturers, and perhaps most interestingly, the most popular apps…
The lawsuit between Oracle and Google is inadvertently revealing some confidential information about the companies. It has already been disclosed that Google paid Apple a $1 billion fee in 2014 to keep Google as the default search provider for iOS Safari, as well as a revenue sharing agreement where Google gives a substantial portion of the iPhone search ad revenue to Apple.
Another lawyer from Oracle has also stated that Google has generated $22 billion in profit and $31 billion in revenue from Android in its lifetime, via Bloomberg. Although any number in the billions is impressive, it pales in comparison to Apple’s mobile platform profiteering. As highlighted by Quartz, Apple made more revenue from the iPhone in one single quarter, raking in $32 billion dollars worth of iPhone sales from July – September.
[Update 1/11: This is one rumor Apple is happy to deny. Here’s a statement to Buzzfeed:“There is no truth to this rumor,” Apple spokesperson Trudy Muller said in a statement to BuzzFeed News. “We are entirely focused on switching users from Android to iPhone, and that is going great.”]
Apple launched a Move to iOS app in September, pictured, that enables Android users to quickly transfer documents, photos, contacts and other personal data to a new iPhone. This eases the pain for Android users to switch to iOS, which clearly benefits Apple. Interestingly, the Telegraph is reporting that Apple is now developing a similar tool that goes in the opposite direction, letting iPhone users more easily transfer to Android devices.
December 23, 2015
Back in August, U.S. District Judge Lucy H. Koh threw out a class action lawsuit against Apple from former iPhone users complaining that text messages were no longer delivered when they ported their number to an Android phone. The lawsuit alleged that Apple was guilty of “interference” with their messages.
That wasn’t quite the end of it, however. Three of the plaintiffs persisted in individual claims against Apple, alleging that the company was in breach of the Federal Wire Tap Act by ‘intercepting’ their messages. The court has now dismissed these claims – with, it turns out, very good reason …
December 15, 2015
Last week, I wrote an article called The Top 10 Android Features Apple’s iOS 10 Should Steal, and — surprise — it turned out to be somewhat controversial. Over 120 comments reflected a wide range of opinions on the future direction of Apple’s mobile operating system, with most commenters agreeing that iOS should take some inspiration from Android, but only for the specific features they personally liked. Unfortunately, in keeping with our increasingly polarized society, a few particularly caustic Apple fanboys decided to go crazy, personally attacking fellow commenters who liked the ideas, the author who dared to suggest them (“poor old me“), and the very concept of taking any ideas whatsoever from Android.
On one hand, I understand where the fanboys are coming from. Some people just love whatever Apple releases and does, no matter what. Others are so emotionally or financially invested in Apple that any suggestion of potential improvement is perceived as an attack on the company’s well-being. But it’s hard to sympathize with people who freak out when Apple’s described as anything less than perfect. Walt Mossberg called out “cultists” for this behavior in his article, “It’s Not a Church, It’s Just an Apple Store,” naming it the Doctrine of Insufficient Adulation. Demanding unyielding praise is nonsensical, and ultimately unhealthy for the Apple community as a whole. Simple statistics suggest that under 0.05% of our readers fall into cultist territory, but they’re abrasive enough to turn off the other 99.95% of readers we care about.
It’s important to understand that these hard-core fanboys aren’t just a tiny minority of all iOS users — they also have fringe views relative to the general population. Reasonable people can debate the precise numbers, but Android currently powers roughly 4/5 of the smartphones out there. It’s easy to credit aggressive Android device prices, but it’s clear that Android has features that appeal to people, too. From my perspective, it’s perfectly reasonable for iOS users to want some of Android’s features — especially if they don’t want to switch to Android devices. Yes, Apple’s a great company, and yes, iOS is a great platform, but they’re not perfect. Even if you don’t like Google, there’s room to learn (and borrow) from Android…
December 11, 2015
Earlier this week, I wrote about the surprisingly good Motorola Moto G (2nd Gen) phone I was testing at our publisher’s request, and though I wouldn’t switch from iOS to Android, the experience made plain that even a sub-$100 Android phone is competent enough today to serve as a more capable alternative to a $199 iPod touch. I’ve since been testing the $180 Moto G (3rd Gen), which is still less expensive than the lowest-end iOS device, but is faster than its predecessor, and includes still cameras rivaling Apple’s flagship iPhone 6s models. Contrary to Apple’s marketing, Android devices aren’t all bad, and $100-$200 options from major manufacturers are now delivering much better overall value than Apple’s sub-$200 devices.
Google has spent the last few years really closing Android’s overall user experience gap with iOS, while adding and polishing some features that are either Android-exclusive — or markedly better on Android than iOS. So just like Google borrowed elements of iOS to improve Android, Apple should be doing the same. Here are the top 10 features I’d pick for iOS 10 to clone…
December 8, 2015
I’ve been an iOS user since day one — back when it was called “iPhone OS” — and haven’t had any reason to leave Apple’s camp. Each day, I use iOS devices and apps, and for the most part, they “just work.” You could offer me a cheap Android phone or tablet and I wouldn’t have much use for it.
Or so I thought. Just in time for the holidays, 9to5’s publisher Seth Weintraub sent me an unexpected gift: a $99 Motorola Moto G (2nd Gen), also available on Amazon. That price isn’t a typo — for under $100 (half the price of the recently released sixth-generation iPod touch), Motorola is selling a full-fledged smartphone with a larger, higher-resolution screen than the $199 iPod, and for that matter the old iPhone 5c I decided to replace it with. You’ve probably heard that Amazon is trying a similar tactic with its $49 7″ Fire Tablets, which so radically undercut the price of Apple’s iPads that you can buy five for the same price as an entry-level iPad mini 2… and still have change left over. Since these products were developed by well-established companies, they’re budget-priced, but not junk.
I wanted to see whether the Moto G would have any value in my life, and how it would stack up against lower-end iOS devices. What I found was exactly the reason Apple leads the cellular industry in profits yet continues to lag behind Android in market share: the Moto G offers a more than “good enough” alternative at a price that anyone can afford. From my perspective, the existence of a good $99 smartphone is precisely the reason the iPod family has all but disappeared, and why even iPad mini pricing is arguably unsustainable…
December 1, 2015
November 18, 2015
November 10, 2015
After first being announced and previewed in screenshots at WWDC in June, Apple has officially brought its subscription music service Apple Music to Google’s Android platform. Apple Music joins the iPhone maker’s other Android apps Move to iOS and the Beats Pill+ companion app on the Google Play Store.
Apple Music offers access to a large catalog of streaming music and music recommendations. Music and music videos can be saved for offline listening as well. Memberships costs $9.99/month for individuals, the same as Beats Music subscriptions which Apple Music replaces, after a three-month free trial period. Apple Music family plans for up to five different accounts is available through Family Sharing on iOS and Mac for $14.99/month. expand full story
November 7, 2015
Today we’re comparing the forth generation Apple TV to the NVIDIA Shield. These are quite possibly the two best set top boxes out right now. I won’t be going into every little detail here, but instead the things that are most important for myself. But before we get in-depth with either option, let’s take a look at specifications between the two…
November 6, 2015
I know, it’s almost a blasphemous headline, and I can feel the comments system bracing itself for impact even before anyone has read a word of my arguments. Especially as Apple has engaged in lengthy lawsuits against Samsung for copying its own features.
But while Apple doesn’t blindly copy, it does learn from other companies, and it does so all the time. Indeed, you could say it’s one of the key things that sets Apple apart in the tech world: it doesn’t scrabble to be first to market with new technology. Apple instead sits back and watches, looks at what other companies do and then figures out how to create a better version.
Touch ID is a classic example. Fingerprint readers have been around forever in laptops, and Motorola put one into a smartphone – the Atrix – way back in 2011. But early fingerprint readers were inconvenient, requiring you to scroll your finger across them, and unreliable. Apple waited until it could do the job properly.
So what are some of the things Android manufacturers have done that I think Apple could usefully learn from … ? expand full story
November 3, 2015
While iOS and Android have for the most part caught up to one another from a software feature perspective, lack of a handy back button is still one of the biggest sources of embarrassment for iOS devices. BoxWave’s new glass “ClearTouch SmartButtons” screen protector has built-in buttons that aim to solve some of the back button issue on iPhones, so I took it for a test drive… expand full story
November 2, 2015
Facebook’s chief product officer Chris Cox is insisting that an unspecified but substantial number of staff switch from iPhone to Android, in order to have an experience of the service more typical of that in emerging markets, reports Wired.
“I am mandating a switch of a whole bunch of my team over to Android, just because people, when left up to their own devices, will often prefer an iPhone,” said Chris Cox, who said the move is “so that they can be reporting bugs and living in the same experience that most Facebook users experience today” …
October 30, 2015
Apple can’t catch a break on Android. When Apple released its first app on Google’s platform last month called Move to iOS, Android fans were quick to negatively rate the app that only existed to help people switch from Android to iPhone. To date, Move to iOS has roughly 30,000 1 star reviews to only 10,000 5 star reviews with not much happening in the middle.
Now Apple has its second Android app on the Google Play Store called Beats Pill+. It’s a companion app to Apple’s new portable Bluetooth speaker with the same name, allowing both Android and iPhone users to pair two speakers as stereo or amplified and use a DJ feature for queueing up tracks from multiple phones.
And the reviews? Just as extreme despite Beats speakers working with both iPhone and Android and only recently being bought by Apple… expand full story