7 Android tricks the iPhone doesn’t have, and how to do them

Android telephones can do lots that iPhones cannot. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

The debate between Android and iPhone followers over which platform is healthier is one I by no means see coming to an finish. Both sides of the argument have their share of speaking factors, starting from safety and encryption for iPhone customers to customization and Google Assistant prowess on the Android facet. And for probably the most half, they’re all legitimate arguments. 

Right now, I wish to spotlight a few of Android’s strengths that the iPhone simply would not have but, from having the ability to set default apps and utilizing multiple app at a time to having the ability to change utterly customise the look of your phone.

Here are my favourite issues your Android phone can do that individuals with iPhones can solely dream of.


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Use the apps you need, not the apps Google needs you to make use of

The capability to set Gmail because the default e mail app on an iPhone is one thing iOS customers have been asking Apple so as to add for years. Even although Apple added the choice to delete its personal apps from iOS, you continue to cannot set a default app. It’s tragic, actually.


Finding the setting for default apps can take just a little digging, however at the very least it is there. 

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

For instance, Android helps you to set Firefox or Opera as your default browser, or set Google’s Messages app as your textual content messaging app of option to reap the benefits of RCS, Google’s not too long ago launched chat feature that acts a lot like Apple’s iMessage

Android customers, in fact, have been capable of set default apps from the very starting. It is not exhausting to see which apps have been labeled as default and, if you wish to, change that default app. Start by opening the Settings app and go to Apps & notifications > Default apps

Google Assistant is all the time prepared for you. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

Google Assistant for the win

iPhone customers have Siri, however Android offers you Google Assistant. Google’s digital voice sidekick is a way more subtle device than Apple’s Siri for a slew of causes, however an important one is that it builds off Google’s spectacular database. 

Google Assistant has an confirmed capability to know frequent requests for companies and names, and it will get requests proper extra usually than unsuitable. It additionally returns top quality responses, drawing from Google Search, a device that Siri would not have entry to.

Google Assistant additionally tightly integrates with the phone’s different features, to inform you when it is time to go away on your subsequent assembly and nudge you that site visitors is further heavy occurring the way in which dwelling. If you’ve any Google Home or Nest Home sensible audio system, or different appropriate units, you can even use Assistant in your phone to manage stuff round your own home like lights, retailers or your thermostat — even from afar.

And it is constructed proper into your Android machine. “OK, Google” and “Hey, Google” are the 2 wake phrases. If you need assistance figuring out what to ask, you’ll be able to ask Google Assistant for an inventory of instructions: “OK, Google, What can you do?” iPhone house owners also can set up the Google app to make use of Assistant, nevertheless it’s not inbuilt and it isn’t the default private assistant. 


Split Screen is straightforward to make use of on an Android phone, and will increase the flexibility of a phone. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

Use two apps directly via split-screen mode

Even although iPadOS 13 helps utilizing a number of apps on the similar time, iOS 13 and the iPhone don’t. Android customers, nevertheless, have had the flexibility to make use of split-screen apps since 2016 with the discharge of Android 7.0 Nougat.

Using two apps is useful should you’re making an attempt to lookup a contact’s phone quantity to ship to somebody on Facebook Messenger, or if you should reference in info in a doc when composing an e mail. It’s unclear why Apple hasn’t added this function to the iPhone but, however maybe it has one thing to do with the scale of home windows on the iPhone’s smaller show, in comparison with the iPad ($325 at Walmart)

The simplest way to make use of split-screen mode is to open the multitasking view and faucet on the app’s icon on the prime of its multitasking card — it is the identical icon you employ to launch the app out of your homescreen. Select Split display screen from the listing of choices, then choose the second app you wish to have open on the similar time. (These steps may range relying on which Android phone you employ. For instance, Samsung telephones have their very own pores and skin.)

You can modify the scale of every app by dragging the small deal with between the 2 apps to increase or lower how a lot house an app takes up on the split-screen.


Move icons round to rearrange them, or delete them and solely use the app drawer. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Customize your homescreen simply the way you prefer it

Apple’s strategy to the homescreen is to put all put in apps in a inflexible grid throughout a number of pages. Most Android units take a two-pronged strategy by supplying you with a homescreen and an app drawer. The homescreen would not observe a grid structure, permitting you to put apps anyplace you want. Both platforms allow you to make folders containing teams of apps.

The advantage of Android’s strategy is that you could utterly customise the homescreen by arranging app icons in any sample of your selecting, and Android helps widgets of various sizes. Right now, Apple’s Today view is the one place you may discover a widget.


The means your Android phone’s homescreen seems is due to its launcher. But you are not caught with what comes preinstalled. 

Óscar Gutiérrez/CNET

You can use launchers to totally customise your phone

Launchers are the epitome of Android customization. These apps allow you to utterly change the way you work together with the homescreen, the app drawer and even the app icons in your phone. Using a launcher in your Android phone means that you can customise virtually each side of how your phone seems and behaves, making your phone much more private than it already is. 

Launchers like Nova Launcher, Microsoft’s Launcher, Apex Launcher or Action Launcher, all add their very own twists and options to your Android phone. For instance, one other common Android launcher, Evie, emphasizes utilizing a search bar to shortly discover and open apps, or anything in your Android phone for that matter. It’s minimalism at its best. 

I like to recommend taking a while to analysis the varied launchers, strive a few them, and actually customise the appear and feel of your phone. Just be forewarned: The deeper you dive into the world of launchers, the extra time and vitality you are going to spend on tweaking your setup.

It’s exhausting to think about a world the place Apple ever lets one thing like this occur for the iPhone.


The Wallpapers app is a should for any Android consumer. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

Never get uninterested in auto-changing wallpapers

If taking the time to seek out and customise a launcher appears like numerous work, however there’s one other solution to make your Android phone consistently really feel recent, and it is yet one more factor your iPhone buddies cannot do — use Google’s Wallpapers app

The Wallpapers app refreshes the wallpaper in your homescreen and lock display screen day by day, with out you having to do a factor. 

There are a number of totally different classes of wallpaper types to select from. Pick your favourite, and let the app care for the remainder. Personally, I like to make use of the geometric shapes class. The wallpapers are distinctive and colourful. 


Watch a video and browse Twitter on the similar time? Go on, I’m listening. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

Watch a video and textual content on the similar time 

If you have ever began navigating in Google Maps, solely to depart the app and reply a textual content message, you absolutely have seen a small Google Maps window stay seen in a nook of the display screen. Android gained a system-wide picture-in-picture mode for extra than simply video apps with the discharge of Android Oreo in 2017.

In addition to Google Maps and video apps, you can even use picture-in-picture for video calls with supported apps. My favourite use of picture-in-picture is to start streaming a YouTube video after which go away the app to browse Reddit or reply to a textual content message or e mail whereas the YouTube video retains taking part in in a nook of the display screen. When I wish to return to watching the video full-screen, I simply faucet on the small thumbnail to maximise it. 

iPhones haven’t any type of picture-in-picture mode. What you see on the display screen is what you get, and nothing extra.

If you are prepared to change to Android, or want to get extra from the Android phone you already personal, try our listing of the best Android phones of 2020. If you are new to Android, be sure to change these settings right away. Then after that, we’ve some useful tricks to get you started with Android 10

Originally revealed earlier this week. 

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