7 things your Android phone can do iPhones owners can only dream of

Android telephones can do so much that iPhones cannot. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

The debate between Android and iOS 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 aspect. And they’re nearly at all times legitimate arguments. 

Right now, I need to spotlight a few of Android’s strengths that iOS simply would not have but, out of your having the ability to set default apps and use multiple app at a time to having the ability to fully customise the look of your phone.

Here are my favourite issues Android customers can do that folks with iPhones can solely dream of.


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

The choice 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 a little bit digging, however not less than it is there. 

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Android, however, enables you to set Firefox or Opera as your default browser as an alternative of Google Chrome, or set Google’s Messages app as your textual content messaging app of option to reap the benefits of RCS, Google’s lately launched chat feature that acts a lot like Apple’s iMessage

It is not exhausting to see which apps have been labeled as default in your Android system: Open the Settings app and go to Apps & notifications > Default apps. To change the defaults, choose the app class, similar to Phone app or Browser app, and select from the choices.  

Google Assistant is at all times prepared for you. 

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Google Assistant for the win

iPhone customers have Siri, however Android offers you Google Assistant. Google Assistant is a much more sophisticated tool than Apple’s Siri for a slew of causes, however a very powerful one is that it makes use of Google’s spectacular database. 

Google Assistant can perceive frequent requests for companies and names, and it will get requests proper extra usually than incorrect. It additionally returns high-quality responses, drawing from Google Search, a software 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 warn you that visitors will probably be heavy on the way in which house. If you have got any Google Home or Nest Home good audio system or different appropriate gadgets, you too can use Assistant in your phone to regulate good gadgets round your own home like lights, shops or your thermostat — even from afar.

And it is constructed proper into your Android system. “OK, Google” and “Hey, Google” are the 2 wake phrases. If you need assistance understanding what to ask, you may ask Google Assistant for a listing of instructions: “OK, Google, What can you do?” iPhone house owners may set up the Google app to make use of Assistant, however it’s not in-built and it is not the default private assistant. 


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

Jason Cipriani/CNET

Use two apps without delay by means of 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, nonetheless, have had split-screen apps since 2016 with the discharge of Android 7.0 Nougat.

Using two apps is useful if you happen to’re attempting to lookup a contact’s phone quantity to ship to somebody on Facebook Messenger, or if you might want to reference data 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 show as in contrast with the bigger iPad ($350 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 high of its multitasking card — it is the identical icon you utilize to launch the app out of your homescreen. Select Split display from the listing of choices, then choose the second app you need to have open on the similar time. (These steps would possibly range relying on which Android phone you utilize. For instance, Samsung telephones have their very own model of the interface.)

You can regulate the scale of every app by dragging the small deal with between the 2 apps to increase or lower how a lot area every app takes up.


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

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Customize your homescreen simply the way you prefer it

Apple’s method to the homescreen is to put all put in apps in a inflexible grid throughout a number of pages. Most Android gadgets take a two-pronged method by providing 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 good thing about Android’s method is that you would be able to 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 manner 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 completely customise your phone

Launchers are the epitome of Android customization. These apps allow you to fully 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 permits you to customise nearly each facet 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 and 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 most interesting. 

I like to recommend taking a while to analysis the varied launchers, attempting a few them and actually customizing the appear and feel of your phone. Just be forewarned: The deeper you dive into the world of launchers, the extra time and power 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 person. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

Never get bored because of mechanically altering wallpapers

If taking the time to search out and customise a launcher appears like a number of work, there’s one other method to make your Android phone consistently really feel recent, and it is one more factor your iPhone pals cannot do — use Google’s Wallpapers app

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

There are a number of completely different classes of wallpaper kinds to select from. Pick your favourite, and let the app care for the remaining. 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’ve got began navigating in Google Maps recently, solely to depart the app to reply a textual content message, you’ve got most likely seen a small Google Maps window stay seen in a nook of the display. Android gained a systemwide 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 too can 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. When I need to return to watching the video full-screen, I simply faucet on the thumbnail to maximise it. 

iPhones have no kind of picture-in-picture mode. What you see on the display is what you get.

If you are prepared to change to Android, or need to get extra from the Android phone you already personal, take a look at our listing of the best Android phones of 2020. If you are new to the OS, make certain to change these Android settings right away. Then after that, we have now some useful tricks to get you started with Android 10

Originally revealed earlier this week. 

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