7 things your Android phone can do that the iPhone can’t

Android telephones can do lots that iPhones cannot. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

The debate between Android and iPhone followers over which platform is best 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 essentially the most half, they’re all legitimate arguments. 

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

Here are my favourite issues your Android phone can do that folks 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 potential to set Gmail because the default electronic 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 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 make the most of RCS, Google’s lately 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 at all times prepared for you. 

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Google Assistant for the win

iPhone customers have Siri, however Android provides you Google Assistant. Google’s digital voice sidekick is a way more subtle software 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 potential to know widespread requests for companies and names, and it will get requests proper extra usually than fallacious. It additionally returns top quality responses, drawing from Google Search, a software that Siri does not have entry to.

Google Assistant additionally tightly integrates with the phone’s different capabilities, to let you know when it is time to depart on your subsequent assembly and nudge you that site visitors is additional heavy occurring the best way house. If you have got any Google Home or Nest Home good audio system, or different suitable units, you too can use Assistant in your phone to regulate 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 possibly can 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, but it surely’s not in-built and it isn’t 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 directly by way 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 the power to make use of split-screen apps since 2016 with the discharge of Android 7.0 Nougat.

Using two apps is useful if you happen to’re making an attempt to search for a contact’s phone quantity to ship to somebody on Facebook Messenger, or if that you must reference in info in a doc when composing an electronic 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 dimensions of home windows on the iPhone’s smaller show, in comparison with the iPad ($323 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 record of choices, then choose the second app you wish to have open on the similar time. (These steps may fluctuate relying on which Android phone you employ. For instance, Samsung telephones have their very own pores and skin.)

You can alter the dimensions 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. 

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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 units take a two-pronged method by supplying you with a homescreen and an app drawer. The homescreen does not comply with a grid structure, permitting you to put apps anyplace you need. Both platforms allow you to make folders containing teams of apps.

The good thing about Android’s method is you can fully 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 will discover a widget.


The manner your Android phone’s homescreen appears to be like is due to its launcher. But you are not caught with what comes preinstalled. 

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You can use launchers to totally 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 side of how your phone appears to be like 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 widespread 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, attempt 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 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 consumer. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

Never get tired of auto-changing wallpapers

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

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

There are a number of totally different classes of wallpaper kinds 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’ve got ever began navigating in Google Maps, solely to go away 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 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 depart the app to browse Reddit or reply to a textual content message or electronic mail whereas the YouTube video retains enjoying 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 form 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, take a look at our record 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 now have some useful tricks to get you started with Android 10

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