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How to live with an iPhone and an Android phone

I remember when Camila Rinaldi invited me to be part of AndroidPIT. At this time, it was necessary to create a forum profile with some personal information, information such as the smartphone I use. At the time, I wrote that the Zenfone 5 was my daily driver, as it was one of the phones I had in my possession at the time. But now I think I need to set the record straight: I use an iPhone.

But, hey, I'm a nice guy, okay?

It all started long ago

I have lost count of how many times people have asked me "if you write about Android, why are you using an iPhone?" Or how many times I answered, "I like the color blue, but that does not mean I only dress in blue, only talk to those who wear blue, or dislike the color green."

My first iPhone, the 5S, was purchased before I began writing for AndroidPIT. However, I made the move to the iPhone 6 during the period in which I was already employed as an editor here on the site. My desire to use Apple's smartphone was born from a disappointment I had with a well-known Android manufacturer, Sony. 

hero xperia iphone
iPhone and Android are always with me. / © AndroidPIT

I was a fan of the Japanese brand from the days of the Sony Ericsson and followed it through to the Xperia generation. The Xperia ZQ was not the most beautiful smartphone in mid-2013 but it definitely was one of the most expensive handsets that I'd ever purchased. The disappointment arrived a few months later when Sony introduced the Xperia Z1, which charged a similar price of admission for a far more beautiful device.

One of the reasons that Sony captured my heart was the beauty of its phones. Design is subjective, but for me, no phone was more beautiful than my ZQ when it was first released. I decided to wait for the possibility of an Xperia Z2 18 months later. But that's not what happened; less than six months after the Z1 arrived, the Xperia Z2 showed up.

For me, it was the end. Sony was toying with me. And so, though it meant I had to abandon my beloved Android, I decided I wanted a different beautiful device, the iPhone 5S.

It was all kind of weird

You can imagine how it was switching from a large Full-HD display for a smaller, lower resolution device. The performance was good, though iOS seemed to me to be an altogether more limited platform. But the symbiotic bond between my Macbook and the iPhone cemented my love for them; both conversed fluently and it aided my work at the time. 

Then I saw an irresistible promotion for the iPhone 6 from my carrier – I didn't think twice. Back then I was also receiving smartphones from Android manufacturers for review. I spent months living with the Motorola line of devices and a number of Asus models.

iphone side xperia z3
My iPhone 6 and my Xperia Z3+. / © AndroidPIT

What happened in this period was something very interesting. iOS helped me understand Android and vice versa. The ways in which I could talk about phones and systems expanded. Instead of judging one OS or another, I could analyze them impartially. After all, I was dependent on both of them equally.

Making peace with Sony

In 2016 I took a serious move back to Android. I had a history with Sony, and chose the Xperia Z3+, another device which was offered to me through a carrier promotion. (I was aware of its overheating problems, but that's a topic for another article.)

With a new Android in the arena, I decided to explore some things that were not possible on the iPhone. I got into rooting, installing ROMs and I rummaged through the system in every way.

iphone 6 xperia p
Apple and Sony were my smartphone choices for a while. / © AndroidPIT

How do you live with an Android and an iPhone?

It's as simple as walking forward. The iPhone is responsible for my productive part, synchronizing emails and appointments with my Macbook. And it supports some of my personal habits, like exercise. Android is my job, the device that spends the longest time with my SIM card.

It's true that Apple imposes its native applications on users, they're present on both the iPhone and the Macbook which pays off in terms of integration. And it's multiplatform communication that strikes me when I look at the two systems I use.

Google's apps are cross-platform and interconnected and there's little else, free or paid, that can expand upon the possibilities of those. Basically, Google's own suite of apps provide the best experience for sharing content between computer and smartphone.

Apple's native apps are basic like Google's, however, the variety of third-party solutions that add quality and promote integration between devices is larger. I abandoned the standard email client for Mac and iPhone and started using Airmail, and Fantastical instead of calendar, and so on. More than just being an alternative, they provide a better user experience.

back side iphone xperia
The best of both worlds. / © AndroidPIT

Many applications work better on iPhone, like WhatsApp and Facebook, while Android offers everything I need to go beyond what the system normally allows. I'm a fan of customization, which may sound a bit ironic when I use iOS, but this is precisely where my Z3+ comes in.

In addition to Sony's gorgeous themes, I can use launchers, icon packs and take advantage of Full HD wallpapers. Customization is possible on iOS but to a different extent, with many cases, accessories and more. 

I can live with the two systems harmoniously, they are increasingly close but different enough to both be relevant. What made me leave Android was the search for perfect design. Now Android has this too.

And so, when provided with the choice of using iOS or Android, using both systems was the best choice I ever made.

If you had to choose one of the two, which would you choose? Let us know in the comments. 

19 comments

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  • Nice article. I am an iPhone 5/MacBook Air user, and get a little tired of the constant tug of war that people get into when it comes to technology. The problem being that it never goes beyond the technology and into the actual practical use of the technology. I find it hard to express to some people how integration in itself IS a feature for me. I mean, my hardware is more than 3 years old but I doesn't feel old in terms of usability. It helps maxing out the RAM to begin with, but also the design and quality of the OS and apps available. I also use Fantastical (haven't tried Airmail but I may..) and OmniFocus for my projects and tasks... In any case, I am also interested in keeping up what is going on in the Android side of things, if anything just because of my girlfriend... 😉 but also for tinkering and having an alternative and a different perspective on things. I used Android years ago but it was a horrible experience mainly probably because it wasn't the best hardware... I expect things to be a lot different these days for what I can see. I have used Linux and FreeBSD in the past (still run Mint in an old Mac mini) so it's not like I need to live in a walled garden. Also, I am sure you can be perfectly productive nowadays in an Android environment, even though customization, as much fun and useful as it can be at times, it can also be counterproductive in that sense. Thanks for the article, at least I know now were to get some balanced and relatable info on the Android world... I still most likely exchange my iPhone 5 for an SE (I like the form factor and can't afford to go big right now either...), but it's good to keep your options open, or as you said, maybe taking advantage of all the options!

  • This is an Android site! What do you think we're going to pick?

  • Miya Lu 2 months ago Link to comment

    A very good comparative article, thank you.

  • Dazzler 2 months ago Link to comment

    I like products that stand out from the crowd, and I don't like products that are unnecessarily restrictive. That's why I'd never buy an apple product.

    I have a personality and am capable of using advanced features, why would I want a product that doesn't and isn't?

  • At start i thought it is similar to my story but then you mentioned you are an editor here...but i really enjoyed it.

  • Love the idea of this post!

  • I currently using S6 Edge and iPhone 6. My next devices would be Note 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

  • Apple imposes their apps and services on people, and to a certain degree, their iPhones too. Their hype-machine sells people their name brand.

  • Paolo 2 months ago Link to comment

    I have a Galaxy Note 3 on Lollipop and an Xperia Z2 on Marshmallow; My Mum's got her iPhone 5S (We haven't gotten to updating it to iOS 10 yet,) and while I would never trade the Note and the Z2 for an iPhone, I prefer using the 5S for apps and phone stuff, period.

    - Snapchat is horrible on all the Androids I have, they're grainy, noisy messes because they use literally the screenshot of the viewfinder and pass it off as a Snap, when the iPhone uses the ACTUAL iPhone camera for its Snaps. Lovely, considering all three devices were released within months of each other, so camera performance is comparable, though sometimes the Xperia shoots the better photos.
    - I've gotten tired of endlessly customising and changing the theme and ethos through Nova Launcher every week, my Androids basically function the same now - swipe an invincible dock to get to the all apps like Pixel Launcher, a gritty dark wallpaper across devices, an amazing Zooper Widget theme, that's it. I don't try to reinvent the wheel like those who swear by how customisable Android is.
    - Games run smoother, apps particularly the heavy ones like Tumblr, Pinterest, and even Fitbit perform better consistently and almost never crash, Fitbit has crashed a number of times on both Androids but ZERO times on the 5S!

    That being said, I prefer using the Androids as a SMARTphone, largely because of the Drag and Drop Greg1100 mentioned. Also because I was actually able to customise the Xperia and Note to begin with, try doing THAT with an iPhone. I have largely Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft accounts for everything so I'm not locked down to iCloud or whatever it's called. I can live with either ecosystem if I had to select just one, though obviously I'd prefer Google's ecosystem...

  • Greg1100 2 months ago Link to comment

    Only thing to my mind that iphones have advantage over android is the update cycle. I had an iphone 4 when it came out, but would never have another- too boring, and that itunes is the worst ever for putting items on your phone. Drag and drop with android is far far better.

  • The problem with Apple/IOS is that they offer very little choice of hardware or customizability. It's Apple's way or highway. For example, I used iphone 6 for a while, but got sick of it's candy pop looks and got rid of it - there is no other choice in Apple world. Same with user interface and OS. There is very little customization here, even to such small things as arranging layout of icons the way you want. Not only that, there is no custom roms for Apple devices, since Apple has locked down boot loader from long ago and there is no way custom roms will ever be allowed on Apple iphones. All this boils down to lack of freedom and more profit for Apple, and I want no part of Apple "walled jail" eco system!! Compared to thousands of different Android phones available, and many different android gui variants, OS launchers, and custom roms, it 's just no contest!

  • Mark G. 2 months ago Link to comment

    Has to be my excellent Samsung Galaxy S5..
    When the contract ends I'll get the excellent Samsung Galaxy S7(or S8).
    Previously I was using the excellent Samsung Galaxy S3 (my old faithful companion has a new life as a security cam).
    I wouldn't call myself a fanboy but....

    Peace ✌

  • i think the difference between ios and android is the customization level. on ios you can customize your wallpaper and your homescreen, thats it, on android you can customize basicly everything.

  • Stefan 2 months ago Link to comment

    The only thing I do not like about non Nexus android devices is, guess what - updates.... I want to use the pros of the latest versions of android but the waiting is quite annoying. As you know there is no such wait with iOS - it gets released, you get it on your Apple device. End of story.
    I wish the same could be true with my GS7 :(

    • Madars G 2 months ago Link to comment

      Yes true story! that the good thing about iPhone

    • Yes on the other side of the story is that you don't have much choice. Newer is not always better as evidenced by poor iphone 4s users who's devices became molasses after update. Apple also doesn't offer you option of rolling back to earlier os versions either. The whole thing is a jailed garden. Apple owns your devices until it hits the landfill.

    • I get security updates regularly on my T Mobile Note 5. "N" isn't even really ready for production. The manufacturers have to make sure everything runs properly on their respective skins. Can't be avoided but I can wait.

  • Stefan 2 months ago Link to comment

    I've always been an Android user. All my phones up to date have been running Android. Now I love my GS7 and yes - even the hated from many TouchWiz. It just suits me well. I use the S Planner for my daily tasks and the email app, provided by Samsung.
    I must admit, however, that I play with my wife's iPhone 6s from time to time and the iOS experience isn't bad at all, either. But I guess I'll stick to Android for now. Guess iOS is just not my environment :)

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