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iPhone 7: an Android user's first impressions

For three weeks, I've been using the iPhone 7 as my primary device. As an Android-user, I'm not convinced. iOS has clear advantages, but it still does not make using it fun. Here's where I will tell you why.

After my introduction to the iPhone SE, I took some time to also test the iPhone 7. With this project, I am working from the perspective of a smartphone user with Android experience and will behave as if I am switching over. One thing I would like to say in advance: If I really was switching, I would quickly want to switch back to the Nexus.

What I like about the iPhone…

The backup feature is still unmatched

After unpacking the iPhone 7 and inserting the SIM card, I turned on the smartphone. The setup wizard asked me if I wanted to restore all data and apps. This is how I restored the SMS, apps, background, contacts, conversation history, and all settings, just as I had set them up four months earlier on the iPhone SE.

If I were to upgrade from my Nexus 6P to, say, a Google Pixel, this would not be possible. The wizard reinstalled the apps I had on the old phone. But I still needed to set up each app completely from scratch – user name, password, settings. So with 50 apps, it takes so long that you have to spread the work out over several days. Usually, I start completely from zero and install the apps as needed. I often don't bother to transfer SMS or WhatsApp messages to new devices as it is really not worth the effort.

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Once again, the camera on the iPhone 7 is classy. / © AndroidPIT

The camera is classy

Two strong arguments for purchasing an iPhone have always been its classy design and excellent quality of the camera. It reliably takes good pictures, works with minimal delay, and can also be started from the lock screen without the PIN.

The Photos app, however, is not quite as attractive as its Android counterpart. I'm just now trying to figure out how to rename an album, or how to edit the permissions. It seems to me that not everything is well-integrated. And then we come to the next point.

What I like less…

The apps are not that much better

App developers now have a clear understanding that Android is important. Many apps are still better on the iPhone than on Android devices, but some recent examples show that something is finally being done about this.

Last time I was frustrated by an app it was for the car-sharing provider Multicity, but the latest version has resolved this and, thanks to Material Design, an app was designed which met all the commandments of Android app art. This is just one of several success stories.

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Finally at eye level: The quality of the Android apps is increasing thanks to Material Design. / © AndroidPIT

Google apps are still second-class apps

The iPhone integrates your Twitter and Facebook accounts directly into the main settings. This is not the case with a Google account. You must register the apps of the big competitors individually, so the whole integration of their services doesn't quite work. Here a gentle transition for someone who previously used an Android device to iPhone is almost impossible.

The switch from Google/Android to Apple/iOS will mean a complete break. It's best to just back up your data and leave your Google account behind. Apple has its own closed ecosystem; the transition only becomes a smooth experience if you surrender completely to the Apple world. Then, services such as AirPlay, iMessage, iCloud, Home and TV become more practical, instilling in customers a childlike acceptance of the "It just works" effect.

The new Home "button" makes the iPhone operation even more comical

With the iPhone 7 Apple's Home button no longer functions mechanically, instead it relies on a Touch ID sensor. The setup wizard lets you choose how strong it should be. Everyone I showed this to found it weird.

EH
Eric Herrmann
The one-button navigation is not for me.
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Completely apart from this, the operation of a smartphone without a back button is totally impractical from my point of view. Fortunately, iOS apps adhere to Apple's design template, which has placed the "back" function in the upper left corner of the app. With the 4.7-inch iPhone 7 you can only reach the button by using your other hand, because you do not want to drop such an expensive device.

Additionally, the Recents button on the Android 7.x update was a great help compared to the inefficient iPhone operation. If you want to switch to the previous app on the iPhone, you have to tap the Home button twice within 300 milliseconds, and then select the screen for the other app. On Android 7 devices, all you need to do is press twice on the button for an overview of recently opened apps (recents). The active app then folds under and the previous one comes to the foreground.
 

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The Lightning jack adapter is a bad joke. / © AndroidPIT

Headphones only with adapter whip

The included adapter whip, which is to be plugged between the headsets and the Lightning connection for the iPhone, is much too thin. I predict that it will breaks after six months of continuous use. As I am testing Bluetooth headsets galore, it was not much use to me. But, I would not like to have to rely on the adapter; especially since a replacement costs 10 euros and you cannot charge the iPhone while you're using it.

The battery life is too low
I don't like the battery life in the iPhone 7. The Galaxy S7 or the Xperia XZ hold out much longer. Especially since the half-as-expensive Honor 8 proves itself to be a cheeky good competitor in this respect. Thanks to the Powerbank from Tronsmart, this didn't matter much to me because I was always able to recharge on the road. But new customers will be surprised by how regularly the iPhone dies in the evening simply because the battery was empty.

Conclusion of the First Impression

I'm still not warming up to the Apple ecosystem. The operation, from my point of view, is more complicated than with an Android device. The battery life is too weak. The integration of Google's services is too shabby and makes for a slow, painful transition from system to system.

The iPhone's biggest strength is, of course, when you go completely over to the iCloud. But I'm not ready for that, especially since I'm then stuck in that ecosystem. Android devices may not work perfectly, but there are more options for modification, a larger selection of apps, MicroSD cards, cheap accessories, and you can copy MP3s from the computer to your smartphone and listen to them later with headphones connected directly into the jack. Why would I give up those freedoms?

In the coming days, I will test the iPhone further. Write to me in the comments about what you think I should try out.

20 comments

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  • an Android user might think that the iPhone is hard to use it first first on the iPhone 7 we have the home button and the home button you cannot click and you just tap it and sometimes if you double tap it and then the recent apps will come up but if you don't press down on it it will go down this might be very confusing for an android user when I first saw and used an iPhone 7 I thought what the heck is this because I use an android phone and I because just Apple stuff is too expensive and stuff like that but I think that Android user might have a hard time using the iPhone at first but then get used to it and love it very much

  • After 2 iphones, gave up on both as battery was useless, would practically run down as i was watching. Had no such issues with samsung, especially s7.

    • Hi John your iPhone probably had lots of stuff on it and that is why it is probably draining battery so fast if you were currently running in the for S or the 5C then those two do not have good battery same with the 12 and three but the iPhone 6 should not be draining battery neither should the seven otherwise you should get something on the App Store or the play store called battery saver

  • except open plateform as android is there is no competition between iphone and android.......iphone is best

  • From what I read, you just need to swipe from the left side of the screen to go back

  • younes 4 weeks ago Link to comment

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  • Yet another near identical iPhone where the isheep will go crazy for!

  • Moisés 4 weeks ago Link to comment

    Z5 and s6 are flagships of 2015. They have better camera.

  • Dean L. 4 weeks ago Link to comment

    Currently using 5s but have my eye on Pixel or one of the Moto offerings. There are plusses and minuses for each.

    • Hi Dean google pixel is a very good phone it's camera is the very best about the pixel the pixels are not even visible when you can take darker pictures but the phones prices self is pretty good compared to the iPhones even if you compare it so yes I think that you are making a good decision transferring from the 5S to the Google pixel it will be a very good transition please comment on my comment on tell me how to Google pixel is working out for you

  • I got an iPhone SE after the Samsung debacle. I really like the iPhone, the smoothness and the app integration, heck even Google apps are better. Apple Pay, where accepted, is really smooth as well. One step, that's all.

    • Yes I agree with you the iPhone SE runs very smooth but I recommend getting the goo phone I six because it is very cheap iPhone 6s to get the I seven but am I don't think that the S EC is better than the five or the 5C or 5S or the six

  • OK, I admit that I owned an Amstrad and remember when the Intel 286 chip was hailed as a major breakthrough, but I am always amused by articles which reopen the iron age VHS v Betamax debate. The system which is more flexible will always win in the technological battle, which is why I will continue to use Android , Windows and Tb external HD until the next technological breakthrough comes along.

  • I disagree with the assertion that an Android phone will need manual setup. My daughter's Galaxy S6 recently needed to be replaced. When she got her replacement phone the setup wizard allowed her to decide which apps to re-install. They all re-installed with correct settings and data.

    • pdaddy 4 weeks ago Link to comment

      Not true. Tell your daughter to check Instagram and twitter. They do not remember the user and pass. That's just off the top of my head. There are more that do not work right also. I have never had an iPhone.

    • le_wein 4 weeks ago Link to comment

      that is not true, maybe and I say maybe for some apps... but I faced the same problems as described in the article. It will never restore app data!!! and if you use apps tthat tracks weight or even offline games then you are screwed... all start from ZERO!! I give 1 more year to Android to fix this backup shit if not I will move to crap apple

    • Samsung SmartSwitch will transfer everything (your choice) to your new phone, even from an iPhone. Only apps you have to sign into are those with accounts, e.g. FB, email. Done it many times as my whole family has owned Samsung phones for the last 6 years. Samsung Kies used before.

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