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Top Five Android Features That'll Make iPhone-Owning Friends Jealous

Authored by: Steven Blum — Jun 22, 2012

We're lovers, not fighters. But when Apple claims that Android is a stolen product, and wants to ban the Galaxy S3 for "slavishly copying" the iPhone, we just have to speak up. Enough is enough. We're not trying to feed the trolls here, but there are a number of features where Android clearly wins over the iPhone. These features may not be the best known to those outside the Android cult, but they should be, because they're really, really great. Here are the top five features that will make your iPhone owning friends red with jealousy. 

5. Alternative Keyboards

From text-predictive software like Swiftkey to downright zany keyboard apps like Siine, Android owners are spoiled for choice when it comes to their keyboards (which is nice, because typing on a screen tends to suck). Sure, iPhone owners can download keyboard apps but they don't allow you to replace the system's keyboard and are thus far less practicle.

4. Widgets

Need to know the latest sports scores, weather information and e-mails from your coworkers? You can see them all without leaving your homescreen. While the only thing iPhone owners can see are rows of apps, Android owners have space to experiment with various widgets that bring a whole new level of functionality to their devices. I can see how much data I've used over the past month, all the recent items on my to-do list and more – without opening a single app. 

3. Computer Control Over Your Android

Using software like AirDroid, you can send text messages, take screenshots, manage apps and wirelessly transfer files from your computer to your Android. There's simply nothing like it available for the iPhone. Previously, remote droid did the same thing, although AirDroid is even more extensive. You can also text straight from your Chrome browser using a plugin like MightyText. Sure you can use Veency for the iPhone, but the service is much more limited and only works on jailbroken iPhones.

2. Custom ROMs

Android owners can tweak the entire OS, creating unique homescreens that are as busy or minimalist as they'd like. There's the Paranoid ROM, MIUI, Cyanogen Mod and endless other variations, offering a level of personalization unavailable to iPhone owners. Some of these tweaks allow owners to speed up their processor or even install newer versions of the Android OS. 

1. Sharing Skillz

Almost everything you do on an Android can be shared with almost any app you'd like to share it with. Want to send a report via Google Docs, or export a photo to Dropbox or Instagram a photo? You don't have to dig around in any menus to be able to do so, as the sharing buttons are everywhere. Even stories you find on the web can be easily shared with reader apps like Pocket, without having to install any browser extensions. Apps are truly integrated into the Android OS.

(Top photo: Android Authority)

Steven Blum has written more than 2,000 blog posts as a founding member of AndroidPIT's English editorial team. A graduate of the University of Washington, Steven Blum also studied Journalism at George Washington University in Washington D.C. for two years. Since then, his writing has appeared in The Stranger, The Seattle P-I, Blackbook Magazine and Venture Villlage. He loves the HTC One and hopes the company behind it still exists in a few years.


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  • Barron Bird 4 weeks ago Link to comment

    I've been using Mightytext for over a year, since I'm in IT and sit at my computer all day and it's really convenient to be able to text back & forth to my wife and others. My co-worker saw what I was doing and asked me about it. I explained it and said "But I'm sure Apple has its equivalent, right?" (being completely serious). He sighed and said they don't. I was astounded.

  • paul rodham Jul 3, 2012 Link to comment

    ANDROID RULES!!!!!!!!!!

  • Peter Trask Jun 28, 2012 Link to comment

    I currently own an Android 2.2 Tablet, a Blackberry Playbook, and an iPhone 4s. I've owned other tablets including a Xoom with ICS, and an Android phone (Droid Charge) in the past. With all due respect to the author, sounds to me as if you're trying to play catch-up with Apple. Although not "brainwashed" by Apple as some comments have suggested, I have found my iOS device to be WAY more intuitive and easy to use than my other devices. And so far, with the exception of the Playbook, nobody's touch-screen response can compare to the iPhone. I suppose that if it were important to me to be able to implement the five suggestions above, then it might influence my decision on what phone to use. So far, despite many brags from people with overclocked and upgraded Android phones, I haven't yet met a phone that I would give up my iPhone for. I try to keep in mind that a phone is just that...a phone. If you want to be carrying a tablet in your pocket to use as a phone, there are plenty of options out there.

  • Leo Mazur Jun 28, 2012 Link to comment

    Umm theres a lot more than that. Multitasking which apple doesnt have. Ability to download 3rd party software and media and ability to use them such as ringtones. The choice of the phone like screen size, processor speed just like buying a new pc with windows. Nfc sensor which will take apple who knows for long to infegrate it? Wondeding if samsung will sue apple in case of installing nfc sensors in battery doors?

  • gjgj Jun 28, 2012 Link to comment

    There is one thing though where android can't compete with iPad - multimedia - especially music applications - because there is no such thing as CoreMidi in android (and obviously won't be because android guys just do not know what the hell that midi is) - and of course no such thing as inter app audio (introduced with iOS6) and consequently no apps like animoog, lemur, samplewiz etc. Wireless OSC midi brought to android by third parties can be handy, but it can't replace CoreMidi.
    PS I have android as communications device and iPad as multimedia device.
    That's it - nothing is perfect!

  • claire din Jun 28, 2012 Link to comment

    i love this post!!! among my friends in Singapore, a huge majority of them are Apple fanboys and they brag non-stop about iPhones and Macs. it's awesome to shoot them straight back in the face about their favourite gadgets. go android ~

  • pepe paco Jun 27, 2012 Link to comment

    Of course there are a lot more features not included in this post, ie hardware ones, thanks to Android we can chose from many devices, were IPhone users only have a few.

  • CJ Brown Jun 25, 2012 Link to comment

    An impressive list to offer fans of iPhone as to where you're not a member of their Cult (only Microsoft seems to understand integration with their Windows 8 Smart Phones) & its only a matter of time before Android + Windows Smart Phones take about 60% of Apple's current market (perhaps that will force Apple go go back to their iLabs & do something more innovative?) ....

  • Yan Matusevich Jun 25, 2012 Link to comment

    Now that's a very handy list of arguments to have when confronting an iPhone user.

  • Mark D Jun 24, 2012 Link to comment

    Cool post, personally an Android noob after finally breaking my iPhone shackles......what an awesome event that turned out to be. Really don't miss it at all.

  • Wickets Jun 23, 2012 Link to comment

    On the subject of keyboards, my companion who is a diehard apple user has ordered the s3 so that she can get swiftkey on her phone!!

  • Dogukan Jun 22, 2012 Link to comment

    Haha, you forgot about those sucky ringtones in iPhone that you have to use one of them lol. Sure you can change your ringtone to an mp3 via some tweaks without jailbreak, but its a pain in the ass for sure. Even the "ability to set a song for alarm" just came with ios 6 lol.
    The only thing I'm jealous of ios is that its really faster than Android and its got more apps than Android...

  • Richard S. Jun 22, 2012 Link to comment

    Almost every time I use the share icon on my phone I think of the iphone advert from a couple of years ago which made such a big deal about being able to copy and paste text from one app to another, and I smile.

    Last week my iphone owning sister couldn't believe that I took a picture with my Galaxy S (1) camera and without launching another app, shared it with instagram, facebook and twitter, and texted it to her, completely transparently and automatically.

    And please don't get me started on widgets - everyone has their favourite combinations but in my case i have at-a-glance current and 3 hours hence (customisable) weather conditions courtesty of the UK Met Office right on my home screen as a photo-realistic icon and "rollover" text, my calendar/diary/to-do list, my twitter mentions and a twitter text box for instant sending of tweets. Beat that, iphone!

    And thanks for (ahem) inventing the concept of the notification area , Apple! (Definitely an intem missing off your list of the best things about Android)

    Probably the only Apple thing I miss in core Android functionality is a numerical representation of battery power status without the need for a separate app (and thus a second battery status indicator)

    One thing I certainly don't miss is anything to do with iTunes or the iStore which drive me crazy whenever I need to use them for my iPod.

  • casperi Jun 22, 2012 Link to comment

    As I agree with the author, the fact remains that if Apple didn't invent it it must be something we didn't need in the first place. That's the typical reasoning behind Apple users, totally brainwashed. I can't count how many times I have shown my iPhone friends something on of my many android devices over the years, they will say hey that's cool and roll their eyes. I have given up long ago trying to bring iPhone people to android they simply don't get it. Their response is always well I can just open an app for that. The whole point of widgets is so you don't have to its all right there on the screen in your face , you don't need to open an "app for that" total confusion comes over their faces and the usual response is well if it was that good Steve Jobs would have put in our phones so they must not do much". Brainwashed cult willing to pay whatever you tell them with half the features we have on the android side. Let's just hope koolaid isn't "sold" with the next iPhone.

  • Gene Gaines Jun 22, 2012 Link to comment

    I am new to AndroidPit. Impressive. Like what you are doing.

    As to iPhone vs Android. I cherish my freedom, love the open freedom of the Internet. iPhone philosophy is to handcuff me, in order the control what I buy and what I buy. I will not accept it.

  • mike kennedy Jun 22, 2012 Link to comment

    I really like not being tied to one revenue stream and being able to view flash.. When you buy an Iproduct you are buying a product that has been crippled at the factory!