4 Android things that need to be better on iOS

By Aman Rashid: Using a preferred operating system mostly has to do with habit – once you get used to either Android or iOS, you’ll most likely stick to using whichever you’ve been comfortable with. And this is why it is often difficult to switch to the other side of the fence when you really want to. For instance, I primarily use an Android smartphone, but because of my profession, I also carry an iPhone as my secondary phone of choice. And, this way, I am very much in line with both Android and iOS. However, not everyone carries two phones like me, and if you are someone who uses an Android phone primarily, but is keen to make the jump to iOS, you should read this first.

You see, change is good, and if you want a new iPhone, that’s also great. However, there are still a bunch of features that are missing on present-day iPhone models, even in 2022. And we are talking about the features that have already been present on Android phones for years. So, which of these essential Android features should be present on iPhones in 2022? Here’s a list.

1. Phone services and call management could be better

A phone’s primary use is to make calls, and modern-day smartphones come with a host of features that take call management to the next level. But, in my opinion, I still feel there’s a scope for improvement when it comes to managing call services on the iPhone.

For instance, the iPhone has a call log, but it is only limited to storing the last 100 calls, including the calls from your social media apps such as WhatsApp, or even apps like Google Meet and Zoom. Now, I am not saying, Android is the best here, but at least, the limit to your call history is 500, and this is only for cellular calls. For any other call logs, such as for WhatsApp or for Zoom calls, you have to go to the respective apps.

Other than this, the iPhone doesn’t have an in-built call recorder. Of course, privacy is one reason behind all of this, and anyway, there are still workarounds to record calls on iPhones using other methods. However, having a native call recorder as many Android phones do, would’ve been amazing. Just give users that option.

Lastly, one of the smallest yet significant omissions in iOS’s dialer is that it doesn’t have a T9 dialer. Android has had this feature for over a decade, but nobody knows why we still don’t have it on iPhones. It’s like, on Android, if you want to make a call to Rahul, you open the dialer, dial 72486, and you make the call, easy as that. On an iPhone, if this person is not saved in your favourites, you will have to open the contacts card, search for the name, open the contact and then make the call. Why the extra step when things can be easier?

2nd floor keyboard

When it comes to typing on a phone, by far, my favorite keyboard of choice is Gboard by Google. And there are some basic features in Gboard, that simply make me think how crippled the iOS’ stock keyboard is. Now, before we go any further, let me tell you that yes, Gboard is available to download on iPhones as well. However, it doesn’t offer the same level of functionality as it does on an Android phone.

With that said, let us mention a few of the key pain points of the iOS keyboard that we think keyboards on Android phones do a lot better. Something as basic as a dedicated number row is not present on the stock iOS keyboard. Apart from this, there’s no option to adjust the height of the keyboard, let alone re-sizing the keyboard according to personal preference. On top of this, key features such as a one-handed keyboard, and a floating keyboard are totally missing in the iOS keyboard. Finally, the clipboard feature on Android that lets us copy something from one place and paste it into some other app using the Gboard, is again not there on the iOS keyboard.

3. Clunky WhatsApp experience

Android or iOS, WhatsApp is the go-to messaging app for many people across the globe. And there is a certain set of features that are platform-specific, which means, something that’s on iOS will not be on Android and vice versa. However, the basic set of features on WhatsApp for Android makes so much more sense than that of WhatsApp for iOS.

For instance, by default, the chat section on WhatsApp for iOS is the fourth tab from the bottom. Unlike Android, where you open WhatsApp and you’re automatically taken to the chat screen. Similarly, you can’t swipe around the WhatsApp UI on iOS, as you do it intuitively on Android. Apart from this, selecting chats on WhatsApp for iOS asks you to first hit the Edit button in the top-left and then choose the chats one by one. However, on Android, you can simply long press on a chat to choose it and take action. Moving on, forwarding a text again involves an additional step on WhatsApp for iOS, whereby you first long-press on chat, then tap forward, then again tap the forward button and then finally forward it to the sender. Unlike on Android, where you simply select the chat to forward by long-pressing, then tap the forward icon and send it to the sender. Similarly, for sending photos also, on Android, you tap the camera icon, and you start selecting multiple photos by simply long-pressing on them and simply start sending. But, for sending media on WhatsApp for iOS, there’s one extra step again, where you first tap the camera, and then select one photo first. After that, to select multiple photos, tap the + icon, then start selecting multiple photos, and once done, hit send. And these were some of the stuff that really makes using WhatsApp on Android more intuitive than it is on iOS.

4. PiP for video calls is half-baked

Picture-in-picture mode, or PiP mode, allows users to multitask while having one app in a small window floating over another app in full screen. Of course, the best example of PiP mode usage is for watching YouTube videos, and the feature works on both Android and iOS devices. However, if you’ve ever used an Android phone, you’ll feel my sentiment when I say, PiP works exactly how it’s designed to. And not just for watching videos, but also for taking video calls.

As of right now, you can only make PiP video calls on the iPhone while using FaceTime, which is Apple’s native internet-based calling service for its ecosystem. However, many other popular apps, such as WhatsApp, Google Duo (now integrated into Meet) or even Zoom, cannot run PiP video calls on an iPhone. For instance, on an Android phone, if I am on a WhatsApp video call, then I can literally minimize the app, go to the main menu and fire up another app, and the caller window will still be active. But if I try to do the same thing on an iPhone, say, for instance, I am on a WhatsApp video call on my iPhone, and in between the call, I go to the main menu… In this case, instead of the call switching to PiP mode, the video turns off unless and until you fire up the app again.

So, of course, FaceTime is an iOS exclusive and PiP video calling with FaceTime works like a charm on an iPhone. However, other popular apps such as Google Duo, WhatsApp, Zoom and more support PiP video calling on Android, and it is about time iOS did too.


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