What features does Android have that iOS does not?

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by Teste, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. Teste macrumors 6502

    Jan 8, 2011
    I know next to nothing about Android. Trying to learn about it online gives me either marketing speech or a technical list that is not what I'm looking for. What features does Android have that iOS does not?

    I have seen by myself:

    • It allows for animated backgrounds
    • It allows for unlocking screens based on gestures and not numbers
    • It allows for real multitasking (having two apps open at the same time, both showing on the screen)

    Anything else?

    I have an iPhone and an iPad, and I'm not going to switch to Android. I'm just curious as to what functionalities other operational systems have that iOS is missing.
  2. mib1800, Feb 16, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2013
  3. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    I bought a Nexus N7 just to see what Android was all about...I can't say that I've found any dramatic must haves in it, but that may be because most of the apps I've installed are the same apps I use on my iPad.
  4. ChazUK macrumors 603


    Feb 3, 2008
    Essex (UK)
    Third party app sharing integration is a big one from me.


    You're not limited to the standard applications and services apple limit you to on iOS and all third party applications that are programmed to use it can take advantage of sharing from the browser, gallery, clipboard e.t.c
  5. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    From my perspective android provide a richer environment to configure and use applications. Apple keeps tight control over what developers can or cannot do.

    The APIs are more open to allow deeper interaction with the underlying system and other applications, where as iOS is a bit more restrictive
  6. ceva321 macrumors 6502


    download from Play Store, Amazon app store, etc, etc etc
  7. Ddyracer macrumors 68000


    Nov 24, 2009
    Side load flash.

    File manager in the play store.

    Toggles in notification swipe thing.

    Custom keyboards

    Custom fonts

    Launchers that change the ui (somewhat)
  8. viskon, Feb 16, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2013

    viskon macrumors 6502

    Oct 20, 2012
    You can stick with the Android user interface.....


    Or, if iOS is your thing, you can make it look like an iPhone.....


    .... Or if Win 8 is what you want, with live tiles, just change the launcher....


    ... Or if you want a real desktop experience, just install Ubuntu..



    Attached Files:

  9. sentinelsx macrumors 68010

    Feb 28, 2011
    For me it's the freedom.

    After jAilbreaking my iPhone 5, it has been easier to use as I want it, not as Apple thinks I should. I don't fit in their definition of a smartphone user and I want android to keep on growing so the pressure keeps on mounting on Apple.
  10. TacticalDesire macrumors 68020


    Mar 19, 2012
    Set default apps and manage my files in an actual file system. I can make the phone work how I want instead of the other way around.
  11. Sounds Good macrumors 68000

    Jul 8, 2007
    How do you make it look like an iPhone with actual iPhone apps? I could see that being helpful while transitioning to Android.
  12. SomeDudeAsking macrumors 65816

    Nov 23, 2010
    A major feature that Android has over iOS is that in Android, tasks can be automated. Whereas in iOS you are stuck with having to manually do repetitive tasks, Android lets you create shortcuts and enables automation apps like Tasker and Llama to be created, which is just plain impossible in iOS. Just this single intuitive ability to automate common tasks makes Android superior to iOS in my opinion.

    Android's ability to allow apps to be integrated and communicate with each other is also an outstanding benefit over iOS. It enables apps like Utter! Beta to be created that blows the doors off what Siri can do and with much faster response times. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_irIFVI1x0 for a real life example of what Utter! Beta is being developed to do.
  13. mattopotamus macrumors G5


    Jun 12, 2012
    Like others have kind of pointed out, the customization and third party integration is the major difference. I have to jail break my iPhone to get accomplish "some" of these features, whereas stock android offers it.
  14. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Oct 31, 2009
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    Profiles. When I'm in class, I have the internet, GPS, sounds, and my lock screen disabled. Lets me get into my offline notes faster. When I'm out and about, I have my tethering automatically enabled (with a password). And then I have silent hours, so that my phone doesn't do notifications or anything while I'm sleeping.
  15. KentuckyHouse macrumors 68020


    Jan 29, 2010
    Lexington, KY.
    You're not using actual iPhone apps. The screen shot posted earlier is most likely using an aftermarket launcher like Nova or Apex. This allows you to install an icon pack from the play store and implement it through the launcher on the fly. This will change your icons to look like the icons from an iPhone. The actual apps are still the Android version of those apps (although many are very similar on both platforms).
  16. Sounds Good macrumors 68000

    Jul 8, 2007
    Yeah, I meant to say "actual iPhone icons" (not apps). But now I think I understand. Thanks.
  17. viskon macrumors 6502

    Oct 20, 2012
    That launcher in my previous post is the "Fake iPhone 5" launcher from the Play Store.
  18. b166er macrumors 68020


    Apr 17, 2010
    For me, the biggest allure of Android is simply the integration with all of Google's services. I think Android is ok, depending on which phone/tablet you're using. I have had deplorable experiences on some phones, while the higher end phones and the nexus 7 have treated me well. I have been a Gmail user since beta, I am pretty immersed in the Google ecosystem, so to be able to have all that on the go is great. I do prefer iOS for many reasons, but lately I feel iOS truly belongs on a tablet. I've kind of given up on the iPhone for now, but I'm excited to see what they do this year.
  19. mattopotamus macrumors G5


    Jun 12, 2012
    I agree about IOS on a tablet being best. Also, unless you know 100% you are going to stay with apple products syncing via google is a much better idea since it's cross platform.
  20. alent1234 macrumors 603

    Jun 19, 2009
    For me google maps has sucked on every android phone I've used from 2.2 to 4. Even in its previous form it was better on ios

  21. Dave.UK macrumors 65816


    Sep 24, 2012
    Kent, UK
    :D At least you've got Apple Maps to fall back on.
  22. mattopotamus macrumors G5


    Jun 12, 2012
    The major thing I need out of maps is accuracy. I have to check the apple maps location compared to google maps before I feel confident it's right.
  23. nickchallis92 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 4, 2012
    I must say I used google maps on my Galaxy S3 yesterday to get me to a football ground and I was amazed at how good the maps were.

    I'm also going to take this moment to mention how brilliant the GPS is on the S3
  24. jnpy!$4g3cwk macrumors 65816


    Feb 11, 2010
    Could you explain what you mean? And, is this a stock Android (version?) app? My device Android version is outdated.
  25. surjavarman macrumors 6502a

    Nov 24, 2007
    Smooth effort based/kinetic scrolling. With larger text files or websites I can simply adjust the speed of my swipe to quickly go to any part of a long page. ios requires multiple swipes as the page just moves a fixed distance regardless of how much force you use.

    I can not believe that no one ever talks about this feature. Its one of those gems on android.

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