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7 Android tricks that shame the iPhone


Android phones can do many things that iPhones cannot.

Sarah Tew / CNET

The debate between Android and iPhone fans about the better platform is one that I will never end. Both sides of the argument have their share of conversation topics ranging from security and encryption for iPhone users to customization to the capabilities of Google Assistant on the Android side. And for the most part, these are all valid arguments.

At the moment, I would like to highlight some of the strengths of Android that the iPhone does not yet have, namely the ability to set default apps and use more than one app at the same time, and the ability to fully customize the look of your phone ,

Here are my favorite things your Android phone can only dream of.

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Use the apps you want, not the apps you want Google to use.

The ability to set Gmail as the default email app on an iPhone was asked by Apple iOS users to add this app for years. Although Apple has added the option to delete your own apps from iOS, you cannot set a default app. It is really tragic.

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Finding the setting for standard apps can take a little time, but it is at least available.

Screenshots from Jason Cipriani / CNET

With Android, you can set Firefox or Opera as the default browser or Google’s messaging app as the preferred SMS app to use RCS, the recently published chat function by Google that behaves largely like Apple’s iMessage .

Android users could of course set default apps from the start. It is not difficult to see which apps have been marked as the default app, and if you want, you can change this default app. First open the Settings app and go to Apps & Notifications > Standard Apps .

Google Assistant is always ready for you.

Jason Cipriani / CNET

Google Assistant for Victory

iPhone users have Siri, but Android offers you Google Assistant. Google's digital voice sidekick is a much more sophisticated tool than Apple's Siri for a number of reasons. The most important thing, however, is that it builds on Google's impressive database.

Google Assistant is proven to understand common company and name queries. In addition, queries are answered correctly rather than incorrectly. There are also high quality answers back from Google search that Siri has no access to.

Google Assistant is also tightly integrated with the other features of the phone to let you know when it's time to go to your next meeting, nudge that traffic on your way home is particularly heavy. If you have smart speakers from Google Home or Nest Home, or other compatible devices, you can also use your phone's assistant to control things around your home, such as: B. lamps, sockets or your thermostat – even from a distance.

directly into your Android device. "OK, Google" and "Hey, Google" are the two wake-up words. If you need help knowing what to ask, you can ask Google Assistant for a list of commands: "OK, Google, what can you do?" iPhone owners can also install the Google app to use the wizard. However, it is not integrated and is not the standard personal assistant.

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Split Screen is easy to use on an Android phone and increases the versatility of a phone.

Jason Cipriani / CNET

Use two apps at the same time in split screen mode.

Although iPadOS 13 supports multiple apps at the same time, iOS 13 and iPhone do not. Android users have been able to use split-screen apps with the release of Android 7.0 Nougat since 2016.

Using two apps is useful when you are trying to look up a contact's phone number to send to someone using Facebook Messenger, or when you need to refer to information in a document when composing an email. It's unclear why Apple hasn't yet added this feature to the iPhone, but maybe it has something to do with the size of the windows on the iPhone's smaller display compared to the iPad ($ 325 at Walmart) .

The easiest way to use split-screen mode is to open the multitasking view and tap the app icon at the top of the multitasking card – the same icon that you use to move the app from Start from your homescreen. Select Split Screen from the list of options, and then select the second app you want to open at the same time. (These steps may vary depending on the Android phone you use. For example, Samsung phones have their own skin.)

You can resize each app by dragging the small handle between the two apps to enlarge the size or reduce the space that an app occupies on the split screen.

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Move Icons to arrange them, or delete them, and use only the app drawer.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Customize your homescreen the way you want it.

Apple's approach to the homescreen is to place all installed apps in a fixed grid over several pages. Most Android devices take a two-pronged approach by offering a homescreen and an app drawer. The homescreen does not follow a grid layout, so you can place apps anywhere. On both platforms, you can create folders with groups of apps.

The advantage of the Android approach is that you can fully customize the homescreen by arranging app icons in any pattern. Android supports widgets of different sizes. Currently, Apple's Today view is the only place you can find a widget.

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This is how the homescreen of your Android phone looks because of its launch vehicle. But you don't stick with what's pre-installed.

Óscar Gutierrez / CNET

Launchers allow you to fully customize your phone.

Launchers are the epitome of Android customization. With these apps, you can completely change the interaction with the homescreen, the app drawer and even the app icons on your phone. With a launcher on your Android phone, you can customize almost every aspect of your phone, making your phone more personal than it already is.

Starter such as Nova Launcher, Microsoft Launcher, Apex Launcher or Action Launcher extend your Android phone with its own functions. Evie, another popular Android launcher, emphasizes using a search bar to quickly find and open apps or other features on your Android phone. It is the finest minimalism.

I recommend taking some time to examine the various launch vehicles, try some of them, and really customize the look of your phone. Be warned: the deeper you dive into the world of launchers, the more time and energy you will spend optimizing your setup.

It's hard to imagine Apple ever allowing anything like this for the iPhone.

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The Backgrounds app is a must for every Android user.

Jason Cipriani / CNET

Automatically changing wallpapers do not cause boredom

If finding and customizing a launcher takes a lot of work, there is another way to keep the Android phone always fresh. IPhone friends cannot – use the wallpaper. Google app.

The "Background" app updates the background image on your homescreen every day and locks the screen without you having to do anything.

There are several categories of background images to choose from. Choose your favorite and let the app do the rest. Personally, I like to use the geometric shapes category. The wallpapers are unique and colorful.

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Watch a video and surf on Twitter at the same time? Next, I'm listening.

Jason Cipriani / CNET

Watch a video and text at the same time.

If you've ever navigated Google Maps to exit the app and answer a text message, a small Google Maps window remains visible in the corner of the screen. With the release of Android Oreo in 2017, Android received a system-wide picture-in-picture mode for more than just video apps.

In addition to Google Maps and video apps, you can also use picture-in-picture features for video calls with supported apps. My preferred use of picture-in-picture is to stream a YouTube video and then exit the app to browse Reddit or reply to a text message or email while the YouTube video is in a corner of the screen continues to play. If I want to watch the video again in full screen mode, I simply tap the small preview image to maximize it.

iPhones do not have a picture-in-picture mode. What you see on the screen is what you get and nothing more.

If you're ready to switch to Android or get more from your existing Android phone, check out our list of ] best Android phones from 2020 . If you are new to Android, you must change these settings immediately . Then we have some helpful tips to help you get started with Android 10 .

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