Android iPhone and iPad

iCan’t: 5 Things Android Users Take For Granted and iPhone Users Just Can’t Do

Danny Stieben 06-05-2013

android vs iphoneHave you ever thought that there might be a reason Android users brag about their customizability? Sure, as an iPhone user, you can add and configure apps, change your wallpaper, and otherwise make yourself feel at home. But at the end of the day, you’ve only changed a few small details. If you happen to have jailbreaked your iPhone to run Cydia and are enjoying some of the best Cydia tweaks, you can do more. But users with stock iOS are able to do much less. Don’t believe me? Check out these different things that Android users can do but iOS users cannot.


From changing your keyboard to using a live wallpaper to putting an entirely new face on your phone (in the form of a launcher), Android lets you customize your phones in remarkably flexible ways.


android vs iphone
If you don’t like the keyboard on your iPhone, tough luck. Without jailbreaking the device, there’s no way to get a different keyboard app on your iPhone. On the contrary, Android is built to allow users to choose between different installed keyboards, from the very capable default keyboard to Swype Swype For Android, Reviewed: A Hassle To Install, But Is It Worth It? I've long since fell in love with sliding/swiping keyboard, as my SlideIT review from a year ago shows. But when people hear "swiping keyboard," SlideIT isn't usually the first name that comes to mind: Swype... Read More to SwiftKey Enjoy A Better Typing Experience With SwiftKey 3 [Android] We type a lot on our mobile devices. We constantly text people, browse the web, type up documents, and so much more. Therefore, keyboards have become one of the most important apps on your device,... Read More . This not only allows for different looking keyboards, but also different typing mechanisms (tapping versus swiping) and prediction algorithms for those fast typers with low accuracy. I’m not saying that the iPhone’s keyboard is bad, but I highly doubt that every iPhone user likes it and those picky users will just have to endure.

Home Screen Mechanics

iCan't: 5 Things Android Users Take For Granted and iPhone Users Just Can't Do icant icons
The iPhone’s home screen is one of the most iconic features of the iOS platform — big icons in a 4×4 grid (or 4×5 grid with the iPhone 5) and four buttons along the bottom bar for commonly accessed apps. Besides changing the wallpaper and rearranging the order of the icons, there’s nothing that the iPhone user can do to change how it looks. For example, a mechanic that annoy me would be the fact that I cannot move an icon from the very top of the screen to the very bottom — all icons fill in row by row. At least iPhone users can move their icons onto a new page.


things you can do with android
Android launchers also have another cool feature that is entirely lacking in iOS — widgets. These nifty tools can be placed anywhere in your home screens and offer quick access to the related app’s functionality. For example, the Wunderlist Wunderlist: Easy-To-Use, Versatile & Cross-Platform To-Do List Manager Read More widget will display your to-do list, the New York Times widget can be configured to show the latest news, and weather widgets can show the forecast for your location. Widgets can usually be resized, too.


things you can do with android
I absolutely love the default Android launcher, but others may want to use other alternatives. With Android, you can install additional launchers and choose which one you’d like to use. Each launcher can offer different functionality, such as themes and the ability to add more pages to your home screen. With iOS, this is also completely impossible as Apple wants everyone using the same launcher.



android vs iphone
Android includes some creative features with wallpapers to give your phone a nice touch with small details. Whenever you set a new image as your wallpaper, you can choose how you’d like to resize it, as well as determine whether the image should be “scrollable” or not. When set to scrollable, the wallpaper moves left and right as you switch between different pages in your home screen. Otherwise, the wallpaper would remain completely still as you switch between pages in your home screen. Additionally, Android also offers the use of live, animated wallpapers. These cool wallpapers are similar to Windows Vista’s DreamScene wallpapers; however, are more appropriate on a smartphone as they usually include smooth animations and other computer-generated objects, and not a real-life video. Some live wallpapers animate on their own, while others react to the user’s touch. They can be pretty fun to mess around with, and with (usually) minimal battery impact.

Android vs iPhone – Conclusion

Believe me now? Android users can change some significant stuff to their phones, without having to resort to rooting or installing custom ROMs How to Find and Install a Custom ROM for Your Android Device Android is super customizable, but to fully take advantage of that, you need to flash a custom ROM. Here's how to do that. Read More . I’m sure this list isn’t entirely inclusive of all things Android users can do that iPhone users cannot, but it gives you a good idea of how you can do more with Android.

What’s your favorite feature of your Android or iOS device? What do you wish it could have that the competitor has? Let us know in the comments!

Image Credits: Ricky Romero


Related topics: Android Launcher, Android Theme.

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  1. Anonymous
    March 5, 2015 at 4:43 am

    That's a Samsung Galaxy S4... Looks weird the way I typed it!!lol

  2. Anonymous
    March 5, 2015 at 4:41 am

    I have both iPhone 6+ and Android s4 and I have to admit, I absolutely love the freedom I get with the Android! It was a bit frustrating adjusting to the iPhone. I couldn't believe you are not able to do the simplest things... like bringing all of your icons to the bottom of the screen or space them out?!? ????But I will say this... Face Time is absolutely amazing!???????? Haven't seen anything as clear and smooth like it! (I've tried oovoo/hangouts)

  3. YupUGuessedIt
    October 8, 2013 at 9:50 pm

    U CAN RUN ANDROID ON PRACTICALLY ANYTHING. Heh compiled it for my ps2. Now thats geeky! Just Imagine all the other not invented things that android will run. LETS BRING ON THE SMART TOASTER ..... featuring REAL LIFE toast messages!

  4. Cameron Holmes
    May 12, 2013 at 8:33 am

    Android is a lot more customization than ios and I much prefer Android to IOS. btw what's that wallpaper thing, looks cool

  5. Jason Y.
    May 11, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    If you read this from the perspective of an Android user, they'd probably not really care about some of the data points you leveraged. As an owner of both, I would say out of the box the iPhone keyboard is far better than ANY Android keyboard I've used (yes, better than Swype). To put it another way, if I could get the iPhone keyboard accuracy on ANY Android it would be a marked improvement. As for the home screen, I use widgets on my SIII for FlipBook and Evernote, but other than that, not so much. Launchers? That's hardly necessary. How old are you anyway? If you're a tinkerer then Android gives you tools to geek out, but after you grow up and your phone becomes a tool for real work in the real world, you just want it to work, and for me, the iOS seems to do a finer job for ME than either of my Androids have.

  6. null
    May 11, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    i like my android phone because its sdk is far easier to use than the iOS sdk

  7. null
    May 11, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    eh, widgets are that big of a deal imho

  8. Margot Darby
    May 10, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    Of course Android has more customizability; it needs to work with an infinitude of off-brand, no-name, odd-job-lot devices from the sweatshops of East Asia. At the end of the day you've still got an Android phone. Michael Kors doesn't make designer wallets for Android phones.

    • Tinkicker
      May 15, 2013 at 3:49 am

      That's the best thing about an Android. Its not elitist or snobby. Hands on, grease to the elbows and proud not to be part of the Apple collective hive mind.

  9. Lisa Santika Onggrid
    May 9, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    Problem with this kind of article: Things quickly escalate to Android vs iOS war. Fortunately MUO commenters are much better than what I usually see.

    • James Bruce
      May 10, 2013 at 9:57 am

      Don't worry, I'll bring some vitriol to the argument ;)

      • Tinkicker
        May 15, 2013 at 3:43 am

        Oh, plenty of people have vitriol. But why on a decidedly pro-Android discussion would a person want to be vitriolic?

  10. jono667
    May 9, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    This isn't even half of what you can do. Honestly, none of those thing you mentioned are things I care about, but yeah great that you can do it. I like that you can plug in a USB and copy stuff, thast you can watch just about any video file on the planet without converting it first, etc etc soooo many things that are more useful than adding widgets or whatever

  11. Ben
    May 9, 2013 at 10:31 am

    you forgot to add in the part where android phones are louder and deeper than iphones/ipods. I'm just saying

  12. David
    May 9, 2013 at 12:40 am

    If these are the features based on what you decide to buy a smart phone, then belive me you do not need a smartphone!

  13. null
    May 8, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    I own both. I am not a geek and I don't have time to learn how to customize (I work too many hours and I don't want to spend my free time fooling with this stuff). I prefer the iOS and the standard apps that come with it. All the modifications discussed here are irrelevant to me and don't sound like they are worth the effort. Just a matter of taste...

  14. Donald S
    May 8, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    I agree with Joel, but my favorite thing is the launchers. I am impressed with the 3 or 4 launchers that I have used. Currently I am using the Regina launcher which I find very impressive, awesome 3D designs with the rippling water when you move the app shortcuts on the desktop and the hidden page they have too. Love my Droid, I would never own an Apple anything!!!!

  15. Camille Nykerk
    May 8, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    The great thing about the android OS is that it's open for you to rearrange your files and folders, while the IOS is closed. A little example: I have about 1600 songs on my computer and my friend who has an i phone wanted thes songs on his device. No problem, he came over to my house, i connected the device with Itunes, made a synchrinization and all the songs got into his device. no problems untill here.
    When he came home (his computer) he wanted these songs on his computer so he
    got connected with his Itunes and thought that by sychrinizing the music it will transfer the songs to his computer:) He was so wrong because apple won't let you do that. It erased al the songs from his Iphone. That sucks.

    • James Bruce
      May 10, 2013 at 9:56 am

      Yeh, I hate it when devices don't make piracy easy. ;)

      • Tinkicker
        May 15, 2013 at 3:39 am

        Camille, Apple believes that if you write and record a song and then perform the same procedure you did with those 1600 songs, then you deserve to have your song deleted. Why? Because it's piracy? Couldn't be! You wrote and recorded that song!
        Sweetie, Apple just knows better than you what's best for you.

  16. Ole Funch
    May 8, 2013 at 5:27 am

    I "love" my Android because it makes me free in choosing apps whether they are "Google certified" and not, and this without rooting or jail braking ?

    • James Bruce
      May 10, 2013 at 9:55 am

      That is of course the same "feature" that allows you to get malware. Just, you know, throwing that out there.

      • Tinkicker
        May 15, 2013 at 3:30 am

        That's a good reason to use those other free apps....the antimalware ones. Just, you know, throwing that out there.

        • MakeUseOf TechGuy
          May 15, 2013 at 6:37 am

          Exactly. Now you need virus checker, firewall, and anti-malware on your phone too? Because that's the best thing about using PCs, as we all know - it's just such a pleasure having to expend so much effort protecting yourself like that - and something everyone really enjoys or thinks about.

        • Prafulla Bhalde
          May 26, 2013 at 8:49 am

          downloading a free or paid antivirus app and letting it do its work, = "expending so much effort"? i mean do i have to stand there with a sword in hand or something?

          must be a real experience being carefree and not having to protect urself LOL. u a real tech guy on this site, sir? or is that just a nickname?

          checking for viruses, malware and stuff is done for you by apple. so you dont need to do it. ok. but then apple also restricts where you can go and what files you can share from your phone. if i have the freedom to go wandering into the notorious district, i must carry the responsibility to protect myself. simple as that.

          besides here i can choose what level of security i need. and whether to pay for it or choose the free.. version ;)

  17. bricabracwizard
    May 7, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    Although I agree there is more flexibility with an android phone, most of the things mentioned in this editorial can be had as an app including different keyboard layouts-for free. We need a third major competitor to take us in a completely different direction so we can push all iOS systems to another level. Apple did a lot to get everyone off their collective bums but now someone else needs to take the ball and run with it.

  18. Fredrik
    May 7, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    Don't forgett the femgradig receiver

  19. Matthew
    May 7, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    I like that I can costimize my lock screen because I get board of the lockscreen that comes with my phone. I wish the cloud service would back up every games data like on iphone but android only backs up games that support the feature

  20. Ignacio Cual
    May 7, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    I would like to see a list of things that an iOS Device can do, but an Android device CAN'T.
    So far,I've found only one, which is the "private" messaging system.
    Not that I've donde a thorough search...

    • James Bruce
      May 10, 2013 at 9:55 am

      Run without crashing constantly
      Not steal your credit card info for downloading the wrong app
      Provide a consistent UI and platform for development
      Have apps that aren't made by amateur 12 year olds

      Shall I go on?

      • Tinkicker
        May 15, 2013 at 3:28 am

        Please don't. It basically boils down to two camps: those technically savvy and interested enough to understand and use the many deep facets of an open architecture like Android, and those who are not. Pretty simple, and no need for derogatory sarcasm.
        Some people simply enjoy the challenge and the feeling of accomplishment that comes with modding their phones. Some people fish. No big deal.

        • MakeUseOf TechGuy
          May 15, 2013 at 6:38 am

          Now who's being derogatory? You're implying iOS users are technically less savvy, and that only geeks use Android?

  21. Mark
    May 7, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    Wow, sorry, but all of those issues are so cosmetic. How about a deep dive into functional / usability shortcomings of iOS? It is a beautiful device which does a few things wonderfully (for the most part), but go out of it's comfort zone, and you are generally out of luck.  Which is why, in the end, it seems to me that a more general purpose tablet os (android, or even windoze) with all it's imperfections, is much more usable for those who want to get real work done.  And, by the way, I'm writing this on an ipad I've used regularly for a couple of years now.  

    Some specifics ...

    Not allowing a connected USB or sd device (using their overpriced dongle) to transfer anything except pictures. Huh, really?

    Not allowing you to connect to a computer to transfer documents without going through iTunes (what if someone does not want or is not allowed to install apple bloat ware?), and even then severely limiting what you can transfer.  This is why they invented USB mass storage mode.

    Forcing you to jump through convoluted hoops to transfer documents between apps.  Do I really need to be able to open a PDF in every single app which sees it (incl e.g., mail and safari), each operating and displaying it slightly differently?

    No accessible file system, combined with the 'the app which gets the file owns the file' model, absolutely confounding any attempt to organize documents.  

    A less-is-better UI model which results in only one button to rule them all, and therefore absolutely no consistency in any other actions.  I've counted 4 totally different ways to go 'back' in various apps, and probably as many ways to bring up a menu, start a search, or close a document. And at least 3 different keyboard layouts I can think of.

    Oh, and an authoritarian app model which stifle competition to apples products.

    Now, to be honest, all of these except for the UI design might have their roots in some sort of security rationale.  But this is like putting deadbolts on every interior and exterior door in your house, and then trying to walk back-and-forth between the kitchen and the bedroom.  With a little consideration of use cases other than social media/email/media/web surfing, they could have easily addressed many of theses issues with a nearly equivalent security model.  As it is, it all just makes it an incredibly frustrating machine to accomplish sometimes trivial tasks.

  22. Bronzit
    May 7, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    You forgot to mention that this SAME FLEXIBILITY is what allows Android to be hit with viruses & Malware so easily! Likewise the 1st of 2 bad things about Jailbreaking: The other is cutting the support cord from Apple/breaking warranty EULA.

    To give, you must take something else away!

  23. Nashvillian
    May 7, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    No one has mentioned the simple thing I miss most about my Android... The ability to show ONLY those contacts which include phone numbers, excluding those which are just email addresses. This greatly simplifies finding a number quickly. It seems it would be an easy (and obvious) thing for iPhone to add.

  24. Robert
    May 7, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    All the things mentioned in the article are so superficial, who cares if I can't have a different keyboard, it's a tiny keyboard on a screen even if you have one of those crazy oversize phones. I had an Android phone for two years and I am so glad to be rid of the thing. I just go my i-Phone and I'm so much happier. Andorid has too many screens and too many things, which means more chances things can go wrong, get lost and simply not work. I like i-Phone because of it's simplicity, not because I'm stupid, I work with networks everyday. That's why in my everday life I don't want to have to mess with every option or worry about if an app that has a virus.

    • dragonmouth
      May 8, 2013 at 2:41 pm

      "Andorid has too many screens and too many things, which means more chances things can go wrong, get lost and simply not work. I like i-Phone because of it’s simplicity"
      If you want simplicity and fewer things that might go wrong, you should be using a land-line phone. It is very simple, does only one thing but does it well.

  25. Onaje Asheber
    May 7, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    Nice Info about Android OS.

  26. Daniel V
    May 7, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    It's funny that my technologically stunted parents both have android phones and I have an iPhone.

    These types of customizations would more likely confuse and frustrate them than help them. I, on the other hand, would LOVE it. Alas, I am stuck with what my employer provides, an iPhone 5 is not too shabby though.:)

  27. Henree Arriola de Garcia
    May 7, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    Swiftkey... i love that keyboard.
    I got myself an iPod and hoped I could change the keyboard. BOOOO!

  28. null
    May 7, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    I Like change and the IOS does not offer that. Everything is the same and always the same. I guess some people and maybe some older folks will find that useful. But change is what makes us who we are and unique.

  29. Anan
    May 7, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    "Have you ever thought that there might be a reason Android users brag about their customizability? "

    have you ever thought the features you listed were even available in PalmTreo days when people thought those were smart phones. and these features that you said provide no value than bragging rights and wasting your battery and time and add no value to anyone who uses the the phone to assist your job or increases your productivity in any way. Its good to show off to your less tech savvy GF to prove that you are a geek. At the end of the day what matters is whether you are working for the phone or the phone is working for you. I would prefer the later since I have much more valuable time or if I want to spend time on some geeky stuff that's when I learn some new skill for my career than finding a new keyboard and wasting time every time I want to type because I need to get acquainted for the new visual appeal. Try to use your time for something valuable if you are bored like going outside and get some vitamin D. Not that I love iPhone esp. with 1feature a year for $600 phone but that's our corporate world to maximize profits on one innovation is their motto since there aren't many innovators in the world, instead we have a samsung in every street.

  30. Smita Sharma
    May 7, 2013 at 11:31 am

    Either it is android or iphone, both are famous for their apps popularity. These apps are gaining so much popularity that everyone is downloading many apps in a single day.

  31. macwitty
    May 7, 2013 at 11:11 am

    For me the change of default keyboard to Swype to SwiftKey is the best thing.

  32. Bumferry
    May 7, 2013 at 8:59 am

    I have just moved to my second android phone (from Xperia Arc S to the Nexus 7) and the one thing that impresses me the most about android, apart from all the suggestions above, including the savings in buying a device in the first place) is the massive improvements in design versions.
    To the best of my knowledge the i-phone 4 is not that different from the new i-phone 5.... whereas android versions from the same period show a marked improvement.
    I-phone are great. A few of my friends have them but I prefer Android. Mainly due to cost and the fact that I can fiddle with how it looks until the device truly looks like "MY PHONE".
    That said Android phones are far from perfect...... for now!

  33. Keith Collyer
    May 7, 2013 at 7:17 am

    One thing not here, and not an add-on, is the difference in text editing. I use a Nexus 7, my wife has a Galaxy S3 and an ipad. The difference is night and day. The fact that you can actually move the cursor in Android whereas in iOS you have to try to keep stabbing to get the right place is a major improvement.
    Oh, and the automatic "bubble" zoom if you hit an area of the screen and it isn't clear exactly where you intended to touch makes things a lot easier too.

  34. JassoL
    May 7, 2013 at 6:59 am

    Android is not the only phone with these features.. Have you guys heard about Nokia? They have had these features, excluding the wallpaper options, for years already...

    • thejay_0
      May 16, 2013 at 8:36 am

      Rooting, jail breaking, installing external apps, pirating or buying apps to get those basic features of those inexpensive nokia feature phones on the smartphones unable to do anything without internet and costs dollars.
      My Iphone 5 has bluetooth file transfer. said no apple ever.

  35. leo
    May 7, 2013 at 4:27 am

    i don't take any of that for granted. i use those features all the time with my current android and several androids i had before this one.

  36. Josemon Maliakal
    May 7, 2013 at 3:41 am

    I agree that, but It has it's own good features

  37. Schvenn Meister
    May 7, 2013 at 2:51 am

    Rooting my devices and gaining full control over every aspect of it is my favourite feature. We have 5 Androids in this home and 0 Mac products.

  38. Chepe
    May 7, 2013 at 2:47 am

    you guys are forgetting the "ADD TO REJECT CALL LIST" option available in SGSIII, i don't know if that's an android default setting or something Samsung puts in Touchwiz but it's definitely very useful and i don't see why for god's sake iOS don't include something like that. This is one reason why i jailbreak my iphone, so i can install iBlacklist. but damn it! you have to do this and pay 12 bucks when it's a default things with others!!

  39. Chepe
    May 7, 2013 at 2:47 am

    you guys are forgetting the "ADD TO REJECT CALL LIST" option available in SGSIII, i don't know if that's an android default setting or something Samsung puts in Touchwiz but it's definitely very useful and i don't see why for god's sake iOS don't include something like that. This is one reason why i jailbreak my iphone, so i can install iBlacklist. but damn it! you have to do this and pay 12 bucks when it's a default things with others!!

  40. Arron Walker
    May 7, 2013 at 2:29 am

    Wow.. I knew Android had more choice, as and advocate of Android over iOS. But I never realised how much of a difference it was.

    I personally could not use a phone without Widgetsoid. Home screen toggle app: Wirelss, mobile data, rotation sensor, auto lock on/off, flashlight, and screen brightness. So, so usefull. Rotation sensor is an absolute myriad of menus, the rest are just convenience and functionality at it's finest.

    However... iOS has iMessage synch with any apple device. I really wish android would natively support that.

  41. Marek S?owikowski
    May 7, 2013 at 1:52 am

    Playing electric guiitar with iPhone with professional sound is impossible with Android at all. Dot!

    • StuffeR
      May 7, 2013 at 5:54 am

      I m sure there are electric guitar apps for android as well.
      The professional sound you are probably talking about is the one recorded in professional studios. I don't know how android has recorded it
      trust me I have heard it on a Denon and Polk RTIs, connected using HDMI add its awesome.
      cannot have professional sound coming out of a 3.5mm jack

      • Bill
        May 7, 2013 at 5:41 pm

        Sure you can. Not sure about the SPEAKERS, though...

  42. Eric Ravenscraft
    May 6, 2013 at 11:46 pm

    Not that this stuff isn't cool, but I feel like there's a treasure trove of stuff that just got overlooked. As someone else in the thread pointed out, the Share dialog is a huge one. Apps can plug into that list for relevant criteria so that you can move data around in just about any way you need to. On iOS, I can select a photo in the Camera Roll and choose to Print it, but I can't send to Dropbox. On Android, I can use any of a dozen different apps to send that picture somewhere. The default application picker is a similar conundrum. As was pointed out with the recent Google Maps debacle, iOS can't select a non-included app to be the default for a particular action. On Android, the Intents system allows users to pick their default browser, email, SMS, gallery, maps, and even voice notes app.

    There's also the ability to individually dismiss notifications. It was added to stock Android relatively recently (4.0), but it's also been built in to many custom manufacturer builds prior to that (like Motorola). At this point, every modern phone should have this ability.

    Then there's quick settings. Even before Google introduced the secondary quick settings shade (4.2), most manufacturers included buttons in the notification shade to enable/disable things like WiFi, GPS, or Bluetooth. Things that cause major battery drain. The closest comparable feature on iOS is double-tapping the home button and swiping to the left to get auto-rotate and music controls.

    There are a number of other things that Android can also do that, frankly, I wish my iOS device could. Stuff like OTA app installations (if you're logged in, you can install an app to your phone or tablet on the web-based Play Store without touching your device) is nice, though I can see understand not everyone needing it. Still, as cool as these things are, it feels like a very 2010 list of features. Like it comes from a time when all the coolest parts of Android had to do with replacing the crappy software that came on the phone to start with, not building on an already solid base.

    • Bill
      May 7, 2013 at 5:41 pm

      Now you're talking FUNCTIONALITY, which is very different from the gimmickry the article focuses on.

    • Danny Stieben
      May 31, 2013 at 5:41 pm

      Those are all very valid points. Thanks for bringing them up.

  43. Cary Hartline
    May 6, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    What a lot of Android users don't seem to understand is that most people don't care to customize their phones. It's all about speed and stability and if you can't have that then the rest doesn't matter.

    I'm switching to Android for the purpose of installing Ubuntu Touch, but I'm having second thoughts about it since the community seems to only talk about how much they dislike iOS. I just hope the Ubuntu Touch community doesn't do the same.

    • dragonmouth
      May 6, 2013 at 11:44 pm

      "What a lot of Android users don’t seem to understand is that most people don’t care to customize their phones."
      Seems to be endemic to smart phone and computer users. Many of them go for appearance over function. They never ask themselves if the customizations they apply to their devices improve the performance. All they care about is that their device(s) look "kewl".

      • Bill
        May 7, 2013 at 5:38 pm

        It's not "appearance over function." These are APPLIANCES. Unless you're an interior decorator you don't balance the "form v. function" of a toaster.

        People USE these. They're tools, not worshipful idols.

        • dragonmouth
          May 7, 2013 at 10:58 pm

          "They’re tools, not worshipful idols."
          If that is so, why do people decorate them as if they were worshipful idols, or as if the people were doing interior decorating?

        • James Bruce
          May 10, 2013 at 9:50 am

          Exactly. What's with all these bling cases? I havent even changed my wallpaper!

      • Lisa Santika Onggrid
        May 9, 2013 at 6:42 pm

        Customizations go far beyond appearances. This is what a lot of people seems to have missed. While a lot of things mentioned is this article are indeed eye candy, keyboards and such can really help you. I agree some people went overboard with customization to the point that it's hard to use the device.

      • Danny Stieben
        May 31, 2013 at 5:36 pm

        The good thing about Android is that you can change things so that they are more functional AND look better.

    • Sean Concannon
      May 7, 2013 at 12:47 am

      FTFY: "What a lot of Android users don't seem to understand is that iOS users don't care to customize their phones"

    • Azhar Madia
      May 7, 2013 at 2:01 am

      "most people don't care to customize their phones.." that's probably true.. If your talking about customization like changing wallpapers, fonts, etc., I'm one of those people.

      But the level of Android customization is far beyond changing the UI. The platform openness allow 3rd party developers do many things, compared to Apple walled garden. Changing the keyboard to Swift keyboard already double my productivity, the predictive text is indispensable. And I'm not even talking about Tasker/Llama.. the iOS user can only dream of..

      • Bill
        May 7, 2013 at 5:40 pm

        Fine, if you're a developer.

        What I couldn't stand if I were an actual Android USER, is that if I want to upgrade the OS of my gadget, I've either got to wait, or go buy a different phone.

        My daughter has my old cast-off iPhone 4. But it's running the latest version of iOS 6. Q.E.D.

        • Grim Reaver
          May 7, 2013 at 8:35 pm

          >> What I couldn’t stand if I were an actual Android USER, is that if I want to upgrade the OS of my gadget, I’ve either got to wait, or go buy a different phone.

          isnt that what you do with an ios device as well? you either wait for apple to push the release to you or you get a new device.

        • Azhar Madia
          May 8, 2013 at 3:10 am

          Lol.. I'm not a developer, if you read my comment: "Changing the keyboard to Swift keyboard already double my productivity.." you know I'm a user.

          If you use Nexus devices, you always get the latest Android version (at least until it's not compatible anymore).

          I also own iPhone and like it. I just don't like Apple restriction to MY device. Jailbreaking is one way to solve it but it's out of scope of the article.

    • Bill
      May 7, 2013 at 5:37 pm


      The true-geeks are going to figure out ways to do this on an iPhone anyway - it's part of the challenge that gave rise to the hacker culture. The non-geeks aren't going to give a rip.

  44. null
    May 6, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    While some of these things that you can customize are mostly extra flair, it's the fact that I couldn't do any of these on the iPhone that makes me stay away. I get that the iDevs spend a lot of time and effort to make sure people all have uniform experiences, but I don't want cookie cutter stuff all of the time. A lot of my android settings are default, or at least mostly default, but if I want to change something, it drives me crazy when someone at some point said "no, nobody will want to change that, so don't give them the option... and if they do want to change it, then tough"

  45. null
    May 6, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    Which launcher is featured in that screencap?

    • Sakshar Thakkar
      May 6, 2013 at 10:18 pm

      Its smart launcher, I use it, very good if you like simplistic home screen.

  46. Bart
    May 6, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    I own an iPhone 5 (private) and a galaxy SII (business). All the things that are listed here are things I don't really care about.
    The Samsung crashes around 2-3 times a week, while my iPhones never did. The only thing I miss in iOS is the ability to share to different apps, like Pocket or Evernote. It's possible, but it takes to many steps. That's something Android does really well.

    • Gideon Waxfarb
      May 6, 2013 at 6:23 pm

      Yeah, if they fix the sharing, along with adding some quick toggle widgets in iOS7, that's about all the extra customization I need that iOS doesn't currently provide.

    • illegal3alien
      May 7, 2013 at 2:34 am

      My Nexus 4 is at over 27 days uptime without a problem. I'd say it's probably either an app or Samsung bloatware

    • Swashata
      May 7, 2013 at 2:21 pm

      I think, the idea of comparing iPhone5 to SII is, kind of, misleading. While, I do agree that iOS runs smoother, but try using galaxy S3 or Note 2 or brand new S4 alongside iPhone. You will definitely notice the difference.

      I have a galaxy note 2 for past 5 months and have bought & installed bunch of applications and games into it. It had never crashed till now. And ask about the battery backup with that big display and the amount of usage? Well, it gives me more than 1 day, and sometime 2 days as well.

      I think, in the end, it is really upto the user himself. If you like the iOS sophistication, then obviously apple is the product for you. But, if you are anything like me, who likes to change the phone interface every month, then obviously, Android is the answer.

      • Matt
        June 24, 2013 at 3:36 pm

        You could compare an iPhone 3S to and Galaxy S4 and the 3S will still crash less and run smoother.

  47. likefunbutnot
    May 6, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    6. Have a consistent Share menu
    7. Have a user-editable Share menu (with an app)
    8. When they press shift on ANY Android keyboard, the letters actually change.
    9. Load arbitrary data on their device using a variety of file transfer methods including SMB/NFS
    10. Open the same local files in multiple viewer applications
    11. Filesystem access, including the ability to organize data into an arbitrary directory structure.
    12. Use web browsers that support ad blocking and aren't just a webkit reskin
    13. Deploy apps to devices via a web interface
    14. Buy a fantastic new device for under $150.
    15. User upgradeable storage

    • Vipul Jain
      May 8, 2013 at 6:00 am

      16. Free Bluetooth.. XD

      • James Bruce
        May 10, 2013 at 9:49 am

        Free... bluetooth? lolwut?

        • Vipul Jain
          May 10, 2013 at 10:50 am

          Isn't bluetooth a paid app in iOS?
          Well, that's what my friend says. Jailbreak the device then buy the bluetooth app to transfer files to other phones.

        • MakeUseOf TechGuy
          May 10, 2013 at 10:54 am

          Oh, a file transfer app? Bluetooth is a wireless protocol; it doesnt cost money and isn't a software upgrade. You can use bluetooth accessories in the iphone just as any android. But yes, since you dont have access to a file structure, you cannot transfer files over bluetooth. Thats not really to do with bluetooth though, more Apple restrictions on the file system.

        • Vipul Jain
          May 10, 2013 at 11:42 am

          Right, my bad, mixed up the terminology :P
          Off topic, can't something be done to change the reply pattern so that it doesn't die off after 4-5 comments. Like I wanted to reply to makeuseoftech guy but had to reply here.

        • MakeUseOf TechGuy
          May 10, 2013 at 11:59 am

          Nope. And thats me too, just so you know.

          We're planning to collapse all comments to maximum depth of 2 in the new update.

        • Vipul Jain
          May 10, 2013 at 12:19 pm

          Haha usually one person making more than one account on a forum invites a ban.. :P
          And wouldn't a depth of just 2 comments discourage such conversations?

        • MakeUseOf TechGuy
          May 10, 2013 at 12:22 pm

          I think a depth of 2 encourages conversation instead of killing it at 4/5. It would be like a forum, replies in chronological format.

  48. Joel Lee
    May 6, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    The level of customization in Android - without even needing to root - is what I love about it. I'm never satisfied with my layout, my font, my theme, my launcher, my music player, etc... and being able to try so many different alternatives without much of a hassle is fantastic.

    I definitely do take these features for granted.

    • Bill
      May 7, 2013 at 5:35 pm

      "I’m never satisfied with my layout, my font, my theme, my launcher, my music player, etc…"

      Dude, this is the epitome of "I'm a geek, I don't need a life." Really, c'mon. Please.

      • Joel Lee
        May 7, 2013 at 5:39 pm

        It's more of a personality thing. I'm never satisfied with the layout of my room, my workstation, my playlist, my whatever. I'm sorry that bothers you so much.

      • Geek
        May 7, 2013 at 6:38 pm

        It's ironic you call Android users who like to personalise geeks, when in fact it is Apple using smug hipster dbags that cannot personalise yet still think they are unique.

      • Lisa Santika Onggrid
        May 9, 2013 at 6:34 pm

        I find tweaking my layout/theme/launcher/music player/etc is a refreshing pastime. It makes me feel like having a new phone everytime I finish a 'makeover' and can actually boost my productivity. Besides, that sentence doesn't mean I tweak my phone 24/7.

      • just pathetic
        May 29, 2013 at 5:59 pm

        He probably isn't one considering he doesn't take the time to root his devices all he's doing is customizing it a bit to fit him better. Quite frankly this guy and even a typical geek these days have more of a life then you, sure they take interest in hobbies in programing or gaming instead of doing drugs and staring at the wall laying on couch wasting their life away(yet some how learning about shit makes you have no life and being high out of your mind isn't lol...) but when they aren't doing that they have friends they hang out with and do other activities too.I go biking I play football and I enjoy shit load of other activities and when I'm home got nothing better to do I play video games and yeah I've rooted my phone and tablet and put cyanogenmod on it. So really sounds like you need a better outlook on life

        • Alex
          July 4, 2013 at 1:14 am

          Newsflash, some people actually can do drugs and be responsible in life.. you're just generalizing.