Android user reviews the iPhone 7

Also in today's open source roundup: DistroWatch reviews OpenMandriva Lx 3.0, and how to restore apps and settings to a new Android phone

apple iphone 7
Credit: REUTERS/Beck Diefenbach

Android user reviews the iPhone 7

When it comes to smartphones there are always people switching from iPhone to Android and vice versa. One redditor recently made the jump from Android to the iPhone 7, and he had some very interesting thoughts about the differences between the two platforms.

Transfusiionz posted his comments about the iPhone 7 and Android in the Apple subreddit:

So, I’ve never used an iPhone before, I’ve always been an Android guy. I had both an iPad 2 and iPad 4, but never a phone or laptop. Recently for college I got a Macbook, and I was extremely impressed with the quality of the hardware, and the beautiful design of it. Still not sure on OSX, but that’s another discussion.

Anyhow, I was getting bored of Android. Now, I love it. I love Android and my old 6P, but I wanted something different, and maybe a smaller device too. Since I already had a Macbook, the iPhone 7 had me extremely interested. Of course, many comparisons will be drawn between the iPhone and Nexus. I pre-ordered one a couple days before launch. 128gb Gold, same color as my Macbook. Without further ado, here are my thoughts.

Build

Damn, Apple. This is where no Android manufacturer I’ve used can compete. It’s absolutely beautiful looking, feels incredibly sleek and sturdy in hand, and just has a general high quality and well thought out feel to it. A+, through and through.

Buttons

This seems like a pointless category, but it’s noteworthy enough for me to mention it. Holy hell are they firm and tactile! In an absolutely good way. The buttons on my 6P were a lot weaker and easier to press. Some may prefer that, but it led to the power button being bumped quite often and my phone turning on in my pocket etc.

In the same category, the home button. I’m not sure if I prefer it over the on-screen buttons with Android, but the taptic engine is absolutely wonderful. If you told me that it was actually clicking, I would totally believe it, just as with my MB.

Also, THANK YOU Apple, for the mute switch. I never realized how much I would actually use it, but it’s a lot.

Screen

This is interesting, as it’s a different technology to the 6P. As some may know, the 6P is AMOLED, and it has an extremely beautiful panel in my opinion. While the iPhone can’t match the nice saturation and the black pixels actually being off, it’s definitely a beautiful display. I had a lot of concern over the tiny resolution (Especially on a modern phone!) but I don’t even notice it, honestly.

Speakers

6P wins here. No doubt. It absolutely demolishes the iPhone. Now, that isn’t to say the iPhone has bad speakers, but they just can’t match dual high quality front facing speakers. The speakers in the iPhone are good enough though, plenty for watching Youtube and Netflix. Much better than a single downward or backward firing speaker. I’m so glad Apple decided to add it, as I think this was the point that pushed me over to “Alright, I’ll give Apple a go”.

Camera

Again, another interesting category. The Nexus 6P has a pretty good camera, in my opinion. Not quite top notch, but I’d put it up there with the better smartphone cameras for sure. I have to say, the iPhone has beaten it so far in my limited testing. I’m not a huge picture taker, but the pictures I have taken (All featuring my dog, naturally!) have turned out nicely. It also seems to perform a little better in low light, but I’ve not been able to test it much. As for the front facing camera, it seems lacking in lower light, but I rarely take selfies so don’t take my word for that.

Ports

Point of contention here. I think it is for most of us. I have two complaints about this, at the moment. First of all, the headphone jack. Yeah, yeah, we’ve all heard the complaints, but I’d simply like to comment on something. I see some people using the “Well, Apple changed the old 30 pin port and we all got used to that!”

This is different. The 30 pin port was exclusive to Apple, and as such when Apple moved, there wouldn’t be any lingerers with it. The 3.5mm jack, however, is a staple of the audio industry. Nearly every other audio device uses 3.5mm, which is the problem. It’s always been a universal port.

Second point, the lightning port. I wish this was USB Type C. First, standardization. Moving it to the same port that everyone else will be using would be wonderful.

Second.. The Macbook uses it. As it stands, I can’t have headphones/earbuds that will work with both my phone and my laptop without an adapter for one of them. Now THAT is stupid. Sorry Apple, you lost me there. At least keep things consistent within your product lines. Both Lightning and Type C are great, but I’d really prefer just sticking to one.

Software

My experience here is fairly limited since I’ve only had it since yesterday, and I haven’t used iOS in a good 4 years or so (and never on an iPhone), but I’ll give my thoughts on it. This will likely be more rambling than the sections about hardware above. I’d probably just skip this part if you’ve already used iOS.

So, as said, I was an Android guy ever since I got my first smartphone (an LG Esteem).

The software feels.. polished for the most part. It’s incredibly fluid and quick. Even smoother than Nougat on my 6P, which is expected due to how Android has to work. It still surprised me though. I like the design too. I’m not sure whether I prefer Material design or iOS, but I can safely say they’re both beautiful looking in their own right.

First, the keyboard. I feel it’s a step back from Google’s. The prediction/autocorrection isn’t near where Google’s is, and the layout feels slightly less efficient. Granted, I’ll be much quicker with it when I get used to the layout, but I felt it worth mentioning.

Second, the settings menu. It needs to be categorized better. As it stands, it’s like an endless list of stuff. It just doesn’t seem as well thought out as the rest of the OS.

Third, multitasking. The multitasking menu is fine for the most part, my complaint is about the home screen there though. Why is the home screen on the multitasking menu? If I wanted to go to the home screen, I thought that’s what the home button is for..? It takes up space needlessly, as far as I can really tell. Otherwise, multitasking has been great, this just struck me as weird.

Fourth, the control center. I think Android implements this better in the notification shade, rather than an entirely different menu in iOS. I can see the argument for having it in a separate menu, but I think Android just has it a bit more streamlined there.

I guess that really covers my complaints. Overall, I like iOS so far. It’s new and scary and confusing, but I’m sure I’ll grow more accustomed to it over time and like it even more.

As for things to praise, I haven’t used it enough to say confidently that something is miles better, except…

Battery. Holy battery, Batman! And not the aggressive kind!

Even with Doze on Android now, the iPhone seems to keep better battery yet when not in use. Same story goes for being in use, as it’s had higher battery percentage at various points in the day than my 6P has had. Granted, my normal workflow is all screwy now because I’m on a new OS and all, so it’s hardly scientific, but I think it’s much better still.

So, to sum up my thoughts very quickly: The Hardware on the iPhone 7 is fantastic. Build and everything is beautiful. Speakers aren’t as good as a 6P, but they’re still pretty damn good. I miss my earbuds though. Software is nice, but I also have a few hangups there, however I’m sure I’ll get over those as time goes on.

If you also have a Nexus 6P and you’re thinking about jumping ship, I’d say the iPhone 7 is an excellent point to jump over, though I’d recommend waiting to see what the Pixel phones are like, of course.

More at Reddit

Transfusiionz’s post caught the attention of Apple redditors and they shared their own thoughts about the iPhone 7 and Android :

WinterCharm: “Great write up.

I think Apple is pushing bluetooth headphones HARD. They seem to be insisting that lightning is pretty much a stopgap, and they probably have no intention of bring it to any new MacBooks they release.”

DevlinRocha: “You can download Gboard (Google’s keyboard) from the App Store and have it replace the Apple keyboard entirely (settings > general > keyboard, might want to consider adding Emoji as well).

The settings menu is fine for me but that might be because I’ve been using iOS from the beginning and know where everything is. While reworking the settings would have me be lost entirely, I could see where you’re coming from and maybe it could use some refinement.

You have a good point with the home screen being on the multitask menu, I think it would be better to not have it there either.

Maybe control center comes down to personal opinion, but I much prefer control center to the all-in-one solution Android has. Although I still prefer control center pre-iOS 10, I might just need to get used to it tho.

Hope you enjoy your new phone, got my 7+ coming in the mail next month..!”

GarrettSucks: “I love reading android users opinions on the iPhone. Great read! I hope you enjoy your phone! ”

Chilie: “Just came from a 6P as well and went with the 7+. The screen is great. Resolution wise I don’t notice a vast difference. Really the only thing to complain about the screen is the black level. I got use to a nice deep black with the OLED.”

Freedeiverx01: “Nice and balanced. Long time Apple-fan here, but agree AMOLED screens have more vibrant colors.”

PearElite: “Much agreed, I myself just upgraded from an s6 edge plus to the 6s plus 32gb and it’s so much better. The battery life is great and the hardware/design is beautiful. Everything is so well optimized and smooth, it’s so snappy! ”

HazeGreyUnderway: “6P owner as well. I’ve thought about switching back for a year or two but…each time I think about pulling the trigger, I find something new for my 6P or I can’t let go of Now on Tap. I’m heavily integrated with Google’s services that I’d probably frequently gripe about it on iOS.

What really keeps me from doing it is my 6s for work. I can stick my toes in the iOS water on the reg, which helps while I wait for the Pixel’s or the 2017 flagships.

I don’t know what Reddit app you used on Android but I’m not fond of the iOS offerings. (Narwhal or Antenna were my “favorite”)

Side note, did you use Viper4Android on your 6P? Wondering if there was an improvement in the…digital audio department (subconsciously typed headphone lol).

Good luck!”

Jimboku: “As a Nexus 6P ex-owner, totally agree on their weak buttons. You can really tell the difference between a well thought design vs a “slap on a metal material = premium” design on the 6P. If you have a chance to hold them side by side you’ll be able to tell immediately. ”

Hevakmai: “Actually, you should thank Palm for the mute switch. They had it on the Treo long before the iPhone was even dreamt up. I’m glad Apple adopted it though.”

OligarchyAmbulance: “I made the switch from the 6P to the 6S Plus and would agree with pretty much everything you said. I was also getting bored of Android after many years, and I still think it does a lot of things better than iOS. But the phone really feels so much more solid, and things like the vibration and buttons are so much nicer and more premium feeling.

I miss the insane camera on the 6P, but I’ll be getting a 7 so that should be better. You should really check out Google’s GBoard keyboard. I actually like it more than the stock Android keyboard, it feels smoother to me, and attaching gifs to messages is awesome. ”

More at Reddit

DistroWatch reviews OpenMandriva Lx 3.0

OpenMandriva is one of the easy-to-use distributions that can be quite useful to Linux newbies. DistroWatch recently did a full review of OpenMandriva Lx 3.0 and, unfortunately, found it to be a bit buggy.

Jesse Smith reports for DistroWatch:

While the latest version of OpenMandriva does not introduce many new features, there are definitely some changes at work in this release, most of them not for the better. In this release Plasma operated at a pace I usually only observe when running a 3-D desktop (such as GNOME Shell or Unity) in a virtual machine without 3-D acceleration. The system seemed to struggle to even boot, grinding the hard drive for several minutes and amassing large load averages. There were some strange display bugs, like the LXQt menu opening at the top of the screen instead of at the bottom where the menu button was. The changing theme was also jarring.

On top of this, the update widget did not work, necessitating a trip to the Control Panel to acquire security updates. Most configuration modules worked, and configuration has always been a strong point in the Mandriva family. However, the System Settings printer module did not work for me and I could not get the Snapshot module to run.

I would rather distributions not display both 32-bit and 64-bit builds of packages in their graphical software managers. Both OpenMandriva and Korora have done this lately and it just pads the list of packages and is likely to confuse users. The package manager should know which architecture we are using and filter available software accordingly. I was further concerned to run into situations where package signatures could not be verified. Maybe it was a case of a corrupted download, but it could be something more serious and the package manager does not handle the situation gracefully. We can install the bad package or abort, dropping all queued actions. I think a Retry option to download the package from another mirror would be a nicer solution.

Usually I enjoy using OpenMandriva as it tends to have a newcomer friendly approach and a great Control Centre. This time around though the distribution performed too slowly to be practical for me to use and introduced too many bugs for me to consider version 3.0 beginner friendly.

More at DistroWatch

Restore apps and settings to a new Android phone

Getting a new Android phone can be great for upgraders, but buying a new phone also means that you’ll need to restore your apps and settings on your new device. Android Centeral has a helpful guide that will walk you through how to do it.

Harish Jonnalagadda reports for Android Central:

Google has always synced calendar events, contacts, Drive documents, Gmail settings and other account-related information across devices, and since Android 5.0 Lollipop the company started offering the ability to restore apps to a new device. With Marshmallow, the feature was expanded to include app data as well as system settings, with all the information stored in the cloud.

If you’re using the Google Now Launcher, your home screen background, icon and widget layout as well as folder structure is now saved to the cloud, allowing you to restore your settings to a new handset and retain your home screen layout.

Where does all this data get stored? Google is backing up the app data to Drive, allocating 25MB for each app. Data used by the backup system doesn’t count toward your storage quota. Meanwhile, developers can choose to select what app data gets stored in the cloud.

Here’s how you can restore your apps and settings when moving to a new Android phone.

More at Android Central

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