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Engineering Manager - Software Engineer
Personal blog by Gabriel Miranda

Moving from Android to iPhone after a decade

☕☕ 12 min read

I've been using Android phones for a decade now. Low-end, mid-range, and high end too. I understand how they behave and I'm pretty used to it. I'm also a macOS user. I've got my own Macbook Pro M2 and always felt super intuitive. I love the battery, the trackpad, the gestures, the screen, and the developer friendliness. With iOS the story is quite different, let me tell you.

🌧 Lowlights

Let's start with the things I don't like about iOS, and maybe why.

Home Screen

A lot of "Apple things" is either the way they want you to do it or no other way. The home screen is no exception to this rule. You start with 1 home screen, the possibility to add more but you have 2 non-negotiable screens: 1 at the far left: to fill out with widgets, and 1 and the far right: the app library. You're probably wondering, why is this an issue. Well, if you want to remove every single widget in the first screen you'd probably imagine that screen is gone, or at least you have a setting to toggle it off. Well no, if you remove every widget it just displays an empty screen, and as far as I can tell you can't remove it. And the App Library? Well, it's not that I don't like it, but iOS arranges and groups apps by ... random weird criteria and there's no easy access to the screen. If you have 2 home screens and you're on the far left (widget screen) you have to swipe your screen three times to get there vs the swipe up from Android to get the App Drawer.


Don't get me started on gestures. I mean gestures are a good thing, I love them when they're easy to repeat, easy to remember, and useful. I remember an old Motorola moto G6 Play where you could shake the phone and get the flashlight or the camera activated, or in my Samsung S20+ where you could tap the power button twice and go straight into camera mode. Well, I believe here Apple decided on form over function. Yes, you don't have the clutter of 3 buttons and the bottom of your screen, but you rely on sometimes hard-to-execute gestures that are not even intuitive. If this is your first time with an iPhone, you're going to have a really hard time. Want to see your notifications? Pull from the top! Great, like Android, or is it? It depends, if you pull from the center or far left, great, but if you pull from the right, no. If you want to see all your open apps, pull from the bottom, but do it slowly and then reach right, because if not you end up going to the home screen. And if you don't pull from the exact top of the screen you'll open your search. You basically need a full list of tutorials on how to operate this if you've never used one before.

The back button

I left this one apart from the previous gestures because it's the most annoying to me. In Android phones, you have a reliable way of Going back to the previous view, previous app, previous screen, home screen, closing modals, and more. And it's literally the same interface we've been seeing for the last decade on browsers, desktop OS, and more, and it's just a back arrow. Whether you want to close the modal image view in Twitter, you want to go back to the home screen or go to the previous page in chrome, it's always, the same reliable on-screen, easy-to-reach, intuitive button. And iOS? Well it depends, you again have a gesture to go back, swiping from left to right from the far center-left. But there's a catch, it doesn't always work this way. Instagram stories? Well, that gesture is to go to the previous story, are you on Twitter and want to see that image in more detail? Well here you have a close button on the top-right corner, are you watching a YouTube video? That gesture does nothing. And so it creates this lack of consistency across apps and it makes the whole experience weird and uncomfortable.

Silent mode

This is going to be a short one. Do you want silent mode? Turning the volume all the way down to zero does nothing. And why does the iPhone have a button that you can't push on the left? Well, it's not a button, it's a switch, and it's the one in charge of silent mode. You didn't know? It seems that almost no other phone does that and the first few google suggestions for "silent mode" are all related to iPhone.

Other details

I'm not going to bash on other details such as customization, widgets, custom icons, or hard-to-reach settings. They're annoying, and they could be better but you have your ways around it. For the previous ones, you don't.

☀ Highlights

So, iOS can be annoying and super opinionated, but the hardware that comes with it, it's top-tier. Some of the apps work really really well and there are some key aspects that I truly appreciate.


If I'm going to start somewhere, it has to be the cameras. Oh, my, freaking, god. They're absolutely amazing. Yes, you have phones with bigger 200MP lenses, you have one or two brands using Leica lenses, some others with 10x optical zoom, and just a few of them with better HDR. But overall experience, consistency, and quality, at least to me they're no match. The screen is another first-class citizen and second to none. The Super Retina XDR OLED Display with a peak brightness of 2000 nits (outdoors) is vibrant, ultra-responsive, bright as no other, and just delightful to use. Lastly, the battery has a good run but it's nothing out of this world.

Face ID

Face recognition works better than almost every device I've ever tried. It's probably because it uses infrared sensors packed in the iPhone instead of just using light and the main camera sensor. The only thing that I don't quite like about it, is that I don't have a biometric alternative to this such as fingerprints.

Other details

There are a few tiny details regarding software that I like, none of them to highlight on their own.

🏁 Conclusion

Apple is still Apple and will continue doing the same things: whatever they want because people will still buy it. They're top-tier in hardware, no doubt about it, but their opinionated OS while pretty (to some, I still prefer Android visually) is quite inferior and way less intuitive than its main competitor. I moved to iPhone because I wanted a better, more reliable camera, and now I have it. But to be honest, objectively there's no other reason for me to ditch Android.