When people switch from Android to iPhone, one of the reasons they cite the most is — quality of apps.
That's just why there's never been a better time to switch to iPhone. Whether you're tempted for yourself or looking to help the Android user in your life, the all-new, all-better iPhone 6 and iPhone-6-plus make the move more compelling than ever — especially for the high quality apps.
Quality vs. quantity
Both the App Store and the Google Play Store are now home to upwards of a million apps. The sheer number is almost impossible to comprehend, let alone experience. Many of the most popular apps exist on both platforms. Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, YouTube, Candy Crush, Clash of Clans, Microsoft Office, Netflix, Evernote, etc.
Even then, iMore readers like x32589 notice a big difference when it comes to quality of those apps:
Biggest issue with Android is, and always has been, the quality of the apps. So many BIG apps are still not as well developed on Android.
While MOST apps are available on both platforms, let's face it, iOS apps are available first, are far better designed, and offer new features faster (looking at you Starbucks...).
Most of the apps I love and use every day, however, aren't just better on the iPhone, they're only on iPhone.
There's Overcast, with Smart Speed that's saved me 11 hours of my life while still presenting the podcasts I want to listen to in a way that makes them a joy to listen to. There's Tweetbot and Twitterrific that takes the insanity that is Twitter's current experience and makes it both elegant and coherent again. There's Vesper that lets me collect my thoughts and find them again quickly and cleanly without getting in my way. There's Fantastical that lets me enter and find appointments so fast It's hard to hate meetings any more. There's Screens for VNC, Editorial for writing and scripting, Workflow for automation, Drafts for text time shifting, Storehouse for visual story-telling, Capo Touch for song learning, Transmit for FTP, Letterpress for wordplay, PCalc for calculations, Deliveries for package tracking, OmniFocus for task management, Launch Center Pro for fast actions, and the list goes on and on.
iMore reader Goofball Jones:
Yes yes yes, Android has the big, major apps that iOS has. But it there are a ton of apps that are iOS only that I just missed too much. Things like Downcast (and now Overcast), and Dark Sky and all the apps from Omni Group.
That's not even counting the incredible apps Apple makes, from the built-in ones like iMessage and FaceTime to App Store exclusives like GarageBand and iMovie. Plenty of phones can shoot good video and record good audio. Few have tools as powerful as Apple's for turning them into finished songs, podcasts, shows, or movies.
Part of this is cultural. Many of the early iPhone developers came from Mac, where the community was habituated to putting user experience first. Developers who started afterwards saw those first iPhone demos and wanted to make apps like the original Photos and Safari — like magic.
The other part is Apple's iOS SDK and Cocoa Touch frameworks, which also provide significant advantage. Chris Liscio of SuperMegaUltraGroovy:
When Apple shipped iOS, they made the smart move of carrying their pro-quality audio and media frameworks to [mobile]. These are the same frameworks that power iTunes, Logic Pro, and Final Cut Pro. Apple has more media muscle out of the box compared with the other platforms I've researched. You can read and manipulate most media formats and have low-latency access to the hardware using the same APIs you'd use on the Mac.
Don't even get me started on the Accelerate framework, which has taken most of the painstaking optimization work off of my plate! Every time a new CPU drops, Accelerate is there with the absolute fastest and most power-efficient use of the hardware. If developers tried to maintain something like this on their own, it would be an absolute nightmare.
They make easy what might otherwise be time consuming, expensive, and perhaps impossible.
Extensibility and Continuity
While many Android owners used to complain about the limitations of iOS apps, Apple has recently added one feature that makes most of those differences disappear, and another that simply can't be matched.
Extensibility allows iOS apps to integrate with the system and other iOS apps while maintaining both security and privacy. This includes everything from sharing, action, and photo extensions, to widgets, to custom keyboards including Android favorites like SwiftKey and Swype
Continuity also means that, if you also have an iPad or Mac, your apps can seamlessly handoff from one device to another. That's not just traditional data sync — with handoff you can pick up right where you left off without having to find the app and your place in it first. It's a remarkable advantage.
The best of Apple... and Google
Aside from Beats Music, which they bought and now maintain, Apple doesn't make mobile apps for any other platform. You can argue whether that's good or bad and for whom, but it's the reality. That means apps like GarageBand and iMovie aren't available for Android. It also means apps that can play iTunes videos aren't available for Android. Since iTunes has one of the best international footprints in the business, that matters to a lot of people in a lot of countries.
Conversely, Google makes most of their services, and the apps that wrap them, available for the iPhone. It's long been rumored Google's services on iPhone make a lot more money for them than those same services on Android. Whether that was or is true doesn't really matter — Google values Apple's customers and wants Apple eyeballs badly.
iMore reader Mike Darratta:
At this point I finally got the bigger iPhone I have been wanting, apple pay has been awesome, the camera is superior and almost all those Google apps I use are available on iOS.
iMore reader Tracey Teague:
The 6+ runs all the google apps I love smoother and better than my android device and I can now use both multimedia environments.
Some might argue Google services are better integrated on Android than they are on iPhone, and that's certainly true. But it's also not necessarily a good thing. You can use Google Maps, YouTube, Chrome, and other non-account based services on the iPhone without logging into — and sharing your private data with — Google. The company makes it annoying, but at least it's possible. With Android it's tough not to be logged into Google, even if you'd rather not link what videos you're watching or what places you're going with your account.
For me, that makes the iPhone, while not a better Google experience, certainly a better option for me.
The apps that aren't
Android, unfortunately, does lead iPhone in one major category of apps — bloatware. The iPhone did the previously unimaginable and wrested almost all control away from the carriers... until Google made Android and gave most of it back. Because Android is truly only "open" to manufacturers and carriers, those companies are free to pollute it with crap.
iMore reader GGIBS:
My S5 was also 16gb (never saw a 32 gb in the wild) and that was without the bloatware. Samsung phones on ATT come with lots of bloatware apps I can't uninstall without a jailbreak which honestly I didn't want to do
iMore reader Matt Johnson78:
I was a longtime Android user, mainly the Samsung Note 1, 2, and 3 and other Samsung phones, but as the the phones became filled with Bloatware I spent more time rooting them and installing more ROMs to get rid of the Samsung UI and all the Bloatware installed.
Moving from Android to iPhone was a great decision, now I spend no time rooting and flashing ROMs and don't have to worry about Bloatware, I get to use a phone with a clean UI.
I never want to feel like I care more about the phone I'm buying than the company that makes it, and thanks to Apple's current priorities, I never do.
Time to switch!
If the lack of a high-quality apps has been frustrating you or someone you know, here's the good news: The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus offer not only the best apps you can find on a phone, but almost all the Android apps you've already been using. It's just one of the benefits you get by switching to iPhone.