What I miss most about the iPhone as a Samsung user

I've been an Android user since the summer of 2015 after spending two years using the iPhone 5. I wanted a change from the constant iCloud notifications and "running out of storage" nonsense, so when I heard that Android phones had microSD card slots (yeah, I had no idea then), I jumped on the Samsung Galaxy S5. I absolutely loved it… for a time. Then Android 6.0 Marshmallow was released, and I was left waiting. And waiting. And when I finally downloaded the update, my S5 was never the same.

I switched phones on and off for the next year and a bit, coming back to the iPhone 7 when it was released. I enjoyed the hell out of it until I didnt, and jumped back onto Android with the Nexus 6P and now the Samsung Galaxy S8. I've been mostly happy with my decision over the last year, but there's still one niggling thing that's driving me bananas about this phone.

Android Oreo was released on August 21, 2017. Google's Pixel phones received the update immediately, and some other well-meaning Android manufacturers gave the update to their users very soon after.

Here I am, sitting on one of the top flagships of the last year, from arguably Apple's largest competitor, and I'm still munching on Nougat. No updated notifications or battery improvements or anything of the sort, because Samsung absolutely sucks at doling out timely updates. And that's not just a pain in the ass feature-wise — it's less secure.

The fact that Apple can hand out an update instantly when the shit hits the fan is invaluable, both to Apple and to iPhone users, and it's not something I take lightly as an Android user.

Apple's best feature, hands-down

The fact that all iPhones and iPads receive the latest iOS update at the same time (as it rolls out, country by country of course) is, in my opinion, the best thing Apple has going for it. All users are consistently receiving security updates and new features as they're released. That really makes you feel valued as a consumer. It's clear that Apple wants you to have its latest and greatest as soon as possible, which is part of the reason its adoption rate for new OSes is way higher than Android.

The other part is that, since Android is an open platform, each manufacturer can put its own stamp on the software, and Samsung is the guiltiest party when it comes to masking Google's beautiful interface. Its TouchWiz launcher is pretty "meh", with icons that just aren't as elegant as Google's and bloatware to beat the band (the fact that I can't disable most of the Samsung apps is _infuriating). It's Why I went with another Samsung phone, I'll never know, but here I am. On the Galaxy S8. The Galaxy S9 comes out on March 16, and I can bet my dumb ass that that day will come before I see Oreo on my phone.

So yeah, when I pick up my iPhone 7 to use it for work, I lament the switch just a little. It's honestly still not enough to make me go back, but I do feel that little pang every time I check for an update on my Samsung only to read "The latest updates have already been installed" and to know that it's been saying that for months.

Google is working on getting manufacturers to speed up the delivery of updates, but the first part of that won't be implemented until August 2018, and it's unlikely Android users will see immediate updates on every phone for a few years yet.

So for now, I sit, and I wait... Until it's time to upgrade and I buy a phone straight from Google, which really blurs the line between iPhone and Android user when you think about it...

Mick Symons

Mick is a staff writer who's as frugal as they come, so he always does extensive research (much to the exhaustion of his wife) before making a purchase. If it's not worth the price, Mick ain't buying.