I've been a Mac user since early 2008, months before the first Android device was announced and three years before I bought my first Android phone. I felt like an outlier for a while, until I started meeting more like-minded people: Mac users who couldn't fathom the idea of iOS on their phone and chose Android instead. Just here on Android Police, six other colleagues straddle the ecosystem barrier and strive for a cross-platform digital existence like me. But every year at WWDC, Apple takes it upon itself to lure us in, and it's getting harder and harder to resist the temptation.
Among the biggest complaints Android converts to iOS have (apart from the platform's lack of an intents system... and file management... and the price) is how Apple handles notifications. For a modern software system, they feel right out of 2011 in a lot of bad ways. Thankfully for anyone on team green considering the switch, Apple is making a handful of changes that should make them better — though probably still not quite as good as Android.
I find myself doomscrolling on Twitter more often than I’d like to admit, so I've implemented a program to cut down my phone usage, involving some self-discipline and Android’s Digital Wellbeing tools. So far, that effort's proven fruitful, but every time an app timer runs out, the ensuing pop-up makes me furious at how inconsiderate Android's system is by design — and leaves me wishing it were more like iOS’s alternative.
I admit it: I was a mobile payment naysayer for years. I always felt that the conversation around tap to pay was a lot of rigamarole — after all, how hard is it to get out your wallet? But, as credit card terminals slowly evolved around the US, so too did my troglodytian attitude about them. I had my phone out when I was in line to check out regardless most of the time, so why not? And then, the whole last year... happened. Mobile payments went from a passive preference to a very active one for me, and many more businesses here in the States that had lagged behind adoption finally ponied up for contactless.
The very first time I ever used Android, it was loaded up as a live bootable partition on a MicroSD card shoved into my HTC Fuze. I'm sure the Windows Mobile installation on the phone's internal storage felt very jealous, because the rest is history. Samsung is hoping for something similar with its latest project: an interactive, web-based demonstration of Android made specifically for iPhone users.
Lots of Google products begin life as a public beta. In some cases, that can last years, and it's a major milestone when they leave that branding behind. Today Google Fi's VPN graduates out of beta status. Not only does that mean it's getting a new spot in a redesigned "privacy & security" section of the Google Fi app, it also means it's coming to iPhones.
Apple's iPhone 12 Mini will, I think, mark an end to small and good smartphones. That's not because it's bad, far from it; this is a great phone. But, it hasn't sold very well, and though they might argue otherwise, smartphone manufacturers are hardly altruistic. I wouldn't be surprised if Apple doesn't refresh this model next year. The iPhone 12 Mini may very well be the small phone swan song, and it really makes me wish a company in Android-land would make the mistake of copying it.
Apple's new iPhone 12 Mini has turned quite a few heads for one big reason: It's a flagship phone, but it's positively tiny, upsetting the ongoing trend equating bigger to better. For those who prefer Android, there's a certain degree of small-phone envy, though some consider the Pixel 5 to be Google's equivalent. But is the Pixel 5 actually a good, small phone in the same vein as the iPhone Mini? If you're asking us, the answer is a clear "no."
This story was originally published and last updated .
Although you know us for covering Android devices from top to bottom, the Android Police team would be remiss if we didn’t occasionally acknowledge the handsets made by that other Californian tech giant. That's right, this week we’re taking all your questions on the new iPhone 12 Mini.
Camera quality has always been a major differentiating factor when choosing between smartphones, but it seems like the competition has gotten more intense over the last few years. Some manufactures like OnePlus and Huawei use sensors with big megapixel counts to stand out from the crowd, while others like Apple and Google rely more on the marriage between hardware and software. With such a tight race for the winner of the camera crown, we're highlighting three recent YouTube comparisons worth a watch.