This story was originally published and last updated .
Putting Android and iOS side by side in the smartphone arena has never been easy. While big software differences still separate the platforms in fundamental ways, even things like hardware just don't mean the same thing when you're comparing an iPhone to an Android phone. Even for us—people who are generally familiar with both—it can be difficult at times to explain what can sound like subtle contrasts end up painting two wildly different pictures. We obviously have a clear agenda when it comes to which platform is better, even if the 2020 iPhone SE seriously wowed us. But with the Pixel 4a, Google fired back in a more effective way than I think any of us had necessarily predicted.
Back in 2017, we published a list of the most and least popular smartphones and tablets used to browse Android Police (the site you're reading right now). Many of you loved seeing where your favorite devices ended up in the rankings, but we never published followup posts for subsequent years — until now! We're back with a new installment for 2020, with more fun facts about the kinds of phones and tablets our readers use.
With the iPhone SE making many Android users switch platforms, it was just a question of time until we'd see a response from Android manufacturers. In Europe, that might just be the OnePlus Nord. The €400 phone undercuts the €480 iPhone by €80, and its modern, sleek exterior stands in stark contrast to Apple's tried-and-true iPhone 6 look. It might just become the reset button for the Android midrange market.
Every year, around Apple WWDC time, I like taking off my Android geek and fan cap, putting it aside, and enjoying what our friends-slash-rivals from Cupertino are doing for their users. While a few years ago, I might've enjoyed discussions about which OS was superior, these days I'm mellower and more pragmatic. iOS has borrowed a lot from Android and continues to do so, and vice-versa. The two ecosystems have a mutually beneficial rivalry and keep pushing themselves further, and in doing so keep pushing each other too.
That's why I have fun watching WWDC's main keynote. I expect Apple to implement a few features that I've been wanting on Android for years, and to add a few innovative and obvious options that I never knew I needed but now can't get out of my head.
We're the Android Police, and Google's mobile operating system is our raison d'être, our bread and butter, the most essential and integral part of our site's very existence. Still, it doesn't exist in isolation. Apple's iPhones continue to dominate the US market, and the new iPhone SE might have some of us wondering if the grass is any greener with iOS these days. That's subjective, and I can't really answer that for you. But I can say that the 2020 version of the iPhone SE pushes its $400 price tag further than any mid-range Android phone, and in the last month, I've grown to appreciate its value even more — though coming from Android, it is a dysfunctional relationship.
Android’s built-in backup system has improved immensely over the years, but it still falls short in a number of key areas, leading to much frustration for users. Its shortcomings are even more apparent when compared with Apple’s iCloud backup for iPhones, which — while not perfect — is better at copying over app data so users don’t have to spend hours setting up a new phone.
You might have seen the news earlier today that you can jailbreak an iPhone with an Android phone, but that's just the start. "Project Sandcastle" builds on years of development to promise even more: running Android itself on an iPhone. For now, the project is in "beta" (more like pre-pre-alpha, given the current limitations), and just a single Apple device is compatible, but it's a start.
YouTube Music is slowly spreading its tentacles and establishing itself as Play Music's successor. While the service still lacks many essential features for some users, it's good enough for others. Its most recent addition is Siri support on iOS — while Android integration with Assistant is still iffy.
After the Pixel 4's announcement, we were surprised to discover it didn't offer free original quality backups on Google Photos like its predecessors. The next day, a Redditor made things even worse for Pixel users by explaining that the new iPhones do get unlimited original quality backups on Photos because they use the HEIC format. We've reached out to Google and got confirmation that this is indeed the case, but it's a "bug" that'll be fixed.
While you might assume that the relatively few people who use a Chromebook as their main computer are more likely to have an Android phone than an iPhone, it would still make sense for Chrome OS to be capable of tethering to an Apple device for the purpose of data sharing. That isn't possible at present, but it could be coming soon.