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I have been a long-time Android user for over ten years. But I decided it was time to give the iPhone a try. I got my hands on the iPhone XS Max to see what I thought. Now that the 11 is out, perhaps you are wondering if you might make the switch. I’ll do my best to share my thoughts on Android vs. iPhone.

I had never really tried to use an iPhone, not because I hated it, or held a grudge of some sort. In truth, Android is the phone I pretty much started with at the beginning, so, like a good creature of habit, I stuck with it.

As far as the world of social media - the split is pretty even.

Perhaps you might have read a previous article where I posted to Twitter posing the question: iPhone or Android? In just an hour received several hundred votes and a lot of comments on both sides of the fence.

The final results after 833 votes was "45% Definitely Android" and "55% Definitely iPhone"

So at first, the vote went to the iPhone. I posed the question again on Twitter and the vote was exactly the opposite in 55% liked Android and 45% liked the iPhone. 

So no cheating here folks, I was going to have to try it myself.

The iPhone XS Max arrived ... 

The iPhone XS Max arrived ... 

What I thought at first

My first thought when receiving the iPhone XS Max was “Ok, this a beautiful and powerful phone.”

The iPhone comes with a lot of fun and funny features such as the animoji or the memoji and the camera is off the chain. I would have liked a little more control of my home screen, I still didn’t know how to do this, several months after first trying the phone. It’s a nice feeling phone, good weight and the screen is extremely easy on the eyes. I also like the fluid movement of the iPhone, it does have a certain artistic beauty and graceful flow.

I would have liked a little more ease in customizing my home screen. I figured it out, but it seemed overly laborious.

I would have liked a little more ease in customizing my home screen. I figured it out, but it seemed overly laborious.

Security is cool - but it is also annoying

I liked the security feature of only needing to look at the phone and it unlocks. Unless—and this was a big ‘unless’—it happens to be the middle of the night and your phone buzzes, you reach for it on your nightstand, and your iPhone can’t see you. The iPhone won’t unlock in the dark, and you have to enter the pin anyway. I constantly thought, ‘Why have a facial recognition security feature that only works some of the time?’ This alone is a bit of a deal-breaker to me.

Give me the super-sensitive Google Pixel fingerprint reader any day. The Pixel spoiled me on this, so much so I view any other phone’s fingerprint reader as a clumsy, poor attempt.

No back button

As a long-time Android user, I am accustomed to using a back button to get out of a phone screen. The iPhone seems to hide its navigation, inciting me to remember that I have to swipe in a certain direction to get to a different screen. As a result, I am constantly fumbling around a bit without a familiar back button.

The XS Max is an iPhone without a home button, but I don’t miss it at all. I’ve already been using the Samsung Note 8 and Google Pixel 3 XL and both don’t have a home button, so no loss there.

The App Store

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The App Store is where the iPhone excels a bit above Android and the Google Play Store. I enjoy the simple beauty of the App Store and admittedly find it a bit more streamlined. In the App Store, I feel like I am in a first-class seat of an airplane, while the Play Store feels a bit like an economy ticket.


The photos on an iPhone are simply gorgeous. I can’t imagine having the smartphones of today fifteen years ago as a journalist when I was carting around armloads of equipment to get the quality of photos I can get today with a 2019 smartphone.

The camera of the iPhone is right up to par with the Google Pixel 3 phones. As far as I am concerned, the Samsung people need to seriously step up.

Fun selfie at a museum

My ultimate decision

So what is my ultimate assessment? Did the iPhone convince me to stay with the smartphone allure of its beauty, it’s grace? Was I lured by its amazing camera or enamored by the fun customizable emojis?

No. The iPhone is a really gorgeous phone - but I’m sticking with Android.

I gave the iPhone a shot, and it really is a beautiful phone. The features are brilliant, and things like iTunes University and the newly introduced #AppleArcade subscription-based game service is mesmerizing.

But that is better suited for my iPad. The iPad sweeps the floor with any other tablet in my view, but that’s another article.

For all of its beauty, artistry, grace and first-class use, I’ll just use the iPhone-style features on the larger screen of my iPad.

But as for the innovation, fun and all-around smartphone use. I’m sticking with Android. To be specific, I’m sticking with the Google Pixel 3 XL. It’s just too aligned with the way I use my phone.

Now if Google and the iPhone could just stop getting rid of the 3.5mm headphone jack.

Native Nerd Phone

Follow the #NativeNerd, Vincent Schilling, associate editor for Indian Country Today

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Vincent Schilling is a certified critic on Rotten Tomatoes

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