In the battle for the world’s smartphones, Google is winning.
And there are very good reasons why the software is more popular than even Apple’s iOS, and now powers flagship phones from heavy-hitters Samsung, Sony, LG and HTC.
Below are the 10 best reasons to ditch your iPhone and go Google.
The greatest escape: the back button
It’s hard to speak highly enough of Android’s back button.
Google-based phones are ruled by three icons: home, multi-tasking, and back. The latter can get you out of any navigational hole, can deliver you back to a familiar screen, and is the equivalent of Dorothy clicking her red shoes together.
It makes for a much more intuitive app experience and it’s so easy to become completely reliant upon it. Life needs a back button.
The biggest range of choices
Even if you choose to invest in Google Android, the choice doesn’t stop there.
Google phones come in many screen sizes (compact, regular, phablet), in finishes including plastic, metal and even leather, and most offer standout features.
As its name suggests, the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ is a large phone with a striking, curved screen. The Sony Xperia Z5 Compact packs advanced features into a 4.6-inch body, and Google’s own Nexus 6P is a large phone with a fingerprint sensor behind its screen.
If you’re after a phone of a particular size or with an unusual feature, Google Android should be your choice.
Google knows what you want to do next
Apple’s voice assistant Siri can answer questions. Android’s Google Now feature can look into the future and suggest questions you need to ask.
If you opt in to Google Now, it can alert you to upcoming matches involving your favourite sports team, news stories it thinks you’d like to read, travel time to your home and workplace, and it will send you alerts when it’s time to leave to make the next appointment in your online calendar.
The feature becomes even more creepy/useful in its Google Now on Tap update in Android Marshmallow.
When you’re viewing information you want to know more about, you can hold the home button to have Google Now on Tap scan the page and suggest a reminder, show definitions, or provide business addresses.
The Apple iPhone’s camera is good, but some Google Android cameras are arguably more advanced.
The Sony Xperia Z5 offers a 23-megapixel camera with hybrid autofocus that locks on to its subjects in 0.3 of a second.
The camera on LG’s G4 smartphone has a wide f1.8 aperture, 16-megapixel resolution, and laser-guided autofocus.
And Samsung’s Galaxy Note 5 has a 16-megapixel camera can open and take a photo in just two seconds using its Quick Start feature.
Wireless charging for power and credit cards
The future is already inside many Google Android phones, and it’s a future without wallets and charging cables.
Many Android phones are also equipped with NFC chips and are ready to be used astap-and-pay debit or credit card in Australia right now. Westpac and the Commonwealth Bank both deliver the functionality in their Android apps.
Actual, genuine multi-tasking
Google phones can do more than one thing at a time, while Apple iPhones don’t quite do it all.
It’s the reason why you can run two apps on one screen in some Android phones (Samsung’s Galaxy Note range offers this), why you can view YouTube videos in miniature, why you can load web pages in a pop-up bubble while doing something else (the Link Bubble app), and why widgets load new information before you go looking for it.
It makes for a smoother, more up to date experience.[related-posts]
Safe from unexpected dunking
You cannot dunk an iPhone in water and expect good things.
Some Android phone makers will challenge you to wash down your smartphone, however.
The recently released Sony Xperia Z5 promises to survive a short dip in freshwater even though it no longer needs a cap on its charging port, and Motorola’s Moto Galso omits fiddly caps, can dive into 1m of water for 30 minutes and comes at a price of just $369.
Apps delivered straight from the web
It’s not as well publicised as other Google Android’s other benefits, but Android phone users can order apps remotely from the worldwide web.
Visit the Google Play Store online, and you can peruse new and recommended apps, tap install on the apps you like, and select your phone from the drop-down menu.
When you next check your phone, the app is installed and waiting for you.
It’s an added convenience and one that makes it easier to find the best app for you.
Information at a glance
Android has enjoyed this benefit over iPhones for years: widgets.
Google phone users can add constantly updating app displays to their homescreens for quick, convenient access to their calendars, Twitter trends, weather forecasts, photo galleries and more.
These widgets can be big or small, act as shortcuts to features like a phone’s torch light, and deliver handy customisations.
One charger to rule them all
Need to charge your Android phone, your camera, and your noise-cancelling headphones on a trip? Pack one Micro USB charger. Done.
Unlike Apple, Google Android phones use standard, universal charging cables, ensuring there’s often a power lifeline wherever you roam.
Google may be transitioning to USB-C with its new Nexus phones, but even those cables are a universal standard.