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How Apple does big phones better than Android

Michael Simon | Dec. 3, 2015
A month with the Nexus 6P showed that perhaps its gorgeous screen is a little too big for its operating system.

The big picture

Using Android for a month reminded me of something: Apple is a software company. For all the pretty hardware it makes, none of it really matters if the foundation is broken. iOS is by no means perfect, but Apple has a clear plan for it. Part of that is the close marriage of hardware and software, but the reason I bought a Nexus 6P is because it’s a Google phone, and I expected all the parts to work together as one amazing whole. That just isn’t the case.

Apple’s Reachability feature is slightly awkward, but it helps with one-handed operation, and I missed it in Android Marshmallow.

Android fans will argue that these issues are minor and remind me that I can tinker with the OS until I get things just the way I want them. That may well be true. But out of the box, I would’ve thought Android would have delivered a superior experience. Instead, using it was kind of like disillusionment by a thousand paper cuts. Early on, I chalked up my woes to inexperience (or rather, too much iPhone experience), but there are areas where iOS simply excels, and no amount of practice or study will change that. It was nice to be able to enhance the functionality of my phone without waiting for Google to push an update, but most people just want their phones to work they way they want without visiting the settings, let along an app store.

At times it seemed like the 6P’s enormity was acting in direct opposition to Android, a feeling I’ve never experienced with my iPhone 6. It’s finally become clear to me that iOS 7’s redesign wasn’t just about its modern design; it was about rebuilding the user experience to make iOS smarter, quicker and more intuitive.

Maybe by Nutella, Android will get there too.


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