9 Things Android Can Do That iOS Can't

Dylan Love
Looking for a new phone? We take a look at features you can use on Android devices.

The clash of the mobile titans is undoubtedly the story of Apple's sleek iOS against Google's robust and individualized Android operating system. Together they power some 96 percent of the world's smartphones. In choosing a smartphone for yourself, the option between Android and iOS is the first decision you'll make, and the one with the biggest repercussions. Do you seal yourself off inside Apple's walled garden, or spring for the varied and customizable Android experience? Either choice has its pros and cons alike. To make your decision easier, let's elaborate on some of the things that the open-source Android can do that the iPhone cannot.

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Change Default Apps
Apple's default apps can't even be deleted, let alone reassigned (we're looking at you, Tips.). If you click an email link in a mobile Web browser, it is Apple's email app that comes up for you to compose a new email; it is not changeable. Android users face no such forced user experiences.

Customize the Interface
Just as Apple's default apps remain permanent and set, the interface remains static as well. Users are welcome to select their own background wallpaper, but the apps and folders remain in a matrix of swipeable squares. Android offers an entirely customizable interface, with enough options to perhaps be a flaw in its own right. There are no boxes to be forced into on this operating system.

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Change the Battery
That's "change," not "charge." Android is open to the point of many Android phones letting you remove the back to swap out a dead battery for a fresh one. The best response Apple has to this use case is a wide variety of third party battery pack accessories, which can be more expensive than a conventional Android phone battery. There's a cumbersome aspect as well; when a phone is plugged into a battery pack, it's a far less hands-free device.

Power Saving Mode
Battery life is paramount in this mobile world. Rather than offer users the opportunity to reduce demand on the battery in times of low useage, Apple's battery has no such gear shift. This feature works on many Android phones by shifting its display to black and white, and killing assorted extra options at the user's specifications.

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Charge With Any USB Cable
Android devices charge with any USB cable, brand agnostic.

Wireless Charging
Sure, this is technically possible with an iPhone if you spring for the pricy case accessory to make it happen, but certain Android phones have this feature built in without the need to pay for extra hardware. With no power cord required, just a charging mat, it's truly convenient.

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Expandable Storage
Cheers were heard when Apple introduced an iPhone with a 128 GB storage option in 2014. But there is still a level of user for whom more local storage is required. If you're the type who likes to travel with lots of media to consume — movies, TV shows, audiobooks, comic books, and so on — you're going to need a lot of space to store this stuff. Android's SD card slots make this easy.

HDMI Out
It's not an option on every Android phone, but some will offer you a straight-up HDMI port for the sake of making it easy to get high-quality video from your phone to a variety of other sources. Watch a movie while riding the train home from work, then switch it over to your widescreen upon arrival and pick up exactly where you left off.

Android Offerings Have Higher-Res Screens
The iPhone 6 Plus was the first iPhone to feature a full HD resolution screen. That's great, but it's nothing against the Sony Xperia Z5 Premium, which packs a walloping 4K display into its handheld frame.

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