To get through life you need the company of a smartphone.
But picking one isn’t just about whether or not you like iOS.
It is more about making a firm decision on the kind of apps that you would like to use for tasks such as,
- Driving directions
- Audio content
Of course, it always helps to have used both and then pick one.
Since we have used all the native apps that both platforms have to offer (and have researched even more), this guide will give you the definite verdict that you need on the current state of play.
Now, to keep this guide relatively short, we will try to focus only on Apple apps as far as the iOS experience is concerned and Google apps as far as the Android experience is concerned.
That isn’t to say that there are no other options.
In fact, many of the Google Apps are also available on the iOS platform.
Google, for better or worse, makes sure that its apps are able to offer users a good experience both on the Android and iOS platforms.
And there is no doubt about the fact that Google is a lot better than any other company when it comes to building apps in addition to the apps’ mobile versions.
It is true that as far as support is concerned, Apple doesn’t have it as good as Google.
In other words, Google’s support system is much broader.
However, in return, Apple promises users a much tighter and better rein over their privacy and anonymity.
Such extra factors will obviously have a big part to play in any given user’s final decision about what kind of types he/she is going to end up using.
But this guide will not touch on such discussions.
In this guide, we want to look at those at the things that a user experiences.
We will also look at the feature set Google apps and Apple apps offer on their own platforms.
So let’s get going.
Gmail vs Apple Mail
Of course, it would be very hard for anyone to not consider Gmail as one of the top email service providers for most online consumers.
Gmail offers users slick and efficient sorting algorithms along with intuitive label use as well as a modern user interface.
Not only that, but the service also offers inline attachment previews in addition to many other features.
And when it comes to features, Gmail is full of them.
Pretty much all of them are useful.
One of them that we should mention here is the ability for the Gmail user to only receive timely notifications for only those email messages which Gmail’s algorithms determine to be most important to the user.
Apple Mail offers users a kind-of manual equivalent in the form of VIP lists.
We’re not saying that Apple Mail is a terrible product.
Far from it.
Both these email apps are great at allowing users to manage a multiple number of email accounts with minimal effort.
Using Apple Mail or Gmail affords the user a certain comfort and easiness.
Apple Mail can also group email conversations into organized threads.
If you want to archive a given message then all you have to do is to swipe through it when viewing your inbox.
Apple Mail is also one of the best options for people who want to get their inbox business finished as efficiently as possible.
Generally speaking, Apple Mail succeeds in offering a solid email service.
But there is a good reason why the market offers a ton of third-party add-ons and apps which claim to improve the email apps available on the iOS platform.
From snoozing conversations at a specific time to scheduling email messages, Gmail clearly has more useful features.
Not only that, but it also implements a ton of the most basic features in a much smarter way than Apple (we’re talking about basic features such as email attachments).
In addition to that, the sorting and searching functions are pretty much lightning fast.
Again, that is something that you would expect from an email service provider like Gmail.
So the clear winner, in this case, is Gmail.
Google Maps vs Apple Maps
Let’s keep aside the jokes for a few seconds (or maybe even minutes) and just admit that Apple Maps did not give up and has kept on improving in recent years.
As a result of all that effort, Apple Maps is far away from where it was when it first launched.
If you wait till September, you will see Apple Maps getting the new Street View feature as well.
With that said the fact that Google Maps has had a seven-year head start over Apple Maps still shows.
Compared to Apple Maps, Google Maps has a reasonably extensive list of useful features which are not available to iOS users.
We’re talking about features such as,
- Multi-stop navigation
- Cycling directions
- Manual downloading of maps for offline use if the user knows that he/she will not have access to the internet when going somewhere
As far as aesthetics are concerned, there is really nothing to choose between Apple Maps and Google Maps.
There is some green in both.
Then there is some blue and then there is some brown.
Both Apple Maps and Google Maps have fast load times and have a responsive design.
If we were to compare the mapping data between Google Maps and Apple Maps, we would not be able to do so for the simple reason that it would vary too much across different regions on the planet.
Our research does show though that both Apple and Google are investing a ton of money in this area.
Depending on where you live in the world, one option would work better for you than the other one.
If you use both the apps, you will definitely not have to work too hard to know which app works better in your area.
We have also come to know that Google Maps, when compared to Apple Maps, is better at things such as surface extras such as warning messages of traffic while the user is on his/her way to work or home and recommending new worthy places.
But that is probably down to the fact that Google Maps definitely knows a lot more about its users than Apple Maps.
Google Maps also allows users to leave ratings, photos, and reviews of the places that the user has visited.
Of course, depending on your traveling habits, this may or may not be that useful for you.
In the end, the head-to-head match between Google Maps and Apple apps is a lot closer now than it used to be, especially in core areas.
However, from an overall perspective, Google Maps offers users more features and a more comprehensive experience.
So the winner in this category is, Google Maps.
That is two for Google and zero for Apple, at this point.
Google Chrome vs Apple Safari
Okay, time for a confession.
We prefer Google Chrome over Apple Safari, especially on the desktop.
Mainly because of the way that Google Chrome looks and how it works flawlessly for the majority of the time.
Then there is the fact that everything with Google Chrome is so tab based that it is just a joy to use.
When compared to Apple Safari, Google Chrome feels pretty modern.
And even though Google Chrome tends to slow down after the user has opened up a few dozen tabs, it still gets the job done.
As far as the mobile version of these browsers is concerned, the interface differences between the two matter a lot less because of the smaller screen.
This means that Apple Safari has a chance of competing with the likes of Google Chrome and others.
Our research shows that for most people, Apple Safari is indeed the better choice for mobile screens.
Why do we say that?
We say that because each and everything about this web browser seems a tiny bit easier to use and find.
With Safari you do not have to work hard to find where the bookmarks are or where the navigation buttons are placed to get to the private mode.
The other great thing about Apple Safari is that it limits how websites and apps are able to track you online.
This continuous push for more privacy also takes it beyond what Google Chrome can do for its users on that front.
In short, Google Chrome has a ton of catching up to do with Apple Safari if it ever wants to over take it.
With that said, it is also true that your choice between Google Chrome and Apple Safari will largely depend on one area.
That area is cross-platform support.
Allow us to explain a little bit.
Based on which services and apps that you use, if you prefer Google Chrome on your desktop computer, just to take an example, then there is a good chance that you would prefer it on the mobile platform as well.
Of course, if you take everything out except for the core function of both these apps then we have to say that Apple Safari is just ahead of Google Chrome.
It goes without saying that the winner in this category is Apple Safari.
Android messages plus Duo vs iOS Messages plus FaceTime
Now, this head-to-head between Google apps and Apple apps does come with a good number of caveats.
In other words, the app that you finally choose will probably be the one that most of your friends you.
If you have more friends on the iOS platform then you will probably go with iOS Messages.
However, even if we ignore that for a bit and only talk in terms of the actual core functions of these apps such as messaging, it is clear to us that the Apple apps win out pretty easily.
The difference between the two sets of apps becomes particularly stark if you have already enabled iMessage.
More specifically, Apple’s iMessage offers users extra features such as,
- End-to-end strong encryption
- More than a dozen other useful apps
Our research shows that at this stage, there is no way for the Android platform to even compete with the iOS platform.
The only reason why Android would even enter this discussion is that Google has rolled out updates to Hangouts.
Of course, not all of it is Google’s fault.
What we mean to say is that Google has had a hard time dealing with problems such as not getting the supposed SMS successor RCS accepted and adopted by various carriers.
Apart from that, there is no doubt that the Android Messages app is basic and clunky when put up against something like Apple iMessage.
The good news is that the Android Messages app is showing some signs of genuine improvement.
It has started to support,
- Location sharing
The team behind the Android Messages app is also busy in rolling out (albeit slowly) comprehensive and efficient search options.
Even with these developments, Apple iMessages app is way ahead of the Android Messages app at this point in time.
As for the contest between Google Duo vs Apple FaceTime, it is a bit closer.
Both Duo and FaceTime offer users a straightforward and polished video calling encounter.
Our research shows that both apps offer group video calls as well.
But as we have mentioned before, FaceTime has enough about it to edge Google Duo.
That is not to say that Google Duo does not have any good tricks of its own.
For example, it shows previews of the person calling you before you actually have to answer the call.
The winner in this category is clearly iOS Messages.
Google Photos vs Apple Photos
Google Photos and Apple Photos is a comparison that really goes on the show the kind of strengths each of these technology giants have.
Talking about Apple’s Photos app, it is tidy and neat.
Apple is constantly adding more useful editing features to it.
So much so, the app now has quite a few handy features for users who want to highlight their videos and photos in the best way possible.
As for Google Photos, it should not come as a surprise to anyone that Google is betting big on AI and search features.
That is also the reason why Google Photos has the best object and face recognition features.
For all its greatness, and for one reason or another, Google Photos does not give much attention to its visual appeal or edits.
We’re not going to lie:
Comparing these two apps is tough.
It is tough because Google Photos and Apple Photos represent two apps that work very well on the platform that they belong to.
Perhaps this is a good time to mention that the Photos app from Google offers all users an unlimited amount of storage and that too for free.
There is a catch though.
You will have to put up with Google-determined compression and resizing.
If you have a Pixel phone then you will not have any limitations on your Google Photos content resolution or size.
Our research shows that neither Apple nor Google charge an exorbitant amount of money for cloud storage.
However, for users who want unlimited backup storage without having to pay a single dollar, then Google Photos is the way to go for sure.
Now, we have personally used both of these apps rather extensively.
Our research shows that for iOS users, Apple Photos is probably the best photos app out there.
For Android and multi-platform users, Google Photos takes the lead over all other apps.
In terms of editing, searching and sharing options, both products match each other pretty evenly.
But even in areas where they do not match each other, the difference between the two is not enough to warrant ditching one over the other.
As mentioned before as well, both apps are good.
They are not only good, but they are the best at what they do.
You really cannot go wrong with either apps as both bombard you with a barrage of updates and improvements every couple of months.
We do not think that will change for the considerable future.
Google Keep vs Apple Notes
Over the last couple of years or so, Apple has given its Notes a ton of useful updates.
The full list would be very long so we will try and stick with the features that are most important.
Before we do that though, we would like to mention once again that the iOS 13 update will bring even more features to Apple Notes.
So watch out for that.
Apple Notes now offers virtual thumbnails for user notes.
It has also improved its searching feature and now offers shared folders feature as well.
Users can now search within given images if they are using Apple Notes.
There are also many other features available now such as new checklist options.
Some of you may already know this but Apple Notes started out as a really basic app.
But now, it has grown.
We would not put it past Apple Notes to actually beat the likes of Evernote in the coming years.
On the other hand, we have Google Keep.
But just like Apple Notes, it had a humble beginning.
Back in the day, Google Keep was not only simple but also barebones.
Now, it has turned things around and can itself a comprehensive note-taking cool for people who live their lives on the internet.
Google Keep now offers features such as,
- Shared notes
- Search function within images
- Note tags
The interface is also more appealing than before.
All of these improvements have made Google Keep one of the best if not the best Google app on the Android platform.
So how does it do against a rival like Apple Notes?
Well, as mentioned before, it is a close call.
Our preference is Apple Notes though.
It edges out Google Keep when it comes to overall app usefulness and polish.
The more interesting thing for us is Google response.
How will Google respond to all the improvements and changes that Apple will bring to its Apple Notes app with iOS 13?
That’s the real question.
The winner for this round is Apple Notes.
Google News vs Apple News
The good thing about Apple and Google News apps is that both are evolving.
And they are evolving fast.
If you look at both the apps just a few years ago, you may not be able to recognize them.
They have evolved that much.
Aside from that, our research shows that both offer users a selection of some of the most popular and trending stories for the day.
Not only that, but both apps offer personalized recommendations as well.
Both apps provide users with the option of digging deeper into news based on region or topic.
In our experience, it is easier to read news on Google News though.
Apple News is more like Flipboard.
The interface is pretty pleasing and when the user does get it to work it works pretty smoothly.
It can look ugly if you do not know what you are doing though.
As for content, Google News picks it up directly from the web.
Because of that, it is faster than Apple News.
However, because it takes content straight from the web, Google News can sometimes become inconsistent from an aesthetic sense.
In the end, both Google News and Apple News are good enough as your primary news apps.
They can serve up all the important headlines and other content that matters to you.
But both apps have the problem of looking disjointed on one piece of content and stylish on the other.
Again, we prefer Google News.
This round goes to Google News.