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5 Things Androids Do That iPhones Can’t

Androids and iPhones have lots in common—but there are some things only Androids do.

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Download apps outside of the vetted environment

One of the best things about smartphones is that they can house lots of different apps that help you navigate, listen to music, and buy things in an instant. You can download these apps on Android phones through Google Play or on the iPhone through the App Store. According to Lance Ulanoff, the Editor in Chief of Lifewire, the biggest difference between iPhone or iOS and Android when it comes to apps is the ability to download them from outside of the vetted environment. Android users can download apps right from websites. Meanwhile, on an iPhone, it’s the App Store or nothing, he says. According to Apple, the option to download apps without going through the App Store is unavailable to protect users from Malware. That’s also why a Google spokesperson says they recommend downloading apps from Google Play—you can also use Google Play Protect to make sure the apps are safe.

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Charge with a micro USB-C cable

Depending on the specific device, Android phones can use a standard USB-C cable to transfer data and charge. “These cables are ubiquitous, so grabbing a spare or replacing a broken cable is simple and inexpensive,” Andrew Moore-Crispin, the Director of Content at Ting Mobile says. Apple’s Lightning cable, however, is an official cable that will set you back more than a comparable USB-C, Moore-Crispin says. Although these cable wires clearly look different, you might not recognize these hidden iPhone hacks you never knew about.

A Man Holding Up An Honor 20 Pro Smartphone
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Have multiple user profiles

Android phones let you have more than one active user account per phone. So you can choose an account to log in from the lock screen. “This is handy if you want to let the kids use your phone, but you don’t want them messing any of your stuff up,” Moore-Crispin says. iPhones don’t support multiple user profiles and have FaceID and TouchID to prevent anyone but you from using your device.  And if you don’t want Google to know your phone’s location, here’s how to turn off location services on an Android.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Smartphone
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Listen with a 3.5 mm headphone jack

Apple did away with the 3.5 mm headphone jack in 2016 with the iPhone 7, according to More-Crispin. Now, iPhone users need a Lightning connector, an adapter, or wireless AirPods. “Some Android phones have followed suit,” More-Crispin says. “Still, the fact remains that if you want a phone with the once-ubiquitous headphone connector, Android is the only place you’ll find it.” By the way, did you know about these unique features only a Samsung Galaxy has?


Customize more defaults

Androids let you set up third-party apps as your default option. This adds yet another layer of customization, and another thing on the list of Android hacks you never knew about. “iPhone operates a ‘walled garden’ model where users can’t really step outside the bounds and accidentally get themselves in trouble,” Moore-Crispin says. “Android is far from the wild frontier, but it does let users take a lot more control.” You can customize your home screen with widgets that show info at a glance like weather, your calendar, or news headlines, according to a Google spokesperson. These options let you control the look and feel of the operating system with the help of themes or launchers. Apple is catching up, however, and with iOS 12 and later you have the choice to delete more built-in apps from your iPhone than before. The iPhone comes with built-in Apple apps to avoid third-party apps from taking up excess memory. Next, find out the hidden smartphone codes you should start using ASAP—on both Androids and iPhones.

Emily DiNuzzo
Emily DiNuzzo is a former staff writer at Reader’s Digest. There’s a 90% chance Emily is drinking tea right now, but when she’s not writing about food and health with a cuppa by her side, you can find her lifting at the gym, listening to murder mystery podcasts and liking one too many astrology memes.