Switching from Android to iPhone and back again

Gabriel Peal
2 min readMar 9, 2023

Over the past 15 years, I’ve switched back and forth between Android and iOS several times. It had been a few years since my last iPhone so I decided to give it another shot this year with the iPhone 14 Pro.

I’ve also spent the past ten years as a mobile engineer so I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how phones are used. In my view, the ultimate goal is not to use your phone more, it’s to make your phone work better for you. Subtle UX differences can impact things like how responsive you are when people reach out to you or how easy it is to figure out your next turn while driving.

This year, I was open and actually hoping that the iPhone had caught up in enough meaningful ways to allow me to switch back full-time. My experience surprised me in many ways. There were aspects that exceeded my expectations and others that fell short. There were also meaningful differences that weren’t covered by the reviews I read.

The following posts outline my experience with Android and iOS with a focus on the things that affected my usage day to day, not the shiny new press release bullets. My goal here isn’t to convince you that either platform is objectively better. Both options are fantastic and both have their strengths and weaknesses.

However, most people never take the time to use both extensively enough to understand and articulate the differences. I’m a nerd and find this stuff interesting so I took the time to document my experience over five months so I could put this together.

Curious? Read on…

  1. Notifications
  2. iMessage and keyboard
  3. Other Apps
  4. iOS and the walled garden
  5. Hardware and camera
  6. Android — The Cool Bits
  7. Conclusion

If this piece resonated with you or you have any thoughts or questions, you can find me on Twitter @gpeal8.



Gabriel Peal

Open source maintainer of Lottie and Mavericks. Full stack at Watershed. Formerly Android at Tonal, Airbnb, and Android Auto at Google.