Google Up Your Apple: A Compromise Between Android OS and Apple Native Apps

Google Up Your Apple: A Compromise Between Android OS and Apple Native Apps on Freepps Top Blog
When we compare Google and Apple ways of handling popular services we have to mention one thing for a start: though Apple expands its market share, it tends to rather defensive ways. Google, on the other hand, doesn’t think its 80+% global share is not enough. So Google services are not Android-restricted. The company ignores Windows Phone but pays much attention to Apple’s piece of the pie.
So, there’s a whole bunch of Google apps available in App Store that can be serious competitors to Apple analogues. Sometimes we rather select a service, not an app like with Gmail, but the apps themselves also have something greatly convincing.

Well... 

Google Maps. Lately this service has become one of the greatest navigating services. It’s completely free and frequently gets updated. No matter whether you drive a car, a bike, a train, or even walk. Anyway, it brings much better navigating experience, more info on the map (both static, like addresses and businesses and dynamic, like traffic jams and accidents reported. This service also shows transit directions, and Apple is left way behind.

Google Drive. The greatest thing about this cloud storage is its deep integration with Gmail and Google Docs/Sheets/Slides. In fact, you get a good office suite for free along with storage space. The docs you create and edit are easy to share or send via email. When you open any file within a Google Drive app, it opens it in the corresponding app. Of course, you don’t have to give up your iCloud (but it’s worth using for backup purposes first). Anyway, Google Drive does anything else much better.

Google Photos. This service was launched not long ago but is already popular. Of course, it’s mostly due to good Android integration: it’s so easy to backup and publish photos directly. But iOS app looks much better than Apple’s iCloud Photos. Even good third-party services (like Flickr or Dropbox) that behave much better than iCloud Photos can’t stand this competition. Google’s proposition is free, it provides a lot of space and an easy cloud backup and publishing. There are some flaws certainly: the photos are resized and compressed. But the pros are more significant than the cons: search engine, a good feature-rich built-in editor, easy sharing system. And it backs up all your photos once you activate automatic uploading in the app’s settings.

Google Play Newsstand. In fact, it’s a replacement for Apple News, a bit better, but not so significant. You can as well, read feeds, receive notifications about new articles and stories, add your sources and setup your personal selection. Prominent News topic on the first page makes navigation easier. And yes, these links can be opened in Chrome for a full mode.

Google Chrome is just what it is on Android. The most important feature is cloud sync of bookmarks, passwords and tabs between your Chrome instances on other devices. So if Chrome is your default Windows or OS X browser, you’ll probably use it on iDevices.

Google Calendar. Its main feature is cloud integration with Google services. The only better side of Apple app is Siri integration. But if you don’t use voice input you won’t miss a thing.

Google Keep. This app for making notes almost has no competitors among iOS software. It’s a good replacement for famous apps like Evernote or OneNote. The same flaw is (again) unsupported Siri.

It’s not the complete list of Google apps for iOS. But there are also apps that don’t outrun Apple analogues.

Google Hangouts. On Android devices, it’s a great powerful messaging tool. But there’s FaceTime, Apple iMessage and good old SMS. So Hangouts is not necessary at all. And besides that Hangouts has issues with notifying. So Apple analogues seem much better. The only reason to use Hangouts on iPhone is a great number of Android users who’s easier to reach via Hangouts.

Google Voice. This project seems to be stillborn, at least for now. Do you want to make Siri laugh sincerely? Try to use Google Voice for some time. And compare it to Siri or to Google Now (on Android). And don’t say a thing about its obsolete design, it’s too obvious. 

So...

There are some common features (and common issues) for all Google apps developed for iOS. First of all, Google doesn’t seem to update the apps as often as it would be worth it. For example, none of Google apps support 3D Touch, some don’t work with even Notification Center yet! In fact, that’s not fatal for user experience, but aesthetically it spoils the pleasure and doesn’t provide that emotional touch Apple cherishes all that time.

As Google apps are not integrated with Apple ecosystem (being connected with Google cloud services instead), they can’t replace native apps. And of course, if you want to use all Google’s potential you should use Android device. But if you have your reasons to use iPhone/iPad and still hang on to Google services you use, you won’t suffer from lacking native apps for these services.

Ryan Stone

@freepps

Tech junkie, grilled haloumi devourer, cat owner @freepps_top



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