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Five Android advantages in 2020 (over iPhone/iOS)

Five reasons why my mobile phone is still Android in 2020, even though I use macOS.

Although I am the first to admit that there are about 3 advanced video production apps that are still exclusive for iOS, this article is about 5 Android advantages compared with iOS in 2020. First, I’ll review 3 iOS-only apps for extremely advanced video tasks. Then I’ll go into the 5 unique Android advantages which are the reasons why my primary mobile phone is not an iPhone, although I absolutely continue to use macOS on my laptop. I’m a very happy Mac/Android guy who loves the combination, despite the nonsense “lack of synchronization” myth promoted by uninformed naysayers.

Unique advanced video apps on iOS

I am not aware of Android-equivalent apps to substitute the following satisfactorily. If you know of any, please write them in the comments below this article. Of course, even though your primary mobile phone may be Android, you can still get an iPad, iPod Touch or even an iPhone (either without service or with data-only service) to complement your Android phone for very specific, advanced video uses.

Image credit: Adam Wilt
  • Adam Wilt’s ≈US$20 FieldMonitor app for iOS (illustrated above, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) includes both a waveform monitor and false color.
  • LumaFusion from Luma-Touch for advanced video editing (more advanced than iMovie or Adobe Rush, but less than DaVinci Resolve, FCP or Premiere Pro) is for iOS-only. Of course, there are good video editing apps for Android, but (to my knowledge), none is advanced as LumaFusion.
  • Although FiLMiC Pro certainly does exist for Android and it’s quite capable, its multicam feature is currently iOS only, and for some specific models.

Fortunately, Teradek’s Live:Air Remote is now available for Android too, which allows Android phones/tablets to be live wireless cameras for the companion Live Air: Action video mixer (“switcher”) on iOS devices (iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch). If I happen to hear from Adam Wilt or LumaFusion about any upcoming Android offering of either, I’ll update this article or publish another.

What’s better in Android than in iOS

Here are the five Android advantages I recall as of publication date of this article:

  1. Amazon Kindle’s in app purchasing is much better on Android, since books can be purchased directly via the Kindle app. On iOS, Kindle purchases must sadly be made via a browser and then sent to the app indirectly. This is obviously a way for Amazon to circumvent having to pay a commission to Apple for the otherwise in-app purchases, but the user experience suffers. Julio Franco covered this issue in detail in his 2018 article about it in TechSpot. I wouldn’t be surprised if sometime soon, Amazon decides to replace the iOS Kindle app with a PWA Kindle app to bypass this situation, but in the meantime, the Kindle experience on Android wins for this reason, and two more as you’ll see ahead.
  2. The wonderful WordRunner feature is inside the Kindle app is missing on iOS. This is a speed-reading mode which is exclusive to the Android version of the Kindle app, and (of course) is also included in color Amazon Fire tablets, which run Fire OS, an Android fork. (Note that as of publication time of this article, the WordRunner function works only with Kindle ebooks with free-flowing text which are in the English language. The current e-ink Kindle tablets don’t support WordRunner either, due to the low refresh rate with today’s commercially available e-ink panels, but that will likely change as e-ink technology progresses.)
  3. Multimedia Kindle books (with embedded audio/video) function haphazardly in the Kindle app iOS version (audio/video won’t play at all), while in the Android and Fire versions, they play perfectly. This is a recognized limitation by Amazon, and is the reason I had to re-author two of my multimedia Kindle books with embedded audio/video (The Royal Spanish Coverup and El encubrimiento de la Real Academia) using iBooks Author for use on iOS.
  4. Wifi Analyzer, a free android app that allows seeing the channels (frequencies) being used by any wifi router or access point (even those used by neighbors), so you can make them all unique in a configuration to avoid co-channel interference. This is an important feature which was previously available on iOS, but then strangely censored by Apple. (Fortunately, Apple has not censored this feature in macOS, but only in iOS.)
  5. Better Google Fi reception in the United States. For those unfamiliar, Google Fi is still my favorite mobile telephone and data service, which works in the US and 200+ other countries. (Data costs the same in the US as outside.) Although you can indeed use Google Fi with iPhone (now even officially), as of publication time of this article, use of the Google Fi with iPhones currently limit coverage to that of T-Mobile, excluding the automatic use of the Sprint and US Cellular networks too. When using a MADE FOR FI phone (like my Google Pixel XL), it automatically grabs the best signal (in the US) among T-Mobile, Sprint and US Cellular towers, even in mid call. Save US$20 on your 2nd month by using this link.

My recommendations for Android phones

In my humble opinion, the best Android Phones are from Google (Pixel), since they get the pure, stock version of Android, and get the feature updates more quickly than any other brands and for a much longer period (several years from the device’s release). Pixel phones sold by Google always come carrier-unlocked, and if you purchase it from Google Fi and qualify, you can get interest-free financing. If you prefer to graze further from the Google-branded Pixel ones, then stick with those that offer guaranteed monthly security updates directly from Google, like the ones that ship originally with Android 9 (or greater) and include Project Treble, or those Android phones called Android One. (My Pixel XL is running Android 10, the absolute latest version as of publication date of this article.)

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FTC disclosure

No manufacturer is specifically paying Allan Tépper or TecnoTur LLC to write this article or the mentioned books. Some of the other manufacturers listed above have contracted Tépper and/or TecnoTur LLC to carry out consulting and/or translations/localizations/transcreations. Many of the manufacturers listed above have sent Allan Tépper review units. So far, none of the manufacturers listed above is/are sponsors of the TecnoTur , BeyondPodcasting CapicúaFM or TuRadioGlobal programs, although they are welcome to do so, and some are, may be (or may have been) sponsors of ProVideo Coalition magazine. Some links to third parties listed in this article and/or on this web page may indirectly benefit TecnoTur LLC via affiliate programs. Allan Tépper’s opinions are his own. Allan Tépper is not liable for misuse or misunderstanding of information he shares.

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Born in Connecticut, United States, Allan Tépper is an award-winning broadcaster & podcaster, bilingual consultant, multi-title author, tech journalist, translator, and language activist who has been working with professional video since the eighties. Since 1994,…
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