I’m Switching to the iPhone

Posted on December 27, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in iOS with 147 Comments

After evaluating the iPhone 13 Pro for over a week, I’ve decided to choose reliability and certainty over unreliability and misery. But that’s not to say that the iPhone is perfect. It’s just that the iPhone’s flaws are less problematic than the many issues I have with the Google Pixel 6 Pro.

So let’s discuss that briefly. And I do mean, briefly. I just don’t have that many issues.

The fonts are not consistent. This one isn’t necessarily Apple’s fault, but the system-wide font options (notably Text Size and Bold Text) are not consistently used by apps, especially the third-party apps I use, creating a situation in which some fonts are way too big and some are way too small. Google’s apps, which I use extensively, are the worst offenders. In Google Maps, for example, the on-map fonts are huge but when you select a location, that details shade (or whatever it’s called) has tiny fonts that are much smaller than what I’ve configured at the system level. This problem makes Gmail unusable to me, as all of the fonts are that tiny, and so I’ve switched to using Apple Mail instead. Dumb.

Big fonts (left), small fonts (right). Same app.

Notifications are broken. It’s an easy thing to say that Android and iOS handle notifications differently, and even those not familiar with both systems would likely believe me if I said that you could adapt to either system easily enough. Which is fine, as that’s true. But what I don’t really see anyone discussing is that iOS notifications are literally broken. I routinely pick up the iPhone and see a notification on the lock screen—Weather telling me it could flurry in the next 60 minutes, perhaps, an email message, or a social media comment—for an event that happened hours ago, or even yesterday, that I already dealt with. This has happened so many times across so many apps that I can only conclude that it’s a system-wide problem. And it’s unclear why it even exists, given how obviously broken it is. (Having not used an iPhone full-time in years, I don’t know when this might have started, sorry.)

The Ring/Silent switch is stupid. For a product that was hamstrung by Steve Jobs’ fanatical desire to have as few buttons as possible, it is incredible to me that the iPhone still has a hardware Ring/Silent switch that mutes sounds and alerts when in the correct position. I know, it sounds useful. But the switch is incredibly hard to use, especially so when you use a case (as you should), and even more so when you have big hands/fingers, as I do. It’s also hard to see what position it’s in because it’s so small, and, again, that’s especially true when you use a case. So what’s the solution, you ask? Simple: do what Google does on the Pixel and put the phone into Do Not Disturb mode when it’s face down on a table or other surface. No button needed, just as you’d think Steve Jobs would prefer.

The notch is a vestigial screen space stealer. It always cracks me up when iPhone owners claim that they “don’t even see the notch anymore” because that’s delusional and it misses the point. Even the slightly smaller iPhone 13 notch steals an enormous amount of onscreen real estate, and that’s especially problematic with any game, video app, or other full-screen experience. And it turns the already on the edge of being too small 6.1-inch iPhone 13 Pro display into something that is probably 5.8-to-6 inches at best when I’m watching a video while on the elliptical at the gym, a time when every percentage of an inch really matters. A truly full-screen iPhone will have no notch and smaller or no bezels, and it’s hard not to get excited about that day. Which is not today.

The sides are hurty. After years of using more comfortable, curved sides in its iPhones (versions 6 through 11), Apple returned to the unfriendly, hard edges sides it first debuted with the iPhone 4. I sort of get it, because this look is iconic. But you only have to hold an iPhone 13 in your hands to understand the problem: those edges are literally painful to hold, especially the bottom edge, which in my case rests on my now-sore pinky when held normally. To combat this, I fidget with the iPhone a lot, and I am trying to adopt a different way of holding it. Yep, you guessed it. I’m holding it wrong, as Steve Jobs claimed back in 2010. Sadly, the Apple leather case I use doesn’t solve the problem, but it’s possible a case with more cushion might.

And that’s pretty much it. At least all I think can think of now, anyway.

When you compare these issues to what I experienced on the Pixel 6 Pro—a slow and unreliable in-display fingerprint reader, an unnecessarily curved display with adaptive brightness problems, its size and bulk, and its too-slow “fast” charging—you can see the differences. The iPhone issues are mostly picky, the types of things you mention only because the basics are so solid. But the Pixel problems are mostly endemic, or at least unlikely to be fixed by software updates.

And so here we are.

In the future, I’ll discuss the broader Apple ecosystem. And then I’ll be reviewing the iPhone 13 Pro as well, of course.

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Comments (147)

147 responses to “I’m Switching to the iPhone”

  1. yoshi

    Regarding the case - you might have better luck with the Apple silicone case. I found the leather case to hurt more where it rests on my pinky. Especially the cutouts for the speaker/mic. On the silicone case, not only is a softer material, but the speaker/mic cutouts are tiny circles that only expose the grills themselves. Unlike the leather where it's a longer opening exposing the area. I found that cutout to be annoying on my pinky.


    The downfall of the silicone case - not as fancy looking and it does not age as well.

    • Paul Thurrott

      Thanks. I will figure out a time to check one out in person.

      • txag

        When I got my iPhone 12 I tried (as a dedicated cheapskate) several of the low cost cases from Amazon and was unsatisfied with all of them. I finally sprung for the Apple silicone case, and I'm done with case shopping. Works fine as a drop protector, and no sharp edges; at the same time it isn't too "fat" so it doesn't add a lot of bulk to the phone.

    • faustxd9

      While I do agree about the silicone case, just a slight difference with the Pro Max case is that aside from the corners, everything else is cutout. That does impact hold ability on that version of the case.

    • wright_is

      I use a Crystal Clear case from Spigen, it sounds similar. Also, being transparent, it lets the colour of my wife’s red iPhone and my blue Pro shine through.


      The edges are also rounded, meaning they sit more comfortably in the hand.

      • mebby

        I also have a Spigen case that works well for me. I use the Mag Armor case for my 12 Pro Max. Rounded edges, easy to hold, and MagSafe compatible.

      • rob_segal

        Spigen's clear cases are pretty good. Better than a lot of "never heard of this company before" cases.

        • wright_is

          I also use the toughened glass from Spigen. It comes with a template that fits over the phone perfectly, then you just push the glass down on the screen, perfect fit every time (as long as you get all the dust and lint off the screen).

      • michael_jones

        I use the similar Pelican clear case as well. It's a little thicker than others, but the edges are also beveled. No complaints, and it works fine with my Anker inductive charging stand. I haven't tried it with any of the compatible magnetic ones, however, so no idea how those work.

  2. brettscoast

    I understand your frustration with the Pixel 6 Pro and can understand wanting to migrate to something which just works and is reliable. Most of the articles (tech journalists) that have been written about the Pixel 6 Pro I find very disheartening, the promise of this flagship smartphone was much and what we have ended up with is a major disappointment on several fronts. I was on the cusp of buying one of these phones but after reviewing all available information, including reviews, hands-on experiences with this device I changed course and ended up with a Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G which has performed faultlessly. Let's hope the next Pixel x Pro model eliminates every misstep with the current model and delivers a truly exceptional experience for users, I live in hope.

  3. mike2k

    Using an iPhone since 2013 I’ve had off/on issues with notifications but nothing like you’ve described. A few third party apps just don’t work at all but overall I’d say most work 99% of the time.


    apple fudging with notifications is a problem. Especially the latest update that can’t be disabled where the iOS feels the need to continually ask you if you want to mute a notification. There’s no rhyme or reason to what will trigger it but it’s annoying af. Some people said it’s learning what the user interacts with and doesn’t but this is a BS excuse. I’m in a group text message that has been around for 2 years and I interact with daily multiple times yet I constantly get a “Do you want to mute this” message on the Lock Screen notifications, even as I’m interacting with them through the Lock Screen.

    • Davor Radman

      It probably asks you in hopes of decreasing the number of your notifications.

      Maybe it thinks that you will interact manually with it so no need to spam you with notifications?

      Just spitballing.


  4. peterh_oz

    Why the inference of pixel v iPhone? I know you don't like Samsung cos of all the crapware on it (I agree) but what about one of the other pure-Android phones? A top-end Nokia, for example, or something similar?

  5. Leo876

    All I can say is ok...?

    To each his own I guess. 🤷🏾‍♂️

  6. hoanguyen8x

    Seriously, none of the problems you describe make it worth the hassle and frustration of using apple maps. Your sure this isn’t a sponsored post for apple maps? Sure feels like it.

    • egab

      Buying an iPhone doesn't mean he will use Apple Maps, just like using Android doesn't mean you're using Google Maps. You can use other map apps on both platforms.

    • ivarh

      We just got updated maps here in Oz in apple maps. Their Streetview looks much better than google's and the maps are a lot more detailed. Sounds to me like you read about apple maps after it got released and since then just assume it's the same 10 years later.

      • wright_is

        In our corner of Germany, Apple Maps have better satellite images - newer, Google's image of my house is from about 2012, the one from Apple about 2016.


        I've never used either for navigation purposes, so can't really compare them for accuracy - I use the nav system built into my car, and that probably twice a year on average.

  7. bbold

    I use my iPhone 11 as an iPad now and portable camera and use my Surface Duo 1 as my daily driver, a year later... so far, so good ;) However, I refuse to upgrade my iPhone and stuff any more money into Apple's pockets. However, I don't guilt people for doing so, it all comes down to personal choice and use case. Happy Holidays!

    • wright_is

      Exactly. I used an iPhone 3GS, but was enamored with how iOS was progressing and the design decisions around the 4 and the "closed" eco-system. They were also much more expensive than Android rivals.


      I switched to Android (htc and Samsung), then went Windows Phone, until the 950 stopped getting security updates. I then switched to Android again, with the Nexus 5T and then Huawei Mate 10 Pr and finally Samsung Galaxy S20+. But I work in IT security and privacy and having as secure a device as possible, that isn't constantly tracking me is important.


      I tried for about 4 years to castrate the Google (and manufacturer) services as much as possible on my Android handsets, but it was always an uphill battle and the phone never worked as it should (for obvious reasons; if you don't let it phone home, you don't get all the features).


      I had to get an iPhone at work last time around and I started looking at it more seriously. Also, the prices aren't as disparate as they used to be. Flagship Android devices are now, generally, the same price, or even more expensive, than iPhones, so that argument was gone as well.


      So I decided to switch back to iOS this time around, for our private phones. So far, I am fairly happy. There are a few niggles, but the general experience is positive, more positive than trying to keep Android under control.

  8. TraderGary

    I've had my Pixel 6 Pro for a month, I'm in the Atlanta area, I'm on Google Fi, and I've honestly not had your reliability problems.


    Fingerprint sensor is reliable.

    Cameras are fabulous.

    Call screening is a godsend.

    Voice dictation is amazing.

    Screen is gorgeous.

    Everything is fast.

    • omen_20

      I have the Pixel 6 and the only issue I have is the fingerprint reader. My main problem isn't the speed or accuracy though, but simply that it's under the screen. I miss the tactile quick finding of the sensor. Hopefully next year they will copy Sony and use a fingerprint power button.

      • Davor Radman

        That is the worst possible placement there could ever be.

        1) lefties can't put it into pocket without unlocking

        2) when you are on the lockscreen, just checking if you have any notifications you need to deal with, as many people do, you can't lock the phone with press to the power button, because this actually unlocks it. I mean, you can, but it's either a long press or two presses on the power button

        3) when unpluging phone from aa or a charger or anything, again, phone wakes and gets to lockscreen. You again can't lock it with a single short power button press.


        Underscreen is as natural as can be. The only issue is maybe some phone have very narrow areas where sensor works, so that could be an issue.

        • wright_is

          It seems to work on the iPad... It wakes automatically when the cover is folded back. Brush the power button and it unlocks, press the power button and it turns back off.


          As a left hander, I don't see the problem with unlocking when putting it in my pocket, no different to a right hander... :-S

    • eric_rasmussen

      Same. I bought mine on launch day, never had a problem. I love the camera system and we use Google Home for everything at our house and it all just works together.

    • qaelith2112

      My experience is basically the same as yours. I do feel for Paul having had these issues, but my own Pixel 6 Pro hasn't had any of them. I use it day after day and everything just works. I'm happy to have had a different experience than Paul.

  9. THSMS88

    LOL, as if the Pixel 6 Pro is the be-all and end-all of Android devices.


    There are several better Android choices than the Pixel 6 Pro, phones that are considerably better than the iPhone 13 Pro, though some are more expensive than either. You can get a phone with USB-C, better cameras, a fingerprint sensor, dual SIM slots, even a Micro-SD card slot and a headphone jack, all of which are missing from the iPhone 13 Pro.

    • _stevenelliott

      I had the Pixel 6 Pro, it was "ok". But my other Android phone is an unlocked S21 Ultra in Navy Blue. It is a fantastic phone. No, it's not a "pure" android experience but it sure is premium and works great. I use the iPhone 13 Pro max as my daily work phone and the Samsung is my backup/dev phone with a Fi sim in it. Sometimes I prefer to use it over the iPhone. I hate the notch, I hate the heft of it, but my entire family uses iOS, and it does make things easier sometimes. The text of varying sizes is annoying, you must do things the "Apple Way" to get the most out of iPhones. Do you know how many times I go to share a webpage and select Gmail and it doesn't fill out the subject line with the title of the page. You must use the Apple mail program to do that. It's trivial things like that that drive me nuts. My prediction is you will start to dislike the iPhone in about three months.

    • pecosbob04

      " You can get a phone with USB-C, better cameras, a fingerprint sensor, dual SIM slots, even a Micro-SD card slot and a headphone jack,"


      Well come on now, don't keep us in suspense Name That Phone. Also in regard to the better camera could you give a little color as to which aspects are better or are the cameras on this unidentified phone better in every aspect. Also are you including the video function or just the still picture function?

      Enquiring minds need to know!

      Thanks.

        • rob_segal

          Sony's photo processing isn't as good as Samsung or Google. It may not even be close. Yes, they make the camera hardware a lot of Android phone manufacturers use, but there is photo processing and AI on top of what the hardware captures.

          • Scsekaran

            On the phone processing with Sony camera software or Google camera software is very basic and limited. The full potential of the Sony camera hardware is shown when you capture RAW and post-process. I use lightroom with excellent results. The Sony camera software is similar to alpha line cameras with plenty of manual controls.


            The Android skin or interface is very simple and probably close to google skin.

  10. egab

    If you dislike the Pixel 6, but prefer Android - why won't you just switch to one of the other Android phones? Must it be Pixel 6 or nothing?


    Granted, I'm still using the S10, which does everything I need, so not sure what's so bad about the Pixel 6.

  11. kingpcgeek

    Huge agreement on the sides being "hurty". When I got my wife an iPhone last year I got there the 11 instead of the 12 because of the change to edges. I really miss the rounded edges.


    Disagree with the mute switch complaint. It's pretty simple to see if it is red, the phone is muted. There are times that I want to mute my phone that does not include putting it on a table. Forget to mute your phone in a meeting? Reach into your pocket and flip the switch, no viewing of the phone screen is needed.

  12. wright_is

    Notifications: I’ve deactivated all,the unnecessary ones, I only have Signal, Discord, Mail, and telephone and messages active. I’ve not had any problems with any notifications turning up late etc.


    Mute switch: I find it useful, with the phone in my pocket, I can switch it to silent mode without having to take it out of my pocket, or lay it face down on a table.


    Notch: I don’t find it more or less annoying than the pin hole in my Galaxy S20+.


    Sides: I never liked the 4 or 5, but somehow I really like the 13. I’ve not had any problems with them being hurty, but I use a case.

  13. hal9000

    Good choice, Paul.

    Yes, there is something wrong with notifications in iOS 15. I didn't experience any issues on my iPad, but on the iPhone they were so severe (most apps did not notify me of anything anymore, despite of settings), that I ended up factory resetting my device (a XR) for the first time in 3 years of use, and the issues were gone. Restoring the iCloud backup btw was a pretty pleasant experience overall.

    I must say yes, the iPhone is not perfect, but in three years this is the only issue I had. I am still getting updates and probably will still get for a couple of years. Heck, my parents still have their iPhone 6s / 6s Plus and they have iOS 15.

    I used to switch Smartphones every two years, even in Windows Phone days, but since switching to iPhone, I no longer see the need. So I feel better about paying the Apple Tax in this case, to be honest. My XR still feels fresh, because it is. And I have the rounded edges, ha-ha!

    Seriously though, good luck with your new iPhone!

    • siverwav

      Same. Have an iPhone XS Pro Max. Feeling less annoyed about the price the longer I keep it. It’s a good phone even for 2022. May look at next years… Also may not need the pro next time so that would half the price. 🤔

  14. captobie

    I use that mute switch multiple times a day, every single day. My iPhone experience would be significantly worse without it, and the couple of times I've switched to an Android phone it is the number one thing I miss. It easily is in my top three favorite iPhone features.


  15. rgmuser

    Have to say, good luck to you on the switch the sheer amount of time to be honest when I switch even in the same ecosystem is painful enough but to entirely switch just wouldn't be practical in my case.

    I must say I have had my pixel 6 pro and maybe it's because I had to wait for it I haven't had any fingerprint issues even with my screen cover on it.

  16. Rob_Wade

    Ultimately, use what gets you what you need. As far as I'm concerned, nobody makes anything but overpriced garbage. I hate them all.

  17. Daekar

    I hope you have better luck than I do with battery life on the iPhone, two hours of photos and it's down to 30% battery... and that's on a 12 which has had the battery babied.

    There are so many things that are well executed on iPhones, but I am always happy to go back to my Note 10+. I am always mystified by your dissatisfaction with Samsung phones, they really are the best Android phones available. Google consistently delivers disappointing products, if they're the only Android player in the game then Apple really is your only option.

    • wright_is

      I use my iPhone 13 Pro the same amount, or slightly more, than I did my Samsung Galaxy S20+, on both, the battery holds for well over a day, usually 2 days. I'd say the iPhone 13 Pro battery is no better and no worse than the Galaxy S20+.

    • ontariopundit

      Samsung has a rich and long history of putting bloatware on their phones. Perhaps they've gotten better in recent iterations but it's also a case of 'fool me once...'. I've had one too many disappointments with Samsung that I too don't look back.


      I'm on the Pixel series as well. Google's hardware is less than stellar but they at least provide a rather Spartan Android experience. The perfect phone is one running Lineage OS, however, the problem with Lineage is that they don't have good access to the photo processing hardware and software and Google's services never quite run just right on Lineage.


      I've said this many times, the type of person that appreciates the simplicity of Lineage OS is also the type of person who would benefit from the iPhone's approach. Now, my comments here are a bit dated since I have used iPhones at all in over 3 years, but, my future with Android is in doubt.


      I really like my Pixel 2, but when I see all the problems that subsequent Pixels have had over the years I feel like my next phone is most likely going to be an iPhone. I don't cherish the thought of having to wrestle with a Samsung to disable all their bloat, and, besides, there isn't an Android on the market that gets the kind of after-sales software upgrades that the iPhones do.


      Plus, Google's assistant is terrible. I am constantly amazed by just how horrible it is offline (and, even on-line it's not great). Apple's first attempt at Siri nearly a decade ago was quite functional offline so I can't imagine that it's gotten worse.


      And, now Android phones are almost universally just as expensive as iPhones so there's no cost benefit to buying Android anymore either :(.

  18. benhaube

    I have had a few issues with my Pixel 6 (non-pro), but none of them are going to make me switch to an iPhone. Thats for damn sure! I have no issues at all with the fingerprint sensor like Paul has had, and the software is actually very stable and reliable. My two main issues are the ridiculous battery drain on 5G, and the screen flickering at low brightness. The flickering drives me crazy, but again, no chance I am going to an iPhone. Also, I have had to turn off 5G which is a bummer, but honestly, I am not fully certain I notice any difference at all.


    Finally, I absolutely disagree with Paul on the hardware ringer switch on the iPhone. That is such a great feature. I miss it from my iPhone 4, and it was the ONLY thing I liked about the oneplus 6t that I used for a year.


  19. Saarek

    Paul, I wonder if your notch issue is because you keep switching between phones that don’t have a notch/hole-punch/whatever vs the iPhone.


    I’ve got the iPhone XS Max and after over 3 years my mind only sees the notch when I’m actively looking for it.


    Don’t get me wrong, the notch represents a compromised design and obviously it would be better to have no notch. I’m also surprised that Apple has not yet put it all under the screen, I can only surmise that the component cost to do that is still too high for them to do it.

  20. THSMS88

    The worst thing about my iPhone is the lack of a fingerprint reader. Maybe pre-pandemic Face-ID was wonderful. but paying with Apple Pay is a royal PITA when wearing a mask. Hopefully the iPhone 14 will bring back some form of TouchID. My wife had her choice of new phones from her employer, as did all her colleagues, and most chose the SE2020 because it was the only one available with a fingerprint reader.


    With my Samsung phone it's much faster to unlock the phone with a fingerprint when paying. And Samsung Pay works in a lot more places than Apple Pay, thanks to MST on my Samsung devices.

  21. byroncon

    I switched about a year ago things are mostly OK but the thing I miss the most is a consistent Back experience. It works most of the time, but not all. Open a link in Gmail and you'll see it; swiping back does nothing, instead you've got to hit that tiny Gmail button at the top left.


    I agree with the notifications, but I'd add actionable notifications are even worse. On Android you see the buttons as part of the notification but on IOS you have to long press on it to get the options. There's no visual clue if a notification is actionable so you have to test each one. It ruins the experience.


    • k6uelind

      Inconsistent Back experience disturbs me the most. On Android, you never think about going back or were you came from—you just use the back button or gesture almost subconsciously and it always takes you back one step at a time, all the way to the home screen. On iPhone/iPad you kinda have to learn how to go back on each app/screen/step—be it a swipe from the left, a tap on the top-left corner or some other button or gesture. Once in a while you end up manually reopening the original app through the home screen, because the chain has broken.

  22. ebraiter

    OK. I'm not surprised you'd want to switch away from a Google Pixel - any Google pixel actually - but going to the extreme dark side with Apple?

    I have both an iPhone [work] and an Android [personal] and nothing on my iPhone has convinced me to switch.

  23. 02nz

    "This problem makes Gmail unusable to me, as all of the fonts are that tiny, and so I’ve switched to using Apple Mail instead." I find Outlook for iOS vastly superior to the built-in mail client. For one, it actually supports push notifications with Gmail. The app is clean and fast, so much so that I couldn't believe it was made by Microsoft. (And sure enough it wasn't originally, Microsoft acquired it at some point.)

  24. Pgiftos

    I just can't bring myself to switch to an Apple product!

  25. Rschlack

    How do you deal with not being able to read or answer your text messages in Windows? That would drive me insane.

  26. rmorgan999

    By coincidence I will too be moving from Android to iPhone Paul. I've been an Android user since smartphones were a thing, but forced to move now by my employers compliance regime (defence manufacturer). It will be interesting to see how we get on, I look forward to your commentary and hopefully hints and tips! I expect a few hiccups along the way in my case!

  27. Greg Ibendahl

    I actually like the hardware silent switch but you are right it is a bit small. One disadvantage of your idea to auto activate or silence based on face up or face down is wireless charging at night. When I go to bed I don't want my phone to chirp at me and the phone is face up during this time.

    • Jeffsters

      That would be taken care of with Focus mode set for Sleep. I can see providing both face down, and normal behavior, with the addition of a toggle in the Notification settings or integrated into Focus or both where face down activates a specific Focus mode making an improvement over a simple replacement for the toggle.

  28. Jeffsters

    The font problems you describe are typically due to the use of private or non-native frameworks. You see this a lot with Electron or React apps. Developers trying to save time, and money, attempting to write once.

  29. cnc123

    The fonts are not consistent.


    Thank you for actually covering this! This is maddening and annoying, and Android flat out doesn't have this problem. Everyone rags on Android tablets, and switching to an iPad means fonts I flat out can't read. This also hits browsers on iOS that can't control page font sizes, leaving some websites effectively unusable. I haven't looked that hard, but I found the font issue right away, and have never seen anyone actually acknowledge it.

  30. bmatusz

    tech21 cases for iPhone are solid. Been using them since iPhone 6S+.


  31. tgamache13

    Could you please do an updated “iPhone for the Windows guy”?


  32. kazzed

    It's funny to me when people comment that a 6.1-inch screen is too small (but, I'm a smaller guy myself). The iPhone mini is what finally made me interested in trying iPhone after many years using Android. But as you mentioned Paul, the sharp edges sort of negate the comfort I was looking for with a small phone, so between the smaller iPhone mini and my larger but curvier Android phone it's more of a wash.


    Still, I'm glad I switched, if only to see how the "other side" is. I like the idea of switching back and forth a bit to change things up.

  33. sleepyd

    I hated the notch when it was introduced. I just swore it would bug me. I haven’t really noticed it much. I don’t watch a lot of video on my phone though.


    I prefer the hardware button for mute. Always have. I think it depends on the case you use.

  34. madthinus

    I think as I get older I am less enthusiast and more normal person. Things should work and while I still tinker, it is less so. The iPhone has a lot of flaws, hello stupid icons I cannot arrange where I want them. However, what does work for me is the updates, the simplicity and the fact that it just works. The apps is there I care about and they get updated. When it cones to a phone, something I need to be able to rely on, it ticks the boxes well.

  35. randallcorn

    The fonts are not consistent. Hmm, when apps did this to Windows Microsoft got the blame.



  36. idgilbert

    After experiencing battery swelling issues with my Pixel 3, I made the same decision to switch to an iPhone 12 last year. I need something that just works and gave up on Google's slow evolution of the Pixel line and their poor track record with the reliability of the hardware. I haven't looked back and don't have to worry about the reliability of a device I depend on every day.


    Paul, I would recommend setting up your Gmail account in the Outlook iOS app. In my opinion it's a much better option than Apple's Mail app but does font size handling better than Google's iOS Gmail app.

  37. Wstuebing

    I did the same this year. Seeing all the issues with the new pixel phones right away said why do I put up with this. First time using a iPhone and have all the same issues you have pointed out. But hands down the battery life and stability so far have been better then any android device I have used.

  38. WaltC

    I've never cared for Google software myself--finding it usually second-rate, so I don't use anything above a gmail account by Google these days. As far as your phone goes, my strategy is that I use a dumb mobile phone (cheap phone only used for phone calls), and my decently appointed computer at home (with a drop-dead gorgeous 43" HDR-1000 monitor that my eyes really love) for absolutely everything I do that might involve the Internet in some way. Thinking of having to squint at a tiny little iPhone screen gives me a headache...;) The money you will save will astound you, while you will miss nothing, I found. If I need directions or a map, I'll get all of that before I leave my home, etc. "It just works"...;)

  39. grbreiu

    Been using a Samsung Note9 512GB for almost 4 years now as a daily driver. Can I expect similar life out of an iPhone?

  40. jjthomas

    The font problem for native Google apps is real. No amount of futzing with settings gets the fonts where I would like them.


    They are not the only culprit, but the regular use of the Gmail app reminds me every time.


    This might make me switch to the native Mail app.

  41. christianwilson

    I am one of those delusional people who doesn’t notice the notch. Seeing your explanation of why you don’t like it helps me understand your side of the argument.


    I rarely use my iPhone in landscape unless I watch a video and even then I don’t zoom the video in where it extends into the notch space. If I did do that, I agree, I would notice it. Screen size isn’t an issue for me (yet) so wanting the extra screen space hasn’t been something I’ve been yearning for.


    I use the phone in portrait and my eyes tend to stay focused at the middle of the screen. Viewed that way, I really do not notice the notch at the top. It isn’t a conscious effort to avoid looking at it, it literally isn’t something I notice.

  42. Sprtfan

    I'm surprised you didn't give a Samsung S21 a chance or wait for the Samsung S22. Most of the issues you had with the Pixel didn't apply to the Samsung and the redundancy in apps seems very minor compared to the issues with the other choices. It just seems like you arbitrarily made it a choice between the Pixel and iPhone.

  43. mhomer89

    I don't use a case (you shouldn't), and I'd like a silence switch on my phone.

  44. IH8SPEEDBUMPS

    I'm still runnin' a OnePlus 7t pro 5g McLaren. No notch. No hole punch. Just glorious uninterrupted screen.

  45. mrlinux11

    @thurrott,

    You cannot compare Google's Android phone to Apple iPhone , because for Google Pixel is not a core part of their business. So the quality is not going to be good. OnePlus/Samsung are companies who have a much better product since major portion of their profits come from phones. Now if Google could fix their Android Arch to abstract the hardware layer a little better, then updates would be much easier for 3rd party phone makers.

  46. siverwav

    OMG it will be nothing but moaning for the next month until you send it back! Are you sure you don’t fancy a nice Samsung phone? 😂


    On a more serious note, the font size issue on gmail is annoying but not enough to start using Apple Mail, that way leads to madness. I think I see something similar on Amazon.


    Never seen the issue with notifications that’s very odd.


    There is no way on earth that you will stick with the iPhone but it will be fun watching you flail around like a madman 😏 getting increasingly frustrated with the limitations imposed by apple.


    It won’t be boring though 😆

  47. JE

    I’m not surprised at all to see this. In fact expected it..

    Now go and get the watch and you’ll have the same epiphany.

    • michael_jones

      Though unfortunately, the notifications are just as broken there as they are on the phone. Sometimes I get them on my phone but not my watch or iPad and other times they come in other places and not my phone. It's just bizarre how inconsistent it is. And I miss notifications for voicemails, etc. all the time.

  48. Boruce_Lee

    I had to check the calendar. It is in fact not April 1st… next thing you know Paul will have several M1 Macs, an ipad, and Apple Watch “just to test”

  49. sandeepm

    Never really paid attention to iPhone, but your description does sound like it sucks. I would rather go for the slim and tall Xperia without a notch and without the pixel issues you mention

  50. LT1 Z51

    The notification thing has been around for ever. Since I had an iPhone 6s.


    My reminders pop up almost daily even though I've cleared them (maybe it's by design), and this has gotten MUCH worse with iOS 15. But Calendar is another bad offender, and weather is too and always have been.


    What's really weird is you will have a bunch of notifications, say from today and yesterday. You clear them all, then later only the ones from yesterday reappear.

  51. mattbg

    As a long time iOS user, I can’t say I notice these issues, or don’t notice them as being a problem, but the perspective of someone just coming over from Android is interesting either way.


    But, I don’t have a 13 model and I don’t watch movies on it.


    I do appreciate the physical “silent” switch. There are times I just want to know it!s silent and staying silent without having to mess with the UI, such as when I put it in my pocket before a movie at the theatre (when it won’t be face down on a table).


  52. anoldamigauser

    I have turned off notifications in most apps because they are annoying. With the exception of phone calls, most notifications are for things I consider asynchronous...I will get to them when I want, and not as soon as they appear.

  53. matt11to5

    It would be cool to see a comparison of the Microsoft apps that you use on iOS versus Android. I'm curious if the experience on those apps is better on iOS.

    • William Clark

      The biggest problem with MS apps on iOS is that they are intentionally not the same as running on a Windows platform. I don't use Android for that so I can't speak to the similarities or differences but from what I've seen on the MS site they look pretty close in feature sets.

      • rob_segal

        Using the same interface in iOS or mobile as the one used on the Windows desktop will not work well. For example, emails should render the same way with a flexible layout. The current Windows apps for mail, calendar, and photos are not very good. It's a good thing the IOS and Android versions are not like the Windows apps.

  54. bschnatt

    Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

  55. ThisDateAndTime

    So I just picked up a new phone, the Samsung S20 FE replacing a Pixel 3A (kicking and screaming because I love the smaller form factor) and I must say this will probably be the last Android device before I fully migrate back to an iPhone. Not because I want to....but because of effing iMessage and its blue bubble dominance. 🤦 In my friend circles, either your blue bubble or you just don't exist.... 😒

    • winner

      I would find new friends if the color of my bubble was that important.

      Really?

    • SvenJ

      Agree with others...new friends.

    • rob_segal

      Blue bubbles are the stonecutters of the smartphone world.

    • wright_is

      Given how rarely anyone uses iMessage or SMS over here (Germany), the "blue bubble" problem doesn't really exist.


      I've used iMessage and FaceTime once with my cousin in the UK, for everyone else, it is Signal, whether on my old Galaxy S20+ or my new iPhone.

    • ronh

      You would switch because of a bubble color?

      • macguy59

        Depends how much group texting is being used. Android messaging also seems to choke on iMessages that are too long. Things like in-line video in iMessage is really nice. But I agree in general. I wouldn’t stop texting with someone because they use an Android phone. But I would have to watch what I try to send them. Another little known feature of iMessage, is being able to take control of another iMessage users desktop (with their permission of course) to help diagnose an issue

    • wpcoe

      Hmmm. New phone or new friends? Tough choice!

  56. Bart

    That went quick. But I completely understand. Having used different Android phones myself, including Pixel phones, I am not 100% satisfied with the iPhone, but...it just works.

    And as I am using mostly Microsoft services, there simply isn't a better alternative IMHO.

  57. VTScott

    The notification issue has popped up for me on the current iOS version. The first time it did it was I scratching my head. Ground hog day.


    The physical switch preference is interesting. I like having the switch versus a software only option.

  58. arthemis

    One fruit to rule them all.

  59. bob_shutts

    Your IOS users here will be happy to help you work around the quirks you mention.

  60. jimchamplin

    After taking a leap of techno-faith and getting a Samsung S21 Ultra, I've got to say...


    I can't wait until Apple has the huge 108+ MP sensor!


    Daily use of Android isn't bad, I have few complaints. What is bad, though, is that the entire interface is a confusing mash of two companies' ideas of UX design. I had qualms about this but was told by countless Android enthusiasts that it's fine. I can customize ANYTHING! Want the stock Android "UI?" Just install it!


    What they meant is install a replacement home screen that simulates the Pixel's launcher. Leaving everything else untouched. Ah. Wish I'd known that going into it.


    Also the software isn't as good.


    I've honestly started carrying my iPhone 10S Max again sometimes, and that may become permanent again once I get a new case.

  61. timdavis33

    I suggest checking out BlackBrook leather cases - I have one for my iPhone 13 Pro and its the nicest leather case I've ever had.

  62. anderb

    I'm looking forward to reading next month's post when you switch back!

  63. godsack

    Are you going to look at any of the MagSafe accessories? My wife has the 12 Pro Max, and I have to admit to being a little jealous of the MagSafe charging stands I got her.

    • godsack

      I have an iPhone SE 2nd gen that I occasionally switch over to so I can see where my gaps are in being mobile os agnostic. It is definitely getting a lot closer, to the point that if my other phone wasn’t a Galaxy S21 Ultra, I may have already switched. I have discovered how neat Shortcuts are.

  64. unkinected

    Weird... I've never experienced the delayed notification problem, ever. I've read a few others in this chat say they've seen it too... is it maybe specific apps that are delayed in notifications? I never use any Google apps... maybe that's why I don't see it? The notifications work great for me in the 4+ years I've had an iPhone, although the new "time sensitive" notifications are just confusing to me.

  65. Prohibido_por_la_ley

    You're just an impatient whiny little bitch. Just wait for the patches and then the P6P will be a great phone. It constantly smashes the iPhone at daily tasks and multitasking even in it's current state.

    • aretzios

      Paul has been a long-term iPhone user. Even when he was championing Windows Phone, he was partly using an iPhone. Now, he is simply going back to what he is comfortable with. It is not as if he has tested a wide variety of Phones out there and made a well-documented, absolutely objective decision. Lots of people are attracted to "old and familiar"

    • pecosbob04

      Okay I'm confused who are you replying to? (a preposition is not a proper thing to end a sentence with?) It would appear to be Yoshi at least in my browser but nothing he said is related to your whiny little screed.

      • pecosbob04

        Okay upon further review it appears it is the "founder of the feast" that has incurred your wrath. I've done that, though hopefully a little less blatantly. it doesn't always end well.

  66. sherlockholmes

    Welcome to the dark side, Paul ;-)

  67. LT1 Z51

    Oh and I too like the physical do not disturb switch.


    Also why does everyone use cases? Seriously, I've not used one in 8 or 9 years and I've broken a screen ONCE (and I was drunk at the time, I thought I was slipping the phone in my pocket and I dropped it on a paver as I missed the pocket).


    I don't know what people do with their phones. My work phone and my personal phone are sans case and I never have issues. I guess most of the time my phone is in my pocket, or sitting on a desk (when not in my hand). For as much of a clutz as I am, I rarely drop it.

    • LT1 Z51

      I should mention I have a iPhone 12 Mini, but my work phone is the larger iPhone 12 "regular". Maybe I just have large hands.

    • wright_is

      It depends. I usually use a case with my phones, but a thing one, to protect it from the inevitable little bumps and scratches. My company iPhone SE is uncased, but it is small and, relatively, cheap and spends most of its life in my shoulder bag.


      My private phones are usually premium devices, which cost me a lot of money, so I tend to want to take care of them. With the old Lumias and my Galaxy S3, I used a carry pouch, but used the phone without a case. The new premium phones all have slippery glass backs, so I tend to use a case that allows me to hold the phone when using it, not play around with it, like a slippery bar of soap!


      I also tend to put one of those toughened glass protectors over the screen, I usually carry the phone in my trouser pocket and, even though they are washed and changed regularly, they are never 100% grit free, so replacing a 7€ screen protector every 18 months or so is better than hundreds of fine scratches on the touchscreen.

  68. William Clark

     It’s also hard to see what position it’s in


    I have to disagree with this. You can easily see what position it's in by the color. There is red color under the switch to show you when sound is off. It's not that difficult to see, IMHO.


    On the issue of Notifications, I tend to have problems with specific Apps, like Outlook. Outlook will, without fail, show me that I have more unread emails than are actually in my inbox. Even going into Outlook and coming back out will, sometimes, not reset the notifications. It usually clears up at some point but I wonder if that's an iOS issue or an Outlook issue?

    • ikjadoon

      I think that really depends on 1) how long you've had the phone and 2) where you store it.


      That tiny "orange sliver" is easily covered up by shadows, dark environments, and / or dust, at least for me, on every iPhone I've used: the 3GS, the 6S Plus, and now a 12 Pro.


      I just use the screen for orientation. Closer to the screen = unmuted. I imagine it like I'm "pulling the audio out of the phone", so I pull the switch when I want sound on.

    • wright_is

      Also, after a couple of days, you know whether up or down is silent, so you don't even have to look at the phone, you can just flip it in your pocket, without having to take it out and look - something you can't do with Android phones.


      When visiting family or going into a meeting etc. I can subtly reach into a pocket and switch it, or if I am in a video conference, I can reach blindly across my desk and push the silent rocker down, without taking my eyes away from the people I am talking to.


      Everything has pros and cons.

  69. Travis

    I switched back to iPhone about 4 months ago and couldn’t be happier. It is great when things just work. As a bonus I switched from Spotify family to Apple One family. It costs 4 dollars more but I get Apple music, iCloud storage, Apple TV plus and Apple Arcade.

  70. echo64

    As a butterfingers who has destroyed more phones than I can count by dropping them, the first thing I do after buying a new phone is go out and buy the matching OtterBox defender case for it.


    It may not be the look you're going for but this may help with the side pain as the cases are nicely rounded and smooth.

  71. nappin

    We all have different requirements, different ways of handling and using our phones, and different environments - I get that. But it puzzles me why there is such a significant difference between user experiences for the Pixel 6. In the interests of balance, how do we account for these differences, and the cognitive bias we all have, that so influences our own comments and decisions?


    I too have both the Pixel 6 Pro and the iPhone 13 Pro to compare. I, like others, have experienced none of the Pixel 6 issues Paul documents to be significant enough to ditch the phone. Size and weight? I gave both (cased) phones to my (iPhone using) daughter - she felt the iPhone 13 was slightly heavier and bulkier, and I agree. Adaptive brightness - I find all phones with this dim the screen way too far and here, in the generally bright environment of Australia, this feature is next to useless, so, I switch it off. But I note that the Pixel 6 Pro adaptive brightness learns from your manual settings, so a poor initial experience can be overcome, apparently. I have not found this learning capability on the iPhone. Curved screen - a preference thing, that I prefer, because I find it easier to swipe from the sides. Fingerprint reader - works as advertised. Charging - charges quickly with an intelligent approach - I need this phone to last for many years and do not wish to kill the battery trying to overcome physics.


    The Pixel 6 Pro experience of Paul and others is unfortunate, and I know how annoying it is to spend a lot of money on something that does not work for you. But to those still considering the Pixel 6 Pro, please be aware that not everyone has the issues identified here.


    (And no, I have not received the December 2021 Pixel update on the 6 Pro, but do have it on my 4a. Honestly, I don't see much of a difference.)


    Paul - I hope your experience with the iPhone 13 Pro and back in the Apple ecosystem is a good one. There are plenty of other things to be bothered by without the distraction of tech that does not suit.

  72. ianbetteridge

    It's very telling contrasting the quality of Google's iOS apps vs Microsoft's. Microsoft's developers aren't the quickest to support new iOS features, but they're a heck of a lot quicker and do a much more thorough job than Google's. Microsoft seems really committed to supporting iOS and Android well, which makes a lot of sense given the focus on "mobile first, cloud first" that Nadella talked about right at the start of his term as CEO.


    Honestly - at this point I don't know why anyone picks Google's services over Microsoft's, unless you're very heavily committed to Android and Chrome OS, at least for productivity applications (including email).

    • SvenJ

      Also makes sense since MS isn't running a competing mobile platform. Why would Google make their apps run well on iOS. Why would Apple make theirs great on Android? MS just wants to sell their services on both.

  73. djross95

    You can add the vestigial Lightning port to your (excellent) list, Paul. Why Apple sticks with this outdated I/O port is a mystery--actually, it's not, it's Apple's voracious appetite for licensing fees. I may follow you down this path, as the Pixel 6 hardware/software glitch list continues to grow and, (incredibly), NFC on my 4a 5G has decided not to work.

    At least Apple has stores for devices servicing. Google? Not so much.

    • micksanchez

      I’ve had the 13 Pro Max for a few months and have not yet used the lightning port.

      I have MagSafe charging stands on my bedside table, and desks at work and home.

      I use CPLAY2AIR in my car in conjunction with its wireless charging pad.

      I have a set of AirPods Max.

    • rob_segal

      The lightning port should not be a big deal for me with the wireless chargers I have. A lightning cable for my car, one for my laptop bag, and another one in my carry-on luggage should do it. A few backup cables in a drawer. USB-C would be better, but I think I'll adapt to lightning just fine if I switch to iPhone in 2022.

  74. rob_segal

    If given the choice between Pixel 6 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro, I would choose iPhone 13 Pro. Less problems than Google's phones. However, I may choose between the iPhone 13 Pro and the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. That is a more difficult choice.

    • wolters

      The S21 Ultra has been quite good and it doesn't have the "bloat" that people often complain about...the "duplicate apps" can be hidden and put out of the way. The Camera on the S21 Ultra, for me, has been the best Non-Pixel camera I've used.

      • bassoprofundo

        Ditto. I'm on a Fold 3 now, but other than the size finally reaching the limit of what I could handle, the S21U is as close to peak phone as I've ever seen. Incredible camera, no perceivable bloat, and the flexibility of Android.

    • aretzios

      I own the Samsung Note 20 Ultra 5G and I can only say that it is an amazing phone that is consistently easy to use. I know that many have maligned the Samsung Skins, but the Samsung One is actually great and I even prefer it to stock Android. It remains to be seen what specific improvements would there be in a Galaxy S22 Ultra (with S-pen) over the Note 20. The cameras may be better and the CPU speedier (although the Note 20 is fast enough for everything).

  75. paul_nelson

    I am either one of the minority or one of the majority in that I have never had any issues with any of the Pixel phones I have had (all of the odd numbered devices and now the 6 Pro).


    I do not hate Apple devices before anyone accuses me of that again but, I will never return to the Apple ecosystem purely because they get away with over charging for hardware.


    iMessage is not the be all and end all of messaging services, WhatsApp is used a lot more where I work and live. If my friends decided to not include me because of my choice of phone then you have to question whether they are friends.

    • rob_segal

      Some of Apple's hardware is overpriced, but not everything. In fact, I think most of Apple's products are priced okay. The iPhone 13 and 13 Pro are well priced when compared to premium Android phones, especially from Samsung. The Pixels are priced better, but people are having issues with those phones. The MacBook Air is excellently priced. The MacBook Pro's are priced appropriately for what they are and who those laptops are targeted to. AirPods aren't too expensive compared to the competition. Same with iPads.

      • gepal1

        You can use an iPhone or a Spyphone. Google can always charge less because they make 89% of their profit from selling advertising based on knowledge they have gathered about you. Gmail and Android are just two of their many pieces of spyware for building their database on you. Apple makes most of their profits from selling hardware, so they have to charge for it. If you are happy with giving away your identity in exchange for a cheaper phone, more fool you. But, so be it.

        • aretzios

          It is not as simple as that. With Google, you can erase your history, for example. Also, on any Android phone, you do not have to use Gmail. I do not use Gmail at all. For example, the Samsung Phones come with a Samsung email client, and there are dozens of others that you can use. You need a gmail account, but you do not have to direct any email to it, if this is what you want. So, as usual, much of this discussion should be placed under "religious matters", because it does deal with objective characteristics of the phones.

          • Oreo

            Except that this still allows Google to spy on: Google’s login window still remembers my sister’s Gmail address and offers it up as an option when I want to authenticate. Whenever you are able to provide a data point (e. g. IP address and Gmail account), it’ll connect all sorts of other behavior with you even when you aren’t logged in and even if you don’t use Gmail.

            • wright_is

              Do you mean in Chrome? Browsers have a cache of text that has been entered into fields, like email address and offers them up when you next visit the site. If you aren't syncing your browser settings across devices, it stays local and you can clear the cache.

  76. bpaul14

    I like cheese on my apples. I have never eaten a pixel before, so I'm not sure if cheese would go well with them. Peanut butter is generally good on everything.

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