Even though I’m now using an iPhone 6s as my primary smartphone, I’m still a huge fan of Google’s mobile app ecosystem. In fact, while I like the overall user experience of the iPhone better than any Android phone I’ve used so far, I still think Android is a great mobile OS that has a lot to recommend. Thankfully, switching over to iOS hasn’t meant giving up the best parts of Android since most of the best Google mobile apps are also available on Apple’s smartphone as well.
As you can see in the picture above, my iPhone 6s home screen includes Google Maps, Chrome, Google Photos, Gmail, Google Drive and even Google Play Music, which I’ve been hanging onto since I subscribed to it right at the start and have been able to get it for $2 a month cheaper than what it would cost me to use Spotify or Apple Music.
Despite my love for Google apps, I will admit that Apple has already lured me away from using Chrome in favor of Safari for the most part, if for no other reason than Chrome has been absolutely murdering the device’s battery life and it also seems to crash a lot more on iOS than it ever did on Android. Despite this, I still feel happy overall using the Google app ecosystem to handle a lot of my data, just as I did when I was using an Android phone.
So why not just stick with Android, you ask? For a few reasons. First, as I’ve mentioned countless times, I simply grew tired of the Android upgrade process in which critical security holes are left unpatched for long periods of time. The other reason I’m happy using iOS is that it’s nice to be able to take a break from Google when I don’t want to use it.
The beauty of the iPhone 6s is that it gives me more granular control over what I give to Google thanks to the way it handles app permissions in which I have to explicitly authorize every permission an app is seeking. While this makes things slightly less convenient since there’s no Google Now to bring all of Google’s apps together under a single umbrella, it’s honestly nice to have a wall separating Google from everything I do online. Because now if I ask Siri questions about how zoos artificially inseminate pandas, I won’t see an ad for frozen panda sperm in my Gmail inbox.
(What? Why are you all looking at me like that? It was just a random example, I swear!)
So in a lot of ways, the iPhone 6s is the Android phone I’ve always wanted. It’s a device with a big, beautiful display that gives me access to all my favorite Google apps while at the same time doing a better job of respecting my privacy. While I’m sure Apple would prefer that I switch over to its own app ecosystem, I’m happy to stick with Google for now and the iPhone 6s is a great device for using my favorite Google apps.