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I really wanted to ditch my iPhone for the Pixel 8 Pro – here’s why I didn’t

Published Dec 3rd, 2023 9:11AM EST
Google Pixel 8 Pro
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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The Pixel 8 Pro is a truly fantastic device. It’s packed to the brim with Google’s AI features, including some new features that will make taking videos and photos even easier. Despite all of the pros, though, there are also a lot of cons with swapping to the Pixel 8 Pro that have kept me from ditching my iPhone outright. And many of those cons aren’t exactly tied to the phone itself, but more to how I use my phone in the first place.

Most of my immediate family and friends use iPhones

Like most things in life, the things that are loved ones do often play a part in the tech that we choose to support. For me, a lot of my immediate family and friends use iPhones. That means it is easier to keep up with them using the various features that Apple offers on the iPhone – from Apple Cash sharing through messages to the way that I can easily find loved ones using Find My; these are all little features I’d miss out on if I swapped to the Pixel 8 Pro.

iPhone 15 Precision Find feature
Apple’s Find My helps me keep track of family and loved ones without jumping through a bunch of hoops. Image source: José Adorno for BGR

Of course, this particular con for the Pixel 8 pro isn’t anything that Google has done wrong. But the depth of my family and friend’s involvement in the Apple ecosystem has definitely made it harder to make the switch.

I trust Apple with my privacy more, though only slightly

Both Google and Apple can be a bit spotty with data and how they leverage it for their own business interests, but I still trust Apple a bit more. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t buy that Apple doesn’t use my data for gain in some way at all. It’s a company, and user data can make a lot of money, especially for advertisers.

However, Apple has always felt a bit more upfront with how it handles that data than Google has. And while Google offers a lot of “privacy-centric” features on the Pixel 8 Pro and your Google account, I can’t help but feel a bit jaded by the way Google handles user data. Again, this isn’t a Pixel 8 Pro con in the way that Google did something terrible with the phone. But it is something to take into account if you’re making the switch.

The ecosystem feels less fractured

One place that iOS and Android feel completely different is that iOS is one operating system across a more limited amount of devices. Android, on the other hand, is available across a myriad of different devices. And, despite all working off the same basic operating system, not all Android devices play nice with each other.’

Google Pixel 8 Pro Software
Not all Android devices play nicely with the Pixel 8 Pro, as some (like smartwatches) require specific phones to take full advantage of some features. Image source: Christian de Looper for BGR

I love what Google is doing with the Pixel 8 Pro, but the fact that I have to choose the Pixel Watch 2 over any of the other great Android smartwatches out there if I want to get the full breadth of features just feels like an overstep. As an Android user, you shouldn’t have to choose whether you want to be for Samsung or Google. It should all just play nicely together. That’s one area that Apple reigns supreme, at least in my opinion, because my Apple Watch will always work with iOS and an iPhone.

I just like iOS

The last reason that I can’t make the swap is just because I really like iOS, especially since Apple has continued to improve it. It’s a system that works, and while it doesn’t offer all the same customizations that Android offers on the Pixel 8 Pro (I really wish I had those Pixel 8 generative AI wallpapers on my iPhone) it does more than enough to keep me running smoothly.

iOS just feels like home, especially after spending so much time with my phone over the past couple of years working in tech. Android looks and feels excellent, too, and I’m excited to see what Google does with Android 15. But for now, iOS is just my comfort place. And I’m okay with that.

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices.

Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.

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