Julie’s gadget diary – Now that home screen widgets are coming to iOS, I may finally switch to an iPhone

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ARTICLE – Did you watch Apple’s WWDC (World Wide Developers Conference) keynote yesterday? Even though the iPhone and iPad haven’t been my primary devices in several years, I am always interested in everything new with iOS, iPadOS, and macOS (since my main computer is a MacBook). I was overjoyed to see that with iOS version 14, Apple is going to allow widgets on the home screen of both iPhones and iPads. I say that it’s about freaking time!

The lack of home screen customization options and namely widgets, has been one of a small list of reasons why I’ve not been able to make the switch back to an iPhone from Android. Now that Apple has removed that obstacle, switching platforms is starting to look easier to me.

Why am I thinking about switching in the first place? Don’t get me wrong, I like Android a lot. But there are things about iPhone and iOS that makes it more attractive to me. First of all, there aren’t a lot of different phones to choose from. Some might feel that the lack of choice is a bad thing but I think it’s actually a good thing because Apple has hardware consistency, where there’s a huge lack of consistency in general with Android.

Apple also allows updates longer than some Android phones. For example, iOS 14 will be available for the iPhone 6s from 2015. Are there any Android phones from 5 years ago that will get Android version 11 this fall? That brings me to my current phone. I bought a Huawei P30 Pro last spring and have been using it as my daily driver for over a year now. I like the phone very much. The battery life is great and the camera is outstanding. But will it get Android 11? Maybe. Would I like to get my hands on a Huawei P40 Pro? Yes, very much, BUT, it doesn’t have Google services due to the ban, so blah.

Right now, I’m looking for some connectivity and consistency between my 12 inch MacBook (which I need to update soon too), my phone, and maybe even a tablet at some point.

Back to home screen widgets, I glad that Apple is starting to bring some features that I’ve come to depend on and enjoy on the Android platform to iOS. I think it will make a big difference in the user experience. What do you think?

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8 thoughts on “Julie’s gadget diary – Now that home screen widgets are coming to iOS, I may finally switch to an iPhone”

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  2. Ruud van der Ham

    I like the idea, but I don’t think iOS/iPadOS will come close to any of the Android launchers, particularly Nova launcher.
    I particularly wonder whether you can have more icons on the home screen, particularly on an iPad. Now, there are 30 icons, where there’s room for at least 72!
    In my Samsung S10e, I have 7 * 7 icons on my home screen! Can Apple do that?

    1. Ruud, nope, I don’t think iOS will allow that many icons… Unless you just use folders. I used to like having a BUNCH of icons on the home screen but lately, I prefer only to have the apps that I use all the time on the first screen.

  3. I finally made the switch to the 2020 iPhone SE after using only Android since the HTC Eris launched alongside the Moto Droid back in 2009. I was very happy with the Google Pixel user experience, but it was the lack of hardware choices that drove me to the Apple ecosystem. There is just no legitimate Android phone in 2020 that comes anywhere close to the small form factor that the SE offers. The smaller Pixel 4 and Samsung Galaxy S20 are about the smallest phones available with decent specs and they both cost double what the iPhone SE costs, and are still much larger.

    As far as switching over to Apple, I’ve found the experience to be very nice. Apps seem to run smoother and work better and I might be the only person, but I actually like Apple’s notifications better! I like that I can’t swipe something away by accident. I like to use notifications like a to-do list, and I found that where Android would group notifications together, it was too easy to swipe four grouped email notifications away by accident with no way to undo it.

    Anyway, I definitely wouldn’t recommend an average consumer switch ecosystems, they handle almost everything very differently and I think most people would get frustrated that the new one doesn’t behave the way they were used to with the previous one. But for tech enthusiasts who don’t mind learning new menus and operating systems, I’ve found it to be a fun new experiment. And I still have a drawer full of Nexus and Pixel phones to play with when I feel the itch!

    1. Scott, we sound a lot alike, but I’m impressed that you made your switch stick. I’ve tried over and over again and keep coming back to Android. Now about the only thing that really gives me pause is the lack of an always-on display. I like being able to glance over and see the time on my P30 Pro. I know that’s a very minor feature in the grand scheme of things and feel like this is the year that I’m going to make the jump.

      1. Well, much like you, I have tried and failed before! I bought the original iPad when it launched but only lasted six months with that before I traded it for a Samsung tablet. And then I tried a co-workers iPhone 6 for about three hours back in 2015 before I threw if back at them in frustration!
        But I think in the last five years Android (Pixel specifically) and iOS have really streamlined their systems and paid attention to what each other are doing and are now really similar.
        And the always-on display is a pretty big exclusion, but I wear a smart watch, so I get my at-a-glance info that way. So I don’t miss it too much.

    2. I actually just made the same switch myself, from a Samsung Galaxy to a new iPhone SE. The smaller form factor coupled with front line internals was part of the big selling points. The other was iMessage. Personally, I think it’s crazy that Android’s default messaging system is still based on unencrypted SMS. Even the RCS system (to the degree it has been rolled out) is not fully secure. Yes, you can load a bunch of third party messaging apps to get an iMessage like experience but that assumes that your recipient has the necessary app as well. It’s a mess that Google should have fixed years ago.

      It’s also kind of nice to know that if an accessory is made for smartphones, it will be available from a number of vendors for an iPhone. With Android, not so much.

      The things I still miss about Android; fully web based app store (No iTunes software needed. Yes you can search the app store on an iPhone or Ipad. It’s not as robust as the full version) and SD card support. Beyond that, Apple has a decent file system now and the widgets that are on the way should address my other concerns (hopefully)

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