Two years ago, I got my first iPhone. I realised pretty soon after acquiring one that the closed approach by Apple, won’t do it for me. Since then, only once in a while do I use an iPhone as my main device. From the onset, I realised I prefer the openness and customisability of Android devices.
Anyways, from that once-in-a-while use, I’ve come to love a lot of things on the iPhone that make having it a daily driver really exciting. These can be divided into two things:
- Ecosystem – of course, the walled garden is hard to escape.
- Intelligence – yes, the iPhone is really intelligent in ways I don’t think I can exhaust in this article.
Let’s dive in. These are the reasons an iPhone is really good as a daily driver.
If you have an iPhone, this is something you should totally setup. Works really well, if you have all the Apple devices as well.
You can set Focus Modes based on different things. Like Work, School, Home. And they will auto-enable when you’re in those locations.
You can make these Focus Modes to activate based on time. For example, do not disturb between certain times. You can make them based on apps. For example, when you open Kindle, you can have a “Reading” Focus Mode that mutes calls, disables notifications, etc.
When I enter the car and CarPlay starts, the phone automatically enables ‘Driving Mode’ which will only allow calls from contacts I’ve enabled. Sweet! You can even enable an Auto Reply function to text people that you’re driving and will get back to them later.
You can even have each Focus Mode have its own Home Screens and Lock Screens. Such that at those times you get a whole different UI to ensure you stay working with only the necessary apps/widgets.
The best part is that all these different modes will automatically sync across all your devices. Meaning if you enable say “Sleep” Focus Mode, your tablet and laptop will automatically enter that mode and adhere to the rules you set.
This feature makes you extra productive through your day. It works perfectly and doesn’t miss. I love the feature so much!
I hate iOS and iPadOS notifications. Android understands notifications better to be honest. However, there’s one feature I wish all Android devices copy. This is ‘Notification Summary’ which is a simple way of pushing things you don’t really need to see, so that they can come in at certain periods of time as a summary.
For example, the Carrefour app, Uber Eats, Google Photos, Netflix and TikTok Apps love sending unnecessary notifications. Instead of just muting notifications from such apps forever, you can add them to Notification Summary. And then set that summary to come at specific times of the day.
For example on my device, I’ve enabled the summary to be available every evening from 7pm. So throughout the day, I don’t have to deal with crazy things I don’t need. Love it.
While Apple doesn’t allow its iSheep to tinker with too much on their phones, I must give it to them on how they present important data. They do the following so well:
- Screen Time – you can see screen time data from all your devices including most used apps, which category they fall on, which apps you use most when you pick up your phone, how many notifications you receive in a day, and so much more. It’s presented beautifully and will help you see just how addicted or not you are to your devices. It also helps you gauge how productive you are with your time.
- Battery Health – you can see over time just how your battery has degraded. Apple will even send a message when it believes you need to replace your device’s battery.
- Spotlight Search – I love this feature. If I need something, be it a song, a verse, a picture – you get it – I can just pull down from the Home Screen and search for it. And this will be done across the device, and the apps including Google Photos, Google Keep, Apple’s own apps etc.
This is weird. But before you think I am talking of quality of sound from the speakers of the iPhone, you’re wrong. I am talking about how Apple offers certain things I’ve not seen on any other devices. Features I’ve found quite interesting! These are:
- Background Sounds – If you have headphones, you don’t necessarily want to have music, or a podcast always. Well, you can enable this feature. And choose between different background sounds including rain, the ocean, to listen to. (This works even without headphones).
- Live Listen – this is a cool feature especially for people with hearing impairments. It’s also a cool feature if you want to listen to a conversation or to something that’s not very audible. It uses the iPhone’s microphones to send audio to your headphones.
- Sound Recognition – this is a feature you may not need to use, but will serve some people really well. When enabled, you can choose between different sounds so that if the iPhone hears such a sound, you will get a notification. This can be useful for parents. You can enable “Baby Crying” and get notifications every time the baby cries.
These are things that Apple can do because they’ve managed to have control over both software and hardware of their devices. And these are true life-changers especially with daily use:
- Receive Text and Phone calls across all your devices – This is my favourite thing actually whenever I am using an iPhone. Say you have a laptop, or a tablet and your phone is far away, eg. another room. If someone calls you – a normal phone call – you’re able to receive it from your tablet or laptop as if they were calling that device directly. Love it. This works for messages too. And these are normal phone calls and texts. Not just FaceTime and iMessage.
- Airdrop – Send stuff across Apple devices with a simple click. Android devices now have Nearby Share.
These features make using the iPhone on a daily really smooth and “fulfilling”.
However, I still don’t like a couple of annoying things with the iPhone including the lack of USB Type-C, the whole thing around not including a charger, the lack of proper fast charging, the lack of dual SIM support (but you can use eSIMs), the notch, and the very closed software experience.
Please note this article hasn’t tackled things like performance, battery life, value for money, or camera quality. This is because such features are dependent on the iPhone someone has. Plus, many Android phones already offer better value for money, great battery life, and incredible cameras, therefore these can’t be unique features to fit in such an article.
What are your thoughts? Do you have an iPhone? What do you love most? What do you hate?