News 3 things Google needs to fix before Android can catch up to iOS
There is no doubt that Android is the dominant global mobile operating system. With a global market share of 71.72%, it seems that iOS will never surpass Google’s operating system. However, if you look at certain markets (notably the US and Japan), iOS dominates.
How is this going?
return: Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra vs. iPhone 14 Pro
Well, Android’s global domination is only possible because of countries like India, which have large populations that can’t afford more expensive iOS devices.
Since Android devices can be manufactured and sold cheaply, this demographic has no choice but to use Google’s mobile operating system.
But why does iOS dominate in countries like Japan and the US? Given these numbers, one would think that desktop operating systems would play a big role here. However, MacOS has a market share of only 14.66% globally and 26.92% in the US.
Clearly, desktop OS usage does not dictate mobile OS usage.
So, what gave? Why can’t Android gain more of a foothold in wealthier countries?
I want to share some thoughts on this topic.
Let’s go for a ride.
Start with the ecosystem
One thing Apple does better than anyone else is its ecosystem. Of course, Google wants you to think it has the best ecosystem on the planet, Android’s tight integration with Google Workspace. But that’s not what I call an ecosystem.
Everyone has a cloud option, so Google can’t really claim that Android is special because of Google Drive, Photos, Docs, Gmail, etc.
return: How to unsend an email in Gmail
The ecosystem I’m referring to is more about interconnecting devices. When you use an iOS device, it integrates seamlessly with your MacOS device and WatchOS device. This integration is much more important than Google thinks it is.
Consider this: just syncing an Android device with a desktop is not only more complicated than the average user would like, but the integration is also minimal at best. As for Android phone and watch integration… you better have an app on the phone or it won’t happen.
return: How to link and sync your Android phone with Windows 11
Here is an example.before buying pixel watch, I have a Samsung smartwatch. To achieve any level of integration with my phone, I had to install two different apps: Samsung Health and Galaxy Wearable. With these apps installed, I can track my health, answer calls, receive notifications, and more. Don’t have those apps? No.
The same goes for the Pixel Watch. For a similar level of integration, I had to install the Fitbit app. Even so, the integration you’ll find between the iPhone and Apple Watch is far from it. What’s even more maddening is that my Pixel Watch also comes with a Pixel phone. You’d think integration was built in…but it’s not.
In order to do any kind of integration with my desktop, I have to go through the process of installing third-party software. Just because Linux is my OS of choice doesn’t matter. The same is true if you use Windows or MacOS.
review: Google Pixel Watch: The Apple Watch That Isn’t Android Yet
Android simply doesn’t integrate well with desktop OSes, and it barely integrates with wearables without installing more apps. Even integrating an Android phone with a Chromebook is awkward. Google needs to use the following solution to resolve this issue:
- Create an official desktop application that can be easily installed on all operating systems.
- Make Pixel Watch and phone integration built-in and complete.
- Brings support for other popular wearables like Samsung watches to Android.
- Ensure seamless integration of Android tablets with Android phones and wearables.
- Improve integration with IoT devices.
It’s a pretty big to-do list, but it’s also one that should have been tackled a long, long time ago. Because of this hesitation, Android lags far behind iOS in the ecosystem space.
Innovate better and faster
Here’s the thing: pixel 7 phone is awesome, but it took seven iterations to get there. Google’s first Pixel device should feel more like its seventh. Unfortunately, Google doesn’t seem to understand that consumers in the US and (especially Japan) in wealthier countries see bold, rapid innovation as the key to success. Where Apple has made incredible strides and innovated very clearly, most of Google’s biggest strides are found under the hood.
return: Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro hands-on: The beginnings of Google’s walled garden
for example, Pixel 6 Pro. The device introduces a Tensor chip. While this is a great step forward, do you really think the average consumer would care about something like this?Apple, on the other hand, introduced the air label Consumers went crazy.
Google has a new and improved camera on the Pixel 7 that takes incredible photos, but it doesn’t seem to be able to gain traction with Apple due to the sheer number of filmmakers creating with the iPhone. That, my friends, is telling. An iPhone created by a well-known filmmaker on an Apple device not only convinces consumers that they can do the same, but it’s also a brilliant marketing strategy.
Another innovation that Apple might use to beat Google is foldable devices. Personally, I don’t see much value in a device with a screen that will likely wrinkle over time, but consumers want this kind of innovation. It looks like Google is about to release the Pixel Fold, and Apple is rumored to be heading in the same direction.
return: 5 Ways AirTags Can Simplify Your Life
You can bet Apple will win this race. Given its track record with hardware, the iPhone Flip (or whatever it’s called) is likely to be superior to the Pixel Fold. Remember, Google wasn’t all that great in its first iteration. The first Pixel phone was nowhere near what it should have been. While the Pixel Watch is a pretty good debut, it’s still light years behind the Apple Watch.
I’ll end with this. Few companies on this planet are better at marketing than Apple. Few global companies are as good at marketing as Google. If you have any doubts about this, watch the latest iPhone ad and compare it to the latest Pixel Phone ad. One of the ads was a huge hit with consumers, while the other was a complete failure.
return: The 5 Best iPhone Models
Google is not good at this game. The only time Google had a decent Pixel Phone ad was for the Pixel 2. Suddenly, Google looks cool. That didn’t last long. For a long time, every iPhone ad looked like it was the work of a talented, creative Hollywood director with a huge budget.
If Android wants to catch up to the iPhone in wealthier markets, it will have to up its marketing game to match Apple’s. I don’t predict that will happen any time soon.