OPINION: From my iPhone 14 to my iPad 10, I’ve been making good use of Apple’s products for years now and when I usually have to stray away from them for the purpose of a review, I find myself eagerly awaiting their return… until now that is.
In order to put the TicWatch Pro 5 to the test, I needed to jump over to an Android phone as anything running Wear OS 3 doesn’t work with iPhone. I knew that Pixel phones were among the easiest Android handsets for iOS users to get to grips with, so I made the jump to the Pixel 7 which was going unused in the TR offices.
As with any jump to a new phone, there was a bit of trial and error as I tried to sign into all of my major apps and accounts on the Pixel, but after that was over and done with, I found myself surprised by the fact that I didn’t immediately want to move back to my iPhone. In fact, as time’s gone on, I’ve only ended up discovering a ton of features that I wished were available on iOS.
Let’s start with the camera and Google Photos – not only does the Pixel 7 take some of the best shots I’ve ever seen from a smartphone, but the brilliance of features like Magic Eraser and Unblur have now become part of my go-to process before uploading pictures to social media (and yes I know that Google One subscribers can access these features on any phone, but they’re all available from the jump on the Pixel 7).
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There’s also Screen Call, which is one of those features that’s so ingenious, I don’t understand why Google doesn’t make more of a song and dance about it. The feature uses Google Assistant as a buffer between yourself and any incoming calls, letting you see in text format what the caller is saying before deciding what to do with the call. As someone who, unfortunately, receives a lot of scam calls – this has been incredibly helpful in separating important calls from unwanted ones.
As any journalist can attest, having to record and then dictate audio files is a bugbear of the job but the Pixel simplifies this process as well with real-time dictation that can also recognise when different people are talking so that the end result isn’t just one block of text.
I also use my phone mostly for listening to music, podcasts and audiobooks, and the Pixel offers another helpful feature there too by letting you quickly dive back into whatever it is you’re listening to across multiple apps when you swipe down to pull up the dashboard. It’s small features like these that have made all the difference.
I can appreciate that Apple likes to take time before implementing major features but after a decent bit of time with the Pixel 7, it feels like iOS is just lagging behind on one too many things and until the gap is closed, I’ll be sticking with the Pixel 7 as my main handset.