6 Great Apps for Android That iPhone Users Can't Have
Smartphones have become such a big part of our lives these days that they're now closely associated with our personal identities. No longer is it Ford versus Chevy, rock versus rap, or PC versus Mac—now, you're either an Android person or an iOS person.
With over 80 percent of the global smartphone market share, Android has definitely won the statistics battle. But there are still plenty of folks who stand by their iPhone commitment with an air of superiority that only someone who paid extra cash for an unjustified status symbol could have.
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So if you're tired of hearing "my iPhone this" and "my iPhone that" from the iOS people in your life, the best way to shut them up is with cold, hard evidence. The apps we'll cover below offer lots of great jealousy-inducing functionality—and the best part? They're only available on Android.
The first app in our list almost embodies the Android experience, because unlike iOS, you can actually change the default browser without voiding your warranty. Chromer is a mini-browser that hooks into Android's new Chrome Custom Tabs feature, which in turn allows you to browse the web from within any app while having access to your browser history and synced passwords from Google Chrome.
It may sound complicated at first, but once you've installed the app, you'll quickly figure out how awesome it is. For instance, you can tap a link in your favorite news app, then have it load in the background to be accessed later with Chromer's "Webheads" feature. There are plenty of customization options, too, so you can make this ultra-fast browser your own.
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If you own a Samsung or HTC device that has a built-in infrared blaster, AnyMote can turn your phone into the best universal remote you'll ever own. A pro version is available for $6.99, but the free version still allows you to control almost any device in your home.
The app provides an intuitive interface for controlling devices like TVs, game systems, DSLR cameras, cable boxes, projectors, A/C units, and even some Wi-Fi connected gadgets. There's even a gesture-based interface that allows you to control your devices with a series of taps or swipes, and all of this would be completely impossible with an iPhone.
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If you really want to show up an iPhone user, there's no better way than with Tasker. The venerable automation app allows you to perform virtually any "if this, then that" action that you can think of, which means that you can choose certain situations or contexts that will cause your phone to spring into action all on its own.
There's a bit of a learning curve involved with Tasker, but it's well worth the effort—and if you're put off by the $2.99 price tag, there's a free 7-day trial version available. Once you get the hang of things, though, you and your iPhone friends will be shocked by what your phone can do with Tasker.
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When it comes to paid apps, Apple's walled garden is generally more expensive than Android's, with the latter relying more on ads to make up for the lost revenue. This makes it all the more amazing that you can essentially get all of your paid Android apps for free using Google Opinion Rewards.
With Opinion Rewards installed, you can just kick back and relax, and wait on a notification to inform you that a new survey is available. From there, just answer a few questions honestly, and seconds later, you'll be credited with actual money that can be used to purchase books, movies, music, and apps from the Google Play Store. Beat that, iTunes.
- Don't Miss: Our full walkthrough of Opinion Rewards
Odds are, your Android device has something that no iPhone has—a notification LED. As if that weren't enough of an advantage, you can completely customize this LED with unique colors for individual apps and contacts using Light Flow.
With Light Flow, you'll be able to make your notification LED blink at different speeds and use different colors depending on the app that posted the notification. On top of that, you can even set up unique notification colors for each of your contacts, which means you'll always know who sent a message without even turning your screen on.
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Amazingly enough, Apple still doesn't trust its users to manage their own files. As a result, the iPhone has no built-in file browser, and users can't even explore their local storage without jailbreaking or connecting to a computer. So if you really want to show off Android's flexibility, just install a simple app called Solid Explorer.
Solid Explorer has a beautiful Material Design interface, and it makes managing files a breeze. You can cut, copy, and paste to your heart's content, and you can even create new files and folders. Then, if you're a rooted user, you can use Solid Explorer to browse Android's system files to perform all sorts of cool tweaks.
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Update: LocalCast is now available on the iOS App Store for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, but we kept this one here for archive's sake.
Finally, one of Android's biggest strengths relative to iOS is its ability to work seamlessly with a Chromecast. True, there are a few iPhone apps with Chromecast compatibility, but they all pale in comparison to LocalCast.
With LocalCast installed, you'll be able to cast any video or picture directly from your phone's internal storage by simply connecting to your Chromecast, then selecting a file. To top that off, LocalCast can even send streaming video and cloud-based media to your big screen, while iPhone users can't even fully access their own files from their phone.
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Do you know of any more Android-only apps that would make iPhone users drop their jaws with amazement? If so, tell us about them in the comment section below, or drop us a line on Android Hacks' Facebook or Twitter, or on Gadget Hacks' Facebook, Google+, or Twitter.