The Pixel 6 Pro has been in my life for about a month now and I've decided to share my opinions on not only the phone but Android as a whole as well. I have been primarily an iOS user majority of my life and have never daily driven Android. I decided to add an Android phone into my daily life to change that. With this addition, I am hoping to learn and become more familiar with Android in my everyday use. I was super curious how I would handle the switch from iOS to Android. In no way is this some comprehensive super crazy in-depth review of the device, but a review of the primarily Apple user trying to use Android! Here are my thoughts!
First things first, the device is great. It has an amazing build quality, great design, and of course amazing camera. I'm not one to go crazy with the camera on my smartphone, but the couple of pictures that I did take did show the device handles photos amazingly.
In the grand scheme of things, Android is a lot like iOS. Both have all the major applications I was looking for in the App Store and both were able to handle a lot of the tasks that I wanted to get done in an easy and timely fashion. It became very apparent to me that at the end of the day, both devices are capable of reaching the same end goal. It just depended on which ecosystem you want to subscribe to. I did have to make some hard decisions here and there (will get into that later), but for the most part, I can see anyone using either device.
There were a couple of notable things that I wish my iPhone did have that the Pixel device did have, one being the Always-On display. It sounds like a small feature, but it quickly became a staple of my day. It is so easy to just look over and see the time and what notifications were awaiting me without having to pick up my device. Another neat feature was the charging time to full. It may seem small, but knowing exactly how long your device needs to get to a full charge is such a nice small touch. Android is full of these nice small touches.
The last big feature that I will talk about is the widget and home screen customization in general. It is indeed much easier to customize your Android device than an iOS device. Although with the latest updates they have started to open up more in things that you can change, iOS still does keep you locked down in their box. There are pros/cons to both ways, but I did welcome the freedom I felt while using this device. I will note that I did not explore the other launchers, however. I was going for the most stock and basic version of Android, the way Google intended me to use the device. I did enjoy this experience and maybe further down the road, I will experiment with other launchers. I've heard a lot of good things about the Nova Launcher. (Comment if you have any other launchers you would recommend).
Now, something I did have some issues with is the Google Ecosystem. I hear a lot of talk about how Apple locks you in their ecosystem and you have so much more freedom on Android to use whatever you'd feel like, but from my experience, it seems like you are sort of locked down the same way as you are on iOS. For example, Google has this "At a Glance" feature that will show you many things like the weather and time, but one of the features is to show you what is coming up next. My significant other and I both currently share an iCloud calendar right now that we put our important events in so that we both know exactly what is going on and if we are going to be busy or not. This makes it a lot easier to handle the many things that are going on in our life. In all the multiple OSs I have used (iOS, macOS, Windows & Linux), you can pull your online calendar in any of the systems' native calendar applications no matter where the calendar is being hosted (within reason). On Android, you can only use this with your Google Calendar natively. Now you may say, well just move your calendar to Google, but the problem is I already have a group of people sharing this one calendar. At the time of creating it, we all had iPhones so it was just easy to share the calendar that way at that moment. It was never an issue either because I was always natively able to add this calendar to other devices with their built-in mail/calendar applications. This is not a thing in Android. Because of this, I am not able to utilize the At A Glance feature that seemed pretty helpful. I did however start using the Outlook application and that was able to pull down my calendar. (Let me know if you know of any other email applications that will pull down your calendar).
Another big thing that seemed to give me some trouble was the photosystem. I have been using Apple's photo management since I was a kid and got my first MacBook. That was back in 2009. Throughout the years, I have merged it into iCloud and now I have multiple albums being shared with my other half. I can access these photos from both my Windows/macOS device so I just assumed that I would be able to get them from my Android device. Spoiler, you can't (at least in a native normal way). It occurred to me while trying to search for these that there are no photo applications that just let you sign in to your iCloud application and view your photos. That was a big thing for me in my situation. I did end up messing around with Google Photos. It does work very well, but if you are locked down in iOS, this may become a hassle for you.
At the end of the day, I did and still do have a great time with the Pixel device. I use it every day still and plan to use it as a secondary device until the next one comes out (let's hope it is a folding device). The more I use it, the more apparent it comes to me that these two systems and devices are the same things. They just handle things a little differently and perspective changes everything. I'm excited to continue to use both systems though and learn more. There's still a lot left for me to dive into on Android and try to merge these two systems into one.
I won't lie though. Still love my iPhone.