iPhone 7 Versus Google Pixel

Today, Google announced their new smartphone: the Google Pixel, priced identically to the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. I've been trying to think of reasons why someone may choose to buy either device, besides purely Android or iOS preference. 

So, I made a list:

iPhone 7 and 7 Plus

£599 - £719

  • Dual Cameras: 2x Optical Zoom
  • Optical Image Stabilisation
  • Water Resistance
  • 3D Touch
  • Taptic Engine
  • A10 Fusion Chip
  • Stereo Speakers
  • 7000 Series Aluminium
  • Apple Stores in Every Major City
  • iCloud Backup
  • The App Store
  • Included Headphones
  • Software Updates on Day 1

Google Pixel and Pixel XL

£599 - £719

  • Unlimited Photo Backup
  • Fast Charging
  • Daydream VR Support
  • Headphone Jack

A Tale of Two Adverts

I’ve touched on the differences between Apple and Microsoft before, but here’s a more visual example of the two companies; namely, their adverts for smartphones.

Update: I felt I’d been lazy and not fully explained my thoughts about these two ads. I’ve updated this article with some thoughts below the videos.

Microsoft’s “Switch to the Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phone” Ad

Apple’s “Photos Every Day” iPhone Ad

I think these two adverts speak volumes about the companies behind them.

Microsoft’s ad lets us know they’re not even remotely afraid to acknowledge competition: Windows Phone’s two biggest rivals are mentioned by name: “Galaxy” and “iPhone”.

It feels to me as if this advert is far too focused on bringing up competition. There’s no mention of any Windows Phone features which might be a reason to switch: the only reason given is the dogmatic and weak motto “Don’t fight. Switch” — which doesn’t even make sense.

50 seconds into Microsoft’s advert shows a man with a large Apple logo tattooed on his chest. This logo is (amusingly) pictured larger than any other logo in the ad, including the Windows Phone logo.

Don’t get me wrong — I don’t think bringing up competition is always a mistake: Apple has done similar things in the past, with the “Get a Mac” campaign back in 2006. However, these adverts were always carefully written to show the advantage of a Mac in different situations. Further, actors were used to represent the two camps, as opposed to Microsoft’s approach: using real iPhone and Android handsets in their own marketing materials. (And big Apple logos.)

If your biggest competitor’s logo appears larger than your own in an advert commissioned by you, that’s a pretty good sign that something is wrong.

Apple, with its advert, is focusing on how the iPhone fits into people’s lives. Their ad is exactly 60 seconds long — not a word from a commentator (about the iPhone) is spoken until 54 seconds in. Even then, it’s one simple and true statement: “Every day, more photos are taken with the iPhone than any other camera.”

The iPhone is being shown fitting into lives, being used by real people. Real people who don’t fight about the device they’re using; real people who care more about what they’re doing than the device they’re using to do it.

Apple Releases “Why iPhone” Webpage Same Day Biggest Competitor Announces New Flagship Phone

I have to say, the timing does smell a little fishy to me; perhaps Apple would have been better to have not even “acknowledged” the release of Samsung’s Galaxy S4.

All the points on the page are truly legitimate reasons to choose an iPhone — and if this page sticks around, I’ll certainly refer friends and family to it to explain why the iPhone is my phone of choice — but perhaps the page could have been released a few days either side of Samsung’s announcement? Being released so close to a competitor’s time in the spotlight makes it feel a little desperate, as Owen Williams points out. Sometimes not even acknowledging a competitor is the best form of competition.

Sunrise for iPhone Launches

I had the pleasure of reviewing this new app over at The Industry. Whilst it isn’t replacing Fantastical on my phone, it’s a great app which I can see many people enjoying:

If an event has an address associated with it, Sunrise offers to give you directions. This is a feature I’ve wanted in a calendar app for as long as I can remember. There’s even a preference to choose between Apple or Google Maps services, provided you have Google Maps installed on your iPhone. This saves me a lot of time — I no longer have to remember an address and copy it into Maps from my Calendar. It’s all much more seamless.

Fighting Spam Callers on the iPhone

Whilst it isn’t possible to completely block numbers from calling an iPhone, David Smith has some tricks to help manage unwanted callers. Very clever:

You can’t prevent your phone from responding to a call (without crazy jailbreak hacks) but you can control how it responds.