Android vs iPhone Button Review, Part 1

I recently switched from iOS to Android, swapping my iPhone 4S for a Nexus 5. Among the maaaany tradeoffs are some interesting ones related specifically to the actual physical buttons - and since this blog is ostensibly about buttons, let's take a look. Here's part 1:

  • Soft vs Hard "Home" Button: I do miss having a physical button on the front of the phone; the iPhone's home button is perfect for waking it when it's resting on a table. However, the soft home button is a much smoother experience once the phone is on - not having to apply any pressure feels lighter, nimbler, and just plain better when navigating. Winner: Tie.
  • Menu & Back Buttons: Android has the edge here. Those two extra buttons come in very handy, and are conveniently located in an area that's otherwise unused. It beats double-/triple-tapping the iPhone's home button; Apple claims that fewer buttons simplify interactions, but that's just wrong when you start depending on multiple taps and long holds. Winner: Android.
  • Standby Buttons: I thought I'd miss the top-mounted standby button on the iPhone, but it turns out that was just a learned habit that can be re-learned - now the side-mounted power button on the Nexus feels just as natural. Winner: Tie.
Coming next: Part 2, where it's all about audio-related buttons!

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