3 things Google needs to fix for Android to catch up to iOS

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There is no doubt that Android is the dominant mobile operating system worldwide. With a worldwide market share of 71.72%, it seems that iOS will never overtake Google’s operating system. However, if you look at specific markets (especially the US and Japan), iOS dominates.

What’s up?

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Android dominates the world thanks to countries like India that have huge populations that can’t afford more expensive iOS devices.

Android devices can be made and sold cheaply, so this population really has no choice but to stick with Google’s mobile operating system.

But why is iOS dominating countries like Japan and the US? Considering the numbers, I think the desktop OS will play a big part in that. However, MacOS has a market share of 14.66% worldwide and only 26.92% in the US.

Obviously, desktop OS usage does not necessarily indicate mobile OS usage.

So, what gives? Why can’t Android gain more ground in wealthier countries?

I have a few thoughts on this topic that I would like to share.

Let’s go for a ride.

It starts with the ecosystem

One thing Apple does better than others is its ecosystem. Of course, Google wants you to think you have the best ecosystem in the world, which is the tight integration of the Android operating system with Google Workspace. But that’s not the ecosystem I’m talking about.

Everyone has a cloud option, so Android can’t be considered exclusive with things like Google Drive, Photos, Docs, and Gmail.

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The ecosystem I’m talking about is about device interconnection. When you use an iOS device, it integrates seamlessly with your MacOS device and WatchOS device. This integration is more important than Google realizes.

Consider this: Not only is syncing an Android device with a desktop computer more complicated than the average user would worry, but the integration is minimal at best. For Android phone and watch integration, you’d better install an app on your phone or it won’t happen.

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Here is an example. Before buying a Pixel Watch, I had a Samsung smart watch. I had to install two different apps, Samsung Health and Galaxy Wearable, to integrate my phone at any level. By installing these apps, I was able to track my fitness, receive phone calls, receive notifications, and more. Without these programs? Nothing.

The same goes for the Pixel Watch. I had to install the Fitbit app to get the same level of integration. Even then, there wasn’t much integration between the iPhone and the Apple Watch. The worst part is pairing my Pixel watch with a Pixel phone. You’d think there would be integration, but no.

I have to jump through hoops to install third-party software to get any kind of integration with my desktop. It doesn’t matter because Linux is my OS of choice. It’s the same if you use Windows or MacOS.

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Android simply isn’t built to integrate well with desktop operating systems, and rarely integrates with wearables without installing additional apps. Connecting an Android phone to a Chromebook is even more awkward. Google needs to fix this with the following solutions.

  • Create an official desktop application that easily installs on all operating systems.
  • Install and complete Pixel Watch and phone integration.
  • Bake support for other popular wearables (like Samsung watches) on Android.
  • Ensure seamless integration of Android tablets with Android phones and wearables.
  • Improve integration with IoT devices.

It’s a to-do list, but one that should have been addressed long ago. Due to this uncertainty, Android has lagged far behind iOS in the ecosystem.

Update better and faster

Here’s the thing: The Pixel 7 the thread is great but it took seven iterations to get there. Google’s first Pixel device should be like the seventh device. Unfortunately, Google doesn’t seem to understand that consumers in wealthy countries like the US and (especially Japan) see big, bold, and fast innovation as the key to success. While Apple is making great strides and innovating very clearly, most of Google’s biggest steps forward are under the hood.

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For example, Pixel 6 Pro. That device introduced the Tensor chip. Although this is a significant step forward, do you think the average consumer cares about such things? On the other side of the coin, Apple presents AirTags and consumers go crazy.

Google is introducing a new and improved camera with the Pixel 7, which takes great photos, but doesn’t seem to be catching Apple’s attention with the number of iPhone filmmakers. That, my friends, is saying a lot. The credibility of the iPhones from renowned filmmakers who create on Apple devices is a great marketing strategy as well as convincing consumers that they can do the same.

Another innovation that Apple will use to crush Google is the foldable device. Personally, I see little value in a device with a foldable display over time, but consumers want this kind of innovation. It looks like Google is about to announce the Pixel Fold, and Apple is rumored to be heading in the same direction.

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You can bet Apple will win this race. Given its track record in terms of hardware, the iPhone Flip (or whatever it’s called) will be better than the Pixel Fold. Remember that Google is not very good at first iterations. The original Pixel phone wasn’t nearly what it should have been. Although the Pixel Watch is a pretty good first release, it’s light years behind the Apple Watch.


I’ll end with this. Few companies on the planet are better at marketing than Apple. And few companies in the world are as bad at marketing as Google. If you’re in doubt, check out the latest iPhone ad and compare it to the latest Pixel Phone ad. While one of these ads is highly engaging with consumers, the other falls flat on its face.

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Google is not very good at this game. It’s the only time Google has ever done a good ad for the Pixel 2. Suddenly, Google looked amazing. This did not last long. During this period, every iPhone ad looked like it was created by a hugely creative Hollywood director with a huge budget.

If Android is going to overtake the iPhone in more affluent markets, it will have to up its marketing game to keep up with Apple. I don’t foresee that happening anytime soon.


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