4 things iPhone 6 does that Samsung Galaxy S6 can't

The Apple iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy S6 are two of the hottest smartphones available, but each has its own individual strengths and weaknesses. Here are four ways the iPhone 6 outperforms the GS6.

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3) iPhone 6 seamless integration with the Apple ecosystem

It's a no-brainer to say that the iPhone integrates more tightly with Apple's other products and the company's broader ecosystem. Of course, it does. However, Macs are finding homes within more American family and enterprises than ever before, and the iPad is without question the most popular tablet on the market today. That means that even if you're an Android or Galaxy S6 owner, you may also own or use a Mac or iPad tablet.

I use an iMac at home and Macbook Pro for work, and I've come to really appreciate the interoperability features in built into Mac OS X Yosemite, Apple's latest desktop software. If I receive a phone call while I'm working on a Mac, I can answer it using the computer so I don't have to fish for my phone. The same goes for SMS messages; I send and receive them via Mac, so I can continue writing without breaking my train of thought. If I start writing an email on my phone, I can pick up it and finish on my Mac.

samsung galaxy s6 iphone 6 6 Brian Sacco

Android phones simply don't integrate with Macs as well as iPhones or iPads. Windows users with Android phones, such as the Galaxy S6, can download apps that enable some of the functionality I've described on their Windows desktops or notebooks, but the experience isn't nearly as smooth or as simple to set up. None of the features I've mentioned are essential, and I could certainly live without them if I decide to switch to the Galaxy S6. However, I didn't realize how much I'd come to depend on them until started using the new Galaxy S6 full-time. 

Also of note, the much-anticipated Apple Watch works only with the iPhone 5 or later, so Galaxy S6 owners who've had their eyes on Apple’s first wearable are out of luck, at least for now. Of course, countless Android smartwatches are available today, with more on the horizon, so it's not like Galaxy S6 users can't use any smartwatch. The iPhone, however, if the only phone that works with the Apple Watch, and many industry watchers believe the Apple Watch will be the first commercially successful smartwatch.

4) iPhone 6 lock screen notifications

This last point may seem insignificant to some, but the Galaxy S6's inability to light up its sleeping display and show relevant notifications is a major disadvantage for me when compared to the iPhone 6. Google made some invaluable enhancements to its notification system in Android Lollipop, and overall, it works well. However, this gaping hole drives me made. 

I can pick and choose which notifications show up on my iPhone 6 and Galaxy S6 lock screens, but the only way I can determine specifics about notifications I receive on the GS6 without picking it up and waking it is via an LED, which can be customized for apps and specific contacts. The problem is that I still have to pick up the device to see alert details. The iPhone 6 can be set to light up its display when relevant notification arrives, and I can glance at it quickly to see if I need to reply right away.

In the morning, while I'm making breakfast (read: coffee) I can put my iPhone on the counter next to me and glance at it occasionally to see specific message details without picking up the phone with wet or dirty hands. At night, I can lie on the couch and read with my iPhone without constantly putting down my book to check notification every time my Galaxy S6 buzzes or I see an LED. 

I'm well-aware that there are a number of Android apps and custom Android ROMs that enable some version of the light-up-lock-screen functionality, including the popular Slidelock Locker app. However, I generally don't feel comfortable giving third-party apps access to all of my messages and apps for which I want to receive notification, and that's a must. The majority of Android users do not root their devices, and therefore cannot install custom ROMs to address the shortcoming. (I also don't root review devices that I do not own.)

Again, this post tells only one side of the story, so be sure to check out my companion piece, "6 things Samsung Galaxy S6 does that iPhone 6 can't."


Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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