If you’re an iPhone fan, you’ve probably got your own set of favorite apps and features that keep you coming back for more. There has long been a feud between Apple fans and those who prefer Android devices, with little overlap. In short, once you find your favorite camp, you stick with it not because of the phone’s performance or capabilities, but rather because of brand loyalty. But, if you had to pick the best feature of an iPhone, what would you say? We polled our readers and got some interesting responses.
Given how heated this debate can get one might assume that iOS smartphones have a much larger market share than Android, but this is not the case. According to StatCounter, as of July 2022, Android had a global mobile operating system market share of 71.85 percent. During the same time period, Apple’s iOS was only at 27.5 percent. Each of the other mobile operating systems had a market share that was less than 0%. When the parameters are adjusted to only show results in North America, Android has a 47.24 percent share in July 2022, while iOS has a 52.41 percent share.
Even if Android has the advantage in terms of sheer numbers, iPhone users have plenty of reasons to love the device, and those cannot be replaced by Android. While the top feature chosen by an overwhelming 52 percent of respondents is available on Android, it is still considered an iOS staple.
Staying in touch is what matters the most
We polled our readers to determine the best features of the iPhone, and the winner is based on 621 responses from users in the United States. FaceTime won by a wide margin, with 52.17 percent of respondents selecting it as their favorite iPhone feature.
AirPlay comes in second with 17.23%, followed by battery health check at 12.40%.
Offloading apps was the second least popular option, with 9.82 percent, followed by drag and drop with 8.37 percent. As you can see, none of these (very useful) features even came close to matching FaceTime.
FaceTime is Apple’s proprietary video chatting app and ecosystem, which is available on the iPhone, Mac, and iPad. Android and Windows users can only join FaceTime calls if they are specifically invited by someone using the most recent version of one of Apple’s operating systems, and even that level of 3rd-party connectivity is a relatively new development. For a long time, FaceTime was only available to Apple users, but with the rise of competitors such as Zoom and sustained competition from established video chat brands such as Skype, Apple finally allowed non-Apple users to experience the service.
The importance of face-to-face communication
During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, apps like FaceTime helped people stay connected even when they were forced to stay apart. This type of software-assisted many of us in regaining a sense of closeness that a simple phone call cannot provide. FaceTime and other popular apps were even used to help families communicate with patients who were unable to visit their loved ones in the hospital due to quarantine.
A study conducted by researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and published in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society found that video calls were somewhat effective in these situations for patients, their families, and medical professionals alike. FaceTime’s popularity can be interpreted as a sign of the times, and the fact that it was chosen as the most popular iPhone feature of all time speaks volumes about the importance people place on face-to-face communication, particularly in stressful situations.