Gmail, Google Maps and YouTube are traditionally better on Android smartphones, but in the past month Google reversed this trend by bringing the best Google experience to iPhone first.
Forget the Nexus 4, the best phone for heavy Google users is the iPhone.
I say this as someone who carries the iPhone 5 in one pocket and the Nexus 4 in the other .
The latest version of Gmail for iPhone, the new Google Maps for iPhone and even YouTube Capture are better on the iPhone than on any Android smartphone.
Gmail for iPhone
Gmail for iPhone 2.0 brings a cleaner mobile email interface, support for multiple accounts, notifications and multiple Inbox views.
Until this new version was released, I read 95% of my email on an Android smartphone, lately the Nexus 4. With the new Gmail app on iPhone, the iPhone and iPad are now my go to devices for email.
Notifications are nice, but the smart layout and better view options are what took Gmail away from the Nexus 4.
For some unknown reason the Gmail app for Android does not offer an Important and Unread view. This means anytime i check the Priority Inbox on the Nexus 4 I see all the email I’ve already dealt with.
Gmail for the iPhone is cleaner, showing my only Important and Unread messages, much like Gmail in the browser. The experience is vastly better than on the Nexus 4 or any other Android phone in my office.
Google Maps for iPhone
Not only does Google Maps for the iPhone put Apple Maps to shame, it offers a cleaner interface on the iPhone than on Android.
The difference is not as stark as on the Gmail app, but in Google Maps on the iPhone it’s easier and faster to search and get to navigation than on the Nexus 4.
It helps that Google Maps for the iPhone focuses on Maps and Navigation and not being the hub for Google Local, Offers, My Places, Check Ins and Latitude like the Android version.
The latest app to arrive on the iPhone first is YouTube Capture, an app that makes it easy to take video, quickly edit video and upload it to YouTube.
YouTube Capture is a better way to take videos for sharing, and to enhance them before uploading them. Android users can use the movie editor to fix movies, but on the iPhone YouTube Capture makes it easy to trim, stabilize, add a soundtrack and color correct the video. After uploading, the app can share to YouTube, Google+, Facebook and Twitter at the same time.
“Coming Soon” the Official Android Slogan?
Android users are used to the “Coming Soon” tag, but it’s different when Google is developing superior products and experiences for the iPhone and telling Android users, who invested in Google’s ecosystem, to wait.
As an iPhone owner that relies heavily on Google services the trend of delivering iPhone apps before Android apps is great, but it’s not doing much to convince Android users that they are Google’s priority.