I don't make secret the fact that I'm a through-and-through Apple guy. I have an iPhone XR, a 13" MacBook Pro, and an 11" iPad Pro. Using an Android device just feels--wrong.

Still, for the past two weeks, I've been  using a Google Pixel 3a, and I have to admit, there are a few things that Apple could take a cue from as it finalizes iOS 13 for reveal next month. 

Here are eight Android features Apple should add to the iPhone with iOS 13:

1. Better home screen layout control

There's no doubt that the experience of organizing and placing apps is way better on Android. I can't even believe I'm typing that, but it's true. On the iPhone, you are tightly restricted to the 4x grid, and apps have to be placed continuously, meaning you can't skip places or rows. 

On the Pixel 3a with Android, you can organize your apps basically any way you want. Want to leave an empty row in the middle of your screen? Go ahead! Want to have only four icons in a row? Have at it. 

2. Expandable home tray

Also, the tray on the Android device expands when you drag it up, giving you access to basically all of your apps. The pull-down search and Siri suggestion feature are pretty helpful on the iPhone, but I'm a very visual person, and on the Pixel 3a, I drag the tray up and my finger just goes to the location of the app I'm looking for. Somehow, it seems faster to me.

Plus, the top row is like having a second home tray, which is a nice place to stash things like settings, maps, and the Google Play store. 

3. Search

I guess it makes sense that a product made by Google would be better at the thing Google does best. Still, Apple could really step it up. The pull-down feature is nice, especially for searching contacts, emails, or within apps, but try using it to search the web. Let me save you the time. You might as well just open Safari. Android's home search bar is much better and faster. 

4. Google Photos is so much faster

I've tried to like Photos, and it's OK.  But it's slow with large libraries, photos take a ton of space on the iPhone, and iCloud sync isn't nearly as fast as I'd like. It's also clunky via the browser. None of those things are true with Google Photos. It's fast, and sync seems almost instant. 

Technically, you can already use Google Photos on your iPhone. In fact, I actually already back my photos on my iPhone up to Google's version, but I wish Apple would just make Photos better, and, dare I say, more Google-like.

5. Face ID is cool, but the rear fingerprint is super convenient

This one might become reality, or at least the return of Touch ID. I doubt we'll see a fingerprint reader on the back of an iPhone, but the rear location on the Pixel 3a is in the perfect location when you pick up the phone with one hand. 

It also seems to be much faster than Face ID, which on an iPhone still only works when the phone is relatively well aligned vertically with your face. That means that I'm often having to enter my passcode, especially when it's lying on my desk, or when I'm lying in bed. 

6. Weather on the lock screen

Basically, the Weather Channel app is the slowest app I've ever used on the iPhone. I don't know why it takes so long to be wrong about the weather, but apparently it is. It takes forever to load. It turns out that's pretty much the same on the Pixel 3a, except most of the time I don't have to open the app. 

The lock and home screen display the current temperature and conditions, without having to open an app, which is way more convenient than the quickest way to find the weather on your iPhone, which is to set a widget and swipe right from the home screen.

7. Active edge

The Pixel has a cool feature that lets you squeeze the bottom half of your phone to activate the Google Assistant. It's better than double-clicking on the side button for accessing Siri, Apple Pay, or whatever else. 

This would be particularly nice if you could set it to automatically open the camera app when you're on the go and want to get a quick shot. It would be great if you could use it to instantly launch any app you use the most.

8. Let's just say it. USB-C

This isn't technically an operating system feature, but since basically every other device maker has made the switch, it's time Apple did the same.

I've probably spent $200 or $300 on iPhone chargers and connectors in the past 12 years. I'm not really looking to go buy more, except I already have to for my iPad Pro. And my MacBook Pro. I guess the lightning accessory ecosystem for the iPhone is so large that Apple is holding off, but it's time to make the switch to USB-C. 

Published on: May 21, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.