I've decided to move to an iPhone for the first time ever after using Android since 2011 (Nexus, Pixel), with the next round of hardware updates in September. While I appreciate the open source part of android OS and its flexibilities/strengths a lot, I've grown concerned with Google play services, in terms of privacy. I've flashed and tried using an AOSP only rom, without the GAPPs; but quite honestly there are areas that this setup would be lacking for a modern smartphone.
The story behind it is rather long, but the short version is that I've done a qualitative assessment of the instances when iOS vs Android collect analytic data and try to send to different servers, using a raspberry pi and pi-hole. In short, iOS doesn't (almost never, in a 3 week period that I evaluated)! Vs Android that constantly sends data in the background when you're not even using it (i.e. overnight).
Now, I wanted to share this rather preliminary observation and see if anybody has tried digging deeper, or do a quantitative measurement; and secondly if anyone with a Linux setup, had managed to use iOS with little headache in terms of syncing/transferring files, etc. I'm an arch user, and the best solution that I've found so far is running Windows in virtual box and using iTunes for backup/sync/file transfer. (Mac OS doesn't play nicely in virtual box for me).
This post turned out to be so multifactorial, including Linux, Android, iOS, privacy, etc. Some of which may be off topic for this sub, but let's see if it can initiate a good conversation.
edit: since the tracking issue came up in the questions, here are the top offender domains I have observed on my pixel (take note that this is despite turning off all analytic data collection when the OS and apps allow it, and using "App Ops" to revoke the permission from 90% of the user apps and some system apps:
and for some reason on android Microsoft is enabled to target you, but not under iOS (presumably because of more restrictive nature of iOS [on both test devices, Microsoft outlook was installed to sync a single work email]):